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Old 02-24-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
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Musings of Madness TL;DR

This blog will contain a detailed, uninhibited and brutally honest picture of my life as a professional poker player, both past and present. "Oh wow, not another one." Right? Well I think my story may have something to offer, a cautionary tale for some, inspiration for others and most assuredly entertainment for all. I think it may help me as well, putting things into perspective.

I am an extremely mentally ill, alcoholic, impulsive professional poker player. I have suffered my whole life from chronic depression, which started around puberty, it has been the ghost on my shoulders, weighing me down eternally. I have also been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (who hasn't?) from my time overseas in Afghanistan, fighting in one of the most volatile regions in the world, the Kunar Province. I have horrible anxiety, almost every symptom of borderline personality disorder and I have a brain injury that causes me to stutter horribly at times.

Poor me, right? Wrong. I have been gifted with an above average intelligence, strong (yet swingy) emotions and a powerful heart. Those who know me wouldn't hesitate to say I don't have a bad bone in my body. I am a very kind soul. With the exception of my time overseas I have never hurt a person intentionally in my life.

I have had extreme highs and lows during the past four years of playing professionally. From being literally homeless (albeit kind of by choice) to playing some of the highest stakes in Vegas, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas and Biloxi.


These are my stories. This is my life.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

The best of days, the worst of days

It's the middle of February, 2014. I have just had my best session of live cash ever (in terms of BBs won, not total profit). I had just booked a 540bb winner. I was high. I was literally high. I had been popping lortabs throughout the session.

As I was about to begin racking up, a friend asked me if I wanted to get a picture taken with my stack. Sure. Sounds like a pretentious thing to do, but **** the haters, I don't care. I see a reg at the table next to me pointing and laughing as I position myself behind this gigantic stack of red plastic I had amassed throughout the night. I don't care. I hold up the 9 bills above the stack, as if I am holding up the winning cards of a donkament I just binked. The picture still makes me smile.

It is important to have reminders of success in life. This picture, for me, will be as eternal as a WPT title is to someone else. A reminder of a night when I absolutely crushed. The last best session I ever had, that I can remember, was a 300ishbb winner in a 2-5 plo/nlhe mix in an underground game in Atlanta. This night blew it out of the water.

With someone like me, an old saying epitomizes the battle I constantly put myself through.

The bigger the rise, the harder the fall.

Jimmy F*in Tran

Tilt has always been a major issue for me. It is kind of a funny thing. You get upset over a misfortune, which costs you money and so you alter your mindset which makes you highly conducive to losing more money. It is equivalent to going into a psychotic break. Reality becomes skewed and when you combine tilt with alcohol, as I frequently do, it is a recipe for disaster.

I have had epic meltdowns due to tilt. Back during my Pokerstars days I was sucked out on in a 10k pot at 25/50 and proceeded to bust my 24k roll in 6 hours with the help of Don Julio. When I lived in Biloxi, I took a bad beat, started drinking at the tables, blacked out and woke up in a car with four people I didn't know, a fifth of Jack in my lap and the New Orleans skyline in the windshield. What follows will be no different.

I had been playing 2/5 for 3 hours, chugging along, enjoying my table, up $700 when I saw a 5/10 game that looked like a lot of fun. I asked for a table change and bought in for the cap, $1500 mcdoubles. Who was sitting at my table? Well, besides the tight regs, none other than Jimmy Tran, a gentlemen who has amassed over 1.5 million in tournament earnings in his life.

This could be fun, I told myself.

After 30ish minutes of play, down $150 from doing very little, I pick up 56 UTG+2. Guy to my right limps, I join the party, as do 4 others, with Mr. Tran on the button. The Flop comes down Q47. Very nice flop for my hand. Extremely tight reg to my right leads out for $30, I elect to call. Folded around to Mr. Tran and he raises to 100ish. Tight ass to my right folds and I quickly call. Gin comes on the turn as the sexy 8: falls. Time to get paid. I quickly check and Mr. Tran bets $280. I take a minute to savor the moment before looking at the dealer and saying $670. Some confusion ensues as the dealer didn't understand and I calmly say "I raise to $670." Now, Jimmy is no fool, he knows I am repping the nuts or a diamond draw. I pray he thinks the latter. He stares me down, moving a stack forward three or four inches and back. He is trying to get a reaction out of me. I don't oblige and instead begin staring at my remaining $400. After a good 5 minutes, he calls. I have every intention of getting the money in on the river, no matter what. He just doesn't appear to be that strong. He has to just have a Q here. The river comes the 7. I check and Mr. Tran insta-shoves. I snap call and he tables the Q7. I stand up, exclaim "****" and throw my cards down into the muck. A 4 outer. Had I been outplayed there? Obviously.

