Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Profitable Evening

Yep, I'm still bitching about the fact that I had to go into work last night on what would normally be my night off. Monday was super-slow, and our tokes reflected that. And I figured that last night would be probably be more of the same, too. Not wanting to be there, the first thing I did when I arrived at the casino was sign my name on the Early Out list. Somebody else beat me to it, but I figured I'd be out as soon as they closed two tables.

But I knew it was going to be a great night at work when I got to my first Pai Gow table at 8 pm and the gal from the personal ad was sitting at first base. And very happy to see me, I might add. She told me that it was her only night this week away from her kids, so she wanted to come down and do some gambling. We were having a great time at the table, and she was actually winning a few hands and hitting several Fortune bonuses. I also told her my Very Most Important Tip In The World To Do If You're Sitting At A $10 Table But Betting $5 On The Fortune Bonus That Nobody Ever Listens To. Well, she listened, took advantage of it, and was soon stacking chips in front of her at a fairly decent clip.

I was her new hero.

Anyhow, the time at that table passed much too quickly, and soon I was off to 3-Card Poker. There weren't many players there, but one guy I felt bad for--he tried tipping by putting a bet up for me on his Pairs Plus bet, but every time he did that, I wiped him out. It was ugly. Finally, after grinding almost $200 out of him, he'd had enough. So he took his last $50 worth of red checks and said he was playing blind. $15 each on the Pairs Plus, the Ante, and the Play spot, with $5 for me on the Pairs Plus, too.

I dealt the cards, tucking his under the furthest stack of checks. I turned my cards over, showing only a Jack high hand. The player breathed a large sigh of relief and said "Oh hell yeah--Now I can play one more time!"

I slow-rolled his cards for everyone at the table to see, and he jumped straight up out of his chair and yelled in excitement when he saw the three eights I dealt him. At 30-1 odds, he got $450, and I dropped $155 in the toke box. (Plus he got an additional $75 on his Ante bet!)

I'm pretty sure I was his hero after that.

Once my hour on that table ended, I took a quick twenty-minute break before heading over to the World Poker Tour game. That one was going pretty well, with three of my regular players waging a back-and-forth battle against me, picking up an odd jackpot or two. After about a half hour or so, the gal from the personal ad (Oh hell, lets just call her... Jan) joined me again, this time sporting a sizeable stack of green checks to go with all of her red ones. She told me that after winning a bit more at Pai Gow, she hopped over to the Crazy 4 Poker table and had gotten two 3-of-a-kinds back-to-back on a hit-and-run mission. Good for her--I could easily tell just by glancing at her pile of checks that she had at least $500 on her--not bad for a hundred-dollar buy-in.

Well, her luck was still hot, and I dealt her an endless string of flushes and full houses, and by the time I left, she was up almost another $300.

Yep, she was loving me now.

I told her I'd be going back to Pai Gow after my break, and she agreed to join me then.

Once I got back, she came over and grabbed a seat before I dealt my first hand. She said that since it was almost midnight by that time, that she should probably be going soon. I casually mentioned that since it was my night off, and I just saw them closing a table, I should be getting out pretty soon too.

Just as I was in the middle of dealing my first hand, I felt that familiar tap on my shoulder, so I turned to see my replacement dealer standing there and the shift manager giving me a knowing nod.

Outtie Five Thousand, G!

While paying off all of the winning hands, I looked over at "Jan", who was stacking her checks to color up, and asked her to wait for me for a minute so I could go clock out and change my shirt.

Amazingly, she agreed.

I took off, signed out, clocked out, and tossed my work shirt down the laundry chute, and made sure that my Hawaiian shirt was buttoned correctly before heading back out to the casino. She was coloring up to the tune of almost $900, so I told her I'd walk her to the cage.

Anyhow--it was now or never--so as we walked from the table to the cage, I said that I had to tell her something that I couldn't talk about on the table. She seemed intrigued so I told her the whole story about how her personal ad keeps landing in my inbox, telling me that she's my 'perfect match'. (Coincidentally, it showed up again today).

She got a laugh out of that, and since she figured I wasn't a weirdo or stalker, she gave me the low-down on her personal life. She told me that she's had an ad up for several months but has only gotten a couple of responses, and they weren't actually quality ones at that. She also told me she hasn't been dating in a very long time, and wasn't really planning on it either, but that it didn't hurt to keep a trolling line in the water.

Fair enough, I agreed.

We kept talking after she got her cash, and I offered again to walk with her to the other end of the casino where she'd parked. We kept talking and laughing and such, and actually ended up stopping at some 5x play video poker machines that she told me she always plays last before she goes home. I'm not a VP aficianado by any stretch, so I just punched in the exact ten-cent game she did.

She was very fast, like a real VP pro, but I was taking my time, trying not to lose my ass and while simultaniously working my patented lady-killer mojo. After just a couple of minutes, I hit four deuces with an Ace kicker for a $200 win. I had about seven bucks in the machine, but I played it down to $201 before hitting the ticket-out button. Score!

She kept trying to catch a hand, but had no such luck. Once her initial buy-in was gone, we just sat there at the machines laughing and telling stories and getting to know one another. At that point, she didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave.

I will say this, it was one of the most fascinating conversations I've had in a very long time--she is truly one of the most interesting people I've met since I moved out here. Oh yeah, and kind of hot, too. Anyhow, one of the things she told me is that she is very close friends with a very Famous Person who's actually going to be in town this weekend. More accurately, she is the long-time best friend of this Famous Person's wife, and they're coming to Vegas for the weekend. What was so fascinating about this, is that this celebrity is one of the 15 people on the guest list to my Ultimate Dinner Party. I've been a fan of his work for years, and have always thought him to be a brilliant mind. Well, she had story after story to keep me entertained, and even showed me that she had his number on speed dial on her cell phone!

It would be just like my gal Andrea meeting somebody that knew Toby Keith personally, except that I don't want to make sweet sweet love to this particular celebrity.

Unfortunately, they have a tight schedule, they're bringing the kids with them, and I have to work all weekend anyways, so I'd be unable to meet this person--and of course I wouldn't have even considered asking, but nonetheless it was an interesting experience to hear her stories. "Jan" said she'd fill me in on all the weekend activities next time I see her.

(I hate being so vague, but truly, this particular individual is rather well-known, and I must respect their privacy).

Anyhow, after playing video poker for just a few minutes, we sat at those machines and talked until sometime past two in the morning! Never has my time in that casino moved so quickly or been so enjoyable.

Once we realized how late (early) it was, we had to say our goodbyes--she's got a full day ahead of her before her friends arrive, and I needed to catch up on all the sleep I missed yesterday. She headed for her car, and I headed for the Redemption Machine--a pithily-named device if there ever was one--and told myself that the two hundred bucks I won was just the gravy on the mashed potatoes of potential.

We'll see what happens, if anything. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to take her with me to cross of some of those nice restaurants on my list. At the very least, if only for the pleasant conversation.

Wide awake, and with two crispy Benjamins in my pocket, of course I didn't go straight home. I was hungry, and after last night's old-skool reunion tour, I needed to revisit a Vegas favorite. So I took myself to breakfast at the Peppermill for chicken fried steak and eggs.

I hadn't been there in months, and it was damn good because, as all of you Vegas freaks know, breakfast always tastes better when you pay for it with House Money.


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