Monday, May 31, 2010

And Though I Nearly Drowned I Know What It Is To Be Thirsty

Happy Memorial Day, everyone--and a special shout out to all the veterans today--thank you all for your service!

Here it is about 4:30 in the morning, and I just got back from another marathon in the poker room--no, not playing--I was working! Man, I am seriously not used to working in a busy place. I swear we had people standing at the podium all night long, and every game had a waiting list for my entire shift. It's nice, and I will never complain about it, but good lord it wears my ass out.

On Saturday night, I worked my entire shift without getting a break. If I wasn't dealing, I was working the podium or seating players or running chips--it was a complete madhouse. I didn't even get to take a piss for the entire eight hours. Lucky for me my old bald head was sweating so much that I didn't need to. In fact, during the entire night, I only had one small bottle of water, which I drank in one quick gulp about three hours into the grind. It made me think, though--all those old geezers I worked with over at Sunset Station, they would literally die if they had to work that hard. I mean, they all piss and moan and throw a fit if they don't get a break every two hours. Break--WTF was that??? I never got one!

I didn't mind so much at the time because the money is good, but when 3:00 am rolled around, I was good and ready to get the hell out of the casino. I was dead on my feet. I was afraid that they'd ask me to work overtime, which I would've, but when the graveyard floor manager found out that I'd been locked in for the entire eight hours, he apologized and sent me packin'.

I shuffled off to the parking garage, finally made it to my truck, and sat there under the streetlight counting my tokes. I had a helluva good night, that's for sure. I headed back towards Henderson, stopping at the gas station to fill the tank, buy a couple of bottles of Gatorade, and also get my truck washed (it was filthy--I haven't cleaned it since before I went to back to Tennessee).

While sitting in the car wash, I downed both bottles of Gatorade and realized that I was starving. So I headed over to the Blueberry Hill on Sunset and Green Valley for breakfast. I had pancakes and bacon, which I didn't eat half of, but I also put down two of the best glasses of orange juice I'd ever had, along with the glass of water they brought me. Seriously, working in that casino that's packed to the gills and feels like it's a hundred degrees, it just drains me.

Oh, it's definitely good for me--I've already dropped a complete pants size and I have to drill another hole in my belt to make it useful again, but man, does it ever wear me out. Just wait until I'm doing doubles next week. I'll be a rich mo-fo, but I won't have the strength or the time to spend any of it.

Once I got home, I took a shower and made all my usual Sunday-morning calls back home to the family, and then I went to bed and didn't get up again until 5:30 that night--just enough time to shower, get dressed, and hit the road back down to the Strip. Although it's less than ten miles to work, it takes me almost 50 minutes from my front door to the poker room--most of it is sitting in traffic that last mile or so, and then there's the hike from the parking garage. That's one thing I'll miss about working at Sunset--there have been times where they've called me in from a dead sleep, and I was dealing my first table eleven minutes later. Them days are definitely over.

Sunday night wasn't quite as busy as Saturday, although we were still packed. And I actually got a bit of a break in the middle of my shift, too. I also dealt some 2-5 no-limit and some 3-6 Omaha Hi-Low, which I'd never do at Sunset. I had the option to work overtime, too, but another guy seemed to want it a lot more than I did, so I bailed after only eight hours. Eight hours, WTF is that? I never worked eight hours at the old job...

Seriously, dealing on the Strip to a bunch of happy tourists in a busy room versus being in a crappy room with a bunch of grouchy locals--man, there just ain't no comparison. It's like night and day. In a good way... Of course, now that the World Series is in town, there were a few episodes of douchebaggery on display, but nothing like a typical graveyard shift out in Hendertucky where they're so desperate for business that damn near anything goes.

But enough about that. When I finally took my leave, I cashed out (and was within a twenty spot of exactly what I'd made the night before--remarkably consistent!), and went searching for something to drink. But not in the casino. Again, I was so thirsty that I would've happily paid twenty bucks for a cold bottle of Gatorade, but I held off and hit a convenience store on the way back to the house, and got two of 'em for only three bucks.

I can tell already that for the next month, I'm probably gonna be living on Gatorade, Power Bars, and Five Hour Energy shots. And even though it's only 68 degrees outside at this very moment, I was halfway tempted to stop at the pool on my way in and do the Nes-Tea plunge.

Instead, I'm gonna chug the rest of this bottle, peel off the clothes, and hop in the shower and scrub the casino funk off of me. Then I'm gonna pass out in front of the fan and sleep till sometime late this afternoon.

Y'all have a good one--I'm out!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

It'll Be Nice Working With Proper Villains Again

Ok, so my first night back in the real world is in the books. And boy are my arms tired...

Seriously--I forgot what it was like to work in a busy poker room! But as much of a workout as it was, it was actually quite refreshing, and it felt good to be busy again--time just flew by for me.

And I could tell that I wasn't in Henderson early on, as I was sitting in traffic on my way in, I followed a Ferrari and two Lamborghinis all the way to the hotel. Oh, and not to mention all the Friday night eye-candy lurking about once I stepped off the elevator.

The funny thing was, at first, I was a bit apprehensive about taking this job--it's not one I applied for, and I didn't know much about the room, and after all, it was Job #2--the other place had all my love and devotion. But I couldn't have been more wrong in my outlook--everyone there was super-friendly and helpful, it was jam-packed busy, and I made huge tips in the no-limit games! Of course I sweat my ass off (it seemed hot as hell in there) and I walked about a dozen miles, but it was all good. I can tell that I'm really gonna enjoy my time there. For as busy a room as it is, everyone is pretty mellow and laid back. And I can't praise the bosses enough--they seem to know what they're doing, which is a nice change a pace from what I'm used to.

Of course, being that it was the first night of having all the temps available, they overscheduled, and at one point they had about nine extra dealers lurking around. So after three hours, they had all of us temps who were on the schedule for Saturday night draw cards, and I got one of the low ones. I wasn't gonna volunteer to go home early, but I certainly didn't complain when I found out I was out early. I'm still a bit weak from my bout of food poisoning (Thank you, Fuddruckers!), and I'd already made a pile of money by the time they started looking for people to send home.

Besides, I was told that they're forecasting Saturday night to be the busiest night ever in the history of that poker room, so I'd be putting in a lot more time on my next shift. Also, as soon as I got home, I had an email from Job #1. I start there next Saturday, and work eight out of the following nine days. Yes--they emailed me my schedule! How nice is that? Seriously, it's the little things like that that make all the difference between working for a shoestring operation and a 'real' casino. So I'm gonna be a busy dude for awhile.

Anyhow, once I pushed from my last table, cashed in my tokes, and signed out, I was tempted to wander the casino a bit and just enjoy the sights of Friday night in Vegas. It had been far too long since I stopped and smelled those roses that drew me here in the first place. But on the other hand, I was much too tired to wander, and I didn't want to just sit at a bar and drink, so after just one lap of the place, I hit the sundries stand and treated myself to an overpriced Gatorade before making my way to the parking garage. I was beat.

The drive home was much easier than the drive 'to', but I wasn't tempted in the least to go out and play cards at one of my usual haunts (although, seeing how juicy some of those games I was dealing were, man, it was tough to just walk away...). So I just came back here to the apartment, kicked off my shoes, and cracked open an icy cold beer.

So if y'all will allow it, I've got about eight episodes of Entourage to catch up on. That's how I'm gonna spend the rest of my Friday night.


Friday, May 28, 2010

No More Vacation

And so it ends... My temporary life of leisure has run its course, and it's back to the grind for your pal Mikey. Just as the rest of the world kicks off its 3-day weekend, I go back to work almost two months to the day after being unceremoniously booted from that dump out on East Sunset.

Yes, I'm working tonight, and the rest of the weekend, too. And while I'm glad to be going back, I could've used a couple more days of being a bum. First of all, just want to make sure I'm not sick anymore (I feel ok, but then again, I have the psychological advantage of knowing I'm close to the bathroom if I have a relapse. But once I get locked down at the poker table tonight, well, I just have to suck it up and endure). Second of all, my friend Lisa Lisa the One I Adore is in town for the weekend, and of course we made plans to hang out, but now The Man is keeping me down. No fun for me these next few days.

Also--you all will be happy to know that I made it official and signed another year-long lease for the Batch Pad this morning, so yes, I am staying in Vegas, come hell or high-water. I stopped pursuing other jobs in other states, and as much as the family wanted me to move back to Nashville, I decided to stay out here. Don't get me wrong, every visit to Tennessee is like chicken fried steak for my soul, but I feel like I still belong out here. Who knows, if it all goes to shiat and I can't find a full-time gig once the circus leaves town, I could still go--Nashville is an escape hatch if things don't work out. But I've got a feeling that they will.

Besides, all of my friends keep telling me that Sunset did me a huge favor by culling me from their herd. That poker room is dying anyways--it can't compete with the other, better, games in town, and it's just not a good place to be. I went in last night to see a friend of mine, and they only had one shiatty short-handed 4-8 game with no action in it. I didn't even play. Besides, both of my new jobs are in much better, and busier places, and I have a *really* good shot at getting on full-time, with full benefits and such, at Job #1 at the end of next month. I could've stayed at Bankrupt Station for five more years and never gotten off of the Extra-Board. It's amazing how things turn out...

Anyhow, I just took a Five Hour Energy shot and I'm about to jump in the shower before heading down to the Strip for my first night back in the real world.

Full reportage tomorrow...


Thursday, May 27, 2010

...As A Dog!

Man, I don't know how or where I picked up this nasty bug I've got, but I am down for the count tonight.

