I always have the strangest dreams in Vegas. It was about 9AM on Friday morning and my wife was screaming my name while pounding the walls. That had to be a dream. It was, most likely, a mental device used to conceal the pounding in my head. I had been asleep for less than 2 hours and I was still wearing socks.

So…

At 11:30 the blushing bride burst into the sbo room with what turned out to be a brand new room key. The old one stopped working at 9:00 and she needed another. Go figure! I was dreaming about her at exactly that same time.

I comb it for TV

The wife tells me there’s a poker tournament simmering in the Cabbage pot. With Bad (and Mrs.)Blood, Dr. Pauly, Maudie, and Drightksdv (sp?) already signed up, I figured I should grace the room. It was already 11:30 and the match began at 12:00. No time for a shower, but I did manage a fresh T-Shirt. I wanted to blend with the locals. I thought my hair style accomplished that. I call it ‘queer eye for the all night bender guy’.

If I remember right, which is a stretch, tourney buy-in was $50 with a rebuy at the same price. I took stock of my poker skills and my layover buzz and payed $100 up front. From that point, the Plaza took charge. I drew seat 9 at table 2. But just before I took the chair the TD announced we’d go to 11 per table, and one gigantic turdburger (new player 11 by the way) demanded my chair. Fortunately, idiocy prevailed again. .

First the Tournament Director started the tourney clock for the first level of blinds.

Then, he allowed 6 more people to buy into the tournament.

Then, he created a 3rd table which I was moved to.

Then, 15 minutes into the 20 minute level, I actually played a hand.

Then, in level 3, I went upstairs for a nice Vegas shower. Not a euphamistic “Vegas Shower”, just an honest-to-goodness actual shower from a hot water nozzle conveniently placed about navel-high. My gut was filthy anyway.

OTIS AT 8 BOBBY AT 9..and WHO THE HELL IS RUSS?

Squeaky clean with another new shirt but I still wasn’t refreshed. My head was packed in styrofoam and tin cans distorted the sounds. Luckily the entire world agreed to move in extra slow motion and I was up to speed.

Before leaving for the Rio, I found a blackjack table near the lobby with an older asian dude playing 3 hands. Every time he won a hand he yelled “Eureka!” like he’d finally make rent. I sidled up and played 2 hands for $100 a piece. Each time we got a new dealer my new gambling buddy would go Elivs-flirt, and each time he got shot down. He actually refered to a beefy, balding woman as “Toots”.

-EV my ass!

But like all G-Rob gambling adventures, this one ended when the money ran out. It was time to find the Rio, and the WSOP. It was time to sweat the people I could glom onto for some sort of glory. Otis, Bobby and Russ were all still playing in Event #2 at 3PM. I wanted to catch the fever. Why not? I already had the other symptoms.

I rode over in a cab with the wife and the Bloods. We found Otis and Bobby seated like next door neighbors at a garage home game. Otis at table 8(ish) and Bobby nearby.

I also saw Spiderman, but he looked like shit. He left the mask at home.

I saw a dozen poker pros.

I saw a guy who said he saw James Woods.

I saw Phil Hellmuth. I’m taller than him.

I saw Bobby and Otis bust out of the game. Both made the proper plays and lost a race.

I still had no idea what Russ looked like. I was with him in spirit.

Please note, it was now 5PM, and I was stone cold sober.

The worm was about to turn.

SO WHY DO THEY CALL HIM “GREENWOOD PHIL”?

Yes, my wife asked that about a buddy of ours from home. He’s from Greenwood. His name is Phil. We aren’t creative.

Phil was there to play Event 2, but like so many others found he was too late to buy in. The entries were capped at 2,200. BadBlood and I, both jonesing for a gamble used Phil as a dummy. We signed up for a NL game, with Phil 4 names above ours. We let him play and then picked his brain. He said the tables were soft.

“EUREKA!”

It cost $450 per roundtrip ticket, plus another for each wife. We were thousands of miles from home. We had endured the worst hotel in the annals of history and turned out backs on dozens of long-distance friends. This is why we came.

At 7PM BadBlood and I continued our home game, side-by-side at the Rio.

Oh.

And I started drinking.

More tomorrow dear reader…..

I promise…tomorrow I’ll tell the story of taking the mic during a lounge act at the Excalibur to perfrom a Fleetwood Mac song I didn’t know.

Good Times.