Monday, November 28, 2016

"All You Need is a Casino on the First Floor"

Finally concluding my write up of my little open heart surgery adventure.  The previous chapter is here.

The first thing I had to do when I got settled into my new, private room was text my sister the new room number.  I didn’t want her to come to the old room, see my bed empty and assume I had been taken back to the O.R. (or worse, the morgue!).

I was only too happy to relate the story of why I got moved to my sister and brother-in-law.  Although still in plenty of discomfort, I was able to enjoy and even recall their visit.  At this point, there was really only one thing that was tying me down, as it were.  I had a bunch of monitors hooked up to me, but it was a battery operated pack so I didn’t have to be disengaged from it to get up.  The pack fit in the shirt pocket of my elegant hospital gown.

But there were still two tubes coming out of my chest for drainage.  They were draining into a fairly large rectangular, plastic box that had to be carried whenever I went anywhere, like the bathroom.  It was quite inconvenient.  Late on Monday, after my family left, a doctor came around to remove the tubes, but then double checked and noticed I was draining too much to do it yet—perhaps the next day.

This was a big deal because they said if at all possible, I’d be released from the hospital the day after those tubes came out.  I wanted the tubes out but frankly, I wasn’t all that thrilled with getting out of the hospital, I really didn’t think I was all that ready for that.  I was getting decent treatment in the hospital, and as I said, the food was good.  And now I had my own private room with my own private bathroom.  I could settle in for a few weeks as far as I was concerned.

But they wanted me out.  Well, when the tubes remained in on Monday, that meant the earliest I’d be released was Wednesday.  I still had to pass a few other tests first.

As promised, LM and Woody showed up to visit later in the day—after my family was gone.  I got to tell them the story of how I got my private room.  Honestly, telling that story (twice!) was the most fun I’d had in a week.

They didn’t stay too long which was fine.  By now they had me up and attempting to walk, which I was able to do with a walker.  It was tiring but I managed to handle it fine.

That night, I used my phone to post this really short update post (here).  I didn’t bother to have anyone set up my laptop because I knew I was not even close to being ready to use it.  The phone was enough.  I tapped out the quick update and then got very frustrated trying to add the pic.  For some reason, it is a lot different trying to add a graphic when using Blogger on the phone than on a regular computer (laptop or desktop). And though I thought I figured out how to do it, the damn picture just wouldn’t load.  I’m not sure if it is a limitation of the phone capabilities or maybe the wi-fi wasn’t good enough for that particular graphic or what.  I actually left the phone on all night hoping it would load but it just wouldn’t.

I finally tweeted out the pic explaining that it belonged on my current post.  Later, when I finally got back to using the laptop, I retroactively added the pic.

The next day I had a new male nurse who seemed all business—no sense of humor whatsoever. I decided to try to see if I could make him laugh.

It had been a while since anyone asked me questions like this, but this nurse decided to quiz me on where I was, why I was there, etc.  I guess he’s trying to make sure I had all my mental facilities.  He asked me my name, then asked, “Where are you?”  I gave him the name of the hospital.  He asked, “And why are you here?”

I said, “Because I had triple bypass surgery four days ago…..but you know, this really is a lovely resort that anyone would want to stay in anyway.”  That got a smile and a short laugh out of him.

So I added, “All you really need to do is add a casino on the first floor and you’d be all set.”

That got a good laugh out of him and he said, “Yeah….the trouble with that is that all the employees would lose all their money there.”  Hmm….I guess he knows his co-workers!

We were pals after that, which is good because he was actually my nurse the next day too.

When he was taking me for my walk, with my walker, I decided to test something.  So for just two seconds I took my hands off the handle of the walker and made sure he noticed.  I thought he would freak out, but instead he said, “Let’s put the walker away.  I’ll be you’re walker.”  So we did that and I was fine (if very slow).  We even took an extra lap around the hospital floor.

My family was visiting and in the room while I walked.  So I came back and announced, “Look ma, no hands!”  They were impressed. 

Someone came by and took out my chest tubes (I think this was probably before the walk I just described).  There was one more big hurdle to pass before they would “likely” release me the next day.  I needed a physical therapist to sign off on my mobility and my ability to climb stairs.  She came around and we walked to the physical therapy room (no walker for me).  They had a few stairs that I was able to climb up and down with no problem.  I was basically good to go.

All that remained the next day was for me to have my final blood work done and then one last chest X-ray approved.  Assuming that was ok, I’d be released the next day (Wednesday).  That was five days after they cut me open, which considering the seriousness of the surgery, is rather amazing.

That next morning was extremely hectic, I saw a bunch of nurses, doctors, hospital administrators.  My chest X-ray was good. Technically, when they release you from the hospital after his surgery, you don’t need assistance.  If I had no one to care for me, they would have still released me.

Fortunately, my sister agreed to take me in for at least a week to see how I progressed.  It meant relocating about 45 minutes from where I live but it was great that I didn’t have to completely care for myself those first few days.  So my sister and brother-in-law picked me up.  We went to my car first, and my brother-in-law drove that to my garage. I picked up a few essential things out of my house and then we drove to their place.  It was an incredibly exhausting day for me.  It was the first time I’d seen the outside world in a week.

It was a rather odd set up staying with my family.  My sister lives behind the house where her daughter and son-in-law (and their four young kids) live.  The only place for me to sleep was a guest room in my niece’s house.  But during the day I spent most of my time in my sister’s house.

There were two issues with this arrangement.  One, I had no TV of my own, which was inconvenient.  And two, everyone in both households was usually in bed, asleep, by 8:30PM!  For the longest time I have been used to going to bed around 12:30 – 1:00 AM.  I usually spend a good chunk of my evenings writing.

After a couple of nights, I figured out that I could watch the main TV in my niece’s house after everyone went to bed as long as I kept the sound low.  And I found something good to watch for at least a few of my nights there.  I recorded the WSOP November Nine coverage on their DVR and watched that when everyone was asleep.  It was great entertainment and kept me in touch with poker even while I couldn’t play.

Also great timing was the other World Series….the one played with balls and bats.  My brother-in-law is a huge baseball fan so we watched each game together and it was great fun.  Turned out to be an incredible series.  By the way, every Dodgers fan I know was rooting for the Cubs.  I really enjoyed it, it worked out perfectly that it was on during the early days of my recovery.  I haven’t paid as much attention to a World Series in years.

After a week, it was time for me to get back home.  I knew I’d sleep a lot better in my own bed.  And by then, I was more than capable of taking care of myself.  So, eight days after I was released from the hospital, my brother-in-law took me home.  I got my house set up for a recovering patient and immediately went on Amazon to order a few things I never needed before but now did.