It hit me pretty suddenly--I was dozing on the couch, sleeping through SportsCenter a couple of hours ago, and BAM! It was like a race with the devil to do the high-speed duck-walk the fifteen steps or so to the bathroom else I'd lose my entire cleaning deposit on getting the carpets shampooed replaced.

I don't know how it's possible, but I've been going off like the Bellagio fountains at both ends every ten minutes or so. It's gotten so bad that I'm tempted to sleep in the tub, just to be safe... Although, after the last bout, which was the most severe, I feel a little better, and I've been able to keep this glass of ice-water down for going on five minutes now.

(Hey, y'all want details, I've got details!)

Besides the involuntary purging of my innards, how did the rest of my Wednesday go? Well, I'm glad you asked...

I had to get up waaaay to early for my liking and haul my tired ass down to job #1 for my orientation. I finally met my new boss, and he told me that yep, after this current 'surge' dies down after the World Series, he's gonna keep 10-12 of us on FULL TIME. Oh hell yeah! Of course, there will probably be 30 or more dealers competing for those jobs, but I like my chances. Then I spent the morning doing paperwork, getting my picture taken, etc. etc. etc. The worst part was at the end, when the Human Resources guy took us on a tour of the property.

That sucked like nobody's business. First of all, half of us were in dress shoes, expecting to be sitting in a meeting room all day. And second of all, I didn't bring my sunglasses with me and half of the damn tour was outside. What made it worse is that he stretched it out like it we were walking around the Pentagon, going into the minutia of every little feature we came across. I know it's a necessary evil, but every one of us who got hired were locals, and we've all stayed at the hotel on numerous occasions in the past. Hell, except for the behind-the-scenes stuff, I could've given the tour.

But I put on my smiling and enthusiastic face and toughed it out, although I was suffering from the bright sun and uncomfortable shoes for about the last twenty minutes or so. Everyone was glad when it ended, that's for sure.

After I escaped from there, I made my way over to the poker room at the Orleans again. Now that I've had a taste of Omaha, I'm really diggin' it.

Unfortunately, it didn't go so well this time around. Every time I made a King-high flush, somebody had the Ace-high. I got quads again, and again it was against one single opponent, who stuck around to make the nut-low, so basically I just got my own money back, minus half the rake. Ugh.

I couldn't make a draw, and none of my 'made' hands were quite good enough. I burned through almost $200 before giving up in disgust. I think I need to pull out the old copy of 'Super System' and study up a bit before I go back and throw myself to the wolves again. Obviously, I was doing something wrong.

On the other hand, while waiting for a seat, I met a really nice gal and spent about an hour chatting her up. I was sitting at a dead table, minding my own business and she came over and sat down in the seat right next to me and struck up a conversation. It was the only bright spot of the afternoon.

Oh, I almost forgot--a lot of people have been asking about how I'm going to be able to juggle the schedule of two jobs. Actually--it's pretty easy. Job #1 wants me to work days, from 11-7, and job #2 wants me to work swing from 7-till whenever. No time to get between the two, right? No problemo there. Boss #1 told me today that I can have an Early Out on any of the days that I'm doing a double--it seems that most of the temps have secondary jobs, so he's completely flexible. Nice, huh?

As it turns out, I start at job #2 this Friday night and work all weekend, but I don't start job #1 until next Saturday on the new schedule. So I guess today is my last day of freedom for awhile, aside from next Thursday, but after that, I'm gonna be scarce.



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Chinese Food

...and only an hour of Deadliest Catch, too. Yeah, that's how tired I was last night--too tired to eat, too lazy to even call for a delivery. After that last post, I made it another hour before giving up and heading to bed early.

And my paranoia set in, too. As tired as I was, and not having had to wake up early in the morning for more than five years, I just knew I'd sleep through my alarm and fark up my first day at the new job. So I figured out how to set the alarm on the new phone, and also the clock radio (which I'd never used). I set 'em both for 7:00 am this morning, and went to bed by ten o'clock last night. And wouldn't you know it--I was wide awake by six. Don't need any Five Hour Energy today; I made a pot of coffee and I'm having a couple of granola bars for breakfast, instead.

There was chatter of a game of Chinese poker tonight here at the Batch Pad, but Holly has to work late, as does AC, and now that I've lost everyone's phone numbers anyways, well, I'm not gonna follow up and try to make it happen. Besides, once I finish all the paperwork and such down at the casino, I may skip on over to the Orleans and play some cards to fill the rest of my day.

That's about all for now--I've got about 20 more minutes before my alarms start going off, and then I've got to get ready for my day. One good thing about going in this early--no traffic on the Strip.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Catching Up

I've finally got a free evening with no plans, and although I got myself dressed and prepared to drive over to the Orleans and play some more Omaha, I decided against it. It's already after 7:00 o'clock, and I have to be at job #1 at 8:15 in the morning to do all the paperwork and such.

BTW, a little follow-up to that last brief post. I've been getting a lot of emails and facebook messages asking about where I work. Sorry, but that info stays in the vault. It's nothing personal, I'm not telling anyone except people in my family and my local circle of friends. Besides, one of the jobs will almost certainly be done with at the end of July, and at that time, if they cut me loose, I'll be more than happy to spill all the beans.

It's just that last time around, some numb-nuts came into my room to say hello and started bragging up my mad writing skillz to anyone and everyone who would listen, and then I gained a few more regular readers, one of them being my boss. So after that I was constantly being carped on for what I could and couldn't say, and of course if there was anything juicy that happened like some drunk getting out of line or a fight breaking out on graveyard shift, I could never write about it. And that truly sucked. So this time around, I'm keeping a low profile--even my buddies back in Phoenix don't know where I'm working, nor does anyone from the T2V board, either. Maybe now I'll be able to tell some better stories.

So last night, when I made my post-Omaha post, I was still wide awake. And even though I knew I had to get up at 8:30, I stayed up and watched the two-hour series finale of 24. Yes folks, our long national nightmare is finally over--all the terrorists have finally been vanquished, and all the bad guys are either dead, disgraced, or on the run. It started to get tedious for me when the Roy Orbison of the Middle East took a starring role this season, and it really went downhill after Agent Walker (oooh la la...) took a bullet. On the other hand, with the end of this show comes the end of my favorite drinking game of all time--every time somebody at CTU says the word 'protocols', you take a shot. Talk about a Tuesday hangover...

Anyhow, after watching that, I tossed and turned for a few hours before waking up ten minutes before my alarm went off. Once I showered, shaved, and got dressed, I headed back down to the Strip for my orientation at job #2. It only took a couple of hours, and it was relatively painless. The only bummer of the new job is that I have to wear black & whites instead of the more comfy sport-shirt uniforms that the permanent dealers wear. They just don't have enough uniforms on hand for all the newbie temps, so I'll be wearing my Golden Gate gear again, minus, of course, the bow tie, suspenders, and garter.

And also, my dreams of World Series glory have been dashed again for another year, as I found out that I start working for real on Friday night--I work four swing shifts in a row, all the way through the holiday weekend, and I'm on call the two nights after that. As far as getting my schedule to jive with job #1, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'll be working day shift there, and could likely swing early outs on the days where I'm doing doubles. At least that's my plan, but as you all know, nothing is ever easy.

Once I got home from the orientation, I kinda dozed on the couch for awhile. But then I got a phone call, and I saw that it was from job #1. I tried to answer it, but the touch screen on my piece of shiat LG Xenon phone was completely unresponsive. I couldn't answer the phone, and after it stopped ringing, I couldn't even get to voicemail to retrieve the message. Nothing worked. Suddenly my expensive 'smart phone' turned into nothing more than an overpriced digital pocket watch.

It's amazing how vulnerable you feel without access to a phone, as mine was deader than fried chicken, and about as useful as a shovel with no handle. I panicked a bit, then headed out to get a replacement. Of course the morons at the AT&T store were no help--oh, they could send it in and get a warranty replacement for me, but in the meantime, all I could do was buy a new phone at full retail price. The shittiest of the cheapos sells for $250 bucks if you don't get a new contract, and since my contract is only six months old, I'm not eligible for a phone upgrade unless I get a bunch of add-ons and get an iPhone. Fark that. I'm already paying a hundred bucks a month for service...

So I went to Best Buy--same story there, they can't sell replacement phones, only upgrades with new contracts. So I hit Costco, where I originally bought it--nope, no help there, either. By this time, my frustration with AT&T was coming to a full-boil, and I was none too happy with LG Electronics, either. Finally, I made it to Walmart, spent $60 on a cheap-ass Go-phone, put my old sim-card in it, and I was good to go. Unfortunately, none of my contacts were on my sim card, they're all stored in the phone's memory, so I have lost every single phone number in my directory.

I had to break out my old-school address book to call Mamasan a few hours ago, and I had her call me back a couple of times just so I could get my initial settings done. I have no idea how to get all that old data transferred over, because I don't think it's on the chip with the music and photo files, and the touch screen is completely fried, so I can't even bring up a list of contacts. Piece of shiat--I'll *never* buy anything from LG ever again. Should've stuck with Motorola--never had a problem at all with their phones. And this 'go phone' doesn't seem to have a slot for that chip, anyways. The more I think about it, I *might* be able to bring up the contact list from the keypad and manually write down everyone's numbers, but that's a project I really don't want to tackle at this very moment.

Anyhow, that little problem and field trip took about three hours out of my afternoon, and I still don't feel like I've gotten enough sleep. So tomorrow morning is gonna be all about the Five-Hour Energy and a Power Bar on the way in to job #1. Oh, and I finally did retrieve the message--they just had a couple of questions about my new Gaming registration--when I first applied, it had expired, but since I've been hired, I've renewed it through job #2, so there is some confusion afoot at the human resources office.

