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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Brush with Rush Poker

My first Rush Poker tournament at Full Tilt (just introduced this weekend), you'd think they would've rigged it in my favor.

All-in preflop, I could feel that 3 coming on the river.

I led the tournament early, getting and maintaining chip lead while trying to bust out because some friends were drunk at the Cubs game and wanted to go to the boats.

Called an all-in with JT vs. TT and flopped a J. Got lucky with pairs beating smaller pairs. Big Aces to small Aces.

Then I get the cursed Aces for the first time and bust out, about 100 players to go from a field of 2200.

Since last year, for nihilistic purposes, I've kept an Excel file of hands I either am ahead or behind by 60/40 and the results.

I believe in big tournaments you need to get lucky once every 500 players.

This tournament, I won one and lost one.

If only...

As for Rush Poker itself, it's the best thing to come along since online poker.

I say that even though since January, I'm down over $5000 playing it, mostly losing to players set mining and my never believing them.

If I could self-exclude myself from cash games, I'd do it.

And by the way, sizzlinbettas, the guy who sucked out with the 3s, ended up winning the thing for $10,468.01.

sizzlinbettas, you owe me a drink!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cyrano de grubby, or sexting a Cougar

The weekend before St. Patrick's Day, I had dinner with some friends at Shaw's Crab House. It was a fun drunken night of Maryland blue crab, sushi, oysters, and much Grey Goose with a splash of cranberry. One friend offered $1000 to the server if she could guess his name in 10 tries. She couldn't.

Before I arrived, another friend had picked up the number of a Cougar named Cee Cee. With her was her older sister Dee Dee, who kept trying to push off Cee Cee to any guy.

He wasn't interested, but he got the number mostly to close the conversation.

She didn't have his, however, so I was able to use hers in my phone and pretend I was him.

In between the restaurant and the dance bar, I called her half a dozen times but kept getting a message that her voice mail was full.

I thought my last text was it, but she responded in the morning which led to this conversation:

I didn't respond to the last one, figuring at some point it had to go somewhere.

Meanwhile I was texting the friend who got Cee Cee's number and said I could seemingly arrange to get them to stop by his place. He said that I should give them my address and see if they notice a difference.

A couple days later he said that he played poker and lost with AA. I said he wouldn't have lost with CC or DD.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daytripping strip clubs

"Are you wet?"

The last time I went to Olympic Gardens in Las Vegas, a friend and I stayed through Sunday night all the way to 6 a.m. Monday morning.

We were chatting up the one dancer who remained, until the DJ called her name to go on stage. She had to follow course, and went to the stage.

With no one else in the club, we had nothing else to do but follow.

Fortunately, she was attractive.

I don't remember much else about that visit, but we did sneak a couple more dances out of her once we requested she change into a red substitute teacher outfit. Changing took a good half hour, which either meant she was at the stripper thrift store or she was snorting some lines to prep dealing with a couple losers who wouldn't leave a strip club on a Monday morning.

Monday during the day isn't the best of times to patronize gentlemen's clubs, but if you're looking for complete attention, your pick of seats, and free entry, Monday's your day. Never mind what the dancers actually look like, be thankful that it's still extra dark inside during daytime.

Another reason to go on Monday: your flight is a few hours away, you're dealing with a hangover, and you're out of money.

A couple weeks ago, I was at Cheetah's with another friend.

I drove my rental, and I was prepared to smooth talk the bouncer into giving us free admission (I no longer have my Nevada driver's license, aka free pass to strip clubs), but there was no bouncer and not even a cashier or front attendant.

We walked right into the darkness and were immediately greeted by some good breath-challenged girls of maybe the 3-4 variety (on a scale of 100).

But we had time to kill and gambling money to spend. Well, the former. I had to borrow from my friend.

He went immediately to the back room, precious seconds ticking away.

I stuck around front, drinking Grey Goose & vodka (still $12 despite Monday morning), and taking in 2-for-1 dances.

$10 a dance goes a long way in a strip club, while also de-valuing the back room.

