Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poker Night at Mikey's

Hey gang!

It's so nice to be able to write a 'normal' post again--no job huntin', no juggling of the travel plans, no stress at all... I had a very good night after a very long day.

Tuesday was crazy-busy for me. I tried to force myself to sleep on Monday night, but my system is so used to the graveyard hours that it was a total losing battle for most of the night. Somehow I managed to get a few hours of rest, but I still woke up an hour before my alarm went off.

Since I've been running ragged for the past several days, I hadn't had a chance to do housework, and my apartment was in desperate need of a good scrubbin'. So after I finished my pot of coffee, I set to work. I mopped and disinfected the bathroom. I did about six loads of laundry. I vacuumed. I took out the trash. I cleaned out the fridge. etc. etc. etc.

Finally, around 11:30 or so, I busted out the ironing board and a squirt bottle full of distilled water and spent about twenty minutes or so working on my nicest cotton shirt. It's a beautiful shirt, with an embroidered paisley pattern on the chest and down one side. The only problem is, it's a bitch to keep from getting wrinkled. Seriously--I spent more time ironing that one shirt than I would when I iron six other ones. But it looks really nice when it's all fresh and crisp.

After I took my shower and shaved and such, I put on that shirt and my least-shiny pair of those god-awful black polyester work pants that are more common than fake tits in this town, and then sat down to practice reading Omaha Hi-Low Split hands for a few minutes before heading on down towards The Strip.

I got there just in time (traffic sucked, as usual), and found myself tucked away in the corner of a very busy poker room with five other guys dressed like waiters.

I was the second person to do the audition, and although it wasn't perfect, I was a damn sight better than my competition. Seriously, two guys had absolutely no business even being there at all--they were quite inexperienced. Another guy seemed a little too hyper for my tastes, and the one other guy with lots of experience completely forgot to take a rake on any of the hands he dealt. So I feel like I did pretty well--I don't think I misread any Omaha hands, and I made sure I was crisp with my procedures, but we'll see. They said that we'll hear something in a couple of weeks after they do the background check on the ones they want to keep.

Anyhow, once I finally got out of there (an hour and a half later), I lead-footed it back to the Batch Pad, stopping only to pick up a couple of six packs from the Kwik-E-Mart on the corner. I got home about 15 minutes before my buddy James showed up, and then Holly and AC were just a few minutes behind him.

Our plan was to spend the evening playing Chinese Poker, drinking beer, and running smack.

What is Chinese Poker, you say? Well, it's a four-handed game where everyone gets 13 cards, and then you make three poker hands (two five card hands, one three card hand, kinda sorta like Pai Gow). Bottom hand is strongest, middle hand must be second strongest, three card hand on top is the third strongest. After all the hands are set, there is a showdown, and whoever makes the best of each of the three hands gets a point for each one they win.

There are endless varieties of ways to change it up, like 'no pair on top' or 'deuce-to-seven lowball on the middle hand' or even a $20 bounty from every player if you're dealt a natural 13 card straight. Anyhow, we played it pretty basic, it being our first time doing it, and I gotta tell you, it was fun as hell.

I broke out the old poker chip set and we played for $5 a point. We each started out with $200 apiece, and at the end of the night, I had $385, James had $380, Holly was down about half, and AC was flat-ass broke! It's a great game because there can be some monster hands that just get crushed. We played for eight hours and I got quads three times. And one time my quad eights lost to James' straight flush. And you have no idea how frustrating it is to have a full-house for your biggest hand and still come in fourth place, paying off your opponents five bucks apiece! Grrr.... At one point Holly made a Royal Flush and she chirped about it for several minutes--there was no forgetting that she crushed us all.

That's Holly guarding my liquor cabinet. Not the wisest move I've ever made--it would be like putting Tiger Woods in charge of guarding the dressing room down at the Spearmint Rhino...

It was a great night all-around, though. We laughed our asses off, put a hurtin' on my liquor cabinet, and munched on some great food from Villa Pizza and Chicken Bonez (two different establishments who were competing for our catering dollar!). And yeah, there was the usual poker-room smack talk, too. I wish I would've filmed it--we were much more entertaining than those guys on Poker After Dark. But after eight hours, we'd had enough. We folded up the game and sat out on the patio sipping the last of the beer and having a smoke or two in the until almost two o'clock this morning, enjoying the nice weather before calling it a night.

I've got to get a few hours of sleep before heading out again for another long day. My cousin Danny, who I haven't seen in 32 years, is in town with his wife and we're getting together for breakfast/lunch, and then hanging out and reconnecting for a bit. I can't wait to see them. They're here for a couple of days, and once they head back home to California, it's my turn to pack my bags and hit the road. I'm heading to the airport on Saturday, making my way to Nashville.

We've got a big party planned for the weekend, and then later in the week I've got another job interview in another city that shall remain top secret for now. I'll finish the week in Nashville, but I should be back in Vegas by the following weekend, although I may only be here long enough to do a load of laundry before heading back on the road again. We'll see--nothing has been determined yet. I'm just happy to be heading back to Tennessee to goof off with all my rowdy cousins siblings.

That's the news from here. Now I'm off to bed for a few hours.


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