But that's the news from here on a Tuesday night. As much as I'd like to go out and play some more Omaha, I'm gonna stick around the house, maybe order some Chinese food, and watch The Deadliest Catch for a few hours before going to bed early.




Everyone--Quit asking. I'm not telling.

It's nothing personal. I just would prefer to keep it to myself. Thank you for respecting my privacy.


And There's the High-Low Over at That Ghoulash Joint on West Tropicana

For a Monday, I have to admit, it was a pretty good day. I slept in, got a bunch of errands done, and also made a little bit of money. After writing up that post yesterday and finding out that yes, I *do* actually have two jobs, there were a chores to be done--like buying another couple of pairs of those sexy black polyester work pants that all the ladies dig.

I also ended up down at Sunset talking to my buddy James--He's dealt the Series the past couple of years, and starting next week I'm gonna have to deal a lot of HORSE, PLO, and Hi-Low Stud--three games I've never dealt to the grinders that lurk around the Station casinos. The room was pretty slow yesterday afternoon, so he was able to answer most of the questions that were vexing me. It's not like I don't know how to deal those games, it's just that I don't want to look like too much of a jackass when they throw me into that particular briar patch and there is big money on the line.

So once he finished up his shift, we headed over to Sierra Gold for a few beers and some wings. First of all, I'm starting to get discouraged about finding decent wings in this town. I conquered the pizza mountain when I discovered Grimaldi's, but wings, well, so far, I've only been impressed with this place called Chicken Bonz, so yeah, Sierra Gold left a little to be desired. We stayed there for a couple of hours, and then got the wild idea to find a good Omaha game.

But we didn't want to go to Boulder Station. Ugh. It's like the Memphis of locals casinos. Looks and sounds good to outsiders, but once you go there, you keep thinking to yourself God, what a dump as you discreetly try to keep one hand on your wallet.

We called around to a few casinos and found that the Orleans had three tables of 4-8 Omaha Hi-Low split going. Sold! We paid our tab and were on our way.

Confession time--I have *never* before in my life played Omaha Hi-Low split for real money in a casino. Hell, I've never even played it online. I've played with fake chips in dealer school for practice, but that ain't real poker--you might as well deal 'em face up because everyone stays to the river anyways when there is no money on the line. When I've played Omaha lately, it's only been the High version--no qualifying low cards matter.

So this was going to be a whole new experience for me altogether.

I got there first and got a seat in a game with two of the grouchiest old guys I've ever met--they were pissed off about everything on every hand. I guess that being short-stacked didn't help their disposition, either, but still, what a couple of old bastards they were. Eventually, they got broke and the game got to be a whole lot more fun.

James showed up about a half hour after I did, and he actually got a seat at my table. Bummer for him though--twice last night I made quads, and both times he was in the pot against me on the river!

Actually, I got quads three times, but the third time shouldn't count. There was this gal that came into the game, and the people next to me warned me that she was a maniac, raising and re-raising every street on almost every hand, trying to push the table around. No problemo, I thought--just gotta wait for a hand. People like that feed the game and usually go bust.

So there I was, sitting in late position with Ace-King-Ten-Eight, double suited. Of course she raised the action pre-flop, and got a couple of callers.

The flop came out 8-8-8.

Bam, I just flopped quads! And I'm in late position with a maniac in front of me. She bets out, gets two callers, and I smooth call. The turn is the Ten of Spades, no problem there, I hope somebody is dumb enough to be chasing a flush. She bets out, one guy folds, one guy calls, and I smooth call again.

The river brings the Six of Spades. She bets out, the other guy calls, and I raise.

She instantly re-raises!

Our third-wheel opponent finally realizes he's beaten like a rented mule and folds, and I'm thinking to myself, If this bitch hit a straight flush, I swear I'm gonna turn this table over like Simon LeBon at the end of the 'Hungry Like the Wolf' video...

But I re-raised her.

She glared at me for a second and and then mucked her hand. I showed the eight, and she said No shit, you've got an eight. I knew you had it all along.


So I replied with, That's cool. Most people fold when they know they're up against quads... Thank you though.

Man, was she ever pissed off after that.

On the very next hand, I got Ace-Jack-Ten-Nine, and of course she raised pre-flop. I called, as did a few others. The flop hit me between the eyes, coming out Ace-Jack-Five, rainbow. She bet, got a caller or two, and I raised. She re-raised.


Everyone else dropped out, and I re-raised her back. She just called that time, so I figured she didn't have a set of Aces or Fives. The turn was beautiful--it was another Jack, giving me Jacks full. She bet, I checked my cards, thought for a second and eventually called.

The river brought out the 'scare' card third diamond, and I was hope-hope-hoping that she'd made a flush. Of course she bet out, and I raised her again, and she re-raised me. I popped it one more time, also hoping that she didn't have pocket Aces. She just called, so I knew I was good.

She quickly turned over an Ace-high flush, but then I showed the Jacks full and she about came unglued.


She didn't play another hand after that, just racked up her chips and left. Of course, that was about it for my good luck... I took like three really bad beats on the river, which cost me dearly, and couple of times when I had the nut low, I got quartered.

I ended up walking away after five hours, racking up a whopping $72 profit, but man, it sure was a fun game--It makes hold-em feel like a quilting bee.

Anyhow, it's late and I've *got* to go to bed at some point. It's almost 1:00 am and my alarm is set for 8:00 o'clock in the morning. I go back to the real world this morning, and I need to get some rest.

Peace out, y'all...


Monday, May 24, 2010

Expecting A Bombshell, Were We?

Sorry to disappoint...

It's not like I had any earth-shattering news to share, it's just that I've been so damn busy this past week and so many good things have been happening, that's all. The problem, however, is as much as I'd love to share all the details with everyone, I still have to maintain some semblance of privacy--and not only for myself, but for others, too.

Anyhow, like I said in the earlier comments, I went from having no jobs to suddenly having two of them. After my first audition, and offer, on Tuesday, I got another call out of the blue from a casino I never thought I'd hear from, and they wanted me to come in on Thursday for an audition, too. No problem! It sounded like a good opportunity to me.

Well, I got to the audition on Thursday, and saw that there was a group of people ahead of me just finishing up, and that I was part of a group of ten more dealers they were bringing in. Not only that, but one of my friends had also gotten a call to come in for the same audition that day. It wasn't looking good--it seems that every dealing job in town has a couple hundred applicants, and it's a buyer's market right now. Competition is pretty stiff.

Anyhow, I had a glimmer of hope for my prospects when we got underway, as the main guy in charge of all the poker rooms for this particular company was somebody I'd met socially in the past and talked to at length. Not that we were close friends, but certainly better than acquaintances--we knew a lot of the same people and actually had a beer or two together back in the day.

But then, after the introductions were made (and I found out that maybe only five or six of us had any actual poker dealing experience), they broke us up into two separate groups to do our auditions, and my 'patron' went with the other group. No help there... But my audition went pretty well--I didn't screw anything up and it went fine, although there was one goofball in the group who decided it was his job to throw curveballs at the rest of us while we were 'in the box', making difficult bets or calling his hand incorrectly at the showdown (kinda like the jerkoffs at dealers school who would place $31 high-low bets on the dice table). Of course, when he sat down for his own audition, he was awful, and was the first person dismissed. (Karma's a bitch, ain't it?)

As it turns out, I was offered a job on the spot, along with a couple of the other people in my group, and was told to return the next day. The strange thing about it was that I was offered a job at a completely different casino--one that I'd never applied at and that was never even on my radar. (It's a big company, and they own a few poker rooms on the Strip). Of course I accepted.

Now, here's the caveat--it's a contract job that lasts until a month after the World Series is over. Not permanent, but then again, nothing in this town is... It seems that there is quite a spillover during the WSOP and all the rooms down on the Strip are busier than hell for about six or seven weeks, and then as soon as the Series ends, all the players leave, and all the full-timer dealers in town go on vacation. So my job is to pick up the slack for the next two months and stick around until August or so. Will it lead to a permanent position? Possibly, but I highly doubt it. On the other hand, it'll be nice to be working again.

So on Friday morning, I found myself deep in the bowels of the corporate offices, doing my new-hire processing. And besides myself and a handful of other poker dealers, they'd also picked up about a dozen new cocktail waitresses at the same time, so my first hour or so of paperwork was quite enjoyable, as there was a lot of hurry-up and wait time while we took turns at the desk getting our documentation packets done. I also walked all over creation that day, getting re-registered with the NGC and getting fingerprinted again, too (Seriously--did my fingerprints change in the past five years?).

Once I got cut loose from there, I went over to my new poker room to find out about scheduling, but all they said was to come in this Tuesday (tomorrow) for orientation. I'm hoping that I don't start until Sunday or Monday, because that way I can play in the casino employees WSOP tournament which starts on Friday. I've wanted to play in that thing every year since I've been here, but each year I either a) didn't have the money, b) didn't have the time off, or c) had to sit around and wait for the cable guy to come and wire my living room. This year, however, I have the $500 entry fee and proof that I work in a casino (I didn't have any casino ID until Friday), and maybe I have the time off, too. We'll find out for sure within the next day or two.

