Sunday, January 19, 2014

What's Your Genre?

New Year's Eve 2013 (Part 2)

(Be sure to read part 1 here first.  Part 2 continues right where we left off)

So I played poker for about 9 hours.  Amazingly enough, that wasn’t even my longest session of this trip.  I didn’t play any differently knowing that I was going to play for so long.  I didn’t play extra nitty—just my usual level of nittiness.  I was prepared to invest a few buy-ins if necessary.  I was hoping that the occasion would bring out the drunk, wild, crazy, extremely bad players who to lose money like crazy, but it really wasn’t any different from a normal crowd.  Perhaps I just didn’t stay long enough to see the crazies come out.  After all, I left around 2:30 AM.

I’ve mentioned before that MGM now has these cash drawings.  Every four hours they pick a ticket out of a drum and if the person called is there playing in a game, they get to pick an envelope that is worth between $100 and $3,000.  In order to get a ticket, you have to make a flush or better.  They dump the tickets and start over after every drawing.

So there were three drawings while I was playing, 6PM, 10PM and 2AM.  And I didn’t have a single ticket in for any of the drawings.  No flushes.  No full houses.  No quads.  Zilch, zipp, nada.  Considering I never busted out, and only had to do a ½ rebuy ($100) only once, it’s pretty remarkable that I could play so long and never hit a flush or better, isn’t it?

Anyway, this being the end of the month, the drawings were a bit odd.  They start over at the beginning of every month.  So for December, there were exactly two envelopes left when I started playing.  One was $500 and the other was $100.  So the person picked at 6PM had a 50/50 chance of getting either the minimum or five times that.  And then whatever that person got, the 10PM winner was assured of getting the other prize.

Now I had been in the room on the last night of November as well.  At that time, the last two envelopes were worth $100 and $2,500.  So the 6PM winner had a 50/50 chance of getting a really nice score, or getting really disappointed with a measly $100.  The 6PM winner in November missed and got the $100 prize.  When it was announced, the entire poker room let out a loud cheer, as we all knew that if we were picked for 10PM we’d be guaranteed $2,500.  But what happened was, the first person picked for the 10PM drawing—and a guaranteed $2,500—wasn’t there.  They picked another ticket. And picked the exact same guy!  He had his name drawn twice, and was screwed because he was no longer playing in the room.  Talk about a bad beat!

So now we were at the end of December and the stakes were a little lower.  The woman picked for the 6PM was playing in the 2/6 game.  In fact, I had been watching her and had noticed her husband coming by to take her away.  This was about ½ hour before the drawing.  But she said no, she had to stay, she was going to win the big prize at 6PM.  Well, she was right.  She was picked and she got the $500.  The 10PM winner was guaranteed to win $100 and no more.  There was a small groan murmured in the room when it was announced she had won the bigger prize.

When the 10PM drawing was held, the first, second, and third players picked weren’t there.  Neither were the fourth, fifth or sixth players called.  In fact, they called eight names before finally picking someone who was still in the room playing.  I guess $100 wasn’t that much of an incentive.  Or maybe a lot of people left because they had other plans for the celebration.

Once I got seated, there were 8 tables in use, and never any more than that.  I think it stayed at 8 almost the entire time I was there, except around midnight.  

Abe showed up to the room around 10:30 PM and said the traffic getting there the back way wasn’t too bad.  So I guess maybe I didn’t need to get there at 3PM!  But I wanted the full Vegas New Years Eve experience anyway.  Abe was originally assigned to a different table from mine.  But I believe his was one of the first tables that broke as midnight neared.  By around 11:45PM, all but two games had completely broken, and the two left (including mine) were about 5-6 handed tops.  Virtually all the players who left around this time just wanted to go out on the Strip and see the fireworks, and/or be with the huge mob as the year changed.  As I said, I saw no point in doing that, I figured playing poker was as good a way as any to celebrate the new year.  Interestingly, very few of the players left their chips at the table, they picked them up, even though most came back to play after enjoying the fireworks.

But that brought Abe to my table, which is a key part of this tale.  We played short-handed for for quite awhile and although we couldn’t see the fireworks from inside, we definitely heard them (and even felt them) when midnight struck.  As people filed back in, it wasn’t long before the room filled up to its previous capacity, but with a lot of players being reassigned to different tables and different seats.

