Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"I Knew You Before You Were Famous"

It was my first day in Vegas on my most recent trip, the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  As I noted here, there were issues with this trip.  By the time I found myself in the MGM poker room, I had already started experiencing the problems with the hotel’s internet that I discussed in that post.  And I had had a soft dinner in my room before heading out due to the considerable discomfort I was having due to my visit to the dentist two days earlier.  So I wasn’t in as good a mood as usual am when I first hit town.

Fortunately, I had gotten texts from two of my loyal (?) blog readers about the possibility of meeting and/or playing with them this particular evening, so that was a pick-me-up.

Actually, I had met one of these fine fellows before, almost a year earlier.  That would be “Vegas724.” The story of my first encounter with Vegas724 begins (sort of) in the post here.  He indicated that he had some business at the MGM and would be finished in time to play some pokerz. 

The other person was “Vegas DWP.”  You’ve no doubt seen his comments on many of the blogs on my blogroll, including my own of course.  He had come a long way to visit Vegas (he has homes in several locations) and on this night, he indicated he was having dinner right there at the MGM and would come by to introduce himself after he was done. Between the way the poker was treating me and the way my mouth was feeling, there was no guarantee I’d be there long enough to meet him, however.

Since they both have “Vegas” in their nom de plumes, I will refer to them by the second part of the names only. So 724 came by soon after I was sitting at a game, and was sent to a different table.  But he soon was transferred to my game.  We weren’t sitting too close to each other however, so we would occasionally exchange texts. 

Also sitting at the table was Sammy, the loud, friendly (perhaps excessively so) regular I’ve mentioned a few times before, most recently here.  I believe he was sitting next to 724.  I couldn’t resist telling him that this loud fellow had been mentioned a time or two on the blog.  724 wasn’t surprised, and said that he had only played at MGM one other time in the past year, but he remembered him.  I responded that he is pretty hard to forget.  724’s response was, “Yep.  At least the Slut Parade has started.”

Heh heh.  Have I mentioned that I love it when readers throw back phrases like “Slut Parade” and the “dreaded pocket Kings” back at me?

Meanwhile, DWP had texted me that he was nearly finished with dinner and he was heading to the room.  He said he was going to ask for me.  Hey, people recognize me from my pic in Ante Up and/or blogs all the time these days (it’s sometimes a little scary).  I was wondering how he would ask for me, actually.  I texted him my table/seat # but he had indicated that the battery on his cell phone was dying, so I didn’t know if the message had gotten through.

But sure enough, a little later DWP found me and introduced himself.  “I just wanted to say hi, I’ve been enjoying your blog for so long.”  We chatted for a bit but it wasn’t long before he got called to a game.  So we didn’t chat for long, but as he left he said, “We should play together some time.”  I did indeed want that, but sadly, it never happened, and I never saw DWP again. 

Witnessing all this had been my dealer pal Troy (see here), who had been waiting to push in this whole time.  Early in his down, a couple of players had walked away from the table meaning that when 724 was the small blind, I was the big blind.  I hadn’t noticed that it folded to 724 and he was trying to get my attention to see if we’d chop.  He shouted out to me by name—my last name.  This might have surprised Troy since he obviously didn’t recognize 724 as a regular.

It wasn’t long after that when Sammy rivered quads.  Quad Kings, to be exact.  He had the dreaded hand to start, flopped a set and hit the case King on the river.  Of course, when he turned over his hand, everyone in the poker room (and probably at the poker room at the Excalibur) could hear his celebration.

The Kings were not lost on 724.  “You see that, Rob, you see that?  Look at that with pocket Kings!” 

At which point, Troy turned to me and said, “Does everyone in this room know you?”

I started to respond, but before I could, he added, “Just remember, I knew you before you were famous.”

I was more than mildly amused.  I got a great laugh out of that.

Now, to jump ahead just a bit, because I have no idea when (or if) I will get to reporting the story of the next night, Troy recalled this incident the very next night.  He and another poker room employee (one I know for a fact reads this blog) were talking before having to work, and I came over to schmooze with them.   

Suddenly Troy pointed to me and said to his colleague, “Do you know this guy is famous? People are asking for his autograph....some guy was telling him he reads his blog...."

His colleague responded, "You mean the blog about girls showing their boobies?"

"Yeah, and then some guy says, 'Pocket Kings, you saw that, pocket Kings?'"   

The comment about boobies reminded Troy of a girl he'd seen the night before, right after he left our table.  He described the outfit--backless, deep V-neck cut down to her navel, and wide open in front.  Apparently there was plenty on display.  He asked if I had seen her, and sadly, I did not.  We need to work out some kind of system for situations like this.

The poker was not good on this night but I’ll mention a few hands.  I had both the dreaded pocket Kings and the dreaded pocket Queens fairly early, sort of a “welcome to Vegas.”

It was the Queens that burned me this time.  Only one player called my preflop raise.  The flop was low but had two hearts.  I did have the Queen of hearts.  My flop bet was called.  I guess I should have just folded when the other guy led the turn, which was a third heart, but no, I called.  I even made the crying call on the river (not a heart) and he showed me King-Jack of hearts for the flush.  That cost me $90-$95.

