Thursday, January 01, 2015

Las Vegas Trip Report Part IV: Cards Against Humanity, FY TBC, MGM Mastery, and All Good Things Must End

Monday, Dec. 8 began with reading Tony's latest blog post about the night before. AgSweep had met Tony that night and had come with a female friend, so naturally Tony assumed that AgSweep was a lesbian. I am sure that was news to her husband of over 30 years! I contacted Tony and got him to revise his initial post. Was this one of the duties bestowed on members of the Inner Circle?

The afternoon began with a solo lunch at the Sidewalk Café in Bally's. This has been a regular stop on just about every Las Vegas trip. Yes -- those Caesar's comps come in handy! After lunch, I headed over to Mirage to play some cash games with Nick. We were going to sit at the same table, but both liked the table where we started. I ended up with a nice profit, in part thanks to the suckout I had when a short stack did the old limp/all in routine after someone had raised pre-flop. I looked down to see a sooted Big Slick (diamonds) , so what the heck -- I called. Surprise surprise, the shortie had Rockets. Unfortunately for him. I flopped two additional cards to the Royal (Jd, 10d) and hit the gutshot straight on the turn. Red Queen, wrong suit, but good enough.

Nick and I left late in the afternoon to head back to our rooms before going to the restaurant/bar that Alysia Chang had selected for us to play Cards Against Humanity. Unfortunately, I looked at my text messages for the address and missed the follow-up text message which corrected the address. Yes -- whether an address is South or North on the road makes a difference. We ended up in the parking lot of this place as we called for directions:
Umm ... part of the phone conversation with AC: "Okay, I now know where we need to go. But, umm ... Nick and I might be a little late. We'll meet you there in two or three hours."

After a little difficult navigating, we finally found the place. Going inside, we were met by AC, Rob and Rob's subject of many posts, Poker Prudence. I had met Prudence on a previous trip to Las Vegas and had even played some cards with her at MGM. However, I don't believe she had a very good impression of me as Rob told her all the crap I gave him about how she would fall in love with me, like most women do. Well ... it's true!

Right about the time we got there, TBC woke up and called. He was unhappy that I went since I told him I was having second thoughts on going since card games outside of poker are really not my thing, and since I heard the game might evolve into TBC Cards Against Humanity. I then declined to pick him up since I was already there and he didn't bother waking up in time to go. He decided to go downtown to pick up some free play at El Cortez and play poker at Golden Nugget -- downtown, which was really about the last place I wanted to go.

We had a special guest at the game as AC brought her laptop and Skyped none other than Poker Grump! Unfortunately, the connection was not great and AC's battery ran down fast, causing us to say goodbye to Grump earlier than we planned.

The game itself was a blast! Prudence put a huge hurt on us and had about twice as many cards at the end as the rest of us. There were a few TBC cards in the deck, but there was also a great Rob card in there also! And of course, anything having to do with Rob necessarily had to involve female breasts!

Afterwards, we decided to play at MGM for several reasons, such as it being a favorite of Rob and Prudence, and also because Nick and I were having some success there. The MGM poker room turned out to be extremely wonderful for me this trip.

Once there, I got seated at a table right next to Prudence. I got a set my first hand and doubled up. Yowza! A few hands later, Prudence was all in and a guy went in the tank deciding whether or not to call. Prudence then says "Oh -- I am so high. Are you taking a long time to decide or does it just seem that way to me?" The guy thinks for a minute and folds. Good times!

I texted TBC that we were at MGM. His reply began "Pretty selfish of u to make sure I couldn't hangout and talk." Yeah -- I guess I am the one who is banned from virtually every Strip property and always expects everyone to play at the few places that tolerate me. And of course, Tony always interprets verbalizations and actions through his unique prism and rarely gets anything right -- or at least close to what others would interpret. He took my asking about the action at the Golden Nugget to suggest that I would be going there. Umm ... no Tony, I was just showing interest in what you were doing. I had no intention of going downtown and no intention of leaving MGM when I was having another great session.

Somehow Tony thought that Monday was my last night in Las Vegas, so I told him that I had one more night. Tony "over interprets" things and then, in his mind, everyone is supposed to center their actions around him and his schedule. When you don't, he starts to whine about how he feels left out and usually begins to make more false assumptions. I actually like most of the time I spend with Tony, but it is this other part that drives his friends crazy and tends to drive them away from him.

The night at MGM continued to be great. Since I was on a big win streak, I just knew -- JUST KNEW -- that my name would be called as one of the 4:00 a.m. promo winners (entries were based on getting a flush or higher hand during the drawing period). And guess what? I was right!

