Friday, August 31, 2018

ID’d at MSG - really???

I’ve been travelling to the US since the late 90s and am used to the ID rules – anyone looking under 30 gets ID’d with no exceptions. But the exceptions always prove the rule and I’d never been ID’d anywhere in NYC before. I’d been to MSG numerous times without ever having been asked for ID since my early 20s and this came completely out of the blue.

It was hockey playoff season and the Rangers were playing at home – I’d been to the 1st playoff game as well as a few regular season games that season and on each occasion I’d enjoyed at least 1 beer with no problems getting served. So it’s the 2nd playoff game in early April and the day has been hot – after a long day I’d headed down to MSG with a thirst for a beer or 2 whilst watching NYR hopefully take down the 2nd game in a row. 

Just to put things in perspective – at this stage I’m mid to late 30s and stone cold sober so certainly don’t fit the bill of being underage or being refused due to being intoxicated.

I get asked for ID at the first concession stand whilst ordering a beer and produce my driving licence – this has my DOB and a pretty recent photo – I get a bit of a blank stare then finally the server says “We can’t take foreign driving licences – we need a passport”. WTF?? I don’t have my passport with me as I’ve never needed it before in the US and it’s far safer in the hotel safe especially since as I have a UK driving licence in my wallet. So I’m 0/1 and getting thirstier so decide to HUACA – same response at the 2nd concession stand. Now I used to work in a bar whilst studying and both the servers I’d tried were pretty young (early 20s) so I work out that anyone a bit older is going to use a bit more common sense / discretion – same result at the 3rd  and I’m 0/3. I then walk round to customer relations to see what’s going on. I show him my ID and explain that I don’t have a passport on me only to be met by “We’ve had this policy for years – everyone gets ID’d and any foreign residents must show a passport not a driving licence”. Now I know this to be BS – up to this point I’ve never even been asked for ID yet alone been told it’s passport only. I obviously don’t tell him as I don’t want them to implement spot checks in future but it’s of no use to me know as I’m parching for a beer.  I eventually find a much older server and I jokingly ask if I need ID to be met by his assertion that I’m older than his 40 year old son – OK so I’m slightly offended but at least I get my fix!!

As an aside here’s a couple of funny stories on the subject of being ID’d: 

In the UK we can drink at 18. I’d been drinking in this particular pub for a couple of years and on my 18th birthday I walk into the pub in my school uniform (usually I’d put on a different jacket so it looked like I’d come from an office rather than school) and get asked for ID by a barman who I’d not seen before. As it’s my birthday I have no issues giving him my driving licence but before he’s even had a chance to look at it one of the more regular barmen walks over and says “it’s fine – this is AC….” and his voice trails off when he actually looks at my ID to realise that I’m just over the legal age by about 18 hours.

In the mid 2000s we had a family gathering in Florida and I’m in the supermarket with my brother (he’s 12 years older than me). As I’m piling our groceries up the cashier asks “Who’s paying for this the son or the dad as if it’s the son I’m going to need to see ID”. I proceed to PMSL whilst getting my licence out and laughing at my brother for looking old enough to be my dad.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

One jackass doesn’t want to chop

I’ve posted previously about an encounter in the men’s room during the break in a poker tournament here I seem to attract these sorts of nutters – when I come to power there will definitely be harsh punishments for those breaking my men’s room etiquette of eyes front, no talking and more than 2 shakes is effectively masturbation. But until I do come to power I’d better get used to the nutters.

As I walk into the men’s room one of the other players is describing the current situation of our tournament to a friend of his. Not very accurately I might add. And that’s where the jackass line comes up – that jackass he’s describing is me. In his mind it might make sense, to anyone actually at the poker table his rationale makes no sense whatsoever. He also doesn’t know I can hear him.

