Showing posts with label Craps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Craps. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"You So Crazy"

I asked my friend for a blog topic today and she suggested the State of the Union address, Oscar predictions or what would happen if the Yellowstone Super Volcano erupted.  These were all great suggestions!  Unfortunately, I didn't watch the State of the Union address (too much talk, not enough doing), I have only watched Inception and Toy Story 3 out of the Best Picture nominees, and I HATE super volcanoes (there is a good chance that a super volcano killed off the dinosaurs!)

I also don't want to talk about Jimmy Buffet falling off a stage in Australia and then being rushed to the hospital.  Some people said there was a woman to blame, but in the end, it was all Jimmy's fault.

So what do I have?  I've pretty much worked my way through the grief process of the Bears' loss in the NFC Championship Game and I am ready to start anew.  What better way to do that than to talk about an A-hole at the Craps Table?  None, I tells ya!

This past Friday, my friends John, Brandon, and I went up to the Peppermill in Reno to drink, eat, play Craps, and make sports bets.  The overall trip was fantastic.  We had a free room, received our Gold Member Parking Passes, checked in at the VIP Services room, and everyone received some amount in free play- which is always nice and helpful.

After drinking a bottle of The Gentleman between the three of us, we went down to play Craps.  The game itself can be enough of a grind, but can be made excellent by the other folks at any given table.  A fun group of people can make Craps go from a solid game, to a ridiculously fun game.  Hell, if you have people betting against the table and the dice starting going your way- that can be a blast as well!  Showing up people who bet on the Don't Pass/Don't Come Line is ALWAYS fun times!

But the opposite is also true.  If a complete douche finds their way to the Craps Table they can ruin the entire vibe.  I'm not sure which comes first- the positive vibe or the massive winnings, but I will tell you that if an A-hole comes up to the table and said table goes cold, everyone WILL blame the jerkweed for the bad luck.  We'll call this "The Jay Cutler Principle."  It may not physically be the person's fault that everyone at the table is losing, but it sure seems that way and no one will give them the benefit of the doubt.

So what happened on Friday?  A space opened up right next to me early on in our session.  A tall, big bellied white guy steps in and immediately has the stink of douche all over him.  He was extremely drunk, talking in a very cartoon-ish voice, called everyone "big man," and threw a wad of $2900 into the center of the table for the dealers to count up.  He turned to me and put a wad of money in my face and told me to count it.  I was pissed.  1) This is inappropriate.  2) Just because you are proud of how much money you have, doesn't mean it's ok to tell people to count it (or do anything for that matter.  3) Count your own damn money!

After a minute of harassing, I decided to count the money.  I half wanted to peel off a couple 100s for myself, but in a casino that's probably not the best idea.  In retrospect, I should have charged him a $100 counting fee and he was probably drunk enough to do it, but in the end, I counted his 11 $100 bills and handed them back.  He threw them right onto the table for the dealers to count.  Obviously, he just wanted to show off his money and make sure everyone knew what a "big man" he was.  I'm going to guess he's over compensating for something else.

Once he had his $4000 in chips, and made sure to mention that he "usually plays with at least $5000," we were able to continue playing.  He was buying numbers, allowing the dice to roll 4 or 5 times, then he'd announce that he was taking all of his bets off.  What a dick.  Not only do the dealers have to keep track of his large bets, but he was slowing the game by taking his bets on and off the table in between rolls.  It was maddening.

Another annoying habit this guy had was whenever people were getting visibly sick of him, he would try to give them a knuckle pound and say, "You so crazy."  All f-ing night.  "You so crazy... you so crazy... you so crazy."  Unless you're possessed by Martin Lawrence, you need to shut your hole!

The great thing about this was he was being such an obvious nuisance that he actually got reprimanded for swearing at the table.  This was a great lesson to learn.  A pit boss doesn't care how much money you are throwing down- if you are a shithead, you will still get in trouble.

Eventually, we had to just color up, cash out and move tables.  It was not a tolerable situation.  I'm fairly certain the guy started propositioning other guys at the table.  He might have propositioned me at one point, but his drunken mumbling was inaudible.  The only thing I can understand was, "You know what I'm sayin'!"  I replied, "Actually, I have no idea what you're saying."  He just laughed like he was the Joker when Joker had Batman in an precarious position.

I'm all for being social and playing this great and social game, but remember kids, don't be an A-hole.  Ever.  But especially at the Craps table when there is money on the line.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reno: The Santa Pub Crawl Edition

Wow.  What a freaking weekend!  It's going to be hard to recap this, but let's try to do it in a fun but succinct manner. 

The drive up to Reno was fairly easy.  My friend John drove with me sitting shotgun and Mrs. B. and his wife Katrina in the back.  He had to drive his 4 wheel drive truck due to the chance of snow that you can encounter while driving up to Reno in December.  As it happens, the weather was fantastic and posed no threat what-so-ever to our plans.  God smiled upon this side of the country, unlike the Midwest and East Coast- but we'll get to that. 

Hilarity struck 5 seconds after getting out of the car at the valet area of the Peppermill (c'mon- did you think we'd stay anywhere else?)  As per usual, we brought liquor and mixers to build our own bar in the room.  I had purchased four 2 liter bottles of soda (because it was 4 for $.99 each or 1-3 for $1.79 each.)  I threw the plastic bag with the bottles of soda in the back of the truck initially, so when I went to grab them out of the truck the bag was splitting.  They all fell out the bottom and one of the Sprite bottles hit the pavement and exploded turning into a projectile.  LUCKILY, it did not hit another car or person.  It stopped harmlessly in the middle of the sidewalk.  I was embarrassed a little, but once I realized that no one cared and nothing was damaged I thought it was a pretty awesome sight.  I believe there was a video on Tosh.0 once showing the power of a soda bottle explosion- it's nuts!

Anyway, we checked in using our new Gold cards (using the VIP line to the left of all the commoners who have to wait in the regular line- MWAHAHA!)  After getting set and having a few drinks, we went down for some phenomenal Chinese food at Chi.  Even better, we had Miriam as our server (she was our server from the High Roller trip) so it was nice to be recognized and carry over a tiny bit of celebrity into this trip.  Dinner was delicious, but it was on to some serious business- the Craps table. 

John and I posted up for a few hours at the Craps table.  We scraped to make our cash last but it was not happening.  I had brought up some cash, but I inevitably had to go to the ATM to grab more.  I'm not really going to describe this session because it was more or less a bloodbath.  Defeated, I offered to buy John a cigar and we were pretty much going to call it a night. 

We smoked the cigars and felt lucky that our rooms were comped because at least there was no cost there.  After finishing the smokes, we went back to find our wives.  Mrs. B. was at the Craps table.  It looked like she was doing ok.  John and I couldn't control the itch and pulled out even more money from the cash machine.  This was horribly irresponsible- however this was the point where the weekend turned right around. 