I can feel my face turning red, I immediately grab my backpack and walk over to the video poker bar, where the great bartender Gib has dealt me great espressos in the past. I sit down and he asks me if I will be having the usual. No. Dirty martini, strong, please Mr. Gibb. I can see it in his eyes, I don't even have to look in a mirror to know what my face looks like. I look like a madman.

1 martini.

2 martini

4.....................

12 hours later

I feel horrible. I open my eyes and see my passenger seat. Good god, tell me I didn't drive. Please tell me I didn't drive. My head is throbbing. I had not had a drink in 8 months but I immediately knew I had drank an unbelievable amount of alcohol. I slowly turn my head up and see that I am in fact still in the parking garage of the casino. I feel a minute amount of relief.

I step out of my car and immediately begin processing things. WTF had I done now. I look in my car and find my backpack, pull out my chip/money satchel to find 1 $100 chip, 3 reds and 6 bills.

That can't be right. Where had 3k gone??? Come to find out I had been drinking like a fish, moved from a 2/5 table to a 5/10 table at some point in the late night, amassed a 4k+ stack and slowly lost it all back over the course of 7-8 hours.

Unbelievable?

No. Just another tilt episode in the books.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

first
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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2nd - thread has lots of potential. Thanks for sharing and your honesty.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

subbed and buckled in.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Subbed...

Inb4 movie rights acquired
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Excellent writing quality, looking forward to more.

Are you getting or planning to get help for any of the health issues?
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:50 PM   #8
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Just a quick note/corrections to initial post: The hand with Jimmy was a 3 outer, not a 4. I also apologize for some errors in syntax, I had just woken up when I wrote the post so the ole noggin wasn't fully fired up!

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Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
Excellent writing quality, looking forward to more.

Are you getting or planning to get help for any of the health issues?
Glad you enjoyed it Chop! =)

I have been on almost every anti-depressant available, nothing has provided quality results and Anti-anxiety meds became addictive (xanax, klonopin). Medical marijuana has been effective in treating my anxiety to a point. I have also been in and out of therapy my whole life, none of which was very effective.

I currently see a psychologist through the VA once a week but I can't honestly say that talking with him has helped me. We have done some cognitive behavior therapy and impulse control work, I don't notice a difference. Unfortunately, I think mental illness is a cancer, in most cases it is incurable. There is a ton of money made in "treating" mental illness, I have come to believe it is all a sham. The key is learning how to minimize the damage that someone who is mentally ill, like myself, inflicts upon themselves.

As far as my problems with alcohol, I have been in and out of AA for years, since I came back from Afghanistan. It is kind of a cult-ish organization, heavily influenced by conventional religion, something I am not a big fan of. Sitting around talking about all the drinking I have done didn't seem to help me not want to drink.

So, long story short, I am trying to help myself, but just can't seem to find the answer for me.

Last edited by MadMaxLV; 02-24-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:05 PM   #9
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So, long story short, I am trying to help myself, but just can't seem to find the answer for me.
Writing helps....

... Keep at it.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:52 AM   #10
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

The first part of this entry will be more of a synopsis of my current mental state, skip to the second part if you want to read about some pokerz, specifically what it is like to play against two very different regs. Enjoy!

Note for the future: I am not going to be discussing a lot/if any strategy here in my blog. I may add in a read here or there but I don't think it would be in my best interest to talk about my game in depth. Not that it's very deep to begin with, lol.

Looking in the Mirror

"I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments."-Jim Morrison

People say that you don't notice differences in your appearance because, well, you look at yourself everyday. Changes are slow and subtle. Well as I splashed water on my face after waking up this morning, I noticed a difference. The years of chain smoking had caught up with me, as my teeth tell me by their dark yellow color. Damn. The bags under my eyes are dark as storm clouds, a sign of the stress I have put myself through over the years. I turn myself sideways and look at my bulging gut, my swingy diet had caught up with me also, the Robertos Taco Shop nachos and Happy's Pizza BBQ had taken it's toll. Damn.

My diet flip flops between eating organic meats and vegetables, drinking kale shakes and natural juices to binge ordering $40 worth of takeout greasiness, everyday, for weeks at a time. Quite a parallel to my drinking habits, actually, I do well for a long time then just say "F it." Binge personality, I guess?

