Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blue Balls In A Whorehouse

So this week, Dear Reader who tolerates my occasional foray into pokerspeak, I'm on "vacation." As you might have read a few months back, at my family's behest, it's in Atlantic City, at Harrah's Resort in the Marina. As I write this, I'm about 150 feet away from the first place where I ever played poker in a casino. It's also, as I write this, the 56th hour that I've been on the premises.

You and I share something; the number of bets we've made in this place during that time. Zero.

Why the non-action? Well, let's see. First and foremost is the No Real Money, which has been growing in its problem nature for two months now, and doesn't seem to be getting any better. Second is the nature of the Shooter Kids: active, demanding, easily bored, looking for runaround time, hungry for time with Dad who works too much, blogs too much, watches sports too much and generally could be more active in their lives. Third is the Shooter Wife, who has a gig on Sunday that needs practice time. So most of my waking hours are spent in thrall to the kids. There's a reason why WSOP champions are in their 20s and childless, folks.

There's also this: spending time in a casino without gambling is like spending time in a bar as a designated driver, or time in a whorehouse as the janitorial staff. After a while, you just start to resent everyone around you for having the means while you do not. And Harrah's was entirely the wrong choice for the family, too. While the room was cheap and nice, everything else is crazy money, and the nice pool area is restricted to 21 and up. I, of course, didn't know this coming in. So I've spent the last 3 days in the Family Fun Center ghetto, where the chlorine is strong enough to kill all of the little ones urine and the cry of MARCO! POLO! is ever-present, pitched to scatter vermin, and giving me this lovely little twitch to match the one I'm getting from Not Gambling. Oh, and the fitness center is 18+, which means my gymnast girls can't even grab a dumbbell to keep me company on the treadmill, because you don't break rules in a casino. The Eyes Are Everywhere, after all.

Crazy money, you say? $12 a day to access the Internet. $5 to park. $11 for two pastries and a chocolate milk. $80 for 2 adults and 2 kids to eat a dinner buffet. $65 for the same to eat burgers; $12 for a takeout burger and soda. $65 for soup and 2 burgers for room service when the kids are nauseous from the chlorine pool they can't stop wanting to go in. We've brought in soda, milk, cereal, bowls and spoons to beat the bastards off of breakfast gougery, gone out to see the December sights (Lucy the Elephant is fairly worthwhile, and I took the Chipmunk bullet so the wife could see Sherlock Holmes 2) and eat anywhere else, and watched my dream of vacation on $150 a day go down faster than my usual poker tournament performance. At least the Internet works well enough for me to hit my crappy free online poker methadone.

In short: I need a vacation from my vacation, and if I actually play well in Friday's end of year tournament with the yearly championship and somewhere around $1200 on the line... it'll be a freaking miracle. Which is to say, the same thing it would be otherwise.

But if I leave you with anything, make it this: don't take your family to Harrah's in Atlantic City. It's just not worth it. Though my hatred of the management is giving me the consolation that, if nothing else, I'm denying them the poker vig they'd be shaking me down for, had I actually money left to play...

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