Sep 20, 2017

NFL Week 3 Anagram

Your announcer anagram for week 3:


Heil Scone Jar!


No, this is not what Heinrich Himmler would say as he passed the Dusseldorf bakery each morning on his way to Nazi HQ......rearrange these letters to spell which famous NFL TV Announcer?

Your clue: Jell-O Pudding Pops!



Sep 16, 2017

NFL Week 2: Dick Stockton


Your announcer of the week: Dick Stockton!

Did you realize that Dick has been around for almost 50 years now - and still going strong! He is 74 years old - however, every time I listen to him (doing some 4th tier NFC game), he seems to have lost a few steps, waiting a bit on the names and even mispronouncing some. I think FOX tried him for some playoff baseball recently - to negative reviews.

His most famous call - besides those drug-laden NBA telecasts on CBS in the 80s - was the call of Fisk's homerun in the 75 world series. Yes - it was his voice calling the HR in extras in Game 6 for the Sox to win. Here's the call.....unmistakably Stockton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m6GHOPrGcs

That World Series causes some consternation here in Cincinnati - most people think that Fisk's HR won the Series for the Sox - because they show the HR so many times. In fact, the Reds came back and won game 7 in Fenway - the first WS for the Big Red Machine.
People in Cinci refer to the result that year sarcastically as the year the Red Sox won in 6, 3 games to 4. They have a point.

(by the way - I didn't mean to allude that Stockton was taking drugs during the 80s. He was the voice of the NBA on CBS in the 80s and 90s.  Click on this for a sample of your childhood.....
I dare you NOT to dance to the music....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58MMcODdIZs  )

He is doing the Bears-Bucs game this weekend in Tampa. Still active! Since he worked on CBS/FOX, he rarely did Browns games - but there was one memorable moment. It was the opener of the 2012 season - and Brandon Weeden was our savior! Our 1st round draft pick was going to lead us to the promised land! Weeden was going to start the opener. The opponent - the Eagles, who resurrected Vick for his first start as an Eagle.....

I was pumped; I woke up at 1:00 am to watch the kickoff - and then slumped into depression when the American Flag attacked him before kickoff....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mToSXz3JEcM


Vick threw 4 interceptions, but could not give the game away to us as we lost, 17-16.

(by the way - anyone wanting an idea for a Christmas gift for me? How about the collection of CBS Announcer cards! We can put Verne's card on the UTH table every March......)

On to the games:

Car 24, Buf 13. I have no faith in Buffalo - how will they score?

Az 23, Ind 20. Yeah, people think the Colts are the worst team in the NFL. Maybe. But the Cards just don't look right. How can they give 7 on the road?

Jax 23, Ten 20. I don't trust Mariotta and I believe the influence of Coughlin is helping the Jags.

KC 27, Phi 17. Run, run, run. That's all Reid will do here against an Eagles D vulnerable to the run.

NE 31, NO 23. Nope - won't do it. This screams a trap game. Will be closer than people think.

Pit 27, Min 24. Let's be clear. The Pit defense is average, at best. Minnesota will exploit it. However, Pit's offense is exemplar. This will be high scoring.

TB 26, Chi 16. Dick will inspire Jameis to throw for 3 TDs!

Oak 31, NYJ 13. Just can't see the Jets staying around in this game. Too much firepower for the Raiders.

LAC 30, Mia 23. I like what I see from the Chargers' O. I think they played admirably vs. an elite D on Monday.

Den 23, Dal 20. If you take Elliott away, the Cowboys have Dez....and that's it. I think the Broncos can handle the Cowboys O and do just enough on their side of the ball.

LAR 19, Was 16. The Skins won't give points away...they have a veteran quarterback like Cousins....oh wait......

Sea 24, SF 13. I'm sorry, something is wrong with Seattle's O. This is going on 2 years now. If you have no line, your O will struggle. SF will keep this close.

Atl 30, GB 24. Just a perfect spot for the Falcons. GB coming down from a big win vs. Seattle and the Falcons needed to play well for their fans.

Det 24, NYG 18. I hate the Giants makeup right now. Nothing on O...especially without OBJ.

