Saturday, December 17, 2005

Down goes Al! 

My soul has been recovering. We'll see how I feel after a Saturday full of NFL action and booze but the empty shell feeling has left me and I can start reflecting on the best parts of the Vegas trip.

I may not be the best human being in the world, but I am what I am and make no apologies. Well, I make some apologies but only to those who deserve it.

Anyway, the soul is healing, my liver is starting to forgive me, and my head is clearing. I wish I could say the same thing for my knees.

You can't tell from my appearance, but at one time I played competitive sports back when I was younger. That has left me with two knees that ache and scream and pop and just generally make me know they are there. Before I get an email from Minnesota, they're not as bad as my friend Brad's, but bad anyway.

I found a way in Vegas to really make them hurt. A week later and it's no better. Not ache anymore. Actual honest-to-god pain in both knees.

Wanna know how it happened?


I walked into the Mandalay Sportsbook at 9am. My body was mostly recovered from the 36 hour bender the day(s) before. Unfortunately it appeared this year the sportsbook experience was going to be different. Every table was already taken so we wouldn't have a 'homebase'. CJ located me walking around looking for a familiar face and I joined up with BG and Mike already there. We were joined by Steve, Heather, and Helixx before the early games kicked off.

CJ (aka Luckbox) had money on every early game and even some half time lines. I had my only early bet already placed.

But this story isn't about the betting or even The.Best.Horse.Ever.

Last year the sportsbook turned into an impromptu gathering place for drunkards and it gave those leaving a place to get in their final goodbyes. Drinks and songs and ridiculous bets.

Without a common meeting place, the bloggers began congregating in the open area between the bar and the poker room. Rails to rest on and easy access to check on those taking a last shot at the poker table. By the end of the early games, there was a large contigent mulling around. Otis was there looking like I ended up feeling. Dr.Jeff and I were analyzing our Chiefs bet. BG was answering his millionth horse betting question of the day.

New friends and old friends were all there. Then it happened.

I can't remember whether it was after doing my first Soco shot with Biggestron or a shot with Iggy. All I know is that this was one of the few times I was still sober. The buzz had not yet started.

I was walking back from the bar to the gathering in no-man's land. Two steps down. 2 dozen bloggers standing there. A shot of Soco in the left hand with a cigarette. Glass of water in the right hand. Take the first step....

and miss the entire damned thing.

My entire blog-life flashed before my eyes. "Don't make this the defining moment. They'll never let you forget it."

I was going down, there was no question.

Slam. Knees first down on the nice soft ROCK section of the floor. I could feel myself falling forward straight on my face. Then I just locked up. Froze. And never moved.

Everyone saw what happened. I could hear the gasp of "oh shit" that turned into "holy shit!" and some cheers.

I looked at both hands. The Soco was still intact. Cigarette was untouched by any liquid. Water, safe and sound. Sure, I'm on my knees in the middle of the sports book.

But I can't believe I stuck the landing.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Who put the SHAM in Roshambo? 

"What happened to your shoes?" - Princess Eva

It was 9am on Monday and we were taking the elevator down from the top floor. Stopping at every floor to pick up another smelly gambler until we were full at the 15th. We still had to stop at the rest of the floors.

We were leaving Las Vegas and Eva had given me the perfect metaphor for how I was feeling. My soul was scuffed. Badly. The other shoe wasn't a bad example either since it seemed to be covered in some odd sticky substance which I knew had to be Soco. I felt like I was a shell of my old self. It was the same feeling I would have the Wednesday after MardiGras sitting around the Carousel Bar. Without the joviality.

I pushed myself harder on this trip than any Vegas trip before. I intentionally chose to not sleep Friday night or Sunday night. A serious miscalculation on my part. That probably has a lot to do with why it's taking me this long to get my mind wrapped around the trip.

That, and getting over the effects of Patient Zero. Lil' Miss Outbreak Monkey was passing around the Avian Flu to all who would have it.

I've decided there is no way I'm going to be able to do a chronological post. It would be nearly impossible to get the timing right. I'll attempt to writeup stories from here and there. The ones that still give me a chuckle.


Before reading my version of this story, you should go read F-Train, JoeSpeaker, and HumanHead's versions. Mine is from a completely different perspective.

