The man behind the MGM poker room desk looked at me with a level of dismay only reserved for out-of-place circus clowns and church-going drunks and said "Are you sure? Table 10?" I was neither painted up like a two-bit whore, nor was I drunk.
"Yup, I'm sure" I replied. A few seconds earlier I had been prepared to sit in the 8 seat of table 10, only to find it being occupied by a small asian man. Not that I need to clarify that he was small. It's like saying "Yeah, that NBA player I'm talking about. You know, the black one." No clarification is necessary.
After a few minutes of waiting around for another seat to open up, I felt awkward holding a rack of those beautiful, new $1 chips, and cashed in and set off in search of the blogger HORSE game. It was listed on the board, but after searching the boomerang shaped room, I didn't see anyone recongnizable.
Ah-HA, there's an upstairs to this place!
I walked up the curving stairs to a private room, and the first person I ran into at the table after sliding past a few people on the railing (Easycure?, Derek?), was a woman with the whitest hair I've ever seen.
"You're much better looking in person" were the first words out of Felicia's mouth. I embarrassedly said thank you, and perked up as I heard my name called for another 3/6 game. I think she said something about agreeing with the fact that I don't photograph very well, but I was out the door and downstairs too quickly to hear correctly.
I paid for what was probably the same damn stack of chips that I'd just cashed in ten minutes earlier, and headed up to the host stand for my seat assignment. And wouldn't you know it, when I got to the table I was supposed to be sitting at, the table was already full. This is not starting out well.
"Again?" said the large man behind the counter. "Oh, I meant table 5. Sorry" he said as he pointed to the table to my right.
I sat right smack dab in the middle of the table 5, facing away from the railing and towards the center of the room. This provided me a view of every blogger entering the MGM poker room to meet old friends, and many new faces.
"Hey, there's BadBlood.", I thought. "His arms aren't that big."
"Boy, that G-Rob sure does like to smile." I muttered under my breath. "Huh, I wonder why he just stopped smiling?"
It was at that point I realized that I'd rather be up and milling around, drinking, than stuck at a poker table. I'd been sitting all of 10 minutes when I cashed in my chips and railbirded around the new HORPSE game that had just started up in the middle of the room.
I like the MGM poker room. For the most part. The chips are clean, the dealers are above par, and despite the initial fuck-up in getting me seated, the system runs fairly smoothly, and the room on the whole is downright pretty. It's aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But, I'm not a big fan of the granite racetrack tables because it makes it tough to squeeze your cards for a quick peek, and the drink service was slow that night. Too slow for my liking.
I'd been up 20 hours and I was starting to get tired, but that didn't stop me from putting on my drinking boots, and really start in with the booze. At some point in the night--and my mental timeline is a little jumbled right now-- I met Joe Speaker and I noted that I needed bigger boots and had a lot of catching up to do. A lot.
Standing around the HORPSE table, Pauly alerted me to the empty racebook bar directly behind the poker room. With that knowledge, we both set off for a good pint of beer, not that swill I'd been drinking much of the afternoon.
I ordered up a Fat Tire, and had just taken my first sip when I was approached by a shorter man with a ponytail.
"Hey, I'm Grubby. I love your blog." he said as he extended a hand.
I've read Grubby's blog from time to time, but have had absolutely no contact with the guy.
I thought: Grubby doesn't have me listed on his blogroll, and has never commented on anything I've written, so why would he now say that he loves my blog? Something didn't add up.
Also, I never pictured Grubby in my mind the way this man looked at the MGM Thursday night. Not that I think about him in my head a lot...oh nevermind. From reading his blog, I'd always pegged him as being huge. Come on, he talks about fast food all the time. How else am I supposed to picture him?
As I was trying to process all of this confusing information, I heard him say "I think he bought it." to Pauly. I was wary at first, but the "I love your blog" comment rapped me over the head until I finally realized that the man was Iggy, and he was being a dick.
Immediately after admitting that I never bought that he was Grubby, Spaceman introduced himself and I was almost worried that I'd later find out that he was Maudie.
Nope, Maudie was sitting at table 12(wow, now that's a seque), fully entrenched in a raucous HORPSE game. The extra P is for Pineapple, which is the only game in the rotation in which I finished ahead. Sorry for the sucking out on your QQ, BG.
The HORPSE game is being blogged about by many people, and they've done a much better job than I could do considering how late in the evening I joined. I do have a few things that I don't think many people remember.
Poor Al was frustrated. He got up out of his chair, slapped his cards into the muck, and screamed "YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME!" and I think that I even saw a Soco colored tear slowly working it's way towards his upper lip. He promptly pulled his bottom lip up to meet the tear and drank it again before anyone else could be a witness to that level of alcohol abuse.
Who am I to argue with that? He was right, I don't know how to play the game.
I'm not sure what time it was, but I crashed pretty hard near the end of the hold 'em rotation. I quietly removed myself the table, cashed out slightly ahead, said my goobyes and hopped in a cab before I could get wrangled into throwing dice at The Plaza.
No reason to blow my figurative wad right away, I thought.