John and I grabbed empty spots on the opposite ends of the table and started to play.  I only bought in with $100 and I would not need to put any more down the rest of the night (or morning as it was about 2am at this point.)  The cocktail waitress was bringing drink after drink, the dice were hitting point after point. 

The tide officially turned when a group of people decided to bet the "Don't Pass, Don't Come Line" and cheer when a 7 would clear the board.  I know I've said this before, but if you are a person who would do that, you probably would also murder a kitten and you deserve to rot in hell.  You are like the NFL player that celebrates after you make a decent hit on a receiver that just gained 14 yards and a first down- all the while your team is down 24 points.  You probably cheered for the Nazis to win World War II.  DO NOT CHEER FOR 7'S AT A CRAPS TABLE YOU EVIL BASTARDS!

The guys at my side of the table were pretty cool dudes, and they turned to me and said, "Did they really just cheer when the 7 cleared the board?  Let's over celebrate when every point hits."  I fully supported this tactic, and it lead to one of them rolling for 40 freaking minutes in a row and the rest of the table going on a monster run.  I was howling like a wolf.  I was giving Ric Flair "WOOOOs!" all over the place.  At one point I asked one of the dealers if we could tarp the area around the Craps table and pop champagne like we just won the World Series (or in some cases, just clinched a Wild Card spot.)  He laughed because apparently that was not allowed. 

It was so hot that I was physically exhausted from celebrating by the end of the run.  At one point we were all jumping around like Happy Gilmore when he celebrated with his teenage caddy by throwing him around.  Besides the 40 minute roller, there were plenty of other good rolls at the table and I eventually was too tired to continue (plus, it felt like it was cooling down a bit by 5:30am.)  John and I celebrated with a Coffee Shop meal then stumbled back to our respective rooms.  For just that session, I turned $100 into $1335.  It's too bad about the initial loss, but we more than made up that and set us up nicely for the rest of the weekend. 

Let's skip through to the Santa Crawl.  We caught a cab the next night (Saturday night) and headed to the El Dorado to meet up with Morgan and her group of friends (Morgan was the host of the High Roller videos.)  I, of course, dressed up like Buddy the Elf and while I felt a little ridiculous walking through the Peppermill to get the cab, I fit right in once we arrived at the Santa Crawl location.  EVERYONE was dressed up to some degree.  Mrs. B. was impressed because she thought our costumes were awesome (which they were) but by no means were we the only ones dressed up in full Christmas gear.  I saw millions of Santas, thousands of Jesuses, and another 3 Buddy the Elfs (Elves?) 

Some of the Crawl was a blur, but involved a decent amount of walking, at some point we found a more open area with a bar selling cans of Bud Light with a shot of Jameson for $6 each.  That pretty much made me a happy little camper for the remainder of the night.  It was fun hanging out with Morgan and her husband Kevin along with the rest of their group of friends.  Overall, it was a very fun event. 

Around midnight, we found our way back to the Reno sign and took some pictures (as seen on Facebook) and found a cab back to the Peppermill.  John and I tried to recapture the magic from the night before (and actually from the afternoon session where we won another few hundred bucks) but it was not to be.  I lost around $300 during that session to bring down a bit.  As other expenses were cutting into my cash (food, cabs, drinks, I gave Mrs. B. some money to gamble with) I calculated that I was up around $300 for the trip by the end of the night.  I was going to let myself be up and be happy with that...

I was content... at least until my childhood friend, regular commenter, awesome blogger, and humanitarian G$ texted me around 9am.  The text in fact woke me up out of bed and it said, "Bet unders in the midwest and east coast today... bet them big."  I had asked him for advice on Saturday, but the last minute advice Sunday morning stoked a fire in me and I decided to go big or go home (well, I was going home either way after the 1pm games, but you know what I'm saying.) 

I looked at the games that would be affected by the AWFUL weather on the Eastern side of the country and would also involve teams that are offensively challenged.  I put $75 each on the unders of Browns/Bills, Redskins/Bucs, and Dolphins/Jets.  G$ had also mentioned that he liked the Jags over the Raiders by 3.5 so I put $75 on that (I do love betting against the Raiders.)  This added up to exactly $300.  The amount I was up.  I was either going home up or even. 

The Jags/Raiders game was awful for the first half.  It looked bleak until the Jags made some halftime adjustments and came back out ready to play.  In winning by 7, they covered (in dramatic fashion) and I was stoked.  The Browns/Bills game was never a problem, and the Redskins/Bucs game got a little dicey at the end, but realistically, I had that game at under 40.5 so even if the 'Skins had tied the game at 17-17 to send it to over time, another 6 would have made the total exactly 40, so I would've still won.  3-0 for the morning games, so all I needed was a massive slop-fest for the Dolphins/Jets game and that's exactly what I got.  My friend John played some parlays and actually followed my bets Sunday morning, so he in fact threw $20 on those four bets and won $240- winners all around!  Thanks G$- you can expect me to click through some ads on your site to repay you a few nickles for your advice.  In all seriousness, when are you starting your own phone line or betting site? 

So in the end, I won around $600, had our room comped, dressed up like an Elf and we drove home safely.  That's what I call another magical trip to Reno! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Recap Chapter 3

After a great night of drinking, Mrs. B. and I were scheduled to meet the Be The High Roller crew for breakfast at Biscotti's at 10am.  We dressed comfortably because we were headed to the spa after breakfast.  They filmed us talking about how much we like the restaurant (we legitimately like it- damn good food there!)  However, we had never actually eaten breakfast there, so that was a nice treat.  I picked one of the specials of the day (an omelette with multiple cheeses, meats and peppers) and Mrs. B. was treated to a mango smoothie and an egg whites only omelette.  Clip time:

After our phenomenal breakfast, it was time for me to get a different shirt and film my first commercial/offer for Peppermill patrons. We went to the quiet hallway at the back of the Tuscany Tower lobby and I got multiple takes to read through a script that was given to me just before breakfast. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to memorize everything, but Eric and Lonny made it easy for me to do one line at a time. I initially did a few takes all the way through, but then we did one where I say a line, pause, change camera angles, then do another. I thought it worked quite well. Plus, I really do like to give back!

One quick funny thing about the video is that I was wearing a collared shirt, but from waist-down I was wearing swim trunks and sandals. They shot me so I looked like I was far more formal than I actually was. This is probably similar to how Stuart Scott rarely wears pants while anchoring the Monday Night Football Pre-Game Show. I just made that last part up, but it sounds like it could be accurate.

