From Rock Gardens slot hoki to Sherwood Forests

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Thanks to everyone who has sent along public and private congratulations on my recent good fortune. While it’s always tempting to rest on one’s laurels, it’s time to get back to dancing with who brung me. When we last left Otis in Vegas, he’d finally recovered from the first two days of insanity, settled down for a night and morning full of fun low-limit poker, and was on his way to bed to rest up for a couple hours before the NFL kickoff
The sun had again started sliding through the doors, again signalling slot hoki that it was time to sleep. I knew that a full day of football with the blogging crew stood to be another experience that might lead me to ruin and I don’t like to head toward ruin without a couple hours sleep.
Alas, it was not to be. I laid in bed for a couple
of hours before giving up, logging on to the high-speed Internet service, and taking care of some personal business.
By the time I’d showered, I’d missed kickoff and the ability to join everyone in betting the Bengals. I thought that was probably a good thing, but headed over to Mandalay Bay nonetheless.
I discovered something that had come to be expected: I wasn’t feeling too well.
The tram dropped me in the cavernous hallways of Mandalay Bay. I wandered in feeling like I should turn around and go back to my room to attempt sleep. I didn’t feel like I could face the blogging posse without my gameface on. I caught a glimpse of myself in a window’s reflection and realized that while I was still wearing my gameface, it had turned green. Or remained green. I wasn’t sure.
I stood in the entryway to the casino and pondered the possibilities. I felt like sitting down.
Within a couple of minutes I sat down at a quarter Wheel of Fortune machine and rested. Okay, I thought. $20 in the machine. I decided that if I won anything or broke even, I would stay. If I lost it all, it would indicate I should just go back to the room.
Three pulls later I was up $20. I considered my gameface. While it was green, it was still there. And I thought for a moment that green might not be that bad. Maybe it was Philadephia Eagles Green.
Al and CJ would certainly appreciate that.
In need of a charge, he finds the super chargers
The Mandalay Bay sportsbook is enormous. Every possible sport fights with the casino lighting as it shoots from the dozens of television screens that rise two stories from the floor.
I thought that I’d have a hard time finding the bloggers, but with Al leading the charge, the group’s rowdiness rose up from the din. I walked up, still unsteady, and greeted the group.
After some brief hellos, I remembered that in the past 42 hours, I’d only eaten two tacos and a bowl of non-gumbo. I wandered the casino until I found a deli, grabbed a chicken salad sandwich and rested. Still, I found msyelf ill-equipped for what had started happening in the sports book. Booze was already flowing like a sick kid’s nose and my good sense was actually speaking up.
Steer clear, it said.
So, I wandered some more, walking an inordinate amount of time until I found the famed Shark Reef.
Now, here’s an odd thing. Over the past 48 hours, I’d been buying racks upon racks of chips in the poker room, playing Pai Gow and Blackjack for $25 and sometimes $50 a hand. And yet, I stood at the entrance to the Shark Reef, I found myself dismayed at the $15 a head charge to get in.
Fifteen dollars to see one of the greatest wonders this end of the Strip had to offer? No, sir. I mean, sure, it’s one thing to lay down a day’s pay on the chance of hitting an open-ender (or better yet, the hope the dealer draws a Pai Gow), but $15 to see some of the greatest beasts of the sea in all their splendor? No, sir.
As I walked back through the marble caves, I couldn’t help but remember that I’d loaded a $20 into a slot machine just 45 minutes earlier. Otis had his priorities way out of whack.

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