Friday, April 02, 2010

Rollin' Down Highway 41...

I swear, this time I have a great excuse for not making any updates this week. Long story short, I am no longer the casino's bitch, dealing poker at Sunset Station.

Like brother Martin once said, I'm free at last, free at last!

Anyhow, once I get some extra time and gather my thoughts in a coherent manner, I'll give a full rundown on my experience of working there and my departure. Believe it or not, I've actually been very busy since it happened. My last day of work was a week ago Wednesday, although I didn't know it until this past Monday. On the other hand, I was pretty sure on Friday that the axe was gonna fall.

Of course, there were several other times over the past few months that I was certain I'd be gone, but the pink slip never came. But one can't delay the inevitable forever, and well, here I am, on the free agent market.

That being said, I am not the least bit disappointed. When I walked out of there for the last time on Monday afternoon, after signing all my final documents and collecting my last check, I was not bummed or depressed or anything. Truly, I felt liberated, like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. I'd been hanging by a thread for a better part of a year, and that's quite a burden to carry around. I didn't really notice it, having carried it around for so long, but once it was lifted I felt like a new person--it was an amazing difference. No longer do I have to worry about the feast or famine aspect of being the guy on the very bottom of the totem pole, and no longer do I have to sweat out an inflexible schedule. And the best part is I no longer work for an indifferent boss who I never really got along with, anyways.

On the other hand, instead of being underemployed, yes, I'm unemployed once again, but I've been there before and this time I'm much more prepared. As unpredictable as life was these past few years, I've managed to clear out basically all my debt except for my truck payment, and in the meantime I saved up a few bucks to live on for a couple of months without breaking a sweat. Maintaining the status quo would've been easier, but I'm ready to move on. I am not nearly as worried about the future as I was back in 2001, even though the economy here in Vegas seems much worse than the economy in Phoenix was ten years ago. I'll be ok.

Part of being more prepared is that I've got plenty of irons in the fire. My friends here are pushing me to deal in the World Series this year, which is decent money. I'm not gonna get rich, but the tokes run about $1100 a week for six weeks, with all the overtime I can handle. So I'll probably do that. Plus there are a few other options here in this town that I'm exploring. Also, now that I've got all this free time on my hands, I've expanded my search. There are plenty of card rooms in southern California and also in Phoenix. And as you may have guessed, the family wants me to come back to Tennessee.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm gonna do just yet, but there are a few alternatives that seem to be jumping out to an early lead. In the meantime, I'm not sitting around and waiting. I've already got a few interviews and an audition or two in the hopper, but starting next week I'm going to be doing some traveling and expanding my horizons a bit. I'm pretty sure I'll be in Phoenix and/or California at some point very soon, and I've already got a ticket for a week-long trip to Nashville and points south.

So that's what's new in the life of Mikey. As soon as I know more, y'all will know more. But in the meantime, I've got to share a fun story.

Even though the M Resort is my favorite poker room in all of Vegas, a lot of times on my days off I'd play at Sunset Station, just because it was close. Well, that, and the company-wide Bad Beat Jackpot makes it worth playing there, too. Now, each poker room in the Stations universe also does their own in-house promotions, and one of the ones they had at Sunset was the High Hand of the Day. Basically, each day at noon, they'd pick a random card out of the deck and if was a five or higher, that straight flush would pay out. For instance, if they picked out a Nine, if you made a straight flush with the five-thru-nine, you'd get the jackpot money. They started the payout at $100, and it would roll over a few bucks each day until the hand was hit.

Well, when they first started that promotion, I hit one for about $400 or so, as I recall. Then, it started over and rolled up to about $320 or so about ten days later, and I hit it again! So I won two of them in a row.

After that, my boss got pissed and sent out a memo that employees were no longer eligible to win the high hands of the day, or any other in-house daily promotion. Yeah, I thought it was bullshiat, as did most of the players, since my money was still going down the drop-hole just like everyone else's, but what can you do? As they say, you can't fight city hall. I even asked her about it and she straight up lied to my face and said "Oh, it has nothing to do with you winning two of them". But we all knew that was a farce because everyone in the room secretly referred to it as 'The Mikey Rule' as it was implemented less than 48 hours after I won the second jackpot.

In fact, I had quite the reputation for winning the promotions. Back in October, when I flopped the four Fours for $4,444, the promotion ended the very next day, and all of the players were like "Damn--Mikey won another one and they took it away!" (Of course, I'm sure the boss was livid when I hit that one--she didn't say a word to me for two weeks--not 'congratulations', not 'nice going', not a single thing. She hates it when employees win anything).

Anyhow, I told ya that to tell ya this... So I'm no longer an employee, and on Wednesday night, a couple of my buddies were working, so I went down to play for a couple of hours and to shoot the shiat and let everyone know why I was no longer on the schedule. Starting at 1:00 am on Thursday, they have a promotion where you get paid $400 if you get all four flushes (Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds) in a five-hour period. It's actually harder to do than it sounds, and most of the time, nobody ever cashes in on it.

But there I was, playing on graveyard shift that night, and by 2:00 am, I'd already made two flushes--Diamonds and Spades. Around 3:00 am, I caught a Club flush, so I had three hours to make one single Heart flush. Of course, I went card dead after that and didn't catch anything. Around 4:30 or so, everyone at the table was rooting for me, and I announced that from that point on I'm only gonna get into a pot if I have two hearts in the hole and if I limped in, make sure to call at least one bet so that there is at least $10 in the pot (gotta have a least ten bucks in the pot to win any jackpot). Everyone agreed, and finally around 5:15 or so, I got two hearts in the hole, something like Jack-Three.

Luckily I flopped two more hearts, and somebody else was on the straight draw, so we got the money into the pot. I made the flush on the turn and then just checked it down with my opponent--she'd missed her draw and I made my fourth flush. $400 winner, baby! Woot!

It was so awesome to win that just because of all those other times I played on my time off, supporting the room and helping to keep the games going, and I was never allowed to collect on any of the promotions. But now that I'm just a private citizen random player, well, it was sweet that they had to pay me off--Even sweeter because I knew it would irritate the right people. Heh.

Anyhow, that's the news from here. Like the song says, I'm alive and doing fine. But I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling and road-tripping over the next few weeks, and I will have my laptop with me most of the time. If any of you have any couch change that you wanna donate to the gas fund or the Keep Mikey Living Indoors Foundation, feel free to hit the ol' tip jar. Thanks!


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