Picks: 16 of them. Last week: 6-6
Jax +1
Car -7
Buf/Car under 43
Ind +7
KC -5.5
Pit/Min over 45.5
TB -6.5
Oak -13
LAC -3.5
LAC/Mia over 45.5
Den +2.5
LAR -2.5
Was/LAR under 46
SF +14
Atl -3
Det +3

Supercontest picks: Last week: 2-3
Ind +7
KC -5.5
LAC -4
Den +2.5
Atl -3




Sep 13, 2017

NFL Week 2: Anagram

Nick Dock Tots

No, these words are not instructions for a serial killer to take a Gillette Mach 5 and attack privileged children on a Martha's Vineyard pier......but rearrange these letters to form what NFL announcer?


Your clue: The American Flag



(As mentioned, the clue is related to a Browns game where this person was the announcer)

Sep 10, 2017

NFL Week 1: Andrew Catalon

Good morning and welcome to week 1 of the annual NFL Themed picks!  This year - as stated earlier - we will be giving anagrams of our weekly theme for you, the valued reader, to solve before Sunday. This weeks answer: Andrew Catalon! He was the announcer for that great Cleveland comeback in 2014. And that's our theme this year - Eric's favorite play-by-play announcers on national broadcasts.

Being a Browns fan, we get the #4, #5 teams for the network a LOT - so we've have had a number of Catalon games in the past and will probably continue to have him as long as the Browns play Merry-Go-Round with quarterbacks and Jim Nantz continues to have pictures of Les Moonves.

(I kid....maybe)

Andrew is fine to have as an announcer - doesn't get in the way of the game, has a steady voice, seems to know the players and the game. What else can you ask for? He seems to have solidified his career after his one on-air gaffe back in 2014 in the NCAA Tournament.

Andrew was the play-by-play announcer doing a second-round Gonzaga game, with his color man Mike Gminski. Gonzaga had that huge center from Poland on their team...Gonzaga was up by 8-10 late, and Gonzaga's opponents had to foul. Catalon pointed out that the center had the lowest FT% on the team, so the team should employ the "Hack-a Polack" strategy.

Hoo boy. Even Gminski called him out right away on that one. Catalon later apologized, and all was well.

So - we start the themed picks on the blog with Andrew Catalon. Anagrams and clues for the week will show up in the middle of each week for you to solve by Sunday. Now - everyone knows these play-by-play announcers, so I won't be giving away clips of the games for you to watch (since you will be able to easily guess the voice); instead, I'll give a clue that tangentially relates to a Browns game that this person has called. You better study up on the 15 losses for the Browns in 2016!

On to the picks:

Az 27, Det 20. I don't think Det improved their defense at all, and this season is Arizona's last stand.

Was 27, Phi 20. Yes, I'm drinking the Terrelle Pryor Kool-Aid. He will make this team better. And there's too many questions for Philly's offense.

Atl 24, Chi 17. Need to see how Chicago will actually score here. Glennon has no weapons. can they run on Atlanta? No..... and let's see how the Falcons recover from last year.

Hou 20, Jax 17.  I really wanted to pick the upset here, but I can't see how Jax O-line will stop that dominating D-line of Houston. How will they stop the rush? Bortles under pressure? No thanks.

Buf 20, NYJ 13. Yeah, Yeah, yeah - Jets are tanking and all of that. But has anyone looked at this Bills team? They have McCoy and....that's it.

Ten 27, Oak 23. I'll sit back and stay away from this game to watch it and see what these two teams are all about. Too much hype on both sides here.

Cin 27, Bal 17. Too many questions for Baltimore's offense - how is Flacco? Who is the running back? Who is catching the ball? Cinci has Ross and Eifert back to support Green.....

LAR 23, Ind 13. Speaking of Kool-Aid, love the fact that the Rams hired a 31 year old coach. Could be a Sean Peyton wanna-be, innovative and crazy. That is the exact sort of coach to win against Chuck Pagano.

Car 23, SF 21.  I love me some Kyle Shanahan and Brian Hoyer. I saw these two make beautiful music together in 2013. Kyle is a brilliant mind. Carolina needs to watch out here.

GB 30, Sea 20. Seattle's secondary is old and one of these days, people will see that they have become average. I just think that Seattle has nothing in the run game to keep defenses honest.

Dal 26, NYG 20. No idea here. Anything can happen and probably will.

Min 27, NO 20. Not crazy on the changes that the Saints made on D, and the Vikes will have the momentum edge for the opener.

Den 20, LAC 19. If you think Brock Osweiler caould be an answer to your problem, then you have issues. However, that defense....Rivers will be under fire all day. Not sure what will happen here.