Discipline. It is key in life, especially the life that I live. I had dinner with some very nice people the other night, one being a newly crowned professional poker player. I told him at one point, "You have to be disciplined if you are going to play professionally, it is the key to everything." Coming from me it was laughable, I smiled pretty big when I said it because I knew I needed to heed my own advice.

Time for a change. As much of a sweetheart as I may be, if I keep up my lack of caring about my physical health/looks, my phenomenally beautifully girlfriend is going to pack her sh** and leave. I wouldn't blame her either. She has said before that it bothers her that she works out everyday, eats healthy, keeps her body looking good and I don't. I understand perfectly where she is coming from and if I don't shape up, things may not go much farther. She is a social worker btw, working with homeless addicts, see the irony here?

I splash more water on my face and look one more time in the mirror. Damn.

Tale of Two Regs

There was a discussion in LVL about the importance of treating tourists well, entertaining them at the table and being a consummate professional while playing. I have strong beliefs when it comes to this. I am (so I've been told) very entertaining at the table, I am very courteous and social with other players, whether they are a tourist or regular. How boring would it be to play at a table full of mopes, silent, headphones on, for 10+ hours? I wouldn't be able to do it. Not that I am chatty like a little schoolgirl every second of being at the table, but I like to get a good conversation going. Hell, if the table doesn't oblige, I talk to the dealers, they enjoy someone wanting to hear a little about their life.

The first reg I am going to talk about, I will call "Johnny." I have played with him a lot but never really talked to him. Why? Because he always has headphones, sunglasses and a hoodie on, he doesn't want to talk, obviously. Does that bother me? Not at all, to each it's own. The way he conducts himself at the table while in a hand is what perturbs me slightly. I have seen him berate other players for their "poor play", using phrases like "game theory", "ranges" and "VPIP". Yes I said VPIP in reference to a conversation in a live game... He just makes other players feel bad about themselves, it is a disgusting thing, my stomach is tossing right now just thinking about it.

Well, myself and Johnny had never really gotten involved before, I know his game, it used to be mine. The extremely tight, nit grinder game. No shame in that game, I grinded out 50-100bb winning sessions for years and supported myself. I have just recently opened my game up a lot to more of a LAGish style of play and seen my hourly grow each session. So Johnny and myself are in a 2/5 game when this hand occurs. I am utg+1 and look down at the 45, I love hands like this and immediately raise to my standard 15 mcdoubles. Folded around to Johnny, in the BB and he throws in the extra 10. Johnny is sitting on about $400 and I know he is stuck a buy in, while I am up around $1200. I figure he is looking to get unstuck and will call with a wide range of hands here, knowing that I will try to put him into a spot to play for his stack with a broad range of boards. The flop falls 267. Johnny checks and I throw out $50, he calls. 8 comes on the turn. Time to send Johnny packing. He leads out for $75. I snap throw in my stack of bills, which is kinda a ridiculous move I do a lot, as I threw in 9 bills when he barely has $300 left. Johnny grimaces and looks at me and says "I think I have to call here." "So you call?". "Not yet." "Okay Johnny, let me know when you do." He tanks and finally calls. I know he has a flush draw with the 9, there is no question about it. The river gives him his 1 card straight as the 5 falls. He jumps up into the air, yells "SHIP IT" and starts fist pumping. Mr. Murata, the other reg I will talk about, and I lock eyes. We don't even have to say anything, we are both thinking the same thing. I look up at Johnny and say "nice hand, well done." He looks down at me, looking like he just ran a marathon and says "thanks man, oh thank you." "Nice hand Johnny, I don't blame you at all for calling brother." To be honest he is a ******* idiot for taking that long to call. I wasn't mad at him. He obviously really needed that money and he didn't get it in bad, good on him. But, this guy is bad for poker. Do I need to explain why?

