Friday, March 25, 2011

Did I wear the shorts? (VEGASTORY 4 of 6)

Over 8 years between Roulette spins
Leading up to my Vegas trip I knew the most important day for me would be Friday: Marquette game day.

Every Sports Book I saw the previous day on the Strip was packed, which made a friend's suggestion to take a cab over to The Palms a worthwhile concept.  I made securing a good watching spot my first and only priority for Friday.

When it was first suggested to me that I wear my baby blue Marquette uniform shorts to the Sports Book, I laughed.  Then, as Marquette started wearing the baby blues in the Big East Tournament I started to consider it as a viable option.  Last Friday, I wore the shorts (topped with a 1977 National Champions T-Shirt & my MU visor).
Mozart - Carmina Burana by angel000596
The best thing about the Palms Sports Book, besides it's low early attendance which found me one of the first 5 people there at 8:30 AM, was it's nearby food court.  It sounds stupid to nearly everybody else, but I get a special craving every Lent for the McDonald's Fillet O'Fish.  I'm not saying it's my most favorite fast food item, but if I was ever to enter a competitive eating contest - I think my best shot at winning would be in the Fillet O'Fish Category.  The Palms' McDonald's, located mere steps from the Sports Book, started serving up FO'Fs at 10 AM!  I instantly bought 3 at its earliest availability.  (I also had another one a few hours later before MU's tipoff)

Throughout the early games I was growing visibly nervous for the upcoming game versus Xavier.  People were asking me about MU's chances (wanting information to help them place a bet), and with every opportunity I steered people away from Marquette.  One questioned if I was working a reverse psychology angle. but I honestly didn't want people coming up to me asking why Marquette lost them money after a loss.  On the super secret level, I wanted people betting on Xavier for the line to get pushed more in their favor.  However, by the time the game tipped off, the line moved from Marquette +2 to a PICK! (Vegas thought each team had an equal chance of winning, and too many people were betting MU to give them any points)

Like I said, the NCAA Marquette game was my #1 priority.  I didn't play any blackjack at Palms.  I didn't even look at what the minimum bets were for their Craps tables...  But... I did do something I hadn't done in Vegas since 2002: Roulette.

I was just too jittery sitting in that Sports Book and I had to go stretch my legs and walk a little.  My seat was secured for my return, so there was no fear of losing it...  And I decided to get $100 worth of Roulette chips and start placing chips on Marquette Jersey numbers.  The idea was to walk away if one of the numbers hit.  On the second spin the little white ball settled in slot 1, which is the jersey number for Marquette's starting shooting guard.  This made me incredibly happy, and made me think it could be a great omen.  I cashed out and returned to the Sports book with a $60 profit.

I'm pretty insane during Marquette Basketball games.  To call me passionate would be too nice.  And for sure I probably made enemies during that game.  People probably wanted Marquette to lose based solely on my antics...  However, there was one other guy in the Sports Book wearing Marquette gear - and at every time out I made it a superstition to run over to him for a quick fist bump of solidarity and support.  I was happy, but still nervous, when Marquette pushed out to an 11 point halftime lead.  The worst was feared when Xavier cut it to 8 and had the ball, but that was the closest they ever came and when I heard the final buzzer it was total joy.
Victory Tweet
I sent out a quick text to another I knew was in Vegas: Where's the victory party at?

At this point I should probably mention that the Palms had a $1 Miller Lite special.  Many people were buying me these.  I was buying many of these for others.

That's one of the reasons why I took a cab to the Rio from Palms.  It was easily the shortest cab ride I've ever taken, but I wasn't messing around.  I had money on Marquette's victory, and was up for the trip as a whole - an expense such as a quick cab was well worth it.  I probably didn't get the whole value out of that Seafood Buffet dinner either - but it was a fun meal with fun people.  Thankfully the team they rooted for also won earlier in the night, so my victory celebrations were met with good cheer.

The rest of the night was kind of a blur.  I got back to IP late that night and wanted to play hold'em, but there was a wait.  One of the "Dealertainers" at IP (a man impersonating Garth Brooks to be exact) dealt me the hottest blackjack cards you can ever believe.  I bought $200 in chips and walked away with $500!

I went up to my hotel room and considered calling it a night...  Instead I changed out of my baby blue shorts in favor of jeans and went down to try to get into the poker game again...  Some may blame my over excited, over served, state for why I lost $200 in less than an hour of hold'em - but I know it was because I changed out of those shorts.

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