When we finally arrived back at a casino, everyone was in agreement we should find a Pai-gow table and play cards until dinner. Having a group of 6 is best….There are 6 spots on a table….it’s just like poker night at a friends house…only with a real dealer, no snacks, and significantly more cash loss.
But the drinks are “free” right?
My gambling mojo wasn’t working this trip (nor the last trip, nor the one before that but who‘s counting.) While I was fortunate enough to live long enough to keep playing….I never won any money. Only the Pai-Gow Savant won money at any table…and it’s probably because he was paying more attention to his cards then cracking jokes at Gimpy T’s expense like the rest of us.
To give you an idea of how badly the cards were going for me I was playing Texas Hold ’Em….not the poker game you see on TV, but the table game….which works basically like this.
You place two $5 bets…an ante, and a bet. (I’m not sure why, nor do I care…I just know it’s $10 to start with) You place another amount, usually $1 on a 3 of a kind of better bet…aka, sucker bet. This means, if you’re lucky enough to get 3 of a kind or better…you get paid a little bonus. The dealer lays out 5 cards, just like in TV hold ’em, then give you 2 cards.
You look at your two cards, and make a decision. If you LIKE them…you may place $15-$20 more on the ‘play’ portion of your bet. Then, if you win…you get paid a certain multiplier, depending on how good your hand is….you try to beat the dealer…and that’s how you win. If you don’t like your first two cards, you can pass…then the dealer flips over the first 3 cards….if your hand improves (which is certainly will to some degree) you can place $10 on the play…and wait to see what the dealer has. If you don’t like your hand still…you can pass, then he flips over the remaining cards…and if you get a decent hand you can only place $5 on the play portion…and hope you win. You are only ever playing against the dealer.
The might be a tad confusing for some…but hopefully you get the idea.
Anyway…on to my “luck” I was dealt a king and queen suited…which in any kind of hold ‘em isn’t too bad. I decided to bet 4 chips ($20) and take my chances. The first three cards were flipped over; ten, jack, ace…..ACE HIGH STRAIGHT! HECK YEAH! That pays 4x your bet…so I’m pretty excited, if I win…which SHOULD happen…I would win about $100...not a lot, but certainly enough to make me smile at that point in the night. I whooped and hollered like I won the lotto…people were high fivin’ me, life was peachy…then the dealer flipped the next two cards king, and a six…..then finally he flopped his two cards over…with a queen and a seven…which meant he ALSO had a straight…and I pushed…winning me a 4 dollar bonus bet…
Next hand…I had a king and a seven…and still in a grumble from the last hand, I bet 3 chips with just those cards. The dealer flipped over 2 kings and a seven. WHOA! Redemption!…FULL HOUSE!…this would have also paid me about $100.…not too bad, and I would have been a little less peeved about the previous hand. Well…guess what…when it was all done the Dealer had the ONLY other king in the deck, and a seven too…PUSH. Winning on that hand…$7 side bet.
SO what should have paid me $200 paid me $12...and…forced me to play longer, instead of quitting like I planned, had I won with the full house.
The cards weren’t very good to any of us…and when we got bored with the cards, we did the next best thing. Mess with Gimpy T. For some reason, his cell phone is ALWAYS out…and we ALWAYS steal it…then use it for less than aesthetic photography. I’ll let you just imagine what that might be. We’ve done it a few times to him…and he doesn’t learn…he left his cell phone out on the table…and wouldn’t you know it, it disappeared for the rest of the night. The rest of the time we played cards, he never knew it was missing…
Eventually, after trying some black jack, and other games we all ended up back at a Pai-Gow table…because the money was leaving us less quickly there than anywhere else. I was getting up at 3:45am…so I had stopped drinking anything with any type of kick long ago…the guys were still on Gin drinks..while I moved on to Bailey’s and coffee…and B52’s (another coffee drink).
(side note: coffee drinks are NOT good ideas if you plan on getting any type of sleep at all….but I‘m dumb….so I drank them anyway.)
When one of my drinks arrived I noticed something peculiar about it…there was a bright green spot in it. What the heck? I fished in the drink and pulled out a bright yellow and green pill.
“WHAT IN THE %)@#* IS THIS?!?!? SOMEONE SLIPPED ME A ROOFIE?!? THERE’S A PILL IN MY DRINK!!!!” I was kind of laughing, but I was kind of mad too. For all I know, there’s a bar keep in the back who needs uppers in order to work the late shift…and one of his pills fell out of his pocket into my drink…
I call the pit boss over…show him the pill….he looks a little shocked, and throws it away.
