Thursday, September 27, 2018

But this coke is fat free

Sometimes you talk to people you just can’t argue with – it’s not that they happen to be right it’s that they are literally too stupid to argue with - this was one of those occasions.

I was playing my usual lunchtime tournie over at TI where my success is dictated on being able to drink my entry fee in free beer rather than the result on the table. I’d just ordered my 3rdor 4th beer of the day when the guy on my right pipes up with “You should be careful drinking those beers or else you’ll get fat”. Now if he’d said nothing else after that sentence he might have looked smart, but he obviously didn’t stop at that. He ordered a coke, it was the 3rd or 4th one he’d ordered and he handed the waitress his empty takeaway refill cup so it’s not like he’s getting one of the small glasses that they usually use in casinos. He’s effectively drinking pints of coke in the same time that I’m drinking a bottle of beer. So I give him a weird look and reply “But you’re drinking coke”. 

He replies “yeah I know… but this coke is fat free”. My fucknut alert is in the middle of changing from green to amber when he continues “it doesn’t make you fat if it’s fat free”. Skip the amber alert – it’s now gone to red, and flashing, with alarms going off as well (watch from 2.30 onwards

“But there’s no fat in beer” I reply, “same as there’s no fat in coke”. I’m speaking slowly in the hope that he gets it. He doesn’t. “So why is it called a beer belly then?” is his reply. What comes after red, purple maybe – or is that a fruit

So I now slow down my speech as if I’m talking to a child, a big demented man child “beer has carbohydrates in it because of the sugar turning to alcohol. Coke has sugar in it which is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are effectively calories, excess calories make you fat”. This is far too much information for this guy’s head and he looks more confused before asking “So I can get fat from coke? I don’t believe it”. Seat change please dealer, or table change if possible. But it’s a tournie and I’m stuck next to him but luckily he quietens down to contemplate what I’ve just told him or maybe he’s thinking that he’s got some sort of crazed lunatic next to him and maybe he’s the sane one that should stop talking to me. He busted out shortly after our conversation and as he left he said “Thanks for the advice buddy, I’m gonna look into that” as if I’d revealed some sort of mystical secret.

At no stage did I want him to continue that conversation as I’d have to tell him my personal views on sugar (that the whole industry will become the 21st or 22nd Century’s equivalent of the tobacco industry and that it’s the leading cause of preventable childhood tooth decay and one of the leading causes of obesity in the developed world) because I’m afraid he wouldn’t be able to comprehend those issues. That and my fucknut alert had run out of colours.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The drunkest man in Vegas – does that mean he’s all in?

I’m known to enjoy a drink or 2 at the poker table – in fact I really can’t remember the last time that I played poker when I was stone cold sober. If I’m playing a small tournament (blinds that double every level, under 20 minute blind levels, expected duration under 4 hours or entry of under $100) then I look to drink my entry fee in beer over the course of a few hours. When I play a bigger tournament I will usually have a beer but would normally limit myself to 1 or 2 an hour so that if I make it to the later levels I can still see straight. But I would never classify myself as being drunk at the table whatever tournament I was playing. 

Cash games are again slightly different, usually depending on where I am playing, what limit and how far a stumble it is back to the hotel I’m in. Usually the closer the hotel, the lower the limits and the softer the room dictates how drunk I would get. But I’m not an unruly drunk – I think the daftest thing I’ve done when drunk at a table is jump up and down like a loon upon hearing my name being called out as a winner for one of the jackpot draws. Or there was the time I couldn’t find my way back to the poker room after a bathroom break but that wasn’t entirely my fault – the usual bathrooms nearest the poker room were out of order so I had to trek half way through the casino to find another bathroom. When I left I followed my normal path back to the poker room without thinking too much, only to have walked through the entire casino and nearly out the other side. I’d just been on autopilot as if I’d been using the usual bathrooms and had completely forgotten that I’d started off in a different location

