Thursday, August 29, 2013

"I Spent So Much Time in That Men's Room"

I just returned from a short (for me), last minute visit to Vegas.  Which means I now have five Vegas trips to blog about.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m not out of material from any of the four previous trips, going back to March.

And I’ll be back in Vegas mid-September, for the next AVP Tournament & Meet-Up (see here).  It’s a $125 tournament with a $20K starting stack at the Aria, so I hope all of you who can make it do so.  Should be a good one.
My first night in town, I was reminded that there are people who read my blog and know me who actually want appear in it.  And are even offended that they haven’t been written about yet.
Case in point, a fairly new blog reader I’m gonna call “Abe.”  I’m hoping that the graphic I’m including in this post will clue Abe in as to how I came up with his pseudonym.

Abe is one of the most regular regulars in the poker room and as far as I can tell, he started reading the blog a few months ago.  I think his intro to my blog may have been the post about Doogie Howser being a cheap bastard (see here), based on the fact that he tweeted about that post and had heard the story himself from the waitress who was stiffed. 
We traded tweets for awhile and then we figured out who were in person. Then one night, while he was playing at the next table over from where I was, he turned around and shouted to me, “Hey Rob, I’m reading you latest blog post.  It’s hilarious.”  So, among other things, Abe has exquisite taste.  I believe the post he was reading was the Slut Parade post (see here), and of course, Abe had witnessed the Slut Parade first hand, so he knew how accurate the post was.
As a direct result of his good taste, and the fact that he’s a heckuva nice guy, Abe and I have become pals.  Like me, he has also become pals with many of the dealers in the room.
The last time I was in town, Abe and I were sitting at the same table and out of the blue, he said to me, “So Rob, when am I going to get an entry on that spreadsheet of yours.”
I knew exactly what he meant.  Abe obviously read my blog carefully enough to know that I actually use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the pseudonyms I use. It appeared Abe was eager to become immortalized on this very blog.  It was kind of flattering.
Sitting between Abe and I was another player who was, I guess, kind of a regular in the room, at least by the way he was talking to the dealers.  I didn’t recognize him.  He heard Abe’s question and my response (not sure if I said, “I dunno” or  “we’ll see”) and asked what he had to do get on my spreadsheet.  He asked this even though he had, I’m sure, absolutely no idea what Abe was talking about.
So I answered pretty honestly.  “The easiest way is to either double me up, or stack me.”  He said, “Oh, well I know which one of those I prefer.”  In fact, he did neither, and will not be getting an entry on the spreadsheet.  At least for now.
But Abe is another matter altogether.  Actually, he was not the first person who had expressed a desire to have a secret identity on the blog.  Recall that Prudence’s pal Adolf wanted a blog identity even before he had ever read a single blog post—and didn’t change his mind once he had.  That story is told here, when I finally came up with the name “Adolf” for him and a story to match.
As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m still kind of getting used to this (see here).  When I started this blog, I came up with the idea of using fake names to protect identities.  I never imagined that people would actually want to be blogged about here!  Even people who never asked to become “entries on the spreadsheet” (because, mostly, they had no idea I even had a blog), never seem to mind when they find themselves “exposed” here.  I guess the best example would be Denise, who I feared would not be happy about the way I first described her.  But as I explained here, she was actually thrilled about the way I “tooted her horn.”  She found my seemingly ungentlemanly comments flattering.  And for reasons I can’t reveal, she is actually very glad that I did blog about her that first time.
Fast forward to my first night in town this month.  Abe greeted me and expressed dismay that he hadn’t made it into my blog by now.  He was sure that something that happened late in my last visit would make it into the blog.
Now, since I had last seen him, I’d posted my most recent story about the woman I call “Didi,” (see here).  Abe and I don’t see eye-to-eye about her. Most notably, he does not appreciate her antics the way I do.  I think the phrase he once used was, “I don’t like obnoxious people.”  It’s not that Abe is a too-serious guy—he’s not at all.  I’ve seen him laughing it up at the poker table many a time.  He just isn’t amused by Didi’s brand of outrageousness.  But hey, one man’s obnoxiousness is another man’s blogging fodder.
Every time Didi showed up in the room, he would express his dismay.  Of course, if he actually got stuck at her table, he could ask for a table change.  Near the end of my last trip, she was in the room and poor Abe got stuck at her table.
As it was taking too long to get that table change, Abe came over to me, sitting at another table, and suggested I switch tables with him.  Surely I would welcome the opportunity for more blogging material.  But I declined, as I was quite comfortable at the table I was at.
When I said no, he reached for his wallet and offered me $20 to switch games with him.  I laughed, I wasn’t sure if he was serious, but there’s no way I would accept money from him to switch seats.  He was disappointed.  But somehow, Didi herself moved to another table, and then left. 
