The [bl]og of Poker
We leave tomorrow morning for Las Vegas, taking with us only that which fits into carry-on luggage, and a p-h-a-t cashier check.
I am officially in Vegas mode, having checked-off the remaining items off the 'Ease-into-Vegas' manual:
- Acquired party-pack of Migraine medication, chapstick and gum from Costco;
- Located cell phone charger, backup sunglasses and all 9 casino player cards;
- Achieved Jedi status for complete disregard of money (by going to Nordstroms and buying a ridiculously overpriced Movado for SuperGirl that I knew was half the price at Costco);
- Asked neighbor to safe-keep all credit and ATM cards in an undisclosed location until my return;
- Using 7 towels to dry myself off after coming out of the shower;
- Chanted the "I-won't-buyin-for-more-than-2k-at-any-blackjack-table" mantra while forcing myself awake after 3 hours sleep;
- Anesthetized all intellectual, rational and real-world thoughts and emotions;
- Wrote myself self-affirmation notes (a-la-Phil Helmuth) and affixd them randomly onto household appliances, and on the backs of our dogs.
I've taken the following reading material for inspiration, pool time and down time:
"Whale Hunt In The Desert" and "Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King"
SuperGirl has taken her 3K bankroll (in cash) broken down in the following manner:
- 1K in shopping;
- 1K for "private" Pai-Gow time (no idea what that means and I'm scared to ask);
- $500 in spa time (I hope I can get that comped); and
- $500 in gifts for her family back in Florida (SuperGirl is benevolent even when she's not working).
So that's that. We're going into the Space-Time Continuum that is Las Vegas, and hopefully, I'll never come back.
That’s not so bad given that the amount is fairly nominal a swing in a game of this limit. What is *bad* is that I’d been up over a thousand $! I attribute my loss to over-bluffing. I was called by bottom pair at least 4 different times by 4 different opponents, each time with a dangerous board exposed. It’s not like I never showed any good cards either, so I don’t know what’s what … anyone know of a good plumber??
I tell you … leaks notwithstanding, there’s a ton of evidence pointing me to reason that luck has more to do with results than it does to skill. I know … typical exhaust from a losing player, right? I don’t know. I say the same thing when I win too – so, I’m not sure what to think. I can’t wait until someone puts out a well thought-out treatise on the true role luck plays in Poker.
Countdown continues … Just 8 more days until Vegas…Currently, I’m going through extensive deliberations with myself on the exact bankroll I intend on filing. Other than deciding between taking SuperGirl to Jaguars or Sapphires, the bankroll dilemma is the most crucial puzzle to piece prior to departure.
As of this thought, I plan on 10K – deposited ideally ahead of time. This may seem too much for some, not enough for others. Just about right for me, my love of Sushi, Craps, Pai-Gow and Poker.
When I deposit 10K into the Paris cage, the host and VIP department know I’m not fucking around and have little intention on spending my time elsewhere playing nickel video poker – at least not at the onset. This gives me a touch of leverage with respect to my “implied comp odds” (this is a poker blog after all) – I check-in through VIP, they see I’ve got 10K at the cage, and suddenly, my request for the LeMans suite accompanied by a $20 doesn’t sound so outlandish. If a suite isn’t “available”, perhaps impromptu passes for shows or spas might materialize.
I will go with a cashier check. I’ve heard people disagree with this move, but here’s my logic:
Cashier check will allow me to write markers at Bally and Paris; it will help me avoid carrying too much cash and impulsive purchases, i.e. lap dances; force me to gamble responsibly at other casinos where my markers won’t be honored; provide me with very official statements of session wins and losses for self accounting and tax purposes, and best of all, should I leave a winner, my cashier’s check returned to me, plus a very nice and easy-to-carry casino drawn check for the difference (up to the value of my cashier check of course).
This should come with a disclaimer… but, for now, I will use 4K for table games, 4K for poker (including tournaments) and 2K for NFL and MLB betting (go Cards!).
