Friday, April 24, 2009

All Over The Map

Hey Gang! I've got a pot of coffee going, so I'm going to make an attempt to round up all the random stuff in my head and make One Big Post out of all of it.

First of all, I wanna give a shout-out to reader Ise, who was kind enough to hit the tip jar the other day and 'shake the tree', so to speak. Thanks, brotha. I too would love to make a grand a month from that thing, but that ain't reality and I'd be shocked if I made a hundie a month from it. The service I provide is free, and will remain so, and right now, I don't really need the money. Y'all will always know when things get tight, and even though I always love a little extra scratch, right now I'm living large and the bills are paid. But again, thanks to everyone who's dropped a little couch change in there over the years.

On the other hand, the big Four-Deuce is hitting me next week, so if anyone wants to hit up the ol' Wish List and send me toys, I'm cool with that. Besides, I have a couple of trolls here that for whatever reason, it drives them absolutely bat-shiat insane crazy whenever I mention that somebody sent me something from my Amazon wishlist. So, it's kinda like getting a two-fer if you go that route.

If you're browsing over there, I gotta mention that movie 21, the flick about the MIT card counting team. I just saw that for the first time the other night, and if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It was much better than I expected, and I loved all the plot twists at the end. If you haven't seen it yet, at least add it to the list on your Netflix account. Besides, it reminded me of some fellas I played cards with during March Madness:

My only beef with the movie was that when Kate Bosworth told the guy that she had a suite comped at the Hard Rock, and when they got back there to do the nasty, somehow it overlooked the Bellagio fountains. I was like What? The Hard Rock comped you a suite at Paris? How'd they do that?!?!?

Anyhow... Speaking of cards, I'm back in the saddle and on the winning track again. On Wednesday night, I spent a few hours in my poker room with my gal Sheena and I did pretty damn well again. The games were a little weak, but I was up $175 when the bad players started to go broke, so I was gonna call it a night. Besides, three of my friends, all solid players in their own right, were in the game, so there was no money to be made just passing chips around and giving the house five bucks a pot.

I announced that I'd play until my big blind came around and then I'd cash out. Of course, on my last hand of the night, I got pocket Kings, flopped a three-of-a-kind, and some jackass called the action all the way down and got runner-runner for a flush. Grrrr. That nonsense cost me an extra $34, which pissed me off, ending my night as a victim of a huge suckout. Even though I had a pretty good winning session, I didn't get to enjoy it.

But I got over it--money in the pocket tends to do that. Besides, I had a great time that night, playing with a bunch of my friends, too.

Thursday was kind of mellow--I slept in, then tried to formulate some sort of response to Linda's latest post, but it didn't quite take off the way I wanted, so I gave up and watched SportsCenter instead. Once the afternoon rolled around, I showered up and headed out to Vegas proper to go look at some furniture (I have no couch--it's back at the old 'Frat House' back in Phoenix), but that turned out to be kind of a bust. I guess that's what I get for using Craigslist. But I'm gonna need to find some living room furniture pretty soon, so I'll keep looking.

After making a couple of stops that turned out to be a waste of time and gas, I sat in the parking lot at the corner of Sahara and Maryland Parkway and ate a cheeseburger, watching a couple of poker pros bums fight over a shopping cart. It was quite entertaining, just another day in Vegas, but after that I made my way up the road to the Freakin' Frog to participate in the weekly Beer & Blogger meet-up. I saw a few familiar faces when I got there, and Carmen had also been texting me, saying she was on her way, too.

One of the highlights of the evening was that Baja Lori (sorry, no linkie yet) had 'networked' a load of Maple Bacon Cupcakes from the folks at the Retro Bakery. I have three words to describe them: Oh. Hell. Yeah.

And of course I got a picture of the free cupcakes with a nine-dollar beer:

And here is the family portrait:

The bacon cupcakes--amazingly good. The chocolate ones were just a bit too sweet for my tastes, but all the chicks in attendance loved 'em.

Anyhow, besides the sweet treats, I spent the majority of the evening catching up with my gal Carmen, who I hadn't seen in over a month. She's the type of person they call an 'Old Soul', so you can't help but enjoy her company, and she had lots and lots of good stories for me too. Not only that, but she's poker freak just like me, so we had much to discuss.

Besides those pics, Carmen had me take a couple more of her sexy bod, just so she could give a more complete response to Linda's post. It's a tough gig, but I was willing to step up and help a girl out.

We only stayed about an hour--long enough to run up a $40 tab--before we decided to call it a night, at least as far as cupcakes and beer were concerned.

She followed me back over to my place, where we ditched her car and the plan was to fetch a bag of sour balls I've had sitting on my desk for her for the last month and grab a couple Benjamins from my poker stash so we could go play some cards (for whatever reason, I went furniture shopping with only sixty bucks in my wallet). But when we got back to the house, there were some goodies waiting for me on the porch.