I’m just about to start demanding our rooms get comped, free steak dinners, and maybe while they’re at it…my losses for the evening….when I notice Gimpy T is laughing.
“I put it in there….don’t flip….It’s horny goat weed….we bought it at the mini-mart.”
“You put something called horny goat weed in my drink?!?”
This is why I don’t feel bad for making fun of him….thank goodness the pill never dissolved…who knows what it’d have done to me.
When everyone had finally been beaten down and lost their will to care about gambling…we went for food.
If you know Reno…you KNOW where you go to eat at 11:30 at night.
The Nugget Diner is a horrible place, with cheap food in large quantities. There are always very interesting characters lining the bar at all hours…and the later it gets, the fewer teeth they have. I recommend the ‘Awful-Awful’ which is a very large hamburger and fries that will give you night terrors while you sleep…but it’s only $6, so mostly, it’s worth it.
The minute we sat down, some freak street character guy began to make passes at J….because remember he had on a shiny tight shirt, and white pinstriped slacks…and looked pretty nice.
“I don’t want any man…” J kept saying…”I’m just dressed this way because THEY made me wear it….I don‘t swing that way…sorry…..no SORRY bro….hey, I don‘ want any.”
Turns out Gimpy T paid the guy $10 to be obscene and hit on him for awhile…
When we all had our food….Gimpy finally realized his phone was missing…and he KNEW what that meant…so he spent less time enjoying his food, and more time trying to intimidate someone in to giving it back, or telling him where it was.
Nobody budged….and eventually we all went back to the hotel. I actually went to try and sleep…because I had about 3 hours until my alarm was going off….The rest of the guys went to hang out more.
Due to the extreme amounts of coffee in my system…I wasn’t able to sleep…but merely lay there…and watch numbers change on the clock.
At 1:40am Pecos came back to the room…followed by Gimpy T…who threatened to poop on my bed if I didn’t give him his phone back. Somehow the phone ended up in my bed…so I grabbed it and threw it in the hall way…then proceeded to escape back to my room…my friends are so nice.
Pecos is a horrible snorer. I hate sharing a room with him…I’ve hated it since we were in 3rd grade. It’s like sleeping with the undead. I’ve hit him with everything you can possibly throw at someone…and it never works. I was HOPING to be asleep before he came back…but I failed…and was forced to listen to him struggle for breath until the alarm went off at 3:45.
Hooray for no sleep.
I really thought about just sleeping…and forgetting the photography…but I’m not able to do that…I really try to make every outing productive in some way…no matter how exhausted I am.
I arrived in Tahoe and it was still dark…which was good…the last time I was there, I missed the great light by about 30 minutes….so the fact it was still dark made me happy. I drove back and forth up the road looking for some place with interesting rock features…eventually landing at the one in the previous picture.
When I got there someone was photographing already…with a small point and shoot, and started talking to me.
“Yeah…left the D300 at home today. Today is AWFUL! Horrible day for photography! I photograph the sunset around here every morning (yes, I realize I wrote sunSET…that’s what he said) Man…the D300 changed my f’n world!….51 points of focus it has…51!. I can’t believe how crappy this is….smoke everywhere still. SUCKS!”
“I kind of like the light actually…”
“oh….you sell anything?” he says….clicking away.
“Just on the internet? My Myspace page is getting quite a few hits….”
“oh…..cool.” I said unloading my tripod, and wading out into the lake.
“Hey why you getting in the lake?”
“To take photos….and remove the foreground distractions…”
“Oh….” and with that he just left me alone…and happily clicked away.
When I was done with the lake…I decided to head up to Eagle Falls. I knew it wouldn’t be flowing great, but I was close…and REALLY wanted to see it. The light was nice, and I was glad I did. The whole area looks awesome for hiking, but I was way too tired to try anything. I just took a few shots, waded around in the falls…and went back to the hotel to try and grab a few hours of sleep before driving home (to move)
When I got back, Pecos was awake….the ‘awful-awful, and gin combination from the night before hadn’t set well with him…and he was battling major heart burn.
“Serves you right….you snored too much….now you’ll be awake and I can sleep.”
After a 3 hour nap, we met again with the others at the same restaurant we had gone to the previous day…and picked right back up making fun of Gimpy T. I felt a little bad for him…
“Hey Hey Hey…..at least he doesn’t look like he works at Red Robin anymore….”
It’s really too bad I have to wait a whole year to make fun of him again…