Sunday, April 29, 2012

I've Got Nothing Against the Irish, Really

This is the story of my last night in Vegas on my most recent trip.  I am not going to blog stories about my recent trip in chronological order because, well, I never have before; why should I start now?  So this is not the last you’ll hear of my latest Vegas experience.
You already heard about the very end of this evening in my previous post, here. This is what led up to it. I was slightly ahead for the trip, so a good session would make this a profitable trip, but a losing one could put me in the red. I arrived at BSC and waited a bit for them to open a new game  I soon figured out there were some soft players there but the cards did not give me a chance to take advantage.  Furthermore, despite what should have been a busy Thursday night, we kept losing players and they had difficulty filling seats.  Finally the table was short enough that when we requested a rake reduction, they were able to send all of us who still wanted to play to other tables to fill them up.  This happened when Mike was dealing, Mike has been mentioned in many of my stories, the most recent one was this posted here. He had only been dealing for 10 minutes at this game and I felt bad for him, knowing that once the table broke he had no chance of making money for the rest of his down.  I apologized to him and said, “Don’t take it personally.”  He replied, “I always do.”
By the time I got to the new game, I had a little over half of my $200 buy in left.  My current rule is that I usually add a $100 when I dip much below $100 so I was getting ready to buy some more chips.  But I hung on for a bit just keeping my head afloat.  When the dealer was pushed at the new table, it was Mike who replaced current dealer.  I asked if he was following me.
Half way into Mike’s down, he dealt me 8/9 offsuit and I limped in.  There was an 8 on the flop and I called a smallish flop bet.  Another 8 hit the turn and now I was very happy.  I bet out and got a couple of callers.  Some high card hit the river and I bet out, got two callers, and I can only assume they had either top or middle pair because my trip 8’s held up to take down a pretty nice pot.
I told Mike that this was better than when he deals me pocket kings. This is a running gag Mike and I have going back to my 2/4 days, there was a time when he always seemed to deal me KK once every down.  I won about 1/3 of the time with them, but when you’re playing limit, losing with them is not as bad as losing with them in a No Limit.  You lose a few bucks when you lose with them in a limit game.  You can lose a lot of chips—maybe your whole stack—when you lose with them at 1/2.  Oddly enough, none of the bad beats I’ve taken with KK at No Limit were dealt to me by Mike.
More amazingly, I won the next two pots as well.  I don’t remember the details, other than one time I think I limped with K-10o, but in both cases there was at least a flop, it wasn’t like I raised preflop and only took the blinds and limpers.  Neither pot was as big as the first one, but with the three, I was now sitting behind over $200 in chips so I was actually now up a bit for the session and didn’t have to worry about rebuying. 
I thanked Mike and told him he’s never done this before, pushing me three real pots in a row.  I know I’ve never won three straight pots (that went to a flop) since I started playing No Limit.  I suppose it may have happened once or twice at limit.  Now I don’t normally believe that some dealers are lucky for me or some are unlucky for me, it always seems to vary from one day to the next.  The lone exception is Michelle, the dealer who “never pushes me a pot” who I talked about in this post here. I would have fainted if she had pushed me three pots in a row.  So I wasn’t thinking Mike was now my favorite dealer but I do consider him a pal and it was nice I could give three decent tips to him in a row—made up for deserting him in mid-down just a half hour earlier.
Mike was pushed by a dealer I’ve mentioned before when I talked about the pineapple game here.  But since I couldn’t give him a Blog name them I can’t now, But he’s another one of my pals, and he was about to deal me the hand.  Not sure if I had dropped below $200 by now but it was close.  Midway through his down, he sends me K-9 clubs which I limp in with in early position. 

(EDITED TO ADD:  One of my commenters, Lucki Duck, whose excellent blog you should check out here, pointed out that the hand K-9 is known as the "Dog" or "Canine"--K-9.  I wish I had thought of that before posting this story, I would have used it in the title of this postl.  Thanks, Lucki!)

I may have had to call a small raiser after limping to see the flop.  There were no clubs on the flop, but there was both a King and a 9 giving me top two.  I bet out and got two callers.  One, the guy to my immediate left, was a seemingly nice, very quiet older gentleman with an Irish brogue.  The other was a younger fellow with at least $70 more in his stack than I had.
The turn card was gorgeous, another 9, giving me the full house.   I led out again and just prayed that one of them would call.  To my delight, they both did.
Last card was a Jack, putting a possible straight on the board (no flush possible, though). I was hoping someone had hit that straight and would pay me off.  A bigger boat than mine seemed to me unlikely, but certainly a possibility.  My main concern was that no one would call my river bet, which was about 2/3’s the size of the pot.
To my surprise, the Irish gentlemen to my left wasted almost no time in announcing “all in.”  Interesting.  Perhaps even more interesting was the young guy who was next to act.  He tanked for awhile, muttering things like “I have a great hand” and “I think I’m beat.”  But he eventually called. 
Although I knew exactly what my next move was, I waited a bit to act, as if I had a hard decision to make (I wouldn’t have “Hollywooded” it if it was only the all in bet to call).  So after a few seconds I announced “all in.”
The Irishman was already all in so it was back to the younger guy.  He really, really tanked this time.  He said again that he knew he was beat.  But it would have been kind of dumb to fold there.  He had to put another $70 or so into a huge pot, the odds were right for a call unless I showed him my hand.  Reluctantly, painfully, he announced “call.”
I flipped over my hand and the dealer announced, “full house, 9’s full of Kings.”  For some reason, the younger guy hesitated a bit, didn’t show his hand (except he accidentally flashed one of his cards to the player next to him) and with great pain, annoyance and frustration, throw his hand face down to the dealer.  Dealer starts pushing me the side pot and asks the gentleman next to me to show his hand.  He looked at it for some time, looked at the board for a long time, looked at my hand for a long time, and then, without saying a word, shoved his cards face down towards the dealer.
So the dealer shoved the main pot towards me as well, which had a lot of chips.  I gave the dealer, my buddy, two red chips for his efforts.  By the time I finished stacking all my chips, there was over $600 in front of me, up from the $200 (plus or minus) I had started the hand with. Nice.
The younger guy said he had a straight, but after he busted out a hand later because I had put him on tilt, the guy next to him said he saw a 9 in his hand so he didn’t have a straight.  He lost a lot of money for trip 9’s that didn’t fill up for him.  I did ask the Irish guy if he had a straight, he whispered something to me that I couldn’t hear, and I didn’t want to seem like I was rubbing it in so I didn’t press him to repeat what he said.
No more pots won from this dealer but the next dealer was George, the dealer who dealt me one of my all time worst bad beats back in my limit days, a hand I described here.  A while into his down, I looked down at A-10 hearts.  The Irish gentlemen to my left (who had bought more chips after losing them all to me) made it $6 and since I had position, I called.  I can’t actually remember the entire flop, I seem to recall there was only one heart, but maybe also a 10 for middle pair?  I’m really not sure why I called his flop bet but it wasn’t big so I did call.  The turn was a heart and made it easy to call his relatively small turn bet.
The river was the King of hearts, which turned out to be the best possible card for me and the worst possible card for him.  He immediately announced “all in” and since it was the two of us and I knew I had the absolute nuts, I wasted no time in saying “call” (needless to say, I had him way covered, he had bought back in for $100, maybe $120).  I showed my flush and this time he showed his hand, which was pocket Kings.  Yes, the dreaded pocket Kings!  Obviously the gentleman wasn’t a reader of my blog or he would have known not to risk so much on such a lousy hand.  Pretty sure he wouldn’t have shoved all of his new buy-in if any other heart but the one that gave him a set of Kings showed up on the river.  Unlucky him.  Lucky me.
Now I had over $700 in red chips in front of me.  George got a nice tip from me too and pushed me no more pots.  But when he is about to be pushed, who do I see standing behind him, ready to replace him but Michelle, my one “unlucky” dealer.  Or, “The Robert Killer” as she once called herself.  She said hi to me and then noticed the huge stack of chips in front of me.  She did a double take and flashed me a big smile and nodded her approval of my big stack to me. 
So I said to her, “Oh no, should I run away right now?”
“Yes,” she said, “Run away.  Run away!”  But I didn’t it.  Early in her down, I raised preflop with Ace-Jack offsuit.  No one called and I took down the blinds and one limper.  I tipped her a buck anyway.  Then I said “82” to continue the count of pots she owed me, but while she thanked me for the tip, she said, “That doesn’t count.”  Ok, Michelle, you still owe me 83 pots.
I did lose some money with Michelle dealing, and for another dealer or two.  Won nothing of significance.  I realized that, as has happened in the past when I was way ahead, I was actually playing worse than I do when I’m losing.  I got way too conservative and missed some opportunities.  This is definitely something I have to work on in my game.  But as it was getting late and I had the drive back to L.A. in the morning, and I wasn’t really giving myself a chance to win, I racked up my winnings and settled for a profit of $450 for the session.  And the whole night pleasantly reminded me of my last night in Vegas on my previous trip, a story I described here.  The pot in that story, where I had quad 10’s, was the biggest pot I’d ever won at the time.  The pot I just described with the 9’s full of Kings was bigger and the night was even more successful.  That is a very nice pattern I hope to continue, a huge pot and a huge win on the final session of each Vegas trip!
So it was a winning trip, a winning last night in town, and overall, a very successful and fun visit to Vegas.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Big Bust, and A Big Bust-Out

