Tuesday, July 24, 2007
It's been a whirlwind here. I really feel like I'm making up for the last, lost two years of my life playing poker professionally by immersing myself in a bunch of projects. And I'm much happier for it, strangely enough.
Good God, looking back upon it, poker was a lonely existence. And isolating. And predatory. Which isn't my nature.
I suppose it's just really easy to romanticize that lifestyle. Too easy. And I'm as guilty as anyone of falling prey to it.
I mentioned a while back, before my blog was hacked and deleted, that I had a major announcement coming. And if the planets align, I'll be able to do so this week. Considering how long these discussions have been taking place, I'd still take the over.
Someone pointed me to these fine tshirts that BiggestRon posted:
Well done, sir, well done.
I'm pondering a post-WSOP uber poker post for ya'll. I just need a tad bit of free time to make it happen.
But for now, here's Part Seven of Losers, Inc.
Losers - 07 "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?"
"You've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you,
punk?" -- Harry Callahan, "Dirty Harry"
So we leave the Fantasy Show Bar, having dropped over $100 each in an
hour, which as I've said is more money than the quality of the place
merits. We make our way to the Atlantic City expressway. Unfortunately,
we pass one of those deer crossing signs with the silhouette of a deer on
it. "I gotta get my deer!" yells Spaulding. He means he wants to fling a
beer bottle and smash it off of a deer crossing sign, a throwback to our
high school days. I figure he's goofing around, and won't really do it.
When another deer sign fails to materialize in an eighth of a mile or so,
Spaulding loses patience and decides to "sight in" in the meantime. He
fires a bottle at a large exit sign, scoring a direct hit. At least he's
good at something. We get him under control at this point, and tell him
how stupid that was. There are dozens of cars around us and I'm sure
someone is going to narc - I mean, a beer bottle hitting a sign at some
100 mph (vector addition) will get your attention. I tell the idiots to
stash their empties. I consider getting off of the expressway. Am I
Apparently not - a few minutes later I spot a NJ State trooper in my rear
view, coming up pretty fast in the passing lane. OK, remain calm. It's
just a coincidence, right? Slow down slightly, and he'll pass right by.
No problem. He doesn't have his bubbles on. Well, he's passing some
people, and I'm starting to think 'whew, he's gonna slide right by.'
Then, as soon as he passes the car behind me, he tucks in right on my rear
Normally, I'd hardly care. After all, I'm not the one in
trouble here, right? And at most we'll get hit with a littering fine,
right? Well, there's one smallish problem: Inasmuch as we're going to a
hunting camp, we're carrying a bunch of guns. They're all stored legally,
except one. I happen to have a little 380 auto in my pocket. WHY did I
do that? Don't answer. There's no way the guy would search me, is there?
Isn't Rahway prison in NJ? Oh man, I remember seeing "Scared Straight" in
grade school. I don't want someone to take my shoes. I'm too pretty to
go to prison. Let Spaulding go to prison. The lifers would duct tape the
soap to his hand. I envision myself greeting my new roomie, a 350 pound
lifer who takes one look at me and says: "You am beautiful."
Guard: OK punk, meet your new roommate, Mike Tyson.
[He throws me into the cell with Tyson, locking the door.]
Tyson: Hewwo. Are you going to laugh at my thithy-boy voice?
Variable: I'm afraid it's unavoidable. N'heh.
Tyson: Just for that I'm making you my girlfriend. I'm glad you learned
what a tothed thalad was in part 5.5, it will thave time.
end Variable's imagination
So I'm a little nervous. Smokey stays right behind me for what seems like
an absolute eternity. Just when I think maybe it's all a coincidence, he
hits the bubbles and pulls me over.
"Papers please." Fortunately, they we're in order. I follow all the
rules. Yes sir, no sir. Hands on the steering wheel. No sir, I haven't
been drinking. "What about them?" "Damn straight!" says the helpful
Spaulding. I explain the arrangement and reiterate that I am the
To make a long story short, the guy puts the fear of God into us, but
ultimately tells us to get to AC, get off the road, and stay out of
trouble. He didn't even give us a littering fine. Whew.