Best bets - 12 of them. This year, we will put them in relative order of preference.

Was +1
Cin -3
GB -3
Min -3
SF +4.5
Az -2
Buf/NYJ under 40
Ind/LA Rams under 41.5
Atl/Chi under 48.5
NYJ +8
LAR -4.5
Jax +5

Supercontest picks: Here we go again!
Was +1
Cin -2.5
GB -3
SF +5.5
Min -3


Sep 9, 2017

Let's get ready for the season!

Some things to clean up before we publish the picks tomorrow morning:

1. A tradition that started in China; time to post highlights of old games/pre-game shows on the blog right before week 1. We will continue that with this compilation of missed chip shot field goals. I could watch this for 2-3 hours, on end....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABDiZieU4dI

Some great names in there missing some chippies.

2. Record-keeping update: here's my record last year and lifetime with the picks:

Blog picks:
2016: 107-104-7
overall: 1341-1247-76   (51.8%)

Supercontest picks:
2016: 44-39-2
overall: 255-241-14  (51.4%)

Let's get back over the 52.3% mark this year....

3. As for the anagram for week 1: a few hints:
   - the answer is not a player on either team
   - the name of the person is actually seen on the video from that Cleveland-Tennessee game


Sep 7, 2017

2017 NFL Picks - Puzzle Time!

Welcome to the start of another NFL season! This year, our theme will be in the form of a puzzle - specifically, an anagram. I will post the anagram here in the middle of the week for you to solve -- and then give the answer on Sunday.

Week 1 Clue:

Cadre Want Loan !

No, this is not a description of a group of the local Crips heading down to the bank to request money - rearrange these letters to form the name of what person involved in the greatest road comeback in NFL History --- Cleveland 29, Tennessee 28, in 2014?

To refresh your memory, feel free to watch the highlights here! What a game this was - yes, I watched it from the darkness of my living room in China......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Xs8a_nASo

Answer on Sunday - the NFL is back!


Jul 17, 2017

Vegas 2017 Diary, Part 5

OK, I better finish the diary off before football season starts. Don't want to still have Vegas entries to do when we start focusing on the NFL - and mixing up Vegas stories with my themed NFL picks. What will it be this year? Top 17 Sesame Street characters? Top PSAs from the 80s? Best Headline News anchors? (David Goodnow would be #1)

Anyway, on to the final installment of the diary...

Saturday, March 11

It's the free day! A day with no obligations and we just go with the flow. Important NCAA games starting at 8:30 am and continues on until about 11 pm; 3rd round golf from the most boring tournament out there (the Valspar); Premier league; drinking; possible Bare - too much for mere amateurs to handle.

Where did the day start off? Of course - at the UTH table, around 6 or 7 or so. Had a moderate session and then off to craps to find any sort of lightning in a bottle - no luck this time. A boring early morning. Went off to put the parlay in - I had the last game of the day, the New Mexico St. Aggies -3 at the Orleans vs. Bakersfield. A rematch from last year - the Aggies wanted revenge. That would tip at 9 pm; it was now 8:00 am when the ticket was put it. 13 hours to wait.

Of course, I threw out the recommendation of Vermont 2nd half against Albany; the score was tied and Vermont would crush them by more than 6 in the 2nd half!

Breakfast was a surprise - McDonalds! - where we plotted all our golf and basketball bets for the day, and tracked Albany hanging with Vermont the whole way, losing by only 3. Thanks guys.

Serious gambling commenced after breakfast - back at the UTH table; plenty of Baileys and coffee and vodka lemonades were flowing as the table got hot. We were there for 2, 3 hours or so and I think everyone had a wonderful session. What to do with all those profits and you want to get more drunk? There was only one option for me....it was not salon blackjack......it was baccarat!

Yes, showing up buzzed at an empty baccarat table at 11 am is a great idea! Glenn, the dealer from Pittsburgh, was there, surprised to see us - and he remembered Layup and I. Layup and I did our old alternating driver trick - the driver makes the call (player or banker) until he loses, then it switches. I sat down and ordered a Redbreast 15 right away - an Irish Whiskey I had on our Ireland golf trip last year. Just superb! I think I had 2, maybe 3 at the table.

The baccarat sessions was lukewarm to begin; maybe we had a slight profit after the first 45-60 minutes or so - then it went downhill quickly. We ended up losing our profits from UTH and more by the end. But - the good news - I was feeling super drunk. Happy drunk! At 12:15 pm!

