Bucks ‘Party!’ 2007
The day started off, for myself, at 4:00am. I had to work the day. Dreadfully boring and uninteresting, so I’m not about to talk about it. I finished at 1:30pm, and went home, showered and changed and headed to East Hills train station where I would catch a bus into Sydenham. I would catch a bus because the line was closed for repairs/fixing/money-wasting. I caught the bus with my friend Andrew, as any trip into the city is awfully lonely. Arriving at Sydenham, we caught a train to Town Hall (which was the second stop, even though the train display said it was the last), disembarked and walked towards Star City, which is where we were to meet up the rest of the party-goers for the evening’s events.
We were meeting people after the had seen a musical event called “Play!” at the Opera House. I couldn’t go as I had to work (taking this Saturday finished forty-four minutes ago off for the wedding), and consequently, I was to meet everyone in the city after their show. Andrew decided he wasn’t going as well. We decided that because we planned on drinking, we should stop for lunch, which we did at a window-filled shopping centre on the water. I had a turkey-meat sandwich, while Andrew had something from KFC. It was my first ‘meal’ for the day. Next we stopped in the last bar before Star City. I don’t know what it was called, but I had a schooner of Tooheys New (my rare brush with middle-class Australia) while Andrew had something (possible a Carlton Draught, though now I think of it, he may have said that they didn’t actually have that and got the same as me). We downed these and found our way around to Star City, where we enter. Realising I had absolutely no money on me, I exited (because there are no ATMs on the gaming floor), got out $200, and re-entered. Andrew, who had money, didn’t have to worry about the ATMs.
We looked around the floor and went where (I thought) was a cheap and safe bet – $5 minimum bet roulette. You can still bet $1 per lay-down (unlike the tables, where you have $5 chips) but a minimum of $5. I thought we would be alright there, as I have been somewhat successful at this type of betting at Revesby Workers clubs (especially with the soon-to-be Mayor of Menindee). Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and I lost a quick $25. I wasn’t exactly displeased, as that’s a mere fraction of what I’ve lost to the coffers of Star City in the past, but losing, as always, is unpleasant.
I received the phone call from the fellow party goers that their arrival was imminent (we had arrived early you see), and should position ourselves to find them. I cashed out of my machine (Andrew having done so already prior) and headed towards the front entry, where we would find the St. Ives Correspondent, Mr. Rabbit and the future Mayor of Menindee. I was informed that his royal highness Pope Francious II had thought it quicker by foot from the Opera House to Star City, and decided to walk, much to the displeasure of some. Suffice to say, he wasn’t quicker. In fact, he was somewhat late.
We were to have a meal (dinner I believe it’s called) at the buffet, which was enticing. My previous experiences with the Star City buffet had been nothing but enjoyable, so I wasn’t put off. We lined up for roughly 20-30 minutes, where the Pope had joined us at around the 25 minute mark, then we found our table and loaded our plates. The Pope appeared to get sick (though I suspect that he had the germs prior to the meal) and ate little, and even reproduced what he had previously tried to stomach at subsequent times through the evening. I enjoyed mos of my meal, though the bread-and-butter pudding left much to be desired. Towards the middle, it tasted like eating a half-cooked egg. Though the custard was nice.
After this meal, we headed for the bar/lounge at the back corner, behind the poker tables. The Pope as sitting on scotch, whiskey or bourbon (it all looks the same to me) and planned on using that as his cure for his sickness. I had a $7.50 Stella, which I though was an atrocious price, though couldn’t do anything about it. I sat with the Pope and Andrew for some time, being told the wonders of Queensland, future plans of the Pope and the state of music right now. Andrew left at some point, lost his money, and returned. Do note that I didn’t exactly discuss topics here, rather I was told them by one particular person.