On the other hand, that first offer I got seems to have stagnated. I never heard anything back all week. When I was in there on Tuesday, they made it sound like they wanted me to start ASAP, but then, I never got a call back telling me to come back and do all my paperwork. I was getting worried about that, because that job was the one I *really* wanted and it could lead to a permanent position--well, at least there's a better chance of it. So I called them back this morning and the manager said not to worry--I should be getting a call back within the next day or two. With all the new hires for the WSOP and the other rooms around town, there is a bottleneck on background checks and gaming registrations, so it's taking longer than usual. I hope that's the case and that I'm not lost in the shuffle somewhere.

So I'm free today, but I think I'm gonna get a lot busier starting tomorrow. And if that first job offer comes through, starting next week, I'm gonna be busier than hell for the next two months--probably working 70-80 hours per week. We shall see.

Personally, I'd just like to get going...

So that's what's going on as far as the work front goes. On the 'play' front, I've been doing fairly well, too. I made a small fortune playing Omaha the other night, and I have to admit, I like Omaha a lot more than hold-em. I've played it twice in the past couple of months, and both times I kicked ass. This last session was especially tasty, because there was one complete douchebag in the game that I just loved pounding on.

He used to come in and play on graveyard at Sunset occasionally when I was working, and I just never liked the guy--some people just rub you the wrong way, and he was one of them. I like him even less now, but he brought about $600 to the table the other night, and he spent the next four hours giving it all away, mostly to me and another guy. It was especially fun because he's one of these dorks that wears the two-years-too-late Ed Hardy shirts and the most ridiculous oversize sunglasses when he plays, and he thinks he's some kind of poker pro. He's not a bad no-limit player, but man, does he ever suck at Omaha. It was a thing of beauty to not only watch, but participate, in the beatdown.

There was another guy in the game, who's probably the best non-pro no limit player I know. I like playing with him, but he's one guy I'm afraid of in the no limit game because you never know what he's gonna turn over at the showdown--he's the kind of guy that will raise $30 pre-flop with 6-3 offsuit and still have the nuts when it's all over. Anyhow, he was in the Omaha game too, and tried to run over it, raising constantly. He was directly on my left, so after the first half hour or so, I changed seats to put him on my right, so that he'd have to act before me instead of raising me constantly.

That helped me quite a bit, having him in front of me, and whenever I had a monster, he would build the pot for me. Anyhow, he also had a big stack in front of him early on, but he ended up 'raising himself broke', as I like to call it.

**We interrupt this update to post another update** The phone just rang--it was job #1 calling to tell me to come in first thing on Wednesday morning to get processed. Here we go... **End update**

Anyhow, I ended up staying until the game broke that night, and me and one other guy had most of the chips on the table. So yeah, I love me some Omaha. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a decent game on a regular basis unless I go out to Boulder Station (unless I fight traffic on the Strip--I think the Venetian has a decent game, and maybe the Bellagio, but I haven't played at either place in months).

I played some no-limit on Saturday night, but it was a stiff game, no action at all. My old boss was in the game for a while, and as soon as I sat down I won a small pot off of her but not much else. I ended up getting Aces cracked twice and getting stuck a hundred bucks before the game broke a couple hours later. I had to go play 4-8 to get my money back--it took two hours to make a hundred bucks, and then I called it a night, breaking even, less a few bucks to the cocktail waitress.

Anyhow, I'm gonna wrap it up for now--I've got a few things to take care of now that I know I've got two jobs starting tomorrow morning. I'll post again soon, I promise.


Friday, May 21, 2010

So Much To Say

Just not quite sure how to say it.

I'll try and put something together this weekend.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

As They Say in Tennessee

--When it rains, it pours!

Yep, not two hours after I got home from my one-hand 'audition' and job offer, I was sitting here at my desk treating myself to $40 worth of paperback books courtesy of Amazon, and the phone rang. It was an unknown 702 number, so I answered it, thinking it was the casino. Well, it was 'a' casino, but not 'the' casino.

As it turns out, I have to head back down to the Strip again on Thursday and do another audition. It's another one of those temporary-maybe-eventually-permanent positions that the casinos are doing now because they're so afraid to hire anybody in this morbid economy. Anyhow, it's a nice room, and I've got a couple of friends who work there, but they didn't know I'd applied, so this one is all on my own.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to swing another offer and suddenly go from being completely menace-to-society unemployed to having two jobs to go to every week. That would be a great problem to have. We'll see how it goes, and of course, I'll keep y'all updated.

As far as life on the other side of the poker table goes, I'm doing ok. I was gonna take the night off and chill out in front of the TV and clear out my DVR. Well, that lasted until around 11:00 o'clock. I went to bed, but couldn't sleep. So I put on a clean shirt and some sandals and headed for the casino.

There was a very juicy eight-handed 4-8 game going when I got there, and my gal Pat was already there, too. It was a great game because there was one other 'good' player, one guy who thinks he's a good player, but really sucks, a few average players, and two complete fish. That's the ideal combination. I've learned that the best games have just two suckers in them. Any more than that and they'll unconsciously gang up on you without knowing it and one of them will outdraw you every time. You can beat two bad players, and maybe three if you're getting the cards, but there ain't no way on god's green earth that you can outplay four complete morons in a limit game... Never in a million years--the game might look good, but like Admiral Akbar so famously said, It's a trap!

So this was an ideal situation. Making it even better was one guy was in the game who I just love love love to beat like a drum. I've mentioned him before--the foul-smelling Edgar Winter lookalike. He loves to raise with complete junk all the time, and he's such a bad player that he gets paid off when he finally hits a hand. Unfortunately for him, I popped him like four times in a row and broke him twice, eventually coloring up for a $200+ profit. Not bad at a 4-8 game. I would've liked to stay longer, but I wasn't going to tempt fate and give any of it back, so I cashed out after just two hours.

Since Pat was there, I stuck around to sweat her cards and watch her win a few big pots off of him, too. Eventually, I grew tired of that and just came on back here to the house.

Being that it's Wednesday, I may go back over to GVR and play in their 10:00 am tournament again, depending on how much sleep I get. Also, we're talking about playing Chinese poker again this evening, but we'll see how that goes. If not, I may make my way down to the Strip in search of a juicy 1-2 no-limit game, instead.

Otherwise, it's time to do some housecleaning--I might be having company tonight.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Episode IV: A New Hope

Wow... What a week this has turned out to be. And just an hour ago, that metric ass-load of stress that I've been carrying around, well, it evaporated. I think I'll finally get some sleep tonight.

Anyhow, where to begin...

First of all, to everyone who keeps telling me that they never got any of the email I sent out in the past week or so, that problem has been solved. Just an issue with my outgoing mail server. If I used the webmail site, no problemo, but if I sent something from Outlook, it just went out into the ether. All is fixed now.

So, what's new in the world of Hurricane Mikey? Well, last week, Cyndi was here for a few days and we got to hang out a few nights. That was lots of fun, and one night we were over at the 'M' and she won over $700 on the penny slots--a great way to wrap up her trip!

On Friday night, I dealt a charity tournament up at the clubhouse at TPC Canyons up in Summerlin. Nice place, and a fun night--and it was refreshing to do some honest work for the first time in almost two months. The guy running the show does a lot of private poker events and stuff and when it as all over, he asked me if I'd be willing to work with him again in the future. Of course I said yes.

That helped, because jobs are really scarce out here right now. I've been applying for everything I could find, and nothing had come through. I swear, I think I'm blackballed at one particular gaming company because every time I apply for a position anywhere within their 'family', within 24 hours I get one of those automatically-generated rejection letters. Since they own several casinos in town, my prospects were looking bleak.

Also, although I had a great audition almost a month ago at another big room down on the Strip, I never heard back from them--not even a rejection letter, like some of my friends got. Of course, they had a handful of openings and probably fifty different people auditioned, so chances were slim from the outset.

I had mentioned, previously, that another nice room in town was hiring, and a friend of mine works there. She gave me the initial hook-up, but I thought that bird had flown. While I was in Tennessee, I got a call from them, asking if I could come in for an audition, and of course I said I would, but they wanted to see me that afternoon! I told them that I was two thousand miles away and didn't think I could be there by 2:00 pm... So they countered with "Can you come in tomorrow morning, instead?"


Um, no... How about giving me some lead time?, I thought. The conversation went downhill from there, and I just chalked it up as a missed opportunity.

Anyhow, that's where the job search stood as of last week. I even applied for the World Series but never even got a call--and I know they still need dealers. So I stopped looking for poker jobs and started applying to work in sports books, surveillance, or, god forbid, the cage... (Actually, if I had my druthers, I think I'd like to work in a cigar store). While Cyndi was here, she gave me another round of the Come Back to Nashville speech that I'd heard several times in the past month. And I decided that if I didn't find something by the end of this month, then yeah, I'd probably pack up the truck and go be a bum in Tennessee. At least there I could remain living indoors once my savings ran out...

On the other hand, as of Monday night, I'd made enough money playing poker since I got back from Nashville to cover all of my bills for the month, with an extra couple hundred still in the coffee can. So I'd be a liar if I didn't consider, briefly, that maybe I'd just make my living at the poker table as a 'semi-pro' player, while I casually looked for a job and waited out the bad economy. Yeah, that's a nice fantasy, but man, it's not even close to reality--talk about working without a net. And it's a grind, too. But believe me, I've been thinking about it.

So anyhow, on Friday night, after the charity gig, I wandered into Sunset Station sometime after midnight to say hey to all my peeps and maybe play a few hands of cards. It was a dull night, but when I got up to go to the bathroom, I ran into my gal who had recommended me for a spot in the room that called me while I was in Tennessee. I told her all about how the HR department called and gave me no notice and that I never got an audition scheduled. She said she'd take care of it and that I should be able to get hired without even having an audition. I didn't think that was very likely, hearing that at 2:00 am while sitting at a slot machine, drinking a Bud Lite, but hey, I thought it was cool that she was looking out for me.