Now onto a gentleman of Turkish origin, whom we will call Mr. Murata. He is an absolute gentleman at the tables, sipping on his cognac and perrier, being kind to everyone at the table and making jokes. After Johnny got up and ran away (which was not too long after the aforementioned hand), me and Mr. Murata got involved. Every time Mr. Murata comes into a pot with me I chant "Murata, Murata, Murata," imitating the scene from gladiator. I enjoy playing with this man, we frequently trade chips and always give each other action. I am sitting with about an $800 stack while Mr. Murata has amassed a mountain, somewhere in the vicinity of 2.5k, which is not abnormal for him. He has been raising every pot for the last orbit. I am in early position and look down at KK. Knowing that Mr. Murata is going to raise with atc, I limp, he quickly raises to $50 and I say "Mr. Murata I am going to have to raise you here." I make it $125 and he uses my line "I'll join the party." Heads up we see a flop of 6K4. "I am going to have to check Mr. Murata." He checks behind. The A comes on the turn and I check again. Mr. Murata instantly says all in and I snap call. We table our hands and my top set has Mr. Murata's A5 drawing dead. I just took $800 of this man's money and he just gives me a smile, saying "nice hand." We continue to converse throughout the night and eventually each have 2k stacks, more chips than everyone at the table combined. We loosen up the table with our conversation and jokes, Mr. Murata is getting kind of hammered which always makes for a funny time and everyone enjoyed themselves. The dealers couldn't wait to get to our table as we were laughing and telling stories, having a grand time.

It was a good night for poker. Something young Johnny grinder may never experience.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Great start! Real and strong. Subbed.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Being Appreciative

I have done a couple things in my life to try to teach myself to appreciate the good fortune I have been graced with. Last year I took 3 months off from live poker and took an armed security job for a golf community here in Vegas. I had just had a huge upswing and blew half of my winnings for the month on frivolous things. Two 70 inch plasmas, $2500 worth of furniture and multiple other material possessions I really didn't need. My girlfriend was quick to point out that I didn't appreciate the money I was making. She was right. I had blown in one afternoon what could've supported a family for 3 months.

I needed to be reminded of what it was like to grind a 40 hour work week for a measly paycheck. I would continue to play online but I would take a break from live for a while. I would not start back with my live poker grind until January 1st 2014. I also started volunteering for a non-profit on the weekends that helps the mentally challenged gain employment.

It was actually a happy 3 months. I drove around in a patrol car, listened to podcasts and enjoyed being out in the Vegas night. It was peaceful, I did a lot of self-reflection during that time, it was a healthy choice. I did not touch my bankroll at all during these 3 months. I lived strictly off of my paychecks I was receiving. A measly $750 a week, an amount I could make in one hand at a poker table.

I wasn't fooling myself, I knew I would be back to the felts as soon as my 3 months was up.

My bout of homelessness had a similar aim, but we will save that story for another time.

Flashback at the Table

It was one of my first sessions back after my brief hiatus and I was fiercely motivated. I felt refreshed, alive. My passion for the game did not take very long to reemerge. I was back at the 2/5 tables, playing with some loud tourists watching sports, life was good.

A gentlemen to my left caught my eye, he looked familiar. Steve? Maybe. "Is your first name Steve, sir?" He smiled and shook his head. "Zolotow?." He shook his head again, "Yes it sure is!" I remembered seeing him on one of the old WSOP broadcasts, back when watching the WSOP was fun, like viewing a sitcom. It was full of characters, stories and fun hands, not the garbage it has become nowadays. I offered my hand for a shake and introduced myself, briefly chatting with him and asking how he had been doing. Very nice guy.

I had been treading water throughout the session when I looked down at the AA. It hit me like a wave. I will never forget it, I immediately thought back to the first time I picked up Aces. It was not in a cardroom here in Vegas but thousands of miles away, in the middle of another desert.

Flash

My first time ever playing Texas Hold Em was during my time overseas in Afghanistan. We would play little tournaments, cramped in our B-Huts, getting excited about the turn of every card, anything to keep our minds off the danger lurking outside that could strike at any moment. I had never played the game but had borrowed my SGT's copy of Super System at the beginning of deployment and read it cover to cover. The game fascinated me.

During the second tournament we played, about a month into deployment, while sitting on my duffel bag around the makeshift card table we had built out of ammo crates, I looked down at my first ever pair of Aces. I was excited. It was pretty obvious I had them as I raised half of my stack, everyone laughed as they folded and gave the old "that strong, huh?" I smiled. I had won a pot with Aces!

WHISTLE, BOOM.

Radio: "INCOMING, INCOMING, INCOMING."

****

Everyone's instincts/training kicked in and we ran to our respective areas to grab our individual body armors and gear. Our B-huts are made out of plywood. A direct hit from what sounded to be an 81mm mortar round would leave us decimated. As I was throwing my helmet on and grabbing my 249 I started to hear the guard towers opening up their 240 Bravos. So we are taking small arms fire also? As I exited the B-Hut and ran towards our bunkers by the gun line I heard it. An unmistakable swoosh. "INCOMING." I hit the ground as an RPG sailed over our heads and landed in the Afghan National Army compound attached to us. Then the unmistakable sound of small arms fire that was not American made started. I saw sparks on the hesco barriers as incoming rounds hit the metal grating. I took the safety off of my 249 and picked myself up.

