I have five minutes until I get on a plane back to Vegas. I have more stories from the past three weeks than I will ever be able to write. I don’t have time to tell this story, but something inside me is dying to start.

“It’s always hotter in the parking garage,” I said. The Mark had to pee, Wil should’ve been sleeping, and Spaceman was on a three-week waking binge that even Pauly couldn’t handle. We had just crossed the street into the Gold Coast parking garage. The idea was a simple one. We didn’t want to play big. We wanted to play little. We wanted to play $5 rtp online .

“I’ve stayed here before,” Wil said as we passed the registration desk.

“No, you haven’t,” I said. I was sober, save a couple beers and a shot of tequila that some photographer found in the back of a trailer. The photog said they had a frozen drink machine in there, too.

Into the pit. We walked like a thirty-something version the Resevior Dogs, without the black suits or violent demeanors. We were like Swingers, but without the good looks and hip banter. We walked like low-rollers. We wanted to play $5 Pai Gow.

And, of course, we wanted some steak and eggs.

Zone 1 is boarding. I’m in Zone 2

The $5 tables were full. We begged for four empty seats together, but the pit boss wasn’t having it. Suddenly, The Mark was spreading six grand in hundreds across an empty table. I dropped a roll of $4,000 on top of it. Thirty seconds later, a new boss was there.

“A quarter a hand okay for you guys?”

Sure it is. Sure it is, indeed.

Zone 2 boarding…and this story waits…

Now in Hotlanta, with a dry sandwich and a watery diet soda in my system. This Dell Inspiron almost decided to shuffle down that mortal coil. Then, Lazarus at Hartsfield International, it popped up and said, “Keep writing, bitch.”

Quarter a hand. When I told this story later, the listener thought I was playing really low. Instead, I instructed, we’d managed to find a table playing for five times what we planned. However, as we had stood an beseeched the eye in the sky, pointing to our stacks of cash, and screaming, “Helllllloooo,” it was evident we were sufficiently rolled for the game.

What’s the right buy-in for this game? A couple hundred a piece sounded right, and suddenly eight hundred bucks was on the felt and getting turned into green. The pit boss eyed us warily, but summoned all forms of service. A cigar for The Mark, cigs for Spaceman, a round of drinks for the low rollers. I mistakenly ordered a beer.

It started badly. No one won a hand except the dealer. Something was wrong. We tried to summon every ounce of winning energy we had, but the atmosphere was decidedly off.


The dealer, a decidedly male fan-boy type, was looking at Wil. “You’re…”

Indeed, Wil was. He has been for years. He’s more famous than he lets on. I’ve been walking down hallways where people yank out cameras and shoot him like Us magazine or People might be buying big. I’ve seen other celebs go out of their way to talk to him. Wil is the humble type and won’t let you believe he’s famous. He is.

It was established Wil actually was Wil. He was playing quarter a hand–wait, $50 a hand, now–Pai Gow poker in a dark, smokey, off-strip casino at 3am. Wait, maybe it is 4am now. But, he’s nice, and he’s telling about his favorite episodes, and he’s signing autographs for the entire pit staff.

But we’re not winning yet. I just wanted to teach the boys the game. And, of course, get some steak and eggs. (Note: Another time, I may tell the story of trying to woo a pit boss named Simone at the Excalibur, then getting a casino host out to witness my $200 a hand bets, and to then REFUSE steak and eggs on general principle.)

Then it hit me. Just as Spaceman and Wil started into telling the life stories of the cowboys on the $25 chips (Don Gay? Is that right? Am I remembering a cowboy named Don Gay? I remember Bodacious the bull, for sure, but Don Gay? Or was it Dennis?), I figured it out. I was drinking a blue-wrapped, room temperature Bud Light. There was neither vodka, nor grapefruit juice on the table.


The short-skirted girl was at the table as if the ten grand we put on the table would be hers before night’s end.