One couple who came back to our table (they hadn’t picked up their chips) was severely disappointed.  We had been teasing them about their plan to go outside into the crowd to see the fireworks.  Someone said the best view would be on the TV, which could be seen in the poker room.  But no, they said they came every year and spent $500 a night for a room specifically to see this show.

They came back while we could still hear the fireworks going on. They said it was the worst show they’d ever seen—or didn’t see.  For some reason, they were actually unable to find a spot outside to get a good view—or any view—of the fireworks. 

Now, the whole casino was just packed leading up to midnight.  There was a non-stop parade of people walking past the aisle in front of the poker room.  Just a giant mass of humanity.  Across the aisle, the slot machine area was packed with people.  It was quite a challenge navigating from the poker room to the restrooms when nature inevitably called. 

But suddenly, almost everyone was gone.  Ten minutes before midnight, the inside of the MGM was almost like a morgue.  It wasn’t just the poker room that was suddenly filled with more employees than players.  No one was walking past us in that aisle.  No one was playing slots.  No one was in the slot area.  For about 20 minutes or so, the entire MGM casino was like what I can only imagine it to be on a Tuesday morning of non-holiday week at 8AM.  Or quieter.  It was kind of eerie.

But they all returned, and by 12:30 or so things were back to “normal.”  And sometime after this, I noticed Abe having a brief conversation with my dealer pal Brent (see here for a story featuring him).  I need to give a little background first. Now Abe is a healthy, red-blooded male who is a lot younger than I am (that wouldn’t be hard).  Although I never heard him admit it, it’s safe to say he enjoys viewing the Slut Parade as much as anyone.

I recently surmised from a conversation he was having with Mike, the dealer buddy of mine who always gripes about how long my posts are (see here) that Abe had a certain, specific taste in women.  By the way, I only mentioned Mike because I know Abe will tell him that he’s mentioned, forcing Mike to read this ultra-long post! (And Abe...insist he read all three chapters!)    That will teach him to crack my Kings.  Anyway, Abe, like a large number of the male population of Las Vegas, likes Asian women.  I mean he really, really likes them. 

This predilection is known as “Yellow Fever.”  No, that’s not an ethnic slur.  I learned the term from Prudence, who is Asian herself—and very much a beneficiary of this particular affliction.  A lot of guys who have it end up in Vegas, some by accident, some on purpose.  Some guys only find out they have it after moving to Vegas and noticing all the hot Asian girls that are there.

I wasn’t sure I was right about Abe until this very night.  Brent was brushing and a group of extremely attractive young Asian ladies—dressed appropriately for the night club (which means they weren’t dressed “appropriately” at all)—came over to Brent to ask him where something in the casino was.  Brent dutifully gave them directions.  Abe was nearby watching.  When they left, Abe expressed his displeasure at Brent.  “Why didn’t you refer those girls to me? I could have helped them.  I would have personally taken them there!”

Brent laughed and admitted he blew it, especially since he knew Abe was right there.  “Yeah, I should have taken them to you and told him that you would have been happy to escort them there.  Sorry.  I was just too eager to please them myself.”  You see, Brent also has a bit of the Yellow Fever himself.  I’ve since learned that in the poker room, Brent (who is spoken for) sometimes acts as Abe’s wing-man.  

Brent had dealt at my table much earlier in the evening, and returned to that table, now with Abe there, at 2AM.  I was really planning on quitting at 2AM.  Not that I was ready to leave the MGM. I just that I thought I was done with poker.  Yes, I will discuss some poker eventually, but not yet.  I figured I could easily kill another hour or so (and thus wait for traffic to ease up) just walking around the casino and doing some “people watching.”  Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it.

And you see, at 2AM, they had the first cash drawing of the new month.  And they had filled the drum back with over 180 new envelopes, 10 of which were worth $3,000, 10 worth $2,000, 10 worth $1,000 and a bunch worth smaller prizes ($100 again being the most common).  So those previous four hours, I had a nice incentive to hit a flush or better and get a chance to claim a nice prize.  But as I already revealed, I struck out in that regard, and had no tickets for the 2AM drawing.

