A couple of nights ago I played no-limit Hold-'em for about eight hours at the Monte
Carlo casino poker room (above) — from just before midnight to just before
8am.  This is the optimum time to play poker in Las Vegas because
most of the other players you're likely to encounter then are either
drunk (and getting drunker by the minute) or staying up all night on
their last day in town.  You drink iced tea, play tight and take
their money.

I didn't have a great session financially — I only made a bit over
$70, but that still beats minimum wage.  On top of that, all the
iced tea is free and at the end of the session the card room will give
you a voucher for a free breakfast.  It's also a very entertaining
way to make a little extra cash.

Last night I played with a sales rep for a Mylar manufacturer who sells
to the aerospace industry.  He was in town for a friend's wedding
— Elvis-themed.  I played with a Canadian guy who used to own a
commercial fishing boat but sold it and retired, in order to devote
himself to travel.  I played with a guy from Mexico who's now a U.
S. resident and a successful businessman.  He said what he liked
about America was that he now could afford to have white guys do his
yard work.

I played with a succession of riotously drunk thirty-somethings whose
patter was often fairly amusing.  One guy, who looked about
sixteen, sat down wearing a green pullover and bright green sunglasses.

“Hey, monkey boy — where'd you get the glasses?”

“Monkey boy?”

“Where'd you get the glasses?”

“I got them at the Excalibur — with my kids.”

“You've got kids?”

“No, I don't really have kids.  You see that guy standing at the rail there — he's my gay lover.  His name is Jason.”

“Yeah, I've met him before . . . only he said his name was Jimmy.”

Meanwhile these guys were knocking back the beers, drawing doggedly to inside straights and calling big raises with middle pair.

What more could you ask for at a poker table?