New Year's Eve, 2016
This is the first of a three-part post—my attempt to tell the story of my most recent New Year’s Eve in Vegas. It was one of the most unusual nights since I started the blog. It had a little bit of everything. There were “woman saids,” controversial floor rulings, a celebrity sighting, an almost infinite amount of extremely hot, extremely scantily clad young ladies, dealers almost coming to blows with each other, and, oh yeah, a “little person.” That’s the political correct term for a person who is genetically height-challenged, right? I wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Although, if these posts doesn’t offend pretty much everyone who reads them, I haven’t done my job.
As you may recall, I had celebrated the new year in Vegas the previous three years. The first year I got a great three-part blog post out of it (see here). The next two years I also had a great time, but the blogging material was somewhat disappointing (see here and here). In fact, the second year I never actually blogged about the NY’s Eve session! I see my notes say there’s stuff to talk about, so maybe one of these days when I need a post I’ll check my voice notes and remind myself how the year 2014 ended and the year 2015 began.
Regardless of the quality of the blogging material, the reason for being in Vegas for New Year’s Eve is obvious. It is the best Slut Parade of the year. It really is in a class by itself both in terms of quality and quantity. It seems that pretty much every female on the planet who looks sensational wearing a dress that covers less than 13% of her body goes to Vegas for NY’s Eve. The only thing that can possibly compete with it is the Halloween Slut Parade. But, as you may remember, I couldn’t catch the Halloween Slut Parade this past year because I had just had my chest ripped opened.
So of course I was looking forward to the New Year’s edition. When I arrived in Vegas, I could only hope my health and my stamina would hold up and allow me to stay for New Year’s. I had only been cleared to drive and travel barely a week before my arrival in Vegas. But I’m happy to report that my strength and overall well-being actually improved the entire time I was in Vegas, and by NY’s eve, I wasn’t worried about lasting in the casino the 10 hours or so required to fully enjoy the experience.
The poker room on New Year’s Eve is a bit different than any other day. Actually, I can only speak for the MGM because that’s the only poker room I’ve been in for the celebration. Maybe others are different. But the MGM poker room is very busy early during the day, then starts to thin out early in the evening—just when the room gets busier on a normal day. As midnite approaches, the room is virtually empty, as even those folks who wanted to play poker New Year’s Eve desert the room for a while to watch the fireworks on the Strip. Then, after the fireworks are over, they all file back in and for the first couple of hours of the new year and the room is absolutely packed—they can’t start games fast enough.
I arrived at MGM around 3:30 PM. I wanted to make sure I got there before they started closing down all the roads. Unlike past years, I didn’t mind getting into a game right away. I figured I’d play a few hours, take a dinner break, and then get into a new game. My hope was I’d do well in the first game and have to consider “ratholing” to keep my profits from it. I was prepared to wait the two hours necessary (over a dinner break) to get back in a game if I made a big score in the first game and wanted to protect my winnings. Sadly, it never came to that.
That first game I was in was just terrible. For one thing, it was freezing. There are certain tables at MGM that are naturally colder than others and this was one of the cold tables, in the back of the room. The tables near the front (which also have close proximity to the Slut Parade) are generally warmer (or should I say, less cold). Although the weather had been pretty cold during most of my stay, this was one of the milder days, so there was really no excuse for it.
Also, the table was never full for very long. This was the last 1/2 game they opened before things started quieting down and after it opened, there was never much (or any) of a list for it. When I first got to the room, they were starting a second 2/5 game, and they actually had a 4/8 limit game going. That was pretty amazing. It was the first time I’d seen them spread a limit game in a few years.
Two of our players (who were a couple) were actually waiting for seats at the 2/5 game. And they played like it. They were making opening raises like it was a 2/5 game--$20, $25. And raising a lot of pots preflop and betting all the streets. When they got called to the 2/5 game, the game remained short-handed the rest of the time I was there, and was a terrible game.
