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Monday, August 09, 2004

Oh the People That You Meet in Your Casino, in Your Casino, in Your Cas-i-i-no
I was just reading my last post and it occurred to me that amidst my complaining about being thirsty at Foxwoods, I didn't really emphasize enough what a good time I had. Yeah, the lack of drink service annoyed me Saturday night, and I was kinda beat all day Sunday because of the lack of sleep, and no I'm not going to do it again anytime soon, but I really did enjoy myself for most of the 12 or so hours I spent at Foxwoods this weekend.

One of the main attractions of live play is the people you meet. This was the reason that B and I originally started enjoying gambling in Las Vegas 6 or 7 years ago--you end up sitting with some really colorful characters you wouldn't otherwise encounter. One of my favorite Vegas memories is sitting at a Binion's blackjack table at about 4am with a guy who must have been pushing 80, and having him explain to me how he keeps all his money in a casino credit line because he doesn't trust banks: "At the least the casinos tell you they're trying to take your money."

Anyway, there was one amusing guy I forgot to mention Saturday night, at $1-$3 Stud. He was a younger guy who looked like Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos might've when he was 27 years old. I didn't notice anything very unusual about his play except that twice he showed down with a full house that he said he thought was only 2 pair; he even checked it on the river both times. He wasn't drinking or noticeably intoxicated.

Anyway, he had a small entourage of 4 or 5 other guys who were playing various table games, and they kept stopping by and checking in with him. Around 12:30am or so they all come over, and start a big discussion about whether to stay at Foxwoods or head up to a strip club in Providence. And the guy who looks like Pastore says, completely deadpan, "I don't care what we do, but either way I have to leave at 5:30 to see a guy and pick up a thing." I almost laughed out loud, it just sounded too Mafia-esque. For the next 10 minutes I was distracted from both the game and my efforts to get the cocktail waitress's notice, because I was trying to evaluate whether 1) this guy could possibly be involved in organized crime, or unorganized crime, 2) whether he was just trying to appear like he was, or 3) he just liked to speak in bizarrely vague terms. I lean toward #3, because shortly afterwards their conversation shifted to fantasy baseball trade negotiations. No one can appear tough while talking about fantasy sports.

These are some of the things that entertain me between hands.

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