Sunday, April 10, 2016


This is the follow up (and conclusion) to my last post (see here). We pick up where we left on the first night of my trip, the first night of March Madness, and the only night (for 2016) of St. Patrick’s Day.  The guy who had gone on the heater took off with a tidy profit. He was replaced by a German tourist, maybe late-20’s, early 30’s.  And this guy was one of the most entertaining, fun players I’ve ever encountered at a poker table. A really nice guy.

When he came to the table, the folks had started lining up for the club, and the girls were starting to pass by our table.  I never caught the German fellow’s name so let’s call him Dirk (as in German basketball great Dirk Nowitzki, since there was basketball on screens all around us). 

Dirk came to the table talking about wanting to get into the club. Two things were stopping him, however.  One, his buddy was not wearing acceptable shoes for the club.  And two, he was balking at the $75 admission charge.  I pointed out to him that girls generally got in free.  “That’s not fair,” he protested.  Indeed, it is not.  But I understand those tiny dresses that consist of very little fabric are fairly expensive. Plus they have to spend money on hair and make-up and shoes and under-garments.  Though I think a lot of them may save money on under-garments. Anyway, I guess they pay for admittance in a different way.  So he joked about hoping to win enough money to cover the cost of getting into the club. 

His aforementioned buddy eventually joined him at the table, but unlike Dirk, he was very quiet.  Barely said a word.  I suppose there might have been a language issue, but I doubt it.  Most Germans I’ve encountered in Vegas speak English very well, as did Dirk.  

Most of the other players at the table (except for yours truly, of course) were of a similar age to Dirk and his pal.  They were suggesting to him that he just wait a few hours and then hang out at the club’s exits to try to pick up the girls as they left the club in their inebriated state.  He said, “You mean like at 2AM?”  No, he was told, more like 4AM, the girls leaving then would be drunker—and easier to pick up then. As in, “off the floor.”

Dirk liked to talk about his homeland, and told us all sorts of fascinating things about Germany.  He said that live poker there was difficult; there was a huge tax on it.  It was much better for him to drive to Austria to play.

He complained about Germany’s drug laws.  Apparently not only is marijuana illegal, but the penalty for possession is quite severe.  He claimed that someone he knew was sentenced to 15 years for possession of a small amount.  He compared that to another person he knew of who was sentenced to 2-1/2 years for rape. 

One thing that we found interesting was that prostitution is completely legal in Germany.  It’s a legitimate profession and the girls pay taxes just like any other profession.  Apparently most of the prostitutes come from Romania.  It seems the going rate is $30.  He said, “For a $100 you can have a great time with a hot Romanian girl.”  I assume the $70 extra includes drinks and dinner?

So I said, “So you can have sex with a prostitute in Germany—you just can’t smoke a joint with her.”  That got a good laugh.

Dirk talked about a lot of topics and couldn’t help commenting on the current American political scene.  I was a little nervous about where that might be headed—you know how I feel about discussing politics at the poker table (see here).  But he kept it light and it was kind of interesting to hear an outsider’s perspective.  He expressed bewilderment with Donald Trump and I mentioned that the German Chancellor (Angela Merkel) had voiced some criticisms of Trump.  He acknowledged that and went in a brief riff on German politics.  Then he said, “And Hillary…well, the only thing we really know about her is what her husband did in the White House with cigars.”  He realized he was treading on thin ice though and changed the subject.

Now, Dirk was extremely talkative and usually guys who can’t shut up wear on me and tend to be boring. But not Dirk. I swear he didn’t say one thing that I didn’t find interesting.  I have to admit, I loved the guy.  Just an interesting, quality person, a pleasure to play poker with.

As I mentioned, the club attendees had started arriving and were walking right by our table to and from the club.  And as I said, this was an especially good night to enjoy the scenery the young girls going to the club were providing.  It was a very busy night, and a very high percentage of the ladies were hot, or very hot, or smoking hot.  You know that the girls are mostly wearing outfits that are barely legal in Las Vegas, and would probably get them arrested in, say, Butte, Montana.  Sadly, you can’t really appreciate the enjoyment the ladies were providing us with a written description, so you’ll just have to use your imagination—even though the outfits they were wearing left little to the imagination.

By this time, there were only guys at the table.  And the folks who were in the bad viewing seats were starting to complain about missing out on the “show” and being stuck in bad seats to view the ladies. Recall that I had long since procured the best seat in the house to enjoy the parade.  So, the lads worked out a plan.  The guys facing one way would alert the guys facing the wrong way to turn around whenever a hot girl (or, more likely, a group of hot girls) passed by.  And if the girls were walking the other way, the guys on the other side of the table would do the same.

