There are so many occasions where your boy the Casino Guy is just minding his business and weird shit happens. Sometimes something goes down that is so befuddling, his brain can’t process what is happening which leads to the question, “What the HELL is going on here!?!?” This series is dedicated to such events. Enjoy!
In a recent loop of some of the missing places on my board of Las Vegas, we came across the SLS Las Vegas at the end of the strip, which is the remodeled Sahara (as of the time of this posting, SLS was rebranded back to the SAHARA Las Vegas after 5 years as SLS – who can keep track of this shit? Casino Guy can, that’s you come to me for my expert commentary!). Walking into the place, everything seemed fine. After a bunch of pops in Downtown Vegas (more on that another day), I found an open table at SLS to hopefully make some quick damage and get a few MORE pops before checking in to our hotel on the strip.
Things were going well for approximately five minutes. First, I sit down in the middle of the shuffle – perfect timing in my mind. I have time to get a player card from the pit boss, snag a beer and look at the scenes. No, not the case. I would have had time to do all those things, smoke a ham, knit a sweater and drop a heater in the super chic bathroom. For some reason, whether it be the dealer answering questions of a passerby, chatting up table players and essentially forgetting what she already shuffled, this dealer set the record for the longest shuffle since Warren at Twin River Tiverton.
Oh, and that player card? Forget it. My licenses is now in the ether. Gone forever.
Oh, and that waitress? Forget THAT!!! She is off translating The Great Gatsby into Mandarin Chinese or robbing the local pawn shop or something in between.
We finally get ready to play. The Lambert-Fisher of dealers (it’s Glaciology, learn
something will ya) is done whatever it is that she called shuffling.
Two players, me and a less attractive version of Mark Consuelos, are ready to go. As we are getting into the smallest of runs halfway shoe one, Bootleg Consuelos is chatting up a couple behind the table, presumably his pals, and playing a little recklessly. The couple will simply not stop talking and hypothetical not-as-attractive-Kelly Ripa’s husband (because not as attractive Mark would only be able to land a proportionally not as good looking fake Kelly Ripa) is playing so loose with basic strategy of blackjack, he should be investigated for some sort of sorcery. He is staying when he should hit, doubling when he should stay…you name it, he is doing the opposite. And winning!!! Any normal day, I would run. But guess what, I haven’t received my freakin’ license back from the pit boss. I guess this is the Siachen of pit bosses (more Glaciology people).
The couple is EATING UP this clown’s hot streak (they also seem to have eaten their parents, but who am I to judge). We now have a large and very talkative Green Bay Packers fan join the couple, who must also know Fake Hiram Loge. Well, come to find out, our trio of guests DO NOT KNOW Mateo Santos, DO NOT WATCH All My Children and are simply standing at a random blackjack table and cheering on complete strangers. I was not immune from catching some of this support. I was getting words of encouragement like, “Ohhh that was a good hit!” or “good luck on that double down!”. What the fuck is going on here?!?!?! I can think of 10,000 things I would rather do on my trip to Las Vegas instead of rooting for two dudes at a low limit blackjack table. I can think of 10,000 things I would rather have happen to me than be rooted for and clapped for and patted on the back after a win (yes, they touched me…and if you knew Casino Guy, touching is not on the table. Hard NOPE.) by people who ARE NOT IN THE GAME OR KNOW ANYONE IN THE GAME.
When I lost, there were audible groans. Imagine losing a double down on a 4 card dealer 18 and you get a “Geez man, that was a real tough loss!” from this five head, diabetes socks wearing chump with a sausage hanging out the side of his mouth. That sausage part may have been an exaggeration but you get the picture.
Fake Consuelos left the table and they stayed to watch me. I never looked at them. I never acknowledged their praises or sympathies. The lack of self awareness to stay and to not just move along was stunning. I was too scared to engage them, too confused to accept them, too angered by their invasion of my sanctuary.
They weren’t drunk. They weren’t high. Then it dawned on me. One simple explanation of what the hell was going on here. They were Midwestern. As we covered with these, people from that part of the country as just too nice for their own good. I couldn’t stay mad. All I could do is get my one beer (20 minutes), my license (25 minutes later) and get the hell out of the their before I got roofied and thrown into a well and skinned alive.
To you, the three Midwestern people who lived and died with two random dudes playing blackjack, I have to salute you. You certainly made me ask, what the HELL is going on here?!?!