From having a joyful poker moment to sheer terror, I guess everything balances out.

Flash

"Hey, sir."

"Sir."

I snap out of it and see everyone at the table looking at me. Huh? I look at the cards in front of me. Oh, right.

"20 mcdoubles everyone, join the fun." I say as I throw out 4 reds.

You cannot escape or deny it, life has a way of keeping things on an even keel.

Balance.

Last edited by MadMaxLV; 02-25-2014 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:20 PM   #13
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

I join forum so I could sub this thread chap, long time lurker in lvl, why you not post this in there?
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #14
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

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I join forum so I could sub this thread chap, long time lurker in lvl, why you not post this in there?
I meant to post it in there actually, but by accident put in here in HOB, I think it was a good mistake. The circus that would surround a thread like mine in LVL would be ridiculous. HOB gets like 10% of the viewers LVL does.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #15
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Good point. thanks for writing this.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #16
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Great stories and great writing man!! Keep it up!
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:19 AM   #17
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Great stories and great writing man!! Keep it up!
QFT
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:26 AM   #18
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

I'll be following closely!

Let's make it a point to both stay disciplined.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:16 AM   #19
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

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I'll be following closely!

Let's make it a point to both stay disciplined.


I could tell just by briefly talking to you that you that you are going to have no problems succeeding amused. Point made though, I am in on the discipline pact!
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:23 AM   #20
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Correction: Last post "Being Appreciative." I was not making $750/week at the security job. It was $750/paycheck which was every 2 weeks.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #21
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Note: I will be making more of an effort to proofread future entries as I have had to go back and make corrections on some things. When I write it is like turning a faucet on and sometimes my memory is not as ever-present as I would like. When I have gone back through my posts I have noticed errors, which kind of upsets me. Luckily, for the majority of my posts involving the past, I will be referring to a journal I have been keeping for years.

A table of characters

It is close to 9 on a Tuesday night and I have found myself in a smokey dive bar on East Tropicana. No. It's not what you think. I am just out to have some fun with friends. Yes. It is possible for me to be around people who are drinking without wanting to have a cold one. That is the problem with having people around you who know how big of a problem you have. What I have come to call the "elephant in the room syndrome" can be an issue. People become cautious, wondering if they order a round of shots it will cause you to be offended or moody. Or worse, start drinking like Nicholas Cage from Leaving Las Vegas. It sucks. I go out and party a good 2-3 nights a week here in Vegas. Sometimes I take a dose of my medical marijuana beforehand or a couple of lortabs, other times I am just stone cold sober. I still have a great time. A tonic water with lime is my drink of choice. It is not meant to fool anyone but can give the appearance that nothing is amiss, that I am no different than those around me. I dance like a fool, have good conversations with strangers, say stupid things and laugh like everyone else.

The group I am hanging out with tonight is a table of characters, Vegas characters to be specific. You have Ping, a high end Thai escort, whom I became friends with when she happened to be my neighbor at my first Vegas residence. Ping is also a transvestite, but you would never know by looking or talking to her. She is a sweetheart and we have grown close. I never thought I would have a transgender friend, but I have shed my old judgmental self over the years. My, how it has opened up my life to such fascinating, sweet people.

Then there is Jacob, a degenerate sports bettor who I met in the Bellagio sportsbook one day. He is a trust fund baby, with a net worth I could not even imagine. When the checks from the executor of his parent's estate come in at the beginning of the month it is a party like you have never seen. By the end of the month he is usually scraping by, beating himself up mentally over the mistakes he had made over the past two weeks and counting the days until the next check hits his bank account. He is a sad man, but I enjoy his company and he has never done me wrong.

Lastly there are Natalie and Cassandra. They are a "lesbian" couple I met at a club here in Vegas a couple of years ago. I was laying down some serious game on Natalie when I realized that the girl next to her, Cassandra was her girlfriend. I came to this conclusion when they started making out in front of me and not in the playful Vegas party girl way. There was serious passion steaming off their lips. They are very beautiful and I had no problem dancing with them throughout the night. I put lesbian in quotations because well, they have a tendency to deviate from their official sexuality. We exchanged numbers at the end of the night and have stayed friends ever since.

