The Master ….
Immediately after I busted out of “The Event,” I made my rounds to say good luck to those I either knew already, or had just met and were still playing. It was just a quick and casual good luck, as most of them were seriously involved in the game itself, and rightfully so. I didn’t feel like watching and I didn’t want to be a distraction either. I headed to “our spot” over at the sports book bar. Most of the off-time from the tourney, you could find a gathering of a special group of friends who just made “our spot” happen in a flow of humanity, booze, laughter, handshakes and hugs. For me in Vegas on December 8, 2007, this was the local pub and these were my friends. They consisted mainly of, (but certainly not limited to) Myself, Waffles, Al and GCox. A great core group that only got better and better as others wandered in and out of our little realm.
I was the new kid in town and despite my typically out-going manner, I was a little more subdued than usual to start. Al had his corner spot at the bar and was placing a drink order. This was at least the 5th. or 6th. time I’d been able to watch him do this. This man shows signs of being a serious ‘do onto others’ believer at heart. If someone just walked by, you’d here Al say, “can I get you a drink (insert any random name here)?”
When Al is buying for his friends, he doesn’t miss anyone. Even more impressive, he never missed a drink! Oh well, that’s not entirely true. There was the time he, (and I must admit I was just as guilty) forgot to get The Wife the Diet Coke he’d promised. But there’s no booze in that so all in all, it seems easily forgettable for the situation. When Al looks into the bartenders eye’s, there’s the look of determination and years of practice. Not only is each drink ordered exactly the way they should be, (in bar speak) but each specific nuance that makes each person’s individual drink just the way they want it, is remembered from some past experience. Folks, he’s not walking up and ordering 12 Bud light here. I’m talking mixed drinks with various fruity components, different ice level requests, shots neat or on the rocks, or in specific types of glasses appropriate to either the drink or the drinker. Import beers and wines or coolers also. All for groups of 7 to 14, or even more. He’s not just a pro, he’s a host that knows how to make his guests feel at home. I tried to keep up, but I always ended up turning back and asking someone what the hell I was ordering for them. But I was in the presence of the master and I would watch and learn from the best. I eventually got it right.
Oh and another thing! The next time anyone sees Gcox, shake his hand for me. He’s a great guy and his Mrs. was really nice to Pebbles too. I’ve said it several times already but one more won’t hurt. It was my pleasure to meet you G.
Sunday was going to be get together with the kids and watch some football at the IP day, we decided when we woke up. As we started to head upstairs to join in on the action, the Let It Ride table at the bottom of the stairs by the Geisha Bar was calling our names instead. Peb’s and I sat down and bought in to one of our favorite table games. What a great decision this turned out to be. Not just for the very, very +EV day that it turned out to be either. We were eventually joined at the table by the organizer of this years WBPT event, Falstaff. He was joined by his lovely wife, her father and several other friends. We had a blast, but that’s easy to do when you’re surrounded by good folks. Falstaff wasn’t having too much luck at the table, but that didn’t deter him from having a lot of fun. He came and went a couple of times throughout the day. He never went too far though. The craps table beside us was about as far as I think he got. Our Sunday companions helped us finish off a great weekend in style and I don’t think I could say thanks enough to each of them.
The Tao of luck ….
All things considered, this trip was a very inexpensive little weekend getaway for Pebbles and I. We’ve often talked about heading out to Vegas for a weekend fling but typically, we end up deciding on one of our three local casinos instead. If it wasn’t for the WBPT, I know we would have made the same decision this past weekend too.
Thankfully, I had a reason to be there and that allowed me to meet so many of the Bloggers that I read regularly, or play on line with. My must first read every day is The Tao of Poker. Like most of you, I feel all ‘informed’ and ‘inside the loop’ when Pauly does his poker coverage. At the Tao of Poker, I enjoy the broadened coverage into the mysteries and happenings in the poker world the most. It’s like getting really good and very interesting insider information, when you want it the most. This past weekend, Pauly gave me more than just that. He needs a new site to write on called, “The Tao of Luck.”
We were having a lot of fun at Let It Ride, but it was a steady as she goes chip stack kind of game too. I stood up to stretch my legs and had noticed that the good Dr. was in the house. He was with Derek, The Rooster and a few others. I wanted to say thanks for everything and talk about some writing I’ve been doing. I figured he was in a groove, so I’d wait until later. I sat back down as I was dealt my 3 cards and got ready for a peak at what I had to work with. J-J-J !! I look again. Yep! Trip Jacks. For those of you who do not play the game, Let It Ride basically breaks down to this. A winning hand is anything better than a pair of 10’s. I have a winning hand with trips and my maximum bet out on the table. I turned around said a silent “thanks Pauly” in his general direction. I’m a karma freak when I play this game. I think it’s the only place where I actually show any form of superstition. I don’t really know why, but I do it anyhow. The first round of action is all done and the dealer flips up a 4. I am still golden and leaving my chips out there to get all tripled-up and stuff. The dealer ask’s, “what do you want?” I show her my set and say, “another 4’s cool, but I’d love to see the Jack.” Whammo !! It came and I get paid for Quad’s. Saaaawwwwweeeet !!! I was mad I couldn’t see Pauly anymore. This was a moment I would’ve liked to have shared with him. Oh well, I got over it. (funny how lot’s of money in your hands can do that huh?)
Still playing, (and winning my share) I see the good Dr. coming towards our table. Whammo again!! I hit a full house. Pauly comes by and say’s hi and I figure this is it. My chance is here to discuss some writing and maybe a little about the life of walking in the presence of the “Dolly’s” and Greensteins. So we chat. I can’t tell you how great this was for me. But I am also now playing my spot completely blind. Normally, not too smart.
I hear the dealer say something and I turn around all upset that she’s disturbing one of my moments. She wants me to flip up my cards because the hand is over. I turn up cards that make me two pair and get paid again. I intently listen to Pauly as he speaks not only to me, but to the others around. “Yeah-yeah” I say to the dealer, as I flip up my next hand. “BOAT!” she say’s. I don’t even think I looked. This went on for five hands in a row as Pauly stood there. We had to say our good-byes, as I’m sure he had dozens more to talk to before they left Vegas. But while he was there at the IP with me, he was most definitely “The Tao of Luck.”
I eventually left that table with more than enough profit to pay for our entire trip and weekend in Vegas. One of the two cocktail servers was very pregnant and very nice to us. I decided to help her buy her first several months’ worth of diapers. Our main server was a real sweetheart to both Peb’s and I the whole day too. I hope she bought herself something nice with her tip.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by…..
( and that goes double for you on Sunday Pauly )