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Album of the Year #20: Lil B - The Hunchback of BasedGod
(Note: This review exceeds Reddit’s 40,000 character limit for text posts so three additional comments are posted in this thread with the rest of the review. Sorting comments by “old” will bring them up for you in order.)
EPISODE I: THE HUNCHED BACK MENACE
Welcome to Old BasedWorld Hurried crowds, sparse synths and ringing cathedral bells in the streets of Old BasedWorld set the scene for our journey. High above the town in the Old BasedWorld Cathedral, a young man with a hunched back dreams of a brighter tomorrow.
Staring Out My Window “The only way you could really feel this pain is from the BasedGod” – From this opening line along with the somber instrumental accompanying it Lil B makes it clear that this project will be different from the hyphy material he’d been releasing since Black Ken. The BasedGod’s stirring musical backdrop allows Brandon to reminisce on the times he spent as a troubled youth staring out the windows of Old BasedWorld’s Cathedral (as pictured on the album cover), dreaming of a normal life with the rest of the citizens across the bridge in San Francisco New BasedWorld.
The Many Sides of a Genius Using a compilation of voicemails taken directly from Old BasedWorld’s only working phone, Lil B uses these messages to convey his own message. The people leaving these voicemails were clearly important people in Brandon’s life and, one could say, are some of the “sides of genius” that helped him develop into the man he is today. It continues the album’s narrative of a brilliant soul whose talent and ambition are unnoticed by the outside world, with only those who are closest to him recognizing the genius within.
Ain’t Gon Pick Up One of the people leaving a voicemail on “The Many Sides of a Genius” mentioned how Lil B never picks up his phone, so it’s only appropriate that the next song has B discussing why he chooses not to answer the phone in Old BasedWorld’s Cathedral. It also ties back in to the theme of unrecognized talent, with Brandon stating in the chorus “I ain’t gon pick up, nobody gives a fuck so I don’t give a fuck”. References to stomach pains and Crohn’s disease further highlight how B is feeling “sick to [his] stomach” of being disrespected: by the end of the song, the listener fully understands why Lil B wouldn’t be interested in picking up his phone.
Hunchback of BasedGod One of the album’s great conceptual triumphs. Lil B states from the jump that this song is meant to be a set of instructions for the Hunchback of BasedGod for his eventual descent from his perch back into the town of Old BasedWorld and beyond. It’s still unclear whether or not Lil B himself is the Hunchback, the BasedGod, the Hunchback of BasedGod, or none of the above: the abstractness allows the listener to form their own perceptions and create their own story. Again, there’s a continuation of themes from the previous songs, with further references to stomach pains and issues of self-worth and meaninglessness coming from Lil B: with so much pain in this world, is it even worth it for the Hunchback to enter society? By the end of the song, Brandon affirms that it is, stating, “Do it and don’t just watch/ Step in the game and have fun/ We all townspeople, we one/”. As such, the Hunchback leaves the cathedral, passing through the cobblestone streets of Old BasedWorld while hushed onlookers stare silently, as he ventures out towards New BasedWorld.
Berkeley San Francisco Its the BasedGod This song is delivered from the perspective of the Hunchback, as revealed in the first line of the first verse: “I got the hunched back from all the depression”. Themes of struggle from the previous tracks reemerge, but you get the sense that the Hunchback is beginning to build up his self-esteem, boasting how he refuses to conform to the looks and expectations of the other townsfolk. He also seems to have gotten past the lack of recognition that was hindering him on “The Many Sides of a Genius” and “Ain’t Gon Pick Up”, as he proudly exclaims, “Who cares if I’m famous?” This gives the Hunchback the confidence to finally travel across the bridge he so often observed from his cathedral window. The townspeople are stunned: the Golden Gate BasedWorld Bridge had been badly damaged and decayed for decades, with no one daring to cross in the fears that it would collapse. But the Hunchback’s persistence leads him to make it across unscathed.
Outer Mission Music With his feet firmly set in New BasedWorld, the Hunchback visits the colony of Outer Mission, a tight-knit community of New BasedWorld inhabitants who are unsure of how to react to their visitor. Lil B spends much of this track describing his interactions with the colony’s locals, which include Justin Timberlake, Alex Rodriguez, and Lionel Messi as tribe members. He also manages to make the situation surrounding the identities of his disparate personalities even more confusing, stating, “Lil B, I’ve seen him in public/ Is that the Hunchback of BasedGod, or is that the BasedGod? It’s BasedGod/” Will we ever know the difference?
Wake Up Get High Go Back to Sleep In spite of a renewed sense of confidence brought upon by his decision to leave his old life behind, not all is perfect in the Hunchback’s mind. On this joint (pun intended) he harkens back to his days in the cathedral, where he would spend his mornings smoking heavy doses of marijuana in order to numb the pain of his seclusion, often to the point of losing consciousness. It’s also worth noting that the only weed that grows naturally in Old BasedWorld is mids, so the Hunchback would need to smoke a significant amount to achieve the desired effect.
Video Game That I Still Play The irony in the title of this song is that the “video game” the BasedGod is referencing here is in fact a metaphor for his own life’s journey. As he so aptly states during the chorus: “My life is like a video game/ It’s been so weird, but I still play”. The fact of the matter is, Lil B could have chosen to rage quit this game of life long ago, but his perseverance has brought him to a new place of inner peace within the confines of New BasedWorld, even if the townsfolk are still unsure of how to respond to their new neighbor.
I Rather Die Then Go Home At the end of the previous song, the Hunchback makes reference to an incident where he visited the Café Au Coquelet, a boutique restaurant in New BasedWorld. Upon his arrival, he received a similar reaction to those he used to receive in his homeland: “I go to restaurants, people stop smiling”. While some of the townspeople have begun to appreciate his presence, many of the other New BasedWorld residents still recognize his outsider status and continue to shun him as a result. This song is B’s response, with a firm affirmation that he would rather die than have to go back to the life of isolation he led in the Old BasedWorld Cathedral, where he wasn’t really living life to begin with. That said, the song’s mistitling of based comrade The-Dream’s original line of “I’d rather die than go home” as “I rather die then go home” leaves the Hunchback’s true intentions up for interpretation.