And that’s about it.  Been home a few weeks now.  As I mentioned, I started working (for PokerAtlas) a few hours a day last week.  I will be writing a column for Ante-Up this week (I missed last month of course).  I’m getting less tired each day and walking a little more each day.  That’s the only exercise I can do.  Still can’t drive or lift anything over five pounds.  I see the doc early next month and we’ll see how it goes. 

Thanks for bearing with me during this period.  Now to figure out how to keep posting fresh content here until I can get back to the poker table.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Get Me Outta Here!

And we pick up my bypass story where we left off (here), on Day 3, which is two days after the actual surgery, Monday.  By now I was a little more alert, still in a lot of pain which was being managed by pain medication (both shots and pills).  As the day progressed, I learned that not only were my sister and brother-in-law planning to visit me, but my friends LM & Woody were too.

I have a vague recollection of a lot of real early morning activity (like between 5 and 6 am), but I can’t recall what.  At around 7:30 AM, I met my nurse for the day shift.  It turned out that she was also the nurse I had when I first got to the recovery room two days before.  Although she certainly remembered me, I didn’t remember her at all.  But she knew all about me, not just from taking care of me, but from my sister, who she had conversed a lot with during my first hours out of surgery.  She also knew a lot about my sister.  My sister has a lot of medical knowledge that she has picked up over the years (although she never worked in a medical field) and the nurse joked that my sister was practically a nurse herself.

Let’s call that nurse Melanie, because I think that might actually be her name (honestly, it was either Melanie or Marlene, I had a Melanie or Marlene the day before and can’t remember which was which).  I’d had mostly good, very accommodating nurses to this point, but Melanie impressed me almost immediately as the best nurse I’d had during all this time.  She was super diligent, very understanding, and extremely helpful.

We had a long conversation, she took care of a bunch of stuff for me (though I can’t recall what) and then she turned her attention to my roommate.  I have no idea what, if any interaction I had with my roommate the day before.  I think he had a couple of visitors, but I was too out of it to pay attention.

On this day though, he had a pressing issue to complain to Melanie about.  He was constipated.  Apparently, he wasn’t just a little bit constipated.  He was really, really constipated.  I was really trying not to listen, but I was right there, and couldn’t help overhearing this.  While I sympathized with the guy, it really wasn’t something I wanted to hear.  Especially while I was eating my breakfast.  Apparently they had given him something and it didn’t work. And they were just going to give more of the same. He asked for something else, and Melanie warned him that if they gave him what he wanted,, it could give him severe diarrhea.  Pleasant stuff to listen to, huh?  They were arguing quite a bit, with Melanie finally saying she would contact the doctor to see if he could get something stronger.

While this was going on, I needed something from Melanie but she was too busy dealing with my roommate to help me out (I can’t remember what I needed, but I guess it was eventually handled).  It was at this point that I suddenly remembered that when we were assigned rooms a couple of days before, we were promised private rooms as soon as they became available.  It occurred to me that now was a good time to remind Melanie of this.  I can’t remember if I ever inquired about this the day before, I may have, or maybe I was too out of it to do so.

I was going to ask Melanie when she was finished dealing with my roommate, but she managed to slip out of the room before I had a chance.  Oh well, she’d be back.

Now I mentioned eating breakfast.  I’m sure I was eating the day before too.  And I have to say, much to my surprise, the hospital food was quite good.  And there were plenty of options of food that I could eat (remember, I’m a very fussy eater).  Although there were some weird restrictions.  In theory, I was on a low carb diet.   But every day, I could order pancakes for breakfast.  I even got maple syrup (it was sugar-free….but it tasted fine).  I could have a little piece of angel food cake (with I assume fake whipped cream) for desert. Also, I had rice with most meals. They even brought me diet lemon-lime soda.

But here’s the weird thing.  One of the options was always a hamburger…on a bun.  However, I was not allowed ketchup.  Ketchup is too high in sodium they told me, and I was also on a low sodium diet.  Well, you know me.  No way could I eat a hamburger without ketchup, so I never had a burger (the alternative…mustard and/or mayonnaise…just totally unacceptable).

Anyway, Melanie was gone, my roommate had no one to complain to, and I was enjoying the quiet again.  I had my celphone and used it to listen to the radio through an app.  I was enjoying that but then the pain meds kicked in and I was dozing off.  So I just turned off the radio app and started napping.  All was good.  And then….and then…

Now my roommate and I each had our own televisions.  The sound came through the device we had at our beds that also called the nurse when we needed to (and was also the remote control for the TV).  In theory, we could each keep the sound low enough so as to not disturb the other one, although our beds were so close to each other that would have been a challenge.

Note: I am going to tell this part of the story without revealing any of the names of the politicians or candidates involved, in keeping with my policy of trying to keep politics off the blog.  But recall that this was taking place just about two weeks before the recent presidential election.  We all know how contentious the election was (and for many, still remains so).

Well, as I was enjoying my nice nap, I started hearing a certain politician giving a speech.  I woke up enough to realize that my roommate was watching a cable network and the sound coming from his speaker was pretty loud, loud enough for me to hear it way too clearly.  I recognized the voice, it was someone I truly find distasteful and totally disagree with politically.  It was sheer torture listening to this person speak, and I tried my best to ignore it and go back to sleep. 

I dozed a little bit more but then this politician introduced someone else.  You see, the cable network was broadcasting the campaign rally of one of the leading presidential candidates.  So the politician I find annoying introduced the presidential candidate that they were all there to support.

If listening to the politician speak was torture, listening to this particular presidential candidate speak was turbo torture.  Nuclear torture.  And there was no way I could sleep through this.  It was pure agony for me.

I have no idea if my roommate was watching this on purpose, if indeed the person speaking was his candidate for President or not.  You see, in addition to the sound of his TV, I could also hear him snoring very loudly.  He wasn’t even listening to this.  Only I was.

As an aside here, I should mention that my friend LM (who has similar political views as me) had already suggested that one of the reasons I was in the hospital for a bypass was due to my angst over the coming election.  So being a prisoner to hearing this candidate yapping surely wasn’t helping my recovery.

As soon as I gathered enough strength, I hit the call button.  I was going to remind Melanie that we were promised private rooms.  Between the constipation discussion I had endured earlier, and now this political torture, surely I had enough reason to seek a private room (especially since I had been promised one anyway).

Unfortunately, Melanie didn’t respond.  Instead, a nurse’s assistant showed up. Melanie was tied up.  I really didn’t think there was any point in asking her about a private room, I wanted to go through Melanie for this.  So I told her I needed to see Melanie when she was available.  She said she would send her when she finished with whatever she was working on.

