The festivities started out on Thursday. Getting into the Las Vegas Hilton with time to spare to make some bets on the Thursday night games (No pushing the "needing special assistance" out of the way like last year) I plunked down some starter bets on the Houston Cougars and under on San Diego/Oakland. Pete and Woz came in during the games having already gotten some action on Houston and Va Tech. All the bets cashed in and we got the weekend off to a profitable start.
On Friday - everyone started to roll in - including Pat, Sully, Trent, and two new surprise guests - Hugh and Ellis. Hugh and Ellis had never met but hit it off immediately by sharing whiskey stories and cigar smoking tips.
Fuss finally arrived with Lupe in tow. Lupe was smiling from ear to ear since she had just won BIG on the slots on her second pull. She won enough to pay for the entire trip and a starter kitty for Fuss and the ponies. Sweet! And Fuss brought gifts this year - Official MSU tape rolling tape!!
Pete, Hugh and Sully decided to get some cigar cutters and a few top shelf sticks at the Casa Fuente cigar lounge at the Forum. They were served by a drop dead gorgeous hostess and ended up spending a lot more than they planned. But did they bring back pictures? Of course not. The selfishness of some guys never ceases to amaze.
Being Veterans Day and 11/11/11 many couples took the chance to get married. One huge bridal party was what must been a full battalion of Marines. I spotted at least two dozen young marines in full dress uniforms. It looked cool and I never felt so safe in my life.
The highlight of Friday was the MSU UNC basketball game played on the USS Carl Vinson. The Carl Vinson was the aircraft carrier that splashed Bin Laden which made the game extra special. As Woz and I were in line to make a bet on the game - Woz said he really liked the half time under. It would take a while for the teams to get used to playing outside, it was kind of wet and just the overall tensions. Sounded good to Ellis and me so we made the bet too. Apparently, it sounded good to others in line too as the next 6 guys made the same bet. By time the game started the half time under had dropped a full point. Woz had moved the line!!
For those who don't know Ellis - he is a huge Tar Heel fan. During the weeks leading up to the GO JUMBO weekend I had warned Ellis that you an end up rooting for the strangest things when betting on sports. Sure enough, as the first half wound down, the under was in the good by a point. UNC was dribbling down and threw a shot up at the buzzer. Ellis shouted out MISS IT!!. He dropped, shook his head, and laughed at what he had just done. Good thing it was a miss too as we all cleaned up.
After the games were finished I headed over to the slots. Now, I never win at slots. I usually take a small portion of my winnings and feed it back to Vegas as a way to keep them on my good side. After getting slightly ahead on Monopoly, Bat Man and Joker and the Wizard of Oz (Pete won an nice Mini Mega on the Oz) I tried my hand at Video Poker. On my third try I pulled a Lupe!! I got a royal straight flush! That thing was whirring and binging for a good 10 minutes. Hugh came over, started laughing and took a team picture all the while the score kept running up. I was playing with house money for the rest of the weekend.
Flush with cash, we ended the night rolling a couple of frames on tape rolling on Pat's floor (Woz won naturally) and called it a night before they sent up the Marines.
Saturday started out with Pat and me hitting the Hilton Buffet. As you know - Pat is pretty competitive. No way was he going to let an above average but nowhere near world class buffet get the better of him. After an hour he made such a huge dent in the buffet that as we were leaving - the chef came running out and invited us into the kitchen. There, to thunderous applause, he was awarded the Order of the Roast Beef with a Cheese Brat cluster. Through the ketchup and syrup still on his upper lip – you could see he was grinning from ear to ear. His Mama would have been so proud!
By now his intestines were gurgling from a rancid brew of chicken, pancakes, sausages and whatever else he could fit into that gaping maw. We would soon pay the price for his untethered appetite.
As we worked out way back to the Sports Book – Pete was involved in a small kerfuffle. There, next to Pete were two of the Hilton’s finest, dressed in black and tan, holding a plywood cutout of Elvis with an outstretched arm. Painted where his diamond studded belt would have been was the admonishment “YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO BET”. Pete rose to his tippy toes, barely grazed the King’s appendage and grumbled that he picked a fine year to get a haircut. After scaffolding into his stool, Pete let forth such a diatribe that we all crouched, hoping that he wasn’t heard – lest we be placed on a drink embargo.