Crying in the Club After finishing a five-course meal at the boutique, B ventures out to the party district of New BasedWorld, where he surprisingly gets admitted to one of the most exclusive night clubs in the land. As he observes the scene, the crushing reality of the differences between himself and the other clubgoers becomes apparent. A single tear is shed, followed by another, and another, until the BasedGod is in a state of full-blown emotional distress. In spite of his condition, he makes it known that he isn’t ashamed of wearing his heart on his sleeve, openly admitting in the chorus: “I don’t really care if I hurt myself, I don’t really care who sees”. This unyielding display of raw emotion brings the music and dancing to a halt. All eyes are now fixated on the strange being with the tear-stained T-shirt and the disfigured spine. He lets out a desperate plea: “I just want a hug…” To the surprise of the Hunchback, the residents of New BasedWorld collectively embrace him, looking past his outer deformities to recognize the beautiful soul that exists within. Historians would later acknowledge this moment as the primary catalyst for the BasedWorld Revolution™.
EPISODE II: THE COLD WARS
Voyage to Berkeley California Meanwhile, down in the town of Old BasedWorld, the townsfolk slept restlessly, their dreams invaded by shadowy fake based figures digging away at their souls. Every day, people would wake and stare at the Old BasedWorld Cathedral. Why was the Hunchback not ringing the bells that had kept the evil spirits of the fake based realm out of their lives? It was then they realized that the Hunchback had crossed the sacred bridge and ventured to New BasedWorld. Frantic to reconcile with the gatekeeper they had long taken for granted, a group of the townspeople decide to bravely seek out the BasedGod in the hopes that he will return. However, they recognize that crossing the BasedWorld Bridge is something no mortal man is capable of doing and living to tell the tale. Using a secret map rumored to have been drawn up by Captain 66 himself, a group of citizens board a modest ship to cross the San Francisco BasedWorld Bay on a warm summer’s eve. Will they survive? Only time will tell.
Across the Sea And here, ladies and gentlemen, we are presented with the greatest plot twist this side of the Fingerpoke of Doom: It turns out Lil B is not actually the Hunchback and/or the BasedGod after all.
Indeed, unbeknownst to the townspeople (who themselves had just assumed all three entities were combined as one person), Lil B has remained in BasedWorld all along in disguise. About halfway into their journey across the Bay, Lil B’s resentment towards his shipmates and their longing for the Hunchback’s return gets the best of him, and the violent persona exhibited on tracks like “Murder Rate” and “Domestic Violence Case” overtakes Lil B’s natural pacifist tendencies. In a fit of rage, he attacks them, “knocking them off the boat” into the shark-infested waters and keeping all of the remaining LifeVests to himself. B himself recognizes the consequences of his actions, ending the song by saying, “This darkness… It’s scary.” Nonetheless, he refuses to be stopped in his mission to visit New BasedWorld and confront the Hunchback all on his own.
Where Is the Potion Having arrived on the shores of New BasedWorld, Lil B ventures into town. Knowing that the only way to find the elusive Hunchback is through the townspeople who may have caught a glimpse of him, he travels to the aforementioned nightclub, with floors still drenched in the BasedGod’s tears from earlier, asking, “Where is the potion?” The response he’s given comes in the form of several bottles of liquor, which quickly dispel any notions of anxiety or self-doubt that may have stopped Lil B from completing his mission. A few of the club’s premium members willingly show him the spots around town where they had spotted the Hunchback, but any further clues of his whereabouts are hard to come by. Before they know it, they find themselves at one of the many riverbanks in New BasedWorld, where a celebration of the BasedGod’s glory is in full swing.
Riverdance This instrumental is what Lil B and the clubgoers heard as they made their way to the bank of the river. Speaking with more of the natives, Lil B learns more of the Hunchback’s travels and experiences in New BasedWorld and begins to put the pieces together in his mind for where the BasedGod may be headed next.
Wolves and Snakes As Lil B continues to plot his course, the BasedGod, who has just finished eating a salad on his way to the colony of Chaddick, senses a disturbance in the Based Force, feeling as though him and his hunched back may be in grave danger. He ponders on the wolves and the snakes that he was forced to deal with in his past life and reflects on the growth he’s experienced since leaving the dreaded, darkened halls of the Cathedral. In spite of this, he can’t help but shake the feeling that, like in the proverbial rear-view mirror, one of these wolves and/or snakes may be closer than they appear…
Meeting on UC Berkeley Campus Today Undeterred, the Hunchback makes his way to UC Berkeley, New BasedWorld’s sole institution of higher learning. After giving a spirited 90 minute lecture on the power of positivity (modeled after previous lectures at such high class institutions as NYU,Carnegie Mellon and Princeton), the BasedGod is greeted by a mass of adoring students at the university. The male students beg for the BasedGod to fuck their bitches, and said bitches are more than willing to oblige. In a grand spectacle, the Hunchback has consensual sex with all 1,000 of the college’s female attendees while this instrumental blares out of speakers across the campus, being awarded with a trophy as a result of his success.
Artistic or Autistic Elsewhere in New BasedWorld, Lil B attempts to strategize his next move. However, planning the escapade is made difficult thanks to B’s second most potent Internet distraction after his Twitter feed: Reddit. Going through a series of faked based comments on the hiphopheads subreddit, Lil B is particularly struck by a comment suggesting that he may in fact be suffering from the neurological disorder autism. The assertion is an eye-opening moment for him: after all, the elevated levels of lead found in Old BasedWorld’s drinking water had been a concern amongst the town’s scientists for years, and his own behaviors and thought patterns seemed to align relatively well with the common symptoms of the condition. After a brief moment of solemnity, Lil B realizes that his immaculate catalog of music has been made possible because of who he is, and if he is autistic, it is an essential component of his artistic output. This song is the result of this revelation.