But when Brent pushed in, and I could see he and Abe were continuing the conversation they had been having about the lovely ladies that were walking before us, I thought it just might be fun to stick around a little longer.

By this time there was an almost constant parade of club-goers walking to and from the club on display.  All shapes, all sizes, all ethnicities.  Whatever your “type” is, it was never more than three minutes away. Some of these girls were dressed in a respectable fashion, but they were in the minority.  Thank goodness.

Now poor Abe had been stuck in seat 3, which meant he didn’t have an unobstructed view of the parade.  He complained about getting neck strain to keep up with all the nice scenery walking by.  I don’t know if it was because I was more aware of them due to the conversation I’d heard between him and Brent, but it did seem that there was a higher than average percentage of Asian girls (most of them exceedingly attractive) on this night.

Since Abe didn’t have the best view, and Brent did (as did I), Brent was at least performing his duty of tipping off Abe whenever a gaggle of hot ladies were walking by.  Especially if they were in his preferred category.

Abe is from the Midwest, from a state not known to be overly inhabited by Asians.  In keeping with my practice, I will give this Midwestern state a pseudonym, something ridiculous, something no one could confuse with a real state.  Let’s call Abe’s home “West Dakota.”  So, as I saw him admire one Asian girl after another, I finally asked him, “So tell me, Abe, how did a guy from West Dakota become so enamored with Asian girls?”

He didn’t really answer.  I’m not sure there is an answer to that question.  But he did reveal that back in West Dakota, he actually lived with a Korean girl for awhile.  So I said to him, “The very first Asian to ever set foot in West Dakota, and she ended up with you?  Awesome.  That’s like hitting your one-outer.”  (I actually only came up with the “one-outer” joke when I was writing this post just now.)

Somehow, Abe missed a particularly nice group of Asian girls (I guess he was actually playing a hand) so Brent described them for him.  Abe was disappointed he missed them.  A few minutes later, a lone Asian woman, not at all dressed for clubbing, walking by and Brent said, “Oh, there’s another one.”

Abe looked up and was disappointed.  “In the velour? Her?”

Brent realized that the woman was not really worth pointing out.  “Oh sorry.  It wasn’t so much the dress or the look, but at least she was in the right genre.”

Brent’s use of the word “genre” amused both Abe and myself.  “Genre?  Like a movie genre?”  I think I said that, but honestly, it might have been Abe. By now the three of us were all cracking up.  It was actually damn clever, using the word “genre” instead of “ethnicity,” which is what he meant.  “Ethnicity” might have offended somebody and everyone at the table could hear us.

“So genre, as in horror, or comedy, or drama…like that?”  I think that came from me.

And then Abe said, “Yeah, you know, sometimes you’re willing to watch a B-movie.  Because, you know it’s been a really long time since you’ve seen a movie.  And maybe you haven’t had a TV for a long time. “

For the entire time Brent was dealing, the three of us were commenting and joking about all the passersby, and noting what “genre” they belonged in.  It was one of the most enjoyable downs I can recall.

(And we'll leave it there for now.  Coming in Part 3--the third and final chapter--we'll actually talk about some poker that was played this night.  And also, your humble scribe runs into a couple of poor ladies who had done so badly at the tables that they couldn't afford underwear.  Or something like that.  The final chapter is now posted and can be found here.)


  1. I know that it's tough for you, but at the start of the month, you might want to try sitting in a low LIMIT game to chase those promos (if you have the time to spare). Flushes, etc.. are much more likely to hit since a lot more hands see the river, and maybe, just maybe, you'll become robvegaspoker3000... :D

    1. Thanks, Coach, I have tried that a bit, the 2-6 spread limit game (the lowest game they have). I really have a hard time staying awake at it--unless there are a fun people there to keep me amused. And the times I have played it--with one exception--I haven't made any hands worthy of a drawing ticket. We'll see, maybe I'll try it again next time.

  2. I usually subscribe to the Telemundo or Univision genre, but you made me want to visit West Dakota with that 1st pic.

    1. LOL.

      I know what you mean. Thanks, dzoddiac.