Eventually, the gambling itch that so readily annoys me surfaced and I found my way to the Blackjack table that my best of friends were rotating on. Mayor of Menindee had a permanent fixture on the table, and the seat beside him (the first seat on the table) had been sat in by Andrew and the St. Ives Correspondent to many blogs, to their detriment. Not caring if I lost or won (I did care, but I can put on a good face), I took up the seat and got a colour-change – my greens ($25 x 3) for reds ($5). The minimum bet was $15, so that’s what I did.
I was quite successful, but the amount of fun I was having (and believe I helped everyone else that mattered have) was what made the night. I am renowned for either having a good time or making a joke of myself/others at the card table. Whether it’s other players or the dealer (not including myself) I can have fun with them. Last year (or before) I invented a call-sign for a King-Jack deal: Johny Cash. It sounded smart at the time and it stuck. Also, people believe me to be a somewhat reasonable card player after witnessing me win The 18 Cup an insane amount of times, then go on to 500 with some success. So people, from our party group, were happy to watch myself and the Ombudsman (aka the future Mayor of Menindee) play our way to a financial state equivalent to that of bankrupt. The only thing was that along with all the fun we created, we didn’t lose. In fact, we came out ahead. I don’t know about my compadre Mayor specifically, but I believe we doubled (at least) all the money we laid down.
I must admit that I had good support from my great friends, the dealers, the other players and the cards. Now, not to be stereotyping or racist or anything, but people of Asian descent who sit at card tables that I play at generally don’t know a large amount of English – but they do know the word ‘picture’. This is the call-sign for a card equal value to that of a ten i.e. a Jack, a Queen, a King or a straight ten. I have adopted ‘picture’ to my vocabulary for some odd reason (probably because of it’s easy and novelty). So I would yell picture whenever I was dealt something that would need it And, for a majority of times, I got it. The same would be if I said it about any unit card I need – a three, a two, a six, whatever – which freaked me out. It was rather spooky I must say. So my table manners were rather bizarre. I would get an atrocious card, then start yelling the value of the card that I needed at the other card. When I got it, I would act appropriately – which either consisted of sweet-talking the dealer into giving me a card I wanted, doubling up or hitting/standing. This proved successful, as my end balance would prove.
My compadre, the Ombudsman, had this trick to split. This, I must say, is a no-no on the Blackjack table. There are rules that experienced player (I like to include myself in that group because I play by these rules) play to – you don’t split; you stand the whole way around the table if the deal has a four, five or six; and there are others. But the general rule is you don’t split. And credit to the Ombudsman, splitting made him a very wealthy man – regardless of the fact that the whole table would groan if he did this or the dealer (one in particular) would ask him if he was sure, three times, if he wanted to take this course of actions. The Ombudsman proved to be the smart player in the end.
We sat at that table for hours, and the dealers were readily rotated. The first, Aimee, was good to us. When she left, I inquired to her replacement if she was headed to another table (as I would have followed luck), to which he said she was going home. Without hesitation, I asked if she had a card table at home. The replacement was also good, but my antics seemed to put him off, so I was rather glad when he left. His replacement, another guy (Andrew I believe his name was) was slow and steady – and again unlucky as the Ombudsman and I came out ahead. Around this time I had someone start to bet on me. I hate people betting on me because I lose my concentration. And I feel pressured to do things I wouldn’t. So, when a box cleared, I was glad to be rid of him.
Then the next dealer came, and a few boxes opened up (some were put off by the Ombudsman’s splitting method). One who came was an Asian man, no older than 27, who was betting as I find Asians regularly do – with vigor. Beside the Ombudsman was an American. And, around this time, I invented the word party. Allow me to explain what a party is to everyone:
A party, as Thomas’ dictionary defines it, is when three people bet in the single betting box, thus filling out the square with the maximum amount of betters. A street party is if more than one box if filled with to the maximum capacity of bets.