Free 03 Our story continues as the BasedGod chooses to use his newfound fame and glory to give back to the New BasedWorld community. He begins volunteering at the New BasedWorld Penitentiary, espousing his worldview and giving advice to the inmates on how to make positive contributions to society after they have served their time. One particular inmate catches his eye: a fellow hip hop artist named 03 Greedo, who was arrested a few years earlier in a drug trafficking scheme. The Hunchback’s conversations with the young man have a profound impact on him, and in the weeks and months to come, Greedo becomes the model prisoner for other inmates to aspire to be, with intentions of joining the ministry upon his release. The BasedGod, proud of what he was able to accomplish, promises to dedicate a song on his new 50 song mixtape to Greedo.
Rhode Island Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area, the seventh least populous, but is also the second most densely populated. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is the state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island.
As Rhode Island is located on the opposite side of the continent from Old and New BasedWorld, it has nothing to do with this story other than this brief mention of its existence.
I’m Depressed Again While the Hunchback is continuing to make great strides in improving the lives of the people in New BasedWorld, he continues to be fazed by an ever-growing sense of something troubling being on the horizon. A dark evil is emerging that he cannot foresee, and he worries that by the time he learns what this evil may be, it will be too late. This sends the BasedGod back into a spiraling depression, one not felt since the last day he had spent alone in the cathedral. He warns his closest confidants of the impending doom, saying, “Real talk… Feel it through your heart. Feel it through the spirit. You can feel it through the dark, cold as ever.”
Café Au Coquelet At the same time as the Hunchback is experiencing this sense of dread, Lil B has made his way to Café Au Coquelet, one of the first spots in New BasedWorld that was graced by the power and the glory of the BasedGod. Lil B immediately detects the Hunchback’s prior presence in the vicinity: all of the restaurant’s guests are acting unusually positive and based towards one another, and the only dish that anyone has ordered over the past week has been the clams casino. Lil B also recognizes that the music playing in the background of the restaurant (the instrumental that is this song) was created by the BasedGod. Enraged, he stands up on the restaurant tables and begins to lambast the townsfolk for having fallen for the lies and deceit of a false prophet. He dictates a new philosophy, beginning by disposing of the food everybody has already ordered and teaching them how to cook for themselves. Before long, the entire restaurant is cooking to “Like a Martian”. A growing sect of New BasedWorld begins to emerge in objection to the Hunchback’s teachings, with Lil B and the swag movement as their new leader.
Downtown Berkeley Protest Back in the colony of Berkeley, the BasedGod is gathering his followers together for a celebration of optimism and goodwill unto others. His new instrumental track plays as the Hunchback’s followers enjoy the festivities. It is at this moment that the BasedGod feels a searing pain encompass his entire being, and he recognizes that this is the moment he has been fearing for the past few weeks: the evil has arrived. A mass of residents from the other New BasedWorld colonies have descended upon the party with torches and handguns. Dressed in pink shirts, tiny pants and Vans sneakers, they march to the center of the crowd in unison, yelling nonsensical phrases such as “Figaro!” and “Martha Stewart!” as the frightened followers of the Hunchback look on. At the front of the mob is the leader, the enigmatic Lil B. He flashes a slight smile at the BasedGod, who stares directly back into the eyes of his former student. As the crowd of pretty residents begin to hurl insults and grievances towards the based residents, Lil B raises one hand, and the noise stops. Then, he begins to walk away. B’s worshipers follow him out of the city square in silent unison. Many of the Hunchback’s flock wonder if this is the end of the madness. However, the BasedGod knows deep down inside that this is just the beginning.
EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE BITCH
Bring the BasedGod and Lil B Gifts This is a Cold War, and we know what each side is fighting for. The New BasedWorld citizens have been divided into an even split, with half of the townsfolk (now calling themselves the “Task Force”) following the ways of the Hunchback and the other half (now calling themselves the “Bitch Mob”) committing themselves to the teachings of Lil B. In a frantic attempt to prove the superiority of one leader over the other, the townspeople begin to bestow luxurious gifts and rewards upon their idols in an attempt to make one appear more grandiose than the other. Lil B relishes in his newfound fame, gladly accepting a plethora of PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 games from his fans, along with a fully registered copy of FL Studio to allow him to produce beats on the same level as the BasedGod. Meanwhile, on the other side of the village, the Hunchback seems uncomfortable embracing his new role as a worshipped deity. Having become accustomed to people ignoring him or being flat-out disgusted by his appearance, the adjustment to now becoming the leader of thousands of men is one that is not made easily.
Body Shaming The opposing sides of New BasedWorld’s population quickly transition from honoring their respective leaders to creating smear campaigns against the opposition. One of the Bitch Mob’s most talented computer hackers manages to secure nude photographs of the Hunchback and distribute them online, highlighting the embarrassing weight gain that the BasedGod has endured over the past 5 years. The Hunchback is at first distraught upon hearing the news: “Why are they body shaming me? Why would they say all these mean things?” It is only when the BasedGod taps into his creamy center, where all the gooey happy-lovin' goo sits that allows him to be the nicest, most compassionate person he’s ever been, that he’s able to let the world know that he will not fall down so easy. He releases this song on his MySpace as a rebuttal, saying, “There's no reason to bully people and make fun of folks”. The Task Force immediately lauds the song as the perfect response to the scandal, while the Bitch Mob lashes out at the lack of trap drums and celebrity-based adlibs.
