MY ATLANTIC CITY ODYSSEY- Part 1
by Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete, is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. Frank’s books and tapes have sold over a million copies. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Frank Scoblete Enterprises, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565.
(Note: This Odyssey took place days before the Ides of March)
The guy looked doofy with Alfred E. Newman ears and that idiot expression, a real ploppy if you know what I mean; about 28 years old, maybe six-two, in good shape, strong. His girlfriend sat next to him; pretty; seemed intelligent too. Why she was with this jerk was anyone’s guess. Could she be that desperate for a boyfriend?
Alfred E. Newman, his pretty girlfriend, Jerry "Stickman" and I were playing Pai Gow Poker, a game where "Stickman" and I could get a slight edge over the casino.
Mr. Newman had pontificated two hours ago, "I may lose at this game but I will drink more than I lose." He was right. He was drunk, really drunk and now he was glaring at me.
"You insulted my girlfriend." He slurped down some of his beer.
"What?" I asked.
"That’s my girlfriend," he slobbered.
He started to get up. Oh, shit, I thought.
The pretty girlfriend grabbed his arm. "Stop it," she said. "He was funny. He didn’t insult me. It was funny."
Alfred E. Newman glared at me, snarled, spittle beginning to slide down his chin. "You insult a guy’s girlfriend." He stopped midway from getting up. She had a firm grasp on his arm. "Stop it," she said.
Oh, man, his face was so red; I could tell he wanted to kill me. I also knew he probably could kill me. Maybe 45 years ago when I was an amateur boxer I might be able to take him but now at 65, and somewhat pudgy, with the only fighting I’ve done recently being with my parrot (who always wins) no way. Oh, shit.
My transgression went like this: He was playing and asking his girlfriend for advice on how to set his hands. Then he spittingly proclaimed proudly and loudly, "My girlfriend here is a dealer." I jokingly expressed shock in that really funny way of mine, "My God, a drug dealer?" She laughed. I laughed. The dealer laughed. Jerry "Stickman" did not laugh because he didn’t hear the comment as he was setting his two hands. Also, he is deaf.
Alfred E. Newman’s face hardened, reddened and he started his glaring threatening looks and dribble about "insulting my girlfriend." My wife the Beautiful AP has always told me to be careful when I make "jokes" because some people don’t get them and "you never know." Well, I certainly knew at that moment.
I was at third base, which is immediately to the dealer’s left; he was at first base, which is immediately to the dealer’s right. In short, we were across the table facing one another. I figured he’d have to run over to my side to smash my head in so I started to position my chair in a way that I could get up and put it between him and me. Then I would use the Pai Gow table to stay between us, shouting my lungs out with "Help! Help!" as I played run-around-the-table with him. Maybe one or two of the security guards would come over to help me out, although most of the Atlantic City security guards are about a hundred years old and can barely walk. Worse come to worst I would fight him with everything I had left – which means in about four seconds I would be pulverized.
"You stop it," his girlfriend said.
"Look," I said as sincerely as I could, "I am sorry, really, I am. I apologize. I didn’t mean to insult your girlfriend."
He glared at me, "That is my girlfriend."
"I apologize," I said again. It’s very hard dealing with a drunk.
"It was funny," she said. I looked at the dealer. He was ignoring the situation.
Alfred E. Newman sat back down and leaned into his girlfriend, "Give me a kiss," he said through his sloppy lips. She moved her head away in disgust. God, I hope this young girl doesn’t marry this ploppy; what a waste of a life.
Things calmed down for me because a new floor woman came on and asked to see the girl’s ID. That took the onus off me and put it on the floor woman.
"What the f**k!" spewed Alfred E. Newman. "We been playing here four hours and now you ask for proof?" He started to get up. Was he going to pummel the floor woman who was probably like 50 years old and from the looks of her not in the best of shape?
"Stop it," said the girlfriend. He grabbed the back of her head and gave her a quick, wet smooch. He left saliva on her lips and chin when he finished his amorousness. God, I really do hope she doesn’t marry this moron.
He finally calmed down and shortly lost the remaining chips he had in front of him and the two of them left the table hand-in-hand, him staggering somewhat.
"This has been a fun day so far," said Jerry "Stickman" who was oblivious to what had just happened.
"I almost got killed," I said.
"You mean this morning with that PUTA?" he asked.
This morning. Oh, yes, this morning. I almost got killed this morning as I almost did this afternoon.
We had just played a wicked session of craps. The great and perfect dice controller Jerry "Stickman" had a 40-roll hand, and I had a 45-roll hand with 26 eights in it. These rolls were back-to-back. I was at table maximum on the eight by the time I sevened out. It was great. We started playing at 5:30 am (our normal start time) and finished about 7 am. It was a great beginning to what I thought might be a great day.
After our wonderful session we ordered breakfast at the 24-hour café and I excused myself to go to the bathroom before our food arrived. There was a PUTA*, which means a person with "pants under their ass," walking crookedly towards the bathroom just ahead of me. Instead of going into the men’s room, he lurched into the ladies’ room. I went into the men’s room. (*PUTA’s come in all colors and races.)