First of all, I had a small box from Amazon--in it was another batch of that coconut body wash I like so much, along with a DVD of the movie The Hammer. It's Adam Carolla's boxing movie, and since I'm getting so much free entertainment from his daily podcasts, I figured I could cough up a few bucks for his movie. Besides, Carmen said it's a good flick, too. Also there was a much bigger package sitting there from the UPS man, and it had a bunch of clothes I ordered (cargo shorts and t-shirts and such). The time to shop is now, before the Commies in congress start taxing online purchases... And y'all know how I feel about paying more taxes.

Anyhow, once our brief stop back here at the house was concluded, we hopped in my dirty-ass truck and headed down towards my favorite spot in Vegas, the new M Resort, planning on spending the night cutting up their 4-8 game.

We left the truck with the valet (and noticed that the welcome mats were nowhere to be found), and then headed for the poker room, where we put our names on the waiting list. Unfortunately, there was only one 4-8 table going, but we were the first two names waiting for seats. So we wandered wandered a few feet over to the the 32 Degrees bar, but the only table available was on the far side of the lounge, opposite the poker room, too far to see the desk and hear the page. So we grabbed a couch in the back of the sports book instead.

One of the outrageously-hot straight-outta-the-fembot-factory cocktail waitresses came over and took our drink orders, and that's when we realized that all of the waitresses there are just absolutely smoldering. Easily the best line-up in Vegas. Every single one of them is tall, with long legs, long hair, and a huge fake rack. Our couch was right next to the service well, so we were entertained by an endless parade of Playmate-level talent. Of course I left my damn camera in the truck...

As expected, most (if not all) of the handiwork on display was man-made, but Carmen had the line of the night that damn near made me spit my drink out. A particularly well-endowed blond gal walked by and Carmen turned to me and whispered Holy shit!!! Check those out--they're so big they make mine look *real*!


We didn't have to wait long before we got called for our seats, but we weren't able to sit next to each other right away. Carmen hadn't even played her first hand before the guy next to her started hitting on her. I gave her a laugh, and she just shook her head and said I haven't even been here thirty seconds yet!

He was kind of a d-bag anyways, raising damn near every pot, and it was our mission to break him. About ten minutes later, somebody else left the game, and another player wanted to change seats, so we ended up getting seats next to each other after all. And that's when I told her of my not-so-evil, but obvious, plan. I wanted her sitting next to me so that every guy at the table would be staring at her cleavage the whole night, and not looking at me. She's cool with that, but way ahead of me on that plan--she uses her feminine charms at the poker table all the time--guys always play her soft and try to hit on her, so we had a bit of an advantage.

It was a fun game, too. Besides, the kid who'd hit on Carmen early on had targeted me--I think he was jealous or something, so he kept making snide remarks. Eventually, I beat him out of a big pot and said You see that, junior? I'm the one going home with the chips *and* the girl tonight.

That made a couple of people at our end of the table chuckle, but he just sat there steaming. It didn't take long before I was up a hundred bucks again, but then some bad luck fell our way. Within five minutes of each other, both Carmen and I had pocket Kings lose to pocket Aces, and then a few hands later, I had my flopped two pair go down in flames to a straight made on the river. Both those hands cost me almost $80. Ouch.

But I fought my way back. I had an 8-4 of hearts on my big blind and was able to see an eight-way flop on the cheap. It came out 4-4-8, so of course I slow-played it, and two guys behind me got into a raising war. When an Ace came on the river, I even got re-raised by a guy who had Ace-Eight, so I scooped a huge pot.

As a reward for getting my Aces cracked so many times last week, I got 'em again, twice, within about ten minutes, and both times I flopped Aces full while my opponents made smaller boats. That was nice, and before long, I had over $200 in profit stacked in front of me.

Around midnight, Carmen suggested that we get going--she has an interview this morning at 9:00 am, so we couldn't stay out all night. I was totally cool with that--I'd made a nice little bundle of cash in the game, and was ready to call it a night.

We got back to my place and said goodnight, making plans to do it again sometime soon. I had a great time with her, and she's probably one of my favorite people to play cards with. Not only that, she's a pretty good player, too. She made some great laydowns that probably would've cost me an extra bet before I woke up and smelled the beatdown, so I'm looking forward to doing it again.

When I came upstairs, I realized just how tired I was--I didn't watch TV or anything, I just went straight to bed and crashed for a good solid five hours.

Today, well, I'm not sure what I want to do today. I need to go get my truck serviced--it's filthy, needs an oil change, new wiper blades, and a rotation and balance job, too. Do I want to spend the money? No--I've been bleeding cash this week, so I'll probaby wait until I get a couple more shifts under the belt. So I don't know what I'm gonna do. This evening I'm going over to the Hard Rock for a bit, but after that, I'll probably end up at a poker table somewhere.


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