Stopped Talkin’ But I Still Rap “So self-conscious, you feel me?”: Despite the approval of his comrades, the BasedGod is unable to shake the ever-persistent sense of self-hatred that is being exacerbated by the actions of the Bitch Mob. He feels his mind regressing to a prior state of fear and insecurity akin to that of his days spent in isolation in the Cathedral. Deep inside, the Hunchback finds himself in the midst of an existential crisis: how can one speak on the benefits of positivity and self-love when one does not truly love thyself? What would the consequences be of allowing this negativity to manifest itself in real time? Surely, an admission of hopelessness would spell defeat for the Task Force, allowing Lil B and his army of pretty townsfolk to rule the land for all eternity. But it would also be hypocritical for the BasedGod to continue to preach the Gospel of Based when his mind is not in a based state of being. In a move that would prove to be one of the most shocking of the Cold War, the Hunchback gathers his followers in the town square to announce that he will be taking an oath of silence until peace can be found between the two factions of New BasedWorld, capping off his decree with the debut of his ‘final’ song, “Stopped Talkin’ But I Still Rap”. The crowd gasps and devolves into hysteria, with thousands pleading for the Hunchback to reconsider, rightly worried over what would become of the based movement without the voice of its sole originator. But the BasedGod is persistent. He silently walks through the crowd, hugging each of his based brethren (and consensually face-fucking some of the females) before departing, possibly for good. Some time after midnight, he successfully crosses the Based Bridge and returns to Old BasedWorld, making his way back to the Cathedral without a single soul noticing his presence. He travels to the deepest, darkest depths of the Cathedral’s caverns, located miles beneath the Earth’s surface, where he begins an indefinite period of contemplation and meditation. This sequence of events would prove to be a milestone of the BasedWorld Revolution™, and would be forever immortalized in the cover art for the Where Did the Sun Go? mixtape.
Intermission It was a bad time for both Old and New BasedWorld. The Hunchback just stayed inside his Cathedral and he never came out. People said his brain was infected by fake based devils. The Task Force hurt the most of all: without their leader, they crumbled and succumbed to the will of the Bitch Mob. Lil B’s tyrannical rise to power was all but complete. In the months that followed, he would expand his territorial control, conquering the villages of Albany and East Oakland and even sending troops to claim regions of land as far away as Hawaii and Nepal.
Nearly a full year after the disappearance of the BasedGod, Lil B’s armies waged war on Old BasedWorld. The BasedWorld Bridge was destroyed, leaving Lil B and his followers (who controlled the naval fleets) as the only ones who had access to both sides of the territory. After taking most of its citizens hostage and establishing a new structure of government with Lil B at the helm, the Bitch Mob began to formulate its Ultimate Bitch Plan to capture the Hunchback. One night, they rushed the Old BasedWorld Cathedral, setting it ablaze and burning the once-iconic structure to the ground in the hopes of finding the charred body of the BasedGod buried underneath the rubble. When they failed to retrieve the body, the contingent of pretty boys and girls was ordered by Lil B to venture underground, as an ancient prophecy had foretold the Hunchback’s journey to the center of the Earth. Armed with assault rifles of all varieties, they began their descent into the depths of the caverns.
However, the deeper they traveled, the more they became disillusioned by their actions, and the actions of their once-beloved leader Lil B. They did not realize that the closer they got to the Hunchback, the more they were swayed by his righteousness and his way of being. Soon, they were no more than a few hundred yards from locating the BasedGod. It was at this moment that they had a great awakening, recognizing the error of their ways and freeing themselves from the spell that had been placed on them by Lil B. They abandoned their mission, instead choosing to return to the surface without the Hunchback. Lil B, furious at the group’s reluctance to complete their task, began to chastise his former followers, and prepared to issue one of his infamous curses upon them, one which would result in certain death. Having become completely overwhelmed with the guilt and the shame of their exploits as part of Lil B’s army (and also acknowledging the fact that none of them would ever win an NBA championship now without signing to Golden State), they instead turned the guns Lil B had given to them on themselves, committing mass suicide on top of the remains of the Old BasedWorld Cathedral. Thousands of Old BasedWorld onlookers stared in paralyzing shock as the sound of hundreds of guns discharged at once. What followed was several hours of silence, as Lil B, covered in the blood of his former troops, coldly stared at the mass of dead bodies, trying his best to process what had just taken place.
EPISODE IV: A NEW HO(PE)
The Waterfront West Berkeley at Night Meanwhile, on the other side of the Bay, most of the former Task Force members still remaining in New BasedWorld have all but accepted their fates, purchasing clothing that is too tight for them to wear comfortably and listening to the government-approved “Cooking Music” playlist on a constant loop. A small contingent of Hunchback loyalists remain, holding private meetings in the basement of the Café Au Coquelet and listening to the “Based Music” playlist in shrouded secrecy. Upon learning that Lil B and a commission of his troops had left to invade Old BasedWorld, the few remaining Task Force members felt it was safe enough to worship the Hunchback out in the open one last time. As most of the Bitch Mob members who had crossed the BasedWorld Bay with Lil B had come from the village of West Berkeley, the BasedGod’s loyal comrades choose the village’s Waterfront area as the gathering place for the ceremony. Unbeknownst to any of the group’s members, the mass suicides in Old BasedWorld were taking place at the exact same time as the celebration in New BasedWorld was commencing. The Task Force members rejoice, harmoniously singing the BasedGod’s favorite songs of worship: “B.O.R. (Birth of Rap)”, “The Age of Information” and “No Black Person Is Ugly” are belted out towards the heavens. Suddenly, the youngest of the Task Force’s members (who goes by the name of u/insabnma) feels a twinge underneath his bare feet. He looks down at the ground and notices that he has stepped on a golden USB drive, encrusted with diamonds and embroidered with the word “BASED” in all caps. The curious group of based boys and girls procure a laptop and, upon plugging the drive in, are amazed to find a .zip folder of 13 unreleased instrumentals credited as being produced by the BasedGod. Even more amazingly, the first song is entitled “The Waterfront West Berkeley at Night”: the exact place and time of day that they are performing their ritual. The Task Force members ecstatically listen to the new music, with several being driven to the point of involuntary orgasm. Throughout the night, word spreads throughout New BasedWorld of the drive’s existence, and suddenly, the followers of the Hunchback have a renewed sense of hope.
