Saturday, July 07, 2007

2007 WSOP - Bingo!

I just had to write this one next because it was so much fun! My constant readers know that the love of my life Lucy doesn’t gamble except for hooking up with me I guess; I try to make that a good overlay for her. She goes to the WSOP every year and she loves it. Sometimes the girls come too, but even if they don’t she wouldn’t miss it. I am pretty busy playing during tournament time, so she makes her own fun shopping and hanging out by the pool. I really try and go to dinner with her on nights that I have busted out early and we make time every year to play bingo at least once.

She doesn’t gamble but for some reason she loves playing bingo, she doesn’t care about the money either she just likes to play and she likes me to be there with her when she does. I will say again she doesn’t ask me for much so when she does ask me for something, I do it.

We play bingo at the Gold Coast casino, I wrote a story about our last outing and if you remember we invited Jason at the last minute and he had a blast. This year he made sure that he was part of the “Bingo Tribe”, demanding an invite to our little date night. Lucy loves Jason like a little brother and she was fine with him going as long as he didn’t embarrass her at the bingo parlor. I would have like to take action on the over on that one, but he said he would try and behave and that he would for sure turn off his cell phone, he really was trying to be good.

We arrived early so we could get a good seat, Lucy is always early and it was her night so we were on her schedule. We go to the bingo hall upstairs and it was crazy! There were already 50 or 60 people in line, there are several windows like at the bank. I looked for the lady that normally helps us; she is a really nice gal from New Jersey named Diane.

We found her window and got in line, we like her waiting on us because in addition to being nice she knows what we want. When we play bingo we play as high as they will let us, most of the people in there are playing paper cards and dobbing. You can buy different packets of cards that are different colors, the more expensive the pack you buy; the more it pays when you hit a bingo. We don’t use the paper cards, we rent the little laptop called a TED and they load your bingo cards in that thing and it marks them all for you. We like to load the machine with the most cards it will hold and our girl Diane knows just how to get that done.

I noticed this lady who had to be at least 106 years old sitting in a chair while she was in line and the line was advancing beyond her creating a large gap. I being the chivalrous gentleman that I am, grabbed another chair and sat it 10 feet further in line so she could still sit and not lose her place in line. I offered “Would you like to sit in this chair?” as I motioned to the new spot that I had created for her. She looked up at me with kind eyes and said “Why don’t you mind your own god damn business?” as she waved her hands she continued with “get the hell behind me and stay there!” I did as instructed and Jason and Lucy were church laughing so hard that I thought they were going to pee their pants.

I few moments later the old woman looked back at me and I said “Hey, I am being good!” and with that she laughed and said “Your alright, most people don’t get my sense of humor.” I said “I am just scared that’s all.” We all laughed and as it turns out that old lady was none other than Diane’s mom! Small world, we reached the window and Diane was beaming, she remembered us; I don’t think she gets many high stakes bingo players through there. Most of the people in there are buying in for between $8.00 and $24.00, when she sets up our machines it is around $200.00 a piece. I think it’s as fun for her as it is for us, “let’s have your player’s cards!”

We don’t have player’s cards! She let us know that we had to go downstairs and get them; we would save $20.00 each! Jason and I had around 20 grand on us and we had been playing high as a kite all week, I paid $700.00 for dinner the night before. It wasn’t a suggestion, so off we went. Hey we were laughing and having fun what the heck, plus it is the way of the karma, we will be getting a different machine now, who knows we may need to do this to get the right machines tonight. We got our cards and since we were new members we got a whole bunch of Mardi gras beads, Silver and red to match Lucy’s Bling, Bling WSOP shirt, sliver for Galt and Gold Chains for Big Papa! Hey it was Bingo night and we were cutting loose.

We were back up stairs waiting in line again when Jason and I firmed up the side action bets for the night. We would be playing $25.00 for who ever was closest to bingo when someone called it and something new for tonight “Magic Ball” we each got to chose a ball, 25 for me and 13 for John Galt. I don’t know why he chose 13 but 25 is my number, my birthday, Lucy’s birthday, our youngest daughter Kaity, I even moneyed in Event #25 - WSOP No Limit Hold'em this year. Yea, it would have to be 25 for me. Here is how the magic ball bet goes when ever the bingo caller brings out the 25 ball Jason gives me $50.00 and if the 13 ball came he would get it back and vice versa. I wanted to play that game for $100.00, but it was negotiated down to $50.00 by Jason, he fears my Bingo skills.

We were in high form and having a ball, someone called bingo and Jason showed me his machine and I pay him $25.00, as the bingo caller says “pay that one lucky blue card winner $40.00.” A few minutes later she is going “pay that one lucky tan card winner $110.00” Jason is paying me $25.00 this time, plus my $50.00 magic ball bet! We are playing for more than these people that hit the bingos are winning, good times.
What happens next is out of this world, we are ordering coffee from the waiter and my machine dings! I tell Lucy and Jason that I am one away I need 38, and the next ball out is “38”! She calls it and my machine starts dancing and I hold it up and yell “BINGO!” The odd thing is everyone is clapping, no one ever claps.

The waiter asks me if we want anything else to drink, Champaign perhaps. Yea whatever, coffee is fine. When you hit a bingo they have to send a lady by and verify your card/machine, then after that they bring the cash around to you and you tip the runner and the game rolls on.

This time the lady came by and did the check with the bingo caller thing and when it was verified, the lady says “We are going to need your driver’s license and social security card.” This never happens, I asked the lady why she needed that and she said “Honey, you won the jackpot!” Apparently there is a special jackpot for if you hit bingo on the number that they chose before hand, tonight that number was 38.
That sounds awesome, I was thinking to myself “pay that lucky tan card winner $110!” and since I was the jackpot winner I may have won like $300 bucks!

