Thursday, February 23, 2017

Black Old Man Shoes

Good morning everyone.  Two posts in two weeks - I have to pace myself...  I feel refreshed as I begin this post, as I find myself in the middle of having three straight days off.  I love my job as a ticket writer, and would prefer working and having the $$$ that goes along with it, but if you're going to force me to sleep...  :)  Considering how much poker I've played and football betting that I did this past fall, I've actually been pretty disciplined with my money since starting my job at the end of August, and now I feel comfortable enough with my finances to take some shots at no limit poker cash games here in the near future.  One of the reasons that I started this blog back in the day was to track my weekly football predictions with the intent of possibly moving back to Las Vegas someday.  For those of you who don't know, I first lived here from May 2005 to April 2007, and I worked as a poker dealer during the majority of that stint.  It's safe to say that I now know a lot more about sports betting than I ever have (and I wasn't exactly starting from a position of complete ignorance before), and my poker knowledge continues to grow with each passing day.  A funny revelation about working in the sportsbooks is that A LOT of my coworkers share my passion for poker and/or sports betting.  My brother Pete, David, Ben, Errol, Mike, Mike, Chris, Don, Kirk, and Adam are among the ticket writers I work with who enjoy playing a little poker.  Back to Errol, he actually shared something with me on Facebook recently, and it turns out that it would be the ultimate Las Vegas apartment complex for me to move into...

In reality, I will be looking to improve my living situation in the near future.  I'm not in the worst place on the planet, but if I can find something closer to work, or cheaper, or nicer, or a combination of the three, etc..., it might be worth moving.  As things stand, I am about to take more shots at no limit poker, and to start studying more (again).  When I was in New Hampshire last February, I started a one-year subscription to Card Player magazine.  I did so thinking that I would be living there until December, and as luck would have it, I moved out here in May.  Now in the past, if I had an active subscription to any magazine, it would never find my new address.  However, now that I'm living in the desert, where you can pick up free magazines in several poker rooms, the Card Players naturally found me, and I have a STACK of reading to catch up on.

Poker and work, work and poker...  We've been a little slow at work since the Super Bowl, but things are about to pick up in the month of March.  The Las Vegas Speedway will be hosting NASCAR from the 10th-12th, and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be kicking into full gear on the 16th, the following Thursday.  The first four days of this tournament combined typically see as much money wagered as the Super Bowl.  Following the madness, we'll have the stretch runs of the NBA and NHL, with baseball and the Kentucky Derby in the mix.  Once we reach June and things have slowed to a crawl, luckily for me, the World Series of Poker will be underway.  I plan on spending a lot of time at the Rio this summer.  Even when I'm not playing, I can spend hours and hours just watching the live cash games and tournaments, trying to pick things up.  This year's World Series of Poker is scheduled to run from May 30th - July 17th for those of you who are keeping score at home...  If any of you are planning to visit Las Vegas during this poker spectacle, let me know, and I'll be happy to show you around.  If any of you are planning a visit to Vegas anytime, just give me a heads up like these friends did, and I'll try to get together with you for at least a photo op.






and Michaela.

After Kyleigh and Nick, I learned to actually get in the photos, and I'll have to make sure to get shots with Cindy and Emmy the next time that I see them in town.  Maybe I'll post some pictures with my Vegas friends, or include some photos of the sights of the city someday, as I've been promising....  :P  

Now it's time for some bathroom humor, or "toilet humor," if you will.  You don't ever get this from me, but stay with me...  I was recently in a restroom at a local casino..., doing what you do in a restroom.  I suddenly heard this guy wandering around, yelling, "PETE?!  PETE?!  ARE YOU IN HERE?!"  I don't know if Pete was drunk, or if the guy looking for him was drunk, or both, but Pete was missing evidently.  THEN Pete's friend starts knocking on the door of EVERY STALL, in search of his lost buddy.  "PETE?!  PETE?!"  When my door was knocked on, I didn't answer, because I'm not Pete.  Then I hear this guy talking to another member of the search party, as to whether or not Pete was in my stall evidently...  "No, that guy had black old man shoes..."  For starters, I realized that Pete's friend had looked under the door of my stall.  Secondly, I realized that Nike has a potential new marketing slogan for their black Air Monarchs...  
Black Old Man Shoes