So we’re on a break during the later stages of a lunchtime tournament at TI – you know the drill that I use these sorts of tournaments to get some beers in with maybe some poker on the side and it generally works. The standard is on the poor side of variable but at least I can drink my entry fee in beer over the course of a couple of hours. There’s 6 players left fighting over a $1,650ish prizepool with 3 getting paid without a deal being done. An even chop would give everyone about $200 profit on their buy in. But today I’m running well, playing well and getting calls when I’ve got good hands which is a rarity in itself and I’m sat on about 150k of the 300k in table chips – there’s no way I’m agreeing to an even chop. Which apparently makes me a jackass. Or it does in the eyes of this guy who’s been pestering for a chop for a good ½ hour. 

As soon as we sit down from the break he brings it up again “Why won’t you chop?” “I will” I reply, “just not down the middle. I’ve got half the chips (around 30BBs) in play so why should I get the same as someone with 4BBs?” I ask.  He doesn’t seem to understand this. “Plus you called me a jackass”. 

Now I’ve probably been called every name under the sun at some stage of my life and it really doesn’t bother me – just do it to my face and if you do insult me please don’t then deny it. He denies it. “When?” he asks. “When you told your friend that you were only just behind the chip leader whilst you were in the men’s room” I reply. Now he goes a funny colour. He didn’t say much after that apart from all in when holding QQ and got called by someone’s AK which improved.

We ended up 4 way chopping during the next level – there were 3 players with similar chip stacks and I had roughly double so I took $500 to everyone else’s $380ish. I probably did myself out of a few bucks but was quite happy with the result.

As an aside I find it incredulous that many poker players are incapable of doing simple maths when suggesting a chop and can’t work out chip equitable payouts. Every chop calculation I’ve been involved in I’ve been the one to work out the payouts – this might be me being a control freak but some players seem amazed at the simplicity (I always write my workings down and ask someone to double check them so I can’t be accused of manipulation). 

So – would anyone have done this differently?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Some f*cker keeps nicking our glasses

A few years ago I found myself working in Amsterdam. This was a long term assignment so I rented my own apartment rather than being in hotels for weeks on end. As soon as people think of Amsterdam they either think of the relaxed drug culture or the red light district – neither of these interest me although no one ever believes me that the only way to watch English football being shown on TV was by going to the pubs in the red light district as they were the only ones to ever show it – honest!

I’d only been there a month or so and one of my friends came over to visit so I asked a Dutch colleague to recommend a few bars for us to try. His first recommendation was Arendsnest which is quite unique in that they only serve Dutch beer, whereas nearly every other bar will sell mostly Belgian or German beer. I was suitably impressed and we sat at the bar for a few hours sampling their selection – they have numerous beers on taps as well as bottled beers detailed in a menu about ½ inch thick. Quite a lot of these beers are produced in such small quantities that this was one of the only bars that sold them and nearly every beer had its own glass, some branded and some not but each specific beer type was meant to be served in a specific glass. As I was flicking through the menu I spotted a beer which shares my name – now if my name were Bud, Stella or Corona I wouldn’t be surprised but it’s not. My name is recognisable but not overly common so to find a beer named after me (they’d obviously done that!) was a pleasant surprise and I naturally ordered one. I was doubly surprised when it came served in its own branded glass with my name resplendently adorned across the side. Being doubly impressed I decided that the only proper thing to do was to pocket the empty bottle and glass as a memento.

I revisited this bar once a month or so for the next 6 months – every time I would sample a fair few different beers and always imbibe of my namesake beer. And always taking care to ensure I pocketed another glass with my name on. Until one visit where I was 3 or 4 beers into the menu and I ordered my namesake usual and it came in an unbranded glass. Shock horror I was not impressed. I asked the barman why it came in a blank glass when all the others had their own glass to which he grumpily replied “It usually does but some fucker keeps nicking our glasses”.

To this date I still have all but one of those glasses and every time I manage to get to Amsterdam I always head to this bar.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Flight delays - who cares?

