Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of Trip: Tattoo You

It all ended with TheMark twitpic'ing the photo below and asking why would a half naked man be standing outside the Atlantic City airport. Here's how it would begin.


You can spice up any gambling trip with prop betting. It's a rule the G-Vegas travelling team follows almost all of the time. TheMark, Moutray and I gambled on several things during the weekend in AC, from who would be leading the Masters upon touchdown, to the sex of the shuttle driver from the airport. Generally harmless $10 bets were bandied about consistently from the beginning of the trip to the end.

One of the more interesting ones came about when during a walk down the Atlantic City boardwalk, TheMark spotted a Henna Tattoo place.

"OK guys, how about this one: Whoever loses the most, or wins the least, in our first poker session gets the names of the other 2 tattoo'd on their chest."

Moutray immediately agreed. I was a bit hesitant. TheMark and Moutray are excellent poker players and I'm not ashamed at saying I was an underdog in this contest. But I also wasn't going to be "that guy" who wouldn't go along with whatever the others wanted to do, especially when I was freerolling the entire trip.

"OK, fine," I agreed. I knew I'd regret it immediately.


We all put our names on the 2/5 and 1/2 NL tables upon arriving at the Taj Mahal poker room. There were no immediate seats except at a 2/4 limit table, so we parked our semi-inebriated asses down at a table full of nits and losers.

"Raise, re-raise, cap." I'm pretty sure each round of pre-flop betting went like that, and then post-flop actual poker would be played. Of course, at the lowest limit poker for the weekend, I'd be a card rack. QJd turned a flush and won a big pot. AA would turn a set and get paid. I was up $100+ at a 2/4 limit table before we got our names called to 1/2 NL.

"Hmmmm, maybe I'm not going to lose this one" I thought. Somewhere, a petite Eastern European Henna tattoo artist was laughing.


We played only an orbit at 1/2 before they opened a new 2/5 table. The three of us sat down and the table began to fill up with locals.

(Aside: What is it about New Jersey and the Northeast in general that causes fights to nearly break out at every poker table?)

I was leading the prop bet, but it wasn't long before TheMark flopped a set of deuces and cracked Aces for a big pot that put him in the lead.

One large fellow, who seemed quite friendly at first, began to berate TheMark.

"Hey buddy, you can't do math very well, can you?" he bellowed from the 1-seat.

"Huh," TheMark responded, smiling, gregarious as always.

"You just won a $700 pot and you tipped her $1. You're a cheap ass redneck."

Awesome. This guy is picking a fight because of a $1 tip. We were tipping every hand. $1. It's pretty standard. The amount of work a dealer does on a $700 pot that goes to showdown is exactly the same amount of work they do on a $20 pot that goes to showdown. This guy, manners aside, is apparently oblivious to his own stupidity.

TheMark ignored him and gave him a standard "Whatever buddy" reply.

That unfortunately didn't settle things.

"I'll knock you the fuck out." He was now challenging TheMark to fisticuffs right there at a 2/5 table at the Taj Mahal. The dealer said nothing and the floor was nowhere to be found.

"No you won't," I replied.

"Yes I will," he returned.

"No you won't." That's all I said to him. Because I knew he wouldn't. He was all mouth. Well, and belly. He was probably 350 pounds. Still, I was quite confident he'd not lay a hand on either me or TheMark.

A few more "Yes I will's" and "No you won'ts" went back and forth and finally the floor came over and warned us. I was actually laughing at the unintentional comedy of the situation. It was surreal. In the back of my mind, in a worst case scenario, I felt that if I could avoid being sat on, I'd be the favorite in the Octagon against him. would have set a -500 line in the bout.

BadBlood (-500) vs. Out of shape, random fat guy from New Jersey.


With TheMark doubling through, the prop bet was coming down to Moutray and I. We were each hovering at about even, with an hour and a half left to play before our agreed upon stop time.

Sadly, I was dealt pocket 10's. They are now referred to as pocket Henna's. I went broke with them, misplaying them horribly against K7o. And that was all she wrote. I was toast. It was just a matter of when we going to find time to go back to the Henna place. Hopefully never. Maybe we'd drink enough and gamble enough that they'd forget about the prop bet. I certainly wasn't going to bring it up. "Hey guys, remember I'm supposed to get your names tattoo'd on my chest." You would not hear me say that. Ever.


Sunday finally rolled around. Moutray was up for the trip, TheMark crushed the poker table for the trip and was up even after a really, really bad 10 minutes at roulette. I was way down. Miserably down. I torpedoed an $1100 stack at 1/2 PLO after letting the alcohol get to me on Saturday night, ruining any chance for a comeback. Perhaps the two travelling compatriots would have some pity on me?

Zero chance.

We ate breakfast, and TheMark said, "Let's go. Tattoo time."

Ugh. "We might not have time, we'll be late for the shuttle back to the airport," I said.

"We'll take a cab."

It was worth a shot.


TheMark and Moutray each picked their designs within which their names would appear. TheMark chose flaming dice, rolled up as snake eyes. Moutray chose a wavy banner, choosing to use the term "Whimsicle" in place of his name. As good of a poker player as Moutray is, apparently he didn't major in spelling at good old Furman University. Still, he instructed a young, blond Russian Henna tattoo artist to use that text in place of the stock "Hustler" wording that the tattoo design came with.

I took it like a good sport. After all, who likes a sore loser. There was only one minor problem left to contend with.

"How are we going to get back in the casino?" I asked. You see, I had to let the Henna ink dry for 30 minutes and I certainly wasn't going to ruin my favorite Affliction shirt. Our bags were checked with the casino and we had to walk back inside. I didn't think they'd let a shirtless customer through to the casino floor.

"It's New Jersey," TheMark said, "Nobody will care."

Sadly he was right.

I rode the escalator back up from the boardwalk to Caesar's Palace casino and walked to the desk where they had our luggage. Nobody said a word. I don't even think I got a stray look from anybody. I easily walked past 500 people without my shirt on and two large Henna tattoo's drying on my chest. Past the roulette tables, past the black jack tables, through the check-in lobby, past a small food court. I was the only one without a shirt. Yet nobody said a word to me.

I guess that's standard.


The ink finally dried while standing in the sun outside the airport. Finally, a curious gentlemen walked up to me and said, "Dude, what's up with no shirt?"

"BadBlood on poker dot blogspot dot com."


Anonymous said...

two things...themark is a cheap ass redneck and based on prior performances your odds in doing something physical vs. a "big fat" guy would not warrant a -500 moneyline!!

BamBam said...

:) That is all.

BrainMc said...

uh yeah, I may be rethinking stopping by the game next time I'm in town. sounds like the prop bets are harder on the ego than getting felted.

Uwannabet? said...

"They are now referred to as pocket Henna's"

Excellent, simply excellent.

BigPirate said...


**Word verification: unquick (like a New jersey fat guy)

Unknown said...

IF you're so willing to bet your flesh when you're obviously outclassed, how about we bet tattoos on our 10K times?

Unknown said...

Only -500 ?

Maybe if he went for the steel chair or busted turnbuckle.

Awesome recap, not-so-awesome losses of course.

BLAARGH! said...

great recap.