Back to UTH - where I have a note that the table was on fire. I think everyone made a bundle - except me; I did well but the numbers don't show anything memorable for me. Hopefully everyone has memories from that session. We got up; I went over to craps (with Leland, maybe?) - a lady that was a virgin roller rolled all the numbers except "4" before a 7 showed up; nice job, except that 7 would have been really nice.... that was the only bright spot for an hour as I proved again that I could not roll this trip.

We decided to get lunch at this point at CPK - and this is when I hit the wall. I was coming down from an alcohol buzz and started to feel exhausted ---- the food took forever to come (it was probably just 10 minutes) and I don't think I said a word at the table. Layup, Wiz and Leland went outside to the pool; I went and took a nap.

Afterwards, back to the craps table where Leland and I had our only winning session; I didn't double my money but made a nice profit. I couldn't roll and I got a little aggravated so I left....walked around a bit, watched basketball. I came back to the table 30 minutes later and Leland was smiling like he got away with murder. "The table got so hot! I was trying to find you to call you back over because everyone was hitting points!" I can't complain, since I did leave with a profit but......there is this new invention called a phone that will allow you to send messages to others that aren't there. I may have to show Leland how to work a phone during Vegas 2018.

Back to UTH to join the others where now my UTH luck was running cold. No good news there. It was now 6 pm or so and I just needed a break. I needed to get out of the casino for a bit. I think it was Mike, Mike and I took a walk down the strip - up north - and over to the TI just to get fresh air and walk around. I needed a full timeout.

I think - need confirmation from others - that we were all lazy and just went to the buffet for dinner. After that, still time for some gambling -and there were no seats at the UTH table; I was hovering around multiple tables (UTH and Pai Gow near Revolution for a while). Leland was at the Pai Gow table playing with 2 drunk cowboys that were obnoxiously trying to get the Asian dealer to bump fists for every winning or tieing hand. It was amusing the first 4 times - and then it got old quick. Leland was the dealer's only outlet for sanity. A seat opened up and I joined; big mistake as I got crushed.   

We went over to the host to get our bill straightened out; everything was fine - and we got to watch the New Mexico St. game (remember that) in the "Million Dollar Craps" room in the back of the Salon. One last gambling session for the day; I was done with UTH for the night and went back to craps for any scraps of magic; there were none and I ended with another loss. To bed....

Sunday, March 12.

Some of the group left early at 6 am or so (like Wiz and Mike A, I think). I didn't have to get to the airport until about 9 or so - so I had some time for one last UTH session. Layup and I played some early morning UTH - and it was an interesting session. First, I was on first base (on the corner), and I knew the dealer at the Pai Gow table next to me. She had no one at her table, so she was an active spectator at our table - yelling at our dealer to give us winners. After a while, I would show her my hand and then bet; I would play by the book and go 4x on K-8 and A-3 and Q-J.

She acted like a concerned mother. After I showed her a Q-10 or so, I went 4x....

"No! What are you doing? Don't do that! Wait for the flop..."

There were three hands in a row where I got 4x hands....

"Oh no! You are giving me a heart attack! Don't go 4x!"

I half enjoyed making her sweat; I should have gone 4x on 7-3 to see what she would do.

The perfect ending for the trip came near the end of the session; I had a K-7 where both cards were black. Time to go 4x again! The flop came with the 6 and 8 of spade. Interesting!

The river was both the 9 and 10 of spades. Oh my! I know I have a black 7.... Layup and Mike A had straight flushes this trip....can it be my turn? Did I have the 7 of spades, or was it the 7 of clubs?

The dealer turned his first card over....7 of spades. Nice. He had the straight flush.

(I had the king of spades, for a losing K-high flush).

Went to the airport, dropped Layup's car off, hung out in the Am Ex lounge with Don - went to the restroom and looked in the mirror - and I saw a bunch of grey hairs for the first time. Not the greatest way to end Vegas 2017....


May 20, 2017

Vegas 2017 Diary, Part 4



Friday, March 10

Another dog sighting
It's Southern Highlands day! The annual round at one of the West's premier country clubs. Obviously, we start the day with a healthy breakfast (Starbucks) and some UTH. I think we were down at the tables around 6, 6:30 before we left at 9; was able to get a session of UTH in, and not for the best. Layup, Don (maybe?) and I were there playing with a character that Layup described as "Gay Fat Albert".