Now as I mentioned, patients had a multi-functional device that had the button to call a nurse, in addition to it being a remote control for the TV and also a speaker for the TV.  On occasion, I would accidentally hit the call button for the nurse when I wanted to turn on the TV or change the channel.  And once hit, there was no way to “uncall” the nurse.  Someone would have to respond, in person, and manually turn the call button off (it was over the bed, not part of this remote control device).

So apparently, a few minutes after the nurse’s assistant left, I accidentally hit the “call”: button.  I guess maybe I was trying to turn on my own TV so I could try to drown out my roommate’s TV.  But instead of a nurse or an assistant coming by, this call was answered remotely, by some guy speaking into a microphone somewhere with his voice coming thru the TV speaker.  Until this moment, I had no idea the device could do that, and this was the first time I had a call request responded to remotely.

The guy asked what I needed.  I told him I must have hit the call button accidentally, but I did remind him that I wanted to see Melanie when she was available.  He said ok.  But a few minutes later, he came back on, and asked what I wanted this time.  I said I didn’t want anything, I reminded him that it was an accident.  At this point, the guy took an attitude.  I’m not sure if he told me to turn off the call button (which I couldn’t do), or he just told me not to keep calling for no reason, but it got me a bit flustered.  I reminded him that there was nothing I could do to turn off the call button, but I didn’t need anything.  He disconnected. 

But as the call light was still on, he came back a few minutes later and was practically shouting at me to stop hitting the call button!  I told me I had only hit it once and that the only way to turn it off was for someone to come and turn it off.  He was basically yelling at me so I started yelling back.  “I can’t do anything about the call button, you have to send someone to turn it off.  Don’t you know that?” Now I was really losing my temper, probably not the best thing for someone two days after triple bypass surgery.  He disconnected and we were both pissed.

Finally someone came by to turn off the call light.  I think it was the nurse’s assistant and I reminded her I wanted to see Melanie as soon as possible.  She said Melanie was tied up but would come by soon.  But she could tell I was really upset, especially when I reported my three frustrating conversations with the mysterious man on the other end of the intercom. 

The political speech kept going, frustrating me to no end.  I actually couldn’t put my own TV on loud enough to drown it out.  And by the way, my yelling at the guy on the intercom wasn’t enough to wake my roommate, he was still snoring away.  How I envied him.

Finally Melanie showed up.  She apologized but said she was in the middle of something—and even implied she left someone hanging to take care of me because of my complaints (which were excessive only if you throw in all the bullshit with the mystery man on the intercom).  I made she sure knew why I was upset at the intercom man—who apparently works somewhere in IT, far away from the patients.  Then I reminded Melanie of the promise made two days ago to try to find me a private room.  She said she would work on it, but they were pretty much full.

At that point I decided to throw a Hail Mary.  It was very risky, but I was desperate.  The presidential candidate was still blabbering loud and clear.  I asked her to come close to me so I could whisper (not that it mattered, my roommate was still snoring loudly).  I said, “I can’t stand this.  I’m dying here.  I don’t know what your political leanings are, but I can’t take any more of this.  Can you hear it?”  She wasn’t sure what I meant so I pointed to my roommate’s TV, and just kept quiet for a few seconds so she could hear the sound.  Then I said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t stand that $@#$!%*!”  I had to hope that if she had opposing political leanings from me, her bedside manner and dedication as a nurse would rule the day.  Otherwise, she could see to it that I never got any more pain meds the rest of the day!

She listened to a few more seconds of the speech and then said, “Let me see what I can do.”

Did I mention Melanie was great?  Less than 10 minutes later she came back and said, “OK, ready to move to your new room?”  And she had a male nurse with her who helped me move across the hall to a private room.

I couldn’t believe it.  I thanked Melanie profusely, professed my undying love for her and then she said, “Shhh…..I’m going around protocol here, I jumped you ahead in the line.  Don’t say anything, I don’t want to get in trouble.  Just let’s go.”

And thus…..I was helped to my new, private room.  It wasn’t nearly as big as the original private room I had.  But it was probably bigger than the double room I just left, and more importantly, no roommate, no constipation discussions, and no offensive political speeches to hear.  I was happy.

And yes, I will leave it there and yes, I will get (at least) one more post out of my surgery story.  Stay tuned. But alas, I’ve just told you the very best story I have.

As for my current status, well, Thanksgiving was quiet, but on Tuesday my friends LM and Woody picked me up and we went out to dinner—my first dinner out since surgery.  That was my Thanksgiving, I guess. No turkey—just a real juicy hamburger with extra ketchup, extra pickles and extra onions.  It was heavenly. I was tired but not nearly as tired as I expected to be, and it sure was nice to eat out.  I’m continuing to walk an extra minute each day, and getting less tired from it.  Just wish the pain and discomfort would disappear.  But I feel I’m getting a wee bit closer to being “well” each day, so there’s that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Still Shouldn't Have to Say "Raise"

Since I started this blog over five years ago, I’ve published over 800 blog posts.  And you know what?  I don’t remember them all.  Some I remember like it was two days ago (although not the one I published two days ago, I can barely remember that one).  Others, not so much.  Whenever I have occasion to go back and review one of my really early posts, I’m often in for a surprise.  The details may surprise me (even tho it was me who wrote it the first place), and more often, the older the post is, the more I’m surprised by my writing style.  I definitely think my style has changed over the years, hopefully for the better

That’s an explanation for this being a re-post, but I have a good excuse.  This post initially appeared before the blog was two weeks old, so it’s one of my very first posts.  And it describes an incident that took place over a year before it was published, so somewhere around 2010.  And I was only playing 2/4 limit in those days. 

You can actually blame this re-post on fellow blogger, The Poker Meister.  In his latest post, which you can find here, he describes a blatant rules violation that the dealer (who TPM knows to be a dick) tried to ignore.  Actually, before that, he described two hands where he had the dreaded pocket Kings and ost his stack both times.  Why he even found that worth mentioning is beyond me.

Anyway, as you can read from his post, the dealer put out a flop before all the preflop action was concluded, and he tried to ignore that fact, even after TPM pointed that out to him.  The person who hadn’t yet acted, called the preflop raise after seeing the flop, and the dealer thought that made everything ok!  Really?  My, wouldn’t we all like to see the flop before we decide to call that preflop raise?  It would make poker so much easier.

Actually, TPM wasn’t in the hand and he asks his readers if he should have gotten involved, and of course the answer is yes.  Every player is responsible for keeping the integrity of the game.

But when I read it, and after leaving a comment, I kept thinking about it and I got this idea of maybe doing a post about it myself.  Actually, I thought about doing a post involving stories from a couple of different blogs I’d read lately.  I was thinking of doing that so that I could get some fresh—or semi-fresh—poker content up here even though I’m currently prevented from playing. 

