The flight out was mostly uneventful this time. Instead of the typical Buffalo - JFK - McCarran we usually get stuck with, our first stop was Cleveland, which made the flight seem a lot shorter. I got an aisle seat, seated with a skinny person, and after delving back into "Insomnia" by Steven King (which I promised EB I'd try again a year ago), I got so engrossed that the next thing I knew I was hearing the captain say "15 minutes until landing". About my only complaint was that I started coming down with a sinus infection the day before leaving, so my head stayed at sea level pressure for the whole 33,000' climb. It was disorienting and quite painful, though it eventually "popped", which happened with such intensity it caused me to jump in surprise. (The same thing happened on descent, and I was not pleased).
We stayed at the Monte Carlo, my first on-strip stay. Being such a country boy I much prefer the solitude of The M, but it's hard to complain about a free, paid-to-be-there vacay to an adult play land. The rooms weren't at fancy as The M, but I found little to complain about. The beds were comfy, the showers were warm, and everything was clean. I was set.
After a quick settle and change of clothes, I met the big bosses at The Pub for some eats. We all got burgers and, at the urging of my boss, a Captain and Coke. I had assumed I'd get a nice sippin' beverage; what I got was about 5oz of Captain with a drop of coke. You know, "for color" ;) The food was great, but that drink waged a war with the double dose of vicodin I had on the plane ride, and I was torqued up in short order. I mostly walked around for the rest of the night in a cloud of warm and fuzzy thoughts, checking out the various game offerings and trying to get a lay of the land. I was too tired to count, couldn't find the Pai Gow, and nothing else was drawing me in. I eventually settled on sitting at a slot bank, smoking and watching the parade of interesting characters wandering to and fro as they went about their nights. Sometimes I wish I was a little fly, and could follow these people to see where they come from and where they go. What a circus!
A message from my friend AcesandEights reminded me I had the counting competition the next day, so I started banging through decks. Even in my stupor, I was putting down sub 10sec times, and I was pleased. I decided to tuck in early at about 11p to ensure I woke fresh as a daisy for my first day of work and I settled down with a little TV, a luxury I haven't experienced in a good long time. Unfortunately, a Duck Dynasty marathon was on, and I stayed up til 4a watching my kinfolk's exploits. The 6a wakeup call came fast that night.
It was a rough Monday morning, but a good shower put me to rights. Athough I'm typically bald, as many here know, I don't cut my hair at all from Sept to April if I can get away with it. At home, it's no biggie, but here, I had to look presentable. I had to do my hair for the first time in 15 years, and it sucked balls. After about 20 minutes I decided to stop being such a woman and headed out.
The day started with a trip to the Mob Museum, which I found informative and entertaining. I'm not much on that kind of stuff, but they've done quite a bit of work on the showcase inside. I just kind of browsed most things and it still took over an hour to get all the way through. If one were to sit and watch all the presentations and videos, you could probably kill half a day in there. If that type of stuff turns you on, definitely head uptown and check it out. Just be advised, there is one room dedicated to the violence, which you can bypass by a well marked door. If you don't bypass, you will be subject to several pictures of half-heads and copious amounts of gore.
Work was only a half day and consisted entirely of a Director's meeting, in which nothing of interest to y'all happened. After it was over, we did a quick turnaround to get changed and come back for the kickoff party and counting competition. The party contained some line dancing and cowgirls, which completely took my attention for the most part. You can have the large chested cocktail waitresses, I'll take the girl two-steppin' in the cowboy boots all day ;) Before I knew it, I had completely bombed the competition and was chatting away with one of these fine ladies, already 5 deep into free drink night and completely forgetting about, well, just about everything =)
My earlier ingestion of another vicodin as well as antibiotics was forgotten as I downed drink after drink, and by the time the party wound down, I was flying high. Based on the time of their own reports, I believe I stumbled past Wiz and Ahigh at the Craps table, on my own journey into adventures unknown. The crew I was with were my bosses, one directly (2 positions above me), and the others of the whole department (4 positions above me). By the time we made it back to the Monte, I had enough on them all for a 2 week paid vacation =D It was a laugh riot and a shit show if I ever saw one, and a great way to get in good with upper management. If you can get your Director hammered, I suggest you do it lol.