Upon completion of the video spot, it was off to the spa. I didn't even think to go to the bathroom before heading to the spa.  Skip this paragraph if you're not into T.M.I. Everything was fine while taping our spa entrance. However, as I got more relaxed in the waiting room and further relaxed during the massage, I realized I probably should have gone to the bathroom before entering the peaceful, serene couples massage room. Now, don't get me wrong, the massage was great- however, waves of stomach cramps came through here and there. Once the hour was up, we were able to go back to the room, and I, how shall I say, got rid of any cramps. I felt much better and we went back to the spa, enjoyed the magnificent Caldarium. End of the ridiculous "too much info" story. Cue video:

The Caldarium is a more private pool area on the 4th floor of the spa. It has a salt water pool, a hot tub, a cold tub, a deck with seating, an area with snacks, and pool side food service. We ordered food, of course. Butterfly shrimp, fruit skewers and yogurt were delivered to us quickly. The shrimp was literally the best shrimp I've ever had. Put that on the freaking board! It was a great light lunch with the relaxing environment all around us. So great.

After a quick nap, we changed and met up with the Be The High Roller crew at Oceano. We shot some quick video and were seated at a corner booth. The video shot some of the interview before I really knew what I wanted to order- as seen here:

Assuming you just watched the video, you might ask yourself, "Why is Tony doing sake bombs?" Well, the answer is obvious- I ordered them and volunteered to shoot them on film! It was actually a lot of fun drinking for the camera, though I hope my current and future employers feel the same way! Actually, I do think the video comes off as good-natured and fun, which is lines up with the actual vibe of the moment.

We asked the crew to stay and eat with us because we really felt like they were great company. How to describe each of our folks? Well-

Eric is the brains behind the Be The High Roller promotion- he pitched it and got the green light. He's a funny and animated guy who is quite passionate about his work. He was all about having a great time while at the same time working hard. His constant input along with his photography made this project go 'round. 

Morgan is the charismatic host of the Be The High Roller promotion. She is fun, down to earth, very cool, and clearly very good at her job. She also talks about her kids in such a loving way that you can tell she's a great mom!

Lonny is the hard working videographer of the BTHR promotion. He is a genuine, sweet and funny guy that was awfully creative during the filming process. His compliments of us during the whole process helped give us a calm confidence during shooting. Each of these three folks are amazing and I consider them all friends going forward.

The last detail at Oceano was that the manager had somehow found out that our 1 year anniversary was coming up and they gave us a free dessert of Creme Brulee (yes, I know everything on this trip was free, but this wasn't even on the bill at the end of the meal- I had to sign everything to a room charge.) The plate said "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate on it. Such a nice touch to an already great dinner.

Next it was off to the tables to film a gaming spot. This video was quite tricky. We collected our gambling stipend and they wanted us to play live games and get filmed. The pit boss, Kevin, set up a private game of Blackjack for Mrs. B. and me. I let the crew know I didn't really want to play Blackjack, but I was willing to play a few hands. Of course, since it is "The Devil's Game" I immediately got crushed. Flustered, I actually got dealt an 8 and a 3 (dealer showing a face card), was hit with a King and thought I busted (yeah, bad math, I know.) The point is, with single deck Blackjack, I threw over my cards as if I busted. I ruined a perfect opportunity for a good shot on the video. We requested the pit boss to stack the deck and have the dealer deal me a blackjack in a staged hand. Magically I was dealt the Ace and King of Hearts- that hand is in fact in the video. I get why people like the game, but honestly, I don't like Blackjack at all.

Next was Roulette. I like the game enough, but the people at the table were awfully suspicious of us because of the cameras. It makes sense, I guess, since cameras are not allowed on the casino floor, so seeing them freaked out the other gamblers. The best part came on the first hand. Mrs. B. and I put $5 of Free Play each on black. In our heads, we knew that if we won we needed to over celebrate for the camera. 29 black came up (both of our birthdays are on the 29th of their respective months) and we went nuts. They gave us our $5 real chips each and then the dealer continue to remove EVERY OTHER CHIP OFF THE TABLE. Needless to say, the other gamblers were pissed. And I have to agree, our table etiquette was awful in that situation, but we were locked into making the video- not worrying about the other people at the table. After the next spin of the wheel, the woman next to us said, "Ok, bye bye celebrities." It was in an evil and sarcastic tone. We left and figured we had enough footage to make it work.

Last we rolled some Craps and did ok. The people at the table were a little squeamish about the cameras, but it was a better experience than Roulette. Overall, the video looks pretty good, but it was a challenge to get it done.

After Craps, they were done shooting and left us to our own devices. Mrs. B. and I "took our talents to the Penthouse Suite" then went back down to gamble and drink. It was a great day with fun experiences made even better by the Be The High Roller crew that we got to know even better that day.

Tomorrow- goofing off at the gym, shopping spree!, eating at Chi, John and Katrina arrive, partying it up at EDGE nightspot, and more gambling. Excited? You should be!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things To Do At The DMV

I was at the DMV for a little over two hours yesterday. Those two hours felt like an eternity. It honestly felt like I could have watched the entire Lord of the Ring trilogy while being surrounded by an array of characters that you would only see on "Cops." A couple highlights:

- The old guy that could barely walk, but was there to renew his license. That's safe.
- The overweight 35 year old white woman who does not have a license, but was there with who I can only imagine was her skinny, white trash boyfriend, her two half Mexican children, and an older gentleman that may or may not have been related to the rest of the bunch. I think the boyfriend had to register a number of used Ford molester fans. She was standing for awhile, then started complaining to her 8 year old about how her ankles were swelling up. Then she started an immature game of "if you pinch me, I'll pinch you back" with one of her sons. They have no hope. Awesome.
- A more white trash version of Sam Merlotte from "True Blood:"

There were other fine characters there in order to bother me. I had to go deep into my head to amuse myself and try to forget about my surroundings. Here are some ideas of how to waste time at the DMV:

1) People watch. This doesn't help you forget your surroundings, but it will help you write the first half of your blog.

2) Bring a vuvuzela and blow it the entire time you are there. If the South Africans can ruin the World Cup by blowing these plastic horns, why can't I bring the tradition to the DMV?

3) Pretend that it is not the DMV, but rather a DMB concert. I know they are past their prime and their original saxophone player is dead, but a boring 12 minute jam in the middle of "Jimi Thing" would be MUCH better than renewing my license at the DMV.

4) Play Craps on my iPhone. It's not for real money, but the app is pretty true to the real game- as in it will take all my fake money and help me forget my current DMV predicament.

5) Write a novel based on someone who went to the DMV to renew their license, then went on a violent rampage similar to Michael Douglas in the movie "Falling Down."

