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!


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