We get to the Taj Mahal. I head right for a bar, to settle my nerves.
And I don't have to twist the guys arms to get them to come along. The
bartender is inexperienced. When I order a bourbon neat, I have to
explain what 'neat' means. He grabs a rocks tumbler and puts a meniscus
on it, charges me for a shot. Booyah. Next thing I know, everyone is
ordering a neat bourbon. We'll all be loaded in a hurry. What else is
After that belt we're ready to check out the action. But we decide to
play some cards first. Off to the poker room. I get an open seat in a
5-10 HE game. But I put my name on a list for 3-6. See, I'm pretty
convinced that with the house scarfing 100 plus dollars an hour, at least
some of these players must be much, much better than me for them to be
there regularly. They don't look wealthy, so they must be beating the
game. Manbeast says no, there are still plenty of idiots, don't worry
about it. But he tends to err on the side of overconfidence. So I plan
to jump to the 3-6 first chance I get. I can live with a hundred dollar
loss, but throwing away two hundred when I know I'm overmatched is just
plain stupid. I guess throwing away 1 hundred if I know I'm beat is
stupid also, but it's only 50% as stupid, which must be 100% smarter,
which sounds pretty good.
First interesting hand. On my small blind it gets folded around to me. I
have 32s. Suited connectors, but little. I opt to just call and take a
look at the flop. I say it is the correct play. Yes, a raise might steal
it but if I'm called I have to act first every round. My opponent raises
though. I figure I'm getting odds to call, so I do. Flop is something
like 9-7-2. He's acting strong, staring me down, so I check call him all
the way, including the river, correctly putting him on overcards. I drag
the pot, and he's somewhat irate about it. Comments? If nothing else,
the implied tilt odds were clearly there.
Shithouse comes over to sweat me. This is his first time inside a poker
room. When the cocktail waitress comes around, I order a beer for me, and
a double gin and tonic for him. When she returns, I toke her three
chips. Shithouse asks me if the drinks only cost $3. I tell him no, they
are free. Free booze? Shithouse momentarily gets a thousand-yard-stare
on his face. A thought is clearly rattling around his head, like a
ping-pong ball in NASA's Vertical Assembly Building. He was never able to
put his new found happiness into words, though he did shed a few tears of
Snow White's at the table with me. He had ordered a beer as well. He
takes a little sip and nearly spits it out, gagging. I don't know what
they serve, but it was pretty bad. And they don't give you a bottle -
just a plastic cup. I guess it's draft beer. Watery, whatever it is.
By evening, Spaulding has managed to dump over $400 playing Hold Em and 7
Card Stud. Time to recover those losses. He looks around for the
no-limit Indian game, but there's not one running at the moment. So,
nicely liquored up, he heads out to play Pai Gow. When he doesn't return
for an hour, we go looking for him. When we get to the Pai Gow room, he?s
got 8 black $100 chips. Losses 1 chip, bets 2. Loses 2 chips, bets the
remaining 5. Splits two small pair but wins anyway. Bet goes back to 1
chip. Because he is winning, Spaulding thinks he?s James Bond now. He?s
hitting on the cuter players, all of whom are asian. "Me rove you rong
time." Yeah, how could a girl resist that smooth line? Especially coming
from an obese drunk. Needless to say he doesn't get anywhere with the
girls. He does, however, crush the Pai Gow game. He works his stack up
to 15 blacks and change. Then comes the stunner: He bets all 15 blacks.
Spaulding's a gambler and all, but we're pretty surprised he's risking
$1500 on one hand. He gets dealt crap. "Don't worry about it. I feel
lucky." Dealer gets dealt worse crap. Spaulding doubles up with
something like King high / JT. We suggest he quit. He stacks the
winnings, and lets the 15 chips ride. After two ties, he wins again. He
is now ahead over $4,000 - an enormous sum by our gambling standards. We
drag him from the table.