Well, I’m back home after a very fun, very successful trip to Vegas.  I have many stories to blog about, when I get the time, including my run at BSC at my last game before coming home.  I will get to that story soon, but in the meantime, I think I have just enough time to tell a quick little tale that involves bad beats, hookers, cleavage and large breasts.  I know that is shocking, because aside from bad beats, I’ve never discussed those other topics on this blog before, but there’s a first time for everything, right?
The bad beat story doesn’t involve me.  In a 1/2 NL cash game hand where I insta-folded some trash hand, one guy raises pre-flop to $10 or $12 and gets a caller or two.  The flop comes Q88.  There’s some reasonable betting on the flop and the turn, two players left, including the pre-flop raiser.  The turn and river cards seem rather innocuous, and the highest card on the board is the Queen.  After the river card, both players were extremely eager to get all-in, and so they did.  The pot was thus over $300, perhaps closer to $400. 
Preflop raiser is only too happy to show his hand, pocket Queens.  Yeah, he flopped a full house, queens full of 8’s.  What could be better than flopping a boat like that?
The other player showed us.  He had pocket 8’s, so all he had done is flop quads. He beat the second nuts with the only hand better.  Yeah, now that is one sweet flop for him.  Not only does he flop quads, but his opponent flops a boat so he gets paid off for it.
The word out of everyone at the table’s mouths was “sick.”  Yeah, it was sick, although not so much for the guy with quads.
I’ve see a lot of guys go on tilt after a beat like that, but the guy with the queens was pretty cool.  As he saw all his money shoved to the guy with quads, he calmly pulled out his wallet and took out a couple of hundreds for more chips.  Everyone was offering their condolences as they were congratulating the winner but the guy who lost just shook his head and said, “That’s poker.”
Indeed it is.  Still sucked to be him at that moment, though.
Not long after I cashed out and headed for the parking area.  Now as I result of the story I posted here, I had zero interest in encountering any ladies who were hanging around there in the hopes of renting out their time, their bodies, and their particular skill sets to male tourists.  Really.
But I couldn’t help noticing two ladies who were just sort of sitting at slot machines, but facing out into the aisle, who appeared to be very much available for rent.  They each had long dark hair and were wearing very high heels.  Unlike most hookers, they weren’t wearing short dresses or skirts, instead they wore what appeared to be very tight pants.  One of them had a rather conservative top on, not very hookerish at all.  But these gals were obviously together, they were eyeing the aisles and they had their cellphones out and were talking on them a lot, a definite hooker trait.
Oh, one more thing.  The second woman was not wearing a conservative top.  She was so not wearing a conservative top.  Her top was extremely low cut and very wide open.  And although I am normally not one to even notice cleavage, I couldn’t help but notice this gal.  Because in addition to the low cut top, this gal had the largest breasts I’ve ever seen in my life.
Ok, maybe not the largest if you include pictures I’ve seen on the internet, which may or may not have been Photo-Shopped, but in real life, yeah, I’m pretty sure these breasts were the biggest I’ve ever seen live.  They were huge.  They were ginormous.  They were humongous.
There were a lot bigger than Angela's.  Angela is the stripper I described in the post here.  This gal made Angela look like Audrey Hepburn.
They were friggin’ big!  I mean, each one of them needed their own zip codes!  They were so big that this scene could only have taken place in a Big Strip Casino, because the girl’s tits simply could not fit in a smaller casino.  I mean, she couldn’t fit inside the Santa Fe Station casino, the casino I talked about here.  No way. 
So between the sheer enormity of these breasts, and the fact that her top was extremely low cut, there was more square inches of breast tissue exposed by her than you see in any five issues of Playboy Magazine.  Of course, since no nipple was exposed she wasn’t actually showing her tits, per se, but the average woman—even one with a fairly large bosom—could be completely topless and not be exposing as much mammary gland as this hooker was exposing just with her cleavage.
Were they real, I hear my readers ask?  No idea.  Because of my previous experience, I tried to stay as far away from these girls as I possibly could.  In order to do that, I had to stay two aisles away from her at all time, or risk accidentally running into them, I mean her, oh hell, I mean them.  So I didn’t get a good look at them.
Whenever I see a pair this freaking big, I tend to think “after-market” of course, because breasts this large don’t normally exist in nature. So that would be the way to bet.  That said, there are freaks of nature out there, so you can’t be sure.
And then I think….well, why would a woman purposely get implants this friggin’ huge?  I mean why?  In her current profession, is she really going to make more money with those giant juggs than she could make with a more reasonably sized chest?  It would seem to me, for every man who would pay extra for those super-dooper sized watermelons, there’s gotta be five for whom they would be a turnoff.  They were way too big for me, if that tells you anything.
Perhaps she got them for another profession?  Porn star?  Stripper?  Maybe that would make a little more sense.  Although I have a loyal female reader who insists that there is absolutely no difference between a stripper and a hooker. 
Anyway, I have no idea whether it was Mother Nature or a plastic surgeon who was responsible for this girl needing to buy custom-made bras.  But a few minutes after noticing these two gals, I saw the two of them had gotten off their stools and were walking around.  I missed seeing the girl with the huge chest standing up, which I would probably have paid a buck or two to see.
Hell, I would have paid twenty backs to see her stand up on her own from a lying-flat-on-her back position (there’s no way she could ever get on a flat-on-her stomach position).  It appeared the girls were heading toward the exit, and this time of course, I did not follow them, except with my eyes for a few seconds.  I thought they did indeed exit, but no, they had turned down an aisle and had started “working the room.” 
I was actually tempted to go over to them and warn them that cops were around town busting girls in their line of work, but I rejected the idea of having a conversation with them fairly quickly.  Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. 
So I left and headed to the parking lot, knowing I had just seen in person the two biggest mountains in Southern Nevada.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It was a Home Game, Even if it Was in a Casino

