Thursday, February 28, 2019

"I Put The Over/Under at 2-1/2....."

The Nightmare Before—And After—Christmas
Chapter 11

Warning:  This post will have some actual poker content!  That's right, even though this post is the next chapter in my car troubles saga, I have decided to include my New Year's Eve festivities—in an actual casino, playing poker—as part of it.  Up until now, I've skipped over the parts where I got to a poker room to play, planning on catching up with those stories later.  But for this night only, I will discuss my long poker session that took place immediately after the lost radiator cap incident.  It makes sense, because I was only in Vegas to play on this night because of the car problems.  And besides, I know you folks are all hungry for some poker content by now, right?  Oh, and I just might have a few words to say about the scantily clad young ladies dressed to the nines for NY's Eve as well.

As a reminder, the previous chapter can be found here.  And you can find all the posts in this epic saga using the label "Stranded in Vegas."

I left you hanging on NY's Eve, around 5:45pm, with my radiator cap secured, hoping I could make it to the MGM before they closed all the streets for the big New Year's celebration.

I decided to see if Google Maps had a suggested route that was still open.  I could see from the map they knew a lot of the roads were closed. But they suggested an interesting route, which they said was "fastest route due to road closures."  It was actually the simplest route—straight down Flamingo, turn right on the Strip, turn left at Tropicana.  Now, I spend my entire time in Vegas steadfastly avoiding driving on the Strip, it's a traffic nightmare.  So I would not normally go that way.  But the thing is, my best non-Strip routes were already closed to traffic.

I hurried to see if I could make it before they closed the Strip, which they were about to do any second.  Sure enough, the traffic going down Flamingo was incredibly light.  People were already avoiding it.  I turned on the Strip and couldn't believe it.  I practically had the street to myself.  Seriously, I had never seen the Strip that empty. It was a pleasure driving on it.  Tropicana was also light traffic, and I had no trouble turning into the MGM parking structure.  I probably made it to the garage with just minutes to spare before they closed Flamingo, Tropicana and the Strip!  Thank you, TC!

Parking was a little more difficult.  I wanted to go up to the 6th floor (instead of my usual floor, either 4 or 5) but signs said the 6th & 7th levels were closed.  Great night to close some of the parking levels, only their busiest night of the year.  Well I found a spot on the fifth floor, just not as close to the elevators as I would have liked. I knew I was pretty much stuck at MGM for the next 8-9 hours or so.

I figured I should get dinner out of the way before starting to play.  There was really only one decent option for me.  I didn't have enough comps to eat at the sports bar and it is way too overpriced for me to pay for a meal there.  The deli that replaced the Stage Deli is an abomination, terrible food at unreasonable prices.  Fortunately a year or two ago they put in a Subway just before you enter (or exit) the parking garage.  It would have to do.

The good thing about the Subway is that they had a bunch of wrapped, plastic straws over where you got your soda (no free refills, not at a Subway in a casino, no sir). I took a few extra because I knew that it was still MGM policy not to provide straws for drinks in the casino. Finally figured out a way to beat the system.

I was at the poker room around 7 and was seated right away.  And I got lucky. I was not only sent to a table right up against the rail separating the room from the walkway, but my seat was facing all the foot traffic.  In other words, I had a prime seat for enjoying the New Year's Eve Slut Parade which was about to commence.  And damn it, after all I'd been through with the car the past 10 days, I felt entitled to a free show. 

And there was plenty to see.  Hakkasan always attracts a huge NY's Eve crowd and they were arriving early.  Now at first, a lot of the ladies were wearing pants.  Some nerve!  Actually I couldn't blame them, it was just so cold in Vegas.  But pretty much all the females I could see walking by the poker room were at risk of getting severe chest colds.  Every conceivable way to display the female breast while still keeping the outfit legal was featured this night. There was a high percentage of really attractive women, to be sure.

Before you ask (for the umpteenth time), no, I didn't get any pics.  Sorry. I always thought it was impossible, but every now and then I have tried.  I've even tried to take some video.  But it never comes out well.  And worse, trying to record it totally ruins it for me, I end up missing the action trying to document it.  It's just not something I can do.

Anyway, the guys at my table (and at this point, it was all guys), were definitely noticing the girls.  One guy said, "Don't they wear bras in Vegas?"  I saw girls obviously wearing bras, but I did see a few who definitely needed them but had apparently forgotten to put one on before leaving the house. One guy, a serious player who was only playing at this game because he was waiting for a seat at the 2-5 game, actually moved so he would have his back to the walkway so he would be less distracted.  I suppose that made sense, but if you can't have a little harmless fun while you're in Vegas on NY's Eve, what's the point?

When a female dealer pushed in, some of our comments on the girls stopped, but everyone was still enjoying the sights.  The dealer noticed and said something like, "Yeah, all these girls walking by, with just one tiny little piece of fabric covering them."