And as I was thinking about it, I slowly but surely started to remember this post I’d done in the early days that had a similar theme—the dealer putting out cards—or a card—too soon.  I remembered a little bit about it, but I’d totally forgotten the details.  But I remembered the title so it was easy to find.

I reread the post and was really surprised at not just the writing style—I’d write this totally differently now—but also at my reaction at the time.  I can’t believe how close I apparently came to making a scene and berating the dealer.  It almost seems like a different person I’m talking about, not me.  

Anyway, I thought it would be worth re-posting.  No one was reading the blog when this first appeared, and I doubt I ever linked back to it in all these years.  So it really is like a brand-new post.  See if you recognize me in it—both my reactions and my writing style.

=   =   =   =   =   =

This happened at BSC a little more than a year ago.  I was playing at my usual 2/4 limit game, sitting in seat 10 (immediately to the dealer’s right).  By this time I had established relationships with a lot of the BSC dealers, but not the one who was currently dealing, whose name is Barry.  Barry is not particularly chatty so I although I’d been dealt to by him many times, I’d never really struck up much of a conversation with him.
I had been having a really bad run, it had probably been over two hours since I’d last won a pot, even a little pot.  It had been almost that long since I’d even played a hand other than a blind.  That kind of night.  Finally, UTG (under the gun, ie, immediately to the left of the Big Blind), I was dealt A/K hearts.  I debated whether to raise.  I had been doing so badly at the time that there was a great temptation to risk only two bucks until I saw the flop.  Plus, being under the gun, you never know if you raise there you end up having everyone fold and you win a whopping three bucks.  I mean you want players when you have a premium hand like that so you can win some money….you just want the player who has the hand that would otherwise beat you to fold!
But I raised.  It was an average loose 2/4 game and I figured for sure I’d get some callers.  But I was wrong.  Everyone folded around, even the Small Blind, until the Big Blind.  I was starting to get pissed that I’d win a lousy three bucks… first pot in two hours!  But the Big Blind called my raise, to my surprise.  I’m thinking, if it had been me, and I knew it was gonna be heads up on the flop, I would have folded unless I had maybe pocket Ace’s or Kings.  Sure you might be favored to win with a lesser premium hand, but how much can you win?  You are getting such poor pot odds, it’s not worth the two bucks.  At least to me.  And if he had a really great starting hand, it would have made a lot more sense for him to re-raise me instead of calling, to at least get some money in the pot.
But BB called my raise.  As it happened, the BB was a new player at the game, having come over from a table that had broken.  He’d only played a few hands at this game before this happened.  Also, I believe he had a bit of a language issue, I hadn’t heard him say anything other than that he was Korean in a fairly heavy accent.  So I had no read on him.  Of course, he had no read on me, either.
Barry dealt out the flop, which was K-Q-5, rainbow.  Of course, that was a great flop for me, giving me top pair and top kicker.  To my surprise, the BB bet out.   So much for “checking to the raiser.”  So of course I wanted to raise to see how he reacted.  Perhaps he had two pair or even a set?  Would he re-raise my raise?  I wanted to see.
At this point in my poker career, I almost never announced “raise” when I raised.  I knew the rule and would make sure I would put out the entire amount of the bet and raise in one motion, over the betting line.  This of course is perfectly acceptable.  This was very late at night at the BSC and it is always very noisy.  Even right next to me, the dealer might not hear me say “raise.”  But he’d surely see that I was putting out four chips instead of two.
Or so I thought.  I put four chips across the line and waited for Barry to announce “raise.”  I believe I saw BB grab two more chips from his stack to call me.  But to my horror before he got the chips out across the betting line, Barry had already burned a card and flipped over the turn card.  Barry didn’t notice that I had raised. 
By the time I said, “Wait…I raised!” Barry had already exposed a King.  Of course, that was a great card for me, giving me trip Kings.  By this time BB had already put his two chips out over the betting line.  But the damage was done.  Barry had screwed up and he said “sorry.”   He immediately called the floor over. 
I didn’t say anything, but I was livid inside.  If I said, “That’s ok, he was gonna call anyway,” I would have revealed that I really liked the King as the turn card.  I was hoping that since the BB had called, they could just continue without me saying anything.  But no such luck.  The floor person enforced the standard rule for such a situation.  Burn another card, deal what would have been the river card as the turn card, and then reshuffle the deck with the exposed King back in the deck so it has a chance to be the river card. 
I was horrified.  But if I said anything, it would have revealed my hand and I figured I was still ahead in the hand.  And besides, as I found out later, my complaining wouldn’t have convinced them to change the ruling.  I tried to keep a poker face but I doubt I did.  The new turn card was a second 5.  Gulp.  If he had bet because he had pocket fives and flopped a set I was dead, dead, dead.  And when BB bet out again, that’s really what I was worried about.  I had two pair, Kings and Fives, but I sure as hell didn’t think I should raise there, having seen one of my outs buried back into the deck.
The river came as a Queen.  The board now had paired Queens and Fives, along with a King.  I had Kings and Queens and I didn’t think that was worth a damn.  Sure enough, BB bet out again.  For four bucks I had to see what he had.  Well at least he didn’t have pocket 5’s.  But he may as well have.  He had Ace-Queen.  Thus the river gave him a full boat.  He was actually behind me the whole way, and hit his out on the river.  The river that wouldn’t have been a Queen except for Barry’s huge mess-up.  You see, it should have been my full house, Kings full of fives, instead of Queens full of fives.  Barry’s inattention had cost me the pot.  As he pushed the pot to the BB, I said, rather sternly and unpleasantly I’m sure.  I would have had a full house.  should have had a full house.”  All Barry did was very meekly say, “I’m sorry.”
So I was pissed.  I was pissed at what happened.  I was pissed at Barry.  I was pissed at what I thought was Barry’s inadequate apology.  I wasn’t expecting him to get down and his hands and knees and beg for my forgiveness, but I expected a little more sincerity, a little more sorrow in his voice.  And I was a little pissed at the guy who took down the pot.  I thought he should have apologized to me to, and acknowledged how lucky he was to win the hand.  But he was silent.  That may have been do the language issued I mentioned earlier, although he certainly did speak English.  But mostly, I was just pissed.  Now, the pot was only $23, and if that King had stayed on the turn, who knows if BB would have stayed in, so what I would have won could have even been less than the $23.  After watching BB play for an hour, I knew he was a solid player and wasn’t going to give his money away on a lost cause.  But right then, all I was thinking was that I lost a pot, and it would have been my first pot in two hours. 
I thought I was at about my highest level of annoyance right then, but I was wrong.  Of course the other players at the table had seen all of this occur.  I got a few comments offering me sympathy.  But then one guy, a New Yorker, of course, started yapping.  “That’s why I always say raise whenever I raise,” Then, directly to me, he said, “Yeah, you should have called out ‘raise’; then you wouldn’t have had that problem.”
I said, no doubt in a rough tone, “I shouldn’t have to say ‘raise’—the action speaks for itself.”  I started to go on, but caught myself.  almost said something like, “If the dealer’s paying attention, if he’s doing his job, if he’s not totally incompetent, then I shouldn’t have to say “raise” in a noisy casino when you can’t hear it anyway.”  I really came close to saying that, but somehow, I restrained myself. 
Since I didn’t consider Barry a buddy at this time, I really did come thisclose to saying that.  But I managed to hold it in, for a couple of reasons.  First, I do have a great deal of self-restraint.  And after the moment past, I realized I was starting to become friendly with a lot of the staff at the BSC and didn’t want to suddenly get a reputation as a major asshole (even though everyone would have agreed I had a right to be pissed). Besides, why embarrass Barry further when suddenly the person I was even suddenly angrier at was this putz from New York? So I just sat there and said nothing more.  I just seethed and sulked.  Fortunately, I didn’t get any cards so my play wasn’t affected. 
After about 10 minutes, I started feeling relieved.  I was beginning to feel very good about not yelling at Barry, at not calling him incompetent.  I told myself that Barry probably felt as bad about what happened as I did, perhaps even worse. He’s only human, after all, and it’s not like I’ve never made a mistake myself.  He didn’t do it on purpose. And also I felt good about not making a scene at my favorite poker room.  It wouldn’t have made a difference, and all it would have done was make me look bad.  Instead, I was taking the high road and starting to feel good about it.
By the time his down was over, I wasn’t ready to go for a drink with him but at least I had stopped mentally sticking pins in my Barry voodoo doll. 

