Jul 7
by Rolka Nation


And now for a break from our regularly scheduled program, I present to you Pittsburgh Gil! 


Greetings fellow degenerates!  It’s your ol’ pal Pittsburgh Gil here to spread the good word.  You all doing ok?  Fantastic!  So anyway, Donnie Boy and I took a little impromptu trip to the Gulf Coast a couple of weeks back and the world simply must hear our harrowing tale.  And by “the world”, I mean the 12 of you that read this blog. 


Look at the IP in all of it's Majesty...The backstory of this trip was rooted in uncertainty.  But that uncertainty soon turned to triumph.  Your’s truly was admittedly a little on the fence about doing this trip at first due to financial matters.  I have an adventure approaching in Italy which is certainly not as cheap as say…not going to Italy…so I had to conserve.  Throw in the fact that we could not find a room at a casino for under $200…and apprehension set in.  But fear not good readers.  After some deep introspective thought whilst bathing in an 82 degree bubblebath at home two nights before the trip, I had an epiphany.  An epiphany of fun.  I was all-in baby!

Donnie Baseball and I pulled anchor in Atlanta mid-day Friday and started the arduous journey to our 5-star hotel…the Quality Inn on Washington Avenue off exit 97.  This turned out to be our best lodging option because I utilized my 20% off at Choice Hotels ASCAP discount to get the room for just $60 a night.  What is ASCAP you might ask?  The American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers.  I’m a published songwriter.  A brilliant one.  Deal with it. 

After 5 1/2 hours and two bags of peanut M&Ms, we reached our amazing hotel, had a Johnny Walker, and promptly hit the IP for gaming galore.  Our first night can be summed up with 3 words:  City, Of, and Champions.  It was here where I was privileged enough to watch my Penguins upset the Detroit Red Wings on the road to win the Stanley Cup.  All this while enjoying a bucket of 5 beers at a discounted price!  With Pittsburgh officially now being The City of Champions, it was time to celebrate.  Don and I hit the BJ tables hardcore-style.  Several hours, beers, and Maker’s later….we were doing well.  It was nearing 1AM and I was plunging deeper into a drunken stupor so we decided to end the night soon.  But not before hitting some nice hands and ending the evening slightly up.  I’ll take that any night!  Then we stopped so Don could purchase a 3 gallon jug of water.  Then to bed.

Day 2 began ominously.  The Denny’s that we wanted to patron for lunch was closed for remodeling.  We ended up at a Waffle House.  Don ordered every breakfast item known to man and I got a chicken sandwich.  Don made the right choice.

Back to the IP for my first ever real poker tournament!  I’m somewhat new to poker but am learning at a frenetic pace.  I was apprehensive about this as well but I decided to just roll with it.  We bought in for $60 but got like $2500 worth of chips.  I honestly didn’t even know tourneys worked that way.  I ended up getting assigned to the most boring table ever.  Old, quiet, steely-eyed men were on special that day.  And they were all at my table.  Despite liking poker, this is one of my reservations with the game in a casino.  It can be kind of boring and not all that fun depending on who you’re playing with.  Oh well though, I was in this for the learning experience.  Well….I did pretty well.  I won 3 hands, played for about 90 minutes, and outlasted 5 others at my table.  It wasn’t until this tiny, crazy, loud Asian dude bought in that things started to go downhill.  He sat right next to me and talked my ear off…perhaps threw me off my game a little.  He was good though and sounded like Khan on King of the Hill so at least I was thoroughly entertained.


At this point, I bowed out gracefully and headed down to the casino to wait for Don.  He didn’t last too much longer than me and we were soon on another BJ table.  Don took this table by storm and quickly won about a grand.  Hedge economics works, people.  Stellar.


We decided to head out for a bit and cruised the ocean strip and downtown Gulfport.  Downtown Gulfport is about as exciting as my grandmother’s backyard….unfortunately.  Then it was off to a BBQ joint called The Shed that I’ve heard about but never had the chance to visit.  If you’re ever in the area and even remotely like BBQ……GO!  All I have to say, just do it.  And don’t eat anything for 3 days leading up to it.

Back to the IP one last time.  We decide to play some dollar Wheel of Fortune slots and I hit wins of 160, 300, and then a spin for 400 in about a 5 minute spin.  AMAZING!!  I cashed out $775 from my $100 buy-in.  This was my single best session in personal gambling history and I was flying high.  To celebrate, we went for a quick drink at the IP pool bar.  The IP’s pool area is quite nice with a good bar, food, and a giant TV overlooking the pool. Look at that face; absolute insanity ensued immediately afterward.

We then had a couple more decent BJ sessions, was frightened by a redneck in a wife-beater who for some reason stored his pack of Marlboro Reds down his shirt in his wife-beater as opposed to his pocket or simply resting them on the table, and then called it a trip.  

Final Thoughts:


– Don did very well, a true BlackJack ace

– I had my first ever trip where I came home with more money then I went with, including all food, gas, entertainment, etc.

– the drive down to Biloxi is just bearable enough.  Not too long, but an hour longer would be rough.  Very do-able.

– The Shed rules

– the IP has an awesome comp system

– Matthew Broderick was wrong.  There were no “Blues” had by Don and I in Biloxi this weekend!

– F YOU MATTHEW BRODERICK!!  Your wife is weird looking.