As you may recall from my first ever real post, I have a bit of a history with the Atlantis. Due to my idiotic performance last June, I have been asked back to the ATL quite frequently, as apparently their casino appreciates the presence of morons. This time they stepped up their game and offered to pay for our flights as well – the mark of a truly atrocious previous gambling performance. Given the shitty weather in NYC, was a no-brainer to head for the ATL on their dime. A quick Sun-Wed trip (we layabouts have pretty flexible schedules).
I know the question that everyone’s dying to know the answer to up front: did I maintain my streak of seven consecutive vacations started with both a) casino personnel at least casually mentioning contacting Security, and b) getting close to fisticuffs with someone thirty or more years older than me (all this mixed martial arts business prevents me from also going after much smaller people, you never know who can break your elbow these days)? Rest easy – the answer is, predictably, “yes” on both counts.
It’s always a tough choice on the flights: do you go for the 6:40 AM out of JFK and get there by 10:00 AM, but tired as shit? Or go for a little later flight? We always opt for the 6:40 under the assumption that you’re just going to be laying by the pool anyway. And that you can sleep on the flight. But that sleep is actually only worth about 15 cents on the dollar, so it’s a risk. To make sure that we would be super sleepy, we decided to stay up drinking wine until 2:00 AM. Smart start.
4:10 AM Alarm goes off. Fuck showering. Fuck.
4:25 AM In cab. Fuck.
4:55 AM Arrive at JFK. Ugh.
5:07 AM Through security. An hour before boarding. Played it way too safe. Starving.
5:15 AM First gamble of the day – go with a philly cheesesteak for breakfast.
5:20 AM Stomach on shaky ground.
5:30 AM Stomach cloud passes. Philly cheesesteak was the right call.
5:45 AM Proof that SO does not read this website: she asks if I want anything. “Get me a Whatchamacallit.” She comes back with a fucking Clark bar. Where was a Clark bar on this list?
Okay, no more minute-by-minute, there were zero problems getting there. I specified that we must be picked up by a dark green limousine, preferably a shade of “well-ripened avocado.”
We were checked in to our room at The Cove by 10:45. It’s so friggin easy to get to the Bahamas. Room on sixth floor might lead to floor inferiority complex, but less time wasted on the elevator. Let’s hit the friggin pool.
Afternoon included one beer, two loops on the lazy rivs, and a nap. The Cove is the more expensive, adults-only part of the Atlantis (but sadly no one rocks the toplessness). The pool there is pretty awesome, with decent music looping (except for one dreadful Enya-esque series). You see lots of vaguely familiar looking people. I’m pretty sure I saw a fairly famous music producer, just not famous enough that I know his name (Timbaface Dash, or somebody). We decided to take a legitimate nap before eating so that we wouldn’t crash too early, then hit up some Nobu.
Atlantis Nobu had been pretty disappointing before compared to the NYC original. The ATL Nobu has one key advantage though – it’s in the friggin casino! And you can eat at the bar area with no wait. Done – rock shrimp (with straight creamy, spicy sauce – fuck that ponzi scheme sauce), edamame, yellowtail (sadly not the wine, the fish) jalapeno, some sushi. Total time elapsed/wasted eating: 40 minutes.
Momentary moment of horror as we proceeded to the craps tables – they were gone. What??? They had actually just moved to the front of the casino, and now had a total of seven tables. Sweet. If you have never played craps, you are missing out. In my esteemed opinion, it is the best game to play in the casino, by far. Community game – unlike blackjack, where it’s very likely there will be 1-2 winners and multiple losers at every table, most craps players play in a manner where they all benefit from positive rolls. Everyone roots for each other and there’s generally lots of screaming, yelling, fistbumping and (my signature move) biceps kissing. It’s interactive, you actually get to roll the dice. It’s fun for couples as it’s well known that ladies are better dice rollers. And the community of players sticks together; you’ll chat with all kinds of random folks the next day about good rolls, etc (you probably won’t recall ever having seen half of these people, depending on how many drinks you’d had the night before).
An important decision for me was what would be the cocktail of choice. I have banned myself from Red Bull & vodka – the deleterious effects of Red Bull actually cause me more physical damage (and calf cramps) than the vodka. This drink needed to be able to stand up to a lot of repetition since it wasn’t 10:00 PM and the casino stays open til 4:00 AM. Much to Bat Rastard’s dismay, I went with the cranberrytini – it’s tasty, helps keep you hydrated during long sessions, and wards off urinary tract infections. Win, win, win.