And here’s the kicker to this story.  After not playing at his table for quite a while after this incident (just by happenstance, not on purpose), next time he did come to my table he said hi to me by name (he’d never done that before) and we chatted amiably the entire down.  And thus we’ve actually become pals!  This makes me even happier about how I handled the situation, and you know, I really don’t miss that twenty three bucks.  And I’ve never brought up this story to Barry, and he’s never brought it up either.  But then, there’s no need to.  Some things are better left unsaid.

(Note, in the early days of the blog, I didn't even know you could put pictures in! So there was no graphic with the original post.  I know my readers now expect them, so I hope you won't mind if I add this totally gratuitous pic that has nothing to do with anything)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Surgery

Here’s the next chapter in my surgery saga, the previous chapter can be found here.

Well that set off a flurry of activity like you wouldn’t believe.  I called my sister and not only did she and her husband plan to come down, but she wanted to see me before the surgery.  I told her she had better be there by 6AM in that case.  I didn’t think they’d make it, but (spoiler alert), somehow they did (remember, they live over an hour away from where I was, although at that hour on a Saturday morning traffic would at least be light).

Meanwhile, everyone and his brother came into my room to see me.  Someone came in to get me to sign authorization for the surgery, and went over next of kin details.  I also had to get my Advanced Directive in order. Someone came in to take blood, and I believe someone came in to take a chest X-ray. Then the nurse shaved me.  No, not the groin this time, there was nothing left to shave there.  He had to shave my chest and my legs.  The chest is obvious but my legs needed to be shaved because they take veins from your legs and insert them into your chest as part of the bypass. 

One of the things I had asked LM to pick up for me was a cheap disposal razor and some shaving cream as I desperately needed a shave (I mean my face).  I was gonna do that on Saturday but obviously not now.  So the nurse offered to shave my face with one of those electrical clippers that I described previously.  I said sure.  Those clippers didn’t do a very good job on my face but I guess it was better than nothing.

Then the nurse’s assistant came in and told me I needed to take a shower.  They had a shower down the hall that I was escorted to.  The nurse’s assistant actually had to assist me in the shower (I can’t recall why, it might have had something to do with the fact that was still recovering from the angiogram).  This particular lady was a step up from the old “biddy” who had shaved me a few days before, but she was definitely not a woman I would choose to shower with, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, I guess I finally got to sleep around 1AM.  Of course, I was not allowed any food or water after midnight. I actually slept very well. The nurse woke me up around 5:30 AM I think to prep me.  And indeed, my sister and brother-in-law were there before 6AM to be with me until they were ready to wheel me into the O.R.

It was a good thing they showed up.  They were not going to reserve my hospital room for me.  I would be assigned a new room after I was done in the recovery room.  So if my family hadn’t shown up, there were just gonna stick all my possessions in a corner somewhere and I would have to hope that they’d find me in my new room. By now, I had put all my cash and my credit cards in the hospital safe, but I still had a ton of stuff, including my laptop and my celphone (and my clothes) that I sure didn’t want to lose.  Fortunately my brother-in-law took all that stuff and put it in his car for me, so it was safe.

I was remarkably calm before the surgery.  My sister couldn’t believe it.  I really can’t explain why I was so calm, I just was.  I guess I figured if it went the wrong way, well, at least I wouldn’t have anything to worry about any more. It was kind of weird.

They were running late and although I was scheduled for 8AM it was closer to 8:30 when they wheeled me away.  I got to the O.R. and they asked me a bunch of questions to make sure they were doing the surgery on the right person.  I had had an I.V. in me for some time, and I was surprised that I wasn’t feeling drowsy or woozy or anything.  In fact, I was just realizing that I was surprised I didn’t feel drugged at all, when the next thing I was aware of was waking up after the surgery!

I later found out that I woke up too soon in the recovery room and they had to knock me out again.  But I don’t remember that.  Honestly that first day is a bit of a blur.  But I remember my sister and brother-in-law were there when I woke up and we were able to converse.  They told me that the doctors said everything went very well.  I was too doped up to feel any pain, at least initially.  At one point they took the breathing tube out of my throat, which was unpleasant but made things more comfortable. 

As I said, I really don’t remember much of that first day, I probably was asleep for most of it.  I don’t remember if I ate, I don’t think so. I do remember they gave me some ice chips which were actually great.

Late in the afternoon (I think) I was told that I was ready to be moved back into a regular hospital room, but they were waiting for some rooms to open up.  They had three patients in recovery they needed to find rooms for.

At some point, my sister and brother-in-law finally left.  It was probably early evening and it had been a really long day for them (for me too, for that matter).  I think they left when the nurse told me they were going to take me to a hospital room.  As the day wore on and the anesthesia wore off, I noticed I was in a lot of pain.  Fortunately I was at the stage where I could get either a pain shot or pain pills any time I wanted.  I wanted a lot.

When the nurse told me that they were moving me and two other patients into regular rooms, she apologized because none of us were getting private rooms.  But she told us that if private rooms later became available, they could move us into private rooms.