Played in an interesting little tournament today, in one of the last places I’d ever expect to play.  It was the noon tournament at Santa Fe Station out there on Rancho Rd.  If you Google “locals casino”, the first link will take you to their website.  I think I’d been there once before, long before I started playing poker, and felt no need to ever return.
What changed?  Well, an email I received a few days ago from someone I never heard of, but who turns out to be a regularly reader of this silly little blog.  I have absolutely no reason to give him a fake name, other than to piss off Lightning and Josie, so let’s call him Leo since that is actually not his name at all. 
Anyway, Leo tells me reads my blog and Tony’s blog and grrouchie’s blog, and all the others in our little blogger community, and would like to meet me.  Of course, I blushed.  Then he says he would love to play poker with me in order to—get this—evaluate his game.  Moi?  Evaluate his game?  Seriously?
I was both honored and amused.  I do a “poker blog” that is more noteworthy for hooker stories, girls taking about their vaginas and bosom obsessions than for deep, thoughtful discussion of poker strategy like one can almost always find at Poker Grump’s site.

But who am I to question the reasoning of one of my loyal readers?  I was of course, appreciative of the compliment and eager to meet anyone who finds this foolishness interesting.  Turns out Leo is a newbie when it comes to live play, having only started in January of this year, even tho he’s lived in Vegas for many years.  He’s played online a lot, tho.
Leo is too “intimidated” to play cash games, so he often hits the noon tournament at Santa Fe, which is close to his home.  The structure actually seemed pretty good for a small room and a small tournament.  Leo no doubt saw the note I put at the beginning of this post about being in Vegas and offering to meet and play with any readers who would like to meet me, and so it was arranged that I would drive out to his local room and play in his regular tournament.  Again, nothing is too good for my fans, all 3 of them.
The drive out to Santa Fe Station was not uneventful, but I’ll save that for another time.  I met Leo, who is a real nice guy and not a young guy either.  So I guess I’m not the only guy my age who likes hooker stories.  Anyway, I had to eat before the tournament and thus he watched me enjoy the fine cuisine at Johnny Rockets.  While doing that, he gave the lay of the land.  He described some of the regular players and what their tendencies were, giving me valuable free information about the players.
But it turns out that there was a very small turnout for today’s festivities.  Leo said that they usually have 2 or 3 tables but today there was only one, although it was 10 handed.  I think there were a few alternates signed up, but not enough to start a second table and they never got in as no one busted out before the break, the last opportunity to enter.
This was the first tournament I’ve played in recently that offered a “re-buy”.  Now, for $50 you got 6K in chips, with a $20 rebuy (through the first break, 4 levels) for 4k more in chips.  What I found weird was that no one used the re-buy option at the beginning, waiting to bust out (or the break) before getting the additional chips.  I think this is the wrong way to play it, but I didn’t want to be “that guy” who was the only one who didn’t seem to get the program, so I didn’t use my option until the break.
The tournament started and it seemed like everyone knew everyone else.  They were all on a first name basis and knew each other’s favorite hands.  One guy was well known to love playing J-7.  Actually there were a couple of younger guys there that Leo told me he wasn’t familiar with but it was mostly regulars.
As such, it seemed to me more like a home game than a game taking place in a professional card room. Of course they knew all the dealers and the dealers knew them.  So I didn’t say much, just observing, and kind of felt like that at any moment, someone was going to ask me to leave for being a party-crasher, when another regular showed up and I had his seat.
Leo’s information about the players was a bit useful, but really I was able to figure out the same things he told me pretty much anyway.  As for Leo’s game, I told him on the break that I didn’t know whether this was good or bad news but, I thought he played pretty much like I did!  He was a tight player and played solid, conservative poker.  Of course, after he hit a few pots early, he went a bit card dead and thus I didn’t get to see him play too many hands.  I really couldn’t give him too much useful information to help him out.  He was concerned that he was too easy to read but that’s a bit of problem with anyone who plays tight.  I hope he occasionally uses his tight image to pull off a move or a bluff like I do (and did today), but I never saw it, hopefully because it worked so well he didn’t have to show.
Leo started out doing ok, me not so much.  I was bleeding chips, playing few hands and not hitting anything when I did play.  I finally managed to get a few little pots that kept me from getting too low.  Still, I did the rebuy at the break and even so, was hardly flush with chips. Meanwhile Leo had had a few bad breaks, especially when his trip 9’s got rivered by a straight, and was running low.
Before the break, the most interesting hand came when a short stacked player shoved and got 5 callers.  Leo had warned me that this player shoved with any Ace after the first couple of levels, but with his stack, a lot of hands would justify this move.  The flop was all low cards, so the guy with the next shortest stack shoved.  He got called by one other player, who was had the second shover covered.  Now it was time to flip the cards.  Original shover made his move with pocket deuces and now had lucked into a set!  The second shover had pocket 10’s and no set.  The last guy had pocket Queens and no set.  Nothing more hit and the QQ guy got a small side pot and the original shover was now flush with chips.  He lasted to the end.
For me, the hand that got me on the way to success came soon after the 1st break.  I had AK offsuit and made a decent raise.  No one called until the guy on my right shoved all-in.  Now, Leo had told me that this was a guy who usually had a decent hand when he bet or raised.  So I had to think about it a bit.  I wasn’t in desperate position yet and tho I had him covered, calling and losing would have left me with about 2k in chips when the blinds were 400 and 800. Keeping in mind what Leo told me, a fold was definitely a possibility.  But I decided to call instead.
Good move.  He had A-rag offsuit and my AK held up.  He was busted and I now had some money to play with.
Another good hand for me happened immediately after I raised with A-8 suited and got no callers.  Next hand I looked down at the dreaded pocket kings.  I made the same opening bet I had just made, and got one caller, a short stack.  I was last to act, so when I saw the Ace on the flop, and he checked, I checked behind.  I guess he was hoping for a check-raise because as soon as I checked, before he even saw the turn card, he announced “all in”. 
I didn’t have a very tough decision to make because the turn card was a King.  Yeah, that was an insta-call.  He had Ace rag and when no Ace showed up on the river, he was gone and I was stacking more chips.
One more hand of note.  A bit later I had K-8 diamonds in the big blind.  No raise so I saw the flop for free.  It was only UTG and me.  The flop was really, really gorgeous, all diamonds, including the Ace, giving me the absolute nuts.  I checked thinking heads up, UTG would surely bet out to steal the pot.  I was right, he bet out about the size of the pot.  I suppose I could have slowplayed it further but I didn’t want to give a free card in case he could have somehow filled up.  I shoved. He thought a long time but folded.
Leo busted out and disappeared for awhile.  I was concerned that he had just taken off, but I think he just went to grab a smoke.   He came back and watched for awhile, but disappeared again when the tournament was ending.
Blinds were up to 2k/4k and we got down to 3 players.  Only two were getting paid.  I think at one point I was actually the chip leader but I had gone totally card dead and couldn’t find the right spot to even try to make a move.  I still thought I was at least in second when the guy with the lucky set of deuces earlier suggested we give $50 to the bubble, which we all agreed to (which meant losing money tho since we had all bought in for the extra $20).  But then a few minutes it was figured out that a 3-way chop would give us each $156.  We all agreed to it.  I was surprised t realize I was actually in last place at this point, so I actually caught a break there.  But at that point of the tournament, luck is much more important than either skill or stack size and it seemed like a fair result for all concerned.
As I was cashing out, Leo came over and I showed him my winnings and told him of the 3 way chop.  I thanked him for suggesting I come out and play in his little “home game.”  I hope to see Leo again, although he did inform me that he’s moving out of Vegas for awhile next week.  But he expects to be back plenty.
So today I met a reader of the blog, played in what was essentially a home game even though was at a real card room, made a bit of money and can say I chopped first place in a tournament.  Not a bad day.
Thanks Leo, it was a pleasure to meet you, in more ways than one.  And Leo, you definitely have the game to take on those “sharks” at the cash games…especially the 1/2 limit table.     