We got changed and meandered the tables. I'm told I lost $100 in about 5 minutes, a fact I must assumed happened based on my view of my roll the following morning. I assume it was BJ as I can't imagine playing anything else, but really, it's anyone's guess. We went for a strip walk, and our route is fuzzy at best. I remember going up and down escalators, bumping into bums, and generally oogling all the sights. Is City Center the building that's all leany and crooked? I took one look at that and almost fell down the stairs; for a solid minute the Director had me convinced it was actually straight and I was just all muffed up lol. We wound in and out of casinos, eventually stopping at the Bellagio for a round where I had some good strong whiskey, a decision I should've thought twice about.
As the heat of the whiskey sank into my depths, the fire lit up my whole body. Something about it was so focusing and centering, and my night completely changed. It took me out of the drunken, happy-go-lucky stupor and put me in full SD mode. Everything came into focus, and anyone I saw look at me or come in my direction was a threat. Almost immediately, we headed outside an came across a junkie in his 20s holding a sign. It read "Fuck You! Give Me A $1!". My bosses, being ex-military and drunk, went into jarhead mode and said something shitty to the guy, who immediately engaged them with his junkie talk and began following and harassing them. I was an arms length behind, fully locked on target and about to drop a crow-hopped elbow into the back of this turkey's skull. He kept tugging at my boy trying to get his attention, and I noticed him holding a beer bottle, which I marked as a weapon. His jabber went on and on; my other boss, a woman, went to grab at my arm for support and I shook her off, ready to spring on this wackjob. The junkie then tried paying my boy, for reasons unknown, pulling ratty bill after ratty bill out of his pocket and outstretching it to him. After 5 or so attempts, his last offer caused him to spill beer on my boy, and my mind flashed bright "GYPSY". I looked for his other hand, seeing where it went after this distraction, and couldn't see it past his body. My boss backed up with arms up, and I stepped through the guy, bumping him to the side and turned to face him, stopping him from following us. The two guys who were being bothered kept up the dialog while walking, telling him to get lost, and I just glared at him, noticing the bottle in his right and left in his pockets. The junkie kept up his spiel but stopped walking, lest he walk through me, as the rest of my party kept on moving. Not once did the guy look at me, he just kept up his prattling. Eventually I heard my name being called, and I turned and walked away, keeping my eye on the loon via the reflection in the safety glass.
That was the last thing I remembered that night. Based on my text log, I made it to my room around 4a and woke up naked and alone. 2 hours later, my alarm went off. Time to start the day...
I hope there is more ....like a day 3. lol
There is. But I just woke up from a 5hr nap after being up for 36 hours and I'm spent. I'll finish tomorrow.
And this is for a competition for the best card-counters in the country? haha It sounds like you're constantly wasted so far. ;)
This is for the World Gaming Protection Conference, which does hold a counting competition as a "fun event" during the welcome party. I usually don't drink while at "work", but after my Wisconsin trip (chronicaled over on DT) I thought I could manage. I couldn't lol. That was my last night of drinking.
Unfortunately, a Duck Dynasty marathon was on, and I stayed up til 4a watching my kinfolk's exploits.
Funniest show on TV.
I hope the competition you didn't do well on wasn't the counting competition.
Wandering around an unfamiliar city in a drug and alcohol blackout and initiating confrontation with the mentally unstable. Be careful out there, Face.
Tell me about it. I'm certainly the last person to go around initiating with anyone, but when the shit does starts, I'm usually the first to intervene. I think it comes from my defender mind frame, I can't ever sit back and watch something happen. Fortunately I was left with only a story, and didn't soak a shank on a walkway above the strip.
Funniest show on TV.
I hope the competition you didn't do well on wasn't the counting competition.
It was. I bombed right out in the first round. No excuses, I just mucked it.
didn't soak a shank on a walkway above the strip.