A couple days earlier, we had gone to Spearmint Rhino and arriving at 3 a.m. Sunday morning in the middle of an economic downturn wasn't enough to scare the crowds. It was more packed than I'd ever seen it, and there was a line to get into the back room. I'd never had such a shakedown before, but desperate to sit down I had no choice but to visit the back room a couple times, which cost $600 on just two girls and drinks ($50 admission seemingly on the busy night, with 2 drink coupons... which is only good for 1 drink in the back room).

Also at Cheetah's was the stripper buffet. I consider myself a connossieur of all-you-can-eat buffets, but you won't find me partaking in pizza and sushi sitting under lights.

I was in the middle of dance #4 with an Asian girl whose face was in her 40s but resculpted breasts were pre-adolescent. Another good thing about strip hopping during the day is they'll sometimes work extra hard, which she did with her free-roaming hands.

"Are you wet?" she asked me.

"No... are you?"

She answered silently by directing my hand down there.

My friend popped out for a second to borrow my car keys, then came back in and dropped them off.

Ever since a stripper stole my car keys (also at Cheetah's), I'm extra vigilant about where my keys are.

He then disappeared into the back room again.

I had 2.25 dances with a girl from Skokie, Illinois, whose tits were hanging so low she seemed like she had just breast-fed half a dozen puppies. Launching into the 0.25th song, I asked, "Is this song number 2?"

She said no, that we were already into the third.

Bad stripper etiquette: always ask your customer if he wants another dance. The last time this happened, the girl felt so bad when I called her on it that she gave me two for free.

Songs are about 50 percent longer during the days (another plus), and my internal stripper clock was confused. I usually know what song we're on but will sometimes ask in case they've lost track themselves. I was once on dance #19 and she thought it was #17. Score.

This time, however, I asked if it was song number 2 because there was no way I was getting another dance. Even if I paid for part of the third.

I kicked the Skokie girl off me mid-dance and tossed her $30. Her last job was at The Library and some all-nude club near the Palamino that went "all-Mexican." Not the sterlingmost resume.

I had never had such a lackluster dance. Little did I know what was coming 2 minutes later.

"Do you want a shot?" a short fireplug of a shot girl said.

"No thanks," I said.

"Do you want to buy me a shot?"

"No thanks."

"How about a dance?"

There aren't many taboos left in a strip club. But getting a dance from the cocktail waitress or shot girl is high on that bucket list. It's next to having sex with your hot substitute teacher (hence the above OG fantasy).

I accepted and it felt like getting a dance from an Oompa Loompa. Worse, I felt like a pedophile, only without the apparent enjoyment.

I pushed her off after the second song and grabbed my phone and...

Where were my keys?

They were just there, in the chair next to me, next to the phone. My friend had returned them to me, and I made sure to keep them close.

Where the fuck were my keys?

The shot girl was still putting on her bikini top that pretty much held nothing.

I blew up, accusing her of taking them.

The cocktail waitress helpfully came over with a flashlight, and with the bouncer, we tore up the whole area.

I couldn't fucking believe this was happening again. Was Cheetah's strippers' M.O. to take car keys? Maybe display it over their fireplace as a trophy? Is stealing keys the new empowerment?

My mind shot back to 2 years ago, when I had deja vu speaking to the same bouncer about checking the video camera. My fingernails dug into seat cushions, pulling up stuff that will probably later be in a CSI investigation.

My flight was in 2 hours. I made a mental list. Call the locksmith, get a new key, tip $100. A repeat of the first time.

At my wit's end, I accepted that this happened again and sunk into the chair.

I texted my friend: "Do you have my car keys?"

To his credit, he responded pretty fast: "Yes."

Now I went into transference mode, moving anger at Cheetah's to anger at my friend.

I apologized to the shot girl I yelled at (but still didn't accept a shot from her or for her).

Why did he take them a second time? A practical joke, I could understand.

When he returned, I went off again, saying that I'd just told him the story of the stripper stealing my keys, and that he should've made sure I knew he was taking them.

He said he didn't want to bother me.

All it would've taken was making eye contact and showing my keys to me. Besides, I was just looking for an excuse to break away from the shot girl.

And why did he go to the car a second time anyway?