There's never a dull moment in Las Vegas...  :)  That's all for tonight my friends, but have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hello Again

Good afternoon everyone.  It seems that time got away from me since the last time that we visited.  I just looked back in the archives, and the last time that I posted here was December 6th, so..., HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  With the football season just coming to a close, I will probably have a little more time to write.  For those times when you don't find a new post here, I have about a gazillion older posts in the archives.  Gazillion, 630, same thing.  This little blog was born on September 28th, 2011, and this entry will put it over 110,000 page views.  For those of you who are new here, 'Bikini Hill' overlooks the San Marcos River on the campus of my alma mater, Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University).  I tell you that not only to get the newcomers up to speed, but also because I have a lot of great photos of this spot saved in my phone that I've been wanting to post here...

Okay, the first four photos revolve around Bikini Hill and the river, while the last four are random shots of that amazing campus.  In case the topic ever comes up, I love my alma mater...  :)

And as far as 'The Strip' part of the blog title is concerned, I'm currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada.  As much as I love Texas, and more specifically, San Marcos, I can play poker 24/7 here, and wagering on a wide variety of sports is also readily accessible.  Actually, I have been working in a trio of sportsbooks since the end of August, taking bets and enjoying life.  As far as my wagering is concerned, I bet on football more than all of the other sports combined, so I'll continue to play more poker as I hopefully continue to write more.  For those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook, I recently shared a pair of statues from the Las Vegas Review Journal which gave a recap of the betting on Sunday's Super Bowl.  In case you haven't already heard, this Super Bowl generated a record of 138.5 million dollars wagered in the state of Nevada.  Speaking to the game itself, I don't know how this group of Atlanta Falcons will ever get over giving up that 28-3 lead and losing the game.  While we're on the subject of the Super Bowl, my brother Pete predicted the exact final score of the game, Patriots 34  Falcons 28, in my blog here.  Pete, my friend Joey, and myself gave our favorite weekly bets throughout the football season at 'Coach's Parlay Card,' and we included score predictions when the playoffs arrived.  Pete also struck it big just before Christmas at the Sunset Station bowling lanes, as he threw a perfect 300 game and an 820 series.  This is Pete...

Let me go on the record now that I'll include a photo of Pete in the blog every time that he bowls a perfect 300 game and/or picks the exact score of the Super Bowl.  :)  Nice job Pete...

As for me, I wrote quite a few bets and worked a little bit of overtime in the days leading up to and including the Super Bowl, and the NCAA Tournament in March is supposed to be our next big uptick in business.  I also played a substantial amount of poker over the past month, which included cashing in three consecutive Monday freeroll tournaments at the Falmingo, for $250.00, $250.00, and $150.00, respectively.  I see a lot more poker in my future as we bid our farewell to winter (it's currently 66 degrees in Las Vegas) and eagerly anticipate this summer's World Series of Poker, and the return of football in the fall.  As I've promised my Facebook friends, and now you, I'll eventually get around to posting more photos of Las Vegas for you.

I think that's all that I've got for you today, but I SHOULD post again in the next week to ten days...  :)  See ya soon my friends... 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Twelve Hours Later

Hello everyone.  It's been more than a month since I've posted here, so I probably have something to say...  I've now been working for Caesar's Entertainment in Las Vegas for just over three months.  I work as a ticket writer for the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood, and I absolutely love the job.  I have worked several jobs in the past where I haven't had much downtime, but when I do have occasions at this job when no one is in my betting line, I get to watch sports.  :)  The job itself consists of taking people's bets on horse races and sports, so the work itself is interesting.