SuperGirl’s bankroll requirements are amusing, and deserving of an entry unto themselves – which I’ll save for tomorrow, with hopefully, more beautiful shots of the most delicious super hero ever to grace this desert's landscape!
Blue Ribbons are AWESOME!
Seems a picture says a thousand words and inspires many more. Flush with the joy and sense of accomplishment stemming from having been awarded the first Blue Ribbon of my career, I am faced with the daunting task of a follow-up. I may have established precedence that transcends obligation! It's actually a tremendous honor to be recognized by a site as prestigious and comprehensive as OddJack -- even if it's more to do with SuperGirl than it is with how to play tough pocket pairs in early position.
Though many transients to this site will no doubt seek more pictures of SuperGirl, they will have to yawn through this brief passage until SuperGirl actually gets her bikinis out of storage (what exactly her bikiniÂs are doing in storage in the dead of summer is alas another post entirely).
Exactly 2 weeks and counting Â this amount of time is grueling. Seems the close the date approaches, the more I sense days pass in dog time. So, letÂs call it 14 dog weeks and spare any further discussion on anticipation levels.
From the Ease-into-Vegas manual, IÂve managed to get through steps 1 through 5:
1) Completed required movie viewing;
2) Handsomely tipping random people for any act of kindness, consideration or general humanity;
3) Lighting fire to small and medium valued paper currency with progressively increased disregard;
4) Paid SuperGirl $40 for a 2 minute lap dance in front of the (appalled) neighbors while reciting remedial gaming theory;
5) Evening out the daily shots-of-alcohol to hours-of-sleep ratio;
Thanks for reading.
Poker, Plasma and Bikinis
Where have I been .... No excuses. No reasons. Well, teeny tiny reason if I may:
We’re going to Vegas in 14 days and frankly, I needed to step away from Pokerworld to help preserve the ever crucial bankroll by not reading the mass of superb Blog content or indulging in my own degenerate-tipped weekly entries. Three weeks of not succumbing to dumping $1000 into my online Poker account for some spontaneous 15/30 H/E game.
As you might have guessed, I splurged a week ago with $500 at PokerStars to play some 10/20 H/E. I played horribly. I played as though I wanted to bad beat anyone who bet. Crazy stuff. I chased, bluffed and called my way into a $500 hole.
I added another $500 (intervention anyone?) and played noticeably (from my POV) much better. Granted, I played very conservative, but still an improvement from my last dead-end stretch. But it seemed to work. Actually, my cards played me because I was really getting wonderful cards which really just played themselves.
When I won my original $500 back, I moved to a 15/30 table because as every gambler knows, you gotta know when to pump! It was around 1:30 AM (PST) -- aka, (DST -- Desperation Standard Time if you’re on the East coast).
This is the time of night where you tend to see some very peculiar things, amazingly, irrespective of the table limit. I played another 2 hours going from short-handed table to short-handed table, usually meeting-up with the same obnoxious players, playing in their familiar self-loathing, erratic, recklessness.
Or, maybe I just got lucky with cards and zombie-like opposition. I finished by day break (PST), and was up over $1800 and had earned enough points to buy SuperGirl a few sleeveless top with my FFP. Along the way, I took screen shots of some of the laugh-on-your-ass chatter, commentary and showdowns, hoping to post them here for posterity and Blog cred., but SuperGirl got in the way.
She woke-up as she normally does to take the dogs out and enjoy her coffee in their affectionate company. She was pissed to have had to sleep the whole night without me (I know... it's hard to be me), but changed her tune when she did a little root cause analysis (that answers the all too curious question of ‘where does he write this crap from?’).
Without hesitation, she says to "cash out" and go to Costco to buy a "cool" 42' Plasma she'd seen a day earlier. She said we could take our current 36' Toshiba tube and convert it into a full time Xbox server. She's so Super, that SuperGirl... she knows exactly how to frame things just the right way.
Cost: $1700 including a $300 coupon voucher.
