Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Buck Naked / Stripper Tournament

This was the first tournament I played in Vegas last month.  I believe I already mentioned here that I didn't have any success, tournament-wise, during this trip.  So there will be no write ups of long tournament runs ending with a big pay day, or even me complaining about the dreaded min-cash.  But I had a few interesting experiences at some of the tournaments I played before busting out prematurely and this is one of those.

It was the Golden Nugget $150 that they had going nearly every day during the series, with a $20K guarantee.  It started at 1pm and it had a dinner break so it was pretty much ideal for me.

Anyway, the tournament started and of course the tables were not full. I was sitting at seat 6 (out of 10) and the seat on my immediate right (seat 5) was one of the empty seats.  A few hands into the first level, I hear and sense someone taking that empty seat next to me.  I didn't look at him.  And suddenly I hear a voice, "Oh and I'm sitting next to my buddy here!"  I look up and I recognized "Buck Naked."

You all remember Buck Naked, right?  That's the name I gave the author of three guest blog posts three years ago (starting with this one here) .  As Buck explained at the time, he has three hobbies: poker, cars and beers.  Well also, he has an eye for the ladies as you'll see if you check out his guest posts.  I've encountered Buck numerous times in Vegas, often around WSOP time, for obvious reasons.  And wouldn't you know, Buck, who had been in Vegas for awhile by this point, had on this day just checked into the Golden Nugget and decided to play in this tournament.  And by an amazing coincidence managed to be assigned to the seat directly to my right.  What are the odds that two players, neither of whom lives in Vegas but know each other through the magic of the internet, end up sitting next to each other at the same tournament (when there's a bunch of fairly similar tournaments going on around town at the exact same time)?

Anyway, Buck and I spent some time catching up, it had been at least a year since we'd seen each other in person.  But he is a loyal fan of my blog so he was fairly up-to-date with what I've been up to.  And it didn't take Buck too long for him to announce to the whole table, "If you want to read a good blog, this guy has the best blog on the internet (pointing to me)."  Well I was a bit embarrassed but certainly appreciated the kudos.  But it always feel a little awkward whenever someone mentions my blog at the poker table.  He gave the URL but I said, "No, don’t look at it now, it'll make it too easy to play against me."

Sometime later there was a discussion of all the tournaments going on around town and Buck told everyone that I was the expert on the tournaments and knew pretty much everything about every tournament going on in town right now.  A slight exaggeration but somewhat accurate. 

Later, I was a little surprised when Buck missed another chance to give me some props.  One of the guys at the table was talking about playing at Caesars over the weekend.  And he mentioned that on Friday and Saturday night, they line up for their nightclub right in front of and around the poker room.  He said it was quite a sight to behold, all the barely dressed young ladies all lined up for the club. A really great view.

You don't say.

Well by this time I was surely expecting Buck to not only agree but point out that I was indeed the expert on this phenomenon, and had even written a few blog posts about it, and given it a name.  But although Buck agreed that it was an enjoyable experience, he didn't mention my credentials in this area.

I must admit I came close to saying something myself.  I was thinking of saying, "Yeah, I wonder if anyone has come up with a name for those girls lining up like that?"  But I said nothing.

Now perhaps Buck was just being a gentleman and didn't want to bring up The Slut Parade.  You see, there were ladies present.  Almost half of our table, four to be exact, was female.  And strangely enough, all the females were sitting right next to each other.  Seats 7-10 were all women.  The seating assignments were so weird that we kept making reference to it, it was like the men vs the women.  So perhaps Buck didn't want to offend the ladies.

Two of the ladies were rather ordinary but two stood out.  One was an overly chatty Asian lady, who arrived to the table late waiting for a slot jackpot to be paid to her (but her chips were in play).  My goodness did that woman yak up a storm.

The other lady of note was a blonde woman who looked strangely familiar to me.  As soon as she came to the table, sometime after Buck did, I was sure I'd seen her before.  I would have bet anything  that I had seen before playing poker somewhere.  In fact, I was certain that I'd played with her before, somewhere.  I never could place her in a particular room.

