Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lifestyles of the rich and the...Jesse?!? (Part II of an ongoing series)


Out to Vegas this past weekend for a conference. On the way there, possibly the most magical thing that has ever happened in my life took place. I, Jesse Scott Genesius Wozniak, simple graduate student, friend of man, woman, and child alike, was bumped up to first class.

First fucking class!

And let me tell you, it is everything I ever dreamed it would be and oh-so-much more. First of all, you get to board before all the riff-raff. Hell, I'd already finished a (free) beer by the time the peasants were even allowed on board. So I let loose my elbows (because I had elbow room) and enjoyed free drink after free drink. When the lady came by with the big basket of (free) snacks and I only took a banana, she confusedly looked at me and asked "Is that all?" and I probably betrayed my class origins by saying "I can have all I want?" and then piling snacks into my lap.

Ahh, but nothing wonderful lasts forever, and soon my ride was over, and I was shuttled away to the very, very shitty hotel I was staying at.

The conference went quite well, but that's an entirely different story, and I don't even know how much of it I'm a liberty to say here, so I'll leave that for later.

Then, the gambling. Oh, the gambling. You see, I've never been to Vegas before. In fact, the only previous time I've ever been gambling was when I once played a dollar at the quarter slots at Mystic Lake to kill time before a wedding of a cousin of mine taking place in nearby Prior Lake. So needless to say, I've had little experience.

But this did not stop me from saddling up at a 3-6 Hold 'Em table and trying my luck. I had some great luck initially (first-class luck, you could say) and there was an older dude, probably in his late 50s/early 60s, who was trying to knock me off my game with snarky little commens like "I didn't know they let 18 years olds in casinos now" and such things. But here's where it gets good, because the story makes me look cool, and nothing, I mean nothing, ever makes me look cool. Anyhoo, I get pocket Sigfried and Roy (wchich is two Queens, for those of you outside the Vegas loop), so I play it. I flop a full boat, Queens full of Nines, and he ends up eventually with two pair. Anyway, I know I've got him beat, so I sucker him in with some slow play, making him think he's got me. Finally he calls me and lays down his two pair, confidently eyeing me and saying:

"How old are you, anyway?" with a luagh and a snort.

So I throw down my full house, showing him and everyone else at the table that I've beat him, and simply reply

"Old enough to take your money" as the dealer hands me all of his chips.

Even though the free casino drinks started to catch up with me and I eventually lost all of my money, nothing can sour that moment.

Except, of course, a loss of money in the three digits. And catching a cold. And being tired as hell because of jet lag the whole weekend.

So finally, our hero is forced to slink back home, penniless, sick, and in coach.

But all in all, it was a damn good time.

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