So we’re halfway through the 2nd level of a mid afternoon tournament at PH. I’m in seat 2 and someone has entered but not sat down into seat 1 so his chips are being blinded off. We’ve only been playing for 30 minutes or so and he’s missed 2 or 3 blinds. It’s not unusual for this to happen in bigger tournaments with longer levels but it’s a bit odd for someone to miss this much of a smaller tournament but it’s nothing consequential in the grand scheme of things. Then the gentleman arrives and sits down and he’s very chatty. He tells me he’s been in the sportsbook with his buddies watching baseball and he’d lost track of time. Or at least that’s what I think he said, as he was slurring his words pretty heavily. He’s got a drink in front of him but as the waitress comes round he slips her $5 and asks for another Captain & coke plus a shot of fireball. I order another beer and he says I should get a fireball as well. I said I’ll give that a miss and stick to the beer – I really don’t like the stuff and I certainly don’t want to be doing shots at 4.30 in the afternoon. 

Then he starts acting up at the table – he announced all in prior to looking at his cards. He did that as a joke but the dealer puts the button in front of him. Luckily for him everyone folds and he flips over rags. He continues with odd bet sizing like 2,500 pre flop raises then betting only a few hundred on the flop but he actually manages to win a few hands. Then he starts showing me his cards – usually after I’ve folded but occasionally before I’ve even looked at mine. At one stage he showed me that he had AA (I’d seen mine and already folded) and he got warned by the dealer – I had to sit impassively as another player got into the hand with him and was eventually knocked out. So now our drunk guy has more than doubled up over the course of about an hour but he’s getting worse. He kept half falling asleep at the table and having to be prodded awake by the dealer. But at no point was this guy obnoxious or bad mannered and he was keeping the table amused. He’d ordered 3 or 4 more drinks over the course of an hour (all with fireball chasers and slipping the waitress $5 when ordering and another $5 when she delivered) – I’d probably had the same number of beers during the same timescale but my starting point was a lot soberer. At what point will you get refused booze service in Vegas? My guess would have been much sooner had he not been tipping so generously or if he’d been rowdy.

He’s been doing this for about 2 hours now and can barely keep his eyes open – most hands he’s just folding without looking (if he could see straight at all) and he’s getting visibly sleepier. He had his head in his hands with his elbows on the fringe of the table when his elbow slipped off the edge and he face plants into his chips, sending them flying across the table – someone at the other end asks the dealer “Is that forward motion – does that mean he’s all in?” which elicits a laugh from the rest of the table. The dealer prods him but he’s now too far gone. The dealer is sat wondering what to do when the drunk’s buddies come over from the sportsbook – they’ve been stood watching their friend and can barely contain their laughter. One of them is very apologetic but I tell him that he’s not been a pain and he’s actually kept us amused for a while. 

So our drunk’s chips get blinded off for a while – I don’t recall seeing that many of them as I was UTG for his BB and I couldn’t really attempt to steal. I have no recollection how this tournament ended (not due to the number of beers consumed BTW) but at least I remembered the interesting bits, probably unlike the drunkest man in Vegas.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

It’s just like having a mogwai

For those of you that haven’t seen the 1984 film Gremlinsshame on you – it’s brilliant. But I’ll quickly explain the plot – a teenage boy is given a small furry animal (a mogwai which they name Gizmo) and told to stick to 3 important rules:

1 – Don’t expose it to bright lights, especially sunlight which will kill it

2 – Don’t get it wet. Water causes it to reproduce painfully

3 – Don’t feed it after midnight. This is the most important rule as it causes it to change from being cute to being evil

So to cut a long story short, they get it wet causing a load of new ones to appear, then the new ones get fed after midnight which then means there are a load of evil ones (Gremlins) running all over the place causing havoc before eventually all being killed by exposure to sunlight. I’ve probably ruined the film for you although if you haven’t seen it in the last 30 years you’re probably unlikely to come across it now.