Games of Berkeley and Magic Cards The next evening, thousands of Task Force members, old and new, join together in the town square of Berkeley, the last place that the Hunchback was seen alive. A Task Force party has commenced, with various games being played and the Based Music playlist blasting from the colony’s speakers. As it is nearing midnight, the townspeople are each given a magic life card, rumored to be the same life cards that were discussed in the BasedGod’s legendary philosophical diatribe [“Life on Earth”](). At the stroke of 12, the second of the BasedGod’s 13 secret instrumentals is played, as the crowd enthusiastically chants “Thank You BasedGod” along to the beat. The expectation is that the Hunchback will hear their prayer and reemerge by the end of the song. However, this was not to be the case: the instrumental ends, with the BasedGod nowhere to be found. For a moment, the Task Force is disheartened, wondering if the signs pointing to a return of the Hunchback were too good to be true. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a shooting star flies across the Berkeley sky, the brightest and most brilliant star that anyone in the colony has ever seen. It continues to arc across the northwestern skyline and appears to land in the village of Albany, a formerly based territory which has been overrun with members of the Bitch Mob. The Task Force is again filled with a renewed sense of hope at this discovery, as they courageously follow the signs that could lead them to the Hunchback’s holy ascension.
Walking Through Albany California Upon arriving in Albany, the Task Force members notice a contingent of Bitch Mob members huddled around a large crater, approximately one mile in diameter. Evidently, this is where the shooting star had landed. One of the senior members of the tribe is examining the star, which, contrary to its once large and brilliant appearance, has been reduced to the size of a small rock. Several Bitch Mob members now make their way into the crater to examine the fallen star. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the once-dead star explodes into thousands of pieces, each piece shooting out towards the heads of a Bitch Mob member (though some less fortunate members wind up getting hit in the balls). When the star touches each member, it instantly uploads the third of the BasedGod’s secret instrumentals directly into their cerebral cortex. The Bitch Mob members are at first displeased at the lack of poorly mixed 808s and rattling hi-hats, but soon after, they begin to comprehend and enjoy the BasedGod’s alternative production style. Once the song has finished, they have all been converted into full-fledged comrades of the Task Force. The Berkeley delegation of Task Force welcomes their new brothers and sisters into the fold, and the group marches on to spread the word of the Hunchback’s return to the other villages.
The Sound of Being Bullied While this is all occurring in the BasedWorld territories, something else entirely is beginning to unfold in the far away kingdom of Detroit, Michigan. Teejay Witherspoon, the Bitch Mob’s certified rarest hacker, leans back in his chair and slyly grins. His successful exploitation of the BasedGod a year ago has proven to be a major turning point in the young man’s life. His notoriety has allowed him to start a rap career of his own, with several music videos on YouTube having gone viral throughout the past 12 months. His loyalty to the Bitch Mob has been unquestioned, and he has since been promoted to a senior position within the fold. As he clicks his way through a darkweb laundering scheme one evening, he leaves to take a shit and, upon returning to his computer, notices that a mysterious golden USB drive has been plugged into the laptop. Only one file exists on the drive: an audio file entitled “The Sound of Being Bullied.flac”. Teejay curiously loads the file into VLC, and the instant the song begins, he is assaulted with a rush of crushing despair and depression. The title of the song spoke for itself. Teejay is experiencing the totality of the Hunchback’s negative emotions that had been fueled by his prior actions, but even more intensely, and as the emotions begin to amplify, he next notices that his physical being is being affected as well. His body is shaking uncontrollably, his skin is beginning to peel, his eyes are popping out of his skull. After four minutes and seven seconds of agonizing torture, his entire being bursts into flames, unable to handle the power of the BasedGod’s wrath. The song ends.
No Longer Afraid of the Dark It’s dark. The air is still. The ground is hot. Water drips from the ceiling. The Hunchback, in a deep state of reflection, hasn’t moved a muscle for over 12 months. His shriveled body has been starved of nourishment and exercise, but fortunately, his weight gain has had the positive effect of having enough fat stored to keep him alive. The amount of based energy needed to have maintained this state of being has aged the BasedGod considerably. He has been devoid of almost any sense of perception for at least a few months. A faint glow radiates from his being. He has concentrated his powers to what was thought to be an unattainable degree of positivity. Before his extended withdrawal from society, the negative side of the force was something that the Hunchback struggled to put out of mind. At the level of based he now encompasses, the light of positivity is too grand for the BasedGod to fail. He is no longer afraid of the dark. And that’s because the dark no longer exists. The cavern has been filled with his based radiance. And the Hunchback is almost ready to return and spread this radiance throughout the land.
Nepal Wants the BasedGod All across BasedWorld, shooting star sightings have been abound, and thousands upon thousands of Bitch Mob members have been converted to Task Force faithful. Even beyond the traditional confines of BasedWorld, rare star sightings have also been seen in the Bitch Mob’s disparate properties. A star lands in the Bitch Mob’s Nepalian expansion territory. After having its people cleansed with the power of the BasedGod’s sixth secret instrumental track, Nepal adopts a new constitution which entails all of its citizens to embrace the Hunchback’s teachings of optimism and self-love.
