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.