So anyway – back to reality. I’ve recently acquired a mogwai, well when I say mogwai I’m talking figuratively rather than literally in that spending a large amount of time over the summer with my elderly mother and her friends is just like having a mogwai. There are a number of golden rules to follow when being around large numbers of senior citizens at once:

1 – Don’t mention the war or any element of the distant past. My mother is constantly going on about her generation “living through the war”.  Technically she’s right in that they lived through it but she was barely 3 when it ended so it’s not like she had any conscious awareness of it or any influence over its outcome.  She also likes to think that everything was far better in the past – it wasn’t. Food and fuel rationing continued well into the 1950s, trade union disputes caused havoc in the 70s and 80s. Cars were slow and dangerous – drink driving was legal before 1965, seatbelts were only compulsory for drivers in 1983 and that’s before trying to calculate the damage caused by leaded fuel which was only banned in 2000. People of a certain age seem to look back with rose tinted glasses, completely ignoring reality. 

2 – Don’t give them options. Even the most basic choices can spark a meaningless conversation that lasts longer than the known age of the universe. Example – would you like a custard cream or chocolate digestive? Sounds easy enough – think again. The answer to that question will usually be “what were those biscuits I used to like – you know the ones we got during the war?” Firstly – I have no idea, secondly – you’ve already told us that you didn’t get biscuits during the war because the Germans had taken them (or other such nonsense) which then gets them reminiscing about everything being better in the past and therefore you’ve also broken rule 1. Easily solved by the only choice being available is having a biscuit, or not having a biscuit. Or not even offering a biscuit which their doctor says they can’t have anyway due to medical issues (see rule 3).

3 – Don’t ask them about their health. Ever. I’ve had relationships last for less time than the answer to the question “How are you?” They’ll tell you about every trip to the doctor, what every medicine is for and recount every minor niggle, ache or pain from the last month. That’s before they start telling you about their dietary restrictions because they’ve heard that bacon gives you cancer and they can’t have a biscuit because of their diabetes – but this is ok because it reminds them of rationing during the war so you’ve broken rule 1 again and you’re now stuck in some form of rule breaking spiralling vortex that will never end. Just don’t do it.

By now you’re probably asking yourself why I’m still droning on – and to be honest I’m not totally sure myself but I think it’s because as we all get older we start to look at our lives differently, but I don’t think I do. I have responsibilities like any normal adult but I don’t consider myself to be one. I’ve been tried as one but... A friend of mine recently tried to insult me by calling me immature, I told him that’s a compliment rather than an insult. 

I think the point is that we all usually turn into our parents and we’re frightened of doing so. I was once at a friend’s wedding and the god botherer doing the service started off about how you can tell what a woman will be like after 20 years of marriage by looking at her mother. Now the bride was a petite beauty, but her mother less so, when I say less I mean more… about 200 pounds more and not very pleasant either. Cue much amusement from the groom’s friends. 

I’m obviously not going to turn into my mother but most of the men in my family have retained their marbles well into old age but those that die early have usually died from some form of alcohol related disease and I really can’t see that happening to – oh….hang on!

Monday, September 17, 2018

I can pretty much guarantee that you didn’t have an ace

Whilst most of my poker related posts involve me sitting at a no limit hold em table I do make the occasional foray onto a PLO table. In terms of action I actually prefer the game over NLH but it’s really only the bigger rooms which have a PLO game running at anything other than the most busy times.

I’m not that great a player though and my tiny mind can barely cope with remembering 2 cards in front of me so when I’ve got to remember 4 I usually make more of an effort concentrating on the cards rather than chatting to other players at the table - which is why I’ve never had anything interesting enough to make a post out of, until now.

