Mar 23, 2014

Vegas 2014 - The Blog - Part 1

Another Vegas trip has come and gone, and now we start the herculean task of trying to put all the pieces together. My notes are very scattered from this trip - I'm going to need more input than usual from the readers to piece together more details (or to send in corrections).

As usual, what a wonderful trip. As I have said before, each trip has its own mood and set of memories. I think it's clear this trip was one of the less crazier trips - not as many "crazy" stories that would only happen in Vegas - but still, memorable for several reasons. I think the general mood on the trip was more laid back than usual; maybe a combination of work getting in the way for some of us, the golf eating most of 2 days, or the lack of a side trip outside the casino. Needless to say, it was great to again get together with everyone where the only obligation is to get the morning parlay in on time.

Special thanks to Jeff, my brother in law, who filled in for some last-minute child watching in China as Janice was required to travel on this week (the only week in 10 where she is traveling).

Tuesday, March 11

Unlike last year, the flight from China was uneventful; I was able to sleep some (maybe 4 hours) and get some work done (8 emails?) on the flight over. Layup picked me up around 7:30 at LAX and we were on the way to Vegas. I had my customary 5 minute nap in the car ("How long did I sleep?") before we got to the Mirage before midnight.

Layup did not park at the main valet - he went to the North entrance - and did not ask for luggage service. So I'm entering the casino with my suitcase and my gargantuan golf case walking by 1OAK, the night club. Tuesday night is locals night at the club - and so the lobby area was packed with 20-somethings all dressed up and drunk. Here comes Eric with the golf bag after a 12 hour flight and a 5 hour drive - I'm in no mood to deal with that. I was thinking of myself as a 16 pound bowling ball trying to take out as many Kardashian-wanna-bes as I could at midnight.

After checking in and throwing our bags in the room, we find Wiz at the UTH table for the initial sessions. And, for once, the initial session starts well - I don't think I lost a hand in the first 6 or 7. Double my money there, then went to the craps table where we found out for the first time (of many) that none of us could roll. Off to baccarat to show Wiz how to play and where Layup and I ganged up on him a few times for a winning session - and off to bed around 4, when the Nyquil kicked in.

Wednesday, March 12

Not exactly sure when I woke up - let's say about 7:30 or so. That's 3 1/2 hours of sleep the first day, which is near a record for me (if you have read the past versions of the blog). There was the first of many morning baccarat sessions with a Filipino dealer named Ana; she became a bedrock of the trip this year - as she worked the morning shift (4 am - 12 noon), so she was usually the last dealer I saw before bed and the first when I woke.

I remember being hungry, so I asked about when the buffet stopped serving breakfast. The pit boss called over - the answer was 10:45 or so. At that point, Wiz had joined me in the baccarat salon as we were playing, we joked if we could get the breakfast burrito at the table.

"No, but there is a room in the back" was the answer.

Wait, what?

"Yes, if you want to order food, you can - we can serve it to you back there. "

Wiz's and my eyes lit up. Now that's class! Call ahead for breakfast, coffee and mimosas and have it served in the salon....

The rest of the day was a blur. The first parlay (of many) was entered (I still have the ticket; the time stamp was 9:48) and then a visit to the buffet. The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent at the UTH table - a long, successful session. Wiz, Layup and I started; Don and Mike were arriving at this time and was trying to text us to see if anyone was going to pick them up. Their requests went unanswered. Wiz had to go work for most of the afternoon, so Layup and I were there for a couple of hours before Don & Mike joined us. All I remember is that the NBC SN was on the TV....and they were showing coverage of the Paralympics. The event that day was skiing. Now, we didn't understand the event.

Each skier had a different disability - one skier had just one leg, one had one arm, one was blind with a "guide" in front..... and yet they all competed together. So many inappropriate questions crossed our mind....

- how is it fair that a one-armed skier can compete with a one-legged skier? Doesn't the two-legged skier have an unfair advantage?
- the blind skiiers - what happens if their guide crashes? Do they get a do-over, or is that just the luck of the draw?

Layup and I scheduled massages for the same time before dinner (a "couples" massage, as Dan the pit boss called it all weekend). One last baccarat run with the group around dinner time, where we got introduced to Ira's friends Todd and Ben (for the first time). They were plenty hammered already, with more to go.

Dinner was at 6:45 in the new steakhouse at the Mirage, which was excellent. I had a mandatory work call at 7:30, so I had to eat and run. I left $200 with Don for my part of the bill, and went upstairs.

I came down after the call at 9:00pm to find everyone at a packed $15 craps table. As soon as I got there, everyone started cheering.

"Yay! You made us $500!"


"We've won $500 tonight!"

Um....who's we? Don? Leland? All of you? How?

It took a while to figure out, but apparently the bill for dinner was $170 or so (all-inclusive). So I had $30 change coming to me, but I wasn't there to get the group decided to put the $30 on the they pressed hit one more time, another hit.....

It still is not clear to me what happened next. Some said that most of the profits were pulled down, others said another press happened.....well, no one was sure exactly where all the money went. I never did get my share of the profit (or my $30 change), and no one was owning the pot on that one.....maybe this will get cleared up in the comments.

While I was trying to listen to this story, the roller was still rolling on the other side of the table. He was hitting some numbers but no point, so I didn't jump in. After a while, the dealer changed the table limits to $25.

I bought in.....certainly they would see I was with the group and would be grandfathered in for $15. I got my money and put $15 on the pass.

"Sir, this is a $25 table" was the quick response.

But, but...I was here with them!

"$25 minimum, sir....."

Fine. It was a losing session as it was again demonstrated that no one in this group could roll as the dice flew around the table.

I'm not sure what happened next - someone must have talked me into a salon blackjack session - and it was a good one! Leland texted Layup during the run that he could hear us cheer as he sat at the Pai Gow table playing with John the dealer. I don't remember any of this at all - which is strange for a profitable salon trip.

The night ended at the craps table (again), where some college kids that joined the table next to Wiz and Layup actually started making points and rolling hardways. I may have had a few drinks by that point, so we were parlaying the hard 4 and 10 - and this kid did it back to back! The day ended on a good note from the craps table. 1 day down on the trip with no damage whatsoever to the bankroll....a great start. Would it be a trend for all 4 days or is the inevitable storm looming around the corner?



Layup said...

Just to clarify the $30 profit. So I was in charge of the $30. We pressed until we got up to $300or $500, I dispersed the proceeds to the group. But I forgot to include your portion of the profits in there. Only Lee gave his portion back, which in turn I think I gambled it away. Sorry.

And the late night craps with the college kids was with Ira, who appeared out of no where, not Wiz.

skeetskeet11 said...

I think that I took Wiz's portion of the winnings and gave them back too. He didn't understand why I was taking it and I couldn't really explain.