Comfort Food

by , Feb 23, 2008 | 12:00 pm


North Texas fireworks kingpin Ran Nelson brought his tight-aggressive Dallas game recently to the Mandalay Bay.

Though I haven’t been writing much about anything it, I have been hitting the tables here in Vegas. Have sampled a handful of rooms and action … spreading the lore of the Hammer and the Sang all along the way, of course, as I seek to replace the competitive camaraderie of the Batface home game perhaps with something akin to Jackie’s back in the (Dallas underground hey)day.

That came easier than usual this week, when TBR-bro-in-law Patrick came to town. He was staying at the Luxor, so we met up at Cathouse for a drink. (Cathouse is basically like the Lodge without the nipples, and Celeb-chef Kerry Simon in place of Jose Luis.) A couple Lagavulins later, we walked over to Mandalay Bay, where we took two seats together at a $2/$4 no-limit table. This was bigger stakes than either of us had been playing, but hey, we were feelin’ half-drinky good, and it seemed a better option than waiting, as the room was totally full and festive on a Thursday night. A familiar face was seated with us – Ran Nelson, a very good Dallas player whom I hadn’t seen since the days of Jackie’s – what a delight. He had a new cardmarker, a square block of acrylic with his little Stuey guy inside of it, surrounded by chips from the various important poker rooms to Ran, including WinStar in Oklahoma and the old Sixth Street in Dallas.

I was playing great – more-than-doubled up in about an hour by trapping a well-stacked opponent in classic Dan-style … but then was back to square 1 a few hands later when I got unlucky on the turn … and back to square 0 when I don’t remember what I did but I am pretty sure it was stupid, starting with playing the likes of [cards]qs 4s[/cards].

Mandalay Bay
$2/$4 NLH
Buy-in: $300
Cash out: $0
Food: starved
Drinks: $28
Net: -$328

No excuses – perhaps an explanation – but I was kinda in a hurry. It was two-minutes-to-midnight and I had an important meeting to attend with a PR chick from LA … she was in town for a big shoe convention and may have been well-stacked attractive and 26 years old. Having gone bust, I met up with her at a blackjack table where she was sweating a fashionable colleague, and from there we went to Raffles Cafe to discuss some Thrillist biz and talk about the skanky prostitute working the hallway of her hotel room.

It was a more-than-productive break, and having absorbed the alcohol with mini-sliders, crab dip, and some good non-poker female convo — “She did what to you? No way! I’m so sorry … Wow” — I walked LA shoe-girl to the elevator and returned to the MB poker room … sure enough, the action was still Thursday-night juicy (even though it was technically Friday morning) and I was able to book my biggest win of 2008.

Mandalay Bay
$2/$4 NLH
Buy-in: $300
Cash out: $1505
Food: $30 (Pre-game, Raffles)
Valet: $3
Net: +$1,172

9 Comments to “Comfort Food”

  1. Short-Stacked Shamus

    The Hammer and the Sang . . . working title of the novel that will chronicle all o’ this, yes?

  2. DanM

    Nah, “The Hammer and the Sang” is more like a song … off my album Shove!, sung by my band, Ace-Eight Suited.

  3. 85nutz

    Sounds like a good night. You said you’ve been checking out a lot of the local rooms here in Vegas so I wanted to ask you, 1)Are you planning on posting a room review list? 2)Which room has been your favorite so far? and 3)How is your goal of keeping perfect records for the year going so far?

  4. Kendall

    Wow, congrats looks like you made out pretty well from the poker session. What are your normal limits?

  5. Michael

    “when I don’t remember what I did but I am pretty sure it was stupid”

    There are so many results that such a simple statement can reference…………..

    we’ve all been there at least once in our lives!

  6. DanM

    The 2/4 NL there plays like a big 1/2 or a small 2/5 … which is comfortable for me. but for the most part i have been sticking to the 1/2 and 1/3 games here, just because i’m not so sure i could weather a really bad run playing 2/5.

    85, indeed, yes, my record-keeping has been “perfect” — i don’t capture the specifics of my pre-game food intake every time, but overall it’s been enlightening to see certain trends. will probably do a separate post on that in the not-too-distant future.

  7. DanM

    in answer to 85’s other questions … I am NOT planning on posting a room-review list. Should I be?

    And my favorite room? Not sure I have a fave-favorite yet. I like playing at MB a lot … and downtown at the Golden Nugget.

    The Venetian is always great, but that’s a slightly different experience because it’s so much bigger.

    I’ve played the Mirage once since moving out here, and really liked it there — did very well — and like how close the bathrooms are.

    Wanna like the Rio, but there are simply too many locals there, and not enough dead money consistently flowing into the game.

    Binion’s tourneys are fun and great, but there cash games do nothing for me.

    Hmmm, OK, maybe I should do a room summary.

  8. Martin

    Love that commercial about The Lodge! Treasures Gentleman’s Club in Vegas needs to do something like that.

  9. 85nutz

    Dan, I would love to help you ‘research’ and put together the Pokerati Poker Room Summary, or PPRS. We still need to get that drink.