Tales from the Hard Rock, Vols. 1 and 2

 

This post goes to show that lightning can strike twice… if you’re lucky enough.

Months ago, I was going to write a feel-good story about friendship, gambling and how SportsChump finally got the better end of a woman scorned.  (Hey, it only took 43 years, right?)

My birthday fell back in July.  I was blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who all came to share the love.  The drinks were flowin’, the food was a-plenty and the karaoke was abundant and atonal.

After a long night’s work, my partner in karaoke crime, Pure Prairie Dave, and I hit the local Hard Rock for a deliciously fattening, chicken-fried steak breakfast and a few hands of Let It Ride poker.  His inebriated wife-to-be came along for the ride.

We debated whether or not to take her, knowing either choice would ultimately be the wrong one.   Gambling is a time-consuming activity.  Had she not accompanied us, his phone would have been ringing off the hook with her angrily awaiting his return home.  Had she come with, which she did, she would have also complained… which she did.

After a solid hour or so of celebratory morning champagne and the inevitable ebbs and flows of the poker table, our chip stacks were hovering around even, give or take our bar tab.  His fiancée lay not-so-pleasantly asleep in the car.

She approached the table minutes later, still tipsy from the karaoke-fest hours earlier and demanded to be taken home.  I don’t mean to imply that she caused a scene but let’s just say car keys were flung halfway across the casino floor.

Recognizing the urgency of the matter, Pure Prairie Dave decided it was best to call it a night.  I understood, having been there myself on occasion.  As the happy couple bid the table a fond farewell and stumbled towards the exit, I stayed at the table to press my luck.

Now, for those of you who have never played Let It Ride, the game is actually quite simple.  Each player is dealt three cards face down.  The objective is to land a winning hand with the assistance of the communal flop.  A pair of tens is the lowest winning hand and pays even money.  Better hands obviously pay a higher multiplier on your original bet.  There are five bets, two of which you can pull back at your leisure as the hand progresses.

Well, the very next hand, I was dealt pocket tens, so I knew I already had a winner before the dealer’s flop.  In the distance, I could see the loving couple stumble out the casino door.  As the game suggests, I let it ride.

The next card came.  Another ten.  Trips and I was good to go, knowing a fourth ten would pay huge with the amount of chips I had bet that hand.

The fourth ten hit and so did I, to the tune of over a grand.  Happy be me!

Well, the same thing happened again last Wednesday, with the same loving couple after another night of karaoke bliss.  This time, Mrs. Pure Prairie Dave sat at the table, playing alongside us and learning the game as she went.

The night, er… morning was going well, with all of us breaking even until… straight flush (9-10-J of clubs) in the pocket and an off-suited 7 and 8 on the flop, making SportsChump the big winner in the casino once again.

Now, of course, I don’t condone gambling outside of someone’s limits, always know your bankroll, but Let It Ride is a great way to kill time if you have a couple hundred bucks to spare.  The payback can be huge.  Just know what you’re doing.

It also helps to have a little luck on your side.

30 thoughts on “Tales from the Hard Rock, Vols. 1 and 2

  1. Pingback: Tales from the Hard Rock, Vols. 1 and 2 - BallHyped, Other Sports | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Let it Ride and Three Card Poker are both great games at a casino… and seem to be the best ways to win at the table games.

    Last time I was at the Hard Rock in Tampa the games were all electronic (except Texas Hold Em). Still the case?

  3. They’ve got tables now, Han. Happened a few years back. Obviously made a huge difference and made it a far better place to hang out.

    Back in the day, however, they did have an electronic hold ’em game with no dealer, where everyone placed their bets electronically, and the cards were dealt on a computer screen.

    Everyone hated that game and the casino eventually got rid of them but I always fared well on those tables because everyone would get so frustrated about not knowing how to play that game properly.

    Always look for an advantage, brother.

  4. I miss gambling…I used to go to Vegas pretty often but when the economy tanked, we tightened the belt a bit. Last time I went to state line, I left with 600 extra bucks.

    Be sure to send the IRS their cut oh lucky one.

  5. BPG…

    My bankroll’s not all that BUT the casino is on my way home from work every night.

    I’m relatively disciplined, like I said, staying within my limits.

    But every so often… it calls.