Taxi Around Town The streets of Old BasedWorld have been in dire need of repair ever since the Bitch Mob ransacked the colony, but that doesn’t stop Travis, one of the land’s only remaining horse-drawn taxi drivers, from making a buck. One evening, he picks up a mysterious hooded figure in one of the town’s more dangerous districts. The man enters the carriage, greeting the driver with two words: “Hello, Travis.” The driver says nothing. The horses begin their trek through the streets, passing by a row of burning buildings. Travis breaks his silence. “It’s lit,” he says. “The buildings, that is. There’s only a few Bitch Mob members left at this point but they always blow these things up.” The figure feels more comfortable speaking to the driver: “I hear you got the nomination”. It dawns on Travis that this person must be almost exactly one year behind the times: has he ever even heard of Cardi B? Regardless, he plays along. “Straight up. Won’t be long now.” The figure smiles, quipping, “Well, I hope you win.” He then proceeds to remove his hood. Travis looks back and momentarily gasps. His composure returns soon thereafter. Unsure of how to proceed, he attempts to continue the conversation. “I… I read about you in the papers… How are you?” Knowing he’s referring to the suicides, the figure replies, “Oh, it’s nothing new, I got over that.” They sit in silence for the remainder of the ride. Soon, the horses come upon their destination, the edge of the BasedWorld Bay. The figure gets out of the car. Turning to Travis, he asks, “How much was it?” Travis is nearly speechless. He lets out one final Auto-Tuned “So long………..LA FLAME!” and the horses gallop off.
Berkeley California Before Lil B A massive cleaning project has commenced throughout Berkeley. The townspeople have nearly all been converted to followers of the BasedGod by this point, and in a unanimous vote, the colony’s leaders choose to rid Berkeley of any and all trace of Lil B and his formerly effective propaganda. Murals are whitewashed, statues are torn down, and portraits are removed from public spaces as the eighth of the BasedGod’s 13 secret instrumentals is played on a loop. The many books proclaiming Lil B’s omnipotence are collectively burned to ash in the town square. Even saying the name “Lil B” is punishable by fine of up to $30,000, equivalent to the amount of money Lil B had charged for features (in contrast to the Hunchback’s extremely generous $0.01 minimum fee for a verse). The townspeople are once again a tight-knit unit of based human beings living their best lives. It was just like Berkeley California before Lil B.
UPVOTE THIS POST SO IT DOES NOT GET BURIED ... *** FOLLOW ME TO GET MORE INFORMATION IN THE FUTURE. UPDATED WITH TRACKLIST AND RADIO STATIONS here is my ID badge that i use to get in and out of work. ( Name and picture is blurred for my protection.) date 2019-2020. https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR Everyone has been waiting, a credible leak for Grand Theft Auto 6. I will not be stating my name or anything, this is a personal throwaway account, But I do work at Rockstar Games. This next addition to the title will be keeping the tradition of roman numerals, ( GTA VI ) but I will often refer to it as GTA 6, to make things easier. be sure to read everything, as I have taken the risk and time to leak a lot of vital information.
IF YOU DO NOT WANT A SPOILER ON THE MAIN PLOT OR FEATURES OF GTA VI, DO NOT READ THIS POST *
First off I’d like to state that all previous leaks about GTA 6 is a hoax. All of the leaks regarding GTA 6 taking place in any other area than Vice City, is a hoax. I will be breaking down the characters, storyline, and more. Grand Theft Auto VI is designed to be the most developed video game in history, and redefine open sand box games, letting the player fully immerse in the world and storyline. In Grand Theft Auto 6 the game will take place in Vice City, but the previous storyline leaks etc, is all fake. The plot is completely different,. The game will host 3 protagonists, one being a middle aged white man named Johnathon Brooks, but is often referred to as John. John is going thru a mid-life crisis, and lives on the returning area called Starfish Island. John essentially is a life long career criminal, and exposes the player to a new crime element, fraud. John was born in Carcer City, and moved to Vice City at age 17, after running away from his foster parents, not much is known about his previous life before then, except he was in a very poor family. John got into the fraud game in the early 2000’s, and he is 38 in game. he earned his money thru many fraudulent activities like credit card fraud, bank fraud, and did a few small bank jobs, and laundered his money with his own car wash business. He lives in a $1.8m mansion that he bought with his illicit gains, and the FIB are on to him. He borrows money from the local gang in Little Haiti, where fraud is very prevalent, and he starts getting back into his older habits to pay off the gang. The FIB notices this, and he ends up doing dirty work for the FIB, in order to keep his freedom. The second character is Samuel “Shotta” Stevens, who is a member of the Haitian gang. He is a black, Haitian based character with more character development, than Franklin from GTA 5. He is 26 in game. The game also focuses more on crime, and the gang element. The player will experience the brutal reality of the gang life in Vice City, in the slums of Little Haiti, from loan sharking and repossessing the unreliable clients, to brokering the sales, that being kilos of cocaine, for the South American Cartel. Samuel lives in a Section 8 apartment, in the Little Haiti Neighborhood with his grandmother, Amy. Samuel just wants to move out of the hood, but loves the gang lifestyle, and this gets him caughtup in the FIB drama with John. The FIB cuts him a deal also, if he can snitch out his gang, which the player can choose to cooperate, or refuse. This will change the storyline of Samuel dramatically. If you choose Option A: Snitch on the gang, You will snitch on the gang and work with John, who will show you the ropes of Fraud, and you both will defraud the bank of Schlongberg Sachs, commit multiple heists, and become a protege of John. Or of course you can choose, Option B: Refuse. Refusing will make Samuel a target of the FIB, and this causes him to gain more respect from his gang. The respect system from San Andreas is back, but new and improved. Samuel will expand his gang operations from Little Haiti, all the way to the Vice Keys, and beyond. The Third Character is a man named Xavier Gonzalez. Xavier is a latino man born in Vice City, he is 40 years old, and a cocaine kingpin. He lives in Downtown Vice City in his lavish $1.5m penthouse. Xavier is friends with John from the beginning of the story. Xavier is apart of the story no matter what option you choose, providing cocaine to John to sell, OR, Providing cocaine to both John AND Samuel, to sell together, and to