The male dealer who replaced her was certainly enjoying the view.  The dealer's seat was the perfect spot to notice the ladies.  Almost immediately after sitting down, he said, "What's the over/under on how many naked girls we're gonna see from this spot tonite?"  One of the players asked, "Naked naked?"  The dealer said, "Well not naked naked. But partially naked.  Titties falling out.  I'm gonna put it at 2-1/2 titties."  The player asked for a clarification of what he meant.  So he pantomimed where the dress might be cut down to and said they would fall out.

By that standard, I saw no titties that night.

Much later, after we had entered 2019, there was a different male dealer at the table and by now a couple of ladies had joined our table. This guy was apparently making a double-entendre having to do with something that had happened while he was shuffling or dealing the cards.  He said, to the entire table, "When I double fist…."  but he never finished his thought.  However, the woman across from me said, "Tell us more."  But he must have realized what he was saying was totally inappropriate and didn't continue the conversation.

As for the poker, it was pretty good.  It was mostly non-regs. There was one really good player from the east coast—the guy who moved so he wouldn't see the girls walking by.  The rest were pretty average or worse.  I won a few small pots but nothing major, and was about even when the big hand happened.

There was one fairly aggro at the table who built up a good stack but eventually busted out.  The other player in this hand was a newbie.  Well, he was new to brick-and-mortar.  He said he is used to playing with just his friends.  He kept making the kind of mistakes a player without much card room experience would make, like making string bets.

On this hand I called $12 from the aggro with pocket 8's.  A number of others called—it was 5 or 6 way—including the newbie.  The flop was King-10-8 rainbow.  The preflop raiser (the aggro) bet $26.  With a number of players behind me and no flush draw out there, I decided I could slow play it and just called.  It folded to the newbie who shoved $112.  The aggro tanked for a bit, finally said, "OK, let's gamble," and called.  It was back on me.

I put the newbie on one of two hands.  He either had pocket 10's and I was screwed, or he had King-10 and I was in very good shape. There was no way he was doing that with a draw, or with just top pair.  He had at least two pair or a set.  I suppose King-8 or 10-8 were possible, but I couldn't see him calling the raise with those hands.  I figured a set of  Kings was unlikely, I think he would have three-bet pre with those.  I couldn't rule it out completely, but it a set of 10's seemed so much more likely.

Of course I wasn't folding my bottom set.  The next day, when I recorded my notes, I couldn't believe I didn't shove then.  But I just called.  I wish I could explain my thought process, but I can't.

The turn was a blank and after the aggro checked, I shoved.  But he folded.  I was now heads up against the newbie.  The river also blanked and the newbie showed, King-10, just as I thought.  He was stunned when he saw my set of 8's.  But he rebought.  Meanwhile, I now was sitting behind over $400. 

At some point in the evening, before midnight, two Indians joined our table, and then things got wild.  One them had blond hair.  I dunno, but it was a bit disconcerting to see a man from India with blond hair.  The blond Indian was an absolute maniac.  Fortunately he was sitting directly on my right.  His friend was next to him.  The non-blond was a rather timid player, most likely new, and not much of a threat.  He busted out fairly soon, borrowed some money from his buddy, re-entered the game and lost that too.  Then he mostly sat behind his blond buddy and watched.

At one point, the one still playing went up to use the restroom.  And his buddy, by now just a spectator, took his seat and intended to play his friend's stack.  For some reason the dealer was distracted and didn't notice.  I had to stop her from dealing him cards by pointing out that they had pulled the switch.  "You can't do that!" I said to the guy.  "I can't?  Oh, ok."  Once the dealer realized what had happened she slid his card to me.

The blond guy was usually betting big, big preflop raises, big bets on all the streets when he stayed in a hand (which was most of the time).  He bullied people into a lot of folds, but I swear, on those rare times when he had to show, he usually had a monster.  One time he had King-Jack and flopped a boat.  He had a high variance  game to say the least.  He was spreading chips all over the table, except to me.  I was totally card dead after the set of 8's hand.

Remember the tough player who was waiting for a seat in the 2-5 game?  Well, once that guy saw the Indian putting tons of chips in play, he decided to stay in this game.  His stack went up and down, as did the Indian's.  The tough player once shoved the turn with King-high and the Indian called—with just a draw.  Of course he hit his flush on the river and a big stack of chips changed hands.  I said to the tough player, "Easy come, easy go."  He just nodded.  He wasn't upset. He knew there was a good chance he'd get them back.  And he did.

Now before the set of 8's hand, I had won a smallish pot with a set of deuces that boated up on the turn (no call on my turn bet).  I had also flopped trip deuces with 3-2 from the big blind.  Again, no call on my turn bet.  But that was earlier.  Now I was getting nothing to play.

Meanwhile, after distributing stacks around the table and rebuying a few times, the Indian's game had settled down.  Although he was still making big bets on later streets, and even shoving into very small pots, he had mostly taken to limping instead of raising preflop.  So I limped behind him with pocket 9's and it was four way.  The flop was 9-high, my third set of the night.  I bet $10 and everyone called.  The turn was a 10 and put a second diamond on the board.  I decided to bet big so I made it $75.  It folded back to the Indian and he called without a thought.