Yes -- MGM proved to be a fun little honey hole for me this trip. Cracking Rob's set of Jacks with Q-10 sooted, terrorizing Nick with nasty names for either donking a win against me or bluffing me off the winning hand, just playing good, solid poker and catching a few cards, winning promo money, telling some guy at a table that I was obviously the smartest person there and had an IQ of 142 -- yes, the first few sessions at MGM were great. It looked like my remaining time would demand at least one more session there.

Tuesday, December 9 began with a slight inconvenience: having to go check out of Bally's and go to my third hotel of the trip -- Luxor. I got a free night through Facebook's My Vegas Slots. But first, however, a visit to the promised land was due.
Nick and I met Rob at the In-N-Out just off the Strip for what would be Nick's first time there. My order was the usual: a double double animal style, fries and a chocolate shake. Nick seemed to think In-N-Out was okay and Rob is used to it, living on the west coast. But for me ... heaven! One day I will have to do a double double and then a Whopper. My heart might not be able to take all the fat and sodium, but at least I would die with a smile on my face.

Nick then went with me as I checked in to Luxor, which took about two minutes. I had exceptionally short check in times this trip. We took the funky elevator to my room. If you have never stayed in Luxor, it is quite an experience riding in the elevator that goes up and down at an angle.

The room at Luxor seemed to be pretty nice. However, I barely spent any time in it. Nick and I chatted for a few minutes, then went to play poker at Luxor. Unfortunately, there was not a game going, so we walked to Mandalay Bay, where I had not played for a few years.

We were originally seated at a new table. However, new players were not coming in and some of the people at other tables were leaving, so we ended up being at separate tables. Soon we were playing together, and both of us put a nasty hurt on the regulars. In both cases, we were in hands with guys who flopped sets. Unfortunately for them they slow played them, allowing us both to go runner runner boat. Pretty amazing to see us do the exact same thing and win big pots. Better to be lucky than good, I always say!

Earlier I had texted Tony and had asked him to text me when he woke up. Tony's usual schedule was to wake up around 6:00 p.m., so I thought that Nick and I would get in a decent session before meeting up with Tony somewhere. On that day, however, he woke up and texted me just after 3:00 p.m. Nick and I had just begun the session there, were having success and were not ready to leave anytime soon. Tony was getting antsy because he had to make some decisions about housing and traveling, so he was pushing to have me contact him IMMEDIATELY. I told him that we were going to be awhile, but was not sure how long. That seemed to be the final straw for TBC, as then the text messages from him became coming in rapid fire. People who have exchanged text messages with Tony before know what I am talking about. Tony, is his usual and unique way, read too much into what I texted him, got upset and hurt, and then decided to spew.

TBC: I fix it so im reliable when I tell others something u aren't

lightning: Re-read PPP's comments (referring to an excellent comment PPP recently wrote regarding Tony)

TBC: All I see is u are a hypocrite. U don't keep promises and u expect others to go out of their way to accommodate u  (Do you believe that HE wrote this?)

TBC: Also when a friend just needs someone to sit and consult with u make them wait days to talk just so u can gamble. (Do you believe that HE wrote this?)

TBC: U won't even do it over the phone without a two day wait let alone in person

TBC: Had u wanted u couldve at least found time for a fifteen min call in the last 48 hrs

TBC: Ppp a hypocrite too none of what he expects from me will he do himself

lightning: Tired of all the shit you say about me. Not coming now. Get lost.

TBC: U never intended to anyway

TBC: U wanted others to think I did while at the same time making it clear to me not only would u not leave nick u wouldn't even make arrangements for later

TBC: U don't know how to treat someone as a friend i do treat others like a friend and for it im mocked and treated like dirt because of my disability

Not quite the Christian stuff that Tony posted in his blog. Funny how he didn't post THIS part of our text conversation. After a few more comments, I told him that there are consequences for actions, and the consequence for him was that I was not wasting my final hours in Las Vegas with a jerk like him. I was having was having way too much fun hanging out with Nick and Rob and playing at MGM.

So Tony screwed himself. Instead of Nick, Rob and I meeting Tony somewhere to play poker, I told Nick that he was on his own if he wanted to meet up with Tony. Instead, Nick and I went to MGM to meet Rob for dinner and play some poker. Once again, Rob generously used his comps at MGM for us to eat here:

After dinner, we were ready to once again take on the poker world. A little earlier I had received a message from Mr. Subliminal, who was hoping to make it to The Strip to play with us. Unfortunately, he was ultimately not able to -- perhaps some problem in navigating the secret underground tunnel system the homeless in Las Vegas use. Or maybe he was just on a panhandling heater. In any event, I made him promise to connect with me next time I am in Las Vegas. Perhaps we can go slot fishing for abandoned credits or something.

As Nick, Rob and I were getting seated for poker, we heard that AC was going to stop by to say goodbye. Nick and Rob soon were able to get at the same table, but I chose to stay at mine for awhile since the action was good. Soon AC came and was able to be seated with the other guys.