Pat was having difficulty under all the pressure and tried to sneak out a freep. Within a two table radius, people buried their noses into their shirts looking for the culprit. Pat’s newly awarded medallion gave him away. Between Pete and Pat we didn’t get served for over two hours.
As the air finally cleared, the final surprise guest of the weekend arrived - Mark K! Good to see Mark, Unlike the rest of us (except maybe Woz) he hasn't aged a bit. Hasn't gotten an wiser either - but he likes the trade off. We spent the next several hours catching up and telling the same old stories and some new taller tales too
Pat made a losing bet taking Tennessee - forgetting that Tenn and Colorado have never won on Go Jumbo weekends while Arkansas and Missouri have never lost. I even made a parlay on those four only to lose the\at bet when Colorado covered. Nothing was going right.
But it was still a great Saturday as the Spartans won big over Iowa. It was the first time the MSU has won in Kinnock since 1989. That's longer than my marriage! Fuss took his Lupe kitty and started betting the ponies. He lost a few races until he struck it rich with Molly Morgan. Seeing how his Mom was Molly and father Morgan - he knew to bet big. He did and he won. Nice!
After a good day of betting, drinking and pizza (thanks Trent) we retired to the bar. As the night wore on and the empties piled ever higher our story telling took ever wider detours from the truth. Facts became like driftwood, randomly strewn around, signposts for the next retelling of the Tall Tales of the Hole. A couple more frames of tape rolling (we let Pat win this time) and we called it a night.
Pat was welcomed back to the buffet with admiration. He parade waved his way to the table and sat down for another gastronomical attempt. He didn't disappoint.
Sunday's betting was a mixed bag. Sully lost all three of his F bets - F'ing Lions, F'ing Falcons and F'ing Giants. Never ever bet on the Lions on GO JUMBO weekends. Everyone else did OK though - Woz won his usual 4 parlays while Pete made a small profit.
Given how this year has been a strange one where I can't win for the life of me on College but have been winning on the pros and over unders - it was natural that the trend would continue on Sunday. I made some money on a mini Mega on Pittsburgh and for the first time ever won a parlay on Dallas, St Louis and Pittsburgh.
I was also making some money on hockey (going 5-1 over the weekend). But my favorite bet was on Nascar. As Woz was going up to make some bets I gave him the number for Greg Biffle. At least I thought I did. Turns out I had given him the number for Kasey Kahne. I had never heard of the guy but Ellis told me he was pretty good so I let it ride. Periodically during the race I would check on Kasey and he was somewhere between 6th and 8th. After the 1:00 games I looked up at the ESPN Sports Center and there is Kahne is doing burnouts in the winner circle. Wouldn't you know it - I pulled a Pete Brown bet on Nascar - goofing the bet but winning anyway!
As the 4:00 games wound down Pete, Fuss and Lupe went to the Cirque du Soleil to catch a show. Afterwards, they had to kick 'em out of the theater because Fuss didn't want to leave the $7 for 32 ounce beer refills. Lupe, felling decadent from the slots, decided to sleep through most of the show (at $100 per ticket!).
Most everyone had left leaving Ellis, Sully and me to finish it out. The best time in the Sports Book was still to come. I had 2 out of 3 wins on an over under parlay in the bag with an over on the Jets Pats game left. The game started out very slowly (I picked a fine time to have the Pats defense decide to be respectable) with the score 6-2 at the first half two minute warning. I figured that the over (of 50) was out of the question but the Pats started to heat up. Then late in the fourth quarter the Pats scored a pick 6 to make the score 37-16. The whole book erupted. Total strangers were hugging and giving high fives. Seems as though everyone must have had the over too!. A great way to finish out the sports book and the weekend.
We decided it will be the MSU at Michigan game 10/20/2012.
We will be staying at the usual venue - The Las Vegas Hilton unless of course the lose their license. The Banks have initiated foreclosure proceedings on the owners Goldman Sachs. Seeing how much GS got from TARP - they should be good for it.
BK, Mike and Joe - you have no excuses next year - Be There!!
Everyone else - GO JUMBO!!