The river was the Ace of diamonds.  So now there was a flush possible.  When he checked, I decided to play it safe and checked behind.  I hadn't seen this guy do a lot of check-raising but I didn't want to be put in a difficult spot if decided to try it now.  I showed my set and he turned over Queen-7off suit.  Which meant he had nothing, absolutely nothing.  There was no Jack or 8 on the board that he could have made a straight with.  It looked like he had a pair draw.  Why the hell he called my bet on the turn with that, I have no idea.  But I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have called anything I could have bet on the river, because he had to know his Queen high wasn't good.

Last hand I'll mention, I had pocket Jacks.  The Indian opened to $20.  By this time, he was mostly limping so it was a bit of a surprise.  I think if I had gotten Jacks when he first sat down and was raising big every time, I would have three-bet.  But now I had to assume he had a pretty good hand.  There were a few callers and the flop was Ace-10-x.  He bet big and I just folded.  There was one caller and then on the turn he bet big again and took it down.  He showed his hand though he didn't have to.  Pocket 10's. So I was ahead of him pre but he would have called my three-bet and then taken the pot with his set.

Although many games broke as midnight approached and folks left to go outside to watch the fireworks in the freezing cold, our table never stopped.  It was almost always full even as the casino was mostly empty. Our dealer wondered if it was going to get busy again after the fireworks.  She was new to the room and this was her first NY's Eve. She was hoping it wouldn't so she could take an early out and leave before her scheduled time of 3am.  But I told her it was going to get real busy by 12:30.  "They are going to be opening tables left and right, watch."  Well I was right but I guess I should have told this to the folks running the room, all of whom were fairly new to the room and apparently didn't know what to expect on NY's eve.  They actually sent a bunch of dealers home during the lull and then suddenly the dealers who stayed were all working seven straight tables without a break.

After midnight this real character got into the game.  A friendly guy from Arkansas.  They must have different rules where he normally plays.  He liked to talk about his cards.  All the time.  When he was facing a bet, he'd say, "Well I got King-Queen so…"  He kept talking about what he was holding.  Was he telling the truth?  Sometimes he was.  But one time he said what he had, then actually flashed his cards.  The other player didn't see it but the dealer did and said his cards were not what he said they were.

Well all of that is strictly forbidden at MGM.  You can't talk about your cards, and you surely can't reveal them as long as there is still action pending.  The dealer warned him about this time and time again.  He didn't care. He was there to have a good time and for him that mean chatting about his cards.

He would say, "But it's heads up. I've got Ace-3."  He was told he couldn't say that even if it was heads up.  "Well, I don't believe that. I'm talking about my cards."  The floor was called and warned him sternly.  He didn't say anything and then when the floor left he went right back to saying what his cards were.

The more he was warned, the more pissed off he got. He started swearing.  "I don't care what the f*** they say, I'm talking about my cards."

The other players didn't mind of course.  In addition to all this information he was giving us, he also was dropping numerous buy-ins and reloading.  I'm pretty sure he had quite a few alcoholic beverages before joining us to celebrate the new year.

But eventually they did kick him out.  He didn't go quietly, shouting, "They're mother-f***ers."  One of the women at the table said, "Hey, you can call me a mother-f***er if you're giving me your money."

I grew tired of being so card dead and more importantly, I was just plain tired.  So I cashed out up $225. 

It was still too early for the roads to have reopened, so I wandered around, enjoying the view.  There were provocatively dressed young ladies everywhere, most of them quite attractive. I saw one young lady sitting down in her very short dress, and for a brief second I thought I noticed that she wasn't wearing any underwear.  Being a gentleman, I looked away immediately so as not to see something that should be only be seen by her future husband (or, her gynecologist).  So I really can't be sure if perhaps she was just wearing flesh-colored undies.

I guess it was around 3am when I saw that all the roads had been reopened and I could get back to the Gold Coast easily.  And fortunately, the car was still behaving fine and I made it back there without incident.

And that's it for this chapter. I'm not sure, but I think I will be able to wrap up this saga in one or two more chapters.  But since I haven't listened to my recordings yet, and it has been awhile at this point, don't hold me to it.  We'll just have to see.  Back soon.  (Edited to add:  Yes!  Our long national nightmare is over.  I was able to wrap it up with one last chapter, and you can find that chapter here.)


  1. You post for years about the parade and then look away when things get interesting? What the heck? 😛

  2. Would the lady holding the pink bag and the lady in the middle happen to be sisters? Sisters are hot!

    1. Maybe they are mother/daughter? How does that fantasy work for you, Lester?

    2. Hmmmm... gotta say nope. I am still leaning towards sisters in the pic.

  3. Wasn't wearing underwear?! OMG . You got FLASHED!! And, in Vegas...awesome. I gotta agree with Lightning .. you tease us with the parade and don't give us the punchline.

    1. Hmmmm....really? We have to discuss this further!