One of the best things about working for myself rather than a company is the ability to use some common sense around travel. One of those is around class of travel – lots of companies specify a highest travel class dependant on length of flight i.e. transatlantic can only be business class or below irrespective of whether business is more expensive than first class. Airlines know this and can sell last minute business class seats at a far higher price than a first class seat on the same plane – it’s a fairly common occurrence especially on high volume business routes like London to NYC. So that is how I came to be in a 1st class seat (rather than business which I’d normally travel) on BA’s A380 from London to LAX one day in early July – I just didn’t think I’d be there for much longer than the 11 hour scheduled flight time.

I’d been to Dublin the day before so had booked an overnight stay in a hotel next to Heathrow airport – my usual route is about 1 ½ hours away from Heathrow so I couldn’t be bothered trekking back home just to return the next day. My flight was scheduled to depart at 16.20 so I’d had a lazy morning before leaving the hotel at around 11.30 and heading to check in. By 12.00 I’d checked in and cleared security (was behind Rod Stewart in the queue) and headed to BA’s Concorde room which is their top lounge at Heathrow. One of the best things about this lounge is that they serve Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle champagne. Now I’m not a big champagne drinker but given it retails for about $150 a bottle it would be rude not to partake. I’d arranged to have lunch with a friend in the lounge and we enjoyed a very leisurely lunch with about 5 glasses of champagne apiece before I headed off to the gate at about 15.30. Boarding commenced on time and I was offered another glass of champagne (they serve the same onboard in 1st) as soon as I took my seat (due to the UK’s licensing laws any alcohol served on the ground must have tax paid so the only alcohol offered pre flight is champagne). 

Push back was on time and we moved about 10 feet from the gate before stopping. And waiting. After about 10 minutes the captain announced we were being delayed and he’d let us know any updates. Nothing really happened for about 20 more minutes and I’d already turned on a movie. A few minutes later one of the flight attendants came down to offer drinks and snacks – offering profuse apologies that they weren’t allowed to open the bar yet so we’d all have to do with champagne – never mind. It turned out something on one of the fuel systems had failed and needed replacing – but they are continuing to serve the champagne so I don’t really care and by the time the movie is over I can barely see straight. Luckily the problems are sorted and we depart nearly 4 hours late – it’s now after 20.00 and I’ve had nothing apart from champagne to drink since before noon. I manage to change this by ordering a G&T as soon as we’re in the air. I opt to eat immediately and wash that down with some wine and I’m ready for a snooze about 3 hours into the flight. When I tally up my alcohol consumption I work out I’m pushing 3 bottles of champagne, a bottle of wine and a couple of large G&Ts but I still have a lot of training to do to equal 8 bottles detailed here

We get to LAX just after 23.00 local time (07.00 UK time) and for once CBP is completely empty – it’s probably a good job too as the last thing I needed was standing in a queue for an hour or so. I was booked into the Crowne Plaza at LAX overnight and I’m there by midnight to sleep off a pretty immense hangover

Monday, August 20, 2018

I’m pretty sure that I’m not Australian

I’ve been visiting the US since the late 90s and 1 thing that happens on every single trip is that someone thinks I’m Australian – without fail. I have no idea why and no one from the UK can actually believe it. Most people in the UK would put my accent as London / South Eastern England but I don’t have a distinctive regional twang.

Now we Brits are pretty picky on our accents – Scots hate to be called English, the Welsh hate to be called English and the Irish hate…. you get the picture. And don’t get regional accents wrong – Liverpudlians and Mancunians have completely different accents despite their cities being just 35 miles apart. So why is it that I keep getting mistaken for being from 12,000 miles away? 

Canadians are the same – they are continually mistaken for being American but being effectively next door neighbours they usually can see the similarities between their own and American accents. It’s the same for New Zealanders and Australians – the similarities are there but again they are very distinctively individual.

Every single trip I take I will usually get asked where I’m from in Australia, whether I’m from Australia or if I’m in a taxi to an airport I’ll be asked if I’m flying back to Australia. I’ve even had one of those questions from a CBP officer whilst he had my UK passport in his hand.

