A Night At The Tables

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Where: Corinthian Casino

When: April 27, 2012

What: A normal Friday night, and Lady Luck is looking the other way.

Friday night is a madhouse in every casino on the strip. The Corinthian is no different. The dealers are changing shift, and the brunette sitting at one of the blackjack tables doesn't really stand out much. There are many good-looking women in this room. This one in particular is sitting at one of the blackjack tables with a small stack of chips in front of her. Earlier in the evening Heather was doing quite well, but her luck seems to have turned. At the moment she's looking pensively at the table while the dealers change and new cards are brought into play.

Settling into a seat at that same table with the brunette, Bruce flicks a smile at the dealer, sliding a couple of bills across the green felt to buy in and get his chips. Flicking a gaze over at Heather he gives her a brief once over look and a flash of a smile, "Evenin', hope you don't mind some company? " The man's voice is pitched to carry over the din in the room, but is relaxed and hints at an easy going attitude.

Glancing over at him, Heather offers a brief smile. "Not a bit." A couple joins the table on the far side of her as well. But Heather's gaze is on the cards, watching the shuffle. She notes the stack of chips that get slid to all of the new arrivals but her expression reveals little.

The dealer slides a stack of chips over to Bruce, who in turn promptly knocks them over into a pile of commingled plastic colors in front of him, "Lets me hide how bad I'm doing from myself a bit longer," he notes in observation to no one in particular. Once the dealer's ready and cards are dealt he places a casual seeming, if over-confident, bet on his cards with occasional glances to Heather and the other couple.

The couple on Heather's other side are clearly honeymooners — they're googly-eyed at each other the whole time and gambling just for the sheer thrill of being in Vegas. Heather on the other hand is studying the hidden card with a speculative look. She pushes 5 chips into the betting pool, about half of what she has left. And then she offers a faint smile at Bruce. "Sometimes not knowing is a good thing."

A faintly amused glance is flicked in the direction of the obviously besotted couple, Bruce lifts an eyebrow though at the guy's choice in amount to bet based on the cards he's got showing. There's a shrug and Bruce signals the dealer for another card, bumping his own bet just a touch more before glancing over at Heather, "I find it works better at poker, makes it harder for the other players to know what I've got, but..it's habit now."

That she doesn't like what she's got when she signals for her next card is clear. Heather folds with an annoyed look, then glances at Bruce. "And how do /you/ keep track of what you have?" she asks, forcing levity into her tone.

Apparently luck's not with him today, the dealer sliding a king out in front of Bruce and busting him. There's a frown and then he quirks a bit of a smile as something very similar happens to the married couple, before he looks back to Heather. "I watch the size of the pile..gets too small and I think about goin' elsewhere…but that doesn't always work so well, I suppose."

Heather's expression shifts when the others are busted. Despite whatever nastiness she had in her hand, she only has to beat the dealer. And she debates a moment before putting the rest of her chips in. At which point, both she and the dealer have to show their hands. She's sitting on a 17 with her three cards, but the dealer's got a 20. And that is the end of her chips. She forces a tight smile at the dealer, who offers a neutral smile in return. There's a moment's pause while the brunette seems about to slide off the stool and can't quite make herself go.

She asks the dealer quietly, "Do you happen to know the house limit on fronting?"

There's a moment of silence as she handles her business with the dealer that Bruce toys with his chips a bit more, glances at the other couple and then the dealer just before the dealer speaks: "Miss, this is a low stakes table, generally credit's arranged ahead of time at the cashier's but I'll go ahead and offer you a grand. However, you'll need to settle up with the table before leaving." For his part, Bruce says nothing, waiting with an casual patience for them to settle up.

Gracefully Heather slips back into her seat. "Of course. I'd expect nothing less," she returns easily. And she settles in once more as the stack of chips appears in front of her. That the others at the table know what just happened seems not to bother her. It's not exactly uncommon. "I'll make sure to set it up at the cashier's on the way out as well."

The dealer slides the agreed on chips across the table with a smile, leaving them in front of Heather as he deals out a fresh set of cards. Bruce glances at his card, places a bet, and then looks to Heather with another of those smiles, "I'm Bruce, by the way." He offers by way of introduction, "Must say that's something I've always liked about this casino, very willing to accommodate their guests."

"Generally," the brunette agrees easily. She glances at him as he introduces himself and then nods. "Heather," she offers. The couple on the far side spends the time kissing and ignoring things unless the cards are falling anyway. "Are you in town for business or vacation?" she asks Bruce, her eyes flickering to his left hand briefly.

"Business, though I'm more local than visitor." Bruce says with a smile that broadens a bit as he sees the next card given him, increases his bet just a bit. His left hand's free of a ring, no hint of a tan line either, and looks like it's not a typical businessman's hand there's a strong roughness to it that one doesn't get working in an office all day. "How about you?" The couple are dealt a good hand this time, both of them getting aces to split on, which they do.