Yes, it was an awful time, but I survived and I hope to wait another 10 years before I have to visit the DMV again. By the way, the Cubs/A's game last night was literally the worst baseball game I've ever watched. Derrek Lee- you're really going to make two errors in the same inning? Yikes, you former Gold Glover. I've said the Cubs should trade you, but who the hell wants a .227 hitter that is losing his once great defensive skills? Answer: the same number of people who would want to spend their day at the DMV.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: A Weekend of Almosts

After watching the US Soccer team luck their way into a tie with England, Mrs. B. and I (and friends) went to the Reno Peppermill. We were somewhat celebrating my "golden" birthday (my b-day is actually on the 29th and I'm turning 29.) Even though it's a couple weeks away, I was happy to provide an excuse for us to visit the greatest casino ever.

Once we were settled (and at least slightly drunk), we headed to the Craps tables. Things were not to be as magical as they have in the past. Every time we were about to break the game open in our favor, the devil's 7 would come and steal our chips. Weak. After awhile, we stopped fighting the gambling Gods and just gave up.

The next morning brought new possibilities. The Peppermill gives their Passport Player's Card members a coupon book each time they show up. This coupon book has match play on Sports parlays and Keno. I woke up and decided to place a $10 matched parlay bet (so it was like the parlay was worth $20). I bet on the Rangers, Mariners, Cubs, and Lakers +3. From noon until 8pm, I was in the Sportsbook agonizing over all of these games. You see, the parlay would've paid out $291.

The Rangers took care of business without much fanfare. The Mariners kept it close but ultimately dispatched the Padres in the end. Then it was up to the Cubs and Lakers to get it done. Ted Lilly was earning his paycheck by taking a no-hitter into the 9th. Simultaneously, I was watching the Lakers lay a huge egg against the Celtics. Honestly, the Lakes' defense was suspect at best and their free throws looked like they magically allowed the 2002 Sacramento Kings to shoot the foul shots for them. The Lakeshow was out-hustled and out-classed- and only lost by 6 points! I'm am so angry that they lost and ruined my parlay (they could've lost by 2 or 1 and I wouldn't have given a shit.) However, I'm even more angry that I cheered for the stupid Lakers.

We went to CHI after to get some delicious Chinese food (CHI is definitely the best value restaurant at the Peppermill.) Our server was a French lady (yes, a French lady is a server at a gourmet Chinese restaurant) who ended up singing me a birthday song in French. It was pretty sweet. The food was great as usual, and afterwards we headed back to the Craps table.

This time, it was a bit better than the night before, however, it was not a profitable table. My friend John started killing it, and after one roll, some guy at the end of the table threw a fit and started yelling at the pit boss. The halted the game because of the controversy (I don't actually know what the problem was). Once John got the dice back, take a guess what number he rolled...

I got fed up and decided to head to the Poker tables. I ended up playing until 4 in the morning and played decently, but end up about even in the end. The worst hand, however, was one I played exactly the way I should have. I had Ace-5 offsuit with the 5 of diamonds. The flop came 3-4-7 of diamonds. Straight flush draw? Heck yeah! During the round of betting, a guy over-bet the pot at $15, and he had one caller, and then I called. I figured I'd give it at least one shot. The Jack of hearts peeled off on the turn. He then bet $30 in such a way that I was positive he had the Ace of diamonds with another diamond (this was a correct assumption in the end.) I realized that the 6 of diamonds was the only card in the deck that was going to help me win the pot. $30 for a one outer is not good. I folded. There were two guys left in the pot, and of course the 6 of diamonds came on the river. If I was Q*Bert, I would've said "%@&!"

Not only would I have doubled my stack through the guy with the Ace high flush, I would've gotten a $150 bonus for the straight flush and a $50 bonus for the high hand of the hour. I can't even express how damaging this still is to my psyche. Seeing that 6 of diamonds was like realizing that Freddy Krueger had jumped into my dreams to knife me up. I clearly made a good decision by folding because of the odds, but gambling-wise it still feels awful.

In the end, there was money lost, but the Peppermill was a great time as usual. You can't win every time you go to a casino- they don't build those things on people making a killing off them. It is terrible that I was close to winning lots of money a few different ways, but what are you gonna do? Move on, I suppose. So Peppermill, I will not hold this weekend against you, but I look forward to some sweet comps later on.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

This was quite a busy weekend! In fact, it was so busy, I'm pretty concerned about my health (unsure if the weekend had anything to do with it, but I am concerned.) As I don't know exactly what's wrong, I'm not going to get into specifics and we'll forgo any sympathy at the moment. Just understand if my posts are subpar (are they subpar usually?) then give me a pass.

Friday night was filled with a whole lot of nothing because a) I was tired from only getting 4 hours of sleep the night before and b) I had to wake up and be in Vacaville by 8:30am to play at the Farmer's Market. Upon waking up, I knew Saturday was going to be a difficult day. I played 8:30-10am in Vacaville, then I played from 7pm-11pm in Walnut Creek at the Pyramid Alehouse. I played alright at both but neither were my finest displays of musicianship. The one good thing is that I broke out a few new cover songs at each show which at least keeps things fresh.

At the end of my Pyramid Show I was beyond spent. The weather turned cold and after playing for 4 hours it was time to pack up. There was a group inside the restaurant that wanted me to come in and play "one more song." I tried to say no, but I ended up doing it because the girl asking is a hostess at the restaurant (though she had the night off) and to be honest, she said they were going to tip me (which they did, and I highly appreciate that.)

So I brought my guitar inside and played "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. It seemed like their group enjoyed it a lot. Mrs. B. went inside and was watching with a couple of our friends from a table a little farther away from where I was playing. After I was done, one of the girls from the group came up and said I did great and that "I kinda want to do you."

First off, "kinda?" Make your stance one way or the other! Secondly (but most importantly), this is quite awkward when my wife is standing a mere 12 feet away. One of my biggest issues as a musician, is getting people either too interested (i.e. hitting on me) or not getting people interested enough. Finding that perfect balance has alluded me. I'm obviously not going to cheat on my wife (though she's given me the go ahead if it's an "Indecent Proposal for $10 million or more.) So in this scenario, I just played dumb pretty much ignoring the statement, then thanked everyone at the table for listening and hanging out. I left business cards, got Mrs. B., and we went on our merry way back to Sacramento. I wanted to not kill the positive vibe that was just put out there by me playing a song for their table, but at the same time, I wasn't going to acknowledge the offer. Feel free to tell me what I "should have done" in the comments.

Sunday, we went to Mrs. B.'s mom's house for Mother's Day and this is where I found out that my brother-in-law is a sorcerer. He claims that he's "never had a bad Craps roll," that he's "turned $20 into $320 in 15 minutes," and that "he'll always hit the hard 6 (double 3's) because 3 is his lucky number and 6 was his baseball number." I'm shocked that he isn't a professional Yahtzee player or possibly just wins millions of dollars off Craps tables all the time. With odds like that, it's barely even gambling!