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just a Little Shovin', Early in the Tourney.....

It's been a very nice trip so far. Yesterday I cashed out in the 1PM Aria tournament and in the process, met a very nice British woman who I made a great read on.  I will be blogging the details in the near future.  The night before I made a great recovery in a cash game when three hands returned me from the dead.  Again, details to follow.

All I have time for right now is something I forgot to mention when I was talking about the Friday night Orleans tournament last week.  The story of that tournament is here but now I want to get to what I forgot to mention in that post.

The tournament had just started, starting stacks were $12,500, blinds were 50-100.  In early position, seat 9 opens with a $300 or $400 bet.  Fairly standard.  Seat 1, immediately to my right, says "all in."


This was the 3rd or 4th hand of the tournament.  Everyone still had pretty much their starting stack.  People were still finding their seats (remember, there ending up being 307 runners in this event, a record for them).  And the guy shoves???

I'm sitting thinking what hand he could possibly have where that move makes sense.  I had crap anyway, but everyone else of course folded and the original raiser hesitates just a bit, laughs a little, and then shows pocket 10's as he mucks them.

Shover takes down a whopping $450 or $550 pot.  He doesn't show.

Again, I'm thinking, what hand justifies this?

If he's got Ace's or King's, he's sure as hell not getting value for his pre-flop monster.  Who the hell is gonna call him?  He gets a very small pot, when, presumably, if he 3 bet he might get a call and been able to win more chips.

If he has a lesser hand, Queens, Jacks, AK, sure he gets that dinky pot in most cases, but he does risk running into a bigger hand--there were still players to act after him, and for all he knows the pre-flop raiser has Aces or Kings himself. 

Suppose he has a garbage hand and he is just making a move to steal it?  Wow, talk about high risk, low reward!  He's unlikely to get called, true....but if he does, it has to be by someone with a better hand.

I just couldn't believe a move like that, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I wondered if this guy was going to keep doing that, and then I'd really have to adjust my play.

But no, that was the only time he pulled that crazy move.  I wouldn't say he was a great player, but he was at least a reasonable one the rest of the time he was there, until he busted out.  He made a weak call to bust out (don't remember the details) but he never did anything near that crazy again.

Now later, when he was out of hand, I heard him to explain to someone, not sure if it was the guy he shoved against or someone else, that he had AK.  And he does that early to either "double up or go home early."  Hmm.....if that's his goal, why not just take his $125 buy-in and make one bet at the Craps table or the Roulette Wheel?  Why thrust such insanity on a poker game?

And of course, how is he gonna double up if there's almost no chance he'll get a call, unless it's by someone who a hand that's better than AK.

Of course, he only said he had AK, he didn't show it.  So it could have been bullshit.

But wow, that was a weird move.  If anyone has a good explanation for it.....or a justification for it, let me know.

Because I just don't get it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, You're Under Arrest!

The last thing I would have expected to happen to get my birthday off to an interesting start was to run into Las Vegas’s Finest, ie, Metro Police—and almost getting arrested in the process.  But that’s my life, folks.

Last night, while waiting for my birthday to arrive at the stroke of midnight, I was playing poker at BSC next to the truly delightful Prudence, who, among other things, rejected my suggestion that she rub my schvantz—a suggestion I made with her boyfriend sitting just inches away.  But sorry folks, that story will have to wait, Law & Order comes first.
Midnight came, making it my birthday.  Prudence and Tom had left after giving me a birthday present and a bit later, so did I.  Where I had parked I had to take an escalator in the casino up to get to the parking area.  As I was going up the escalator, I saw in the slot area I had just left two black girls who had hooker written all over them.  Not quite literally, but my spidey-sense was going off like crazy. They were, from a distance at least, both reasonably attractive and were dressed just slutty enough to be hookers but not so slutty so as to look like club-going girls, who dress a lot sluttier than the hookers. So I was sure I had spotted a couple of gals who offer men vagina-rentals by the hour (or maybe by the half hour for men who are quick on the trigger).
Now, as I mentioned in this postI have a married friend who loves for me to tell him hooker stories.  He’s also one of the two people (along with his wife) who encouraged me to start this blog based on the Vegas and poker stories I would tell them.  Even if I don’t blog about them, he wants hooker stories.  I haven’t posted one lately, partly due to running into a dearth of hookers recently.  Last trip I didn’t see any, surprising as it sounds.  So when I saw these two working girls, I figured I could get a story to tell my friend, whether or not I got something blog-worthy.  Why not check it out, I thought? Basically, I was mining for a good hooker story.
I got right back on the escalator, this time going down (so-to-speak) and went looking for the girls.  I found one talking to some middle-aged white guy and they both had their celphones out.  It appeared they were exchanging information on their phones, and I took this to mean I was right, she was a hooker and they were exchanging contact info for a future tryst. 
Then I noticed the other gal talking to a guy. He was white but appeared somewhat younger than middle-aged, but close to that. I missed his approach, but they were talking really intimately, it seemed.  They were very close, face-to-face.  There was some body contact as well, one of them had their arms around the other, and I think I even saw a quick hug.  You don’t usually see hookers encourage that much contact in public, it might attract attention.  If I hadn’t been so damn sure she was a pro, I might have thought that no, this was a couple already in a relationship.  But my spidey-sense is seldom wrong, I was still thinking hooker.
They started to walk off together, and I believe for a few moments they were holding hands.  I decided to follow them just to see if they headed to the elevators, and if so, that would be the end of my story.  But they went past the elevators, into an area where there are a lot of eating places and a bar or two.  I thought, oh, they want to have a drink first.  This is cool, I will see them in the bar and then observe a bit how they interact.