After my two hour sleep, I woke up still quite drunk. I fell twice that morning; once while putting on my shoes, again while taking them off. Why'd I take them back off? Because after I put them on I realized I wasn't yet wearing pants =p
The first conference was a "How I Did It" by Don Johnson, the guy who pulled $15mm out of Atlantic City. It was unremarkable, basically an hour long self promo of how he got into gaming, with the only substance being stuff that we already know. About the only thing that caught my attention was when he said he purposely tried to rattle dealers to get them off their game and make mistakes. Somewhere, I imagined PaiGowDan looking up from his work, ears tingling, unsure of what just distracted him. In all, it was kind of a waste of time.
The second guy was Peter Liston, "The Pokie King". He told of how he won millions beating the slots, again, information I was already aware of. He seemed a nice enough guy and kept it somewhat interesting, and he brought his daughter along to share stories. She held my attention for a few days ;) But again, it was something that I gained little from, and was less valuable to me than those extra 4 hours of sleep I could have got.
Teliot spoke next, and was informative as always. Most of his stuff, again, I was already aware of, but he pointed out several things that opened my bleary, bloodshot eyes. If you read this, Teliot, I wanted to thank you again. Very well done =) Out of respect for the AP community here, I'll spare the discussion of that topic.
The day ended with very few notes taken and I just wanted my bed. I skipped out on the thousand dollar vendor's dinner, instead passing out sometime around 6p. I woke at 9p, feeling relatively good and in the mood for gaming. I put on some comfy, worn clothes, pick my hair out into a big afro, and heading for the floor. I stopped at The Pub again, listening to the bartender tell an old couple from Cleveland "how to win at slots", while I waited to give my order. I didn't interfere, instead asking them about the weather back home as I was headed there the next day. That done, I got the tube switched to hockey and spent the next hour there eating, drinking, and watching the greatest game on earth.
I quickly found the Pai Gow Poker table I hadn't been able to find the previous two days, and settled in amidst an Asian invasion. I bought in $100 and put my system to work. Before anyone cries, I've been in gaming for years. I've been a member here for several as well. You've no need to point out the flaw in my thinking, I am under no delusion. It's just the way I like to play this game, a quasi-Martingaling Gambler's Fallacy. I basically try to make my money by betting big when I feel a win coming, when it's "due". Should I lose, I return to base, betting even bigger the next time I feel a win coming. I know it's not based in reality, but it's what I like to do.
I was suprised to find that almost all of the players had to ask the dealer for House Way help. I began helping those close to me, with the dealer confirming I knew what I was doing. Before long, the majority of the table was looking to me for help, repeatedly holding up their cards and asking if they should split or play two pair, full house, keep a flush or put the Ace up top. Before long I was really grooving. The dealer was fantastic and funny, the players all laughing and chatting and supporting their fellow gamer, it was the best, most fun table I'd even been on. The RNG eventually broke and the shaker was brought out; it was I who had to explain why a shaker and why there was three dice and not two or four.
The thing I like about PG is the illusion of being able to play defense, it really strokes that part of my brain. Regardless that I'm giving up EV, I like to be able to "protect" a big bet by breaking house way and at least guaranteeing a push, if I need to. The first time I did it, I pushed when I would have won. The dealer let me have it, exclaiming "Ho, ho! You no win, you break up!" in his cheery, bubbly fashion that made me laugh. A few hands later, I went with house way and pushed when I would have won had I done my previous deviation. He lost it. "Oh man! You no catch break! Ho, ho!" and I nearly died laughing. Everyone on the table was having a great time, laughing at their own misfortunes while cheering each other's big win. Really, I've never had a better time at the tables than that night of PG with my new Asian friends. After my last hunch, I left up $120, more than doubling my buy. Quasi-Martingale Gambler's Fallacy FTW! =D
One thing of note, a newbie showed up and quickly went about fouling his hand. The Floor was called over, an older, black gentleman with bald head and of athletic build. He quickly allowed a reset, saving the guy $30. Bravo to you, sir.
I was in bed by 11p, ready to finally get some quality sleep. The nap threw me off though; I finally fell asleep at about 3a...