strengthen the gangs funds. The gang system is similar to Red Dead Redemption 2’s system, and also has elements of GTA San Andreas. Xavier is also tied in directly to the nightclub business as well, having stakes in the returning Malibu Club, now run by the Jimenez Family, a latino Mafia, who has ties directly to the South American Cartel. Each Character has a different personality and lifestyle, and will be a exceptional experience for the player. Former characters from past GTA’s will be making appearances. Luis WILL be returning, being a manager of the Malibu Club, Stranger and Freaks missions are returning with a more in depth story for every one of them, and Michael De Santa and his wife, Amanda, will be returning also, living in a beach house, although their children will not make any appearances. The both do not play a VITAL part in the storyline, but will have stranger and freaks missions for any character, with all different outcomes. For example, passing by the state penitentiary, you may just recognize Lamar Davis, in a bluish grey jumpsuit, embellished with a pair of handcuffs wrapped around his wrists, demanding for a ride. The map of GTA VI, will be bigger than GTA V and RDR2 combined, having several counties, having Vice City, based on Miami, the Vice Keys, based on the Florida Keys, The Everglades, based on the swampy Everglades in Florida. The game will also feature Orlando, which is named Corlado, and Tampa, named as Gulf Shore City, but downsized a bit. The game will feature sprawling countryside outside of Vice City and Corlado, with countryside towns, named Canisville, Centura, and Sentinel Point, along with towns along the Vice Keys. There is an Air Force Base, based of off Eglin Air Force Base, named Fort Sentinel. The Ocean is the Atlantic Ocean, with more shipwrecks to discover, plants and animals, and more. The game itself has as many animals as RDR2, and the player can hunt if they choose, although this is just a more of a minigame. Vigilante Missions will be back, along with Taxi Missions. Character Customization will be better, from the belt on your waist, to the socks on your feet. Choose to your liking of luxury watches, rings, chains, earrings, featuring plain jane, to diamonds and rubies, emeralds, and more. Belts can be worn along with hightops, to lowtops and boots, and dress shoes. Pantlegs can be tucked into the footwear you choose, if the option is available. Tattoos will be back, along with hair customization. John is white so he can tan, or be sunburned, and the core system from RDR 2 is back aswell. Tattoos will feature opacity and can also fade over time. You will be able to adjust the size of the tattoo. It will be able to be placed on over 10 different area of the body depending the size. Since the core system is back, you will have to also bathe, to stay clean, otherwise you may notice changes in your cores. You will have to eat to replenish cores, so you can cook in your safehouse, or go eat out in a restaurant, whether it be fast food or upscale. All characters can have relationships with women, similar to GTA 4 and GTA San Andreas. You will be able to buy extra safehouses around the map, and the amount of vehicles will be the same amount that are in GTA Online, and more. Every vehicle will be returning, and first person mode will be more enhanced, with more realistic vehicle interiors to immerse the player into every aspect of the game. South America will not be apart of the game, only Vice City and surrounding Areas. Skills from GTA V is also being integrated back, along with exercising, to boost strength. Agility is a new added skill, and Strength will affect how hard you punch, kick, or melee in general. Special Abilities so far, will not be coming back. This may be tweaked before release, but if they return, it will not be a major part of the game. Car Customization is more advanced, different leather trims can be changed colors, along with wood trims and marble trims. You can add satellite radio, which lets you listen to radio stations in Los Santos, and Liberty City, but so far there is only two stations from each of those cities. You can also listen to all the radio stations across the counties. Neon is back, new spoilers and liveries as well, Along with different colors of tint. Subwoofers will be a standard upgrade as well. Los Santos Customs is gone, and Pay and Spray is back, along with Viceland Kustomz, and Sentinel Bike Shop. You can also modify certain parts at the car dealerships. The drug dealing system from GTA: China Town Wars is also returning, but a bit revamped. This is where the post office system comes in, from RDR2. Pounds of Marijuana sourced from Los Santos delivered by mail, to a post office near you. From weed to tabs of LSD, all the way to meth, heroin, and cocaine, you can reap major profits. Casinos will be returning as well, one being a resort, others being small-time casinos. You will be able to rent a room in the casino and resort. The casino is named as the Malibu Casino and Resort. Gunplay is improved with new realistic sounds. Interiors are just as detailed as GTA V or RDR2, if not more, I’d say. The insurance system from GTA Online will be integrated into GTA VI’s story mode, so losing a vehicle will not happen. There is an abundance of new and old activities, that being over 50 strangers and freaks missions, drug supplying, or drug running, similar to GTA TBOGT’s drug missions. You can hunt, as stated before, but is more of a minigame than a money maker. You can fish as well, as fishing is a very popular sport, in modern day Florida. There will be four strip clubs scattered around the map, one of them named Vanilla Unicorn South East, which is owned by Trevor Phillips, who is planned to make a cameo, only to be featured in a cutscene so far. Nightclubs as I stated before, will be a thing. There will be 3 nightclubs, where you can take part in a few activities, like dancing, where you can meet your date in game, or drinking and smoking. Expect SOLOMUN, and BLACK MADONNA to return. You will see in game appearances of them DJing in the nightclubs. No other DJ’s will return. Bounty hunting will not be a thing, but dirty work for the FIB throughout the story will be similar. Pool and bowling is returning, along with player skills, exercise and working out also is a thing, as stated above earlier. Convenience stores and gas stations will feature many products you can purchase. Snacks, that being Phat chips, (different flavors yield more health and core restoration) candy bars, ( EgoChaser, Meteorite, Zebra Bar, and more) drinks, (E Cola, Sprunk,) Alcohol, (Pisswasser, Champagne, Logger) Redwood cigarettes, and cigars. The stores will be setup similar to RDR2’s store system. You can rob the stores, and also start a protection racket, and extort them. Pharmacys will be in the game, to purchase portable med kits, or you can rob the pharmacy for drugs and money. The way you eat can also affect your character’s health, and weight. Similar to GTA