But no, they went past the bar, they went past all the eating places, and they went to—nowhere, really—and exited the casino through some double door.  WTF?  I thought where they went was like an “Employees Only” place but I had to get close enough to see for sure.
I should point out here that I thought I was being very careful in following them.  I lagged way behind, I didn’t want them to turn around and notice me.  I was sure I was being discreet.
Anyway, a few minutes after they disappeared, I slowly wandered over to the door they had exited, and sure enough, it said “Employees Only.”  I didn’t get it.  I was just too dumb to figure out what had happened.  All I could think of was that I sure didn’t think the girl was an employee, unless this casino actually had hookers on the payroll.
I was about to leave when I noticed an interesting looking restaurant nearby, a Burger joint.  Always on the lookout for a good burger place, I stopped to check out the menu (the place was closed).  As I was trying to read it on the wall, I heard a male voice behind me.
“Excuse me sir.”
I turned around to see a guy who was casually dressed and looked not too dissimilar to the guy who went thru the door with the hooker, but not the same guy.  He had his wallet out and showed me a freaking badge! I didn’t get a good look at it, but I did hear the guy say, “Metro Police.”
“We noticed you talking to that woman, and then following us here, wanting to see where we were headed”
I told the officer the truth.  “I didn’t talk to any woman.”
He disputed my claim.  “You were talking to that woman and then you followed us here.  She’s been arrested for prostitution.”
Only part of that was true.  I hadn’t spoken to anyone since entering the casino.  But of course he had me dead to rights on the “following them” part.  I was trying to think fast, to come up with a logical story as to why I would have followed them.  Gulp.  I wonder if he would have been ok with, “Well, I have a blog and I need hooker stories for it, but I never use the girls’ services.  Also, my friend loves hooker stories….”
Fortunately, I didn’t have to come up with that on the spot.  I repeated what I said before, the truth.  “Officer I didn’t talk to that woman, or any woman.”  I paused to think of something to add, but he saved me by talking first.
“Well, sir, we advise you to be careful with those girls.  We’re trying to protect you.  Many of them are trying to rob the men they solicit.  For your own safety, we advise you to stay away from them.”
I said ok, and thanked him, for what I’m not sure.  Scaring the shit out of me?  Or I guess, for not detaining me further.  For not arresting me on my god damn birthday!
I turned away and got the hell out of there as fast as my old legs could take me.  What a hell of a way to start to a birthday that almost was.  Getting arrested for soliciting a prostitute, that I didn’t even solicit! 

So...not quite the same kind of fun I had on my last birthday, as I told here.
Next time my spidey-sense tingles and a gal says “Hey baby” or “Where you going, Sugar”, or “You want some company”, I’m not even gonna bother to say “no thanks.”  I’m turning and running.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Old Home Week

First things first; I am currently in Vegas, which is why I have posted in a bit.  Already there are new stories to get to, but I’ll need time.  But I did want to say to any of my readers who live in Vegas—or are now visiting—if you would like to get together with me to play some poker or just say hi or whatever, drop me an email or a tweet and let’s see if we can arrange it.  Today I’m planning to hit the 2PM Binions tournament downtown, which I’ve cashed in once before.

Thus far, since I’ve been in town, I’ve played in three tournaments and cashed once.    Unfortunately, that was in the smallest of the three, but you take what you can get. And oddly enough, so far this trip,Pocket Kings have been pretty good to me. I’ll get to that one in the near future.  For now, I want to talk about last night at the Orleans. It’s been a while since I’ve played there, but I kept hearing that the Friday night, 7PM tournament is possibly the most attended tournament of its type in Vegas.  They supposedly are getting upwards of 250 runners every week, and usually sell out, and the tournament lasts until 4, 5, 6 in the morning!  So I just had to check it out.  The structure isn’t that much different or better than the regular daily tournaments at Aria that I play, but for whatever reason, the locals in the Vegas poker world just love turning out for this one.

Sure enough, soon after I hit the Orleans, about 45 minutes before the tournament began, I saw two people who have been “stars” in previous blog posts of mine.  First, I noticed the infamous “Poker Genius” talking to someone.  I wasn’t at all surprised.  I’m pretty sure I remember him talking about this tournament and bragging about doing well in it.  Of course, he talked so much, it was hard to keep track.  But pretty sure he was one of the first folks I’ve heard talking it up.  Now, he didn’t see me, and I doubt he’d know me from Adam.  I never was at his table, but I did take some comfort from seeing him bust out before me.  We had no interaction whatsoever.

The other person was “Kathy”, the lady whose cleavage was photographed by her friend, Jeanriders (originally named “Maria” by me, but since she commented under her own twitter ID, she has “outted” herself).  No, Jeanne (Maria) wasn’t there, or at least I didn’t see her.  And no, I didn’t go up to Kathy and thank her for giving me such great material.  I’m sure she doesn’t know me and I dunno how you go up to a woman and say, “Thanks for giving me such a great blog post when you pulled your shirt down a few weeks ago at Binions so your friend Jeanne could take a picture of your cleavage.”  Despite what Prudence  thinks, my testicles just aren’t quite big enough for that.  However, I will point out that I did run into Jeanne my first night in town and not only thanked her again for the great material but also for promoting my blog to all her friends and twitter followers.  Thanks again, Jeannie, I hope I haven’t let you down.

So I had no interaction with Kathy either.  But yet a third person who’s been mentioned on this blog, albeit most briefly, was there as well.  The floor person (Tournament Director?) from Binions was there.  He’s the one who interceded when “Poker Genius”, another guy, and I, all started bickering about PG berating me.  He is a very nice guy and was doing his job expertly and I have no ill feelings towards him whatsoever.  But I did find it amusing that he was at the table I was at when I busted out, and of course he recognized me from Binions and said hi, but I doubt seriously he knows me from the blog or even knows about the blog.  And I didn’t see him talking to PG but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had, I’m sure PG is well known to him.

Anyway, they had 307 runners last night, which was announced as a record.  I saw a lot of familiar faces there, just folks I’ve played with before at various tournaments around town.

I started out doing very well, doubled up early.  In late position I had 44 and was able to limp in.  Flop was Q94, two of a suit I think, giving me a set of 4’s.  Led out with a smallish bet and a guy in early position checked raised me!  Since it was limped I doubt he had pocket Queens and I didn’t think he had pocket 9’s either.  I was thinking of coming over the top, but decided to just call and try to get more chips out of him.  Turn was another Queen, filling me up.  He bet around $3K (this was first or second round) and I thought about what to do.  I was going to just triple his bet, but that would have been too close to me being all in, so I just shoved.  He insta-called with K-Q.  Someone said to him, “That’s what you get for check-raising with just top pair.”  River was a blank and I suddenly had a lotta chips.  He had me covered by a bit and busted out a few hands later.

Unfortunately, that was the high point of my tournament.  The guy immediately to my left was the classic Loose Aggressive player, raising most hands he was in and often with absolute crap.  He won a lot of chips that way, but also lost a lot that way too.  He made it clear it was going to be impossible to limp into any pots he was in, and he even told me that.  Sure enough, I really couldn’t do it.  I haven’t learned yet how to best handle a guy like that in a tournament.

I did raise some times when I ordinarily wouldn’t.  My favorite time was when it was folded to the two of us in the blinds.  I had Q5 off.  Instead of folding and giving him a walk, I decided to test the theory that you can always bluff a bluffer.  I made a pretty big raise.  He called.  Shit.  The flopped missed me, but I made a big continuation bet like I had the nuts.  He folded.  That was great.