I started with a couple hundred dollars and got up about a grand. By 1:00 AM was feeling the effects of dozens of ‘tinis and marginal amounts of sleep. Super drunk old guy comes up to the table stands next to me and starts playing the Don’ts. If you don’t know craps, this just meant he was hoping that people would lose. It’s perfectly fine to bet the Don’ts, but you have to keep quiet about it as generally everyone else loses when you win. Yelling for a Seven (which will cause the table to lose) is strictly forbidden. This guy was fucked up and had like $45 on him. I told him he better be quiet if he’s playing the Don’ts and he said he’d just follow our lead. He also kept trying to give me money even though I had 20x his stack. Whatever. Eventually he forgot what he was doing and went back to the Don’ts and even yelled “Seven!” in my ear when I was rolling. Then I told him I was going to beat the shit out of him, which got the pit bosses involved and a lot of shit talking. I should’ve taken it a bit easier as he was drunk as shit, but we had the following exchange.
Me: Fuck you, fucker, hopefully you win that $15 so that you can double your life savings.
Him: I’ve got more than that, I’ve got $103,000 saved.
Me: Ha-ha! I’ve got that much in my checking account you broke-ass bastard!
This is funnier to me now because it was a complete (but completely hilarious) lie. But it was a sweet burn and we decided to call it a night at that point. No need for Security. I ended up $500 and SO ended up about the same.
On Monday, it rained. This was pretty good, actually, as we were hung over as shit and got to the pool late. One extremely excellent thing about The Cove is its outdoor blackjack and craps tables. As it was intermittently raining, I decided to check the dice action. There was a 25 year old kid playing for larger stakes than I’d ever seen – $2k on the Hard Eight (a bet with a huge house advantage, but pays 9x the original wager if it hits) and thousands more on basically every other possible bet on the table. He looked like he was on at least a 36 hour bender and it was only 1:00 PM. He was betting $500 for the dealers AND the cocktail waitress. He dropped $35k in thirty minutes, then took off. Apparently he just got married and both he and his wife had been winning almost every bet imaginable (she put $200 on 7 in roulette, which hit for $6k; he won $55k the night before playing the same insane style of craps). Cool, I feel a little better about my gambling problem. Win $1,000 at this session, up $1,500.
Monday might is a repeat of Sunday night, except no fighting. Nobu, craps, vodka cranberries. I had a roll of the dice that earned a standing ovation. SO rolled well all night. I made an ill-advised move to another table after a downswing. Took out a marker. Bigger downswing. Headed back to first table. Won it all back. Barely standing after like four dozen v/c’s (but my urinary tract is awesome!), closed down the casino. Hooked up the chicken nuggets from room service for the second straight night. I’m up $2k, SO is up $1,500 (pretty incredible – she started with $100).
Tuesday was a very nice day and we got back down to the pool by 11:00, which was strong since we went to sleep at like 6:00 AM. I was repulsed at the thought of alcohol. I spent some time in the pool, but the water was something like 99 degrees, it felt like swimming in lukewarm olive oil. Had to go up to check the markets – grabbed some dough from safe just in case. I’m enticed by the outdoor craps game – the newlywed stops by again to drop about $10k in five minutes. I go on a heater just before closing the table at 6:00 PM. Up $3,000 total now for trip. SO is sick – I think she has alcohol poisoning or congenital lameness; she thinks the bacon cheeseburger did it.
This is where I faced a crucial decision point – go back to the casino for the third night? Or pack it in and enjoy a nice night at the hotel? Shockingly, I decided on the latter (mainly because the thought of another ounce of alcohol made me wretch mentally). I think since starting this blog a month ago I’ve really grown both as a person and as a person who enjoys gambling and drinking. I’m turning into a real moderator.
We got up early on Wednesday and enjoyed a couple of lazy river laps and some pool time before the avocado limo returned. Three days is far too short, next time we will go for five with a timeout day on day three. I left out some of the good stuff like Murray’s Deli (seriously, the best bacon I’ve ever had), the super-non-fun-sounding “shallow water dolphin interaction” (translation: photo op where they try to sell you some $32 pictures with Macai the dolphin) and our laughable decision to buy goggles so we could swim some laps every day. Anybody want to buy two pairs of googles? New in box?
Verdict? It ruled. Free mini-vacation and we came back with extra $4,500.