Still, Abe complained that his offer of a twenty to get away from Didi didn’t make it into the blog.  I said I was sorry, and tried to figure out why I hadn’t mentioned it.  I guess the reason is that the day he made that offer hasn’t been blogged about yet, meaning I hadn’t replayed my voice notes.  So when I did the last Didi post, it had slipped my mind.  Sorry Abe.  I hope this makes up for it.
Almost as soon as he saw me, he made a reference that indicated he had picked up on a joke I had put in a previous post mostly for his benefit.  After reading about my bad spell last time (see here and here), he offered to lend me a poker book he had that seemed to address some of the issues I was blogging about.  It was Ed Miller’s “Professional No Limit Hold’em,” and was one of the few Ed Miller books that wasn’t already in my poker library.  Indeed, he brought it in and lent it to me the very next night.
So in the post about the Crazy Pineapple tournament I played at Binion’s (see here), I joked about having studied Ed Miller’s “Professional No Limit Crazy Pineapple”—a book that doesn’t actually exist.  But one of the first things he said to me this night was to ask me if I had finished reading that very (non-existent) book. 
Not long after that, Mike, the dealer who starred in this recent post here, saw me for the first time since I had posted that tale about his birthday poker game.  Somewhat to my surprise, he had read the post and had a bone to pick with me.  Without even saying hi, he leaned into me and said, “You know, I read your blog.  You’re way too sensitive.  I wasn’t really mad at you.  I was just giving you a hard time.  I was kidding.” 
I said , “I knew that, and I was just kidding back.  It was all in good fun.”  He said it didn’t seem like that. 
Apparently Mike doesn’t understand my writing style.  Probably because he’s one of those guys who doesn’t read my blog very often because—can you believe this?—my posts are “too long.”  I know he read the post where I introduced “Adolf” to the blogosphere because that too was his event, and he was eager to see what I wrote about it.  His main reaction was disappointment with the name I gave him—“Mike.”  He thought that was king of boring.  I guess it was, as opposed to, well, “Adolf”, and, of course, “Prudence”—whose pseudonym he knew about before ever reading the blog.  Admittedly, coming up with the name Prudence was perhaps my best bit of inspiration ever.  Sorry Mike. If I ever have to give you another fake name, I’ll come up with something more interesting….like “Modell.”
I was just impressed that Mike had read it.  It took me a long time to get that story posted, many months after the event took place.  He told me once, before it was posted, that he had looked for it on the blog and hadn’t seen it.  I figured he would give up looking through my too-long posts. But no, it turned out Mike was another person who wanted to appear on the blog.
Abe agreed with me that Mike was being too sensitive himself, and so I asked Abe if he had been the one who had alerted Mike to the story being posted, and he said no. To his surprise, it was actually Mike who brought it up to him.  I teased Mike about being surprised he had read it since I sometimes use words with more than one syllable.  And he said that he might have actually gotten through that entire post, for a change! 
I took a dinner break at one point and was surprised to see that they had taken out the restrooms over by the deli.  These were the “poker room restrooms” before they had to move the poker room to make room for sluttily dressed females.  The point being that I actually felt oddly nostalgic about that Men’s Room, having used it so many times over the past many years to rid myself of all the Diet Coke the waitresses were bringing me while I played.  And one of my earliest blog posts took place in that very Men’s Room, and actually took place long before I started the blog (see here).
I mentioned this to Brent, who was dealing when I returned to the game.  Apparently, the restrooms had closed down very recently, and he was still going by there out of habit, forgetting they no longer existed.  I thought about mentioning the fact that I had actually been kissed (by a girl, I assure you) in that now closed Men’s Room (see the post I just linked to, above) but decided that might be hard to explain.
So I made an even bigger faux pas instead.  I said, “I kind of feel sad about it.  I mean, I’ve spent so much time in that Men’s Room.”  That got everyone at the table laughing and I realized it didn’t exactly come out the way I meant it.  Abe said, “And did the time increase when the hot girls showed up?”
No, no, no…that’s not what I meant at all.  And I didn’t mean I ever suffered legendary gastric distress in that Men’s Room, either.  “No, you know, one minute at a time.  Just a lot of visits one minute at a time.”  Seriously, that’s what I meant.
One finally note from this session.  While Brent was dealing, I took out my infamous notebook and started writing some notes about a hand.  Abe, who knew exactly what I was doing, decided to comment on this.  “What are you doing, Rob?  Are you taking notes about my play?  Are you keeping a book on me so you’ll know what to do against me?”
Brent picked right up on this.  “Yeah, wouldn’t that be great?  You make a bet and then he says, ‘Excuse me’ and pulls out his notebook, starts paging through it (and he pantomimed doing this as he spoke) and then finally finds the exact info he needs, and says, ‘I call.’”
In hindsight, there wasn’t any actual poker in this session to talk about it, so I won’t.   But as it turned out, even if Abe hadn’t expressed his disappointment about not being an entry in a spreadsheet, he would have earned his blog name on the very next night anyway, in a session that we shared. That blog post will have a whole lot of poker.  But it will have to wait for another time.