I slept most of the rest of the day, which is great because I would have hated watching AJ Burnett getting lit up by the Red Sox when a good start from him could've won me this week in Fantasy Baseball (my team scored almost 300 points and lost, that is not fun.) Oh, and Dallas Braden is quite the competitor with his perfect game, but his interviews are pompous and I'm tired of them. Anybody with me on that?

There's my weekend in a nutshell. I know, not the most exciting stuff ever, but hey- every weekend can't be a winner!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: Tahoe Adventure

I think this post has the potential to get out of hand, so I'm going to give bullet-ed highlights of the weekend. Feel free to ask for more explanation on any particular point in the comments, and I'll see what I can do.

- Friday night I played at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. I tried out many new songs during the night including "I Gotta Feeling," "Rich Girl," "Learn To Fly," and a few others. As usual, it's a great place to play.
- One of the cute waitresses came over and was helping to solicit tips for me during the night. I'm pretty sure it worked well for more tips and for giving out business cards with my name and website. Later when I looked through my tips, there was one of my own business cards with a lipstick kiss mark and a phone number. Looks like the "old married guy" still has some game- hi-ooooooo!
- After finishing the show (1am), I asked the bartender for two sugar-free Red Bulls, and I got on the road to drive immediately up to Tahoe. My friend/co-worker was getting married at 11am in Tahoe, so there really wasn't any point in going home to sleep, I figured it would be easier to get the two hour plus drive out of the way during the wee hours of the morning. Driving up to the mountains in the pitch dark felt like I was about to enter into a cheap B horror movie. Luckily I made it up safe and sound.
- The Red Bulls worked a little too well. By the time I found my way to the hotel bed (Mrs. B. and friends were already up there) I had a hard time actually getting to sleep. I didn't appreciate the vein in my temple beating at 150 bpm- makes it hard to fully relax.
- After a solid 4 hours of sleep, it was time to get up. I was part of the crew that was stationed to set up the reception (which was in the same hotel we were staying in. During the set up, there was a signature cocktail that was supposed to be made. My friend John got put in charge, but we had to figure out the proper ratios of all the alcohol and pineapple juice. Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain someone left a "0" off of the amount of ounces of pineapple juice. 18 oz, is MUCH different than 180 oz. We initially had a vat of pure alcohol. Then we started adding as much pineapple juice as we could. Eventually we got a the cocktail to taste acceptable, and John ended up getting a decent amount of compliments on it. After tasting the initial version of it, neither of us could get over how boozy it was (literally, it was pure alcohol) so it was almost comical that people ended up enjoying the drinks.
- We missed the ceremony because the set up took quite awhile. It was good that we helped, but after working for a few hours on everything, it was harder to get into the "party mode." It was a nice time, but I think we (the guys) were all ready to go place some sports bets and play some craps.
- My sports bets didn't pan out. I made a quick decision baseball parlay that didn't go far due to the Red Sox losing to the lowly Orioles. I didn't watch the Cavs/Celtics games, but I hear that LeBron hit a 3 pointer with 4 seconds left when the game was clearly over. If that's true, then that three actually lost me the Celtics covering the 7 point spread and it beat the under of 191. Thanks King James, you douche (unless that didn't actually happen, then I take it back.)
- We found our way over to a Craps table at the Monte Bleu casino. Things were slow going for awhile, but there was a turning point. I have NEVER seen this before, but the other side of the table was betting the "Don't Pass, Don't Come Line." Seriously. Six people going against us on the other side of the table. I immediately turned competitive. Screw these people. Not only were they betting against the table (which is technically ok, but still kind of a dick move) they were celebrating when the 7 would come and clear out the rest of the board. So disgusting. I started betting fairly large, assuming that gambling karma was coming to get them- and it was. There was some extra large celebrations on our side of the table. It worked out in the best way. (+$330).
- Also, I realized that for whatever reason, while playing Craps, I try to find a catchphrase or noise that I'll yell every time a point hits or one of my Come Bets hit. Sounds annoying, but really, if everyone's winning money (or if assholes betting against the table are losing) then usually it's all good. This time I was howling like a wolf (in anticipation of wearing my wolf shirt later in the evening.)
- After eating at the Hard Rock Cafe, it was time to drink a 20 oz. Jack and Coke and meet back up with our group. We first went back to the Monte Bleu, but decided to see what was up with the Horizon (supposedly they had karaoke.) Upon walking into the Horizon, it was immediately depressing. It was WIDE open and ONLY had slot machines. There was duct tape on the carpet where they had removed their Craps table. DEPRESSING. However, they did in fact have karaoke...
- The karaoke bar had cheap drinks and the widest song selection I've ever seen. Almost everyone in our group got up to sing. Mrs. B. crushed "Bust a Move" by Young MC which was awfully impressive. I knew she knew all the lyrics, but I don't think she'd ever sang it in public. I sang "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates (yeah, I know- it's an underrated song) which went over well. Our friend Mary sang "I Love Rock and Roll." John sang "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies. And finally, my boss Lina and our former co-worker/friend Jen sang "I Will Survive" together. I gots to be honest, our group held it down at karaoke.
- Ironically, the group that was betting against us in Craps earlier in the day, showed up and sat next to us in the karaoke bar. I wanted to fight all of them, but instead, we left to play some more Craps... this time at Harrah's.
- Harrah's only had $10 minimum Craps tables. At the beginning, I could feel our groups' balls shrink up since we were used to playing on $5 tables. I had mentioned earlier the South Park where Randy gives himself testicular cancer in order to legally get weed. His balls were huge! The second he gets the news from the doctor, he puts his huge set up balls in a wheelbarrow and sings "Buffalo Soldier" on the way marijuana shop. I was encouraging our group to have bigger balls, so my catchphrase this time was the first part of "Buffalo Soldier." It worked awfully well as we all won money at this table. On top of that, the table was a lot of fun as everyone was boisterous and friendly. Such a great time! (+$265.)
- After dominating another Craps table, our entire group got more drinks over near the entrance to Vex (the club in Harrah's.) There was some guy with a keyboard and two iPods playing dance songs so all the girls went to the area in front of the stage to dance. At some point, Mrs. B. came back over and a guy right behind me started talking to her (obviously not paying attention to the situation, her ring, the fact that he would have no chance with her even if I didn't exist- ya know those kind of things.) It was pretty funny, but I was drunk, bored, and I had just won lots of money so I had a swagger that was bordering on douche-baggary. Here is what I said to the guy after not hearing what exactly he had just said to Mrs. B.:

"Hey man, you can stop talking to my wife."
"What? I was just giving her a compliment."
"I'm sure you were, and I'm telling you you can stop."
"Dude, it's not what you think- I was just giving her a nice compliment. I have a girlfriend, too."
(This was my favorite comment) [Sarcastically] "Yeah, I'm suuuure you do- and I bet she's reeeeally hot. Why don't you sit down." (I was calmly sitting down, and he was standing a foot or two to my left.)
"I didn't mean anything by it." (He leans over and touches my shoulder.)
"Don't touch me, and why don't you sit down."
(At this point he's becoming more agitated.)
"I don't feel like sitting- I'll just stand."
"Good for you, buddy. Stand all you want, just don't touch me." (Now his group of friends are trying to get the situation to ease up. It seems like it was his friend's birthday.)