Fast forward 12 hours.

My phone rang early Saturday afternoon. It was one of the assistant managers from that same poker room, asking me if I could come down on Tuesday morning (today) and do an audition! Holy crap, that was fast...

So, yeah, I made my appointment, and this morning I headed on down to a real casino in Vegas proper and had my audition in a very nice, big, and most importantly, busy room! My gal showed up for her shift a few minutes after I got there, and I asked her if she had said something to the boss about me. Yep--she did first thing on Saturday morning, and within two hours after that conversation, I was back in the loop!

As far as the audition went, I thought it went pretty well. I sat down in the box and dealt one hand of Stud, and as soon as I finished the first hand, the floorman said "Hey, sorry to waste your time today, get up out of the chair and give somebody else a chance..."

I was dumbfounded. WTF? Did I just blow this audition?

Before I could come up with a question to ask what I did wrong, he said, Mikey, you don't even need an audition--I can tell you've got the chops. You passed.

WHEW! Thank god!

So once everyone was finished, I was told that I'd get a call in a couple of days and they'd schedule me for a day of processing. I also have to go down and get fingerprinted and get my Nevada Gaming card renewed once all that paper work is done. (Those bastards at Stations ran my ass out a week before it expired). Now, before I get too excited, it's just a temporary gig--Vegas is still Vegas and we're still in a weak economy--but I was told that after the six weeks is up, they're going to keep a few of us newbies on permanently. That's about as good as I can hope for right now, but I'll take it--this new place is about ten times nicer, three times as big, and about a dozen times busier than my old gig at Sunset Station. Not only that, but I have a load of that precious Vegas commodity known as 'juice'. It doesn't matter how good you are--you still have to know somebody in this town to get a foot in the door. So yeah, I may have gotten juiced in to this job, but it's all on me now to make them want to keep me permanently. But I like my chances.

So today I uttered a huge sigh of relief. Of course, I'm not gonna feel like anything's changed until I do that processing and do all the official paperwork, but at least it's a start...

But that's not all--it's been a good week all-around. Last night I went down to Sunset Station again to play in that $3000 graveyard free-roll tournament. Only seven people qualified for it, and I was one of them. Well, as it turns out, one of the seven was out of town and couldn't attend. So that left six of us. A quick calculation tells me that six players and $3000 worth of prize money means $500 each if we just skip the tournament and just chop up the prize money. So that was the plan--we weren't even gonna play one hand--we were just gonna come in and get the money and split.

Well, at midnight, there were only five of us there. The sixth guy never showed up! We waited one blind level--twenty minutes--before calling it quits and taking his share, too. So the five of us that showed up got $600 each. Cha-ching! One stack of green, one stack of red...

This is me and my gal Pat celebrating our 'just showing up' victory. We usually play cards together about three times a week, and she's also gonna start playing Chinese poker with us here at the Batch Pad once a week, too.

I would've liked to stick around and play a little bit after we got our payouts, but I was soooo tired, and I knew I had to get some rest and prepare myself mentally for today's audition. So I came home, made a quick update, and then went straight to bed.

So I think that brings us up to speed... And I hope everyone else's week has started out as well as mine! I think I'm gonna spend the rest of the day relaxing, and then maybe bust out a victory cigar later this evening. I deserve it.


I'll Get To It...

Just not right now.

I've been stuck in a rut these past few days, and just really haven't had the urge to write anything. I'm kinda feeling it now, but it's after 2:00 am and I have to get some sleep. I've got an audition this morning and I need to be well-rested and prepared. I'm going to get up in a few hours, iron my nicest white cotton shirt, and then spend an hour or so practicing my Stud and PLO games. I can count on one hand all the times I dealt stud and Omaha in the past two years, but I've never dealt pot-limit.

Just gotta remember the shortcut--Three times the last bet, plus the trail--and I'll do fine. I hope it goes well--I'm running out of jobs to apply for out here.

So once I finish that up, I'll come back home and do some writing. Maybe I'll have something up by Tuesday night. If not then, Wednesday morning.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spooning Leads To...

Well, you know what it leads to ~~~~~~~>

So, here it is, three o'clock in the morning, and I'm not quite ready to go to sleep just yet. I just got home from another successful night playing poker, and as I'm now starting to hear from all of my degenerate friends out here, if this keeps up, I won't really need to find a new job anytime soon.

Yep, I'm still streaking--the good way, not what you freaks are thinking.

Anyhow lemme tell ya how my night went. First of all, Wednesday night was poker night here at Casa de Mikey. AC was stuck dealing a huge free-roll at his second gig, so he had to bail on us. James and Holly made it over, and I called my buddy Dave to come over and be our fourth. He was doing nothing but dozing on the couch watching the Yankee/Tiger game while his wife was out with her friends having a girls night out--so he had a free pass for the evening.

We had a bunch of beer in the fridge, a crockpot full of nacho cheese dip, and a few other assorted goodies to munch on, and I think we kicked off the game around 8:00 pm. I started out in the hole, couldn't get any good cards, but I clawed my way back to respectability.

At some point we took a break and we made a few pitchers full of pina coladas--no mix here; I used the good stuff--Coco Lopez coconut milk, pineapple juice, and premium rum from my personal stash. Oh hell yeah they were good! And it was a perfect night to hang out on the patio and enjoy them. They were so good that we made a few pitchers back-to-back-to-back, but eventually we got back to the game.

I never made any ridiculously good hands, but I made a good comeback. We actually called it an early night this time because two of our group had to get up early for work today. When all was said and done, James lost ten bucks, Holly lost about $35, I won $23, and Dave won $22.

We cleaned up the kitchen after the game broke up, and then everyone headed for home. It was only like 11:00 pm by then, and I wasn't quite ready to call it a night. So I called down to Sunset Station to see if they had a game, and they did. So I loaded up my pockets with my usual poker night gear--Altoids, keys, chip protector, iPod, wallet, zippo lighter, and a few singles for the cocktail waitress--and headed on down to the casino.

There was only one game going when I got there, and it was nine-handed. Just a few minutes later, two guys went broke and left, and the guy with the biggest stack at the table started to rack up. I thought the game was going to break and I'd be stuck $3 for the blinds I'd paid. But no, the rest of the players stuck around for a bit.

I was up and down for awhile, and even re-bought an extra $30 worth of chips at one point--I just couldn't make a hand stand up. And it sucked because that 'Edgar Winter' guy--the absolute worst limit player in the entire 702--was in the game just donkeying off chips right and left. I could never catch a hand. Eventually, I popped him with a big hand--the details escape me right now--but it was enough to bring me back to even and put me ahead about twenty bucks or so. At that point, I could relax. Before that, I was pressing, hoping to make a hand before the guy went broke. Well, once I got him, he took off for good...

AC showed up a little while later, just getting out of his full day of dealing at his second job. He jumped in the seat next to me, and then one of the graveyard dealers clocked out and got in the game, too. So it was a fun crowd.

I was just floating along, content to hang out and be social, but eventually a caught some big cards in the pocket--two black Kings--while I was on the small blind. So I raised it up to $6 and got four callers.

Well, guess what came out on the flop--yep--you guessed it, the other two red Kings! Oh hell yeah! I was afraid I wouldn't get any action after that, so I checked, as did the next two guys, but AC was on the button and bet. I called, they folded, and I nudged AC under the table and told him not to bet. So we checked it down and I turned over my flopped quads.

And oh-by-the way, right now, if you flop quads in that room, you get a hundred dollar jackpot bonus. Woot! So I took down the $32 pot and then collected another hundie from the the floorman.

After that, the game got really short and we played four-handed for about another hour. Not counting the hundred that I put in my wallet for the four Kings, I made thirty bucks in the game. Not too shabby for a crummy little limit game, but I'll take the extra $130 for my efforts. Add that to the $23 from Chinese poker, plus the $210 in the tournament, and the $193 I won last night, and yeah, I'm having a pretty good run these last two days. (And oh by the way, I stopped taking the pain meds, too, so I'm not groggy either). I hope I can keep it up.

But I don't know if I'll be playing tomorrow night--Cyndi and I have plans to get dinner and do something, and then on Friday night I've got a temporary gig dealing a charity tournament up in Summerlin for a few hours.

Anyhow, that's the news from here, so I think I'm gonna wrap it up and try to get a few hours of sleep. At some point today I've got to go out and buy a black bow-tie for Friday night. I haven't worn one of those since my days at the Golden Gate, and I can't seem to find my old one. Honestly, I think it's in the back seat of the Ghetto Sled, crushed into a little cube, stacked in a junkyard up in North Vegas. I'd go get it, but I can't find my crowbar, neither...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ok, Since Josie Wants Me To Talk About Poker

... I'll talk about poker some more.

So yeah, I finally got a full-night's sleep after I put up that post last night, and woke up at 9:20 this morning. I live about 15 minutes from Green Valley Ranch (ten if I speed), so there wasn't much time for dilly-dally. I called James to see if he was still gonna play in the 10:00 am tournament, thinking I'd skip it if he did, but he said he was on his way out the door. I told him that I'd just woke up, but I'd hurry to get there.

I took a quick hooker-bath, brushed my teeth, walked through a cloud of Tag body spray, put on a clean shirt and some sandals, and I was out the door just a few minutes later.

Just as I was pulling into the Paseo Verde garage at GVR, I got a text message from James telling me that he bought me in. Of course he got me a seat at the same table as him, and of course he had the seat immediately to my left. No big deal, though.