Lady Luck is being fickle as hell tonight. Heather checks her hidden card and bets $300 worth of chips on what she's holding, refusing an additional card. "Not entirely sure what that means, but okay," she chuckles at Bruce.

The married couple are eager, and after Bruce stays on the 19 he has, bet all the chips they've got left across their four hands..a totally foolish mistake but given how little they're really paying attention… The dealer's face is studiously inexpressive, cards flickered around and he goes to 22 for Bruce, rewarding his conservative play. "Means I live here, work in town. "

There's a soft catch of her breath when the dealer busts. Her $300 bet has just left her once more flush with her own cash. And immediately she pushes the table's $1000 back across to the dealer. She's happier dealing with her own money. "I see," she comments. "New to the area, then." Unless of course he *likes* paying through the nose for a place to live.

There's a smile from Bruce and a whoop of delight and much kissing of the couple as the dealer busts. He takes the $1000 from Heather with a nod, setting those chips off to the side for now, and begins to deal once again. Bruce bets a bit heavier this time after looking at his card, then glances over at Heather, "New-ish, lived here a few years ago, left, and am back again. Sounds like you're more than a touch 'local' yourself."

That makes Heather chuckle. "Grew up on Westside," she tells him. It's one of the poorest parts of town. "Got out for a while and came back. Something about the place still calls to me."

"Place does seem to have a good draw to it, doesn't it?" Bruce grins in agreement, then looks pleased at both his cards and the 15 that the Dealer's showing. He places about half his remaining chips in his next bet and then looks to Heather, "Looks like you've done well, I've been over West side, hard side of town."

Heather shrugs. "Poor," she agrees. "Not any harder than any other place, I guess. LA is definitely tougher." She looks at her cards. She's holding a pair of 2s. And the dealer has to take a card. She goes all-in. It's perhaps reckless, but odds are with her on it.

Bruce's expression stills as the dealer lays a six down for himself, a king for Bruce which sends him over, a three for Heather and lastly a queen for the honeymooners. "Twenty one, dealer wins." Intones the dealer as he begins to rake in the cash. Bruce glances as his dwindling pile as if weighing it visually, but antes up for another round. "Oh, there's tougher, harder places…the Bronx or just about anywhere outside of downtown Dubai."

Heather's wince is visible. "Shit," she mutters as all the chips she just won disappear back into the dealer's hands. She rolls her eyes and gestures to the stack he loaned her once before. Apparently whatever else she is, she is not a quitter. When he slides the stack to her again, Heather glances at Bruce. "Dubai, huh? Long way from here."

The dealer advances her the funds again and then deals everyone cards, laying his own seven down. Bruce takes another card atop his five, and increases his bet. "I've done a bit of traveling, spent some time in Dubai, Paris, even a little in Tokyo." The couple get their cards, bet, and continue making smoochie noises at each other.

It's not hard to tell that Heather's attention is on those cards more than the conversation. She's pointedly ignoring the newlyweds. They're making her sort of ill with all that sweetness. geez… get a room! She has a face card showing and she debates whether to hit or not. She does ultimately, and when the dealer drops another face card on top of it, she shoves the cards and pile at him in disgust.

The next round begins after Bruce's taken for a bit more and the newly weds win another small pile of chips through dumb luck. The dealer lays a two down for Bruce and an ace for Heather, lifting and eyebrow to see what it is she wants to do. Bruce's taken the bit of a hint, letting the conversation fall quiet while she concentrates on her hand.

Heather frowns slightly, clearly not in possession of the easy win. She looks up at the dealer and pushes a significant portion of her chips in, though. And gestures for another card. When he lays down the 8 on top of her ace, Heather's expression remains inscrutable but a tightening of her jaw heralds the idea that she may have just seriously overreached.

Playing casually conservative, Bruce asks for another card, gets a face card, and keeps his bets modest. The couple loose a small fortune on their next pass as they go bust and finally the dealer lays down a face card for himself, bringing his total to fifteen and then begins to flip over the card for Heather as Bruce watches to see how her luck goes.

When it comes around to her again, Heather seems to be debating in her head. And she takes another card. When all her cards are turned over, she started with a 4 and an ace, the 8 hadn't really hurt her, but the 9 kills her. Her green eyes close for a brief moment, and she blows out a shaky breath. The light hint of sweat at her hairline tells of anxiety. And although it's looking like she's pushing it out past a lump in her throat, she fights for the words. "It looks like I better try my luck another day."

She is saved from the embarrassment of not having enough to cover the front when Bruce steps forward and covers her debt. It's a different kind of embarrassment now, though Bruce assures her that it's no big deal. Heather trades phone numbers with him and assures him that she'll meet him first thing on Monday with the money, and he walks her out of the casino still chatting amicably to ease the awkwardness.

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