I believe he was African-American, about 300 pounds and he was a talker. It was not clear if he had been there the whole night or not. The table was running cold - and the worst thing to have at the table when you are losing money is a stranger trying to "join" in on your group's conversations. He turned the cold but playable table into a miserable one. I wish Layup took a picture of this guy - his description was 100% accurate.

The March 10 parlay
We got the parlay in - my pick was Rhode Island in the A-10 quarters; more on that later - and I also went heavy on Purdue, over the protests on Don and Mike D. What did they know about their team, anyway?


Golf, as usual, was wonderful. The noon eastern games started to end around the 5th, 6th hole; the 6th fairway is where we learned that the Purdue freshman guard missed 2 foul shots (being up 2) with :05 left, and Purdue giving 3 points; Michigan then sent it into overtime. You can probably guess the result. Our caddy had money on all sorts of games during the round; he was very interested in the Purdue under(which hit) and went against me betting against Rhode Island (and he lost). I had a good time with the caddy talking about the games in progress; Mike D (among others) wished he would have spent more time reading putts.

My golf was actually kind of good this day. I turned in 39 with three bogies; then I started to get up and down and make putts. Two highlights of the round:
1. On 14 - I hit the drive right, next to a bush. The ball was under a bush but I had a swing; I just needed to fade the ball 25 yards. I was about 180 out. Mike D was there - "you're going to make par from here, aren't you?". Yep! Great shot just short of the green, too strong of a chip but a nice par putt to escape.
2. 18 - needed a bogey to shoot 79. 2 good shots put me about 105 out; that's a strong gap wedge; I hit it, a bit left of the pin - if it held on the green, I'd have about 30 feet for birdie. It didn't. It went in the bunker and nestled about 3 inches from the back lip. I had no direct shot at the pin.
I had to blast out sideways and get up and down from 30 yards for the 6 and the 79.

On the veranda with drinks after the round, we all decided to go in on the Blue Jackets that night, among other dumb bets (like Maryland).

Back at the Mirage, first game I played was - craps with Leland! I could never get anything going with Leland at the craps tables this trip. Disappointing. A drunk Minnesotan joined us that afternoon and was telling us to bet the T-wolves vs. Golden State: "It's crazy they are getting points!". He was throwing blacks all over the place on the middle bets - nothing hit. Leland even convinced everyone on our side of the table that it was his birthday - still nothing.

We return to UTH, where the luck was better. I was sitting next to Wiz and keeping an eye on the Columbus game. Mid 2nd-period, it was 3-2 jackets. Great!

Next update - 4-2 Jackets! Goal! Awesome!

We played a few hands, checked the score 20 minutes later....

"3-3 tie".

What???????

Apparently we checked the score right after a Columbus goal but before the review - and the review nullified the goal. We were in shock. The Jackets ended up winning, however.

Jaleo Lobby
Dinner that night was Jaleo at Cosmo - another Jose Andres adventure. We get there and there are literally hundreds of people in matching outfits outside in the gathering area. I guess there was some sort of costume convention at Cosmo going on - it was loud. Extremely loud. We are escorted to our table at Jaleo - and it is one of the tables that is outside the restaurant where the noise is not blocked. Also, the table is adorned with chairs that would fit 4th graders, not us overweight guys. I think Layup slipped someone a $20 and we were seated inside.

Some of us got the tasting menu. Jees, what a mistake that was. The food was good, but it was literally 20-30 minutes between the 7 courses. Cmon guys, this is a tapas restaurant - we need the food. I was not impressed.

Now- to the parlay. As usual, we had our 7-way parlay, and my pick (Rhode island) hit!. We had 5 other losers in the afternoon - and the last game was Layup's game, Oregon -8. The game was going down to the wire and was close; Oregon went to the line up 7 with :05 left. He made one. The pick on the parlay was a push - so the card went 1-5-1.

So - what's the ruling?
1. Do I get a free meal for being the lone winner?
2. Does Layup still have to pay anything because he pushed his pick instead of losing it?

There were great arguments on all sides. The key- how do you make it consistent on the winning and losing side? For instance, if the card went 6-0-1 for $2000, does the guy that pushed get any money? Why or why not?

In the end, I just paid for the sangria (the best part of the meal, by far). We need to resolve this by next year.