As I said, she was blonde, long hair pulled back. Mid-30's maybe (I'm bad estimating ages). She was wearing a loose fitting shirt, nothing even remotely sexy.  In fact it looked like she was not trying impress anyone with her appearance this particular day.  But somehow, despite the loose fitting shirt, I could tell that what was inside her shirt was, well, plentiful.
Anyway, it was a very friendly table and the ladies were all discussing their backgrounds and such and one of them asked the blonde gal where she was from and she said Vegas.  And they asked her what she did for a living and she said she was a dancer.

A dancer?  I dunno why exactly, but as soon as she said dancer I knew she was a stripper.  I mean, I didn't know it for an absolute fact, but I was like 99% sure she was a stripper.  There are other kind of dancers besides strippers, sure.  But this gal didn't look like a ballerina to me.  Or even a chorus girl.  Or a party-pit dancer, for that matter.

A little later there was a discussion about tipping.  The female dealer was saying that it is known fact that men tip better than women (something I've always heard myself).  Well the blonde dancer said that she works for tips, so she overtips.  She'll tip $10 on a $20 pot (she'd already said that she usually plays cash games instead of tournaments, except for this time of year).

Hmm….a dancer who works for tips?  Yeah, that pretty much confirmed to me that she was indeed a professional clothing remover. 

She was a fairly aggressive player.  Thus, she was the first of the ladies to bust from our table.  I saw her rebuy and play at a different table. A few minutes after she was gone, the remaining ladies were discussing her and one of them said (or perhaps asked the others) that she was probably a stripper.  They all unanimously agreed that she was.  And they were totally cool with it, totally non-judgmental.

Now I had planned to cue Buck about my suspicions when she was gone. I thought that he might not have heard the comments about her being a dancer and working for tips.  But I never got the chance before the ladies discussed it.  When I said to Buck, "Did you hear that? I was going to tell you myself."  He just nodded.

Oh, what a na├»ve fool I was.  Let's fast forward to a week or two later when I was playing at the very same tournament.  Guess who was at my table again?  No, not Buck Naked, just the blonde gal who gets buck naked professionally.  Yeah, there she was. Another strange coincidence.  This time she was wearing something a little more revealing and I could see her tramp stamp, her leg tattoos and a little bit of side boob.  If I were an oddsmaker, I'd make it a 6-1 favorite that her chest was not original factory equipment. 

Well Buck was still in town and he had texted me that he had just cashed in a tournament in another part of town.  I told him that our stripper friend was at my table again.  He texted me back that he thought she worked at a certain strip club which he named.

What th-?  How could he possibly know that?  Well, it turns out that Buck had actually had a conversation with the young woman during one of the breaks, introduced himself, and found out where she works.  Yeah, by the time I mentioned to him my suspicion that she was a stripper, he had already had a conversation with her during the break and confirmed it.  He never told me.  You dog, Buck, you dog.

Then he went on to say that she had given him her phone number. Really?  Why would a stripper give some guy her phone number?  Let's just say Buck and the stripper are not exactly close in age. 

By the time Buck and I had gotten this far in our texting, she had already busted.  I mentioned this to him but then I told him that once again, she had re-entered and was sitting at a nearby table (I guess she likes double entry). 

Now when I first heard from Buck he said he wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he was flush with cash from that tournament he'd just finished up.  He was thinking of coming downtown and joining me in the Nugget tournament.  Another possibility was driving out to Pahrump to purchase some affection legally (you know from his guest posts how wild Buck is).  Now he was thinking of a third option…..he texted the stripper to see if she might have some ideas of how he could pass the time.  Strip Poker, perhaps?

I guess he texted her before I had a chance to tell him that she was back in the tourney.  He assumed he wouldn't hear back from her and presumably got ready for a visit to the desert.  But it wasn't long before I heard back from him, telling me that she had responded and wanted to come over to his hotel room for a "private dance."