I didn’t ask for an immediate seat change to get to one of the preferred parade viewing tables because I knew I was going to take the dinner break and start anew. It was a bit early for the parade. Although, I must admit, the casino was full as soon as I entered it and the young ladies in their club attire had already started to appear. Once the game got short-handed I knew there was no way I could table-change out of there and at this point my main reason for wanting to get away from that table was the temperature.
I only made a note of one hand from this session. I called a $12 raise from one of the 2/5 players with King-Jack of clubs from the big blind. The flop was Jack-Jack-x and I check called $15. It was now heads up. The turn was a Queen and I intended to check-raise, but the aggro fooled me and checked behind. I bet $25 on a blank river and didn’t get a call.
Despite that monster pot, I ended up losing about $140 at that table, before I got tired of freezing to death and took my chips and left. I had dinner at the deli. Having had a bad opening session, I took my sweet time eating dinner and caught up on social media.
When I was ready to return to the poker, I noticed that there was a seat available at one of the tables in the front. Even better, the open seat was one of those next to the dealer—the preferred seat for viewing the pedestrian traffic walking by the poker room. So I asked for a seat at the podium and the fellow there—who has known me for over 10 years now—started to send me to one of the tables in the back. I asked about the open seat right in front. He said that the other table had two open seats and thus he couldn’t send me to my preferred table. I started to ask him to put me on the list for a table change. I explained that I had been in the back of the room earlier and it was too damn cold back there. Although that was undeniably true, that was not the real reason I wanted the seat up front, of course.
Just then, he recognized a player approaching the podium and asked him, “Are you ready to play now?” The guy said yes and he turned to me and said, “OK Rob, you can take the seat you want, I’ll send him to the other table.” Sweet. Playing in your “home” room has its perks.
I was just settling into seat 1 at that preferred table in the front when I recognized the unmistakable cackle of a long time reg coming from seat 9. It was Faith. I’ve mentioned Faith numerous times (see here), but it has been awhile. I haven’t seen Faith in the room in a long time—probably over a year. Although part of the reason for that may be all the extra time I’ve been away from Vegas lately. Faith is a good friend of Ginger, a dealer in the room who I’ve mentioned dozen of times (see here). Faith is a total luckbox, a bit of a wild player. But between her luck and her cackles and her nonstop talking, she can put other players on tilt. I figured that even though she might very well suck out on me a few times, it’d be worth it for the game if she could entice a few other players to play badly.
There were a lot of players coming and going during this time, and I noticed another seat opened up immediately next to Faith. I saw Ginger come over to talk to Faith. I had seen Ginger dealing earlier but she hadn’t dealt to me. Anyway, I overheard a bit of their conversation, and then saw the body language, and I put two and two together and figured out that Ginger was going to take the seat next to Faith and play. Ginger put some money down there to hold the seat for her while she changed out of her uniform.
It appeared that she would be off the clock, which meant she could drink. It made a difference. When she’s not drinking, she’s a bit of an aggro but likely wouldn’t be paying that much attention to the game if she was sitting next to her pal Faith. But when she drinks, she becomes a total maniac, splashing pots (literally) and shoving at random, with any two cards. It would be a wild game. And let’s see, it was New Year’s Eve. I’m trying to think. Do people like to drink to excess on New Year’s Eve? I can’t remember.
Ginger soon took her seat and then a few minutes later another woman came over to greet Faith and Ginger. It was the person I called “Jennifer” in the post here. I hadn’t seen her in quite some time and I had heard that she had left MGM and was working at another poker room. Thus, she was saying hello to all her former co-workers. It soon became apparent that she had just gotten off her shift at another Strip poker room, and had walked over to MGM when she learned Ginger and Faith were planning on spending the evening playing there. She walked because by this time all the roads were closed and there was pretty much no other way to get there.
Jennifer took the seat that had just opened up next to me but then left to say hi to others in the room before playing a hand. When she got back, a seat had opened up nearer the other ladies and she took that one. Then a seat opened up right next to Ginger and she took that one, all before she had played a hand.
I don’t think I’d ever played with Jennifer before, but I had a strong feeling she was a good player.