We retire to the Hard Rock Café to ponder what to do with the money.
Spaulding's got an MPC of 1.0, so we all know he won't be saving it.
Spaulding orders up a round for everyone.
So we're at the bar, and there are two good looking girls a few feet away.
I figure they'll be getting hit on by Manbeast in about 30 seconds. Just
then, a girl in stretch pants lumbers by. She shouldn't be wearing
stretch pants in the same way as Spaulding shouldn't wear a speedo.
Someone, no need to name names here, mentions that her ass looks like two
raccoons fighting under a blanket.
One of the young good looking girls sitting next to us takes offense: "You
know, you shouldn't even be *allowed* to say something so ignorant.
That's a form of discrimination cluck cluck cluck..."
Manbeast: She's right. You're prejudiced, Variable. You make me ill,
talking like that.
At this point I figure he's just weaseling up to the hot
babe. Like Satan or Dracula, the Manbeast can be charming when he wants
to. He turns and addresses her.
Manbeast: Can you believe the ignorance of some people?
Good Looking Girl: It's so unfair. Some people have slower metabolisms.
It's not her fault she's heavy. And there's nothing wrong with being
MB: Right! It's so nice to talk to someone who understands fairness and
equality, and wants to end discrimination.
GLG: Well, I'm just saying that, you know, if people would just not judge
one another by appearance the world would be so much better.
MB: Amen. I mean, just for example, not that you're really going to do
it, but you would certainly date my friend Spaulding over there, right?
(Spaulding gives her a big, dopey-yet-somehow-lecherous grin)
[GLG is suddenly speechless. Apparently pondering - perhaps for the first
time - the B side of egalitarianism.]
MB: I mean, just because his metabolism is a little slow, and just
because he was born a few years before you, you would never prejudge him
on that! People like you are wonderful!
Snow White: He's drunk too. Drunk as a skunk.
MB: Is something wrong?
GLG: No, no.
MB: So you would date him, right?
GLG: You see, it's just different...
MB: Huh? You don't mean...(disgusted) oh, I should have known! You're
just like all the rest. You say the right thing...
GLG: No, it's not like that at all!
MB: You're prejudging my friend based on his appearance, aren't you?
GLG: Well, it's like this...
SW: His hygiene is substandard.
MB: Just answer the question. Are you prejudging my friend based on
GLG: Well, it's not that simple...
MB: You make me sick! You just reamed out my other friend for prejudging
that heavy girl, but you're exactly the same!
MB: You conceited, prejudiced elitist! Go run off with your good looking
little friends! Go date your Ken doll boyfriends, you elitist scum!
Where do you hide your swastika? Hah? You make me want to puke!
(Mocking her) "Oh, the world would be a better place if everyone was like
me. I'm frigging wonderful." Yeah, right!
GLG: [Leaves in tears]
Variable: What'd you do that for?
MB: It passes the time.
Back to the matter at hand: the $4000. Manbeast slyly suggests we play a
private game, up in the room, to keep the money in the family. "We have a
room?" asks Spaulding.
"Yes, just one."
"Then I know what to do with the money!"
"Let's get some girls!"
Nervous, Snow White asks "Dancers, you mean?" Spaulding: "Yeah, sure,
they'll dance." "Don't worry about it," adds Manbeast.
--- To be Continued ---
Coming in part 08 -
"Where the music stinks, and they water the drinks, ...at the nudie bar.
Where the girlies dance in their underpants, ...at the nudie bar.
Where you see their butt, and their trap stays shut, ...at the nudie bar.
Where the breasts may be fake but man do they shake, ...at the nudie bar.
Where you swear like a sailor, and wish you could nail her, ...at the
Where the cops are at the door, and there's a Kennedy on the floor, ...at
the nudie bar."
-- Al Bundy, Married With Children
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