Thursday, December 15, 2005


Mmmmmm, blogger flu, what a wonderful thing. I’m not really complaining, though. It’s my own damn fault for hugging people even though I knew they weren’t feeling well. It also gave me the excuse I needed to stay home today. It’s nice to sit, write, and watch all of my DVR’d Family Guy episodes I haven’t seen yet while running a fever. Before I even get this thing started, just let me say that my sleep deprived and other-than-sober condition the entire time may lead to several omissions and/or miscellaneous story fuck-ups. Feel free to correct me if necessary.

Arriving in Vegas, all signs pointed to good. The line at the taxi stand was short and moving quickly, and after grabbing our bags we were off to the IP in less than 20 mins. Our cab driver was seriously kicking ass, and not one to put up with any shit from the Las Vegas traffic he took us on a ride through a maze of rear casino roads and tunnels that I couldn’t even begin to recollect. Good cabbies definitely have an underappreciated skillset. The entrance to the IP had me a bit worried. The line was long and it looked at if the Harrah’s renovations were no shit underway. However, the check-in staff was friendly and efficient and before we knew it we were off to find our room.

Whoever designed the IP must have been on some kind of Escher bender minus the artistic bent. I have paranoid tendencies and the layout of the IP only served to inflame those, convincing me that the only purpose of the place was to study how people move in a convoluted environment. Our room was one of the non-renovated and was a bit run down, but the bed was serviceable and one can’t really complain for $30/night.

First things first, must find poker room. It wasn’t the greatest, but hell, it certainly wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen in my life. Relieved that things weren’t as bad as the reviews that I read, Rachel and I headed to the Burger Palace which had burgers but was definitely not a palace. If you are like me and are inclined to being large this may not be the best choice for comfortable seating. I was about an inch away from being actually squeezed into the booth. We spent a bit of time talking to Shelly, and then decided to roam around for a bit and siesta prior to the MGM mixed game get together. Touring the IP floor we spotted BadBlood who looked a little beat sick…again. I was feeling for the guy because he has been kicked in the junk more times in Vegas than one person really ever should be, unless of course it’s Grubby, who has also been on the receiving end of vicious beats for far too long. I predict big wins for both on the next trip—they are both great players who are due. I know that someone can not really be “due”, but I’m going with it anyway.

Once Rachel and I were amidst the clanking, blinging, and general dealertainer mayhem the idea of a nap took a quick back seat. So if we weren’t going to nap, what the hell now?


Let me back up for a second. Speaking of cocktails, I spent $30 on a (small) bottle of Hennessy at the IP, only to find it at the Aladdin convenience store a couple of days later cheaper by a full third. I’m an impatient idiot, but I know now why they could give us the cheap rooms :)

We settled on a couple of Heinekens and some video poker, and it wasn’t long until I heard, “Look at the size of that freakin’ head!”

Spaceman had arrived with his lovely wife, also named Rachel and good times at the Geisha bar ensued. I was nice to get some quality time hanging out with both of them and talking about the high hopes everyone has for the upcoming year. None of us had any idea at the time how much awesomeness (can I use that word?) was in store.

I was a few (about 10) cocktails deep at the MGM when Rachel tapped me on the shoulder for $10 so she could challenge F-Train to a little Roshambo. I was a little nervous at the prospect-I remembered tales of his Roshambo skills, but whatthefuck, it’s Vegas, right? Rachel-1 F-Train-0. I’m rich, bitch!

High on the sweet combination of alcohol, a free $10, and my lady getting into the gambling spirit, I heard someone mention Phil Gordon being in the poker room. I can’t remember who had the idea first, but I began pushing her to go challenge him. She demurred, as she always does, and I pulled out a C-note to show her I wasn’t kidding. Joe Speaker quickly added the extra necessary backup pressure with a C-note of his own.

“I’ve got some of that action!”

That settled it. No way was I letting her skills go to waste with such an obvious opportunity in front of us. Besides, it’s not like Phil is going to snub a hot blond chick. They say that luck is nothing more than preparation meeting opportunity. We had the opportunity and I dare say the beer couldn’t have had us better prepared.

With Joe and I basically forcing her in front of us, we arrived at the NL table where Phil was playing. I tapped him on the shoulder and upon turning around and seeing us it was too late for Rach to back out. She found her sack and smacked the $200 on the table, uttering one thing, “Roshambo.”

“You want to Roshambo for $200?” asked Phil while swiftly stacking 8 green chips and standing up. He was every bit as tall as you’ve heard.

“What rules are we playing? 2 out of 3? Best of 7? The questions were rapid-fire, designed to intimidate and get in her head. I proudly looked on, as Rachel was having none of this.

“Two out of three, let’s go,” she said while holding out her tiny fist.

1,2,3! Scissors vs. Paper. Rachel-1. I scream out, “Oh, SNAP!”

1,2,3! Rock vs. Paper. Phil Gordon-1. Oh boy.

1,2,3! Rock vs. Rock. Tie. Tension mounting, people are getting quieter.

1,2,3! Rock vs. Rock. Tie. Tension is high now. All I can do is mutter, “C’mon baby. Get this motherfucker…” Joe leaned over, “Don’t worry dude, she’s got him.”