But another time I had a marginal hand and wanted to limp.  Thinking he would raise if I just limped, I raised and he folded.  But another guy called, turns out he had QQ and hit his set on the flop.  Fortunately, when he raised my c-bet I threw my hand away, so I didn’t lose that much.  The guy kindly showed his Queens, that’s how I knew.

Didn’t take long before my double up was gone and I was getting short-stacked.  By the time they broke our table and I finally got away from the LAG guy who was messing me up, I was near-desperation.  I made some moves to get some chips, but mostly my all-ins were folded to me.  I did pick up some chips when I shoved with AK and a lesser stack (just barely) called with pocket 7’s.  I hit an Ace on the flop and took the pot.

Finally I had A9 suited and was really down in chips.  I had been looking for a hand to shove with for a long time, this was it.  I actually got 3 callers (one shoved with less) because I was so chip-poor.  I flopped a gut-shot but it didn’t hit.  The guy who won the pot called me with A-6 off, but there was a 6 on the board (part of my gut-shot), and I was gone.  The TD from Binions was also in that hand but he didn’t show (the two non-all-in’s just checked it down).  I would have preferred if he had been the one who busted me out, it would have been a better story.

It was after midnite when I was busted so I definitely got some play for my money and had a good time.  And I didn’t want to hang around until 7, 8 AM, or whatever, to win the thing, did I?  Well yes, 1st place was over $7k. They paid 35 and I was out around 70th.  Next time…..

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Over at grrouchie's blog there is a very special guest post. That guest post is by yours truly.

Grrouchie's blog is outstanding, and you should read it regularly, if for no other reason than to make my blog look more respectable.

Why did grrouchie ask yours truly to do a guest post on his blog when he's perfectly capable of offending people without any help from me? Well, he had this crazy idea to do a month of "alphabetical" blogs, where each blog in succession would be dedicated to a letter of the alphabet. Fearing that he might not actually know all 29 letters of the alphabet, he asked his fellow bloggers if they would like to volunteer to do certan letters. I of course, volunteered to do letter "T" for no particular reason (heh heh). Unfortunately, the grrouch is so busy these days he had to at least temporarily abandon the alphabetical project soon after the first one, which was April Fools for "A", but I had already started working on my guest post. So he promised to post my guest post anyway, and justify it however his fertile mind can.

Since it is no longer part of the alphabetical project, why didn't I just post my epistle here, on my very own blog, I hear you asking? Well, the reason is simple. As he states right on his blog's masthead, his is a "a real man's blog." And since he insisted I do a post about, you'll pardon the expression, tits, I just don't feel it is appropriate for this blog.

This blog is much too classy to ever discuss female body parts. I would never do that. Never, never, never, never, never. So I had no choice but to farm out such a controversial topic to the grrouchie one, while I keep this particular blog pure and only discuss the finer things in life, like losing with pocket kings, how to order sandwichs at your local Subway, or how to win poker tournaments. But never would I discuss tits on this blog.

So, check out my guest post at grrouchie's blog here. I hope my regular readers won't be too shocked at my never before revealed interest in this controversail topic. Please feel free to leave a comment, either on grrouchie's blog or right here, below the picture of Cybill Shepherd, Cybill Sheperd's cleavage, and Bruce Willis, all of whom of course starred in the wonderful old TV series, Moonlighting. Or, if you really want to make us both happy, you can comment in both places.

Still here? OK, once again the link for my special guest post about tits is here:

Well, it appears that grrouchie's computer and my computer don't speak too each other too well.  Unlike tits, my post on his blog is not very easy on the eyes.  Formatting issue. So I have posted my post on a separate page here so that you might find it easier to read, with improved formatting. Still, this is to be considered a post on grrouchie's blog, not mine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Pineapple Upside Down Birthday Cake (Minus the Cake)