On the way out, he told me.

While in the back room, his girl kept rubbing his crotch with her knee and, well, he had an accident.

He went to the car to change into something clean.

That was about as good a reason as any, and I can't fault him not wanting to sit around in his own mess.

Cheetah's is back in my good graces, but from now on I'm just going to keep my car keys in my pocket.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wet dreams and Siamese heads

Starting off my Christmas vacation today, I had a wet dream.

Only it wasn't wet and I woke up before any clothing damage could be done.

In the dream I was at a Vegas-style nightclub.

I had to go to the bathroom, and entering the men's restroom, there were holograms of live women in sexy poses displayed on the stall doors.

As you approached the stall door, the woman would react, telling you whether the stall was free. She'd be standoffish if occupied or beckon with her index finger if unoccupied.

All the stalls were taken, so I left and ran into a girl who was standing on her hands. Yet she had another head below her.

Sort of like being a Siamese twin, with her twin head being upside-down and attached to her knees.

We began kissing, and I felt her exploring "down there," then suddenly I felt some not unpleasurable warmth and moisture around my private parts.

It was her second head.

So I was kissing and getting head (from a second head) from the same girl at the same time.

It's been awhile since I've had any strange dreams, much less sexual dreams. Perhaps it was from the chicken wings, gingerbread yogurt, and box of Wheat Thins I ate last night.

Nevertheless, a good start to the holiday break.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

UltimateBet took back my car

The Sapphire Gentlemen's Club has their 7th anniversary tomorrow night (free food and drinks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.)… which is when I would've been getting into town for the blogger tourney. Damn.

I'm sad that I won't be able to go -- I actually held off cancelling my room (and tickets to Ronn Lucas, which I was using as my bounty prize) in case I could win enough to justify going. Chicago is under its first bad winter storm with wind chill at 20 below, and the desire to flee (to, uh, 38 degree weather in Vegas) has never been stronger. But it isn't to be.

Changing the flight was easy. As for the hotel...

Harrah's: For further assistance, please say one of the following: change reservation, cancel reservation, get rates --

grubby: Cancel.

Harrah's: Sorry, I didn't understand your response. If you are a member of our Total Rewards players club, please say yes. If you are not a member, please say no.

grubby: Cancel.

Harrah's: Sorry, I didn't understand your response. If you are calling to change an existing reservation --

grubby: Cancel.

Later, after speaking with two hosts to cancel the room plus the tickets…

Harrah's: You do know that there's a 72-hour cancellation policy.

grubby: I just stayed at your casino last week and lost my soul.

Fortunately, they didn't hold me to their policy, which would've come off my Total Rewards points.

* * *

Thanks to BadBlood, Falstaff, Waffles, Dave R., and SheetWise for offering sympathy about my situation.

SheetWise recollected a touching story about his uncle who hit bottom and then kept a promise to only gamble 10 percent of his salary.

That's the foundation of maintaining a bankroll, which I need to stop ignoring if I want to stop going bust.

I redeposited to Full Tilt and have been doing okay the past week, not risking more than 10 percent at a time. I'm setting a stop limit -- win or lose, once I hit my Iron Man for the day, I'll stop. I'm also focusing on sit-n-gos and staying away from cash games. Now if I have a bad streak, I'll move down in SnG levels rather than tilt away in 8/16 6max like usual.

That's not to say I've been successful staying away from online gambling. I played over the weekend and also last night when I received a 25 percent bonus on the loss. They have a poker site, so the +EV play is to use the bonus to my advantage and just play poker. Whenever I deposit and win, I'll cash out. Whenever I deposit and lose, I'll just wait for the bonus and then play with that. I could just do multi-tournaments at a significant discount.

Then today I received this email from UltimateBet about my cashout (the one that paid for my rental car for 2 weeks):
Dear Customer,

Thank you for choosing UB.

This email is to expaling you that your check for $442 tr id 18779916 processed on 11/09/2009, was canceled.
Please accept our sincere apologies about this situation. This problem was provoked by the closing of one of our provider’s accounts and we still do not have the specific reason why it happened. We are no longer using that payment method and are working hard to reissue all payout requests and cover fees incurred due to this issue.