I tell his friend that everything is fine, just to tell his friend to stop touching me and it'll be fine. Eventually, he and all his friends left (probably a minute or two after the whole confrontation.) The crazy thing was that I was so drunk that I was beyond calm during the whole exchange, didn't take into account that we were outnumbered by 3 to 8, my boss was down on the other end of the table, and realistically, did he even say anything wrong to Mrs. B.? Speaking of which... here is what he said.

"Hey girl, are you going back up to dance? I'd really like to watch you some more."

After hearing this, I was happy to have given him a hard time. He deserved it. That's less compliment and more creepy weird guy. My friend John (who is a police officer) was a little mad that I started shit, but in the end he admitted that he would've had my back had things gone wrong. At no point did I really think we were going to fight, but I guess ya never know.

Eventually, the night ended at 4am in completely successful fashion. I was including a random video poker win, some sports bets lost, and Craps I was up $570 for the weekend. Not bad, eh? No fights, lots of drinks, no vomiting, good karaoke, Big Ben didn't rape anyone and I in fact did wear the wolf shirt around during the second Craps session making the whole exchange with the creeper even funnier- he backed down to a guy in a wolf shirt!

So there you go- another successful trip in the books!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How To Play Crap: The Basics

It's quite common for people to not know how to play Craps. I myself did not learn how to play until my friend's bachelor party in April of 2008. Since then, I've enjoyed a few of the greatest gambling nights of my entire life. It seems like I can occasionally do better in Craps than Poker, which seems ridiculous as Poker does take more skill, but I digress.

Here is the basic premise of Craps for anyone who does not know how to play. I'll add in a few tips to get you started and then you can learn the rest as you play at the table.

The First Roll of a New Shooter: The game begins with the designated shooter rolling once. Before that first roll, you'll want to put the minimum bet on the Pass Line. If you can, put the chip over the "P" and you'll get the "Ass Line." How fun is that?!

The roll has three possibilities in regards to your initial bet:

1) 7 or 11 - You win $5 immediately
2) 2, 3, or 12 - You lose your $5 Pass Line bet
3) 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 - The button is laid on whichever number that is rolled, your $5 stays on the Pass Line.

Assuming Option 3 had come up, and the button was laid, the next goal is to roll the button number BEFORE a 7 is rolled. If a 7 comes first, you lose. If your number comes first, you win. It's that easy.

However, before the next roll you are now able to back up your bet with odds. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO DO THIS!!! All you have to do is put chips in the space behind your Pass Line bet. This is how you make money. Sure, you have the possibility of losing faster because your place more money on the table, but hear me out.

Most Craps tables are 3x-4x-5x max odds tables. This refers to how much money you can put behind the pass line. For example, there are three ways to roll a 4 (1,3) (2,2) (3,1) and there are six ways to roll a 7 (1,6) (2,5) (3,4) (4,3) (5,2) (6,1). This means there is a 2 to 1 chance that you'll roll a 7 before a 4. If you have a $5 bet on the Pass Line to start, you are allowed to put 3x that bet if the button is laid on the 4. Your max bet is $15 behind the initial $5 (risking a total of $20 on the next set of rolls.) If a 4 comes before a 7, you will get even odds on your Pass Line bet ($5) and you win 2:1 odds on the money you back up ($30). So you risked $20, but ended up winning $35. Odds for the different button number are as follows:

4 or 10 - 2:1

5 or 9 - 3:2

6 or 8 - 6:5

Now, one strategy I learned early on, was to just buy either the 6 or 8 if the button is set on 8 or 6. I will never do this ever again. You don't really get the same type odds as a Pass Line bet, so it's not really worth it. You would need to hit that number at least once to just break even. That's not what we're looking for. The solution? Play the Come Line.

The Come Line works the exact same way as the Pass Line, except it starts the initial roll whenever you place the bet. It's a game within a game, if that makes sense.

Essentially, walk up to the Craps table, put the minimum bet on the Pass Line. Once the button is set, bet the maximum behind your original Pass Line Bet. If you'd prefer to not bet that big, then at least match your Pass Line bet with backed up odds. NEVER bet more on the Pass Line than on your odds. I've seen people do that and I think "that person has no idea what they are doing." After that, just wait for your number to come up before a 7. That's pretty much it.

There are a lot of fun bets to make in the middle, but ALL of them are sucker bets. If you're gambling and having a fun time with friends, the middle of the table can be temping, but you'll probably end up wasting more money than you win on the middle of the table.

Hopefully this has been helpful. Please feel free to ask any questions, and I can clear up any confusion. It's an easy enough game to start playing, but tough to know all the in's and out's. Have fun and remember to gamble responsibly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peppermill Trip 3/21 - 3/23

Another successful trip to the Peppermill in Reno is in the books, and I'm here to give you the summary.

Mrs. B. and I went up with two other couples, Katrina and John, and Jen and Brandon. We tried to get up to Reno as soon as we could on Sunday to have an outside shot of betting on the remaining NCAA games. Unfortunately, we arrived around 2:30 so we barely missed the deadline.

With no bets on the Duke/Cal game, we requested rooms all on the same floor, which they were able to accommodate. Since we're player's card members (congrats to John and Katrina- welcome to the "Bronze Member" family) the Peppermill comped our rooms. We had brought up a few bottles of alcohol each, and proceeded to create an impressive bar in our room. I know we have a picture of it, and I'll put it up once I have access to said picture. We probably could've run a dive bar for a night with the amount of alcohol we had.

The Jack and Cokes were flowing, and John and I were lucky enough to have caring wives who went down to the Sports Deli to get a French bread pizza. This thing is massive. For $8.99, it may be the best deal not only at the Peppermill, but in the entire United States. Maybe I'm exaggerating- maybe not.

Eventually, it was time to head to the Craps table. Brandon had never played, and I wonder if he's hooked now because that was a hell of a way to get introduced to the best game in the casino. We all left session 1 of Craps up hundreds of dollars. Since dinner was a 8:30, we wandered over to the Peppermill's fine Chinese restaurant, Chi, to fill up on General Chicken and Mongolian Beef.

