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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get off my back, Royal monkey!

Day 1, Saturday October 25, 2014

Our limo, along with the bubbly that Presidential Limo provides, and a fairly long-in-the-tooth limo driver from Regina that Presidential Limo also provides, was waiting for us at McCarran.

The driver had some very interesting stories about the old days. He'd helped a guy out who everyone else was afraid of because the guy looked like a mobster. But he helped him out, and he was indeed a mobster. The guy gave him the code word to use anywhere in town ("tell them you are a friend of Ulysses") which got him the el primo connected treatment for fifteen years. They remained friends all that time and there are lots more great stories to be heard, I'm sure.

Our destination? The California Hotel and Casino, lovingly know as The Cal.
There was a video poker tournament that we'd wangled our way into with help from our host. The only problem was that the first day of competition had been the day before.
We got our room assigned, got our bags stored, got our Aloha meal books, and headed to the tournament area upstairs. Fortunately, they could accommodate us doing both rounds in one day, because many people don't show for the second round.

We played our first round and it went absolutely horribly. You play 1500 credits in 20 minutes. Neither of us got a single four of a kind.

I'd left my slot cards in my luggage, and unaccessible. We went to the slot club. While in line I spied an elderly man doing some form of pelvic yoga with tantric meditative outbursts of peace. He repeated these motions over and over. It was quite odd, and he seemed unaffected by his surroundings. Because tantric.

At the slot club, an ugly argument broke out. By us.

"How many cards do you need?" asked the boothling.

"Just one," I said, just as the Quad Queen said "Two."

"Two cards?"

"One is fine," I said.

"Two cards. And I want two cards," said the Quad Multiplicus.

"How many then? Two cards?"

"Two of hers and one of mine," I countered.

"Three cards then?" asked the poor befuddled boothling.

"Fine, two of each," I said.

She made us three cards each, just to get rid of us, and sent us on our way.

We grabbed some drinks, and played some video poker while awaiting the next tournament round.
First quad of the trip!
Quad Queen on the board with a nice $400 Double Double win. No kicker, though.

Meanwhile, back at the tournament, we got ready for round two. I gave some thought to what I would do if I got a Royal Flush. How long would it take me to get a picture of it? Could I make up the lost time?

I actually tried it out and it didn't take long at all.

The round started and I wasn't getting anywhere. I had three Aces dealt three times, and three-to-a-something dealt seven more times, but didn't get any quads at all.

With approximately two minutes and fifty nine seconds to go, I held three high spades and what do you know?
Savvy tournament play, no?

I'd been in Vegas less than three hours and I'd hit my first Royal Flush already!

Considering I went 12 or 13 days last trip and didn't get any at all, it was really nice to get the monkey off my back.

I was once again, for realsies, Royal Flusher by name and by deed.

I finished the round off and... I missed playing one hand. I ran out of time due to the picture, due to people around me distracting me, and due to the huge surge of adrenalin I'd gotten when I realized I had a chance to win some decent dough in the tournament if I could just pull off a couple more quads.

Sadly, I did not.

A quick look at the board told me that I should probably place in the top ten. My first score was about in the middle of the pack of 280 entrants. I figured there were three or four other royals hit in the tournament, maybe five.

All I really wanted was to not be 11th. That would drop me down to just $100 in winnings. I did NOT want a $100 Royal Flush.

We went up to the room to confirm our bags were there, make sure the room was fine (it was), and load up on more slot cards, I guess. I now had 19 copies of my slot card.

"You going to take the new camera for a spin?" asked the Kodak Queen.

"Um.... maybe later. I don't want to get all bogged down."

We played some more, and enjoyed the fine beverage service that the Cal provides to its valued patrons. 

There was an awards banquet at the Main Street Station Garden Court Buffet at 4:00pm, so we needed a light lunch, which the Cal coffee shop provided in the form of Salad Bar.

The exciting news is that the old cheap-looking plastic tubs holding the somewhat dodgy pre-packaged salad in the salad bar have been replaced with new cheap-looking shiny silver metal tubs holding the somewhat dodgy pre-packaged salad.

You can't stop progress!

We also tested the fine beverage service that Main Street Station also provides to its valued patrons.

Love the MSS scratch cards!