I stopped playing poker for about two months (until returning to the tables over the weekend), and my new job was one of several factors contributing to that decision.  As I said, I like my job and I'd like to hold onto it, and putting in tons of hours at the poker tables and showing up for work tired while learning the job wouldn't have been in my best interest.  Not only do you want to avoid making mistakes at work, but it's hard to provide good customer service when you're tired and grumpy.  Another factor in taking the poker break was the start of the football season.  I bet on football more than any of the other sports combined, and it was going to be difficult having a football and poker bankroll if I wasn't winning, which leads us to the other reason for my break...  I was running cold at the poker tables.  I'm talking COLD my friends.  Ice, snow, BLIZZARD..., cold...  In the course of a week, I flopped three-of-a-kind (either in the form of a set or trips) about six times, and managed to lose every time.  I also took several other bad beats, and after taking a short break, I returned to playing.  When I've run bad in the past, I've taken breaks before returning to the tables, but on my "first" night back, I lost 40 dollars in an hour and a half, and I basically said "screw this..."  I did play again on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after this two-month layoff, and I expect that you'll be hearing a lot more references to poker (if I start writing that often again)...  :)

Football.  Yes, the football season has contributed to less writing also.  Making my football bets, watching games, doing a little studying, etc...  It's almost unbelievable to me that it's December 6th.  The college football bowl season is rapidly approaching, and the NFL has four more weeks of regular season games before the playoffs begin.  I have done well during the bowl season in the past, so with my plans to continue playing poker, the next month ought to fly by also.

Twelve hours...  I've been working swing shifts recently (which I LOVE).  I'm a night owl by nature, and have gone on record several times stating that if it were left to me, I would get my eight hours of sleep from 4:00 a.m. to noon.  I worked from 3-11 on Friday and Saturday before a 1-9 shift on Sunday, and played poker after each shift.  I was off yesterday and today.  After sleeping sporadically yesterday, I finally crashed at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday (today).  When I woke up, I could see just a little light coming through the blinds, and figured that it must be cloudy outside.  Before looking at the clock, I guessed what time it was (a game I often play)...  I figured that I hadn't been sleeping too long (the phone hadn't rang, I didn't remember getting up to go to the bathroom, etc..), so I thought that it was probably about 9:00 a.m.  Then I rolled over, and saw that it was 4:14.  But it wasn't dark outside, so...  Yes, I slept for TWELVE hours, and it seemed cloudy outside because it was ABOUT TO GET DARK, being 4:14 in the afternoon...  Turning on the t.v. and perusing the t.v. guide, I discovered that old episodes of 'Poker After Dark' were going to be airing until midnight, and that 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles' would be starting at 1:00 a.m.  I'd call that a pretty good day...  :D

I fully intend to go out on the town and give you some pictures sometime in the near future, but for now I'll just leave you with this year's Christmas card...

I hope that you have a tremendous holiday season, and that I'll post here again before 2017...  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I've Paid My Dues

"I've paid my dues..., time after time..., I've done my sentence..., but committed no crime..." -Queen- (We Are The Champions)

Good morning everyone.  I just took an unexpected four-hour nap, and I plan on waking up for the day (Thursday) in less than six hours, so why not write a blog entry for y'all?  Things are still going well here in the desert.  I plan on going to the Strip early tomorrow to make some football bets before work and the upcoming football weekend.  I've been in worse spots...  A year ago at this time, I was (unknowingly) on the precipice of walking to and from work in the "delightful" New England cold and rain and snow.  I'll tell ya, I've "paid my dues" so many times in my life, moving from place to place, starting different jobs, and when I moved back East from Texas just over a year ago, I thought that everything had finally come together and made sense.  So much for thinking...  After encountering what can best be characterized as a general lack of respect on several fronts upon returning to my hometown, I can honestly say that I won't miss the long walks to and from work in the snow and cold (and TRUST ME when I say that last winter was a MILD winter in my hometown).  I am so thankful that I won't be anywhere near the winter that New England is in store for this year.  I am also thankful for the rides to and from work that I ultimately began receiving from my co-workers at Walmart.  Prior to moving back to my hometown, I would have never thought that I'd be treated better by the people I worked with than some of the people I'd grown up with.  Pretty surprising...