My table was fun and profitable. One guy was ordering a drink I never tried, so he gave me one of his and, although I grew up outside Chicago, I tasted for the first time a Chicago classic: Jeppson's Malort. It has a strangely bitter, yet interesting taste. Should I buy a bottle? Hmmm ...

I eventually took a seat at the table with the others. I was interested to hear that there was common ground with some of the players One guy was a big fan of Pete P. Peters -- a guy that Rob previously referred to as the "Triple P Stalker," I believe. He apparently was once on the same flight PPP had taken.  Another guy was also well familiar with the whole TBC story. He was a lawyer and from Ohio. In the Rob's Vegas Poker Tradition, I will give him a pseudonym. Let's call him Ohio Phil. It was a blast talking the TBC story with Ohio Phil, who was up to date with the latest happenings. As we talked about TBC at the table, we once again had to assure people that his story was not a level and is 100% legit. People always are suspicious.

I continued to have a great poker night, which got better when several cowboys in Las Vegas for the rodeo sat down at the table. The cowboys were fun and polite and spewed a lot of money. I was sad to see them go.

As the night crept on, I decided to stay since it was my last night in Las Vegas. When the play at my table got really slow during the 5:00 a.m. hour, I decided to call it a night. I made sure to tell the night Manager what a great time I had ... and to remind her that Rob is the King!

I headed back to my room at Luxor, grabbing some Mickey D's for breakfast along the way. I got back to my room and decided to get about an hour's sleep before I had to check out and leave. I guess the tiredness showed as I discovered that I left my winter coat in my rental car when I returned it. They were able to retrieve it at E-Z Rent-A-Car, and I texted AC and asked her if she could pick it up and send it to me. Dang but she was fast. The coat was already on its way via Fed Ex before I got back to Illinois!

So ... I have to say that I had an excellent trip. The poker was very good as I won at Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and every session I played at MGM. The only place I lost in cash games: my old favorite place -- Bally's! Hanging out a lot with Nick and Rob was great, as was spending some time with other people like AC, Poker Prudence, grrouchie, and even Tony when he wasn't being a pain in the butt.

When will I head out to Las Vegas in 2015? I am currently looking at dates in mid to late January and early to mid February. If comped/discounted rooms and free/cheap airfare work out, it will be a go. In the meantime, I will have to settle for playing at the somewhat local boat. But you know, it just isn't the same.

Have a great 2015!

25 Comments:

Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

Sounds like you had a blast. Hoping we can do some slot fishing next time.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous NerveEnding said...

Um, Mr. lightning, this is PPP stalker. I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. My AVP handle actually is a clue to what I do. I was on a Las Vegas to Charlotte flight with our intrepid lawyer, but at the time I didn't know what he looked like. Anyway it was nice bring introduced to you at the MGM, and maybe we will get to play at the same table next time you visit.

--NerveEnding

6:22 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@NerveEnding -- Welcome to the blog! I thought I had heard about your profession via Rob. I might have heard wrong or Rob might have misinterpreted.

I wish you had stayed at the table. We had some spirited TBC discussion. The others at the table just looked at us in a funny way.

Cya next trip!

6:30 PM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

Congrats man and Happy New Year!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Great report and I just read thru it fast (cuz it was so damn long), I will have to re-read it when I have more time and perhaps make some more comments but for now...

It was Alysia's laptop, not Prudence's. that was used to Skype in Grump. Not sure why you thot it was Prudence's.

I never said NerveEnding was a lawyer. I don't think he ever discussed his profession. I just assumed he made a living stalking PPP.

But if NerveEnding is a hint to his profession, I'm going to say he's an Endodontist (performs root canals).

6:50 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

So I made a few errors ... lol. I am sure that Tony will eventually have his share of proposed corrections -- right, Tony?

I was going to mention Rob at the beginning of the post, but I was afraid it wasn't long enough by Rob standards.

7:21 PM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

Honored to have been a part of this trip. Hope to be able to do it again sometime, maybe with less drama. Lol
Nice to meet nerveEnding, he does kind of seem stalkerish. ....lol. kidding!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Sounds like you had a great trip. I didn't realize TBC was such a pain in the ass. Life's too short, imo.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun (TBC drama notwithstanding). Skip and I stayed at the Luxor on a trip celebrating my 40th birthday (18 long years ago). I thought our room at the Luxor was the best smelling hotel room I've ever been in. Sort of a beeswaxy smell to it. Funny how I still remember that after such a long time.

9:25 PM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

@Rob---NerveEnding is a neurologist. If you've been reading certain blogs as you claim, and their comments, you'd know that. lol

9:29 PM  
Blogger Lester said...

I thought there was going to be one more instance of the TBC stink in the trip report. Other than that obvious letdown nice post Lightning.

8:39 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Okay - made some corrections and edits ...

