Double Shots and Dice: Rolling with Iggy at the WSOP: Part 3

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
–Hunter S. Thompson
I stood on the rail peering over Iggy‘s shoulder as he put on his shades and got ready to do battle against 9 other players who had ponied up $1K to try to win their way into the 2004 WSOP. Only a few hours remained before they ended the satellites, and I was hoping that desperation might result in a quick double-up for my man. No recognizable pros at the table, but the players didn’t look much like amateurs either.
A couple orbits in, and Iggy’s in the hand. It went by in a blur. 3 hearts on the board, a bet, and Iggy comes over the top all in. The player to his left, shaking uncontrollably, finally folds after time is called on him. My heart thumps as the original bettor looks back at his cards… “fold! fold! fold!” my mind repeats to match the rhythm of my heart, and the bettor shrugs his shoulders and shoves in his chips. When Iggy turned over his hand and there were no hearts in his hand, my heart sank, and when his two pair fell to a straight, my stomach dropped like it does on that last little drop at the end of a roller coaster ride. And I was just watching.
But I was proud of my man, he went down swinging, making a move at a pot that would have put him in position to win the tournament. Better to go down fighting than be slowly blinded off. And hell, I thought he had the flush.
We said our goodbyes to Felicia and Glenn, and hit the bar to crack the first beer of the trip and check out All In Magazine. Unfortunately the Horseshoe doesn’t stock Guinness, so we settled for a beer of the American variety. Some people are just on the same wavelength as you– whether its some sort of soul alignment or personality overlap, there are a rare bunch of people in the world that you fall in step with like you were old friends, even though you’re meeting them for the first time. On our way to the board for the side games, we passed by the satellite section, only to find WPT finalist Mark Seif busting out 7th in a satellite. Apparently desperation wasn’t hindering the play of the amateurs.
The wait for a table was over 3 hours long, so we hit the craps table for a little low rolling action at the Horseshoe. After M and I promptly crapped out (explaining basic strategy to Iggy along the way), the blogfather took the dice in both hands and was chastised by the stickman before he could yell “Yahtzee!” It must have been good luck, as he went on to roll for about 20 minutes, hitting 6s and 8s one after the other. Every so often, Iggy’s attention to the dice would fade, so I had to yell out “Roll em for TJ!” and he’d promptly respond by hitting the point. That streak put me up about $300 immediately, although I gave some of it back when the rest of the table couldn’t keep up with the poker bloggers. Starting next week, this blog will be the first poker blog to cross over into the craps world, and will be renamed “The Dice Speak”.
The alcohol soothed my nerves, and after a dinner at the Nugget, I was in Vegas mode. The 2K-4K game with Doyle, Johnny Chan, and Barry Greenstein in the corner only whet my appetite for some poker, but the lines at the Nugget and the Horseshoe were not to be tangled with. We collected Mrs. Double and hit the Golden Nugget’s main restaurant for dinner, trying to figure out a plan for the rest of the night. Eventually we gave up on poker, and with a tinge of guilt, strolled into an off-the-strip casino called “Terrible’s”. Despite the name, I highly recommend their craps and blackjack tables, but the primary reason I led the posse there was because of the excellent drink service. A little tip goes a long way here, and it wasn’t long before M, Iggy, and I had 3 double shots and three beers in front of us, which mysteriously appeared after I heard Iggy mumbling something to the cocktail waitress.
Here’s where it gets a little blurry. I do remember that the table was empty when we got there, but after a few minutes, people were cheering on the hot roller (Iggy of course) and double shots and beers kept appearing every 10 minutes. I’m not exaggerating here. Through the fog of Jack Daniels and beer, I remember a few quotes:
Me: “Take my bet down please.”
Stickman: “Son, we don’t say that here. When you want to take your bet down, you have to say, ‘YANK ME!'”
Iggy: (throwing $1 chip to stickman) “Boxcars!”
(roller shoots snake eyes)
Iggy: (watching his $1 disappear) “What the hell is boxcars?”
M: “5 9 on the hop”
Stickman: “Huh?”
M: “5 9 hoppin!”
Stickman: “You mean 5 4?”
M: “5 9!”
Stickman: “What dice are you playin with? There’s no 9 on the dice!”
M: “No more shots, please Iggy!”
craps boss 1: (to Iggy) “Sir, you can’t SIT DOWN at a craps table!”
Iggy: “Umm… I have a bad back…”
craps boss 1: “If you don’t put that stool back you’re out of here.”
H: “Give me that bet for the dealer hard 8 back!”
Don Rickles look-alike Craps boss: “These guys have never been to Vegas.”
Iggy: “Wow, I’ve never seen the owner of the casino actually work in the craps pit!”
Don Rickles: “I guarantee a seven next roll.”
(Iggy rolls the point)
M: (doing triumph the insult comic dog impression) “I poop on you Don Rickles!”
Complete insanity. I ended up going 200 in before Iggy bailed me out with a great roll to get me back to even. We were at the table for about 2 hours, so the pace we were at puts us at about 12 double shots and 12 beers apiece, although I think we slowed down on the shots somewhere in the middle there. Long ago I’d told the blogfather I could outdrink him, and I wondered if he was making me pay for the foolish suggestion.
Eventually we ended up at the bar, and I slurred through some idiotic justification of calling 3 bets on the flop in a big multiway pot with pocket 4s. Friends don’t let friends argue poker theory drunk. M and I said good night to Iggy and we planned to meet up tomorrow morning. I stumbled over to the Blackjack table and made a ridiculous attempt at counting cards, dropping a Benjamin as the dealer pulled five card 21s.
Barely able to keep my eyes open, I remember putting 15 red chips on black and watching the ball bounce forever, finally landing in red but skittering out into black. M followed suit, stacking his remaining chips on red, and he was rewarded with a large stack of red. We cashed out and staggered home at the relatively early hour of 5 AM, and I muttered something about not playing a hand of poker.
To close out the night, I stumble out of the elevator with M and we make the long walk down the hall to our room at the Hard Rock. Their genius decorator has placed cymbals as lamp covers on the wall next to every door, and I can’t resist from doing my best Keith Moon impression, making sure to check the sound for every cymbal in the hall. As I get to the room, I find myself in the bathroom looking at the last couple double shots of the night, and muttering “damn Iggy” as I try to remember the last time I’d been this drunk.

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