Oh, is that what the kids are calling it these days?

But she was still in the tournament and wanted to meet up with after (or perhaps another day, if she made a, you'll pardon the expression, deep run).  Buck wasn't going to wait around for what he wanted, and I am also led to believe they couldn't come to terms on what an acceptable fee would be for her private dance.  So to the best of my knowledge they never got together.

And yes, now that I've explained all this, I suppose a more accurate title for this post would be The Buck Naked/Hooker tournament, but I like the way it sounds the way I went with and when I came up with my title, I didn't really intend to reveal all these extra sordid details.  It just sort of happened.

Now, as for the poker, I'll spare most of the sad tale and just get to the last two hands for me.  Card dead the entire day, I started level 8 with a stack of $4,600 (starting stack was 15K). The blinds were 75/300/600 so you can see I was quite desperate.  So I opened shoved 8-7 offsuit.  Yeah, that's how desperate I was.  I think I was in late position so there weren't that many left who could call me.  I was called by Ace-Jack.  Well at least I had two live cards, right?  I didn't see an 8 or a 7 on the flop.  Instead, it came out 10-9-6!  Wow.  Flopping a straight there was pretty cool.  I had gotten my much needed double up.

But I was still desperate, still pretty much in shove or fold mode especially as we were almost done with that level and about to play blinds of 100/400/800.  Buck was the big blind so I was under-the gun.  With pocket 10's it was easy for me to go all-in.  It folded around to a big stack, who asked for a count (I think it was a bit under 8K, not sure).  After tanking a bit longer he called.  Then it folded to Buck who stood up, picked up his chips and announced "all-in."  He too was short stacked, but he had a few more chips than I did.

I was relieved to see the big stack flip over two 6's.  But I was really surprised to see Buck turn over Ace-Queen offsuit.  Really?  Sure that's more than good enough to open shove.  But to get it all in there after a shove and a call seemed a little questionable.  Buck later explained to me that he wanted to "chip up or leave."  So a chance to get a triple up—or be out of the tournament and move on to the next activity—really appealed to him.  I totally understand.  Sometimes when your short like that it's easy to take a big risk because you feel you have nothing to lose.

Anyway, the flop was all bricks, as was the turn. Though the turn kind of scared me—it was a King and when I first saw it, I thought it was a Queen.  No, just a King.  The Queen came on the river.  Yes, it did.  Buck took my chips, got a bunch from the big stack and got the triple up he needed.  And I got…shown the door.  My poker was over for the day.

The next day I heard from Buck.  In that hand where I busted, he was one river card away from being out himself (the big stack would have taken the rest of the chips I didn't have covered).  Instead, that Queen hit and he went on to make a huge, deep run, making the final table.  I think they ended up making a deal when they were down to five or six players and he received around a payout of around $2,500.

Poker, huh?


  1. I've always like the Golden Nugget poker room but have never been in Vegas when they have their larger tournaments. For your dinner break I am going to guess that you did not dash across the street for a dirty water $1 hotdog and some deep fried oreos for dessert?

    1. Wow, guess it's been a while since you've been in Vegas, Lester. Mermaids, the place with the cheap hot dogs, the deep fried Oreos and Twinkies has been closed for awhile now. So that wasn't option.

      When I make it to the dinner break I head over to the Subway at the Plaza for some fine dining.

    2. Oh.... that saddens my heart! I loved Mermaids. I used to dash over there for quick eats while playing poker at Binions. Not a quick option but I would like to go to Hash House a Go Go in the Plaza if it is still there? Two reasons my trips to Vegas stopped: my vacation time covered motorcycle trips in the summer and deer hunting in the late fall. Layer in that I HATE airports and flying anywhere is at the end of my list even to do something fun like going to Las Vegas.

    3. I didn't even know they had a Hash House a Go Go at the Plaza until about a month ago when I heard that some friends had eaten there. So I assume it is still there (not one of my favorite places).