I kept things in check, played it close to the vest, because I was sure the bride would be sbo checking. I met her in 1994 when she lived across the street in a house with air conditioning and a vacuum. To my roomates and I, Hoover was just a man in a dress and he probably came to a few of our parties.

In the first few years of our romantic entanglement, she and I were like a hobo with a pet. I had longer hair than she and, at the time, I only owned one pair of shorts. They were khaki at first but had taken on a luminecent grey veneer from months of dirt and grime. No party was too wild for us and nobody partied harder.

I ain’t no grownup

At some point, probably 2 children ago, my wife became an adult, leaving me to play catch up. I’m more responsible now than I ever was before, but for anyone who’s seen me in Vegas, I can still tie one on.

This is the way we arrived at the Plaza. She was tired from travel. I was thirsty for booze. She went to bed after at 12 hour trip. I went to the MGM Grand looking for my degenerate friends. I’d see her soon, two of her in fact. She could smell me coming before the key card hit the door.

MGM GRAND 1AM FRIDAY

I don’t remember who I saw first. I think I saw Marty playing 2/4. More than anything I wanted to play that mixed game and that’s where I headed first. CJ was playing there so was Maudie and Al plus, apparently, most of the population of Minnesotta. I hugged Maudie, promised a shot with Al, and went looking for some free cash and amber gold.

I took the 10 seat with Marty and Chili already there, Otis and April soon followed. 2/4 is not a game for the brilliant mind, not at a casino too expensive for the working class, not in a room that looked like a singles bar with cards.

It was here that the phenomenon of very large-breasted Asian women began. Our waitress, Susan, was tall, slender, and stacked. Apparantly, somewhere between the M&M; and Coca-Cola museums, there’s a factory where these women are, literally, pressed into service. An Orient Express of Southern Comfort and Heineken was taking shape already.

_____ Some Actual Poker _____

I flopped quad Jacks at one point. This after a capped pre-flop pot. I was on the button with 2 other players. The 3s bet at the flop and the 7 seat raised. I realized there was no chance of anyone folding and no reason to slowplay..so I re-raised and the 3s capped. They did it on every street, and I made a nice pot.

Shortly afterwards, the same kind of no-fold ’em play put me on tilt. I resolved to keep my limit play in monkey rooms to a minimum. Banannas!

_____ End Actual Poker _______

Of course, I still had a full fleged tilt and went on a bender of super F-Bombs. By number 25 or so I finally go a warning from a floor man with good timing.

“How many ‘Fucks’ before I have to leave, ” I asked.

“One more,” he said.

So I tossed him a dollar chip, said “Fuck,” and asked him again.

“That bought you one more,” he said.

After the tilt I went back to Al’s table and found him in similar vein. We marched to a place that would set us straight at once. We ordered 2 doubles…neat…and found Bill, Iggy and Derek already having the same. Normally, I’d have launched into the typical, “Bill you blog cracks me up!” But in my job you meet celebrities all the time, and I’ve learned not to gush.

That’s the reason I came to Vegas, I can play poker at home. More than anything I wanted to get stupid with people who have standards of public conduct just as low as mine. No offense people, but you’re just as bad as me.

That said, I returned to the table and grabbed the rest of my chips. $-60 in post-tilt stupidity. The Celebritiy tour of Uber-degenerates was headed back downtown, and I was ready to party.

SUITE OF DESTRUCTION 3AM

I have a degree in philosophy. At times like this, and very few others, that education serves me well. I spent years reading the great texts and probing the Universe for the existence of God. More than anything it taught me to look for EVIDENCE. I found it at 3. Here’s a sample proof :

If God exists as the force of everything Good.

If the Devil exists as the force of everything Bad.

If Evil cannot exist without Good as a counterpoint

————————————————————–

Proof of the Devil means proof of God.

Surely it was the Devil who arranged this Plaza suite. Al AND Pauly separated by fewer than 20 feet of dirty lounge. The Vengeful Thor of hangover booze and Medusa of the illegal weed. I knew what would happen if I visited that room and I knew instantly I had to go. My wife was asleep. The inmate had an all night pass.

A big crowd of the kind of bloggers I love was there in the 7th circle. We all had a goal in mind. If we could get JUST INTOXICATED ENOUGH this portion of out trip reports could safely be qualified as fiction. Medusa spread her terrible tenticles and Thor let loose a mighty roar. The lightning killed me swiftly and the light of God shone true.

“My wingman’s playing blackjack alone,” yelled Al. Breaking the repose. He meant the Fat Guy downstairs.

“I’m up for blackjack,” yelled Iggy and I.

And downstairs we went into a -EV landslide.

A NOTE FROM THE FUTURE

The next night when Bad and Mrs. Blood returned to this room for more 2/4 madness, the poker room manager took me aside before he’d sell me my chips.

“Last night we let a lot of things slide because you and your friends all had one table,” he said, “but tonight you’ll have to tone it down”

“We can’t have all the swearing and screaming because the other players don’t appreciate it”

I was tempted to point out that most of the regular players at the Plaza also don’t appreciate a bar of soap, but I promised to keep it quiet this time.

FRIDAY MORNING AT THE PLAZA

Sure enough the Fat Guy was playing 21. I couldn’t tell if he was winning but it was clear he was powered by the lightning of Thor. Meanwhile Iggy and I tried to rig up a NL blogger table, which we did. It was just as stupid as the online version.

By 4AM I kept thinking I should call it quits, but Joe Speaker and Bobby Bracelet were still playing and THEY WERE IN THE WSOP 8 hours later. Surely I could hang out for more. We kept drinking and I kept sinking lower. I broke even at the blogger game and joined Al for a game of craps.

I DID NOT BREAK EVEN THERE.

So…

At 7AM I stubled back up to the room. The damn key didn’t work so I had to wake up the wife for admission. Moments later I slept on top of the sheets with my socks still on. And, little did I know, I was about to begin again fewer than 5 hours later…..

Which, obviously, is where I’ll pick up again tomorrow…eh?