As for Las Vegas, we're hitting a stretch where the daily high temperatures are in the 70s, while the lows are in the 50s.  For those of you who aren't familar with this part of the desert, the winter temperatures are usually just a little cooler than those in central Texas, while the summer temperatures are just a bit higher.  For what it's worth, that's a "dry cold" and a "dry heat" that we're talking about...  ;)  Speaking of cold, I've been running bad at the poker tables for quite some time now.  I took off about three weeks due to this streak of "run bad," but I decided to play a little last weekend.  After losing about 40 dollars in an hour and a half, I said "*#@%*&% this," and I've decided to focus on betting football for just a little while longer.  I believe that my job working in the sportsbooks out here has made me pay more attention to football during the week than I normally would have in the past.  I have also been exposed firsthand to the wide vareity of bets that people place on games (different types of parlays, teasers, etc)...  Long story short, I have had an enjoyable football season to this point, and have not lost all of my wages betting on the games.  :)  With that being said, I just had a REALLY BIG yawn, and I'm going to be waking up in less than five hours.  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Good morning everyone.  It appears that I haven't visited with you on this blog since the end of August.  Since the start of the football season, I've still been writing weekly at Coach's Parlay Card, where my friend Joey, my brother Pete, and myself give readers our favorite weekly football bets.  However, those blog entries don't take very much effort to write, and the job that I started right before the end of August has occupied much of my time.  For those of you who don't know, I was hired as a temporary ticket writer by Caesar's Entertainment, and I work in the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood.  I love the job and the people that I work with, so hopefully I'll be able to stick around for a while.  I have cut back on my poker playing since being hired, but I had been enduring an epic run of bad cards and bad beats, so playing less hasn't been the worst thing in the world for my mental health.  Naturally, my football betting increased significantly since the football season began (DUH), and I have been more successful this season than in any of my prior Vegas stints to date.  When betting parlays (where every bet that you make has to win for the ticket to win), I've been combining fewer bets (2-4 team parlays as opposed to 8-10 team parlays for example), and I've also been picking more winners this season.  That's one of the interesting things about my job on the weekends - when I'm not taking a customer's bet, I'm looking at the t.v. screens to see how the teams that I've bet are doing.  Thus, there are rarely any dull moments at work...  :)

Back in the desert.  I returned to Las Vegas on May 23rd, so I've now been back for just over 4 1/2 months.  This makes my current stay officially my second-longest in Las Vegas.  I lived here for just under two years from 2005-2007, and for just over 2 1/2 months two years ago.  Since I was last here two years ago, my finances hit almost rock-bottom, and due to the generosity my former department at the University of Texas at Austin showed by hiring me back, plus my good friends Brandi, Chad, and James putting me up (and putting up with me) and housing my belongings while I found a place to live (and then waited to move into), I was able to get my house back in order (so to speak).  ;)  Then, after being hired as a full-time employee by the University of Texas, which provided me with extra financial stability (plus paid health insurance), I gave all of that up to move back to my hometown to take a shot at happiness with my now ex-girlfriend.  I've taken the high road when the subject has come up ("things didn't work out"), but I'm still pretty underwhelmed by the way that I was treated, not only by my ex, but also by some of my former classmates in the aftermath.  Anyway, after spending nine months in my hometown, I moved back out here, and I hope that I'm finally gaining some traction.  If I'm fortunate enough to work for Caesar's for a prolonged period of time, I'll be able to get my finances under control again (you'd be surprised at how much it costs to move across the country, twice...), and then if I could just have one miraculous football weekend and/or poker cash (or several not-so-miraculous ones), then maybe I'll be able to rest easy again.