I’ve only been sat down for 5 minutes and the first hand I play is AA22 double suited - I raise UTG and get called by literally all the table. Flop is AA2. Although this is a great flop it’s actually too good - any bet here is going to scare everyone off so I decide to see if someone wants to have a bluff at it. The blinds check, as do I, and the player on my left throws out $25 (into $90). The button calls and I call as well. I couldn’t even tell you what the turn was and again I decide to check. Player to my left now bets $60. The button folds and I have a decision to make. If I call here I really can’t see him bluffing the river so I put in a min raise with the intention of putting in a smallish bet on the river. He tanks. Then keeps tanking. Then he starts muttering to himself “ace is no good here, you’re behind a house, you’ve got to fold a naked ace”. This goes on for what seems like forever - it’s a good 5 or 6 minutes and I’ve already ordered another beer and actually been served before he makes a decision. He folds, asking if I had a full house.

I don’t respond to him and I scoop the pot silently. Meanwhile he’s busy telling everyone how he made a good fold by folding his ace. I chuckle silently to myself and get ready to forget it ever happened but this guy goes on - for about half an orbit he’s proudly congratulating himself that he got away from his supposed ace. I turn to him and jokingly say “if you folded an ace you’re a better player than I am”. He sees this as a compliment and replies “Thanks - I’m always wary of a house with flopped trips and I knew I was behind when you min raised”. He has no element of sarcasm or joking in his voice and he sounds like he’s convinced himself here as well as trying to convince anyone who is listening.

But he keeps talking about this hand and we’re well over an orbit later and it’s getting silly that he’s still going on about it. So I turn to him and quite loudly say “From all that self congratulation I can pretty much guarantee that you didn’t have an ace”. This seems to offend him. He replies “So you’re calling me a liar are you?”

Now if this had only gone on for a couple of minutes after the hand I would have thought that he was just fishing for information about my hand so I’d have probably just ignored him. But we’re now around 15 minutes since the actual incident - I’d ordered and been served another beer which probably loosened my tongue a bit. So I decide that it’s not a backdoor request for information and that the guy is just a bit of a tool and actually reply to him “Yep - if you had an ace were never folding”. This doesn’t appease him - in fact he gets worse.

“That’s out of order” he’s virtually shouting now. Oh god - another nutter at my table and I’m going to be careful about my words now despite the beer (remain good natured and it winds them up more

He continues shouting “You called me a liar, I swear on baby Jesus I had an ace and folded it”. Oh joy - it’s not just your standard nutter but a full on god bothering one.

Ignoring him isn’t an option now as he’s probably not going to shut up until I put him out of his misery. So I calmly reply to him “I really don’t care who you swear on as there’s no way you had an ace - and how do I know that? Because I had 4 aces and I’m pretty sure that there’s still only 4 of them in the deck”. Half the table is laughing now and our nutter suddenly shuts up before picking up his chips and stating that he’s not sitting there being called a liar.

Now we’ve all misread or misremembered our hand before but the fact that he’s talked about holding an ace during the hand suggests that he’s a few cards short of a full deck.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Giving some back to the table

On all my travels around the world I’ve never come across an equivalent of what I call an “old man pub”. It’s a difficult concept to explain but the nearest US equivalent would be called a dive bar – but they’re definitely not the same. Some dive bars I’ve been to have been upmarket affairs filled with hipsters – old man pubs are definitely not these. Some dive bars are deliberately styled to look worn out and abused but old man pubs really are worn out and abused. Some dive bars are trying too hard to be bad but old man pubs don’t need to try, they are bad naturally. Without trying. Which is good. Get me?

There’s a few criteria that need to be met before a place can be classified as an old man pub (and it’s got nothing to do with the presence, or lack, of old men):

Beer – must have a few decent selections but nothing overly fancy. Definitely not the sort of place that serves micro brewed ales.

Wine – usually just 2 choices. Red or white although if you ask nicely they might be able to come up with a house made ros√©.

Food – not necessarily served but if so then simple staples. Pie, chips & gravy feature heavily. Goat’s cheese frittata drizzled with a redcurrant jus is most definitely not on the menu.

Carpet – sticky. As is the ceiling which hasn’t been redecorated since the smoking ban so the walls and ceiling are stained yellow.

Toilets – generally basic. Try not to touch anything that’s not part of your own body. 

Likelihood of getting stabbed – low. This last factor is important as it differentiates an old man pub from another category of pubs – shitholes.

