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Well, not literallyliterally.  But almost literally.  I imply, literally closer to literally than ninety five% of the time you see individuals misuse the phrase “literally.”
What the hell am I babbling about?  Well, I’ll get to it, but initially I gotta do some guide up to it.  Sorry about that, but I determine if you were being the sort of particular person that enjoyed poker blogs the place the blogger received promptly to the stage in a concise vogue, you would be looking through some other web site, not this a single.
In any case, just before I get to the stage, I have to alert you that I’m breaking my organization policy about under no circumstances speaking about politics on the web site.  I’m fearful I have to get a bit political with this write-up.  It seems that the forces of the remaining and the forces of the correct are combining to make Vegas a lot less and a lot less desirable all the time.
This time, there could be no saving the Vegas knowledge for me.
You will no doubt remember several posts the place I’ve complained about how they are ruining Vegas.  Just about every little thing I beloved about Vegas has disappeared.  Gone are the affordable rooms, affordable, quality food items, economical shows, lower limits (at the pit online games),  Now you can find at any time escalating vacation resort service fees, at any time escalating parking service fees (in the great ol’ days you could park everywhere you go for cost-free), a gorgeous lack of affordable food items and the beverages (except if you’re playing a stay sport) are outrageously priced.  My pal Pete Peters  just returned from Vegas and was reporting they were being charging $89 for a Bud Light-weight.  I could have that wrong, possibly it was a bit a lot less than that.  But it was even now high-priced.
Vegas experienced done these kinds of a great position of souring me on the complete Vegas knowledge that my pay a visit to there that commenced in early June was my initially time back again due to the fact my Christmas trip. Yeah, I stayed away for almost 50 percent a year.
Returning immediately after these kinds of a prolonged time (for me—usually I under no circumstances go longer than two months without the need of a Vegas pay a visit to), I confess it was excited to be back again at initially, especially with the guarantee of all that fantastic poker.  But it failed to acquire prolonged for me to be reminded of all the matters that have modified Vegas for the worse.
By the time I sat down to engage in some poker at the MGM on this specific night, I was now feeling typically negative in direction of Vegas.  It failed to assistance that the poker hadn’t just been heading my way due to the fact I’d gotten to town.  And so, as I was playing, I purchased a Eating plan Coke from the cocktail waitress.  Now, I experienced played at MGM a variety of moments on this trip beforehand, but this was the initially time I’d purchase a Eating plan Coke.  You see I’m trying to slash out caffeine from my diet program, and you won’t be able to get a caffeine-cost-free, sugar-cost-free soda in a on line casino.  So I’m ordering h2o a lot more and a lot more generally.  But this specific time, I genuinely felt like a Eating plan Coke.  So I purchased a single.
When the waitress returned with my consume and handed it to me, I noticed that there was no straw in it.  So I requested, “Can I get a straw?”  The waitress astonished me with her response.  “We  do not have straws any a lot more.  We’re heading inexperienced.”
WTF???
I was stunned but I even now gave the woman her $one idea.


Whilst I was wondering about that,  my poker playing neighbor in seat one (I was in seat 9 on the other aspect of the vendor) variety of arrived at around and presented me a straw!  It was Jan, an MGM reg I’ve mentioned a few moments, the initially time was below.  It was a plastic flex straw.  I was almost as astonished by this as I was by remaining instructed MGM failed to serve straws any a lot more. “You provide your have straws?” I requested her?  She nodded sure, she has to now that they do not serve them any more.  I explained to her, “Quite quickly they are heading to arrest you for that.”
In any case, I hesitated for a second since I failed to see the place Jan experienced pulled the straw from.  Did she just have it lying free at the base of her purse?  I would not want to put that in my consume.  I experienced to hope she experienced some variety of plastic saggy she carried them around in.  I imply, Jan generally struck me as a hygienic particular person.  I took the straw, thanked her for it, and caught it in my Eating plan Coke.
But I was remaining to contemplate the significance of this.  A no straw policy?  How is this suitable?  As it takes place, I remembered listening to before in the year that the California legislature was contemplating passing a law that would make it a crime (punishable with imprisonment!) for a waiter in a restaurant to give clients straws for the beverages if the customer hadn’t requested for a single.  I under no circumstances heard if that law handed.  It seems a bit severe.
But at least you could even now get a straw!  This MGM waitress was telling me that I could not get a straw no make a difference what (except if I introduced my have, like Jan did!).  Can you imagine it?  And this is meant to be “heading inexperienced.”  Plastic straws are destroying the atmosphere, do not you know.
Individuals damn liberal tree-huggers!  Environmentalist extremists! They are ruining every little thing.

