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Monday, October 22, 2007

Making Winners

She wasn't a hooker, a grifter or a scam artist. I've met all of those in Las Vegas.

She was a Vietnamese girl from Texas and bored after losing her modest gambling budget for the day playing blackjack at a table on the other side of the pit.

I knew her story was true because I'd seen her at the table. And because she didn't volunteer the information. I had to ask. She had wandered over to the Paigow game where I was parked and was sweating the action. Apparently talking with strangers at a table was more fun at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday than going to bed. I can relate. She knew how to play and gave good advice on setting hands when we weren't talking football or all things Las Vegas.

She was also lucky. I went from down to up nearly $200 while she was standing behind me. So I went and did something I've always wanted to do.

No, not that.

I asked her if she was feeling maximum luck coming on the next hand. She was, so I flipped her four redbirds and had her sit down in the vacant seat next to mine.

"You're in on this hand."

She plopped the chips down on the regular paigow bet. I advised her to change it, to bet $15 on the regular bet - the table minimum - and put the other five on the fortune bonus. She made the switch and Jenny the dealer went into action.

I drew three pair and set my hand. I turned and noticed my girl going a little crazy. The pit boss came over. She showed him, and the table - three aces and the joker. Four aces, paying 25 to 1 on the bonus bet.

Jenny had a paigow and the entire table won. My girl had over $150 in front of her.

I lost the next couple hands and went off to bed. I sort of wish I knew how she did the rest of the night, but not really, because all I wanted to do was to make someone a winner.


One of the many amazing things about Las Vegas is that there are a million ways to have a good time. I was a little apprehensive about this trip, as I was going with three non-gamblers, all of whom were at least 20 years older than me. Those fears were not realized, as a good time was had by all. Three rounds of golf, a show (Mystere) and some decent grub were all it took to make us all leave winners, sort of.

In the interest of protecting the innocent, I won't be able to share too many stories.

This trip featured the smallest amount of gambling I've ever done while there, as well as the most retarded poker tournament ever. I'm not joking.

The Mirage spread a private tournament in their poker room in connection with the golf event. It was a $100 buyin, which as far as I could determine was really a $55+45 or $50+50 - the estimated prize pool showed a 50% return. I played in the interest of being social and in taking advantage of the one known time I had to gamble. The juice was one instance of pure retardedness.

The other was the structure. We started with 1500 chips, 50/100 blinds and 20 minute (I think) levels. Level 2 went to 100/200 blinds with a 25 chip ante. That's right, by level 2 your M was below 3 if you hadn't gained any chips. We played maybe 8 hands during level 1 -- lotta newbs in this thing -- so it wasn't like you'd had many chances to accumulate. Un-f'ing-believable.

Naturally I shoved the first chance I got and JJ went down to KQo. My remaining scraps went in on a KJs two hands later. Worst 35 minutes of poker ever.

Other gambling was pretty much limited to several hours of paigow at the Imperial Palace. Lost big (for Paigow) on Thursday after the tournament, won much of it back on Friday. Good times. I also enjoyed a doubly comped meal -- I stuck my card in a machine to see if I had enough comp dollars for a meal - I did - and stuck in a bill. Spun once, won $25, cashed out. Love that IP.

Stayed at the Rio which was very nice. The room was much larger than anywhere else I've stayed in town, but what else can you say, it was a room.


Off to a home game. In some ways it's nice to be back. In others, I wasn't ready to leave. Good thing there's this little gathering in just over six weeks...


Dr. Pauly said...

Total Pai gow junkie...

Drizztdj said...

I think a trip to Canterbury before Vegas is needed to bone up on my Pai Gow skillz.

StB said...

And she didn't give you a piece of her winnings or at least the stake back?