The only one of my possessions my sister gave me back before she left was my celphone (and of course charger).  That was cool, but I was actually too out of it to use it at the time.  And it was clear that I would be in no shape to use my laptop again for the foreseeable future.

Now, I had described the hospital room I had had before the surgery as the Palazzo of hospital rooms.  This new room I was taken to was more like the Motel 6 of hospital rooms.  Actually that’s an insult to Motel 6.  It was a tiny, tiny room.  Whereas that private room I had was huge, this was less than 1/3 the size of that room, even though there were two beds in it.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating.  The two beds were practically on top of each other.  I would say that the distance between the two beds was less than the width of a bed.  There was virtually no storage space, and really no room for visitors (I think there was one chair for each bed).  And of course we shared a bathroom.

It didn’t make any sense.  I mean that room I was now in should have been a private room—it still would have cramped—and the first room I had should have been a double.  Hell, you could have comfortably put three beds in there.

But I was too out of it to worry much about it.  I got to the room before my new roommate did, who I assumed had also come from the recovery room.  But he was more alert than I was, so maybe he came from another room (surely not one smaller) or perhaps he had a different operation than I did.  Although I think the entire floor I was on was cardiac patients.

I pretty much lost Sunday too.  I don’t remember very much of it.  I do know my sister never made it down to see me.  They were exhausted from their long day on Saturday and just never got started.  I was mostly out of it anyway so it was no big deal.  Perhaps I started eating that day but I didn’t get out of bed much if not all.  The big accomplishment for the day was me asking them to take the catheter out. It was bothering me whenever I moved.  Of course, the pain from them removing it was pretty bad.  And it stayed with me for some time after the removal.  At least they had initially put it in when I was already unconscious. 

The other thing that happened on day 2 was that the cardiac surgeon who performed my surgery came to visit.  He assured me that everything went well..

And that’s all I’ve got for now.  Probably there will only be one more chapter to this story, but I’m not 100% sure.  So, here’s my recovery update.  I guess I’m a little better each day, I’m walking one minute more each day and feeling ok after that.  But I really don’t have much energy and it is tough for me to force myself to sit down and write….that’s why I don’t have more for you.  I suppose part of that, if I’m honest, is that I’m not getting much feedback on these surgery posts, so I’m not inspired to write.  I realize that this is not the kind of material you’ve come to expect from me, but it’s all I got and I was hoping I could tell my story in an entertaining fashion. 

(Edited to add....well, there's more than one chapter but you can find the penultimate chapter here)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Becoming a Cabbage Patch Kid

Continuing the story of my recent medical adventure.  Sorry, it’s been awhile since the last chapter, which you can find here.

It was a terrible few hours.  Then, finally, almost simultaneously, the nurse brought some food for me and told me that they finally had a room for me—and that it was a private room.  The nurse himself took charge of relocating me. So he put all my personal belongings under my gurney, put the tray of food on top of the gurney (next to my immobile feet!) and wheeled me upstairs.

At least by the time I got to my room I was allowed to move my legs a bit.  That made it easier to eat, I could sit up.  I think it was a turkey sandwich, which was fine. There might have been some other stuff with it, some of which I could eat. 

Not only did I get a private room, but I got a huge room.  Seriously, this was the nicest hospital room I’ve ever seen.  I mean, it was the Palazzo of hospital rooms.  Spacious, lots of closet space.  Just an awesome hospital room.

Once up there, I immediately asked my new nurse if I could borrow a phone charger.  She said she had iPhone but she would ask around.  She came back later and told me that everyone had iPhone and there was no android charger around.  Damn.  At one point in the evening a different nurse came to check on me so I asked her about getting an android charger.  But she too struck out.

My phone was close to dead, and I had to turn it off to preserve it for emergencies.  Thus, again, my only entertainment was a TV.  At least this room had a decent, working TV. I guess I found some sitcom reruns to amuse me.  Also, I had a full choice of cable news channels to provide some updates on the election campaign.

I don’t know exactly who or when, but one of the docs I saw told me that I was getting a “cabbage.”  The technical name for my anticipated surgery was “Coronary Artery Bypass Graft” surgery.  Since the acronym is CABG it is known as a cabbage in the medical field (see here).  All I could think of was that I was about to become a cabbage patch kid.

By the time I fell asleep, I had full mobility back, I could move around fine.  But I was still hooked up to monitors so I had to get the nurse to unhook me just to go to the bathroom.  A pain, to be sure.

I fell asleep after 1AM and was sound asleep until 4AM sharp when someone came in to take some blood.  Seriously?  They couldn’t have waited a few hours to do that?  I was unable to fall back asleep and was bored out of my mind.

When it was morning I wanted to call my friends and relatives, but my phone was too close to dying.  When the shift change occurred in the morning, I asked my new nurse if she or anyone else had an android charger I could use, but no such luck.

I resorted to the old fashion way of communication.  The landline telephone that was in my room.  I called my sister and she confirmed that she’d be coming on the day of my surgery, whenever that was.  No point in making the big drive before then as I was (more-or-less) fine for the moment.

Then I called LM and Woody and had another huge favor to ask them.  Recall that they agreed to come to Hollywood to get my car keys, drive to Panorama City to get stuff out of my car (including my laptop, which I figured to need big time since it was going to be at least three days before my surgery) and bring it back to me in Hollywood.  There were also some necessities that I needed that they agreed to shop for.  I needed one more favor.  Could they lend me a phone charger so I could start using my phone while they were out running errands for me? It would be a lifesaver.  I had a charger in my laptop case but I didn’t want to wait for them to fetch my laptop.  Since they both have pretty much the same phone as me, I knew they had a charger I could borrow.  They agreed.

It was a horrifically boring morning.  I was waiting to hear when my surgery was scheduled.  I was told they do the schedules between 7 – 8 pm each night, but it wasn’t clear to me when I’d find out about mine because at that point, it was supposed to be no sooner than Monday (and this was Friday).

Then LM & Woody showed up.  I was never as happy to see anyone in my life.  OK, truth be told, I was really happy to see that they had indeed brought a phone charger I could use.  That charger looked to me like a drink of water to a guy who had been lost in the desert for a week.  Honestly, I was happier to see that phone charger than I would have been to have seen Emily Ratajkowski show up naked to give me a sponge bath.  (Ok, that’s obviously not true, but you get the idea).  Not only did the charger have a long cord, but it was one of those fast chargers.  Recall that the chargers I borrowed the first night I was in the (previous) hospital barely charged the phone if I was actually using it.  Woody plugged it and my phone immediately came back to life—and was actually functioning!  I guess they could see what great joy the charger brought me as they decided then and there that they would just give me the charger, it was a get well gift.  Thanks guys.

