Sorry for the delay in the final installment of mine and Seymour’s mega trip from our home in Ecuador. Trip was eventful and life worked me over before I realized I never posted the final chapter.
February 8(Day 9)
Seymour mostly takes a day off today. Every time either my wife or I end up in the States we come with an extended shopping list for things we just can’t get in Ecuador. I hit Walmart and several stores. The good news is I am able to stay away from putting it on my credit cards, since I have such a nice load of poker winnings to use.
Funny moment when I pull up to the front of Excalibur and ask a bell person to help me with the Walmart bags. All the people waiting at taxis are staring at me like I am crazy. I know they are thinking “Who on God’s green Earth goes to Las Vegas to shop at Walmart?” Me! Of course, the Las Vegas Convention Authority has its statistics that the number one reason people come to Las Vegas is because of the…. Shopping! Can’t see that but shopping does rate high in my book, even if it is Walmart.
Had a late lunch at Outback Steakhouse, and then started wandering the strip. I decided to hop into Aria and do a quickie at the poker room. Bad idea, as Seymour was resting at the room, so it was only donkey me against the poker gods.
Aria is a beautiful room with wonderfully comfortable chairs. It is similar to Venetian in many ways. I checked at the podium and they were just starting a new table, although it took about 30 minutes to start the table. Looks like they are still working out the kinks a bit. They also went over a long list of rules, some of which were not great for Seymour, so it was good he wasn’t there. Game finally got started and didn’t play a hand for a while. Then I looked down at 79off and made a donkey limp from MP. Cutoff raised to $10, two callers including myself. Flop is T68. BINGO! Check, I check expecting PFR to Cbet. He Best $25. Other player folds and I repop to $50. PFR thinks then moves AI. I insta-call. Turn is another Ten and my stomach lurches. My opponent rolls over TT for turned quads and my $300 buy-in is toast.
I almost rebuy, but I think again. I can feel myself going tilty, and I had only wanted a quick hit-and-run since I had other things to do, so I make a solid decision and leave, the only poker of the day, a one hand massacre.
I had a meeting shortly after that then spent some time wandering about the strip. Feeling pokered-out and tired I went back to my room and worked on unbagging and packing my new purchases.
Total Day -$300
Total Trip +$3149
February 9 (Day 10)
My final full day started with transferring from Excalibur to Harrahs. I had depleted my comps for the MGM properties and had some at Harrahs to use, plus I always like to split my stays and play between the two systems to keep my future options open.
Seymour is out again and we started by heading downstairs to the Harrahs poker room. This was a big difference from our nighttime adventures of Report #3 as this was a complete rock garden. Didn’t get many cards but when we did our opening raises won only the blinds. Three hours later we were down $60 and decided to try new pastures.
Next stop was the Venetian and our negative mojo there continued. The worst part was that I simply played horrible. Played too loose, stayed in with draws when the odds didn’t make sense. Made a couple of ill-timed plays at pots. No real hands stick out; I was just playing like a clueless tourist. I cashed out after two hours down about $200.
Scary Woman #1
Middle-aged fat guy alone in Vegas is apt to get attention, sometimes from the weird and desperate. For dinner I went to the Buffet at Harrah’s and use up some comps. As I was waiting in line to be seated a middle-aged woman standing next to me started chatting with me and mentioned it was her birthday. At that point the seater came up and asked if we were “two?” To my astonishment the woman said yes. Seeing my surprise she asked if I didn’t mind sitting with her, so I sheepishly said of course not.
Dinner conversation arranged around how she is trying to get back to Ohio because she had been working at Walmart but was now only part time and her utilities were cutoff and she was going to be evicted in a couple of days and she didn’t know how she would pay for the babysitter for her kid because she was out having her birthday dinner all alone.
At this point I asked where the nearest bathroom was. She pointed it out and asked “Are you coming back?” I say of course. I got up and walked out of the Buffett and hid in my room for two hours.
With evening far advanced I decided to creep out of my room and give the Harrahs poker room one more chance. Bad idea. Seymour’s mojo was gone, I continued to play like an idiot and saw my stack flow away. I finally cashed out what chips remained and decided to get ready for my trip home.
Problem: I was carrying a largish stack of 100s from my winnings and I had to get rid of them. One of the great things about living in Ecuador is it uses the American dollar as its currency, so I didn’t have to worry about exchange, but it is impossible to find places that will take a $100. In fact, even $20 can be hard to use. $1 and $5 is best. So what to do? I decide to give the bill breaker machines down in the Harrahs lobby a try. Mistake. Fat gringo trying to break 100s takes forever, especially when you have almost $3000 of them. Plus the cash in$1s and $5s and $10s and $20s became an inconvenient brick. I felt like I needed two security guards to escort me to my room. Heh, heh.
Total Day -$448
Total Trip +$2701
Scary Woman #2
I woke up early for my idiotically early flight, then headed to the Harrahs coffee shop for breakfast. I was seated directly next to a pair of late 20s women who had obviously just come to the breakfast end of an all night session in the casino. One dear child was chattering on a little monologue that went something like this:
“Well, like, it really doesn’t, like’ it’s not that kind of thing. Like, really, like he’s nice, but, like, I’m not, like sure I want to get, like, involved, with like, another guy, like right now. Like Tom, you know Tom, right? Like, he was great, like I met him, like when he was living with Lisa, like, but he was, like finished, like they lived, like, together, like but there wasn’t like, anything, like, there, anymore. I, like hooked up with him, like three or four times, like, when he was still living with her. Like, well, like we had sex, and like it was, like a really good thing, like, but it wasn’t like, vulgar or anything, like, because they were only, like living together, and I wasn’t like some, like brainless babe, like I was 21….”
Vegas can leave you with sometimes leave you with some lasting memories. I fear the memory of that monologue will stay with me like the feeling of a root canal for far too long.
In the end I was of, a couple thousand richer and my luggage well stocked with items to keep us all going in Ecuador. My wife and I will probably come together at the start of July for another stay, although sadly the poker will probably take a back seat next time. But I’m sure Seymour will still find some way to make the adventures memorable.