But I like old man pubs – you know what you are getting and they don’t try to be anything other than a place to have a few beers, chat to your mates and watch a bit of sport. We have plenty in the UK and they are popular – even supposedly very upmarket areas of major cities will have a fair few dotted around. 

I found myself in a particular old man pub that’s sadly no longer there any more. It was only a few miles away from where I lived at the time but my friend lived round the corner from this pub and I arranged to meet him there early one evening. We had a few beers and as people came into the pub he introduced me to a few of the locals that he knew. A couple of hours passed like this when one of the barmen shouted out “It’s ready chaps” fairly loudly so the entire pub could hear. One of the locals who we’d been chatting to then explained that they’d set up a poker table in the room at the back of the pub and invited us to join in a game – my friend’s girlfriend had joined us an hour before this so I didn’t feel rude agreeing to play for a while. 

The local explained the details as we sat down - £25 ($35) maximum buy in for coloured chips that worked effectively like chips – cash held behind the bar. UK gambling rules are pretty strict in that pubs can’t be seen to be allowing gambling on the premises so by only allowing coloured chips rather than cash denominations they can claim it’s just a friendly game with no money on the table on the very small chance that it’s investigated. Blinds were 25p/50p (35c/70c). This immediately stuck me as very odd – such a small buy in and ridiculously low blinds but having accepted their invite I felt it would be rude to let this get in the way of playing for an hour or so anyway. 

I folded the first few hands that were dealt but I noticed something strange. Everyone limped in preflop and there was barely a bet placed until showdown. It was fairly common for a limped 9-3 off to win having rivered 2 pair despite someone else having a paired Ace on the flop. A bet that was made pre showdown was immediately met with groans and folds. Every time I was in late position or even in the blinds I would raise and take down the dead money. This happened for about ½ an hour when my friend beckoned me over to the bar for a refill. He asked how I was getting on and I told him I was up about £20 – not a huge sum I know but given the £25 buy in I’d almost doubled my stake and won my beer money back. As the landlord served our drinks he leant over to me and said “They’re all moaning about you. They want you banned as you keep raising them”. He then proceeded to explain that it’s not what you’d call a real poker game – most of the players could barely play and they only really did it as a social thing once a week. Given the standard at the table that didn’t surprise me. Nearly every week no one would win or lose more than a couple of pounds and that he’d lay on a few drinks for me and my friend if I managed to lose some money back to the table. Given how this was my friend’s local I agreed – the money was of no relevance and the game was terrible albeit the guys at the table were great to talk with. Plus he’d found my one true weakness!! But howI’d barely got any resistance when I’d raised previously so I could barely just dump chips by waiting for a call from someone holding a decent hand – so I needed a plan.

I told the landlord to tell the other players that he’d worked out when I was bluffing – if I bet then took a sip of my beer it was definitely a bluff. If I had a strong hand then I was more interested in my cards than the beer. When he called a break for the table to serve drinks I made myself scarce and he told everyone that I had this “tell” and that anyone with a half decent hand should reraise me to see what I did. I waited until I was in the blinds before I lead out again with something like 10-4 – as soon as I took a sip of beer there was a reraise behind me. I open folded my hand with a Hollywood “You’ve got me there” and the reverse trap was set. I managed to lose my winnings plus a few pounds on top over the next couple of hours and the game drew to a close about ½ hour before the pub closed for the evening. As we all had one last beer before heading home I was chatting to a couple of the other players – one of them told me that he thought I was good at the start but I bluffed too much and even he could work me out! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Does a dog know it’s a dog? Does a donk know he’s a donk?

Self awareness across the animal kingdom is pretty rare – apart from humans the only species which show higher elements of self awareness are primates, elephants, dolphins and some birds. Humans generally only become fully self aware in their mid to late teens but I’m sure that some people never reach full capacity. We all know people who live in their own little bubble and have no idea how their actions affect anyone else.