9:34 AM  
Blogger ~Coach said...

Wow, you're going back FAST... Congrats on all the wins!

9:38 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@~Coach -- Return trips are based on many factors -- flight, hotel, job responsibilities, family schedule. If I don't go then, I might have to wait until late spring or early summer.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Hangar18 said...

Great report Lightning - glad you gave StinkyCharles a taste of his own medicine,
He is selfish and could give a shit about anybody but himself. He would never ask any of his "friends" how they are doing. He just wants to spew about where he should go next - he doesn't realize that nobody gives a shit anymore.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Poker & Gambling 24/7 said...

"As we talked about TBC at the table, we once again had to assure people that his story was not a level and is 100% legit. People always are suspicious."

I many times still think there is a possibility of this TBC thing all being fake, and the characters like Lightning just "playing along" with the years-long story.

Anyone I try to tell the story to automatically thinks I have been duped for years of reading this. They all say no one could be as stupid and disabled as TBC and wing around the World as a winning gambler, and a super-addicted one at that. It is truly a wonder of the World.

On another note, it is great that you get to play with so many friends when you hit Vegas. I would be curious to know how many others enjoy playing with good friends. When I hit the tables I actually prefer to stay away from good friends (or anyone I really like), because I play much better against people I want to hate, and I also feel very bad against taking money from nice friends.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous qdpsteve said...

Wow Lightning, good for you for standing up to Tony. IMHO he has a passive-aggressive streak a mile wide.

I may be going to Laughlin this April and there's a part of me that would like to let TBC know so maybe we could meet up. But then I read stuff like this and think 'screw it, it's not worth it.' That's the wages of his entitled attitude, and why I've officially finally announced to him: I care if he's safe, sure. But as for giving him anything and/or going out of my way to see him? No way no more, babe.

5:25 PM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

"When I hit the tables I actually prefer to stay away from good friends (or anyone I really like), because I play much better against people I want to hate, and I also feel very bad against taking money from nice friends."

Having played at the table with Rob and Lightning this trip, here are my thoughts. I wanted to sit at the tables with them as having people there who I know kept me from playing dumb. I was much less likely to make errors when people I know were watching. Also, while I wasn't specifically targeting them, I didn't shy away from getting into hands with them. There's nothing like the feeling of outplaying friends, hitting a good hand/draw/special hand against them and having bragging rights until the next session.

Playing KK against Rob and winning with it, bluffing Lightning off of QQ on a 10-10-3 board(or maybe holding the 10....I can't remember which it was now!), and playing any number of special blogger hands(2-4, 3-6, Q-10, J-10 to name a few) and showing whether hitting or bluffing just adds more fun to the game!

12:59 AM  
Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

i tried to comment the other day at the table from my cell, and my comment got ate after i logged in from my cell and about 10-20 minutes typing was wasted and it pissed me off. i wouldve posted all those comments but couldnt figured out how to from cell, but i did show them all to cooldave when i tried to figure out what pissed lightning off. Cooldave was tending to keep the same hours as me, and made it easier for him to hang out. i had no idea lightning had thought that day id wake up later, i was thinking he wanted me awake soon as possible. and i was thinking the sahara was close to downtown, i dont consider it the strip, and i thought lightning might want to go by the el c again, to sit at the vbj with me or eat, so i was really thinking playing downtown would be MORE CONVENienT for him. had no idea he disliked downtown. had i known that i wouldnt have chose to play there instead of wynn. was trying to think of him. i felt like he was pissed at me for getting barred at the V, and just didnt intend to see me at all the rest of the trip.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Man InBlack said...

Welcome to the "Tired of TBC's Bull Shit" Club. We meet at the bar.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Man InBlack said...

Also if you decide to go in early to mid February I will be back in town on the 8th. Lets get something to eat...my treat

1:41 PM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

Man in Black--You mean your treat if Lightning pays you 50% of your comps? Or is that not standard? lol

11:10 AM  
Anonymous NerveEnding said...

Hi Lightning,

I know there is a more recent blog post, but this is where I was mentioned so I thought I would respond here. Cokeboy is correct--I am a neurologist, and I specialize in Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. Although Rob is not the first to guess something in the dental field by my handle. I wish I could have stayed to play with you, but I was actually on call that night, and I did have to see patients the next day. Anyway, I will continue to lurk. Hopefully I'll get to spend more time with you next time.

--NerveEnding

6:48 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

@cokeboy & @NerveEnding:

I thought of Neurologist, but because of all the dental issues I've had lately, because I had a root canal on the day before I left for Vegas last month, I was thinking of endodontists.

2:28 AM  
Blogger APOSEC72 said...

Joined that TBC club a long time ago.

Haven't been on to read much of anything in a long time. New baby tends to do that. Looks like it was still a mostly fun Vegas get-together. Mad I missed it.

7:55 AM  

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