  6. I don’t know if I would call Let It Ride a good way to pass time… you can blow that in ten minutes. Play smart sure, and you can win big, but you can lose quickly, too. I would more say that Blackjack or Paigow Poker would be ways to pass time. By the way, when are we going to Vegas? Stop by my site again sometime, so I know you are actually getting these comments.

  7. I always say it’s better to be lucky than good and since I’m neither I stay out of the Hard Rock.

  8. Gambling…I have a bucket list wish to be in Vegas for March Madness and put money down on every single game. For amusement only, I usually follow the spreads from round to round and play along, picking winners and keeping track of how I do. I usually am just over 50% by the time the final buzzer sounds on Monday night. I would love the rush of doing it for real, watching all the games simultaneously, etc.

  9. Chris

    Down in the doldrums not because of the game but a friend of mine who just happened to be a former US Marine (lives in Suffolk County , NY) died under suspicious circumstances this past weekend . He’d returned from Iraq and all seemed to be OK but in the past 6 months in suffering from PTSD just left him listless and using way too much drugs . We’re still waiting on the details of the autopsy concerning his death .

    As to the game itself not necessarily one of inches but somehow with it being within their grasp my Pats simply let it slip out of their hands through sheer complacency . .

    The good thing about it however , is that I am now the proud godfather of twins as the girlfriend’s best friend gave birth during the game. We’re all (fifteen of us at her place in O-town) watching the game when the future parent’s contractions started . No time to wait for the EMT’s , so we drove her to the hospital where she dropped the twins in a little over an hour . While there , all of the males in terms of those in attendance sat around watching the events unfold from the Superbowl on hand-held devices or in my case via a Kindle Fire.

    Your thoughts on the following ?

    This Bouncing Ball Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon ………

    You Make Your Bed You Had Damn Well Be Sure You’re Prepared To Lay In It !

    tophatal …………

  10. Gambling stories are always fun. I haven’t been able to get much in aside from sports betting lately, because well, I’m in California! My most memorable time though was in college in Reno visiting friends, and won about $700 on a $5 blackjack table. Me and my buddy were doing snow angels during a big storm in the middle of the street because we took them for close to $1600 on the night.

    My favorite casino game though is craps, you can tell quickly if it’s your night or not!

  11. SA…

    Great idea. I haven’t been to Las Vegas for March Madness either but I do want to go one year.

    Just keep in mind, with your wagers, you’re either betting money line or against the spread.

    With the juice, you’d need to pick ’em at about a 60% clip to make any money.

  12. Al….

    Sorry to hear about your friend but the other is an absolutely amazing story.

    Super Bowl baby, huh? Hysterical. I can see everyone pacing in the waiting room now. Must’ve been quite a scene.

    And yes, it most certainly appears the Giants have the Patriots’ number.

  13. Does it have to do with USD?

    I don’t bet nearly as much as I used to, but if it’s on TV and I have no rooting interest, I’ll usually throw a bet down…

  14. Sorry I didn’t make it brother, but once we checked in the party started and we became stricktly pedestrians. As soon as this mess I call my life calms down we will drop in and you can bet on that.

  15. Chris

    Guys were pacing alright walking around with hand held devices while being told by the hospital staff that we need to be in another area rather than making all that noise . …… myself included .

    Tabatha , the mother of the twins ( boy & girl) is actually from NYC and she’s naming the kids , Ellie ( as in Eli ) and Tom (after the Giants’ qb and coach) . Well that’s it , I’ll be their godfather but I’ll be ingraining it into them both that their parents are demented ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Great game either way and there had to be a winner and a loser . Unfortunately for the Pats’ fans we’re mourning another loss . Mario Manningham meet David Tyree ………. is there anything else left to be said ? Oh yeah , Gisele Bundchen shut the hell up !

    tophatal ……….

  16. Aer…

    Actually the traffic was horrible that day. And pedestrianism is definitely the way to go on days like that. Traffic on my block was so bad, people could barely get up the street.

    I called the taxi company for some customers that were looking to get home and the dispatcher told us to expect a two-and-a-half our wait.

  17. Al…

    I wouldn’t say he’s a dumbass. He’s just got a problem with addiction.

    Certainly you’ve known some smart people who have struggled with similar illnesses.

  18. Yeah, yeah, just keep rubbing the Masters trip in… I remember one podcast back when and you said that whoever got tickets, we would go with each other. We have to have that one on tape!

  19. Pingback: Sports Chump » Tales from the Hard Rock, Vol. 4: Calling time at the poker table

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