(EDITED TO Insert:  When I initially posted this, I remaining out a single of the fantastic positive aspects of straws at the poker desk.  Most tables have cup holders correct in front of you.  So I can lean about and sip my soda without the need of touching the glass.  This is great since usually the outside the house of the glass is soaked from condensation (or from other beverages on the waitress’s tray that spilled on them).  Then you have soaked fingers and are about to touch the playing cards and the chips).
But wait around.  As I was wondering about it, it happened to me that MGM Resorts (mother or father organization of MGM Grand On line casino) was the entity that begun the complete “pay to park on the Strip” matter you’ve got heard me rail about at least a billion moments.
They are evil, greedy, bastards, correct?  Well, they ought to be evil, greedy Republicans to be so anxious with earnings, correct?
But it truly is the same organization!  Are they evil greedy Republicans just trying to squeeze each and every past greenback out of the weak functioning schlub, or are they liberal Democrat tree-huggers trying to cripple corporate The us with their radical environmentalist procedures?
I’m so confused.
All I know is this:  It seems that now the remaining and the correct are teaming up to fully spoil my Vegas knowledge. 
A pox on all their houses!
My assumption at the time was that this policy applied to all MGM homes (ie, Aria, Mirage, Excalibur, and many others).  On the other hand, I subsequently played at each Aria and Mirage, and they were being each supplying straws (without the need of inquiring) in their smooth beverages.  Hmm…..so is it just some renegade tree-hugger at MGM Grand that instituted this?  Do his or her greedy Republican bosses know about this?
Well…..I dunno.  But I can see which way the wind is blowing and I am expecting this policy will distribute to the other corporate homes faster rather than later.  And keep in mind, MGM was the a single that begun the pay for parking matter, and that distribute to almost all the other casinos on the Strip, like CET homes, Wynn and Cosmo.  So it truly is only a make a difference of time just before the rarest matter in Vegas is no longer a cost-free parking place, but a damn straw.
Sooner or later, without the need of ceremony, there will be the past straw on the Strip!
In any case, a few days later, back again at the MGM. I noticed the comprehensive effects of this new, horrific policy.  Quickly forgetting about the no-straw policy, I innocently purchased a Eating plan Coke. When my consume was sent, I remembered the policy as quickly as I noticed it did not consist of a straw.  And Jan was nowhere to be identified.  Oh perfectly.
But there was some thing in my consume other than the Eating plan Coke and the ice.  It was a lemon wedge.  I hadn’t requested for a lemon wedge in my Eating plan Coke.  But I made an assumption as to why it was in there.  You see, I know that waitresses will use straws to assistance them establish the Eating plan Cokes from the standard Cokes.  Each has her have technique but let’s say they will put a single straw in a consume if it truly is standard and two straws in if it truly is Eating plan.
Of system, now they can no longer do that.  So I also know that some waitresses will use a lemon wedge for this purpose.  No lemon wedge implies a standard Coke. A lemon wedge implies Eating plan.  BTW, this was a different waitress from the a single who instructed me about the new policy a few days before.
I am not a generally fussy about the lemon wedge in the Eating plan Coke matter.  It usually does not make a variance to me.  I can discover the at any time so faint taste/scent of lemon and it truly is no big offer.
Now my pal Norm, the a single I used to go to Vegas with multiple moments a year back again in the day, is a different story.  He hates lemons and especially hates them in his Eating plan Cokes (despite the fact that he prefers Eating plan Pepsi).  If he was at any time served a Eating plan Coke with a lemon wedge (or a lime wedge, or an orange wedge, whichever), he’d promptly hand the consume back again to the waitress and insist on a “pure” Eating plan Coke, no fruit.  Often the waitress would give to acquire the lemon out of the consume (presumably with a spoon, not her fingers).  Not great plenty of.  The moment that lemon experienced been in the glass of soda it was polluted past all redemption to Norm’s taste buds.
We experienced a third pal who would say to Norm, “You have to explain to them when you purchase you do not want any fruit in it.” Norm’s response was that he shouldn’t have to.  “I do not want an onion in my consume either, I do not have to explain to them that!”  But at some point, in self-defense, he begun inquiring for nothing in the consume but the soda he purchased. 
Again, that’s not me.  I was under no circumstances bothered by the lemon.  Right up until this night at the MGM.  Due to the fact you see the lemon was floating at the leading of my soda.  And there was no friggin’ straw to consume the soda out of.  So each and every time I sipped the consume, my lips hit that demon lemon wedge.  And worse, the taste of the lemon was also floating at the leading of the consume.  So this time I genuinely, genuinely tasted the lemon!  When you have a straw, you’re consuming from the base of the glass, and the lemon taste hasn’t genuinely arrived at there yet.  Instead of tasting my Eating plan Coke, it was like I was sucking on a damn lemon!
When the waitress took my future purchase, I specifically explained to her, “….and remember to do not put any lemon slice in it.”


But when it arrived back again, there was a lemon wedge in it!  This is a single of the greatest waitresses they have, so I’m heading to give her the gain of the doubt and suppose that since the space was so noisy she just failed to listen to me.
Regardless of what, I was pissed.  Now the lemon wedge was floating at the very leading, and I could have quickly just grabbed it out of there.  As I begun to do that, I realized then I’d be caught there at the poker desk with a soaked lemon wedge in my hand—what was I meant to do with that?
So I failed to seize it.  As quickly as I could, I walked about to the nearest trash can with consume in hand to dump the lemon wedge (which was even now in my consume).  But in carrying my glass about there, the wedge experienced settled down a bit into my consume.  And without the need of wondering, I caught my fingers into the consume, received them soaked with Eating plan Coke, and then genuinely experienced to dig deep to get that damn lemon wedge and fish it out of there.  It was basically a bit of a obstacle.
Lastly rid of the damn lemon, I rewarded myself with a big gulp of my Eating plan Coke.  Luckily I tasted only the faintest taint of lemon, I experienced saved my consume!
But then I realized that I experienced caught my fingers, which experienced been touching each playing cards and exceptionally filthy, disease-ridden poker chips, instantly into my consume!
“I’m heading to die,” I believed to myself.
Well, it truly is been a couple of weeks due to the fact this transpired, and I am relieved to report that I have not contracted any disease as of yet.  I could be ok.
But probably I’ve been infected with some variety of uncommon disease with a genuinely prolonged incubation period of time.  If this is the past write-up I at any time do, you can expect to know why.  Death by lemon wedge thanks to MGM’s “heading inexperienced” policy.
In any case, the new “no straw” policy could just be the past straw for me.  I’m fearful to go back again to Vegas now to see the future newest matter they will have done to make the area worse—and a lot less like the area I fell in like with many yrs back.
Damn those evil liberal greedy tree-hugging environmental extremist Republicans!

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