Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Day Tripper

Like all good Jews on Christmas, three of us packed into the car and headed to Uncasville CT for more than 300,000 square feet of gaming space. Mohegan Sun, we wants your cash. We comes for your wampum. We skins your vault like buffalo, Tatanka.

The day's grueling chess match against karma opened a bit unusually, completely unforeseen, like a Budapest Gambit. The fourth member of our field trip walked out of his apartment, got into the car, threw a questionable tantrum and bailed on the jaunt, all in less than 90 seconds. Hey, I'm all for road-tripping with friends and I subscribe to the weekend edition of The More The Merrier Times-Journal, but on the way to a casino I will not tolerate dead weight that "doesn't want to go anyway."

Down a man, Snacks, Hard-12 Matt and I pulled into the lot at 2:30 following a fun sprint through the flat, wet Connecticut terrain. We had just proclaimed this would be "our day," that we'd all come home big winners. We examined the possibilities of exiting the premises up a combined 10-12 grand. I'm sure we were the only car on the road to the establishment that expressed such a feeling.

This marked my fourth consecutive Christmas Day trip to a casino (Atlantic City in '02, Mohegan in'03, Foxwoods in '04), and the place was probably emptier than I've ever seen it. Normally, despite the holiday, the casino's teeming with heathens: about 75 percent Asian, 20 percent Jewish and 5 percent white trash and other undesirables. Yesterday being the first day of Hanukkah, though, there were a whole lot less hook noses and pockets full of gelt and lox.

Feeling the place out like a first-round prize fighter, we walked around looking for our table. The three of us sat down at a $25 blackjack table and were immediately joined by an Asian couple that spoke a combined five words of English. Hard-12 and I couldn't get into a rhythm and mostly alternated winning and losing hands.

Snacks did his best Parker Lewis imitation and couldn't lose. After pulling all blackjacks, three-card 21s, picture cards and magical aces, Snacks was up almost two grand by lunch, as I prophecized yesterday.

This table featured the lowlight of the day: Dealer showing 5, I have 11. There's $75 down on the bet, I doubled down with another $75. Pull a 9 for 20. Dealer turns over a picture for 15, next card out is a 6. Twenty-fucking-one. $300 swing. Those are the hands that make and break the day. Boo, Wendy the nipponese dealer.

I was down fitty bones and Hard-12 wasn't faring so well, so we took a break to get a late lunch at Michael Jordan's Sports Cafe. Perhaps the highlight of the day, I'd like the world to know how great this dining experience truly was. Friendly wait-staff, big-screen televisions, delicious garlic bread and one of the best blue-cheese and fried tobacco onions smothered burgers I've ever eaten. Since Snacks was up big at lunch, he generously picked up the bill. Thank you Snacks, thank you Michael Jordan. Both, very kind.

After lunch we split up, and I took Hard-12 over to the craps table while Snacks hit the high-roller tables. I tried my best to teach the game to a newcomer, but my new friend Bob, a lawyer from New Haven who just dropped 140 pounds after gastric bypass (I saw his license and wow!), did a better job than I could. He also taught me some new craps jargon. We both taught Matt there was no such thing as a Hard 12. Bob, what a guy.

While we were winning at craps, Snacks was betting a few hundred a hand, which always leads to the same result: He had the runs like an American in Tijuana. Eventually he joined us, having given most of his pre-lunch earnings back. We put together two great rolls -- first a guy across the table from us, then me. He hit numbers and a few points, I mostly hit numbers. Such a fun game, and I rarely lose. Like the Asian guy who kept sticking on a soft 14, the game of blackjack is dead to me.

Hard-12 won his $350 back, Snacks walked out up 19 bucks, and I was the big winner, up $90. All told, we left with 6 more dollars than we arrived with, we ate a great free lunch and spent five and a half hours being entertained on a day Manhattan was dead and we were Jews.

I'd say a push in this case is better than kissing your sister. It's like kissing your sister when your sister is hot.

Slack Opinion of the Day: On the way home from the trip, as Sgt. Pepper's played on the radio, I made the declaration, "I dont care what people say, The Beatles were pretty damn good." Top 10 we decided.

Slack Videos of the Day: Steely Dan isn't typically known for its live performances. But good ol' YouTube, comin' through again. Here are a few videos of Donald Fagan, Walter Becker and the gang -- My Old School and Do It Again.


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Seyeko said...

Isn't CT one of the most boring states to drive through? No mountains, no farmland, just plain ol vanilla highway. And no more rest stops after exit 53? What kind of insane state does such a thing?!

At 9:17 PM, Blogger MDS said...

I was never a big Tatanka fan. One thing I always hated, though, was that a title couldn't change hands on a disqualification or a count-out, just on a pin or submission. Tatanka beat Shawn Michaels in an intercontinental title match, but it was a DQ so Michaels kept the title.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

You're hilarious. I would have rather spent Christmas at the casinos with you guys, just for the Parker Lewis reference alone.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

Seyeko - I spent the entire weekend in CT because the future wife's parents live there. And, I lived there for about a year. Believe me, it's not just boring to drive through, it's boring just being there. Next time you drive throug CT, try the Merit Parkway/W.Cross Parkway, especially during a snowstorm at night. You are bound to see anywhere between 5 and 10 accidents, with one or two of them being potentially fatal. Makes for an interesting ride. I usually just count the number of dead deer on the side of the road. This past weekend, on the drive back to Boston, I counted 7. Delicious.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger ahren said...

mohegan sun! the place i popped my poker cherry... is the poker room back yet?

i love that glass mountain martini bar.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I'm pretty sure the poker rooms have closed for good at Mohegan...but the Foxwoods room was open for business last Christmas (I think). I think Foxwoods loses money on the poker room but keeps it open anyway for the traffic. AGU would know these details better than me...

Tatanka was always a punchline to me. A Native American roided-up freak? Eh, seen better characters. Pretty sure Vince got a note from the diversity commission and decided to give an Injun a push.

And I have nothing but love for the state of Connecticut. Mark that down.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

Congrats to Matty Mac. He told me he was proposing and I guess she said yes. God bless you, young man.

Ace, Happy Hannukah. You are my favorite Jewish person with a blog.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

She said yes, thankfully. I think I need more than God's blessing at this point. All I got for Christmas was 13 books on wedding planning including but not limited to: Wedding Planning for Dummies, The Idiot's Guide to Wedding Planning, The Idiot's Guide to Being the Groom, a subscription to 3 bridal/wedding magazines, a trapper-keeper thing for weddings to keep all of our notes and plans, a guide to weddings in New England and many more. Of course, the future wife was all excited, I wanted to vomit.

Happy Hanukkah.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

did you and hard-12 feed the fish, ace?


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