November 29, 2009

The Vegas Debrief - Part 3 (Abridged)

Filed under: PolenPoker, Globetrotting Elititude, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 10:43 am

Well, I really want to write this, but we still have unpacking to do (the move is like ten blog posts by itself), and it’s really starting to be faint, so I’m going to summarize as best as I can. Jon, please chime in in the comments.

As Jon and I were leaving the Monte Carlo, I hear from Gary, a friend of mine from that job I did a few years ago that never went anywhere. He got us tickets to a comedy hypnosis show for later that night. Somehow, I had booked a New York evening in Las Vegas - three happenings in three locations on the strip, all sort of closely timed. There would be some hustling. . .

Jon and I headed over to the Gambler’s General Store - a quick drive - which was just amazing. Filled with a zillion decks of cards and a zillion poker books and bingo supplies and beautiful old slot machines and giant hold ‘em tables and dice and trinkets. . . Jon looked for some new decks of cards, and I just wandered around grinning at everything. They gave us some swag for free as we left, including a card cover which I’m still carrying around with me.

After a quick pit stop for food (more sandwiches, which unfortunately took a lot longer to make than they should have) we hit the Pinball Hall of Fame. If the General Store had me grinning, the Hall of Fame had me bouncing off the walls. Every single machine I ever loved to play was there. I could have spent hours there just playing Twilight Zone alone. But I had to make it to one friend’s little show before the hypnosis show, so my time there was super short. The only thing I played was this, the trippiest pinball machine I’ve ever seen.

Jon drove me to my next stop, Margaritaville, where my old friend Scott, who I probably hadn’t seen in twenty years, was in the show - dancing on stilts, and flirting with the Buffet Virgin, who takes a slide down the volcano into, what else, a giant margarita. Scott was great on the stilts and everyone really liked his character. It was great to see him, even if just for a few minutes. Scott has an awesome four page spread in Magic magazine - I picked up a copy on the way over to meet Gary.

Gary was splashing around at a poker table - just like old times! His lovely wife Nikki was home with their kid, so it was boys night out - we decided that he’d come back with me after the show and play at the Monte Carlo and teach me a thing or two. (Also just like old times!) As Gary and Nikki knew one of the comedian/hypnotizers, we got comp tickets to the show, the Naughty Boys Comedy Hypnosis show. We got drinks, got warmed up by the opening act, a funny sardonic magician named Josh, and then, the hypnosis. Gary tried to get me to go up there, but being really tired and not wanting to be fucked with, I politely declined. Gary’s subterfuge backfired, as he got brought up on stage instead, but he was soon released as it was obvious he wasn’t going to go under. Out of ten people, eight went into a trance, as well as a few people from the audience as well. The show was very funny and very raunchy.

We headed back to the Monte Carlo, where eventually I was to meet one more friend, Jeff, who was working a concert that night (he is a fantastic lighting designer/technical advisor). Gary and I sat down at a poker table together, where he proceeded to get tanked and completely RULE the table - brilliantly reading people, getting under people’s skin just enough (although at one point maybe too much, as the dealer asked him to tone it back a little), and running like a god. I stayed out of his way, and waited until I could nail the drunk redneck at the table who had been razzing me for being from New York (lucky he didn’t find out I was Jewish and a metrosexual!), which I eventually did - catching a set and check raising him, then pushing when his flush draw didn’t hit on the turn. Jeff showed up super late, so we bullshitted for a little while while playing “50 draw video poker” which I found pretty fun. He had to head back to the venue at 2:00 am, I went back and splashed around a little more until the table broke when the redneck started throwing slurs around. Gary was up at least $300, and I was up maybe $20 or so, but I still hadn’t had a losing session, which to me was pretty amazing.

Sunday: My flight was at 2:00 pm, so we figured I should leave around 12:45 from the hotel, giving me time for one more session. The only hand of note, and perhaps the hand I played the worse, was when I called someone’s preflop reraise, flop bet, and turn all in with pocket jacks, because I just couldn’t be sure I wasn’t ahead. It turned out he had the other pair of jacks, so we split the pot. I left up another $30 or so, never having had a losing session. Some good play, but mostly sheer luck.

There was NO ONE at the airport - it was really weird - I breezed through the ticket line and security. I could have played for another half hour at least. :)

We’re hoping to go back to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday - a scant year and a half away. . . PSB will go to Burning Man and I will watch the rugrat, then we’ll all meet in Vegas, hopefully with my parents and a brother or two and any other friends who might want to make it, and PSB will keep the kid while I drown myself in debauchery. . . until then, Sin City.

November 13, 2009

The Vegas Debrief - Part 1

Filed under: PolenPoker, Globetrotting Elititude — Twin C @ 1:09 pm

As I am sometimes bad at posting trip reports (unlike the other Polenbergs, who rarely post anything, but that’s another story), I wanted to give a write up of last weekend. In a word: AWESOME!!!!! Jonny Z, I’m going to rely on you to fill in details that I will no doubt be forgetting about. . .