Quad Queen, nice straight flush. Actually, all straights flush are nice.
And with that, it was time for the awards buffet. We lined up to get in, and I was feeling antsy. Where had I placed? I settled mentally on eighth or ninth.

As we worked our way up to the podium, I could see that they'd placed printed lists of the winners on the tables.

"I can't stand it," I said, "I have to go look."

I skipped the line, rushed up to a table and snatched up the sheet. It listed all the places except for the top five.

I started looking at place number six. Not me. Places, seven, eight and nine... oh no. I'm not there either.

In fact I wasn't anywhere in the top six through twentieth places.

"How'd you do?" asked the Queenus Quadus.

"I... I think I made top five. I'm not on the list!"

That called for a round of 'Holy Shit!'s. Fifth place was $1000. It looked like I had won at least that.

We got our food and settled in at a table with and elderly gent and his daughter, both Hawaiian, but she, now local. Add to that the fact that they'd lived in Alaska at one point, and you had an interesting story. They were excited to hear I was top five and were cheering for me to win.

I chewed through my buffet food, trying to enjoy it, on pins and needles a bit.

The announcements came.

"Thanks everyone for coming.... blah blah corporate agenda.... blah blah check the boxes for this speech.... blah blah thank everyone under the sun so no one has their nose out of joint... blah blah pretend I'm your friend...."

"Fifth place... James Fujikawa!"

The daughter turned to me.

"You're not James Fujikawa, are you."

"No, ma'am, I am not. I am Royal Fujikawa."

"Fourth place... Royal Flusher!"

Wow. Fourth place! I went and picked up my envelope to find that they'd withheld the 30% Canadian tax on my $1500. So I pocketed $1050. Still!

Back at the table, I received high fives, handshakes and sloppy loving kisses. I'll let you figure out who gave what but let me just say, Mrs. Flusher has one hell of a grip.

"See, Quad Queen, like I always said, sooner or later, we are going to win some money in one of these tournaments!"

And we had. We had indeed.

Full of sup (from supper), we headed back for more video poker action. After all, the evening was stretching on, and it was very late - pushing 7:00pm.

This is rather pathetic, but it's the truth, and if you know anything about me by now, you know that I write what happens in Vegas as it happens, and make everything else up.

We went to bed.... at 7:00pm Vegas time on a Saturday night. To sleep, like.

In my defense... I'd stayed up till 1:00am the previous day. I'd slept two hours and gotten up at 3:00am. We'd been up all day. It was now 10:00pm Eastern time.

Not to worry, this trip was going to be a long one. We were off to a great start, but our adventures were only just barely beginning.

Quad Queen: Day $+340 Trip $+340
Royal Flusher: Day $+850 Trip $+850*

Combined Trip: $+1190

*Self-important people use this asterisk thingy to call out what they think is vital information. In this case, the vital information is that I did not include the tax deducted in the won amount. I don't know at this point if I will be able to claim it back - it depends on how I do for the whole year. Time will tell.


    1. guys did some early bedtimes too. Congrats on winning something. Great start to a trip!

    2. Nice start! I have a feeling this was a great trip!

    3. Savvy job in the tournament. Tell Jimmy Poon there's a floating "Next Prev" at the bottom left of your website that doesn't do anything. That's not so savvy.

    4. RF, why $950 instead of $1050 after the 30% tax?

    5. Nice job on the Royal picture taking speed competition! You Canadians sure get screwed by the Man ( the guberment). --- NMchop

    6. Going to bed early allows you to be able to wake up at 3AM and begin drinking!! Degenerate style!!

    7. Why won't the Queen let you post up in front of her machine? All her quads are at an angle as if you had to stay on your side if you wanted a picture.....or was alcohol involved? Either way congrats and can't wait for follow-up.

    8. Great start! can't wait for more trip report!

    9. If you won $1500 and the withholding is 30% then you should have received $1050, not $950.

    10. You math gurus are right! $1500 minus 30% is $1050. And that is indeed what I received.

      Jimmy is aware of the Next / Prev issue. When we moved to the new rehashed and still somewhat familiar blog template, the buttons got hosed. He tells me it will be fixed as soon as he is done working on his new invention - a combo j-cup coffee maker Yonanas machine that makes caffeine infused fruity paste in less than 10 seconds.


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