I even had 1 guy, having been talking to him for quite a while about London (as he knew I lived there) to completely disbelieve that I wasn’t from Australia and questioned me 2 or 3 times about whether I was really Australian. “Yes” I replied. “I’m pretty sure I’m not Australian”.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Go and find a cheaper table

Mrs AC and I decided to take our summer holiday in the Caribbean – we settled on the Dominican Republic and were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort. It’s a fully all inclusive resort with Spa, golf course, pools, beach and everything you could want for a couple of weeks relaxing in the sun. Oh – it also has a poker room!

They only ran tournaments a couple of times a week and the 1st time I ventured into the poker room there was only a 2/5 cash game running. I stood watching as a couple of ultra aggressive players sat down with thousands having a willy waving competition by raising each other virtually every hand with both players generally holding air. It wasn’t a nice atmosphere and I didn’t want to leave Mrs AC alone in the casino for too long on her own given how I only wanted to play a tournament – in hindsight I should have sat down with the minimum buy in, shown some patience and waited for a hand good enough to jam with

I went back a couple of days later for a scheduled tournament – I think the buy in was something like $250 and the standard was actually pretty good. As soon as I sat down I gave Mrs AC about $200 to go and play blackjack to keep her occupied. About 10 minutes later she comes back into the poker room asking for more money. WTF? “How can you have spent that much in 10 minutes” I asked. “It’s $25 minimum” was her response. The entire table looks at her and replies in unison “Go and find a cheaper table”. Having given her some more money and told her to play a $5 table I can get some peace at the poker table – it ended up with 4 of us chopping for about $1,500 apiece so even with Mrs AC’s expensive mistake it’s a fairly decent profit for the evening and it probably just about covered our tips for the week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Why are you even in the (insert expletive here) hand?

Do these nutters follow me around as I’m sure I seem to run into far more than my fair share of them? I really would not be surprised if the entire world was just a massive conspiracy with literally everyone on the entire planet working to get in my way or say something so fucking retarded that I want to scream. If it’s a conspiracy I’m onto you – there’s obviously a 7am conference call every morning where everyone on the planet, except me, is briefed on where I am and how to annoy me that particular day. Or if it’s not then the planet is actually populated by complete fuckwits who really shouldn’t be allowed out on their own.

I’m sat at a fairly unremarkable game, enjoying a few beers and winning a few chips – I’m probably at about $400 from a $300 buy in but there’s been nothing overly interesting to report over the space of a couple of hours or so. There are only 2 mentionable players: 1 is sat 3 seats to my left in the 8 seat. I’m going to refer to him as aggro but he wasn’t your standard aggro player – he’d not play a hand for a round or 2 then he’d go mad. He’d often bluff out of position and would frequently massively overbet pots. One particularly weird hand was when he 3 or 4 bet shoved with a massive over bet (presumably to steal but I have no idea what goes on in the heads of these loons) from the blinds holding 8-9 suited and spiked trip 9s to bust out players holding AA and QQ. The player, in seat 1, holding AA had left and was replaced by a “lady”, maybe mid to late 40s but her behaviour was anything but lady like, as I found out a few hands later (I’ll call her AL for angry lady for short)

I’m in the BB and it’s limped 4 or 5 ways when I look down at Q-2 off and I check. Flop comes Q-9-2 rainbow. I don’t want to bet here just to win $12 so I check, aggro bets $35!!! AL calls and it’s folded round to me. Aggro’s bet suggests he has nothing but what has the AL got? She’s only been sat down 15 minutes and barely played a hand so I’ve not seen her range. I’m only really behind Q-9 or a set of 9s (sets of queens or 2s are unlikely given what I hold) but given she only bought in for $100 if she had either of these hands she should have raised so I figure I’m ahead. I raise to $100, aggro folds and the AL calls. Turn is an Ace and the river is a blank. Without waiting for me to show the AL turns over A-10 off – err ok, so you called $100 with Ace high, wtf!! I turn over my cards and scoop the pot. The guy to my left, who I’d been chatting to for an hour or so, says “that was weird” to me. I say “Yes – not even a straight draw on the flop”. Neither of our comments are overly loud and I don’t think anyone other than those directly next to us has heard us.