And one of the guys suggested that they use a code word to get everyone’s attention.  Something innocuous, something inoffensive. Because it would just be rude to yell out, “Holy shit, look at those tits!” or, “Jesus, check out that ass!”  So someone suggested that as soon as anyone saw anyone noteworthy, he yell out, “Flamingo!”  I have no idea where he got that idea, but it actually worked pretty well.  It might have been weird, however, if we were in the Flamingo poker room instead of the MGM.

At this point, the evening almost could not have been more fun for me.  Great conversation, great scenery, someone yelling “Flamingo” every few minutes, it was a total blast.

Well, there was just one thing that could have made it more fun, I guess.  It sure would have been nice to have won a few pots.  Actually, it just would have been nice to get a few hands to play.  But I continued to be card dead.  Without any major disaster hands (because to have had one would have implied that I actually was given a hand to play), I had managed to lose an indecent amount of money.  When I got down to about $70 or so, I added $100, but I kept dripping down over the course of the 4-1/2 session.  As I got back down to $70 or so, I made a decision.  I was not going to add any more chips.  I figured a $300 loss for my first session of the trip would be enough.  It was getting late, and I could really enjoy viewing the ladies from other places in the casino aside from the poker room.  So I was sorely tempted to just pick up the remaining chips I had, cash them in, and just people-watch for the rest of the night.

But….but….the truth was, the table was too much fun.  I was just having too good a time at the game (just not from poker).  And seriously, I was sitting in one of the best viewing places in the entire casino.  And I wasn’t really distracted from the view by the poker—after all, it took just a second or two to check my hand and throw away that 10-3 or 9-2.  And if I did miss something, my new found friends were there with a “Flamingo!” to get me to look up.

There was one other reason that I was less eager to leave the poker than I might otherwise have been.  I was pretty sure that this session would be my only one at MGM for this trip, and I wanted to see as many of my dealer pals as possible. 

So I decided to milk the rest of my chips for all they were worth.  If I got a hand to push with, fine, I’d be ready to get it all in.  But, as I said, I was unwilling to add to my stack so I was going to short-stack it til the end.  It wasn’t really a poker decision, it was an “I’m having too much fun” decision.

So my stack continued to dwindle.  Since I was card dead, I was just blinded down.  Oh, I may have had a low pocket pair or two that bled some chips, but I never really got a hand worth pushing with, not really even close.  Well, eventually I must have.  I didn’t write it down, but I think I found a hand to shove with, and was called by a shorter stack—who won the pot.  That left me with exactly $19.  And I was still committed to not pulling another dollar out of my wallet.

So yeah, there I was sitting behind $19.  At that point, your shoving range is pretty wide.  And fortunately, before another hand or two, I found my hand. Under-the-gun, I looked down at Ace-Queen offsuit.  I shoved.  Dirk’s pal called, as did one other player.  And then Dirk announced all in.  He had $400 and was clearly trying to get the two other guys—including his pal—out of the pot.  Dirk’s buddy folded, but the other player called. He had about $150 I think.

The flop was worthless, but there was an Ace on the turn, and a blank on the river.  Dirk had pocket Kings to beat the other guy’s pocket Jacks and grab a nice side pot.  Dirk’s pal said he folded pocket Queens.  Pretty interesting hand.  Kings, Queens and Jacks all out there. But my lousy Ace-Queen was good enough to claim the main pot.  That gave me a nice quadruple up, and I was back in business, almost a real stack to play with. I had $68.

And that lasted just a few more hands, until Brillo Head took me down (see here).   And now you know why I was so upset at Brillo Head’s lame call that busted from the game.  It wasn’t because of the money I lost.  He got me out of one of the most fun tables I’d been at in quite some time. 

All I could do the rest of the night was enjoy the view provided by the young ladies going to the nightclub on St. Patrick’s Day.  And I guess that wasn’t so bad.


  1. Rob, you describe the table events with greay can you play poker, keep an eye on your opponents playing style, and keep track of interesting events at the table/poker room? Very impressive

    1. Thanks, xdex. One thing going for me.....I wasn't very distracted by poker or taking poker notes, since I never had a hand to play!

      But yeah...although I did jot a few reminders down about some of the convo, I had to rely on my memory the next day to recall all the stories. I have no doubt the there was some good stuff at the table that I had forgotten about by then.

  2. We should all vow to use the code word "Flamingo" at the MGM. We owe it to mankind.

    1. Yes! And...when we are playing at Flamingo, we can use the code word "MGM!"

      Wait, what am I saying? What are the odds of any hot chick walking by the Flamingo poker room?