The funds, as you may already know, have been returned to your account including the fee you initially had to pay for the payout.

In case you already cashed the check, we will gladly reimburse you for any overdraft fee you were charged for this matter, provided you show us where the amount is shown on your bank statement.

We do not doubt your honesty, but we do need to see the charges on your statement before we can proceed with the request.

Etc., etc.


Before I finish reading the email, I find myself re-installing UB, see the $450, and instead of cashing out again, I play blackjack and lose it all.

Frustrated, I deposit to another site, play blackjack, and surprisingly run it up to +$1300 (including $200 lost on slots). This covers the $450 from UB as well as what I lost over the weekend.

I then almost put a bet down on Pacquiao (even money against Mayweather) but take it back because my 25 percent bonus on losses ends in February, and the fight if it happens would be after.

I cashout.

Clearly trying to quit on my own is proving to be a struggle.

Friday, December 04, 2009


The word "addiction" is tossed around lightly in society -- I'm addicted to chocolate, might as well face it I'm addicted to love, I'm so addicted to the things you do.

But true addiction is continual use in the face of negative consequences, mainly when that use begins to affect work, health, relationships, or finances.

For some, that's Bejeweled Blitz and its constant Facebook status updates that cause all your FB friends to either unfriend you or stage a mini-intervention.

In my case, my addiction is whenever gambling, and the effect is all of the above with the exception of maybe work, where it ironically helps.

As soon as I start gambling, I can't stop, I have no control. Playing slots, in my head I'll make mental notes that I'll cash out when I get to a certain point (when I'm down or up to this amount or when I hit the next bonus or when I get my drink or when it's this or that time), then when I get there I'll renegotiate with myself, and this inner exchange goes on until I'm down to nothing. No matter how much I win I will give it all back as well as whatever's in my pockets, including ATM withdrawals and credit card cash advances. I would pawn or eBay something if I had anything of value.

I've mentioned stories of when grubette and I would first visit Atlantic City when slots accepted coins, and I'd put my last nickels into the machine before boarding the shuttle bus back to D.C.

I have this need for action, it isn't about winning for me (if it were about winning, I wouldn't play the worst game in the casino or I'd at least only be playing Mega Millions for a chance at something big). Losing to me is just as strong an emotion. I relish stories of other people winning just the same as I regale in my own losing stories -- it becomes a contest how much you've lost just as much as how much you've won. Dropping a few nickels into those slots wouldn't have won any jackpots, but ridding myself of all my money signaled that I could finally stop and go home.

Every single ad that appeared on the left column of this blog was paid for via transfer to my casino or poker account, and every bit of that was gambled away at their casino.

I've gambled away entire paychecks in one sitting. If I get a reimbursement check, I spend that too. My car was totalled a few years ago, and the insurance check I received went entirely to online blackjack. I never replaced the car.

In Las Vegas, I took a friend to the bank so he could withdraw $2500 and I could borrow it.

I often kid about the tolls of gambling and being unable to stop until losing everything, but unfortunately all of that is too true and is fast catching up with me.

So this gambling "habit" of mine comes with consequences, and one of those is that for the first time, I am going to have to skip this year's WPBT event next week.

For my own health and well-being, not to mention bank account, I can't go back to Las Vegas for awhile.

I've actually already paid for everything and the rooms and food are free, but I know the cost to change the flight will be far less than what I will end up losing while there. And I can use that flight for something else.

AlCantHang mentioned meeting at Lagasse's Stadium (the snazzy lounge-turned-sportsbook with patio inside The Palazzo), and for those going Friday, Dec. 11 from 7-9 p.m., here's an offer to get free Ambhar Tequila and Bud Light Golden Wheat, plus half off appetizers, all for watching basketball and not having to gamble a cent.

To RSVP, sign up at Las Vegas Weekly.

Not much more to say about how far I've fallen because it's still too fresh. Only now am I dealing with the repercussions of what I did while in Vegas. Maybe one day I'll be able to post all the gory details.

I'll miss you guys, but grubette will represent.