The AL rebuys and we’re half way through the next hand when she starts piping up. “Unbelievable” she mutters to no one in particular, “lost a fucking buy in to those fucking rags”. Now she gets a bit louder and looks over towards me and sarcastically says “Nice hand”. I look at her and say “yeah – big blind special” back. She continues muttering loudly to herself for a couple of minutes and it’s 2 or 3 hands later when she screams “Why are you even in the fucking hand?” quickly followed up with “I suppose you’ve got fucking money to fucking burn have you?”. I might have left out a few swear words there – anyone that regularly reads my witterings will know that I’m rather partial to fruity language but I’m usually careful not to swear if I’m angry or berating someone. An argument quickly loses credibility if either side can only reel off a list of expletives and the loser of an argument is usually the one who resorts to bad language. It’s also good for winding people up – if you can remain calm, good natured and rational whilst they are foul mouthed and seething it can push someone further over the edge.

So I didn’t reply to her comments. I continued chatting to the guy on my left and we were both quietly chuckling about how wound up this lady was. “Don’t tap the glass because it scares the fish off” was one of his comments as we continued to listen to her seething. Now it’s about 20 minutes since that particular hand and neither I nor the AL have played another hand but now I get involved in one.

I win the hand on the turn or river and scoop without showing and now the AL says to her neighbour “He’ll have fucking gotten fucking lucky cos I’ve seen him (referring to me) do it before”. Again I’ve probably missed out a few of the expletives but you get the drift. Then she turns towards me and says “You’ve been getting fucking lucky all fucking night haven’t you?” to which I don’t reply, which is then followed up by “You still didn’t tell me why you were in the fucking hand did you?”. Now this is getting ridiculous – we’re probably close to half an hour away from this hand and if she hadn’t been seething about it I would have filed this hand under “unremarkable things that are instantly forgettable”. But then I wouldn’t have a story to write about. So I turn to her and say in my politest voice “The one where you limped with Ace 10 then called a bet then a raise on the flop with Ace high and lost all your chips to my flopped two pair from the big blind. I don’t really recall the details”. Cue the guy to my left pissing himself laughing. Strangely she doesn’t respond and I continue “So I’m in the hand because no one raised my big blind – please tell me how you would have played it”. This actually shuts her up and I didn’t hear a peep out of her for the next hour whilst she was sat down. 

I get back to chatting with the guy on my left and am actually left in peace to enjoy the rest of the session and some more beers.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The thing you least expect to hear whilst sat on a train at 9.30am

I’m used to packed trains – for years I commuted every day to central London, getting on a train around 7am and feeling lucky if I got my own square yard to stand in, let alone an actual seat. I’d heard of these seats but thought they were urban myths. But on the occasional Saturday trip I actually got to use one and realised that they were indeed real. 

So as I get on the train at about 9.15 one Saturday morning I’m expecting to actually get a seat. The train is far more packed than a usual Saturday but nowhere near approaching weekday levels and I manage to get a seat for the 30 or so minute trip to central London. And then I realise something – nearly everyone is carrying copious quantities of booze. And I mean nearly everyone and I definitely mean copious quantities of booze. There are guys with 24 packs of beers at their feet, others with bottles of spirits, their friends with bottles of mixers and plastic glasses. Then someone shouts out the thing you least expect to hear whilst sat on a train at 9.30am – ever. “Who wants a Jager-bomb?”

From the sounds of it these guys are all going to the same event that I’m heading to – the Army v Navy rugby game at Twickenham. It’s more of a day’s drinking with some rugby happening at some point. Not that anyone is sober enough to stand or remember by that point.

But back to the train – it’s come from somewhere down on the south coast and there are numerous army barracks along the route where these guys have presumably got on. Everyone piles off the train at the same station and I head off to meet some friends – in the world’s busiest bar at 10am. It’s already 4 or 5 deep at the bar. Eventually I grab some beers and pass them through the scrum to where my friends are standing – we’re all stood with 2 beers each at a time but we’re not very sensible and drink 2 in the time we would normally take to have 1. This is repeated until about 1pm when it’s time to head off to the game – it’s a good job too as the bar has quite literally run out of beer and is getting restocked whilst the game is in progress.  

