Monday, March 03, 2014

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 106

The Time Mookie Kicked Ass At Treasure Island

Since it is now March, that usually means one thing for the kids out there:  Spring Break Vacation.  To celebrate Spring Break, all of the "Monday Morning Stories with Mookie" episodes in March will be about something that happened during one of my visits to my favorite vacation destination:  LAS VEGAS.  Enjoy.

I must mention beforehand that the story I am sharing here actually happened later in the evening after the one that occurred in Episode 59: "The Time Mookie and James Kicked Ass At Hooters Casino."  So needless to say - when it was all said and done - this was a great goddamn evening in Las Vegas.

After having hit-or-miss luck at the tables through-out our trip, my friend "James*" and I decided that we needed to really make a run at the money our last night in Las Vegas. After having a successful outing at the Hooters Casino, we decided to make our way back up The Strip and see what fortune lay ahead. After doing some necessary shopping at the Forum Shops at Caesar's, we ended up winding our way through the casinos at The Mirage and Treasure Island. Our intent was to eventually catch the "Sirens of TI" show held outside of the casino on our way through the area, but fortunately (for me anyway) the tables inside Treasure Island were hotter than the broads on the pirate ships outside.

Once we were inside Treasure Island, James and I couldn't find a blackjack table where we could both play - so we split up. I ended up sitting at $10 a hand table - which I wouldn't normally do, but it was the only thing open that was under $25 a hand. Once I sat down, I quickly realized I was at a table where four of all the six players were all friends. If you have ever been at a table with a bunch of friends, you know that the atmosphere is SO much more fun than if you are by yourself. The slapstick, jokes, and hilarity are always amplified. After ten minutes or so, much to my delight - these guys quickly accepted me as one of their own and began to include me in their harassment and humor. The beauty of the whole situation was that as the laughs increased, so did my pile of chips. I was getting SHIT cards, but  somehow I was hitting 16's like a champ without busting, and the dealer usually busted and made everyone at the table win. I remember thinking to myself that this never happens.
This dealer is saying "Okay folks, get ready to empty
your pockets because I'm going to take all your money."

The slapstick at the table seemed to revolve around one particular guy's wife "Becky." She was somewhere off shopping with the ladies that apparently all belonged to the other guys at the table. This guy kept bitching about the fact that his woman was making him take her on a helicopter ride/tour to the Grand Canyon in the morning. The problem with this apparently was that they were going to have to get up at 6 AM or something to do it, and the guy made it sound like it was the LAST thing he wanted to do. His friends continued to razz him endlessly, and were all making jokes about Becky -and he didn't care. In fact, he laughed and added in half the time - which got hilarious after I realized they were just blowing steam and not being (totally) serious. It wasn't long after that when the general "marriage" jokes started getting passed around. The dealer even chimed in with "Why does a man typically die before his wife does? Because he wants to." I added in with the joke "Why is divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it." This went on for another ten minutes, and our table was easily one of the loudest in the casino. It was pretty awesome. While this was going on, the dealer continued busting his hand and we were all winning. It was sweet.

It was then I was presented a hand I've seen a million times, but have NEVER had it play out the way it did.  I was dealt a pair of 7's for a running total of 14. The dealer had a weak but equally dangerous face card showing - a 3. This did not matter to the table because everyone at the table DEMANDED that I "split those bitches." While I would have anyway - the peer pressure made the need to do so even more necessary. I flopped another $10 in chips on the table to split the 7's and got 4 on the 1st 7 (giving me 11), and ANOTHER 7 on my 2nd seven (for 14 again). Everyone at the table yelled out that I "needed" to double-down on the 11, and split the 7's again. So I put $10 more on the 11 to double-down, and another $10 on the pair of 7's to split again. 

First I had to play on the 11 and my double-down. The dealer laid a 10. BOOM- 21. Nice. 
Then I played the first of re-split 7's, and the dealer hit it with another 10 - giving me 17.
The second 7, the dealer gave me a 3. What did I do? I doubled down again, in which the dealer gave me another 10 - for a total of 20.  So while I felt like a high-roller with my bets all over table, I began to get nervous as I had $50 riding on this hand and the dealer was getting ready to take his turn at drawing towards 21. While I felt reassured that I would at least "push" on the 21 I had, I had no comfort on the other hands.

I don't recall the dealer's draw, but in the end he BUSTED and I pulled back $100 from my one big hand of blackjack. While this is pennies to the big gambler, this was a major haul for the cheapo gambler like myself. 

While the next few hands were played, I sat there in total shock as to what had just happened - because normally the dealer would have cleaned me out in a situation like that. Sometimes I guess - you can win those crazy hands. I continued playing until a new dealer arrived to replace the one that treated me so well, and I decided that I should probably get up. Just as I was getting up, "Becky" - the wife of my fellow blackjack player arrived at the table. Everyone greeted her all in unison with a "Hi Becky," and she smiled like she knew her husband had been talking about her. She said she wanted to see how he was doing and to "remind" him that he should probably "turn in" pretty soon as they had to be up early the next day. The guy just sat there looking at all of us with a look that said "this is my hell." It still makes me laugh when I think about it.

So remember gang, split those 7's, double down on your 10's and 11's, and live it up when you can....because SOMETIMES lady luck smiles down upon you and lets you win.


For those times you that you don't win -  just remember it could be worse.
You could end up going to the Grand Canyon at 6AM the next day, and ain't nobody got time for that.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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