They are all doing shots of patron, serious shots. I join in on the chanting each time someone takes a shot. Ping is looking kind of woozy and I ask her if she needs me to call her a cab. She laughs and tells me not to be "silly." Then she says one word, "craps." Everybody at the table is silent before starting to chant "craps, craps, craps." Who doesn't love craps? Okay, lets go.

We pile in my car and head out to the strip to find our lucky table. Jacob is busy on his iphone, scouring the iOdds app for his next losing bet. I try to talk him out of the majority of his bets, as they all sound ridiculous to me and I know very little about serious sports analysis. I am talking $1000 5-8 team parlays. Madness. A typical phone conversation between him and I usually involves me putting it on speaker, perusing the forums online or playing some Bovada, while he babbles about his irrational analysis of the day's lines. This is ALWAYS followed by him asking "So what do you think?" Well. I rarely agree with what he is saying, and tell him so. He never listens. If he just bet moneylines, I would bet against him and become a gazillionaire.

We arrive at our lucky casino and find a near empty $10 min table. Nice. The great thing about Vegas on the weekdays is the amount of low-limit pit tables. I rarely gamble in the pit seriously, but when I do it is at a $5-15 min table. I always set a stop-loss also. My first year out here in Vegas I lost an obscene amount of money playing Blackjack. I mean a sick amount. Everyone buys in except Jacob, who is blabbing to another friend of mine on the phone about how the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl future for next year is a lock. Geez. After checking everyone's I.D.s, gathering players club cards and wishing us luck, we start the fun.

I light up an American Spirit and watch the point set at 4. Hmm. My usual betting style is to bet the field and the 8. Not a very good strategy but I've done okay in the past and it entertains me. I look over to see Ping, Cassandra and Natalie have placed all of their money in the field, $500 each. Okay, cool. Swing for the fences. If I lose this I'll just hang out and watch them play. I take my stack of 20 reds, 8 greens and 1 black and place it in the field with them. Ridiculous. The dealer on our side, Edward looks at us with disdain as he had been the one to give us our chips. The same chips that are now sitting in a jumbled mess in the field. I start laughing out loud and mumble, "sorry sir" after I see he is not smiling.

All bets are set and the old couple across the table get done arguing about something to do with placing odds. I can tell she is new to the game as she throws the dice like a couple of bricks. They start to tumble, Ping is not even paying attention as she is engrossed in something on her phone. Cassandra and Natalie are holding on to each other like they are in the middle of a hurricane. I watch the dice tumble and I close my eyes. Not that I am sweating losing $400 but I just want to hear the dealer call out what happens. Maybe it's bad luck for me to watch the dice fall. I don't know.

Blackness. Now I smell a wiff of whiskey from what I can only assume is Jacob's makers he got from the bar on the way to the table. He had halted his speech and stepped closer to see the pain that was about to befall his friends. I take a swift inhale of my cigarette and hear a gasp next to me.

"12, Hard 12. Field"

I open and see the dice to my right, in the back corner of the table. Sure enough the hard 12 had been rolled. Our group goes crazy, hugging, cheering. Ping blows a kiss at Edward and he starts to blush. If only he knew. We continue to play for a while, toning down the crazy bets, with the exception of Jacob who proceeded to blow 2k betting hardways and the horn.

It was just another night in Sin City for this group of characters who wouldn't fit in anywhere else.

Next entry will detail my time grinding in Dallas while I was nearing the end of my Army service. It will also include my descent into playing what I dubbed the "Altered States Game", where all of the players, including myself, were tripping on 500ug of LSD.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:54 PM   #22
tipdrill
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Max, loving the blog man. Keep it coming!
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:45 PM   #23
mendicant loafer
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

The complete lack of self indulgent navel gazing and self pity ITT is very refreshing. Much appreciated.

Intelligent honest men are at sad premium in these days. Weighs heavier than a pot gut.

gl
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:06 PM   #24
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Re: Musings of Madness TL;DR

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipdrill View Post
Max, loving the blog man. Keep it coming!
Good to hear you are enjoying it Tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mendicant loafer View Post
The complete lack of self indulgent navel gazing and self pity ITT is very refreshing. Much appreciated.

Intelligent honest men are at sad premium in these days. Weighs heavier than a pot gut.

gl
Thanks mendicant, that means a lot man.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #25
DollarStoreBaller
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Max - did we by chance play together at Aria 1/3 in the beginning of February? If it was you, you we're sitting in the 3 seat talking to a CPA/financial planner in the two seat from Florida and I was in the four seat with my girlfriend railing behind. At some point you walked away from the table and happened to return a $600 slot ticket to a lady who dropped it on the casino floor.
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