Turns out that there were enough players for four full tables once we kicked it off. I like the structure they have there at GVR--$3500 in chips, 20 minute blinds that go up to half-hour after the break--it's decent for a small $40 buy-in cheapo tourney.

I doubled up early on when I slow-played a full-house and let my opponent make his 'nut' flush on the river. I just had to call when he went all-in. Since there were re-buys, I knocked another guy out twice in twenty minutes. Some folks just don't understand that you don't mess with the Mikey when he's holding the goods. After the second time, I asked him if he wanted to go for the hat trick...

I thought I was gonna chip up again a few hands later; I was on the button with Ace-Jack and it was folded around to me. I raised it 4x the blind, the small blind folded, and the big blind called. I was really hoping to snap him off because he was one of these guys who offered commentary on every hand, and once it got so tedious that James just said straight up "Hey, nobody asked you..." That quieted him for a few minutes, but still, I wanted to get him. The flop came out Ace-Jack-Four rainbow--Bingo for me! He checked, I bet $1200 and he immediately went all-in.

I couldn't help myself, so I called. He turned over Ace-Four, so I had him dominated with my top two pair! Of course he caught his two-outer Four on the river to make a full house, and I doubled him up. Grrrr. What made it even worse was that the rest of us had to listen to the replay for the next several minutes.

After that, he became a dick about it. On the next three orbits around the table, he over-raised on my big blind. Everyone else folded, and I had shiat cards every time, so he'd just smirk and take it down.

I won a few more pots after that, and regained my status as the chip leader at the table, with my nemesis having the second biggest stack. On one hand, I looked down to see a King-Queen of spades, so I limped in. There were a couple other players limping in, too, and one of them was the guy I was gunning for. The flop was nice--Ace, Six, Jack, and the two biggest ones were spades, giving me the Royal Flush draw. I was going nowhere. And since I was the chip leader I was fully prepared to call anyone who went all-in. All three players checked in front of me, so I took the free card, too.

The turn was a rag, and the dude with the big mouth led out for $1200. The other two players folded, and I made the call. The river was the Eight of spades, and my opponent hesitated for a minute, then looked at me and said If you want your chips back, here's your chance, I'm all in! He then sat back with a smug look on his face and crossed his arms, like he was daring me to call.

I paused for a second, took a peek at my hole cards again, and then said Yeah, I think I'll take them back... I call.

He turned over Jack-Eight for two pair and said Hah--I rivered ya!

I replied with Yeah it was a great river card for you, but I have the nuts...

As I turned over my cards, the entire table erupted in laughter and derision. Heh. He slammed his fist down on the table and walked away, giving me a dirty look. James had my back and tossed out the Don't go away mad--just go away! line, giving the rest of us a chuckle. The guy got exactly what he deserved, and suddenly I had a monster chip lead--like three times as much as the next biggest stack.

I ended up getting moved to another table, knocked out one guy, and just a few minutes later, I got moved back to my original table, but to a different seat. I still had a monster chip lead when we finally got down to the final table an hour later.

There were fifty entrants at $40 apiece, and as soon as we got to the final table, everyone wanted to chop. I refused to do that, but agreed to pay the sixth place finisher $45, fifteen bucks off of each of the top three prizes. So we played it down to six players, but I didn't win anything but the blinds for the next two orbits. I was card dead. Another guy knocked out two players and he passed me up for the chip lead--he had almost 50% more than me.

Everyone wanted to chop, but I really didn't want to. The chip leader said he'd take the top prize minus $200, and the rest of us could chop the rest (He'd get about $475, the rest of us would get $266). All the other players really wanted to do it, but I kinda wanted to keep playing--I knew I could get at least second place money unless I got spectacularly unlucky--but I was up against a table full of Station players--they don't really want to play, they just want to come in and get free stuff, so as soon as they get in the money, all they want to do is chop.

I relented, but I wasn't too happy about it. The short stack only had two big blinds left and we could've easily knocked him out and gotten a bigger share, but all those old codgers just wanted to chop and go chase the high-hand jackpots at the 2-4 grind. But hey, I made $226 for my efforts, so I can't complain too much.

So I cashed out, left $16 in the dealers tip jar, and headed for home. Actually, before coming home I stopped at the grocery store and bought a few things for tonight's poker game--a case of beer, stuff to make nachos, and a few other odds and ends. Everyone will be here in a couple of hours, so I've got to get crackin' and prepare the Batch Pad for visitors.

Y'all be cool.


I Can't Find A Game

Welcome to my uneventful life.

I truly wish I had more to write about these days, but I'm kinda stressing out over my job hunt/possible relocation, so it's been rather tough to focus.

Not only that, but I wrenched the hell out of my knee a few days ago, and it's bothering me pretty badly. I hurt it about ten years ago, but at the time, the Doc said that I could take drugs and stay on crutches for two weeks, or bite the bullet and get minor surgery. Eff that. I took the drugs and the crutches, and every few years it sends me a reminder. It's an annoyance, part of getting old, I suppose, but one of the side effects is that it keeps me from getting much sleep. It's a dull ache, but occasionally a quick, sharp pain if I land on it or twist the wrong way. It's also manifested itself with the 'avalanche effect'--that is, I started favoring it when I'm walking around, and that's made my lower back hurt too.

Mamasan will be the first one to vouch for the fact that I'm the last person to go visit the doctor or get a prescription, so you know it started to bother me when it's become irritating enough that I spoke to an acquaintance (one of the guys I play poker with occasionally) who is a retired doctor and he gave me the once-over yesterday and then steered me towards some meds. It's helping, but my lack of sleep combined with the drugs has made me quite lethargic these past couple of days. I'm totally out of it, and feel like I have been for about 36 hours.

On the other hand--since I've got nothing else to do after performing the daily job hunting ritual I do every morning, I've been playing a lot of poker. I finally qualified for that free-roll at Sunset Station, and word around the campfire is that there will only be six of us at the tournament next week. Sounds like a prize-money chop to me...

I tried to go down and play there at Sunset again last night, but the room was dead by 9:00 pm. No game at all--they sent the dealers home and turned off the TVs, I guess. So I headed over to my old favorite, the M Resort. I haven't been there in almost three months--that night I lost my entire stack in six hands when I flopped either trips or a full boat four times and lost all four hands--anyhow, they had no 4-8 going, and only one table of no-limit. The rest was all 2-4 showdown poker. (Same thing at Green Valley Ranch this week--I've been there twice and couldn't get into a game bigger than 2-4).

So I put my name on the list for no-limit. I've barely played any no limit since I took that epic beatdown--yeah, I should've realized it was a statistical anomaly at the time and immediately got back on the horse, but damn, I'm here to tell you that you don't feel much like getting back in the ring after Mike Tyson treats you like a chew toy for 12 rounds... It was that bad (I didn't even write about it).

Eventually, there were enough extra players on hand to start a short-handed game. Immediately, I could tell the difference in my game. I'm a decent 4-8 player--I consistently make a few bucks almost every time I play, but I'm a much much much better no-limit player. It was like my brain had totally shifted gears when I got back into it, and I felt like I could read my opponents pretty damn well. Twice I made *huge* lay-downs that saved me big $$$ (pocket Queens and yes, pocket Aces). When I laid down the Aces, I showed them, which earned a gasp from the entire table, but then my opponent showed his fours full of eights and I was vindicated. It's like I could tell that although he called my first bet, he was itching to raise. Seriously, it was like I was reading his mind and I could hear him saying to himself 'not till the river, not till the river....'

So yeah, I was playing well. I lost about as little as I possibly could on that hand.

The problem is, we were short-handed, and me and another guy at the table just cut it up and broke the game. He started with $180 and cashed out with over six hundred, and I started with two hundred and cashed for $393 when we ran out of opponents after just 45 minutes. He opted to go play 2-4 and chase the high-hand jackpots, and well, I decided to just call it a night and just come on home. Slow night in Vegas--at least as far as a decent 1-2 no-limit game was concerned. And I didn't feel like driving down to the Strip, either.

Anyhow, it feels like I've got my mojo back at the no-limit game. I won't be able to play again until Friday night, though. Tonight is poker night at Casa de Mikey, and Cyndi and I have plans again on Thursday. However, I may be playing the no-limit tournament at Green Valley Ranch this morning. My buddy James won it yesterday, and he wants to go back and hit it again. Since I don't have a damn thing to do, I'm probably gonna load up on coffee and pain medication and gimp my ass on down there to GVR and give it a shot. I haven't played in a tourney since March Madness (fifth place--woot!), but I think it'll be fun.

But that's all I've got from here. Life goes on, although it's rather dull at the moment. Y'all have a good Hump Day!


Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's Gonna Get Out There Anyways...

So I might as well just get ahead of it and post the picture. Yep--I can laugh at myself. This is me during my last few hours in Nashville last Saturday afternoon.

Steffi had a Jimmy Buffett pre-concert Caribbean-themed party that I attended with my siblings, and cocktails were served. And of course Sherry and Cyndi made sure that we all had costumes. Here's mine:

Now I know that a few of my detractors and trolls will be saying Damn that fat guy sure sweats a lot!, but believe me, that isn't sweat--it was raining so hard at the time that this photo captures how wet I got while scurrying from the truck to the front door--and I was wearing a fleece jacket, too! All that rain water soaked through in the ten seconds it took me to hustle the thirty feet from the driveway to the living room! It was like running under a waterfall.