So, as the night wore on, myself, the Ombudsman, the American and the Asian began to bet in these ‘parties’. And, whenever a box filled up, some of us would yell out “On the party!” and hope to the all-mighty that it won, because they were generally big payouts. Then, if the box had only two bets, and we needed the third to get the party, the two who were in were left to rustle up the third bet, in order to get the party going. Funnily enough, by yelling the same “On the party!” we got betters. It must have been awfully confusing or onlookers.If the party box one, celebrations would ensue. And, more often than not, it won. No one person was in charge of it, though the Asian or the American would do the calling for the box, as I was distanced. If the party box lost however, there were a variety of reasons why:
- The party food sucked
- The music sucked
- The cops showed up
- There’s a better party somewhere else (which meant that chips would go to a different party box next time)
- Going home for a one-man party (which meant you were just going to bet in your own box)
- I’m starting my own party (which meant that you were going to start a party in your box)
This call-sign system just got more and more elaborate as the evening wound on. And it complimented the night perfectly. Unfortunately, Mr. Rabbit had left to go and see Othello, so he missed out on the evening’s festivities and humour – two things I know aren’t in Othello haha.There was another Asian man who was sitting in the last seat of the table, who didn’t say a single word through the whole evening. He sat down after the Ombudsman (he was the longest single sitter there) and stayed after we left, and not a single word. I tried to get him to talk, but who knows what he thought I was saying to him.
Whenever the Ombudsman split his pairs, more often than not, he would receive some jovial threats against his life, such as “I’ll see you in the car park”. The dealer received more though, especially when they were on a wining streak. But, when the winning streak came to an end, all was fun again, and the baseball bats were filed to the back of our memories. And when they started on a losing streak, then it was all fun and games with them.
The evening wound on, and, as it was going to be the last sojourn that our complete group could partake in for three years (things pending of course), most of us wanted to play our own game of cards – specifically: 500. So, it was time for last hands. I bet, the Ombudsman bet, and we both won. Then, as I was stacking my chips, I had an unfortunate amount of $5 chips, so I spread them across the board in what was my last bet. I joined my own square and then two parties, betting $45 total. Each hand won and the celebrations were enormous. I’m sure that Mr. Rabbit could have heard us all the way over at the Opera House were were that loud. High-fives and cheering all round. Onlookers had no idea as we were yelling “Party!” at one another over and over again. I collected my chips (rather hastily) and then we headed off to our St. Ives Correspondent home, where we enjoyed some grand hands of 500 – of interest two called and won 9-calls (which, if you haven’t played 500, will mean nothing).
The car trip home was a test of all our immune systems. Pope Francious, who was getting progressively sicker and sicker through the night was bottled into a car with four other people (myself, Andrew, St. Ives Correspondent and the Ombudsman) with the air conditioner on, rather than windows down. I pride myself on having ridiculously strong immune system – in the past ten years, I’ve only ever had a cold/flu/generic sickness twice. And I am exposed to sick people on a regular basis – I catch crowded public transport, I attend packed uni halls, I was going to school in some of those years, my family always appear to be sick, I work in customer service, etc. So I’m proud of my immune system. And this car trip was a real test of it. Suffice to say, I didn’t end up getting sick, while our St. Ives Correspondent and the Ombudsman (who, both, we were all worried about as they had quite the important functions to perform the following weekend/yesterday) did. They took extreme measures and healed up, but that was only through the week.
Upon arriving at our St. Ives Correspondent’s home, we engaged in cards and cards, and played 500 into the wee hours of the morning. Andrew and Pope Francious headed home early (as they were being driven home by their parents), while I, the Ombudsman, Mr. Rabbit and our St. Ives Correspondent’s continued to play. Without a doubt it was the most enjoyable afternoon/evening/night/early morning that I have ever been part of, and it pains me (now) to know that it may be some time before the next one. Ignoring that gray cloud, I can’t help but think of how great a time we all had (well, bar the infected/sick one) and that we are all looking forward to the next.
I may have forgotten some other interesting tidbits of the evening, and if so, I invite anyone who was there to remind me and I’ll write them in. Of course, if any of the “Play!” people have stories of interest or note from before the meeting at Star City, then, by all means, do comment.