Afterward, it was back to Craps, and the winning just kept on going. I'm going to give everyone some advice right now. Many people don't know or are intimidated to play Craps. Get over it. It's a great game. Furthermore, when playing, think about the odds. When I first learned the game, I would be happy when the button was laid on 6 or 8 because those are the numbers that are most likely to come next (besides the evil 7, of course.) Now, I'm less excited about 6 or 8, because in order to get full value on your odds, you have to back up your $5 pass line bet with $25. Seems a bit rich. However, if it's on 4 or 10, you are only allowed to back it up with $15, and multiplier is such that you win more money while risking less. I know it all evens out in the end based on laws of probability, but at least it is worth thinking about.

Many times I would straight up buy the 6 if the button was on the 8. DO NOT DO THIS. You actually have to hit the number you bought at least twice before you make any profit. A better strategy, you ask?

Play the Come line. It is a game within the game. It's like playing the Pass line multiple times. Obviously, if the table is cold, you lose money much faster, but if the anyone is rolling for an extended period of time, you are more likely to hit points and win with odds included.

I'm done boring you with gambling strategy, if you're interested further, then email me or comment. Otherwise, just know that the table was a lot of fun, we were drunk, and everyone won lots of money.

[Unfortunately, I did end up throwing up at 5am. It was quick, and relatively painless- and I felt better the next morning.]

The best part of waking up at the Peppermill is that you get to go to their signature Coffee Shop. It's basically a Denny's with larger portions and the ability to play Keno. The Huevos Rancheros did me right, and I was ready to place some sports bets.

The Peppermill gives members a coupon book that is very useful throughout any trip up. One thing they do is offer to match $10 of any sports parlay wager. John and I were bored (apparently) so we decided to bet on Spring Training games. He took the A's, Giants, D'Backs and Cubs, and I made the same bet just without the A's. Of course, all the teams won except for the Cubs who lost to the damn Cleveland Indians. To be fair, Fausto Carmona is tearing it up in Spring, and I have picked him up on my Fantasy Team because of it. He's looking like the 2007 version of himself, which could end up being very helpful. Main point- of course the Cubs are the reason we didn't win an easy $110. So stupid.

We also placed an NBA parlay. Going with all road teams that were favorites:

Raptors -4.5 over the T'Wolves

Heat -6 over the Nets

Grizzlies -2.5 over the Kings

The funny thing about sports betting, it makes boring/meaningless games turn into Game 7 playoff experiences. We watched all of the Heat and Raptor games. The Heat game was closer than I wanted it, but they eventually took care of business and won by 10.

The Raptors were livin' on the edge like Aerosmith. They let the Wolves get within 4. The Wolves had the ball and missed a shot. The rebound went to the Raptors and with 2 seconds and change left, someone on the Wolves fouled the guy with the ball. No idea why he did that- and I don't care. Two made free throws later, the Raptors won by 6. Hell yeah.

The Grizzlies were a bit scary as they got down 48 - 32 during the first half, and yet by halftime it was 49-46. We went to eat at Bimini Steakhouse so we were unable to watch the remainder of the game. That didn't stop me from obsessively checking my phone. The Grizzlies easily covered and that is the story of how we turned $10 into $70. Not the best odds because we picked all favorites, but we'll take it.

Last story, we went to the Craps table again, and witnessed the biggest trainwreck of a woman ever. She had a blond mullet. She was chainsmoking. She was dropping her Player's Card, lighter, chips, and cigarettes all over the place. She was tipping the dealers over the amount she'd win on a bet. In fact, I'm pretty sure that was the reason they allowed her to keep playing. After awhile we gave up. Our magic from the previous night was not happening (I was up for the session, but only by $50 or so.) The lady was bothering everyone at the table, so it was time to leave.

Lady, please don't ask if anyone minds if you smoke, then get offended when someone (not any of us) says that they mind. It's a casino, you're allowed to smoke. If you're asking the table if they mind and giving other people the option, someone might speak up. It's stupid, and you're stupid.

I left out my terrible cold decked session of Poker, but overall, including food, room, gambling, etc. I finished the weekend up $210. Not bad, eh? I basically got paid to go to Reno. Fantastic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peppermill Weekend

I won't make this post a marathon trilogy of posts for this weekend- and mostly it's because there were gambling losses and I'm not big on talking about losing.

Our group arrived at about 5 or 6pm on Friday, checked into our suite in the Tuscany Tower, prepared our makeshift bar, changed clothes and began drinking. After a nice little buzz, Mrs. B., Katrina, John, and myself went to Biscotti's for some dinner. I always get their stir fry because it is frickin' delicious. Eventually, John and I made it over to the Craps table and for Friday night, the table was HOT. John bet bigger than I did, and that night pretty much set up his weekend. I was up, but not an insummountable amount.

After getting some breakfast the next morning, Mrs. B. and crew had spa appointments, and I went to the Poker Room to play some 1-2 No Limit Hold 'Em. I was up and down for 5 hours, and I learned that 5 hours is the maximum amount of time I can ignore stupid people at the table. Between the 9 fingered veteran complaining about Obama or the woman wearing a holiday reindeer sweater that kept talking about what a great poker player she was (she wasn't), and me getting cold cards, I ended up losing a bit of money right at the end of my session (only about $75, but I wasn't pleased.)

Dinner at CHI was great. Our group got the $24 a person dinner deal which allowed all of us to get a family style Chinese dish each, which we all split giving us a variety of 6 dishes each (we had seven people, but they allowed us to get one fewer because the portions are huge.)

After more drinks it was back to Craps. Winning the first night is great- but it can also be a curse. The tables were cold, so I eventually went back to the Poker Room. After playing patiently for awhile, I picked up pocket 10s and raised. 4 people called. The flop came Jack, 10, 3 of diamonds. Fearing the Flush Draw I made a pot sized bet of $35. It folded around and got to the guy to my right. He made some comment like "Let's gamble" and put himself all-in for $38. I called the $3, and was dismayed to see he had Ace-5 of diamonds. Save the speeches when you have the nut-hand, asshole.

To make matters worse, the next two cards were the 2 and 4 of diamonds. Yep, I got beat by a straight flush. And had I actually been able to magically go back in time and somehow get that original Jack of diamonds to become the 10 of hearts, I would have lost straight flush to four of a kind. This would have netted me the bad beat jackpot of $12,000. Unfortunately, I am not Biff Tannen and I cannot steal the Delorian to go back in time. I believe I ended up down $50 for this session.

I went back to the room where the group continued drinking and listening to alternative rock from the 90s. It was awesome. What was not awesome was me, the next day, betting on the Raiders (I hate JaMarcus Russel) and NY Giants (those turnovers were soooo costly.) I'm lucky the Peppermill enjoys comping us rooms, otherwise this would have been a really bad financial weekend.