We walked back to the Mirage that night, fascinated by a 20-something Asian in front of us that was clearly gone and was leaning on his friend to walk. He made it- I was expecting a faceplant or some vomit. Shocker!

Not much gambling happened afterward; many of us (not Wiz or Layup) found an open blackjack table and played for a while. I was on first base - and I was struggling to tread water. I lost a little bit that session - not bad for a few hours. Being on first base and struggling - I wasn't keeping track of what was going on at the other side of the table. Mike D doubled his money, and it was the quietest double I have ever seen. No claps, no fist bumps - just solid play winning 2 out of every 3 hands.


Apr 30, 2017

Vegas 2017 Diary: Part 3

Thursday, March 9

The 2 days of exquisite golf starts today! Wiz and his connections set up rounds for us at Shadow Creek for Thursday and then the annual Southern Highlands round on Friday. This is starting to become a primary focus of the trip instead of just side diversion. And with Layup now returning to the links this year - all of us participated!

But first - before golf - we found out something new about the operating policies at the Mirage. Our tee time for Shadow was around 11 - our departure time from the casino was about 10 - so plenty of time for early gambling.
The notes from this morning were a bit fuzzy - I see that I had my morning craps session, alone, which was a loser. The group starting getting texts from Layup about a dog.

"There's a dog licking me - WTF"

Um - ok. Where are you? Jogging? Getting a Sausage McMuffin without telling the group?

"I'm at the table!!!!"

Dogs now welcome at UTH!
I couldn't get over there right away - since I was busy pouring money down the drain at craps - but Wiz immediately verified. A guy was at the UTH table with a dog - a 10-15 pound toy breed - and said he was keeping it for his girlfriend/wife. This dog is the medical companion for the lady - I guess she needed it for mental comfort. (Cue the millennial jokes now).

(Actually, maybe a comfort dog would do us all good when we go into the Salon.....)

The Mirage employees all gleefully petted the dog - the dealers loved it. Layup was livid. He got the pit boss over and asked "Do you seriously let dogs in here at the table". Yes, the answer came - proudly.  So Layup - and a few others in the group, like Mike D - played UTH with the dog licking Layup's leg every few minutes. I'm sure the mood there was wonderful. And - as I read the texts - it seems that "dog boy" hit a straight flush at the table with Mike D and Layup. Extra pain!

The golf and atmosphere at Shadow was much, much better this year than it was a few years ago when we played. Maybe playing it when you are not sleep deprived helped. We had 6 of us - and split up into 3 2-man team, each in opposite groups. I can't even remember the teams now - I think I drew Layup. The course was fantastic - as many people say, it's crazy that we have a hole like this one in the Vegas desert. So artificial, yet it looks so natural.

My golf was good - for about 13 holes, then everything fell apart. The one negative to the round was the caddy. It got off to a bad start on #2 - I had about a 50 footer for birdie; I left it 6-7 feet to the short and right. It was a tricky downhiller for par.
Shadow #17

The caddy gave me the line - I think I hit the line, at the right speed. I felt good as soon as I stroked the putt......halfway there, the caddy opens his mouth. "Nice putt! Nice par!"

The ball, of course, did a 90 degree turn and missed the hole.

The last one was on #16 - a longish par 5 with a wide fairway - but if you miss the fairway, you were dead. I was struggling and hit a bad banana ball that started left and was moving right.

"Good drive, should be in the fairway" said the caddie.

The ball hit the right side of the fairway, kicked down into an impossible lie in the rough. I barely made double. I was so pissed.

I felt better on 18 as I was the only one to finish the hole as the others (my opponents) all found water at least once. Routine par for me!

Highlight of the round was this excellent layup shot by Don on 18. No, this is not a drop - this is where the ball came to rest on 18.

Bottom line - loved Shadow this year. I was a bit apprehensive after the 2013 (?) trip - but I played decent, course was fantastic (better than I remember), and the drinks were good.  We got back to the homestead around 5 and went straight to the UTH table  - all 6 of us played UTH for a good 3 hours until dinner; I got crushed in that evening session.

Dinner that night was at Japonais in the Mirage; Layup earned a free dinner as he was the "1" from the 1-6 parlay yesterday - we treated him to dinner at Japonais, but I think he was expecting something else. This - and a parlay ruling we will talk about tomorrow - requires some more details on how the parlay works. Where can the winner "cash" his dinner?