Friday - my flight was at 9:00 am and I figured I should wake up around 6:30 and get a car at 7:00 to make sure I made it in time (I’ve missed a few flights in my day, and it’s never any fun). Unfortunately, I forgot that I was going to be texted at some point in the middle of the night with my hotel room number, and that text came in at 3:30 am at full volume. I managed to wake up and turn off the alerts without waking PSB up, but I never really fell back asleep. Not the best way to start a trip that was already guaranteed to be sleep depriving! I made it to the airport in plenty of time, of course. I wanted to get a coffee or breakfast or something but the line to the coffee place (not a Starbucks, even) was obscenely long. I watched someone play poker on his laptop and waited for my flight to board.

I was on a Virgin America flight, which turned out to be really great. They have the video screen like Jet Blue, but give you more options. The TV wasn’t quite as good, but you could play games, listen to music (including creating a set list from about 200 different albums), or buy movies. I ended up buying Wolverine, which was pretty good. The food selection was a little sparse, but I made due.

We touched down a little late, and I didn’t manage to sleep much, so I wasn’t feeling great. I bought a huge coffee and got on the cab line, which looked huge but actually moved pretty quickly, and got myself over to the Monte Carlo, where Jon Z and his friend James were waiting for me. Lunch had been ordered - sandwiches from Capriotti’s - and although I thought I should have been hungry, having only had a snack on the airplane, I didn’t want to eat my sandwich. So we sat down in the poker room and played my first session of 1/2 no limit hold em. There was only one table going (a few of 2/4 limit, which I’d rather poke my eyes out than play), but the action seemed pretty good. I was pretty out of it and didn’t want to have to make tough decisions, so I played very conservatively, a little tighter than usual. (I checked with Jon about how to play against each other, and was told we were to try not to bump heads whenever possible.) Jon took a hit - he flopped a straight, but the turn paired the board, and he couldn’t get away from an all in from someone who had a full house. I won a bunch of small pots - people were folding when I was bluffing, and calling when I had a good hand - pretty convenient! I finally got up, up a hundred or so?, when I felt like I needed to eat and take a nap.

I went up to the room to eat my sandwich - the Bobbie - turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. When I first opened it I thought there was no way I was going to eat the whole thing, but after one bite I knew it was done for. I DEMOLISHED it. It was incredibly delicious! I then wanted to nap, but I realized that was going to be impossible. In order to stay awake at the table I kept alternating between Pepsi and water, and my heart was racing. So I just watched television and tried to relax. (The rooms at the Monte Carlo were okay, except that their television reception was really crappy for the most part. Tons of snow - weird for cable!) I gave up after a few hours and headed back downstairs.

I sat down for another session and stuck to my pattern of staying pretty tight and not messing around too much, and again, it seemed to work for me. After a few more Pepsis I switched to whiskey and ginger ale to start to try and get sleepy, and eventually it worked. Without playing any massive pots and without messing around too much, I was up another two hundred or so! I went up to bed at midnight, while Jon and James stayed at the table to try and pry more money out of the donkeys and the fish. . .

March 11, 2009

PSB’s new boyfriend

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude, HA! — Twin C @ 12:58 pm

He’s so cute!  No, that’s not his. . . oh never mind.

February 23, 2009

PSB is in Australia. . .

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude — Twin C @ 12:01 pm

A quick (and cute update) - PSB landed in Sydney a few days ago. She got some crazy international cell phone there, and she’s been calling give me updates. She loves the city and did a bunch of sightseeing yesterday, and she got to go to a wildlife preserve and PET A KOALA!!!! I will admit that I am very jealous. No offense, Hamilton. I wouldn’t trade you for a koala, but I would like to pet one.

January 15, 2009

Safe Travels Twin A!!!

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 11:15 am

A is off to Ireland to work on an installation - I believe it is the Blinky Dome, yes?

Our friend JC (not to be confused with JCS) is going with.

Have a great trip! Good luck with the installation! Drink some Bailey’s for me!

October 5, 2008

So, yeah, about that time we went to Turkey. . .

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 11:08 am

Remember how PSB and I were in Turkey for two weeks back in July/August? And I haven’t posted the second half of the pictures from the trip yet?

Here they are!!!

Turkey 2008 part 2

August 4, 2008

The Highlight of the Trip. Hands Down.

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude — Twin C @ 1:25 pm

Today PSB and I were wandering around Topkapi Palace, where the Sultans and their wives and concubines and eunichs and lots of other people lived. There were many exhibit halls featuring ancient cookware, weaponry, treasures, and religious artifacts. We walked past them all, giving everything cursory glances, until we found ourselves in front of. . .

the Rod of Moses.

No shit.

We were not allowed to take pictures in that room, which also featured some bones from John the Baptist and Mohammed’s footprint, but we basked in the glory of its gnarled woodiness for as long as we could. We also elbowed each other in the ribs a few times for good measure.

Home soon!

UPDATE: some people sneakier than I have taken illegal shots in the past - here’s one.

July 30, 2008

Turkey is AWESOME.

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude — Twin C @ 11:57 am

So much to tell you, and there’s a line for this computer. I think the little girl waiting for it just wants to chat with her friends though.

We were nowhere near Istanbul when the bombing occurred, and apparently it was in the suburbs, so we most likely would not have been effected.

Full posts next week and the week after.

Hope everyone is well!

July 17, 2008

Next to Spruce Ball nothing beats Idiot Scrabble.

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude — Twin B @ 10:41 am

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July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Filed under: Globetrotting Elititude, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 8:28 am

Signing off.

Back in a week and a day, or so.

Twin D, hold down the fort.

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