Friday, April 13, 2007

A Long Drive Home

For the past couple of weeks I've been pretty busy with work, hence the lack of updates. I've pretty much abandoned my day-long message board attendance as well as my at-home internet trolling in exchange for working hard during the day and playing (read: drinking) hard at night.

I'm putting up a lot more effort and good thinking than I have at work so far, and it's come just in time for my raise month. If all goes well next week, I'll be floating on an extra 10% annually, which will hopefully help get me back in the game sometime soon.

For the past couple days, I've been heading up to one of our locations in Santa Maria, partly because we had a support rep out and partly because I don't ever go up there. I didn't so much need to talk to the rep, as she was out to support the incompetent bookkeeping department, but I got to spend a couple days hangin in the office of one of our branches. It wasn't fun nor exciting, it just was what it was.

Santa Maria's a quieter, less "happening" town than Santa Barbara. In SB you see unbelievable looking women (fake or not...who cares), nice cars, and beautiful weather. If you walk down to the end of any street, you'll hit beach or cliffs overlooking the ocean. And although the town is packed together, there's palm trees adorning the entire town.

The people dress nice. Business and success flood the air. You can hear shot empty shot glasses slammed onto bar countertops at any time of the day. At night (ok, realistically at around 4PM) the office lights go out and the neon signs from the bar-lined State Street light up. The partying doesn't stop until the morning, and many times sleep on Friday night is only a break until the partying resumes at noon at Saturday. Altogether Santa Barbara is a pretty wealthy, accomplished, fun-feeling town.

Santa Maria is pretty much the exact opposite. For the past couple of days, what little women I have seen were a mix of trailer trash and farmer, which could technically be considered the same thing, right? A bunch of older SUV's and trucks slowly occupy the streets of a windy, boring city. There's no apparent hotspots, though I didn't travel very far into the large town. And for all intents and purposes, SM lacks class.

The one thing that I didn't mind about taking the hour-long drive to the other location is that the two towns conveniently sandwich the Chumash Casino.

I wasn't planning on stopping by the purple and mustard tribal safehaven, because my financial situation is all but optimal at this point. But as I got off the freeway in the town over to get gas, I ended up getting pulled in to the temptation. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the best explanation is that I got sucked in by the gravitational pull of the large building.

Regardless of if you believe that or not, I ended up inside and with $200 quickly burning a hole in my pocket. Instead of dealing with a possibly dead card room and battling with my own game, which is suffering more than I can possibly even try to describe, I had one mission in mind: blackjack.

On the half hour drive to the casino I thought about the different ways that certain techniques could be profitable, and what would work and what wouldn't on such a sma bank. Based on results of the last five minutes of my previous blackjack session, I decided to try a 5-hand let-it-ride run. I would try it intermittently when the deck was running hot, and with a little luck I could hit a couple good runs.

As soon as I hit the pit I tore the first $100 out of my pocket and got slid a stack of redbirds. A four-handed table turned into a two-handed table three hands after I sat down, and after not even attempting my Run, I was down and out in ten minutes. Yeah, I'm retarded.

I hadn't even realized what had happened, nor had I paid attention to what was going on at the table. It was pretty pathetic.

Obviously not even close to being satisfied, I busted out the second hundred at a fresh table with two other clean players and before we knew it we were on a hot shoe. I decided to take a shot with my Run, and was looking good until the fourth hand. I let my profit from my $40 hand ride, and with $80 I took a 16. Luckily I was playing against a dealer 4, which turned into a 14->16->26. I stacked it one more time to play a $160 hand. I had managed to turn a tenth of my buy-in into the table into a single bet worth more than 75% of my entire buy-in in the night.

With the fifth hand on the betting circle, I pulled an ugly 14. Again, I struck gold as the dealer turned a 15 into another bust. I took down the $360 with a big smile on my face. The Run worked!!

I had only planned on staying for a couple hours, so after taking a couple more shots at the Run, I left the casino up $400. I was up $800 at one point, but in the middle of a three-shoe rush our table picked up a rogue MexAsian woman who decidedly to royally fuck us by adding and dropping hands, hitting 14's against 5's, and basically playing everything she could to get the casino some money back. If I found out that she worked for the casino, I wouldn't be surprised. In fact that makes the most sense to fuck over a hot table.

In the end I got my money and left, so it wasn't too bad. I got some food money for the next few weeks and I couldn't be happier about my impulse decision to take a trip to the forbidden zone. It made Friday a lot more bearable, and the toughest decision I'll be faced with for the next few days is where and how I'm gonna get drunk.

Here's to the weekend.

Until next time.

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