I had actually worked 8 out of the last 9 days (before yesterday), and now I'm in a stint of having 5 of the next 10 days off.  After getting home from work on Sunday night, I proceeded to sleep for 18 of the next 28 hours - that's how I spent my Monday...  :)  My birthday falls within this ten days (where I have five off), so I guess if there was ever a time to have your birthday...  :P  As I finish typing this entry, I'm waiting to do exciting things, such as my wash.  Hopefully I've almost completely adapted to my new job, and you'll be seeing posts from me more frequently.  As you read, this entry is going to be the one that puts this blog over 106,000 total pageviews.  I was so wrapped up in my new job and football and poker that I failed to do a post when this little blog celebrated its fifth birthday on September 28th (since we're talking about birthdays).    

Anyway, that's what's been happening here in Las Vegas.  I hope that y'all enjoy my birthday week and I'll see you soon, hopefully...  ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wake Me Up

"Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last, wake me up, when September ends..." -Green Day- (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

"Let no one discourage your ambitious attitude.  You don't need a fan club to achieve your goals.  Be your own motivation." -via Leanne Calderon-

"Dreams don't chase themselves..." -J.J. Natal-

"Clearly we haven't met.  If I'm playing, I'm planning to crush the competition..." -Shelley South Pennell-

"The older I get, the better I understand the treasure that is friendship..." -Kevin Joyce-

Good evening everyone.  Sorry about my absence last week.  I was unexpectedly busy, and as I've said, if it's not Tuesday or Wednesday, you probably won't be seeing posts from me otherwise in the fall.  Think football and poker...  It's late for me to be posting tonight, but I took a nap, so...  :P  I'll keep it relatively short anyway.  I'm taking great liberty with the post title and the Green Day lyrics since I'm ready to wake up now, and not at the end of September.  Cooler temperatures and full blown football are just around the corner.

There is something that I wanted to address last week, when I thought that I would be writing...

After leaving a job interview recently, I decided that I wanted to have my picture taken, since I was wearing a dress shirt and tie.  So I headed to a nearby casino bar (because that's what all of the cool kids are doing, right?), and I had a bartender snap this photo.  Seventy of my friends on Facebook have 'liked' this gem, bless their hearts.  Now let me tell you why I don't like this picture...  My tie is really crooked.  I wish that the bartender (or someone) would have said something.  Oh well...  Then I have this red mark that makes it look like a big mosquito bit me right between the eyes.  Didn't happen, but nice blotchy look nonetheless...  My expression.  Of three photos, THIS was the best one.  Awful...  And then there's the matter of my hair...  My hair color has gone from blond to really dark brown over the years.  I occasionally lighten it, but this time it appears that I grabbed the "Serial Killer Blond" box from the shelf.  Do you remember the end of 'Silence of the Lambs,' where Hannibal has escaped from Memphis???

This was the best photo that I could find, but trust me, if my hair wasn't gelled back, and I had a witty personality, I could be Hannibal Lecter...  :)  Serial Killer Blond...

Alright, I'm gonna have a midnight snack before I crash, but have a great week and I'll see you soon...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back To School

"Gossip dies when it hits a wise person's ears..." -via Valerie Saenz Neira-

"For only having one pair of boobs, I sure do have a LOT of bras..." -Jessica Johnson-

"I'm not even ashamed to say I have eaten Whataburger three times in the past week... #thankyoutexas #itssogood" -Abby Bland-

Good morning everyone.  I have grand plans for today, and we'll see how that works out.  My intent is to write an entry for all four of my blogs today, and this is the start of my first post.  My original plan was to write two blog entries yesterday, followed by the other two today, but I spent most of yesterday sleeping.  When I stay up all night on Friday and Saturday night (which I did once again), I have to make up for the sleep on the other side.  One of my pet peeves for a long time now has been the notion that whoever put out there suggesting that people can't make up for lost sleep.  My contention has always been that if you couldn't make up for lost sleep, you would DIE...  Anyway, I slept a substantial amount from Sunday afternoon through about 1:30 this morning.  During one of my periods of being awake, my good friend Joey took me shopping in advance of venturing off with his girlfriend on a two-week vacation to California.  Shortly after they return, Joey, my brother Pete, and myself will once again be posting our favorite weekly football bets at another of my blogs, Coach's Parlay Card.  Upon waking up very early this morning (and now with a full refrigerator), I realized that I have a ton of good options on t.v. to keep me distracted as I type up blog posts today.  ESPN is running a 28-hour fantasy football marathon (which will conclude with a celebrity draft - I love watching drafts, even when I'm not involved in the league), there are a pair of Olympics semifinal women's soccer games today (something that I can bet on, and I already have - Go Brazil and Germany!), and there are also several movies and Criminal Minds reruns, etc., etc... to keep me occupied.