The game is a side event to the day’s drinking so apart from knowing that the Army won (they nearly always do anyway) and that there were close to 80,000 people there (apparently at least 16 were sober but I might have made that up) I won’t bore you with any of the actual sport. A couple of drinks were taken during the game but actually at a much slower pace than we’d been drinking earlier. We arranged to meet up back at the previous bar – it’s a real pain walking from Twickenham to the station then getting on a train even when you’re sober as there are so many people to contend with, doing it drunk is impossible without losing touch with every single person you’re with so making meet up plans for when you can’t find anyone is the best idea. Despite us all leaving together (think there were about 8 of us) only 2 people actually manage to stay together and it’s well over an hour from the first person arriving at the bar until the last arrives. Luckily they’ve had a beer delivery and we continue where we left off.

It’s now about 7pm and someone knows someone who is having a house party – he suggests we all just go. What could be better for someone than 8 drunken idiots (only 1 of which you actually know) turning up on your doorstep unannounced and demanding food and booze? Well it’s not my friend to piss off so we all head off. We do actually stop off to buy the obligatory bottles of cheap booze for the host given that we’re all turning up unannounced – luckily it’s not like we’ve gate crashed a dinner party – more like just more drunken idiots drinking in someone’s garden. But there’s booze so no one is complaining. 

Realising that I actually have to get across London to get the train home I head off about 10pm and crawl home about 12.30am. Dear god I feel bad. It must have been a dodgy pint. Mrs AC has a friend at home and is not amused – well by not amused I mean paralytically, insanely, batshit mad at me. No idea why though. But at least they’ve got a bottle of wine open and I pass out in a chair holding a glass whilst listening to the two of them discussing how all men are pathetic idiots who act like they are 16 years old. Mrs AC’s friend’s husband must be in for a bollocking later – it’s a good job that Mrs AC has such a mature & responsible partner! She at least lets me sober up in the morning before berating me “Why do you get so bad – how can you drink like that all day?” she asks. Now remembering the last time that I’d done this after having been to the Olympics I tell her “at least it was dark when I got home and the neighbours wouldn’t have seen me this time

Monday, August 6, 2018

You might have come across her on the internet

I’m normally pretty useless at identifying celebrities or anyone remotely famous. I was once behind a short, skinny, old guy in the queue for security at Heathrow airport. He was dressed a bit too young for his age, had a much younger lady with him and was wearing sunglasses indoors – the only thing that I was thinking was “this guy thinks he’s Rod Stewart – what a clown”. It actually was Rod Stewart. The only other famous person I can confirm seeing was Harry Styles (One Direction) which made a female friend of my oldest cost centre very jealous and she was very disappointed that I hadn’t asked for his autograph. Yeah – cos a middle aged man asking a boy band member for his autograph wouldn’t have looked slightly creepy.

But some people seem to know or be obsessed by literally everyone who has ever been remotely famous, presented Fox news or even had their 15 minutes of fame on the 3rd series of some reality rubbish TV show 8 years ago. I’m completely the opposite in that I would actively go out of my way to avoid anyone who even wanted to be remotely famous. If someone ever told me that they watched keeping up with the karwotsians I would want to jab them in the eyes over and over again. And then taser them. But I digress.

I’m sat in a hotel bar and a very attractive young lady walks in. She’s very slim and has a very good figure. She’s got fairly tight jeans and a low cut t-shirt on which shows off her (I assume surgically enhanced) assets. I watch as she walks up to the bar and the waitress tells me to put my tongue away (I’m a regular here and am on first name terms with all the staff). I’m trying to work out if she’s a hooker or not – she’s not dressed like one and it’s not really the sort of place to pick up business and in all my time coming here I’ve never seen a hooker. She sits next to me and says hi. OK – she’s a hooker. Women of this calibre do not regularly approach me in bars and say anything other than “stop looking down my top you pervert” to me unless they are hookers. 

