Vegas Timelion v. 1

Timelion? It's actually a timeline, it's called a Timelion in honor of my friend "Bake" who on our first trip to Vegas in 2000 (V2K as it was dubbed) heard the craps dealers say "pay the line" at the MGM. He thought they were saying Pay the Lion. Maybe because of MGM's lions we don't really know. For two or three months when something good would happen he'd say "Pay the Lion" and none of us made the connection to Vegas. When finally asked, Bake explained that's what they said at the Craps table. Now, anytime the word line is in play, lion is often substituted. Kind of stupid but kind of funny that months went by with him aimlessly saying Pay the Lion and we just thought it was some Wrestling slogan or something. Anyway, Timelines are Timelions, You can also... Read Between the Lions... and That's the Bottom Lion. So when I did the write up of that inaugral Vegas trip I did it in a series of Timelions. I'm dusting off that old device to recap my bachelor party, this time.


11am wednesday morning Harrahs tournament New Orleans. I'm gonna to triple my Vegas bankroll by winning the donkament. I'm happy to pay the gross 25% vig or whatever it is, because I'm going to win.

1215 wednesday I'm headed to the rails. I get involved in 5 hands and play them terribly. As bad a tournament poker session as I've had in a long time. Even the two hands I won, I cost myself money, a gross, gross way to head out to Vegas.

1230 Goondingy and Gene pump me up yet again after I own up to how grossly and amateurish I've played. I find when I know what I've done I really don't need people to tell me what an idiot I was, I need them to pump me up. A day or so after being the idiot, we can analyze the hand and review my poor judgment. Ray and Gene are good at doing just that. Reaffirming that I played like a dbag just isn't helpful.

100 Despite their encouragment, I'm still pissed. Can't believe I'm going to Vegas on a down note. The last three years, I've come into my Vegas trip winning my travel and gambling money immediately before it and being on freeroll out there. This time I'm down 125.

115 I realize I'm going to my frikkin Bachelor Party with 15 to 20 people cool enough to fly out to Vegas to party with me. I get over my sad sack self.

130 Emails exchanged. First two in the crew have landed. Already lost some money on the Craps table. Some over/unders for the trip are exchanged. I set a personal line of 12 hours of sleep in Las Vegas (somewhere poker players are rubbing their hands in glee). Yeah, that's 12 hours over an 84 hour period. That also will involve copious amounts of alcohol and beer being consumed by me. Hint, I was thinking the under.

231 Wives of my friends start praying they'll use their good judgment for three days. My fiancee reminds me she knows how to use a vise and has no compunction against putting my eggs in one and squeezing--hard. I tell her that's bad e.v. for me.

3:22 Start thinking about packing. I dust off an old pair of slate pants and a clubby shirt (probably 4 years out of date but close enough to being cool for me to wear). I realize how different a person I am now then 6 years ago, when I actually used to listen to Techno and went out 5 nights a week to acquire emails for my promotion business. I knew my girl was the one when I dumped out my shoeboxes full of girls' email addresses and phone numbers a year into our relationship. Or, you could say I hoped she was the one, because she had discovered this rather incriminating bounty and demanded it's disposal. Just kidding hon.

Still, I'm excited that the old SuperBill (that's me liquored up with King of the Jungle--Lion Courage) may be breaking out again. He's a friend I haven't seen in a while. One of those guys that get's into a heck of a lot trouble but always talks his way out of it at the very end. When I was single, SuperBill would hit on a dude's girlfriend, by accident of course, and go from just about to get his ass kicked to having the dude buy him shots all night. I channel SuperBill on the poker table when I make a big bluff, because SuperBill has made the biggest bluffs possible.

One time after my first jazzfest day, 12 hours in the sun drinking beer was topped by my friend's mom giving me a tallboy bourbon and coke, that was essentially all bourbon and me drinking it like it was all coke. Surpise, surprise Superbill showed up. Later, on Magazine street, I somehow get into an argument with a restaurant owner. I'm sure it was his fault, entirely. Why? Because SuperBill is never in the wrong and his patrons... wanted to give me that slice of pizza. Yeah, I'm not proud of SuperBill that's why he's been on the bench for years and why the fiancee threatened my eggs if he got out of hand. Anyway, this is about bluffing so back to the story and enough with the apologies for my behavior, SuperBill never apologizes. Within short order the restaurant owner has his kitchen staff out lined up threatening to whale on us. Me and my friend are outnumbered 12 to 2.

Bahhh. SuperBill loves those odds. I channel my DeNiro in Taxi Driver and I put an index finger in each of their faces and inform them I will seriously injure them should they be foolish enough to make good on the restaurant owner's threats. My language was much saltier. You wouldn't think by looking at me I'd be any good in a fight, and for the most part you'd be right. I usually avoid the fights or come out on top because more than anything I'm damn lucky in those situations and my punches always seem to connect and the others miss. Maybe I'm wiry or quick, maybe I am a closet bad-ass or maybe I'm just f'ing lucky. Okay, I'm just lucky. Still, my accountant's stature probably enhanced my unchecked cockiness because I was so obviously overmatched by one of them much less 12 of them. So, for me to ignore the odds so brazenly probably meant I knew something they didn't.

Then, one of them a new "U.S." American from the southern hemisphere revealed he was holding a knife. He of course had a hairnet on and a thin dirty mustache. He smiled like a thug in a movie. And of course the knife as it spun in his hand glinted off the street light and the gathered folks watching me try to wreck a train did a collective inhale. Suddenly, my friend evaporated into thin air and the odds became 12 against 1. Others in the lineup suggested their hands behind their backs also held steel.

Fight or Flight right?

Flight's the only correct action huh?

Nah, I all-in that motherf'r.

"Sweet!" I exclaim genuinely stoked. "I'm going to kill you with that. But if you guys are using knives you gotta let me take you on one at a time." I point to the guy fondling the knife and point to the alley behind the restaurant. "Let's go, me and you. You got the knife... for now." I start walking.

Suddenly, the restaurant owner, probably realizing an scene from Scarface playing out on his front porch was bad for business and thinking I'm absolutely out of my tree steps in. Things were clearly out of hand and now was not the time for posturing. Sanity prevailed in his drunken head. He quickly issues an apology. He sends his thugs back inside, who are now looking at me in wide-eyed amazement (Loco Gringo) and then gives me a free slice of pizza... SuperBill strikes again.

My friend who made like Patrick Swayze in Ghost and disappeared to work a Pottery wheel (only without Demi Moore) tells me he's never seen anything like that. Did I have a deathwish? Just the opposite I inform him. I believe had I not been willing to go all in, and had I shown any weakness, one of the twelve probably throws a hand my way, and we probably get our asses handed to us and at that point who knows if an overzealous short-order cook shives us. It was the only play, All you can eat baby.

So, that's what the old Bill is capable of. That's what I channel when I got 23 offsuit with a board of overcards and I shove in a deepstack game. That's the Bill, my fiancee, wants to contain, because she's smart. That's the Bill I've grown out of. That's where Wild Bill name comes from, not the Mild Bill I've been for the last six years, except on a poker table. And, I realize that's the Bill Vegas might get a taste of, as I think of 15 guys ordering me free drinks.

More to come...


Fuckin A ! I knew there was something else about you that caught my fancy. I want to party with SuperBill! I have to add you to my mancrush list.
C.S. said…
Thank you stacks. I'll be cozied up to the bar after my next bustout at the Gulf Coast Poker Championship. We can commence partying then.

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