After a quick visit I fetched my car keys and gave them instructions as to where to find my car back in Panorama City.  They took off, but now that I could use my phone I was happy.  I finally had something for entertainment other than daytime TV.

A few hours later, they returned with all the stuff I requested.  They even set up my laptop for me.  The only issue with the laptop was that it took pretty much all the room on the tray they give you.  So I would have to somehow move the laptop off of that tray when they brought me my meals.  But now with both the laptop and a working celphone, I was back in business.  I had enough to keep myself entertained while I was waiting for the surgery.  After LM and Woody left for good, I was actually able to use the laptop to write up a blog post, the one that announced my eminent surgery (see here).

Sometime after my friends left, a cardiac surgeon came to see me.  He told me that they were either going to do the surgery tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday.  This was a surprise.  The day before they told me they only do emergencies on Saturday.  So I mentioned that to the doc.  He explained that they were just too backed up with CABG surgeries to wait.  “We have a lot to do, and it is very expensive to keep patients here all that time without operating on them.  We have to come in tomorrow and do some surgeries.”

Well, as much as I wasn’t looking forward to the surgery, the thought of not wasting two more  days in the hospital certainly did appeal to me.  The surgeon wasn’t sure, but he said they would do the schedule after 8PM that night and then they would let me know when I was up.  Not a lot of warning!  I got the impression that unless someone showed up in worse shape than me between then and 8PM, I was likely going to be cut open the next day.  I contacted my sister to give her a heads up in case it was indeed the next day.

Well, I was enjoying my time on the laptop (the Wi-Fi was excellent, by the way) when, sometime right before 9PM, the nurse came in and told me that I was on the schedule for first thing the next morning.  And I had to be ready for surgery by 6:30AM (the actual surgery was scheduled for 8AM).

My first thought, recalling that the first surgeon I saw said they (obviously) don’t like to work weekends, was….Oh great.  I’m going to have my chest cut open by surgeons who would prefer to be playing golf.  Oh well.

And we’ll leave it there for now.  As for my recovery update, well, I’ve started working again, just a few hours a day. I’m still in some pain and discomfort, but am told that is normal.  Walking a little more every day, and seem to handle that fine.  Progress, I guess.

(Next chapter can be found here).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Show One, Show All (Revisited)

Recovery update/explanation:  This is a repost of one of my earliest posts, dating back to my days playing 2/4 limit.  I figured that that for the only way for the time being I could keep you convinced that this is really a poker (and Vegas) blog is to do some reposts from earlier times.  It was posted over four years ago so even those of you who read it may not remember it and can enjoy it again (or not, you are under no obligation to enjoy my posts).

To update you on my recovery, well today I actually worked a few hours for the first time since I was hospitalized.  I must be feeling pretty good.  And I hope to get back to some writing tonite after dinner so that I can have the latest installment of my surgery saga for you in a few days.  In the meantime, here's a blast from the past...

=   =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =

Before I start, I need to explain to those readers who aren’t poker players the rule, “Show One, Show All.”  At showdown, if a player shows his hand and the other player (or players) still in the hand see that they are beat, they do not have to show their cards, choosing instead to just muck their cards. They can show their cards if they want, and sometimes a player showing a hand he thinks is a losing one can be surprised and discover the pot is actually pushed to him, having misread either his hand or his opponent’s.  But he can certainly muck his cards if he wants.  The reason for not showing your cards is simple; if you have lost the hand, showing what you had gives free information to the other players as to how you played that hand and will give them insight into how you play in general.
Sometimes a player will fold his cards but feel compelled to show the person sitting next to him what hand he is folding, either because he’s making such a tough lay down he simple has to show somebody or he is friendly with that person sitting next to him.  This is where the “Show one, show all” rule comes into play.  A player is not supposed to show his dead hand to selective people at the table.  He is offering valuable information, and it is unfair that only one or two people get that information.  It’s a mild form of collusion.  So if/when that happens, someone else at the table who didn’t see the hand (and usually, it’s me), will tell the dealer, “Show one, show all” and if at all possible, the dealer will take the cards the player just mucked and flip them over so that all the players at the table see what was folded, and everyone gets the same information.
OK, so if you play poker for several hours, you will usually hear a player call out “Show one, show all” several times, especially if I’m at that table.  Just keep that phrase in the back of your mind for later.
Anyway, this particular story dates back almost a year, back to the days I was strictly a limit player, playing in a 2/4 game at the BSC.  I’d been there for awhile when two middle aged guys who were friends took the two seats immediately to my left.  They were really chatty, and obviously they had come to town have a good time first, drink a lot second, and play some poker third.  Within a few minutes I learned that they were from back East, they were old college buddies, and once a year they did a guys’ trip to Vegas together, leaving their wives back home.
I first described these guys in this post here  as BSC regulars.  They knew a lot of the dealers, or at least remembered a lot of them, and were particularly interested in having Ginger deal to them, remembering her as a particularly attractive woman.  Ginger was dealing that night but she never made it to our table.  They mentioned her name a few times before they got too drunk to care.
Early on they started giving every player at the table their own nicknames based either on their appearance or how they played.  One guy was “Raisy Daisy” because he raised pre-flop so much. Another guy looked like some character from Spongebob Squarepants and named him that (don’t ask me what it was, you won’t find anyone who knows less about Spongebob Squarepants than yours truly).  Some guys had names because they looked like people they knew.
Did I have a nickname, I hear you asking?  Of course. They called me “Phil” because of the strong physical resemblance I have to famous professional poker player Phil Ivey.