If you’re starting to think this is a bit heavy going please bear with me as it has relevance to a recent poker session. I’m sat enjoying a few beers and am running relatively well on a pretty standard $1/2 table. I’ve got around $500 in front of me from a $300 buy in and I’m enjoying a very friendly chat with a guy on my right hand side – amongst other things he’d told me that he was on a PhD programme studying philosophy and psychology. I’d realised he was a bright guy (I’ll call him BG for bright guy for the rest of this story) but now he’s said he’s on a PhD programme I know he’s far brighter than I could possibly hope to be.

We’ve been playing together for about 90 minutes when a new player joins the table in seat 7 or 8 (I’m in 4 or 5 but new guy is 3 to my left, and BG is obviously in seat 3 or 4 being one to my right). I’m going to call the new guy CL – for crazy loon. Because he was a crazy loon.

I can usually judge how someone plays within 5 hands of them sitting down. Crazy loons just can’t help themselves – there must be a voice in the back of their head saying “must raise with 8-4 off”. Our CL raises the 1st hand he’s dealt, and the 2nd, and the 3rd. I think he won 2 and lost 1 hand but now he’s UTG for his 4th hand and raises. There are a couple of calls round to me on the button and I look down at QQ. So I raise to about $60 (CL had raised to $12 and there’s nearly $40 in the pot already). CL shoves for about $250 and it folds round to me. Normally this means I’m behind but given CL has a 4/4 raising average I decide I’m well ahead of his range and call. I table my hand but CL doesn’t and we see an Ace high board. CL shows A4 off!!! I tell him “nice hand” and he thinks I’m congratulating him. I’ve found there’s no point berating the idiots as they are usually too dumb to realise what’s actually going on so I continue talking to the bright guy. CL continues to do what CLs tend to do by instinct and he’s up to $700 or so, then lost it all and rebought, lost it all again and has rebought again – all within the space of about 2 rounds.

I’ve been chatting to BG and we somehow get taking about self awareness when this hand happens. I raise from UTG+1 with AK off and CL 3 bets, it folds round to me and I shove (probably around $275 and CL has about the same). I table AK and again CL doesn’t show until the river – 6-10 suited and he’s paired his 10!! What a fucking clown.

I rebuy (so now I’ve lost my winnings plus a buy in – all to CL), turn to BG and continue our conversation by saying “Does a dog know it’s a dog, does a donk know he’s a donk?” which elicits a laugh from BG. CL now pipes up with “What did you say? Did you call me a donk? I won the hand so you’re the donk”. I just laugh – there’s no point arguing with this idiot and I don’t respond back to him.

CL continues to play this way – at one point he’s up to around $1,500 but within an hour or so his luck runs out and by the time he leaves he’s burned through 5 or 6 buy ins. Unfortunately none of those came back to me and I leave after a 4 hour session down a buy in but having had a good few beers and a far more intellectual conversation than I usually do at the table.

Friday, September 7, 2018

I was told this was the dress code at Vegas poker tables

Sometimes I get invited to clients’ parties or events and I really don’t like going. It’s not that I’m unsociable it’s just that they can be pretty dull. Most of the time is spent talking about work and I have to “behave”. That means I limit myself to a couple of drinks, converse politely then make my excuses and leave. On this occasion I had the perfect excuse in that I had a flight booked out of LAX around 11pm on a Friday night so would be leaving at 10pm to head to the airport. I’d been staying in Vegas all week so would take the mid afternoon flight to LAX before heading back on the last flight of the night. This occasion was a client’s Christmas drinks party and there was a black tie dress code. This was a proper PITA for me as it meant I had to haul a dinner suit (tuxedo for the Americans) & shoes with me all the way from London which ate into my luggage space. But I couldn’t really decline as I was looking to make a good impression with the client.