Then I heard a woman yelling at him and he came staggering into the men’s room. "Those f**king pussies, man," he mumbled to himself. I was now going into the stall. I always go to the bathroom in a stall even if it is just to pee since a gang of criminals some years back made it their mission to mug men who were standing at urinals holding their privates in their hands. These thugs would go behind them, put them into a sleeper hold; the men would pass out and the thugs would steal their wallets, chips, and watches. That taught me a valuable lesson – always go into a stall.
When I came out, the PUTA had his pants all the way down to the floor. His ass was totally exposed and he was peeing (mostly) into the urinal with some hitting the wall and the floor. "I jus tell you, motha, you do," he said to me. I had no idea what he meant and I was hurriedly washing my hands to get the hell out of there.
He came towards me. He had a big pee stain on his underwear crotch. He must have put his "thing" in his pants hurriedly and was not totally finished emptying it.
The guy looked scary. "Yo, yo, yo, youma," he yelled at me. Now he was pulling up his grey sweatpants – "up" so they were still under his ass. I ignored him. "Yo look a me," he said. I dried my hands. "Yo motha-f**kta, yo look at me."
He tried to step in front of me. "Len me fitty," he said. He meant lend him 50 dollars which actually meant "give me money or else." I knew that tone, having lived in New York my whole life. I quickly moved around him. Thankfully, he was so stoned he really couldn’t move too fast and I ran to the door. "What the f**k is fitty? You f**ka? What the f**k is fitty?"
I was out of the bathroom and (I hoped) safe from this drug-addled PUTA. If you don’t know it, the bathroom is the least safe place in a casino – no cameras, no security guards, just you and your privates. Any nut can go game hunting in the bathrooms with you being the game.
"Man," said Jerry when I got back to the café, "we’re having some great trip so far aren’t we?"
The previous Friday, Jerry "Stickman" and I were in Philadelphia. On Saturday and Sunday, we taught a private lesson in dice control to a delightful couple. We were staying at the Ritz-Carlton and doing the lesson in a suite there. We had brought in a half-table and a throwing station.
These two, Katherine and Larry, were avid students. They had read my book Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!, which made many of the things I needed to teach when I taught classes of 30 to 60 students unnecessary. They remembered what they read. In short, they did their homework and came prepared to work.
My late father-in-law Don believed in something called "Divine Providence," a concept that God will sometimes enters your life and do something for you. You might not realize that God’s hand is orchestrating this "something" but He is. If there is a Divine Providence working in the world, I am guessing that this weekend was an example of it.
You see, I suffer from gout. Those of you who have gout know what a horrible disease it is. The pain during a gout attack is so intense that even air hurts it. Usually, gout starts in your toes but it can affect any area of your body. The first time I had an attack, I woke up at 2 am and said to my wife the Beautiful AP, "I think I broke my toe. Oh, man, I broke my toe. How can I break my toe when I was sleeping?" I went to an emergency clinic for my broken toe. I swear I wanted to cry. The doctor looked at my toe and said, "You have gout." An X-ray was taken and the doctor was right, I had gout.
Since that time, I have had several attacks. The recent one lasted 10 days. Ten days of agony.
Katherine had given the dice-control lesson to Larry as a Christmas gift. They had both flown in from California on Friday.
During a break in our lesson, I asked Katherine what she did for a living. She was an asthma expert. Wow! She usually worked from home – rather one of her homes, either in Las Vegas or Philadelphia. At this point, Larry was in the bathroom.
"And what does Larry do?" I asked.
"He’s one of the world’s leading experts on gout," she said.
When we went to lunch, Larry and I discussed gout. I had read several books on the subject but he knew stuff that never made its way into the books. "Medicine is about one hundred years behind the times when it comes to treating gout. Many of the prescriptions for it are wrong." He then outlined what my attack on gout should be. (I took this to my doctor and am now doing it his way.) Larry had also developed HIV drugs that went into the first HIV cocktails in the 1990s.
So we talked some more. Katherine and Larry liked my writing. They enjoyed the stories in the book. I then told them about a new book I am finishing, Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned: Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Somehow we got on the topic of Hollywood and I told them a story about my "pitch session" at DreamWorks, just after Spielberg formed that company. I had been called in because the producers loved my screenplay. I flew to California and, well, you’ll have to read the book.
Then Katherine said, "You know, Larry is also a film producer."
Divine Providence Again!
Yes, indeed, Larry produced independent films. If you are a screenplay writer, you know what I did next – I pitched the script that I had written a decade earlier that got me that DreamWorks meeting. Larry was kind enough to say he’d take a look at it.
Think of it – a gout expert and a filmmaker. If there is Divine Providence, it had just touched me big time. Katherine and Larry showed great improvement that weekend with their dice control, and Jerry "Stickman" and I gave them our prescription for their future success. If they follow our advice, they will become advantage players at craps. If I’m lucky, he’ll buy my script.
That Sunday evening we headed to Atlantic City. We had two goals in mind for our five days of playing – obviously winning money but also taking our own personal Odyssey of all the casinos on Tuesday. We’d start at the Atlantic Club, the southern most casino on the Boardwalk, making our way from casino to casino all the way north to Revel.
Here is what we discovered.
To be continued next month.
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