Heh heh.  The truth is, I don’t look anything like Phil Ivey, and they didn’t call me Phil.  But I have been told, at least a dozen times in a poker room (and once or twice elsewhere), that I do have a strong physical resemblance to someone who is a fairly well known poker personality, someone who appears on televised poker, who is also famous (or was) in a different, non-poker related field.  No, it isn’t Jennifer Tilly, though she fits that description.  Believe me, I don’t look anything like Jennifer Tilly.  If I did, I’d never leave the house.
But in keeping with my desire for secrecy, I won’t say who this poker personality is that I supposedly resemble, to help keep my identity a bit more secure.  But tell you what, when you folks meet me in Vegas, as most of you probably eventually will, if you guess who it is I’m told I look like, I’ll tell you if you’re right and who it is if you’re wrong.  No prizes will be offered for getting this “right.”
So for now, we’ll say they called me “Phil.”  I didn’t mind, these were good-natured, here to have fun guys.  But soon I did ask him if they had their own nicknames we should use at the table.  They said it was up to others at the table to nickname them, so I thought for a bit and tried to come up with appropriate and silly names for these clowns.  Finally I came up with “Heckle and Jeckle” and told them of my decision.  They laughed and were fine with it.  Heckle was on my immediate left, and Jeckle was on his left.
For whatever reason, I had a very good night at poker while these guys were laughing, drinking and losing chips.  They weren’t bad players at all, pretty reasonable for the 2/4 game, but it wasn’t their night.
One time I had J/10 and the board was 9-8-7-6-5.  Jeckle had pocket Jacks and had to call my river bet because If I didn’t have a 10 we’d chop it. But I actually had a seven card straight and took the pot. He was not amused.
Then in the big blind I had 10-7 diamonds, no one raised.  Flopped a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw.  The turn gave me a straight.  The river gave me a flush.  I actually didn’t want the flush, figured my 10 high flush might not hold up but I thought my straight would be good.  But it turns out that Heckle had the exact same 10-7 I had, but his was unsuited!  If I hadn’t made my flush, we would have chopped the pot, but the flush gave me the whole pot, and it was a big pot for a 2/4 game!  The dealer said he’d never seen anything quite like it.
I was quite amused but Heckle was extremely pissed. He bitched and moaned about that for quite some time. Of course, what I didn’t point out, because I’m no table bully or asshole (see Gary’s blog post here and my comment on it below), that the guy had only himself to blame.  What the hell was he doing calling pre-flop with 10-7 unsoooooted?  Under the gun, yet?  I was the big blind, that’s the only reason I saw the flop.  But I failed to point that out to him, because that’s the kind of guy I am!
One more hand of note.  I had A/J of hearts and called a pre-flop raise by “Raisy Daisy”.  Heckle only called the raise (remember, this is limit, the raise pre-flop can only be two bucks).  Ace on the flop, plus two hearts.  Turn is a blank but the river is 8 hearts, which is the second 8 on the board.  So I had to be a little concerned about a full house beating my nut flush, especially in a limit game.  Heckle bets the river, pre-flop raiser calls, I raise.  Heckle and other guy call.  Pre-flop raiser had pocket 9’s and should have gotten out a long time ago.  Heckle showed AK and was really upset.  He said I was behind the whole way and said I sucked out on him….I “chased it down.”  He said he wished he was playing No Limit so he could have bet me off of it.
I tried to point out that not only did I flop top pair, decent kicker but I flopped the nut flush draw.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  He wouldn’t listen. This was another really big pot for a 2/4 game.  He wouldn’t stop pissing and moaning about it.  Again, I reminded him I flopped the nut flush draw, and then he got mad because he said I didn’t have the nuts.  He’s right, I didn’t have quad 8’s.  I told him I had the nut flush and tried to make the distinction, but he was too upset to listen.  I even asked the dealer to confirm that I was right, I had the nut flush even though I didn’t have the nuts.  But Heckle wasn’t in a mood to listen.
I guess I’m making it out like these two guys were bad guys but really they weren’t.  At least 90% of the time they were laughing and joking.  It was only when they lost a big pot that they turned sour.  Especially since every time they lost a big pot it was to me.  At one point, when they were back to being jovial, they looked at all the chips in front of me (most of which I got from them) and one of them said, “Well, with your winnings, at least you can get laid tonight, Phil.”  I just laughed.
The whole table was chatty and fun, led by Heckle & Jeckle.  One topic of conversation was movies, and there was a debate about what Natalie Portman’s first movie was. I neither remember nor care about the answer—a cell phone was used to confirm—and Heckle said something to the effect that Portman was a beautiful woman but she had absolutely no breasts whatsoever.  He made several comments to the effect that she had gone far as an actress without actually having any breasts.

A bit later, Heckle & Jeckle started bitching about the waitresses refusing to serve them shots. And then he made the rather bizarre statement, “Not being able to get shots in Vegas is like getting in trouble for showing tits in Vegas.”  Suddenly I was getting the impression that Heckle was “obsessed with bosoms,” (unlike me).  Especially when soon thereafter I heard him brag, “My wife has the world’s greatest tits.”  Jeckle confirmed this.  He said “they are real and they are spectacular.”  Brent was dealing at this point and he said, “Oh, like Terry Hatcher on Seinfeld.”  Yes, they agreed, except Mrs. Heckle’s breasts were truly spectacular.
Jeckle said that not only had he seen Mrs. Heckle’s tits, but he had actually had the thrill of motor-boating them.  And this was with the encouragement of Heckle.  Heckle pointed out that his wife will go “topless or even naked in public” at the drop of a hat.  He insisted that was true, and then, to back it up, he took out his cell phone and started looking for some pics.  He indicated he had no problem with his wife doing this at all, he had no problem with anyone seeing his wife’s tits, just as he had no problem with his friend not only seeing his wife topless (at least) but motor-boating her.
First he showed a pic of two naked women, and after insisting that this was his wife and her best friend, admitted that he was kidding and that this was just a porn pic.  But then he showed me a close-up of a huge tit, completely out of a dress, completely exposed (yes, I could see the nipple, plain as day).  Heckle insisted, and Jeckle backed him up, that this was really his wife’s bare breast.  After he showed me, he passed the phone around for all the guys at the table to see. Even Brent (our dealer), got a peak.
When he got the phone back he was involved in a couple of hands, then began to start fumbling around with his phone again.  He said he was going to find a fully nude pic of his wife that she sent him this morning from a girl’s night out that took place the day before as he and his pal arrived in Vegas!  However, before he could get the picture, somehow, a female floorperson, had somehow gotten wind of him passing around the prior topless pic and came over to him.  She said that he had to stop doing that.  She didn’t say what “that” was but it was clear that she somehow knew about him passing around the topless pic, and perhaps the pornstar pic before that.  She said that such activity might “offend” someone.
Interesting.  There were no women at this table, and I don’t think any of the guys would be upset, and if they would be, they could have passed on it.  But, I can see from the casino’s point of view that they might not want such activity at the poker table.  Whatever.  So he had no choice but to put the phone away.  If he really was about to show us a totally naked pic of his wife, I’ll never know for sure.
A down or two later, Samuel came to deal.  Samuel is generally one of the less talkative dealers, but every once in awhile he snaps off a wickedly witty comment.  So somehow, the discussion turned back to Heckle and his wife’s allegedly amazing breasts. Of course I had to tell Samuel that Heckle had actually shown most of us at the table, including Brent, a picture of his wife topless. Samuel of course was interested in that, and asked the guy if he could see the picture.  But he refused, telling him that the “mean” floorperson said it was offensive and he couldn’t show any more risqué pictures at the table.
Samuel instantly replied, “That’s not fair.  Show one, show all.”
Not long after, the Heckle and Jeckle had decided they’d lost enough money for the night—most of it to me—and took off, never to be seen again.  But since I had most of their money, it was a very good night—in more ways than one—for me.