This is the story of one of my all time most fun nights since I started playing poker.  It happened around a year ago, back when I was still just a 2/4 player.  It also coincided, quite by accident, with my birthday.  Since my birthday is again fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to finally post this story.
There is a problem tho, in my telling this story.  I really am uncomfortable naming names—even the fake names I have given everyone who frequents the BSC—for this particular tale.  Especially now that I know that at least some of the BSC gang is reading this blog.  I’m not sure I even want their co-workers to figure out who said what, or who did what, if I can help it!  Oh it’s not that bad…it’s not like anyone got up on the poker table and danced naked damn it….it’s just that there are a few things that happened that I just am not comfortable attributing to a person who could be identified.  I’m probably being overly paranoid, but that’s just the way I feel.
And since some of the people I will be talking about already have fake names on my blog—and some don’t—I don’t want to give these people a second fake name! So I’ll just refer to people as “dealer” and “female dealer” and so on, rather than using fake names.  Hopefully this won’t be too hard to follow.  Now I know that in doing this, I will be infuriating at least one of my loyal readers, Lightning36, who does a wonderful blog that you should be following, and you can find it here.  But in response to my previous post, Lightning indicated he didn't like the fact that I never reveal real names on my blog. So I am dedicating this post to him, and I may just find a way to honor him further in this post.
Originally I was going to make an exception for the protagonist in this tale, who is not me.  He has been featured in this blog before.  I could use his blog name because there is nothing in this story that would embarrass him.  Oh, he had a bad night playing poker, but that happens to even the best players, of which he is not one.  No shame there. And everyone from BSC who reads this will know who he is.  But since I perhaps have already told an embarrassing story about this dealer—or some day might—I feel better not even using his blog name for this story.  Yeah, I know I’m weird about this.  Anyway, I am going to refer to this dealer as “Birthday Boy” for this post, the reason for which will soon be evident.
So by the time this story takes place, I had played a lot of poker at BSC, almost all of it 2/4 limit, and had started visiting Vegas on almost a monthly basis for the better part of a year.  When in Vegas, my evenings are spent at BSC more often than not.  My frequent appearances at BSC resulted in the stories told in my previous post here, but the story I’m about to tell happened before any of those tales and it is this night that made me realize what I fixture I had become at BSC.
So it was the day before my birthday of last year, which means, since I usually play poker past midnite, I would be celebrating the very start of my birthday at a poker table at BSC, in all likelihood. 
Soon after getting started at my 2/4 game, Birthday Boy came to deal.  Now several things happened while Birthday Boy was dealing and I'm not quite sure of the precise order of them.  This is unfortunate because I'm wondering if what happened had to do with my revealing that it was about to be my birthday or not.  But anyway, Birthday Boy asked me if I knew how to play "Crazy Pineapple."  I did not.  He explained the game to me.  He said it was easy, it's just like Hold Em except...instead of being dealt two cards, you are dealt three.  There's the pre-flop betting like in Hold-em, and another round of better after the flop.  After the flop betting round, you have to discard one of your three hole cards.  After that, it plays just like Hold-em.  The reason he told me this was because that today was his birthday (big surprise, huh?) and after his shift, a bunch of dealers were going to play Crazy Pineapple right in the BSC poker room.  It would be 2/4 limit, just like I played then. I thought he said I should join them, it would be fun.  I of course wished him Happy Birthday and told him my birthday was tomorrow. 
I had asked Birthday Boy why he didn't take the day off and he said he was taking tomorrow off instead, but for his birthday he arranged this game.  I asked him if it was a private game and he said no, you can't have a private game in a casino and that I was more than welcome.  I think he actually invited me to join.  When I asked what time it was, he said it would be 2:00AM.  Ugh...that's usually the time I leave if I haven't already retired, and I was already tired.  I said I'd see.  At first I wasn't really seriously considering it, I figured I'd be too tired, I'd feel out of place if everyone else was a dealer, etc.  But I had hours to think about it, this was only like 9 or 10 in the evening. Again, I'm unclear on the sequence.  Did Birthday Boy only invite me to the game after hearing it would be my birthday?  I'm not sure.  And would it have mattered anyway?  Was he merely telling me about this or was he actually inviting me?  I'm pretty sure it was the latter but I wasn't totally sure.  Also....did I really want to play a game...with a bunch of dealers no less....that I had never played before and didn't know the strategy for?
I don't do that.  Before ever setting foot in Vegas, I studied several books on blackjack and craps.  I studied several poker books before playing live casino poker (I know, this will astonish folks who have seen me play).  Playing some game I never played before first time with real money is not my style.
I had time to think about it, and initially was doing well at my 2/4 game.  I got up over $100.  But my lucked changed and I started losing my profits.  As long as I was up, taking a shot at that Crazy Pineapple game seemed intriguing.  Once I started losing, it was less so, since I felt it was likely to be a losing proposition for me.  I wanted to at least hang around for the start of Crazy Pineapple game to check it out, so I considered checking out of the 2/4 game early and just walking around the casino for a bit.  Then the table, which for a long spell was rather quiet and boring, got more interesting when a bunch of chatty folks showed up.
One guy was a Lakers fan, and with the playoffs having just started, that gave us lots to talk about.  Then a very interesting, married woman from Northern California joined the game with her husband.  She was very well built, wearing a tank top that was very low cut.  She was wearing a bra that didn't give her enough support--she needed plenty--so not only was the view plentiful but....this gal got very excited whenever she won a pot and stood up, raised her arms and--her words, not mine--'shook her booty" that made for a very interesting show. 
In an addition to California Girl and Lakers fan, a lovely couple from Australia joined the table, both very chatty and fun. The wife was a very pretty blonde who unfortunately hadn’t gotten the memo that women visiting Vegas are obligated to show cleavage, but frankly, California Girl had enough cleavage for both of them. Now the table was fun, giving me incentive to stick it out until 2.  Lakers fan was a frequent visitor to Vegas and may have remembered me from a previous trip.  Or maybe he just saw me chatting with all the dealers.  In any case, he knew that I was a regular and every time they swapped out dealers, he asked me for a rating on the dealer.  His criteria was whether you could win when they dealt.  That's just silly cuz even if a dealer was lucky for me it wouldn't mean that they'd be lucky for him.  But it was fun and as I said, he was a basketball fan so we had fun talking about that. 
So I was having tons of fun while waiting for the pineapple game to start, still unsure what to do.  But now the problem was my winnings...they were all gone.  I was eventually down a few bucks.  If I did play in the pineapple game, those profits I could safely invest in the game were gone and I would be risking losing even more in a game I didn't know.  So I was still debating what to do.  But around 1:30 or so I saw that they had put the "Crazy Pineapple" game on the waiting board, as an "interest" game.  The first name on the list was the name of one of my dealer buddies, who I had seen hanging around in his regular clothes, not dealing that nite, so I realized he had come in on his day off to play in Birthday Boy's birthday party game.  The waitlist starting filling up with names I recognized as dealers and some names I didn't recognize.  I assumed that other names were just regular folks who knew the game and were interested in playing.  This made me feel a little more comfortable about playing, if there were other non-dealers there.
The list started getting longer, and I had to decision to make.  If I didn't play at the beginning of the game, and it was filled, I'd probably never get in before it would get too late.  OTOH, I didn't want to freeze out any dealers who wanted to play with their buddies.  But it sure did seem like Birthday Boy invited me into the game and would welcome my playing, meaning he wasn't expecting it to fill with just dealers.  And then I thought—how often am I going to get an opportunity to get into a game like this, to be welcomed into a private club like this?  It was an opportunity I could not possibly pass up.  Obviously Birthday Boy thought enough of me to tell me about it, so I must be welcomed.  It was really a nice compliment.  And it was now my birthday.  How could I possibly pass this up?  The strange names on the board and the fact that there were now 8 names on the list made me realized I had to make my move or get frozen out.  I hoped it would be ok with the other folks....I was still unsure despite Birthday Boy asking me.  But I got up from the table and headed to toward the front to get my name on the list.
One of my dealer pals saw me and asked if I was calling it a night.  I started to say "No, actually....." and he stopped me and said, "Oh, you want to get into that pineapple game?" reading my mind.  Yes, I said, I did.  He said he would have them put me on the list.  I went back to the table I was playing at, said good bye to Lakers Fan, Australian couple, California Girl and California Girl’s tits and was ready to play in the game.
Now.....was I wrong to get into a game with a lot of poker dealers playing?  Well, the thing is, I've played poker with a lot of poker least ones I knew about at the time.  Who knows how many poker dealers I played with that I didn't even know were off duty dealers.  But, I will frequently play with the dealers cuz they play all the time.  If it's at BSC I know they are dealers.  Sometimes they play before their shift, sometimes they play after their shift.  And even weirder, sometimes they play during their shift.  If it is a slow day, the players are allowed to play while on the clock.  They are actually getting paid to play poker.  Of course, they have to use their own money, so they risk losing money (they could also win, of course).  The idea is that, if it is slow and a few of them play, it makes the room busier, keeps more normal players playing and gives more opportunity for the dealers who keep dealing to deal more tables and make more money in tips than they otherwise would.  The caveat is that they must be prepared to be "picked up", asked to put their uniform back on and go back to dealing if it gets busy.