Before I’ve had the chance to say anything more than hi back to her the waitress comes back over and they chat. Not as if they are close friends but they definitely know each other. She orders a couple of drinks in plastic cups to go, pays and leaves within 5 minutes of walking into the bar. I watch her walk out (merely to see if the rear view was as good as front on) and the waitress tells me that she already told me to put my tongue away. She then asks me if I liked what I saw. I ask if they are friends – primarily as I don’t want to accuse one of her friends of looking like a hooker before replying. She says no but that she’s a regular in the hotel the same as I am. 

I then proceed to tell her that I thought the girl might have been a hooker – she wasn’t dressed like one but she was very pleasurable on the eye and it was a shame she hadn’t stayed for her drink. The waitress laughs a bit and tells me that my radar is not 100% wrong. Eh?? She’s either a hooker or not – you can’t be 50% hooker. It’s all or nothing I tell her. 

“She’s not a hooker” the waitress responds “You might have come across her on the internet”. Again I’m confused – subtlety doesn’t usually work for me and I’ve got a blank expression on my face. “She does porn”. 

“Not anyone I recognise” I reply. “I mean obviously I don’t watch it myself but I’ve heard that there might be some on the internet if you know where to look” I blatantly lie! I’ve been coming here for so long that it’s obvious I’m joking on the last point.  

She then tells me her name which is googled later on – to be honest she looks a lot better in real life than in her movies. But she had more clothes on and a lot less make up on in real life than when I found her on the internet. I still see this lady every now and again around the hotel when I’m there but I have no idea if she knows that I know that she’s famous. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

A mad Saturday

This is the day after the moth massacre – having almost broken my neck slipping over in the shower trying to swot a moth I head over to the Mirage about 10am. There’s a decent structure tournament there that also has a big starting stack so allows quite a good time to play properly before becoming a pray and play shovefest.

Having registered for the tournament I pop to the bar for a bloody mary – always a good way to start the day in Vegas. There’s a guy next to me playing VBJ that looks and smells like he’s been there for 2 days straight – he’s moaning that he’s only allowed 1 comped drink per hour and that he’s lost so much money that he should be allowed more drinks. Geez buddy it’s half 10 in the morning. If you’re going to get drunk and arsey at least wait till the afternoon like I do. I really don’t understand some people – if you want a drink then pay for a drink or be smart about your machine use and go to a place where they will comp you a drink more than once an hour. Or maybe you’re a gambling addicted, degenerate alcoholic that can’t think that clearly.

The tournament did not go well – could barely hit a flop or when I did I’d get outdrawn meaning I was down 50% of my chips in an hour. On the button I look down at AA and 3 bet about 8 BBs (starting at 25ish) – get 4 callers (SB, BB & UTG+1 who was the initial raiser). Flop comes Q-8-2 rainbow. BB leads out, UTG+1 folds and I shove, SB folds and BB calls to table Q-4 off. So you called a preflop 3 bet with the original raiser still to act holding Q-4 off and then a post flop shove – wtf?? Naturally I get rivered when another Q falls and I’m out of there – there’s a waiting list for a cash game so I decide to head over the road to Harrah’s. It’s probably only 12.30 so the day is still young.

Over at Harrah’s they are just opening up a game and we’re sat for about 20 mins waiting for enough seats to fill. The good thing is the waitress has already come round twice in those 20 mins so I’m topping up my alcohol levels nicely. Once the game gets going it’s fairly nitty to start with – it seems to be full of regs just playing for hours credit – small raises aren’t getting called preflop but within an hour or so there’s a few looser players to open up the game. There’s a new guy about 2 or 3 places to my right opening nearly every pot when I look down at 2-2 whilst on the button. New guy raises to $6 and I call as does the BB and 1 MP limper. Flop comes 2d-10d-5s. Original raiser bets $15 and I call – BB & MP fold. Given this guy’s regular preflop action he could have any 2 cards so I only flat call here – if he’s on any sort of draw he’s always calling a raise and if he’s got air I still want him in the hand. I don’t like the turn of 8d so again just call his bet of $35. The river is a fantastic 2 and villain once again leads out with a $50 bet. I tank for a bit then put a raise in to make it $100 – villain instamucks claiming he had a small flush but I think he may well have had air. I check with the dealer to see if they have any high hand jackpots (they don’t) before mucking.