The first—but by no means last—‘woman said” of the evening occurred at this point. I didn’t hear the set up. It was likely something like one of the other ladies telling her to sit her ass down or get “your ass over here.” But Jennifer said, “Don’t talk about my ass. It’s a good ass.”
Soon after the ladies all settled into their seats, I overheard them talking about dinner. And I realized that very soon, the three of them planned on leaving the table to go eat. Ugh. I’m sorry, I just find that rude. It’s bad enough when one person leaves the table for an hour to eat. Sometimes I’ve seen two friends or a couple do that. That’s really bad. But three people? Three? All at the same time, leaving their chips behind and leaving the table that short-handed? That is extremely selfish. During the time they would be gone, we would be assured of playing some hands five-handed or even four-handed.
I was pissed at the thought of it, but sure enough, after a particular dealer’s down, the three of them all took off and headed for dinner. The rule at MGM is that you actually have one hour, 15 minutes to be away before you get picked up. I’ve always felt that was way too long. But that’s the rule and they used most of that hour and a quarter to eat.
The game during this time was bad, very little action. Of course, the three ladies had been providing most of the action while they were there. I was just kind of dealing with it, resigned to it. They reduced the rake, but the thing that bothers me the most is that the blinds come around faster. Combine that with the fact that the pots tend to be smaller and it’s just a bigger drain on your chips than in a full game.
The game was lousy and a few players started complaining, particularly a guy in the center of the table who was especially pissed about it. He started complaining when they were gone for about 15 minutes and so I told him that they had gone to dinner and not to expect them back for an hour. I believe he actually came to the table after they left so he didn’t know they all left together. But I did tell him, “They’re probably all drinking, so when they get back, the game should be real good.”
But he was really bothered by it. He asked the dealer, “Don’t you have a third-man walking rule?” The dealer assured him they did not. He wanted to know why not. So the dealer called the shift boss over. You know what the third-man walking rule is, right? No? Well if two players are already away from the table, the third person leaving the table gets a “third man walking” button and if he/she is away long enough to get a missed blind button, their chips will be picked up and a new player will be called from the waiting list to replace them (assuming there’s a list).
The dealer explained to the boss that the player was unhappy that the three seats were empty for so long. The boss explained that they had an hour fifteen to be away from the table before getting picked up. The player said, “Well, most rooms have a third-man walking rule. You should have a third-man walking rule.” The shift boss apologized and said they don’t have such a rule and the only person who can make the decision to have a third-man walking rule is the manager of the room, and that he was welcome to email him about it.
The guy was not happy with that, of course. He said, “Well, I can make a decision too. I can decide to play in another room.” Well, ordinarily that’s true. By this time on New Year’s Eve, however, easier said than done. Very hard to get around, virtually impossible by car and not easy to get a cab or Uber. He could take the monorail or walk. The shift boss apologized again and did tell the guy that this particular evening it would be like this all night. Actually, it only gets really bad around midnite. The poor guy just happened to be a table where three people all decided to go to dinner together.
Actually, as I’ve pointed out before, the third-man walking rule is a bad rule. It sounds good in theory, but in actuality, it only serves to punish the innocent and let the guilty get off scott-free. It’s the first two players who leave who are actually the culprits. If player #3 just needs to take a break for a quick bathroom break and somehow gets picked up for missing his blind, that would be ridiculously unfair. However, in this case, since all three were going off together at the same time, the third-man walking rule would have worked well, as one of the three would have been picked up. But generally, the only way to reduce the problem is greatly shorten the time players are allowed to be away from the table for before getting picked up. The hour and 15 minutes that MGM allows is ridiculous.
The complaining player stayed for about 10-15 minutes more, and then left in disgust. Fortunately, there was a small list and the seat was filled right away so we weren’t even more short-handed.
And that’s where part one ends. You can now click here for part two, where the question will be asked, “What are breasts for?”
And that’s where part one ends. You can now click here for part two, where the question will be asked, “What are breasts for?”