I've had a pretty damn dull week, truth be told. Last Sunday, there wasn't one suitable casino job listed in the paper, but I managed to do a whole bunch of online applications for a few jobs. Unfortunately, I've not heard back from any of them yet--it's a buyer's market here in the Neon Detroit, and unless you know somebody, interviews and auditions are very scarce. I think I'm gonna give it another few weeks of looking, but if I don't find something soon, I'll probably load up the truck and go be a bum back in Tennessee. That's what the family is rooting for, but believe me, I'd rather stay put. We'll see...

Since I've got nothing else going on, I've been playing a lot of poker. I've been mostly grinding away at the 4-8 limit games, making about $300 this week. I'd rather be playing no-limit, as I seem to do much better at that, but right now I'm taking it very easy with the bankroll. I played an epic 18-hour session on Friday-Saturday, but I never got more than $80 ahead or $35 behind. Talk about a grind.

But I still need another five hours of play during graveyard hours at Sunset Station by Tuesday morning at 9:00 am to qualify for their graveyard free-roll tournament next week. Basically, they were trying to drum up business at night by offering a free-roll, but you had to get 75 hours of play on the books in six weeks--much tougher than you can imagine. Right now, there are only eight people with a legitimate shot of making the tourney, and one of the guys is gonna be out of town. The prize pool is $3000, so I've talked to a couple of the other guys, and we're probably just gonna chop it up--If all of us make it, it's still over $400 apiece. So I've got to get down there and play again tonight to make sure I have enough hours in before the deadline.

After my 18-hour grind, where I basically just broke even, I came home and slept like I was dead. I woke up at 1:30 this morning (Sunday) and called down to the poker room to see if they had a game. They did, but by the time I got down there, it was pretty weak. However, I played for about an hour and a half before the table broke and managed to scoop a $105 win for my effort. Amazing huh? I couldn't win a damn thing in 18 hours, but then I go back eight hours later and win a c-note before I finished my second drink.

But I've been involved in some great games this week. One night, a kid lost over a thousand dollars at my table playing 4-8 limit! Do you have any idea how hard it is to be that bad? It was such a juicy game--and not only that, there were a couple of other dumbasses in the game, too. AC was working the floor that night, and eyeballing the stacks, we figured that there was more than $4500 in chips on the table--that's on a game where most people buy in for less than a hundred bucks!

I was playing on Saturday afternoon, sitting in my lucky seat #3 at my favorite table, and there was an old dude in the game who comes in a couple of times a month. The guy is 100 years old--no exaggeration--and can't hear shiat, but he's still got all his marbles upstairs. Or so I thought. At one point, in the middle of the game, he just stood up, reached down the front of his pants, spent several seconds adjusting the package, and then pulled his hand out and sat back down again like nothing happened. Everyone was looking at each other with that same dumbfounded WTF just happened??? look on their faces. It was pretty gross.

Luckily, or unluckily, for me, on that very hand I had my pocket Aces cracked and lost a sizable pot to somebody with pocket Tens who hit their two-outer, so I hit the ripcord and called it a day. No need to stick around and get any of the chips that had century-old ball funk on them, so I made a quick escape. I'm pretty sure that was the poker gods way of telling me that it was time to go, anyways.

I'm gonna spend the rest of my Sunday afternoon and evening cleaning the house and doing chores. My sister Cyndi arrives tomorrow morning for a week-long business trip, and she's coming over first thing. We're gonna go out for brunch before she heads off to do her thing for a few days, then on Thursday night she's got a rezzie back here in Henderson at a nearby hotel so that we can hang out and goof off before she heads back to Tennessee on Friday. I have fully prepared myself for the come-back-to-Nashville pitch, which I normally would stoically refuse to listen to, but the longer I go unemployed, the more chinks there are in the armor.

Talk to y'all later!


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Laziness Disguised as Frugality

Happy Hump Day to all! (And happy Cinco de Mayo, too!)

Well, here I was thinking that I'd be able to catch up on my sleep and get back onto a somewhat 'normal' schedule again, but it just ain't happening. As tired as I am at night, I'm still wide awake after midnight almost every night. Eventually I fall asleep, but without fail, my phone rings by 7:00 am. Lately, it's been Amy, who I've told that she no longer needs an exclusive ringtone--I know that it's her because she's the only one who consistently calls me before 8:00 am...

This morning she needed my info in case anything happens to her and Scottie--I'm the contingent beneficiary, which means that I'm also godfather to the puglets, Bertha and Lord Vader. Apparently, she got her formal offer for her new job last night and starts on Monday, so she was getting a head start on all of her paperwork, which now involves me. So I'm awake now thanks to my ringing phone and I've got a pot of coffee going. Might as well get started on the day.

Problem is, I don't have much planned.

I've already hit the job search pretty hard the past couple of days--I think I've put in six online applications for casino jobs here in town since I got back. I'm still waiting to hear from the folks I interviewed with while I was in Tennessee, but that was over two weeks ago, and I become less interested in that position with every passing day, even though the recruiter told me that she'd get back to me sometime this week. We'll see.

I probably should go to the grocery store today and stock up. Once I knew I was heading out of town a couple of weeks ago, I let my fridge get empty, and I haven't gone shopping since I got back. I'm out of milk, bread, eggs, fresh meat, fruit, and veggies, nor do I have any Coke, peanut butter, tortillas, salsa, or even chips. Since I've been home, I've lived on coffee, Crystal Light, granola bars, and canned soup. I tell myself that I'm being frugal, but the truth is, I've just been too lazy to go to the store.

But while I was gone, my new debit card came in the mail, so I have to go down to a Chase ATM and activate it, so while I'm doing that, I'll probably get some groceries. I also have to mail some bills and wash all the bird shiat off my truck, too (that's what happens when you leave it parked under a tree for two weeks).

Originally, we'd planned on having another poker night here at the house last night, but everyone had to work--that Bad Beat Jackpot is down to four Sixes getting beat and the prize pool has about $270,000 in it, so everyone I know who works for Stations has been getting called in for crowd control in the various poker rooms around town. I actually went out and played some on Sunday night (one of my gals called at 10:30 wondering where I was), but it was a non-profit grind. So, we had no poker game last night, and I wasn't feeling like going out to play either, so I just stayed home and puttered around the house.

I may go out and play later tonight, but first, I'm meeting up with Linda Lou for dinner at Grimaldi's. She's heading out of town in less than two weeks, so who knows when I'll see her again. And if I go another month without finding a job, I may be on the road myself--if the money runs out and I'm still funemployed, then I'll probably head back to Tennessee. But that's something to think about later on. Right now, I'm planning on staying in Vegas.


Monday, May 03, 2010

The Road Goes On Forever

And the party never ends...

Man, what a whirlwind these past couple of weeks have been! I finally made it back from Tennessee on Saturday night, one step ahead of the biblical flooding--it was a complete mess when I left, but luckily Frontier kept their planes flying. Other airlines had cancellations, but we left on time. Hell, we were the only plane moving when we taxied motorboated from the terminal out to the runway. I believe everyone that left after us was being loaded onto arks instead of airplanes.

Anyhow, I had a total blast hanging out with the family, and even though I got a lot of relaxin' in, I still feel like I've been driving or flying nonstop for two weeks straight--there were a few road trips involved in my stay, as I spent a bit of quality time in sweet home Alabama with Reverend Dave, too.

As far as the job situation goes, I'll address it in more detail later--the bottom line, I'm still unemployed, but I've got a couple of irons in the fire. And I still may be relocating. One position that sounds promising told me that I'd be starting on June 21st, if I got the offer, and it would require me to move to another state. It's a good job, and I'll take it, but deep down I think I'd rather stay in Vegas. I really do like living here, and I've got a cool apartment in a good location that I'd really like to keep, although my lease is up in a month. So I've got some decisions to make.

But enough about that... Lets talk about my visit to Tennessee and see a few pictures. When I first got there on Saturday, two weeks ago, Cyndi and Reverend Dave were waiting for me at the airport. On the way back to her house down in Spring Hill, we hit the grocery store for last-minute party supplies. It didn't take long for me to 'get my redneck on', as once the shopping was done, we found ourselves eating popsicles in the Kroger parking lot while filling up the beer coolers in the back of Dave's truck. Hell yeah.

Once we got to her house, we had about an hour before friends and family started showing up, so we got busy in the kitchen. That night, we grilled brats and burgers, built a bonfire, and had about 25 people sitting around drinking, smoking, and laughing until the wee hours. All of my siblings but Nancy were there, as were five of my nieces, and Papasan and my stepmom had made the drive up from Atlanta, too. Mamasan was also there, direct from her week-long stay down on the Redneck Riviera in Destin. A few other friends and neighbors rounded out the crowd, and Amy brought her puglets to provide another entertainment option. (Seriously--y'all ain't seen funny critters till you've seen a couple of wound-up pugs set loose in the middle of a party!).

A few of us die-hards stayed up pretty late, huddled around the fire under stadium blankets, slowly trying to empty the beer coolers. We were surprisingly unsuccessful.

The next day was completely mellow, as a bunch of us just hung around Cyndi and Tim's house chilling out all day and relaxing. We had fun, and my niece Allie was out of town until that night, so we were watching her kids. By the way, they love hanging out with Uncle Dave and Uncle Mikey--we have all kinds of goofiness in our portfolio. Once we ran out of things to color, I took one of the markers and drew some eyebrows and a goatee on one of Brynn's dolls. But then we got carried away, as you can see below:

Reverend Dave went one better, announcing that every four-year-old from Tennessee needs a tramp stamp:

Of course we forwarded these pictures to their parents (Mom was in Atlanta, Dad was on tour with his band, Savannah Jack), and they were pleased to see that their kids were in such good hands...