Mr. River comes through
Back to the UTH table after dinner for more UTH fun. It was about now where Mike A started pulling hands out with regularity on the river. There were multiple time I can recall - 10? 12? - where the flop does nothing for him; the 2 river cards are exposed and then we hear a "oh! I have a flush!". The two river cards made a total of 3 spades on the board, and he just happened to have 2 more in his hand. Or the river cards filled in a gutshot straight for him.

Near the end, we have this hand - of course the 8 and Q of hearts were on the river.....



He's on tilt....
It was a good session; I made a little bit and I think others made a whole lot more. Layup and Wiz left to head into the salon later that night. I'm not sure exactly what was happening, but Wiz almost got into a fight with one of the ConAg expo attendees as the person wanted to watch Wiz's blackjack play - and I guess was leaning on Wiz's chair. I need more details of this in the comments.

Anyway - the last text of the night was this picture, with the comment: "Here is a man on tilt....."


Apr 12, 2017

Vegas Diary 2017 - Part 2

Wednesday, March 8

Well, those sleeping pills did their job. I opened my eyes around 6:30 and was still under the influence of the pills. Stayed in bed for another hour - that never happens in Vegas! Finally got downstairs around 8 or so - and found an empty craps table. I was by myself - why not? - and started rolling. Another guy joined me, and he hit an all small for me. Great! Even though the Mirage dropped the payout for the All Small from 35 for 1 to 30-1, I still was addicted to it. It's like an ATM! It eventually pays out!

(It was the only all small I hit all trip).

I think the roller who hit it for me was part of the Con Ag convention. Let me pause and say a few words about that convention. The ConAg convention is a annual convention of heavy agricultural equipment vendors, and every 3 years they come to Vegas. This was their week. There as a check in for the expo at the airport; when I landed, the line was at least 100 people long.  From Tuesday - Friday, the casino was full of people with their blue lanyards milling around the casino. Some found their way to UTH; some were beginners at craps; some just had rooms there and had no interest in gambling. I think I saw the same woman from Mansfield at least 5 times in the elevator over the course of our trip. The people were fine - for me - except for the fact that the UTH tables were fairly crowded on the weekday afternoons; I don't think Wiz liked many of them in the Salon.

Layup and I had breakfast, where we (mostly I) charted the games; I was convinced of Western Kentucky -4 over UTSA. I'm the leadoff batter for our parlay! I don't lose early games! After breakfast, Layup and I went back to that craps table where I won the all small - no luck.

The old home
It was about 9 am - and we all went our separate ways for a bit - exercise, work, etc; I wanted to jog but the treadmills were crowded. Plan B - run on the strip! There's a first time for everything. 30 minute jog from the Mirage down to the MGM - crossing at Caesar's, and having to run inside the mall at Planet Hollywood for about 100 yards. It was great! Perfect weather, no crowds (except for hurdling a few homeless people on the east side of the strip across from the Aria). That, followed by a massage, was a great way to really relax for the trip.


It was now about 1:00 on Wednesday - Don and Mike are still on the course and won't be back until about 4 - now what? Another first for the trip - Top Golf! The three of us went there and had a great time. The end of the range had 4 giant TVs that were showing basketball - so it was golf, alcohol, appetizers while watching 30 foot TVs. The cost was lower than expected (although not cheap). Got to see a great Duke cover in the 2nd half of the Clemson game, but also was there when someone convinced all of us to bet heave on Arkansas St - and they were a loser.

Back at the Mirage, we waited at the UTH table for Don and Mike D to return from golf; we all headed to Lavo for dinner - what to say? The regular meal at Lavo never disappoints. There was a huge line for the casino/sportsbar  on the second floor of the restaurant - someday, we need to make an expedition there.

When we returned for dinner - what else? UTH with the 5 of us, and then Mike A arrived to make it a full table of 6. Wednesday night was also John the Pai Gow dealer's first night on - and he was there and came over and said. He lingered at our table for a while during each of his breaks - part to catch up with all of us.....but things turned a bit odd. During the conversations, he would put his hand on our shoulder - nothing wrong with that - and then massage our shoulders and arms while talking. It was just .... odd. Was it genuine happiness in seeing us? His Italian roots coming out? Or a cry for help? Wiz will have to get more information for us.
Not a winner
All of us were exhausted around 11, and the session ended. An early night for us.

Oh- our parlays? Wednesday's parlay was no good. I think this is a 1-6 ticket; the first clue that this is a losing ticket was having 6 favorites.