I've mentioned the one blog already.  Let's get the other links out of way right now.  I also write a poker blog (Three Chips Poker) which chronicles my weekly adventures, and my "rant blog" is Coach Goes Viral.  I'm optimistic that today marks the beginning of when I write at least one entry for each blog on a weekly basis.  After going through the tedious process of creating my second, third, and fourth blogs (this being the original), I earned a promotion at work last year, and that was followed shortly by reconnecting with one of my former high school classmates.  Long story short, I haven't written much of anything in the past year, relatively speaking.  Consider that at one point in time, I was writing four entries per week, just for this blog...  This blog actually turns five years-old next month.  WOW...  While I'm doing links, I also want to bring attention to a friend's new business.  My friend Sean just opened up shop for those of you who are in the market for paracord bracelets or woodcrafts at this address.  As far as my links are concerned (for today's posts), remember that this is my first entry of the day, and I'll probably be publishing this at about noon E.S.T. (9:00 P.S.T.).  I'll do my poker post next, followed by my football (parlay card) entry, and then my "rant."  Each will probably take 2-3 hours to go online (as I eat and take t.v. breaks in-between).  I'm just letting you know this so you'll have an expectation as to when you'll find something new at each blog.

Back to school.  Well, I was a bit nostalgic last week as I celebrated my 26th anniversary of graduating from (Southwest) Texas State University.

Having chosen to attend SWT "blind" (I picked my alma mater from New Hampshire, having never been on the campus before), I was incredibly fortunate.  Probably one of the best decisions of my life, and made at the age of 17...  What a great school and a great town.  God bless San Marcos, America...

Of course I'm not the only summer graduate in the history of mankind...

The top photo is a picture of my friend and former student KayCee, a San Marcos product who I'm very proud to say graduated from my alma mater over the weekend.  Much like myself, I consider KayCee to be sharp and a fighter, and I was very happy to see that photo on Facebook last Friday.  Another young lady who falls into that category is my friend Abby (pictured with the owl), who recently received her Master's Degree.  Abby also earned her undergraduate degree from my alma mater, so we'll forgive her for going out of state to graduate school...  ;)  Congratulations again to both KayCee and Abby on their accomplishments! 

Without skipping a beat, my friend Scotty shared a 'Back To School' photo on Facebook last week...

You've gotta love retail...  :)  Going back to a couple of our aforementioned culprits, my friend Joey asked me the BEST question yesterday while I was shopping (my Texas friends will LOVE this)...  As I picked up a jar of mayonnaise, Joey asked me, "Have you ever heard of Whataburger?"  Joey then proceeded to start to explain what Whataburger is before I could respond, laughing and telling him, "Oh, THAT'S going in the blog..."  Note Abby's quote at the top of the page - if you've lived in Texas, you're probably familiar with Whataburger (and Dairy Queen, and Sonic...).  Anyway, after we laughed, Joey told me the story that he was reminded of...  A friend of his recently ordered a burger with no ketchup or mayonnaise at a Whataburger in Roswell, New Mexico.  The cashier informed him that they didn't have mayonnaise.  Joey's friend pointed out that the menu stated that this particular burger comes with ketchup and mayo, which he'd rather do without.  The cashier then responded by saying, "Oh, we have mayo, but we don't have mayonnaise..."  Hmmm...  I told Joey that this cashier should be at the front of the line when they start getting paid $15.00 an hour...  :)

ANYWAY, I'll leave you with that for today, since I have three more blogs to attend to.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!