Friday night we made our arrival to the MGM Poker room. Joaquin had arranged for 3 private mix game tables for some drunken low limit poker. I found the tables and cruised around saying hi to everyone I knew. I made my way over to say hi to Wil and the JOPKE sitting to his right. Turning around I found Hank sitting at a NL table with Phil Gordon.

I grabbed a seat at the mix table sitting between the Brother's McGrupp. Jaxia and Brandon were in the other two seats on my side of the table. We were happily donking away chips until we got to the Hold'em portion of HORSE. The one smart thing I did all weekend. PokerNerd happened to be sweating us at the time so I politely asked if he'd like to play my stack for an orbit. I could use the opportunity for a smoke. He agreed and off I went.

I stopped by to chat with Hank and introduced myself to Phil Gordon. I don't know if Phil had been dealing with a lot of bloggers but he made a pretty quick offer.

"Roshambo for $100?"

Apparently I didn't have enough booze in my system. Because I actually stopped to think before answering. He tried to convince me.

"Even if you lose, it will be a great story to tell."

It would also be a great story if I took that $100 and bought 20 copies of your DVD. They are going for 5 bucks a pop now, right? Then I could burn them all in the middle of the poker room. That would be fun to write too.

This I said to one person who was too drunk to remember.

I told him I'd let him know and went back to my table. I took over during the O8 portion and began to tell the story of Phil's offer. Pauly immediately tells me to stay away. Gordon would crush me and I wasn't getting any kind of odds. Save my money. Everyone seemed to agree except Brandon who wasn't really saying anything.

I downed a couple more drinks and Brandon out of the blue says, "Go do it. I've got half your action."

Score. I have enough booze in me that he shouldn't be able to read me. Hell, if I don't know what I'm going to throw, how can he?

I hopped up out of my chair and started walking confidently to the other side of the poker room. As soon as I get to the chip 'cage', the poker room erupts in cheers. I look to see a huge crowd of people making a racket and Mr. Head has hoisted the missus up in the air. Phil Gordon is standing there looking beat.

I turned around and went back to the table, everyone waiting to hear what happened.

"I think Mrs. Head just crushed Phil Gordon at Roshambo. No more story left."

"Not for you anyway." Someone was nice enough to point out.

Pauly and Brandon knew what to do.

Order another round of double Soco's and continue donking off chips.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Standby for the stupidity 

The writeup is coming. I swear. I just don't know where to start, stop, pause, etc. I'm really trying to get my mind wrapped around 4 days that involved very little 'voluntary' sleep. 99% of the trip was top of the line as usual. There are things I regret and there are some real solid nuggets to make for some great stories.

I regret...

Not getting to hang with Mr.Blood, my head banging bad ass brother.
Not getting to do a single tequila shot with Maudie.
Not getting to have one decent dinner (or hardly any food now that I think about it).
Not knocking in the teeth of the poker room manager at the Excalibur. Douche.
Apparently donating a dozen kripsy kreme donuts to a cab driver. Bastard.
Being too drunk at some times and too sober at others.

I enjoyed...

Hanging with a few of my favorite people late night in the suite on the last night.
Playing the mix game Friday night. Nice job, Joaquin.
The smell of the Krispy Kreme donuts before I lost The GODDAMNED BOX!
Hanging out with MeanGene.
Meeting new blogger friends.
Hanging with old blogger friends.

Stories to come...

- I fell down. And stuck the landing without spilling a drop. In front of everyone.

- Brandon Schaefer at the 2/4 mix game. "Everyone gets quartered!"

- Omaha8 Tourney at Orleans. Landow loses set over set, straight over straight, and boat over boat.

- How the hell I managed to lose a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and how it tilted me for the weekend.

- Playing in the blogger tourney at the end of a 36 hour bender.

- Silly prop bets at the sports book in the MGM.

- The horse named Too Drunk to Call. It was this years "Super Chargers".

Everyone seems to be getting their writeups going. Check 'em out. I'll get there as soon as my head clears and my liver stops bitching at me.


Tuesday night was the normal Boathouse Freeroll. I'm on the verge of hitting the wagon for awhile and this seemed like a good time to start.

Then The Puncher of Donkeys showed up.

Back to the bottom of a bottle again. Great intentions. Sorry liver.

He 'CJed' his way into the final three only winning those hands where he was behind. It was a great way to end a blogger-style bender. Knocking back Soco's and Yuengling's with a fellow blogger followed by dial-a-shots. Day 1 of the "stop bugging Otis" project is complete.


Standby for the stupidity.......