1,2,3! Paper vs. Rock. Rachel-2 and the WIN! Flurry of high-fives and I pick up Rach while screaming something to the effect of “That’s my lady!” I’m sure I made quite an ass of myself, but even as I sit here and write about it in a sober condition I still don’t care. It was beautiful. Joe summed it up best….

“Greatest gambling moment of my life.”

Mine too, sir, mine too. Truly a night for the people.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hanging on by a thread

We're home now, safe and sound. Okay, safe, but certainly less than sound. I feel like a Yugo that decided playing chicken with an 18-wheeler would be a good idea. I will be spending the next few days perusing the specials at Lungs-n-Livers R Us and hope I can stave off whatever disease that carrier monkey Gracie was incubating.

Upon arriving in Vegas, I believe that a brain will quickly divide its inter-cranial territory up into two regions. One half I’ll call “Reasonable”, and the other I’ll brand as “Ridiculous”. This is always what I think of when I hear someone talking about “R & R” in Vegas. You start out in the middle between the two, but sooner or later the juggernaut of Vegas forces you off the road to one side or the other. This being our Christmas trip after a difficult and annoying year, we went ahead and took the “Ridiculous” exit immediately.

To wit:

Dropping the Hammer on video poker at the Geisha Bar at 8 AM after 8 Heini’s and no sleep. Time. After. Time. In retrospect, constantly drawing to the Hammer Nuts may not have been a good idea, especially considering how difficult it is to hit a Royal Flush when implementing this “they’ll never see me comin’” strategy.

4.25 Days, approximately 14 hours of sleep. Upon waking I will commence documenting what was, in my opinion, the best one yet.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Brief Highlights

All right boys and girls, gather around for a little story. It’s gonna be a great one. You might laugh, you might cry, but most likely you will just be confused. Don’t’ worry yourself, though, you won’t be any more confused than I am at the moment.

The total trip time for the Mrs. and me is about 4.25 days. It is now about 4:30 PM on Day 3 (Monday) and I’ve been up for the last 38 hours, moving for about 30 of those. Sitting here at the wobbly table in our hotel room, I am having trouble coming up with words to describe the whirlwind of the last three days and there is still over a full day left to go. Here are a couple of tidbits…

--(Friday) You knew this was coming, but I found myself Human-Bobbleheaded drunk at the MGM mixed game. Poker played on Friday=0. I did get to meet Daddy, though, a rare and important event. That guy is a role model.
--(Friday) Mrs Head wins a $20 Roshambo match with F-Train (former blogsphere master champeen and all around helluva guy). Joe and I each put $100 on her to challenge and beat Phil Gordon at Roshambo. She does so with style in front of a packed poker room. I vaguely remember yelling “Oh, tits!” or “Oh, snap!” or something to this effect and then carrying her on my shoulders for a small victory lap. I’m a fookin’ reatard. Phil Gordon=Tilted. DonkeyPuncher really is Usher. Thanks, Commish!
--(Saturday) The tornado finally touched down (what other metaphor did you expect me to use? I’m live in fuckin’ Kansas) and the day goes by in a complete blur with all of the tourney festivities. The highlight of my day was taking $5 off Wil when I picked StudioGlyphic for the win. Thank God I actually scratched out a few notes, because the bar was open like a porn star with a deep itch to scratch. Worry not, we beat that thing inside out. The only poker of the day was played in the tournament, where I exited around 63rd. Poorly played on all streets is all I can say about that, but I did drop the hammer on Shelly.
--(Sunday) Betting on horses at the sportsbook and hanging out with the group. There was a lot of pain as, once again, the Chiefs choked and I didn’t hit a single damn horse. Licked my wounds at 3950 in Mandalay Bay with Mrs. Head, BG, Bill Rini, THG, April, and PokerProf. I’ll have my thoughts on the restaurant in a few days, but the one thing I do know is that our waitress made at least $300 in tips from that meal. Brutal but worth it.
--(Monday, 9 AM) I haven’t slept the entire night. Played craps with Mrs. Head, Jen Leo, Biggestron, CJ, Travis, Royal, Jaxia, and Pauly at the Casino Royale after a bender in the AlCanthang Crew Penthouse. Left at around 3 AM (maybe it was later) to continue bending and ended up in a 2/4 game at the IP with Iggy, TP, Pauly, Derek, Jaxia, and later in the early morn, GeekandProud. Ridiculous pots. I counted a total of four hands that weren’t live-straddled and played in the dark. Suckout donkey fun of the highest caliber, with the extra bonus being the extreme tilt of four different 2/4 pro’s who were sitting at the table when we took it over. Left the game at about 6 AM or so and drank Hieneken with the boys until about 11. I have finally earned my degenerate merit badge for this trip.

Of course, this is brief. So, so damn brief. Besides, it’s hard to write much more when all I can do is sit here and hope that at sometime in my life I will see my ultimate dream realized; Hot-swappable feet. Mine hurt so bad I feel like I’m walking around on nubs. If my vision was clearer, I might be able to check. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to head out again to drop the hammer on an unsuspecting video poker machine (I’ve got pics, but I have to wait to post them because I forgot the cable from my camer.). first trip report installment should be sometime Thursday if I’m still alive.

At 39 hours, I’ve got $20 on Death to win.