I must say, overall, it was a great time. I just hate losing. Case in point, I made it back onto Full Tilt last night and won two sit and go tournaments before going to bed last night. That helped me sleep easier, I suppose.

In the end, the Peppermill is still a magical place and we all had a lot of fun. Hell, John even put a $100 bet on the way out on the Monday night game for the Niners to cover and he took the under- BAM! I wish I would've followed him on that one. Until the next trip...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Weekend Trip To Tahoe

Sorry folks, I know the blog has been dead for over a day, but I'm freakin' tired! As it turns out, despite my rising age and awesome future marital status (three more months?!) my fiance and I still party pretty hard- and this is ultimately tiring. After getting a bit older, the biggest difference I've noticed is that my body can't recover from staying up late and/or drinking as fast as it used to. None the less, I had a great birthday weekend (don't worry, there is no trilogy of blogs this week):

We arrived at 6:30ish to Harvey's in South Lake Tahoe. We've never been up there together, and I don't remember the last time I actually stayed in a casino in SLT. Admittedly, we've gotten pretty comfortable with going up to the Peppermill in Reno, so it took some adjusting to get comfortable at Harvey's. The room was a good start, as it had a solid king bed, plasma TV, and multiple room bathroom.

After getting ready, we decided to eat at the awesome buffet on the 18th floor of Harrah's. We got a window seat that overlooks like lake and the mountains- a most excellent view (I sounded like Bill & Ted there for a second!) I'm not a huge fan of buffets (or Jimmy Buffet for that matter) these days, but this one is the best I've been to. There's nothing quite like getting grilled chicken, ham, filet mignon, chow mein, and a piece of pizza on one plate. The dessert area had Reese's Pieces as a topping for the frozen yogurt- how underrated of a candy are those?! I don't know what happened to them, but I feel like there are way more M&M's around, and yet, Reese's Pieces are far superior.

After dinner, it was on. We headed to the gambling area of Harvey's and I posted a Craps table. Future Mrs. B. tried to watch, but an old guy placed himself at the position next to me, and then promptly began crop dusting the area with his farts. I let the roller finish up and I walked away up $12, but down an awful sensation in my nostrils.

I found my lovely Bride-To-Be at a Roulette table so I joined in. I was up about $40 when I started betting on the 2 to 1 box on the vertical string of numbers all the way to the right. For a 33% bet, it sure wasn't coming up 1 out of every 3 times. down to my last $20 (out of $120) I went with the same box. I think 3 or 6 came up, so this put me back on the come back trail. I decided to take a few rounds off by placing one chip ($2) on my old basketball number (24). The second time I did this- BAM- it hit! I've never hit exactly on a number in Roulette, and let me tell ya- it feels fantastic!

Despite that great win, the vibe in Harvey's was awful. It felt like everyone at the tables wanted to kill themselves because they were losing money. I talked FMB into a second round at the Craps table, except this time we went over to Harrah's (both Harvey's and Harrah's are owned by the same company, but the vibe in Harrah's was way better.) There was more excitement and positivety. Unfortunately, this did not lead to me winning, in fact, I ended up losing a bit of money at the Craps table. Then I did the unthinkable. I turned to the Devil's Game- Blackjack.

Earlier in the day, I took our cat, Cosmo, to the Vet because his eye was a goopy. We got some oinment for him, but during the check up we found out that a previously diagnosed heart murmur had become more pronounced (read as worse.) We were recommended to go see a kitty cardiologist and get a test to see in more detail what is going on (read as expensive.) Even though I have awesome insurance, and even though we do treat our cats like our kids, we obviously are not covered for cat problems. So we did what any responsible cat loving people would do... we made Cosmo our gamlbing mascot!

At the Blackjack table, we let everyone know that Cosmo was in need of a trip and that the dealer was going to help pay for it! During the excitement and drinking, it went from "Cosmo needs a trip to the cardiologist!" to "Cosmo needs a new heart!" The dealer informed us that he knew what it was like to love a pet, because he saved and adopted a wolf! How awesome would that be! A pet wolf! He at least would keep away annoying young girls in red sweatshirts (please feel free to groan at that one!)

Ultimately, I ended up losing at Blackjack, and went on to feel horrible. I probably could be paying for Cosmo's appointment instead of gambling the money away! Well, after a break for more drinks, we travelled back to play Craps. FMB decided to give it a try, so we both bought in with our remaining money- excellent decision. This table was hot, and being that it was a $10 minimum table, we were forced to win more money (as opposed to a $5 minimum table.) By the end of the session, we had both won all of our money back and then some! It pretty much saved the trip!

The next day was pretty much just relaxing and waiting to go to the Wilco concert- though I'd like to give a special shout-out to the Beach Hut Deli in Tahoe for providing me with the worst meal I've eaten in quite some time. I love the BHD in Sacramento, but the Tahoe location was out of multiple products (bread, sprouts, other stuff), some produce they served was awful (the avocado was stiff and disgusting), and their fountain drink machine was broken (even though they said the Lemonade and Gatorade were working, they were not.) Just horrible.

I'll review the Wilco concert separately- just please go listen to their music if you're unfamiliar. I'm going to keep driving this point home because it's worth making.

After the concert we went back for more Craps action. Here are the notable details from this round:

- We met another fun couple (yes, I'm insinuating that we're fun too!) who actually flew in from Colorado to see the Wilco show. They are also going to the show on Friday at Red Rocks- legit Wilco fans. Excellent company and very hot rollers!

- Even I was not comfortable with someone wearing a Cubs hat at the Craps table. In addition, the guy was wearing glasses and a long sleeve shirt... very Steve Bartman-esque. This scared me off of some extra bets that would have paid out fat! While he pretty much wore the opposite outfit ideal for a casino, this guy was a shooter. To his credit, he pressed damn near every bet during his roll, and at one point, bet $100 on the passline while backing it up with $400. He totally hit and the table went crazy! Three pit bosses had to come over to make sure there was no funny business going on at the table.

- A girl walked up and her first bet after the button was placed on 8 was "6 and 9." The guy next to me said, "Oh, dirty girl!" I had to laugh because I was thinking the exact same thing. It became even funnier when FMB made the exact same bet an hour later!

- The Blackjack dealer from the night before came in to sub for a dealer for a second, and the first thing he said was "Let's win money for Cosmo's heart!"

- My rolling left a lot to be desired. Don't tell people it is your birthday when you're rolling! Everyone thinks it is a sign of luck, when in fact, it has no influence on the dice! People will ultimately turn on you because they're probably betting more money based on perceived luck.

FMB and I were both up for the trip (probably $150 or $200 each), so overall it was a fantastic birthday. I had a great time, and now I can't wait for my bachelor party in August! Peppermill here we come!