Bigger Cost: Not being able to play again for a while (after all, I couldn't justify buying a $1700 plasma T.V with poker winnings, then blowing an unrelated grand or so on more buy-ins, only to possibly lose more if the looming Vegas trip's bankroll took a larger than expected hit).
Even Bigger Cost: Not being able to brag about it online (since doing so would only spur me to play again) or post illustrious evidence of my achievements.
Statute of limitations from what I recall reading some time ago on Pokerworld-abstinence is 3 weeks, or an impending trip to Vegas, which ever is shorter! So, with that said... I'm back though nothing really big (or small) happened.
Now, as susceptible as I am to SuperGirl's considerable charms to get what she wants, I made an agreement with her that were we to buy our Plasma, she'd have to allow me to post pre-Vegas bikini try-outs, preferably in front of the Plasma itself ! And with that said, allow me to present the lineup of Bikinis SuperGirl is evaluating for our trip.
part II - On The Road BACK
The play if fast and serious. About 45 minutes after I arrive, I win my first pot with a set of Kings (trumping 2 other players each holding 2 pairs).
Thereafter, the table is evenly matched, pots going uncontested, chips changing hands evenly and consistently. No player has less than $500 and no player appears ready for a table change or dinner reservations. Seems everyone has fallen into a rhythm of play which even new incoming dealers take few moments to which to adjust. You could teach a clinic with the moves being demo'd.
After 3 hours, I'm about $270 to the good (thanks mostly to that aforementioned set and some overall aggressive play), and thinking that this might be the best suited table for me to set-up camp for the night.
Suddenly, a guy from a neighboring table (limit unknown) closes in on me, still on his chair. I brace myself for what I expect to be a request for a loan, or a solicitation to exchange the remaining morsels of his Hot&Sour soup for my fruit platter.
Instead, he calmly tells me in his charming Alabama patois that he'd appreciate I stop staring at his girlfriend unless I intend on asking her out. !!!
Look, I don't even know where his girlfriend is seated.
I do know this: There's no woman in the previous 3-4 hours who's come under my immediate scope worth a look, let along a continuous gaze. Most of the women are at the 3-6 or 4-8 games, completely outside the criteria of my sensitive radar, and this day, from what I could see with limited vision, is they are nearly indistinguishable from their male counterparts.
I am a master at avoiding confrontation thanks to the Ph.D I earned when working all those customer support jobs. So, I take a good 15 seconds to look around the room, check for a hidden camera, look for friends getting premature for April Fools Day, look at my watch ... just about anything to buy myself some time and prevent an emotionally charged response from escaping uncontrollably.
Finally, I tell the guy how sorry I am, and that it won't happen again. He looks shocked that I would respond this way... probably as shocked as I was when he asked me to stop looking at his imaginary girlfriend in the first place. He takes his chair back from whence he came and tightens his Crimson Tide cap on his head.
I'm in seat 4, and the guy in seat 5 upon hearing this little exchange tells me he would've handled "Beau" a little differently (I'm paraphrasing of course).
Not sure if I'm more surprised that seat#5 is on first name basis with 'Beau', or that maniac's name is actually 'Beau'. Either way, I quickly help myself refocus on Poker and get over the whole episode by wondering how Beau prefers his name spelled. I'm thinking 'Bow' was probably implicated in that SeattleTimes Bestiality story (username/password: jbristol/jackie) and is taking it out on the most northeast looking guy in the room!...
I'm dealt 2nd best hands twice in a row, and with just over $100 remaining in front of me, I conclude that in case I'm next accused of fucking the imaginary girlfriend in front of the 'Wheel of Fortune' machines, it's best I make a timely exit from this game and from 'Bo'.
I cash out, and on my way to the exit, I see this guy staring me out the poker area.
On the road again! On the drive home, I think of a million classically witty and obnoxious things I could have said. And though each one would have made me feel like a mix between Clint Eastwood and Vince Vaughn, I'd have ended-up in very unfamiliar, unglamorous territory.
Time to think about online poker a little more seriously? May-Be!