  1. Someday I hope to have my spotlight in the pages of Rob's Vegas and Poker Blog.

    1. Thanks, TM. But as you'll see when I get to the post I alluded to at the end, you might end up regretting that! Be careful what you wish for.....

  2. Although I mentioned it jokingly on Twitter, as you called me out I have to point out the grammatical error I noticed.

    "Brent picked right up on this. “Yeah, wouldn’t that be great? You make a bet and then he says, ‘Excuse me’ and pulls out his notebook, starts paging through it (and he pantomimed doing this as he spoke) and the finally finds what the exact info needs, and says, ‘I call.’”"
    Technically the wording after the parentheses should be "and then finally finds the exact info he needs,...

    Oh, and if you do bring me on as a proof-reader, I demand to be paid as a book proof-reader would be paid, as this is what I'm reading....Books!

    All joking aside, great post again as usual, sir.

    1. Thanks, Cokeboy.

      I'll give you 10% of all that I make on the blog, so 10% of Zero is....well, you go to school you tell me.

      BUT, if you're gonna get all nitpicky, I'll point out that neither of two errors you note are actually grammatical ones, technically.

      The first one was an obvious typo "the" should have been "then". As I type, I leave either the Y or the N off those words a lot, and spell check never catches it cuz "the" is a real word.

      In the other case, the word "what" is just extraneous, I changed the way I was telling the story and deleted a few words after it, and missed deleting the "what". It's a bad mistake to leave in, but it's not really grammatical.

      The trouble with proof reading your own work is that you are so familiar with the material that the mind tends to read it the way you know you meant it and not how it really looks.

  3. u might want to discuss in anteup about the changes at the Palms, how their $1-3 game went to $1-2 to gain more business. Best news in live poker in some time.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Tony. I'll check it out.