2014 Vegas Diary - Part 4
Saturday, March 15
Where did we leave off? Oh yes, heading to bed at 3 am Friday night with the TV on half-blast. I appreciate Layup's comments that I am a light sleeper - and I am - but I refuse to believe that normal people sleep through the night with the TV on , with a volume setting of 10 or more. I didn't realize that Layup was really a 75-year-old grandmother that can sleep through anything.
This night was a usual night of me tossing and turning - I was in bed, awake, at 5:00 in the morning. Tried to fall back asleep - but could not. My mind was active, thinking about all the things I had to do - I had to pick up Nike fuel bands for the kids; I have to convince Layup to take me to a US Bank sometime today, since I still have $1300 of checks I need to cash; I need to go to Walgreens for some minor drugs.....
Walgreens! Aren't they open 24 hours? Of course!
After about 15 minutes of arguing in my mind whether to wake up and go to Walgreens, or fall back asleep - Walgreens won. I left the room before 5:30 to head to the LV Strip Walgreens. On the way, I said hi to Ana - who was dealing Pai Gow in the morning in an absolutely dead casino. Also called home to Jeff to see how the kids were doing; it was 9:00 pm Saturday night in China and there was a movie at the clubhouse; all the kids were busy and the conversations consisted of "Hi Dad - I'm fine - gotta go!" So no worries there.
Walgreens on the strip at Friday night at 5:30 in the morning is a strange place - no doubt about it. There were at least 3 people sitting/laying down within the entrance. Alcohol-included slushies were being sold by the register. Everyone was 26 years of age or under....except for, going up and down the aisle for ZZZQuil, Children's motrin, Old Spice Deodorant for Freddie and Flintstones. Got in a nice conversation with Mom and Dad as well while going up and down the aisles. And the 5 Walgreen's plastic bags that I was carrying was a nice repellent for the ladies of the night prowling the strip as I headed back.
Said hi to Ana on the way back - and went to sleep around 6:30. Woke up maybe 9:30 or so - headed downstairs; had to say hi to Ana and play some Pai Gow with her. Most of the crew joined us in the morning; then some broke off for breakfast. Leland and I were left - and the two of us headed to the craps tables to start an epic run. I think we both rolled 4 times each with a total of 1 point made. So much for that.
Got some UTH in during the rest of the morning, then tried to convince Layup to take me to the bank. He was on a good UTH run and didn't intend to leave - so I got the keys for a solo drive. After lunch in the room - I headed out. Took a few wrong turns, but finally ended up at the US Bank for a 10 minute transaction of cashing checks. It took about 90 minutes in total, but it felt like forever.
The lack of sleep was really starting to hit me now, and I was in one of those moods when you have no sleep for 4 days - just a feeling of fatigue? depression? grouchiness? The group was playing UTH at a full table - well, I wasn't going to join them. I headed upstairs to lay down a bit and then went to the mall to look for the Fuel Bands. Did you know that mall is a LOT further away than it seems? And there is no freaking Nike store in there? I was getting pissed off quickly. Really pissed. A Wendy's bacon cheeseburger and a Frosty helped to calm me down some as I headed back.
It was about 4:00, 5:00 or so when I met back up with everyone. It was an afternoon off that was moderately successful but didn't help my mood too much. We played some tiles - where I think Layup won over $500 or so, craps and UTH. The group wanted an early dinner (since most have not eaten since breakfast), and so everyone (except me) suggested BLT. Fine - a BLT burger and shake will sit nicely in my stomach still full from the Wendy's and Frosty. I'm still working that out.
I felt better during the dinner as my big bet of Iowa State -2 in the Big XII champ came through. Then a group outing to Blackjack switch - why the F do we play that game??? It was about 9:00 or so when we all kind of stood there, wondering what to do next.
I have in my notes that Don suggested Baccarat - why? why do that to us again? One last group session of baccarat ended in disaster again for me. Another run at craps and UTH was indifferent, and half of the group - Don, Mike, and Leland - headed for bed. That left Wiz, Layup and I alone around 11:00 pm. What could we ever do?
Yes, one more trip in the Salon for blackjack. It was the three of us at one of the back tables against the wall - where we could see into a private room that was lit with a single craps table in the middle of it. Our eyes all widened immediately.
"What's that? You actually have that in here? What's the limit?"
Apparently, it's never used - MAYBE it is open once a year. It clearly is a "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" sort of thing. Million-dollar bankroll is required. Wiz now has a long-term goal in his life - to pull the funds together to play there. I say we open up a mutual fund company, get contributions for the fund and use it to play - and then all of us roll and bet the "don't". A guaranteed 35% return!
The blackjack treated two of us well....there were 2 or 3 shoes in a row where Layup and I made money, but Wiz got shellacked. After the last shoe he threw in the towel - he reached is limit. Wiz said his goodbyes and it was just Layup and I for the rest of the night.
We kept doing well at blackjack, so we stayed there. At one of the shuffles, we noticed a $25 roulette table open right next to us. Seriously, I never noticed it ever being open before...but this being Saturday night.....