At least the Kings were ok.  There were a bunch of limpers, and no one called my preflop raise.  That’s a damn good result for me with those suckers.

Another bad hand was 9-8 hearts.  I was on the button and there was one limper, so I raised to $10 and had three callers.  The flop was Jack-10-x, giving me the straight draw, but the bottom end of it.  I bet $30 on the flop and had one caller.  The turn was a blank, we both checked.  The river was another blank and I folded to my opponent’s bet.  I didn’t think 9-high was good there.

One good hand started with pocket 3’s.  I limp/called $10 and several of us saw the flop.  It was all diamonds, Ace-5-3.  Tricky.  I bet $15 and had one caller.  The turn was a blank and I meant to bet $25 but somehow a dollar chip got caught in there and I bet $26.  He made it $52.  Damn, had he flopped a flush?  I called.  A second 5 hit the river so I didn’t have to worry about the flush.  I had less than $100 left—and his stack was more-or-less the same as mine—so I just shoved.  I was sure he’d call, feeling pot committed. It looked like he was going to call but….no he found a fold.  I was fairly certain he folded a flush, finally deciding I had the boat.

At one point I had to add $100 to my stack, and managed to work it back over $200.  I had Queens, I had Kings….so of course I had to get pocket Aces too.  Under-the-gun, I raised to $8 and had three callers.  The flop was Jack-8-5, two diamonds, and I bet $25.  Only one guy called, but it was a guy who had been there all night and I couldn’t remember him playing very many hands.  He had me covered.  The turn was a black 9 and I foolishly bet $50.  I say foolishly because that really committed me.  I should have bet less or maybe checked.  Afterall, all I had was an overpair and Queen-10 made a straight.  Unlike Coach, a lot of people really love that hand.  Besides, he was the big blind on this hand, so he only had to call $6 with two players already in. 

Sure enough, this guy counted out $125 and put it in front of him—a check-raise.  I tanked for a long time.  Based on his play (or lack thereof), I was fairly certain my Aces were no good.  But I had put too much in already to fold.  Except I did.  I was just too convinced he had at least a set if not the made straight.  It bothered me a lot but I had to let it go.

As it happened, after I was done playing. but before I left the room, I saw him cashing out and I went over to him and asked him what he had there.  At first he struggled to remember the hand I was referring to (as if he had bet $125 any other time that night), but when he did he told me he did indeed have the nut straight. Of course he could have been lying, but I doubt it.  In fact, I played with him a few more nights before he returned home and I never saw anything in his game to indicate he didn’t have me crushed there.

Not long after that, I left.  My tooth was bothering me and my stomach wasn’t so great either (probably from the anti-biotic).  I said good-bye to 724.  I looked around for DWP but couldn’t see him in the room.  However, I did recognize one person.  Actually Mike had come by to tell me that Didi (see here) was playing.  I had mentioned previously that Didi had moved away from Vegas.  However, she didn’t move far and her boyfriend still lives in Vegas.  Her boyfriend is a regular in the room himself.  In fact, I have a story where Didi’s boyfriend doubled me up one nite that will eventually be told. In case you’ve forgotten who Didi is and don’t want to check the link, she’s the girl who a) thinks I look like Robin Williams; b) revealed to everyone at the table that she’s a 36DD (hence my name for her) and c) pulled down her shirt several times one evening to show everyone her purple bra—presumably a 36DD.

I knew I wanted to say hi to her because I’m always looking for the next “woman said” and Didi rarely disappoints in that regard.  And she didn’t this time.

I saw her sitting at a table, stacking some chips she had just won. I didn’t see the hand, but I assume that she won that pot on a suckout.  I assume that not just because I know how she plays, but because of what I overheard her say while she was stacking her chips. It was, “When I suck out, I swallow.”

It took me a few seconds to digest that (so-to-speak) but I managed to get her attention to say hi.  She didn’t call me Patch Adams.  But she said hello.  I asked her how her new job was going.  It was fine and she was back visiting Vegas—and her boyfriend—for the holiday weekend.

Then she added—without any prompting from me—“Every time I come to town, I wear my boyfriend out.”  And then she pointed out that he was playing at a nearby table. 

And with that, I left, and returned to face my swollen mouth and my quirky internet issues.  The poker wasn’t very good but I enjoyed meeting up with a couple of blog readers, and being told I was famous


  1. As far as queen-ten goes, lots of people like lots of evil things... :) Also, I saw a quote today that you might like... "Boobs are to men what laser pointers are to cats..."

  2. Rob, how can you question my loyalty as a reader?!? I live for your blog ... allows me to live vicariously through your poker exploits until the next time I can get "home" to Vegas.

    It was great to meet you, and I'm also sorry we couldn't meet up again - I got busy with work stuff, which mostly turned my vacation into a "work from a different location". Hopefully will be back in town soon.

    1. Thanks, DWP. I do we hope we can get together for a longer time in the very near future.

  3. You becoming famous was long-overdue. You spent too much time being famous-adjacent.

    1. Famous-adjacent, huh? Interesting.

      Thanks, Norm.