I picked up a few decent hands but was only winning the blinds and limps – one guy to my right actually asked me why I always bet when 4 people have limped because I was doing it so much and not getting called!! 

What with the regular drinks service and getting decent hands I wasn’t going to move anywhere else – the only problem with Harrah’s is that the poker room is quite a way from the nearest bathroom. I could have started turning down free drinks but I wouldn’t be able to look at myself straight in the mirror.

Only one other hand to note – picked up AA UTG and get 3 callers – BB, MP and button. Flop is Ac-10c-2d, BB checks and I bet, MP folds, button calls and BB folds, Turn is Jc – yuck. I check and button surprisingly checks behind. River is the case A – I bet and the button calls. I immediately announce 4 aces and she mucks without saying anything – I’m far too drunk by this stage to work out what she had but given she called a bet of $50 on the river I regret not betting more.

Not much poker to report after that but I decide to call it a day at 2am and I’ve been playing for over 14 hours and my liver is starting to complain after all the beers it’s had to cope with. I take my beer with me (mainly for protection on the walk over the flyover back to the Rio) and stumble off into the night

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My worst fear

After another week in LA I was off for my usual trip over to Vegas for the weekend – there was a big event on that weekend so hotel prices on the strip were through the roof so I ended up staying at the Rio. 

I arrived fairly late on Friday night and having queued for ½ hour to get a cab then another ½ hour to check in I was gasping for a beer. The plan was to dump my bag in the room and head straight downstairs to the poker room for some action and at least a few drinks. It’s around midnight when I finally get to the room having landed at LAS at about 22.30 and the instant I turn on the light I can tell something is wrong. I’m working on the assumption that most people will have seen The Hangover (the original, funny one) and will be familiar with the bathroom scene – if not here’s a clip (watch from about 2.00 in) . It was like that – but much worse. Much, much worse. 

Although the rooms are a bit dated they’re usually perfectly acceptable to spend 6 hours a night in whilst in Vegas – this one was well cleaned, the fridge and TV worked fine and I wasn’t put in one of the rooms that’s a good hour’s hike through the corridors to get to the elevators. It was fine, it just had some non paying guests in it. Now everyone is scared of something – whether it’s mice, snakes, spiders, tigers or monsters under the bed everyone is scared of something. Those fears could be rational – tigers eat you, snakes and spiders can poison you, or completely irrational like triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13). Mine is moths – completely irrational I know but you can only play the hand you’re dealt. This room had moths in it – lots of them. I’m not talking tiny ones either – they were a good 2 inches long and there seemed to be dozens of them. And these little fuckers are evil – they’ll take your face off with one strike. OK I made that last bit up but I need to come up with a plan as there’s no way I’m getting any sleep with dozens of these flying around all night.

I rule out calling reception – they were really busy and will probably just laugh if I ring to tell them I want a room change – plus that means waiting downstairs for at least another ½ hour which is eating into my beer time. I could call down and tell them there’s a tiger in my room but they’ll probably notice I’ve lied when they send someone up to check. So I go on the attack – I’ve got a magazine in my case which will do the trick and I proceed to swipe at my enemies. Within minutes casualties are all over the battlefield and my magazine is plastered with the blood of the vanquished – by the time I’ve finished I’ve counted over 30 of them and I was still finding the odd 1 or 2 for the rest of the weekend. They almost get their own back on me the next morning as I find 1 flying around the bathroom whilst I’m in the shower and almost break my neck slipping over trying to get it.

So now I really needed a beer – I headed down to the poker room and played for an hour or so whilst turbo necking beers. There’s a tournament over at the Mirage I want to play on Saturday lunchtime so I headed off about 2am. Little did I know that Saturday was going to be a long day.