First off two apologies;
1) For each of those frustrated,
Listen…. I honestly DO get the whole, “how do we find you?/how do we contact you?/what’s your number Bammer?” run of comments and concerns, that seem almost never ending during any of the gatherings I get the chance to attend. But honestly, I’d rather participate in what’s going on than tweet, text and read about it, while it IS actually going on. I initially came to this realization during my first WPBT. That was when it became quite apparent to me at least, that I was so concerned with making plans and telling the world about them on my phone, I was actually missing out on several key moments with a few of the kids I was really hoping to meet up with in the first place. I not only vowed never to make that same mistake again after my return home that year, but I have also now attended every single gathering since that point, TOTALLY unplugged. A decision that wasn’t really that easy to make to be certain! I went into it knowing that I could miss out on something special being thrown together and posted on Twitter, as an invitation to the masses to attend. So once again during this WPBT there was no phone, no tweets, no #hashtags and no dial-A-shots for me.
2) For those that gathered for Bammer’s Happy Hour Friday,
I just plain fucked up. No excuses, no good reason, no absolution for me. I was so into the after-golf drinks and companionship with others, I just plain lost track of the time. If there is one truly positive side to this apology for those that made the effort to show up at my party however, please know this. I STILL feel like shit for not hooking up with you all.
Now onto the action!
I took Peb’s in early this time because knowing what was coming our way starting with the Thursday night arrivals, I just plain wanted a couple of days with her and quite selfishly I can admit, I wanted them all to myself. We started the day with The IP and a little Let-It-Ride. I get asked about, or hear the comment so often, “You go to Vegas and its The Imperial Palace for you, really?” YES REALLY! If you don’t get why I love the place, may I suggest a quote from a friend that has made all 7 Winter WPBT’s and actually helped me understand the IP’s draw.
“I don’t know, it’s like a comfortable pair of shoes I guess.”
When we sat down and handed our cash to the dealer, the pit boss makes his way over to the table, extends a hand and says, “Well, well, welcome back Pebbles and Bam-Bam!” With a rather wry smile he continues, “Do you two plan on taking all of our money again this year?” Did I mention that he said this BEFORE we were able to present our players cards? Or that we hadn’t sat down at the IP for two years! Then about ½ an hour into our first session, there was a dealer change. I looked up from my drink to notice something vaguely familiar about the young lady behind the table and as she took the time to look up herself, “HELLO Pebbles!” came out with delight. It was Mandy, the dealer that we went on one Hell of a run with over a period of two days during the WPBT that same two years ago. Not surprisingly, (to me at least) five hands in, Mandy deals Peb’s a 3-Card straight flush for $200.
“Drinks, Cocktails. Drinks, Cocktails. Drinks, Co….. BAMMER! PEBBLES!” were the next words we’d hear. Two years ago, nearly to the day, Rena was slinging her drink tray our way with a baby on board. She remembers the tip I gave her after a big hand and my comment, “The first round of diapers are on me.” We catch up and share some laughs about her first two years as a parent and as if nothing had changed except for her lack of another being inside of her she asks, “Scotch?” When Rena returned with our drinks, I hoisted my glass in her direction with a resounding “Cheers!” It took a moment or two after my first swig but then it hit me, this was NOT an ordinary Scotch! “Rena dear, what have you done?” I asked bemusedly. “You guys are so great, I wanted to surprise you. I went out back and had someone go up to The Hash House for me, do you like it?” she asked as she beamed. That girl took the time and effort to have an 18 year old Macallan poured just for me.
We played for hours. The players at the table changed over a couple of times. One by one the dealers wished us, “good night and good luck.” and even the lovely Rena had to finally make her way home, back to be the Mom of her child. Yet there we sat, comfortable in our old pair of shoes, the place known as The Imperial Palace.
Our walk back to The Monte Carlo was filled with smiles, smooches and reminiscing about the hands that made or broke our bankrolls. As is often the case, more often than not, we combined our rolls to find that after all the hours of play and tips; we had exactly $10 of profit between us. On the walkway bridge between The Aria and Cosmopolitan, there was a girl playing a 12-string Guitar. VERY well I might add! Now I’m not that big on the charity pool that can be Vegas, where a guy with a puppy in a cage or the one with a sign that reads, ‘Why lie? I need Beer’ never seem to change over the years but hey, this young lady was actually willing to work for her cash. So naturally, to me at least, the nights profit went right into her guitar case. It may be just me of course, but I thought her smile was well worth it.
And with that, our WPBT day #1 was in the books.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....