So it’s Friday afternoon and I’m dressed up in a taxi on the way to LAS – I look like a butler and I get plenty of “amusing” comments from parties coming into Vegas as I walk through the airport. No drink for me on the plane to LAX and I’m stone cold sober when I get to the event. Plan goes perfectly as I sip 2 drinks, nibble a couple of canap√©s and converse politely for a couple of hours before heading back to LAX for the flight back to Vegas. 

As I scan my mobile boarding card to get through the airport I get a message from the AA app – flight delayed. Oh fucking joy. But at least the flagship lounge is open till midnight so I head in there for a couple of drinks whilst waiting for the flight. I spent about an hour in there chatting to one of the desk agents – the place is virtually empty and I’d been through this lounge so regularly that a few of the agents knew me by name so by the time the flight is ready I’ve had about 4 drinks and now I’ve got a thirst on. Pre flight drink is offered and scooped and another is served once we’re in the air.

The flight is pretty full but luckily my seat mate leaves me alone – probably thinks I’m some sort of loon given how I’m dressed but if it means peace and quiet I might start dressing like this more often. It’s whilst I’m enjoying this quiet time that I have a brilliant idea – I’ve been in Vegas all week but I’ve actually been quite busy and I’ve not played poker since I arrived the previous weekend. So my brilliant idea is to head for a game – I’ve got no luggage and I’m already in a hotel room so I can head straight to wherever takes my fancy. It’s just after 1am when I jump into a taxi and ask to be dropped off as near as he can get to the front of the MGM before walking over to the poker room.

I’m seated virtually immediately and am glugging a beer within 10 minutes so my plan is working brilliantly. My attire is attracting quite a bit of attention and I’m asked if I’ve come from anything special to which I reply “It’s my first time in Vegas and I was told this was the dress code at Vegas poker tables – I’ve obviously been lied to”. This elicits a laugh from most of the table and I tell them the LA story. The session was pretty meh but I had a few hours chatting and drinking at the table so it was a very pleasant way to spend the early hours of a Saturday morning

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

She definitely had me covered

This is one of the only interesting hooker stories that I’ve got from my trips to Vegas so far. I’m actually quite surprised by this as I nearly always travel alone. How bad does my life need to be if even the hookers don’t want to approach me?

I was playing a tournament at the Venetian and had lasted quite well and made the final table – lost when I shoved from the BB with AK suited v pair of 6s (I think) and didn’t improve post flop but made the cash. Think I ended up with $400ish from a $125 buy in. I grabbed a beer as I left and headed off down the strip back towards the MGM – it’s probably around 1.30am but the strip is still quite busy.

As I headed through the mini shopping mall on the corner of Planet Hollywood where you have to use the mall to take the overpass over the road I held the door open for some folks just behind me. As I let the door go and turned round to head on south a lady comes out from the shadows and says “Hey sugar, where are you going?” Now before I proceed it’s probably best to describe myself so you can picture the scene – I’m 6 foot 1 and at the time weighed the unhealthy side of 200 pounds. This lady is about 5 foot 4 and definitely had me covered on the weight (or in boxing parlance she had a weight advantage but I had height and reach). She’s wearing a far too revealing dress that looks like it fitted properly 60 pounds ago. 

“I’m going to bed” I say. “Do you want me to come?” is her response. “Or I might get a drink first” I say. 

“Ooh I’d love a drink” is her reply. “Are you going to buy me a drink then?” I ask. “It doesn’t really work like that” she says. “Well thanks but no thanks then” I reply before walking off down the strip.

Not the most interesting encounter I know but I couldn’t help but wondering how she actually makes a living – there can only be so many people in the market for her services and surely if you’re paying you’d want the highest quality you could get? In my mind her business proposition was terrible – it would be like walking into a good steak restaurant and ordering a Big Mac but agreeing to pay as if it had been made out of Kobe A5 quality meat. From an economic perspective and working on the assumption that she can’t control supply she can only influence demand by moving the price (have a read of this article for more details ). 

Now at no stage did I ask (or care) about this lady’s cost. But I’d have laughed my beer (which I’d carried all the way down the strip from the Venetian) through my nose if she’d started anywhere near $500