But then the kids went to work on my head:

BTW, this was the second time that weekend I had my head tattooed...

Yeah, I wore it around all day long. Eventually, we put a video in for them to watch, and the 'adults' sat around the kitchen table all afternoon munchin' on leftovers and playing Settlers of Catan. It's a pretty fun game--I'd never played it before, but it's a big hit with my sisters and their husbands, so we had a few epic games that afternoon. Later that night, we did the bonfire thing again, too, although with a much smaller crowd.

On Monday, we relaxed some more and just hung out. Besides me being out of a job, Reverend Dave and Amy were between gigs, too, so we had lots of free time to spend together (Since then, they have both accepted new offers). Also, since I didn't have a damn thing to do out here in Vegas, I decided to extend my trip for another week.

On Tuesday afternoon, I had a job interview that seemed to go pretty well, and once that business was taken care of, Reverend Dave and I bounced up to Mamasan's place for a few days. One of those days was taken up with a trek to Alabama to fetch Dave's stuff from his ex's house, but for the most part we hung out at Mamasan's place playing cards and relaxing.

Amy's birthday fell that week, so one night we we had a huge gathering of friends and family at the Cheesecake Factory. While that was going on, we organized an impromptu poker night at one of Amy's friend's houses for the following evening.

We had a small gathering, and just played a no-limit tournament with re-buys, and Scottie and I ended up chopping the first- and second-place money (Dave had three rebuys, heh!). It was a good time, but after the tournament ended, we all sat around in the dining room smoking a hookah. Our host, Gaines, had a pretty cool setup. In addition to our pipes, we smoked both coconut and cinnamon-apple flavored tobacco, and man, it was damn good. I love me some hookah smoke!

Once the weekend rolled around, Dave and I loaded up his truck and headed down to Scott and Amy's place in Columbia, which is hell and gone from any other civilization in Tennessee. It's seriously about an hour from town. They've got a cool place out there, but they are moving back to the city later this summer. While we were down there, we had a blast for about four days just goofing off together, three unemployed siblings plus Scottie, laughing our asses off.

It was a rainy weekend, as I recall, so we didn't do too much outside the house. We stayed in playing cards and Settlers, and also tormented the pugs by running around in circles between the kitchen, dining room, and living room (which we tired of long before they did...). Amy made a kitchen full of goodies, and all the family members on the south end of town gathered at her place for the day.

Alli, Scottie, Dave, Tim, Cyndi, and Amy gathered around the table on Sunday afternoon, while we play Settlers of Catan.

Lord Vader looks on as Reverend Dave plays with his Iphone...

... While Bertha is content to just sit and be adorable.

One of the more fun things we did that weekend was sit outside having a 'pickin party' on the front porch. Amy and Scottie own an old farmhouse down there in Columbia, and it's got a huge covered porch, perfect for entertaining. So we'd sit outside and smoke our cigars while Scottie played his guitar. We'd sing along for hours, having a grand ol' time, covering all kinds of great old songs. And I'm here to tell you that we can cover Don't Think Twice It's Alright just as well as Peter, Paul, & Mary, and waaaaay better than Dylan ever did. For real!

Besides just hanging out with my siblings, we also had a few nice meals at pretty good restaurants while I was out there. First of all, there was the Rose Pepper Cantina in east Nashville, and underrated spot with damn good Mexican food. And Amy & Scottie got me hooked on the Battle Ground Brewery in old Franklin. Holy shiat was the food great in that place--I was absolutely blown away by how good it was. So we had to go back for a second visit.

Scottie had recommended their steak sandwich, and he was right. It's a big ol' hunk of grilled ribeye on toasted sourdough with french-fried tabasco onions and a killer remoulade sauce. It was so good that I ordered it on both visits. Cyndi had some amazing shrimp and grits that came loaded up with cheese, veggies, and andouille sausage, while Reverend Dave raved about their fish and chips (as did all of the wait staff). Their appies were pretty good, too, and I decided that if I were to ever move back to Tennessee, I'd probably eat at that place every week. And oh by the way, they also have some great hand-crafted beers on tap. I was partial to the blueberry wheat...

Another one of our favorite little spots was the Buckhead Coffee House, just up the road from Amy's place. We went there a few times for an excellent breakfast of specialty coffee and some to-die-for cheese bagels. There was also a great place down in Decatur Alabama that Dave took me to, called The Brick--I had a great sandwich called the Smokey Joe, but I especially enjoyed the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Ale they had on tap.

My birthday also happened to fall during my visit, so we had another big family gathering. The original plan was to do another bonfire and potluck type of thing at Mamasan's place, but the weather wasn't cooperating. So instead, we just reserved a big long table at Maggiano's over on West End. It was good, but I think the one here in Vegas is a bit better.

While I was there last week, Reverend Dave accepted a new job down in Florence Alabama, about 70 miles southwest of Columbia on the TN-Alabama border. Since I had nothing going on, one day we road-tripped down there to hunt for apartments and such. We found one for him right away, so the rest of the day was spent shopping. Instead of a washer and dryer, he decided to embrace his bachelorhood and celebrate his good fortune with a new motorcycle:

It's a brand-spankin' new 2008 Yamaha Roadstar 1700. Apparently, this dealer bought up all the stock from some other dealers bankrupted in the current economic crisis, so it's been sitting in the shipping crate for the past two years, and Dave got a pretty good deal on it and drove it off the showroom floor. Sitting right next to it was the one I lusted after--the same model and year, but with a different paint scheme:

Good lord that bike was beautiful--and they were kind enough to supply me with a drool towel whenever I got near it.

And if money were no object at all, there was another fine piece of machinery on display up front. It's some sort of Triumph, but since I've got no job, I didn't ogle that particular piece of eye candy for too long.

Once he finished all the paperwork and everything, he bought himself a more suitable helmet and road-tripped it back up to Spring Hill while I followed behind in his Urban Assault Vehicle truck. He parked it in Cyndi and Tim's garage for a couple of days while it rained, but him and Tim managed to get a couple of rides in last week (Tim also got a new bike a few weeks ago, so they're trying to talk me into moving out there and getting one so we can form our own gang! Hmmm--the truck is almost paid off...)

As my visit wound down, things kind of mellowed out. I spent some more time up at Mamasan's place hanging out with her and Reverend Dave, and then my last night in town was also my birthday, so there was one last night of buffoonery on tap before I made my way back to Vegas.

My nephew Mike, is part of that band Savannah Jack, that I mentioned earlier. Well, just today, their first single was released to radio stations all over the country! It's obviously a pretty big deal, and we're all excited for him because they're definitely on their way. But on Friday night, they had a gig down at The Stage on Broadway--they played to a packed house and it was a fantastic show. I've seen them dozens of times already, but Friday night's show was something special--they had that magic 'It' factor going and everyone knew it. I'm not a huge country music fan, but they are a hugely talented and entertaining band. (But for all of you country music fans out there, start calling your local radio station and requesting 'I Know' by Savannah Jack!)

Anyhow, it was a great crowd down there that night--shoulder to shoulder in the venue, but I got my biggest laugh of the week when they went into a cover of 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' and some midget from the crowd ran up on stage and started river-dancing during the fiddle part of the song. The crowd went wild and everyone was laughing so hard that the lead singer could hardly keep himself composed. Damn, it was something to see--we're all hoping that it shows up on YouTube later this week...

They did a three-hour show, and after it wrapped up, a bunch of us wandered around downtown on Second Avenue and Broadway, but we ended up at Mulligan's Irish Pub for a nightcap. And since it was my birthday, Fate decided that a bridal shower should show up at to the bar at the same time my crowd rolled in. Yep, good times had by all!

The gal in the yellow is my niece Rachel--she's such a cutie, isn't she?

My brother Dave, my niece Diana, and my other brother Dave...

Once we'd had enough, or more likely, the bar had had enough of us, the party broke up. Dave and I cabbed it back to Mamasan's place, just a couple miles away from downtown, where we slept it off for a few hours. He got up a couple hours later at the crack of dawn to start moving all his stuff down to his new apartment in Florence--he started his new job today. I got a little bit more sleep, then spent some time doing laundry and packing for my flight back to Vegas. I took Mamasan out for breakfast at Bob Evans over by Opryland like we used to do on weekends all the time, and that's when the deluge hit.

It was raining like a sumbiatch, so the rest of the day was an adventure. All of my sisters and their husbands were going to the Jimmy Buffett concert that night (it's against my code to attend one of his shows indoors, and I had a plane to catch, anyways), but we were pre-gaming it over at my niece Stephanie's place. She'd cooked up a Caribbean feast of marinated chicken, mango salsa, black beans and rice, and assorted other goodies, finished off with pina-colada cupcakes. And yeah, there were some boat drinks, too. It was a damn good meal and thankfully my camera was packed up in my luggage, but there were a few outrageous outfits--all of us dudes had the coconut bras and grass skirts going. I was quite sexy, if I do say so myself. But you'll just have to use your imagination...

All too soon, however, I had to head to the airport--my trip to Nashville was at an end after two wonderful weeks. I had so much fun while I was there, and I swear I laughed more in those fourteen days than I have in the past year. My family is truly nuts. On the other hand, those past couple of days were spent with me getting my arm twisted about moving back. I don't know if that's going to happen, but we'll see how the job search goes. If things in Vegas or Phoenix don't work out, I'll probably go back, but I've still got a bit of time to decide. Even though the weather was creating havoc all over the city, my flight left on time and I made it back to Vegas without incident. It was good to be home.

I'll go back to a more regular posting schedule this week, but in the meantime, let me leave you with my more modern take on Dogs Playing Poker...