So I've played with a lot of the BSC dealers, including the night of this post here, which took place long after the night I’m now describing. And the thing is, they are not necessarily any better than any other players.  In fact, they may be worse, and it may be more profitable playing with them than with the average joe.  Some of them are pretty bad players....especially at a low limit game.  They don't take the game that seriously if they are playing low limit and they put too much money in on too many weak hands.  It can be a great situation for a tight player like me.  Note, now that I have had a chance to play with some of these same dealers at the No Limit table, I can assure you they almost always play a lot better there than they do when the play 2/4.
Anyway, I made my way to the area of the room where the game was just as they started "calling down" the list.  I was unhappy that there were more names than seats, I was taking someone's seat.  Turns out the two names who didn't get in initially were Female Dealer and Graveyard Shift Manager. Graveyard shift manager could only play if he took time off and turned the job of managing the shift to someone else.  That was no big deal.  But I felt bad about Female Dealer.  She was late to the game cuz she was still dealing when they started.    She is a sweetie, one of the first dealers to remember me by name way back when. 
Anyway, the ten players were not all familiar to me.  Birthday Boy was there of course. Three other dealers from the swing shift when I mostly played, all well known to me, were there too.  I saw a daytime dealer I didn’t really know that well and barely recognized. (Since this I’ve gotten a lot more familiar with him).  I also recognized a regular Massage Girl from the room at the table. It was clear from what she was telling one of the other dealers, she is not a poker player at all, doesn't really know how to play poker and was just playing to be in on the party.
There were three guys I didn't know at all.  Two of them were sitting on either side of Birthday Boy,  Birthday Boy introduced me to them but I didn't catch their names or what they were in relation to Birthday Boy....but it was clear were Birthday Boy's buddies there to help celebrate his birthday.  I found out the next day that these are Birthday Boy's buddies that he knows from another room he used to work at.  The last guy was a guy who I later found out works at BSC in another part of the casino, not in the poker room.  I guess he was a friend of either Birthday Boy’s or one of the other players.
So that along with me was the group.  The first dealer (actually dealing the game, that is) was one of my buddies.  I started out feeling really out of place.  It was indeed the case that all the people there were real friends with Birthday Boy, not just players who he had dealt to like I was.  And I felt terribly guilty about keeping Female Dealer out of the game.  I knew she probably couldn't stay too long, since it was so late   For the first round or two, I kept thinking I should offer her my seat.  But then after a few hands, Massage Girl gave up her seat to Female Dealer...she wasn't really a poker player and was just there to be sociable.  So this worked out well....Female Dealer played and Massage Girl saved her money and just kibitzed. 
Before the game started, one of the (male) dealers playing stacked all his chips in one really tall stack, much taller than you usually ever see at a poker table.  He pointed that out to Massage Girl and asked if she was impressed.  It was clear to me that this was a phallic reference.  I didn't catch Massage Girl’s reply but she was not offended...and said something to him—something I didn’t hear, unfortunately—that caused him to say, "Really?  That big?"   One of the ladies present then made a comment about “penis envy,” but I didn’t hear exactly what she said about it.  But this elicited a rather strange comment from one of the male players at the table, a regular dealer at BSC—oh heck, let me make an exception and give him a name, ok?  Let’s call this particular male dealer playing in this game “Lightning”.  So Lightning said, “I actually like penis-envy.
Another comment came up when Female Dealer was about to enter the game for Massage Girl.  She said she would buy in for $40...and then said "a $40 lap dance...who wants one?"  Nobody bit.  But when she got her first hand, she wasn't settled in yet and was casual about looking at her cards, so much so that the player next to her—her co-worker— apparently saw her hand.  He said, "You’re showing, be careful."  She said, "don't look."  He replied, "if you're showing I'm gonna look."  She said, "Don't look at my boobies!"  Player/dealer said, "If you showing your boobies, I'm gonna look at them!"  She repeated, "Don't Look at my boobies!" but she was just kidding, her boobies weren't showing, they were of course well covered. 
Most of the actual dealers had problems dealing the game since they so rarely deal it.  The players had to help all the actual dealers out.  They often forgot to deal the third card, or ask for discards after the flop. It was kind of funny.  Also their fellow dealers playing gave whoever the actual dealer was excessive abuse, calling each one that dealt “the worst dealer in Vegas” and some even worse insults.  But they made up for it by tipping well, the dealers who dealt this game made a killing in tips, dealers are generally extremely generous tippers when they play.
I threw away my first few hands, even one possibly good one, just trying to learn the game and get a feel for it.  And all the dealers know I'm a tight player anyway.  It didn't take long for me to start getting teased.  So one of the dealers playing says, "Look at Robert, he's so quiet over there, I bet he does really well tonite."  The actual dealer says, "Yeah, he'll probably go home with all the money."  Player/dealer said that was probably true.  Later when I finally won my first pot, player/dealer made a big deal of it, and started calling me a "rock."  He said I need to flex my muscles every time I won a pot.  So I did.  He kept calling me “the rock” the rest of the night.
After a while I got totally comfortable with the group, and began to tease the guys I knew as good as I was getting.  I relaxed once Female Dealer was playing and I was no longer preventing anyone from playing.  The game itself is very fun, a really fun variation of Hold Em.  I figured out soon enough that good hands in this game were not the same as in Hold em.  For example, I immediately figured out that getting dealt three of a kind, which you would think would be good, is really bad.  After the flop, you will have to throw out one of your three cards, giving you only a pair and only one card in the deck is left to help you. 
After a few rounds, I started getting some good cards and hit some nice hands.....and the pots were big.  With so many dealers, there was a lot of raising, and when I got lucky I won some big pots. Dealers seem to love raising and re-raising pre-flop and on the flop, whether or not they have good cards or not! Some hands I remember.  One, I was dealt two black Aces and the Queen of Spades.  I raised preflop.  The flop had BOTH an Ace and a Queen.  I had a full house but I couldn't keep it because I had to throw out one of the three cards in my hand.  Of course I had to throw out the Queen, three Ace's beats two pair, Aces and Queens.  As it happened, a Queen hit on the river giving me a full house anyway.  I won a huge pot.
Another time I was dealt two 10's and a Queen.  The flop was 7,8,9.  The suits didn't matter this time.  I had four cards to a straight.  But do I keep the Q and throw away one of the 10's?  I need to read "Crazy Pineapple for Dummies" to get the answer.  If I keep the Queen, a Jack gives me a better straight than if I don't have it.  But keeping both 10's gives me other ways to make a good hand...two pair, three of a kind or even a full house.  And although unlikely, 2 10's might be good enough to win unimproved.  I decided to throw out the Queen since a Jack would give me a straight anyway.  Turned out to be the wrong choice.....a jack did hit.  I made my straight, but two other players also had a 10 (that's why I never got another 10 on the board) and we split the pot three ways.  If I had kept the Queen instead I would have one the whole pot with a better straight.
Then there was poor Female Dealer.  She played way too many hands.  But one time she had pocket 7's and hit a third 7 on the flop.  Poor girl...I had pocket kings and had raised preflop (probably a reraise, most posts were raised preflop) and hit a third K on the flop.  I beat her in what is known as "set over set.” Or course we were raising and re-raising each other like crazy! When I showed my pocket cowboys was really upset….not at me, at the cards. Please note, that while I can’t win with Pocket Kings in Hold Em, I can apparently win with Pocket Kings in Crazy Pineapple!
The worst thing was that Birthday Boy, on his birthday, was really having a bad night.  He kept getting beaten on the river time and time again.  I think I only caught him on the river once, but I felt bad about it, especially since he invited me!  Oh well...that's poker.
In fact, I was doing great.  The pots I won were really large and by playing tight I didn't throw too much money away on bad cards and bad beats.  I ended up winning $200.  One of my dealer pals did a bit better than that but Female Dealer and Birthday Boy got killed.
Towards the end of the evening, some of the guys were getting nasty texts from their wives asking them where they were and hoping they weren't out gambling.  No kidding. 
Eventually the calls from the wives became too much to ignore and the game broke up a little past 4:30 AM  I wasn't even tired and had had a total blast.  It was a great birthday for me (not so much Birthday Boy).....and did I mention I won $200?  I would have had a blast even if I had lost, but winning was of course better.  And I really felt honored to be included in a game like this. I thanked Birthday Boy for inviting me and said I was sorry he did so poorly.
It was one of the best birthdays I can remember, and also one of the best times I’ve ever had in a poker room.  Thanks again, guys, for letting me be a part of it. 

Note:  For a report on another Crazy Pineapple game, which was also a birthday celebration with lots of wild dealers playing, see here and here.  And as a bonus, that one has Prudence, too.