I would have to split half of that with Jason because we buy half of each others action when we play bingo, that way if your buddy wins, you win. Bingo is just for fun anyway and so now Jason is getting interested in the proceedings since he owns half of the “Jackpot”.

Finally LuAnn spoke up and said what we couldn’t, “Ok, suppose we are dense and we don’t know about the jackpot, how much money did he win?” The lady says “Sweetie, He won $7462.00!” Jason went nuts! He was like a little kid, he makes 100K trading stocks in a day and he doesn’t blink, but this made him lose it. He was doing the pound fist, high five thing and then he started to jump up on his chair and one look at Lucy ended that, she gave him the “that is enough, even for 7 grand look” and he sat back down. She warmed back up too him and he continued on with “Oh man, this is sweet!” I love bingo!

It really was sweet, I had to go up and get the money from the bank teller windows, but I still tipped the gal that did the verification thing for us a hundred bucks and I folded over two hundred dollar bills and walked over to Diane and as she walked off in a different direction to go do something I say “Hey I need to take care of you.” And she said “You guys already did?” Jason had given her $20.00 when we bought in.

I said “come on you saw what I hit, you are our personal bingo concierge, let me do this.” I handed her the two bills and I swear she started to well up, “you guys are the nicest people that ever came in here and so much fun too with all your side betting and laughing” I told her that we feel the same way about her and that we wouldn’t play bingo anywhere else in Vegas because of her. She said “You better not!” and gave me a big hug.

Luann made me promise to mention that she won that night too, $24.00. I tried to tip Diane four of it and she just laughed at me, you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl. She is just our kind of people, fun.
There was one more moment of excitement in the second session we played that night, Jason was one away and he needed a 74. You guessed it, 74 was the Jackpot ball for that game, $2800.00 and then someone called bingo, wait they made a mistake the game continued.

Then someone else called it and it was paper and again not good, keep going. I thought Jason was going to have a heart attack. Eventually someone called it and really did have bingo, which I think was probably a good thing because if our tribe had won two jackpots that night those people would have killed us for sure.
I do have to say it was thrilling to get that bingo, but those people treated me like a rock star for doing it. When we were on brake between sessions we went and got a bite to eat and everywhere we went there were bingo players pointing at me and saying “that is him!”

There were two older ladies that came up to me after we were done that night while I waited for Jason and Luann to get out of the restroom and wanted to chat about the jackpot. One of the ladies said “I have been playing for seventeen years and I have never hit one of those!”

Then she reached over and rubbed my arm, for luck. At first I thought how funny she is kidding and I laughed a little, she was dead serious and then her friend came over for a rub of luck! Luann walked over just then and not a moment too soon, bye ladies and we bolted. It’s not easy being a bingo rock star.

The little gambling that Lucy will do is done at the Gold Coast because the limits are low, even though I give her the money to do it she still isn’t about throwing around $300.00 on nonsense. It was late and I asked her if she still wanted to play a little roulette and she declined, it was 10:30 at night after all. Then she stopped and said “what the heck, lets play, just not too long.”

We sat down at a roulette table and I bought $100.00 worth of one dollar checks for each of us, Lucy was playing pink of course and brown for me. Jason had gone to the gage to cash in what $25.00 chips I hadn’t taken from him in side action, which truth be told almost always ends up dead even.

When I play roulette I only play one number, 25 for twenty five dollars. It doesn’t hit very much normally (except this week) but when it does it is sweet, 35 to 1 for $875.00! Tonight just for fun I played 25 for 25 but I also played 13 for 13 because that was Jason’s magic ball number. I put out my bets and Luann spread like 8 chips out there on various numbers and put two on 25 that is her number too.
To continue the amazing run I have been on the dealer rolls out a 25 on the first spin! She pushes me $875 and $70.00 for Luann. I leave my bet out there and Lucy tosses out a couple of more chips when Jason walks up and says “What the hell happened? Where did all the black come from?” In the casino $100.00 chips are black and I had a bunch of them.

I just turned around and said “Twenty Five Ball!” He laughed and the ball was spinning. The dealer said “Black 13” and Jason saw the stack of my brown chips on the table and said “thirteen Ball? Lui screeched a little as the dealer pushed me $455.00, I had thirteen black birds and around one hundred roulette chips and I was done.

I pushed the five stacks on to the red square and pocketed the hundreds. Lucy freaked a little and scrolled me for betting so much, I told her it wasn’t that much and it was my last be anyway, she still didn’t like it even though I won.

She is funny about that every time she comes into the Bellagio poker room and walks over to where I am playing, I push in a big bet and she does a fast u turn and waits for me to come after her in the sports book.

She just wants Big Papa to bring home the bacon, she doesn’t want to see it being made and I’m ok with that. We have a great deal with each other and I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

I cashed out and as we were leaving I had a problem, if you didn’t count the cash games (I have two great stories coming about my live play) I had made more money playing bingo at the WSOP this year than I have playing tournament poker! I needed to win and I did as you read in the Caesars 540 story, but for a time there I was thinking of switching games.

I apologize for the long windedness of this one, but if you read me regularly you know that it is just as much about friends and family as it is about poker for me and keeping my promise to spend time with Lucy really paid off. You may want to know what a high rolling bingo pro spends his dough on; Lucy and I bought ourselves a brand new bed when we got home. I know the excitement never ends at our house.