Layup and I joked during the shuffle. "Nice placement - right next to the blackjack table! Does anyone actually play roulette in here?" The dealer smiled, and said - well, I don't know what he said, since Layup and I got up and went over there. "One spin won't hurt between shoes!!" We put 5 green chips on some numbers, and the ball was released.....the ball bounced in and out of the "18" before jumping to a losing number......
Layup and I had a nice session at blackjack - so, like moths to a light, we ran back to the baccarat table to lose it all. And we did. It was about 2:30 now, and we we're ready to call it a night. Back to the blackjack table!
There's always a theme in these diaries of wacko characters at the craps table on Saturday nights, and this night was not an exception. We settled in for a while; a guy from Columbus was on my end with me for most of the session, and I think Layup had someone on his end for a while. But the oddballs that came in for 3, 4 rolls tops were fascinating.
One guy - drunk, of course - leaned against the rail next to the stick. He constantly kept dropping $5 chips every roll. "FIVE DOLLAR YO" he would scream. He would win every once in a while. "WHO'S YO IS THAT? THAT'S MY YO!" as he would prance around the table.
There were only 5 or 6 of us at the table, and he would constantly ask the dealer..."Is that MY Yo?" Yes, sir it is. "DAMN RIGHT! THAT'S MY YO!"
The next call: 8, easy eight. Yo comes down. "Damn it!". He lasted about 20 minutes.
The session was consistently bad until the end - when I got the dice and Layup was down to his last $100 at the table. He played the "All or Nothing at all", as usual, when I rolled (again). I started off hitting the 12 and the 3, and then a couple of points. Next thing I now, I have 8 of the 10 numbers covered for the bet.
I think I needed a 2 for the "all small" - and I rolled it to make myself some money. All that was left was...the yo. My memory is hazy - it took me about 6-8 more rolls before I rolled and ---- the eleven showed up. My second career "All or Nothing at all".
Layup immediately sprinted toward my end of the table like he was a contestant on "The Price is Right" and Rod Roddy called his name. He grabbed me in a bear hug and jumped up and down - sure, alcohol may have been involved, but rolling that "All or Nothing at all" is like a no-hitter in baseball......you've got to celebrate!
That put us even for the session at craps - and, at 5:00 in the morning - gave us the adrealin rush we needed to go some more. Where else to go but - of course - one last baccarat session?
We headed into the baccarat lounge and saw a strange scene. There was one empty table - with a dealer - on one side of the aisle. On the other side, there was a game in progress - a dealer and three Arab-looking men - and one of them was doubled over in pain at the table, with his head in his hands. His friends kept asking him "Are you all right?" "What do you need?" There was a pit boss over there, looking fairly unconcerned, over the dealer's shoulder.
We sat down at the empty table and stared at the happenings across from us. The pit boss - an Asian American who we got to know well - came over and asked for our cards.
"What's going on over there? Is everything all right?" we asked.
The pit boss shrugged. "Oh, I don't know, I think he's fine. Want to play? Any markers?"
I was shocked that he has been 15 feet from the whole thing and knew nothing.
"He doesn't look very good- does he need a doctor?"
"Nah- they got the pit boss over there to handle it. Should I get the drink lady for you?"
The dealer offered no information - so we played while continually glancing behind us. After about 10 minutes, the guy hunched over ended up flat on his back under the table. Yes, he was laying down - conscious - underneath the baccarat table. He obviously was in pain, but from what?
I tried to glance over at the chips at the table - they weren't black chips, and there weren't many of them. My guess is he got physically sick at the amount of money he lost. But that's just a guess. That's when we needed a drunk Wiz to go over there and ask the posse: "So, how much are you guys down for the night?"
After about 30 minutes, a wheelchair came and took the man away. I don't think we ever knew what happened - or if those chips on the table were ever colored up. Layup - what was your theory on what happened there?
of course, the session was a losing one - and it was about 6:30 when Don and Mike appeared to say goodbye. They were a bit surprised - but certainly not shocked - to see Layup and I still awake at that time. We said goodbye to them, and then Layup and I headed up to bed.
Sunday, March 16
There was no trouble sleeping that night/morning, and the alarm rang at 9:30 - it took me a good hour to get out of bed. We were packed up and ready to go around 11; I went to the cage to check on my funds I had deposited and wanted to take some of those funds back with me.
The withdrawal process took a good 10 minutes just to get some of my money. It would have been easier to go to the UTH table, get a marker, get the chips, and then go to the cage to cash the chips.
Anyway, we stopped south of town at the Nike outlet to finally get the Fuel bands, ate lunch at Chipotle (yes, I was a little paranoid walking around a local shopping center with a lot of cash on me). In what is becoming an annual tradition, we listened Tommy Tyde and John Thompson release the NCAA brackets at 3:00 pm pacific. I let out a scream when Dayton's name was announced.
I checked in and went to the Delta lounge where it was EXTREMELY difficult to stay awake for 3 hours in the lounge while waiting for boarding. The non-stop MH370 coverage on CNN was not helpful. The plane ride home was smooth; I sat next to two people from Mexico City heading to Guangzhou to start importing product. They spoke no English and (of course) no Mandarin; I was racking my brain to find the Spanish I used to know to translate Spanish to Mandarin for this couple. I slept about 10 hours and really had no jet lag for the next week in Guangzhou.