Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vegas Report Part 2: Tilting Dutch Boyd

I woke up Friday morning after 6 or so hours of sleep, and realised that my first foray into Vegas had left its mark upon me. Perhaps the non-eating since noon wasn't such a good way to get things started, as it felt as if someone had placed my brain into a vice and was intent on seeing how tightly they could wind it.

After I uncurled myself from the foetal position, I decided upon a course of action. First it was time for a shath, and then it was time for some grease and some coffee. Saunter and I eventually completed step one, and I hit upon the idea of trying to find a Denny's that I knew was around somewhere. This was somewhat dangerous, as it is generally acknowledged that I have the direction sense of a stunned trout, but in non-Garthmeister J. fashion we actually managed to walked straight to the Denny's with a minimum of hassle. Amazed with our good fortune, Saunter and myself ordered and launched into our plates of food. After finishing up I congratulated myself on how the day had gone so far. I could already feel the healing powers of the grease and caffeine working their magic on my battered system.

Walking out of the Denny's I noticed it was just after noon. It might be a bit early for some of the blogger contingent to be up and mobile (depending on when they finally crashed... if they crashed at all, that is), so we returned to our hotel room and I made some calls. I left various voicemails around the place, and thought about maybe catching a nap.

Eventually Gracie gave me a call, and we decided to meet at the Mirage poker room. Maudie, Pablo, Gracie and I joined the waiting list for 1/2, though not as we imagined. Gracie has a great picture, which gave us all instant nicknames (well, except for Pablo). I guess you should call me Girthmeister J.

The Mirage opened a new table for us, and we sat down to do battle at cards, along with a few random Vegas-ians. Saunter bid us adieu, and headed off to wander down the strip (Saunter is not that gambly, but I later discovered that during our NL session at the Mirage she ended up playing roulette at the Wynn... where the lowest limit she could find was $50. Not a typo - fifty dollars! That's my girl!).

With Maudie on my left and a grizzled military veteran on my right, it was action time. My first hand? Quads. DQB, bitches! In fact, in my two hour session at the Mirage I didn't pre-flop raise once, but flopped three sets, cracked Aces once with KQ (he folded on the turn), and also felted Pablo. I was almost (almost) disappointed to discover at the end of my time that I was only up half a buy-in.

During the time at the Mirage 1, a pleasant enough guy in the 10 seat discovered that some of the Mirage chips had an unsettling advertisement of Danny Gans on them. Thus began the battling over any pot containing a Danny Gans chip, causing Mr 10 Seat to exclaim: "So, I brought up one stupid thing, and now you're going to beat it into the ground?!" Why, yes, actually. Pablo also perfected what he referred to as "the most intimidating raise of all time", slinging out multiple Danny Gans chips to psyche out an opponent. Very effective.

Done with the Mirage for the meantime, Saunter and I headed back to the IP. Saunter decided it was high time for a nap, while I caught up with a few new arrivals, such as Joe Speaker, Derek, and BG. After realising that I had just purchased a beer, and wasn't gambling, I solved both problems by taking a seat at a Pai Gow table. This is when I first noted Speaker's world-class card squeezing during Pai Gow, which floored me. Absolutely amazing, and something I immediately took up. Try it sometime, it's magic.

Once Saunter had returned from her nap, we decided it was high time to head to the MGM for dinner before going to the Sports Book for talkies and mixed games. We dined at the MGM's Studio Cafe (one of my fave options), before dropping into the Rainforest Cafe to look at the fish. Back in July we had gone there and been captivated by one of the bigger fish, spotted but displaying some chameleonic ability, who showed off his size by hiding from everything and anything. This may be the biggest pansy of a fish on the planet. Quickly dubbed Hyperfish, Saunter and I decided we had to go and pay it a visit before we started drinking and donking in earnest.


After paying our respects to Hyperfish, I cruised around the MGM poker room saying hello to various blogger people playing mixed games, before parking myself at the sports book bar and attempting to buy most of it. Betty Underground was there, and we had a good chat, before more and more people started gathering at the bar. There was a definitely high number of Englishmen in the vicinity, due tot he Hatton/Mayweather bout, and I had a couple of chats with various poms who made their way through.

At one point I was idly looking at the far end of the bar, when a dude sporting a bandana bellied up to the bar. "He looks familiar," I thought to myself, but I was unable to place him. At that moment he moved aside, and I saw that Karol accompanied the bandana-wearing one.

"Ah," I thought to myself. "Hey Karol, hey Dutch," I said nonchalantly, finally placing the face.

At that moment, Uncle Bracelet made his appearance.

"Mate!" I exclaimed by way of greetings. "Hey, ever wanted to meet Dutch Boyd?"

"Not really," the Bracelet snorted loudly, before realising that the reason I might have brought it up was because Dutch was in the near vicinity. Nice.

At about midnight Saunter headed off, and while chatting to Iggy I was grabbed to go and and sit in a suddenly vacated seat at a mixed games table. I was seated to the direct right of CK and F-Train. I hadn't meant CK before, but we immediately got on like a house on fire. Looking up from my chips I noticed someone familiar in the one seat. One Dutch Boyd. Excellent.

The game? Razz. I like me a bit of razz action, and contented myself with throwing chips around with gay abandon. In one hand I started with 23/4. Nice. (note: I was hammered by this stage, so all hand recollections may not be 100% accurate) Fourth street brought me an 8, fifth a Jack, and Dutch and I were raising and re-raising like there was no tomorrow. At this stage I was pretty sure I was behind, but am I going to back down to Dutch Boyd? Hells no! 6th was a 6 (nice), and Dutch checked to me. "Sweet!" I thought, and bet out. Dutch called. I was a little uncertain, but thought I might be good. 7th street came out, and I snuck a peek as Dutch checked to me. Ace. Yahtzee! I bet out again, and Dutch looked disgusted.

"You didn't just catch me on 7th, did you?" Dutch spat, throwing in his chips for the call. I flipped over my hidden cards, and may have done a little jig before I raked in the chips. This put Dutch Boyd on official Garthmeister J. Tilt, and also ensured that any time he completed, I was coming into the pot.

"I was hoping you would be coming into this one, Garth," he said on one occasion.

"Wouldn't miss it for the world," I replied.

I took a little bit of a battering at O8 (which I called), but when the game returned to Razz I made a bit of a comeback. Dutch eventually gave up, muttering that he was never going to play with bloggers again (or maybe it was read poker blogs again, or something - who knows, I was drunk). Victory!

With that complete, I lost my mixed game momentum, and felt that it was time for some more -EV tomfoolery. There was movement afoot, and eventually I settled in with a cab full of compatriots for a run at the IP.

At the IP Uncle Bracelet and I settled into a Pai Gow table, where I suffered the worst run I can ever recall. I think we were at the table for about two hours, and in that time I can recall one (ONE!) dealer Pai Gow... and I might have even lost that one. Eventually Uncle Bracelet and I beat a retreat to the nearest blackjack table, but after a quick junk kicking we decided that the blackjack table was too close to the Pai Gow Table of Doom, so we fled to the Champagne Pit, where Uncle Bracelet immediately began making friends with douchebags.

Once Mr Douchebag had left, we settled in, beginning an epic blackjack run, which would involve Maigrey, BG, Derek, Uncle Bracelet busting his bankroll, me making $200 bets (only after I made it $300 too late), and a roller coaster run that lasted until 7:30am. At that point I decided I should get some shuteye to get myself in some kind of condition for the blogger tournament, and so with some regret I slowly made my way back to my room, drunkenly aware that Saunter might be waking up at any moment.

Coming Up: Which way to the Venetian and Sweating Joe Speaker


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