San Andreas’s system. Merryweather will return, but won’t have the same presence as it did in GTA V. Merryweather ends up not being able to operate on U.S. soil, and goes out of business as a hit is put on Don Percival, by one of the returning characters from GTA V. An advanced parkour system is integrated as well, similar to GTA IV’s. Gun stores will be prevalent as this is based off of Florida. The homeless man who found the diamonds, from GTA TBOGT will also make an appearance as a gun store owner, as he has proceeded to purchase and start a gun shop in the area of South Vice Beach. The black market for weapons is featured in this game as well, similar to fences in RDR2. You can also craft bombs/projectiles if you have learned to. Realism is a goal of this game, without being too overwhelming. Guns and weapons will need to be cleaned. If you shoot a gun, you will smell of gun powder, this may be noticed by civilians or police officers, and they will make comments about it. If you have not bathed, you may just get absurd insults slurred at you. If you have blood stained on you, and you smell of blood, people may give you weird looks, or may just make a call to the local Law Enforcement. As for those who DM me or ask about Strangers and Freaks, or mysteries and riddles, the paranormal world will be featured in GTA VI. You may encounter serial killers, or creepy sightings in dreary areas. Strangers and freaks will all have its own unique storyline. The weather system is IMPROVED SIGNIFICANTLY aswell. Hurricanes do take place, but only during certain parts of the storyline, and floods may occur in marshland areas and anywhere away from mainland. Melee Combat system is based off of strength, and Agility, which is a new skill, as stated above, and is improved heavily. Hand combat is influenced by strength and agility. Based on how hard you hit the opponent, you may bruise them, and bruise yourself. The chainsaw is returning as well. The limbs and gore is back from RDR2 Dialogue System from GTA San Andreas and RDR2 is back, and improved, with different responses every time. GPS and Navigation System will be improved, showing the quickest routes, from alleyways to the freeway. Every street will have a name, and the GPS voice from GTA IV is returning as well, get ready to hear “Turn Left in 500 yards, Bing Bong.” Planes will have autopilot, and you can fly to each city with plane tickets, or on your own. Driving mechanics will be similar to GTA IV’s, but combined with the smoothness of GTA V’s mechanics. Damage to the vehicle will be more detailed then ever, featuring airbag damage as well. EVERY Vehicle will have its own selected weight, and handling, to improve the player’s experience. Six star wanted level is back, with FIB being the 6th star. There is multiple law enforcement agencies. VCPD, GSCPD, CPD, SPPD, Highway Patrol, FIB, IAA, Viceland State Patrol, as well as the NOOSE. You will not be shot by cops for just staring at them. Being arrested results in you serving time, similar to RDR 1’s Jail time mechanic, showing you all of your charges while you sit in a cell. The first time you get arrested it will show your character being booked, and you will have to take a mugshot and be fingerprinted. Depending on the county or city you’ve been arrested in, you will be known to local law enforcement and even law abiding citizens, depending on how severe your charges are. Random events are more realistic than ever. depending on the wanted level you’ve attained, there is a system similar to the bounty system of RDR2. The more crimes you’ve commited that have gained attention of law enforcement, you have a chance of getting your hotel room getting kicked in by noose, your safe house getting staked out by undercover FIB, even being pulled over if you have commited a number of crimes in the same vehicle. You may witness muggings, or even be mugged yourself. You will encounter situations with homeless people to the rich and famous, with all different outcomes. Real Estate as stated before, will be available to all three characters. Businesses will be available, illicit and legal, from businesses to launder cash for the gang, to illicit businesses like credit fraud rings, to counterfeit cash. Safe houses will be available as well. A penthouse in Corlado, a modern mansion on Starfish Island, a beach house on Ocean Beach, a small quaint house in Canisville, a traditional house in Gulf Shore City, a vacation-style home in the Vice Keys, to small apartments in small towns like Centura or Sentinel Point. Each character will be able to purchase any of these properties, but it will be tied to just the one character that purchased it. Hotels and Motels will also be available to rent rooms and bathe in, one being the Gulf Shore motel, a dingy motel room for cheap, perfect for someone wanting a cheap stay. The Malibu Casino and Resort near Vice Beach, a 5 star luxury stay, with a two-story penthouse with a jacuzzi the player can bathe in, with views of Vice Beach, and the nearby Ocean Beach. There is 4 hotels and 2 motels scattered across the map, each with unique interiors and different amenities. Purchasing vehicles you can enter a dealership, or purchase online and have it delivered to a garage. Pegasus Concierge is returning. Certain stolen vehicles will have trackers, and will not be able to be modified, same as GTA V. The stock market is also returning, BAWSAQ and VLSM ( Vice Land Stock Market ) and can reap heavy profits as well. Time goes by: This game is set in 2017-2019. Times will change thruout, buildings will be completed as they were in RDR2, radio stations will not play all of the music in the tracklist at first. Instead it will play newer music thruout the storyline. You will still hear older and newer songs too after completion. Character customization is not just clothing, tattoos, jewelry and hair customization. You can also purchase 3 different phone models. an iFruit phone, based on the iPhone Xr, a Badger phone, or a Whiz Wireless. You will also be able to purchase ringtones, as you were able to do in GTA IV. You can also purchase an iFruit watch, based on the apple watch, which you can take calls on, if you change your settings.
As stated before, first person will be more immersive than ever, when you use your cell phone you will have the option to do this in first person, similar to the handheld catalogue in RDR2.
Depending on how rough you play, clothing can wear and tear. Examples: jumping out of a moving vehicle, falling off/on rocks, tripping on certain props. As stated above, NPC’s will notice the clothing you wear, the way you look or smell, the car you drive, and the jewelry you wear, and will make comments on it. Crouching will be back, the same as RDR2, and the cover system is nearly the exact same cover system as RDR2.
Characters and their person vehicles: Xavier’s color is red in the character switch menu, Samuel’s is blue, as that is his gang color, John’s is a dark green.
Xavier drives a newer, updated Albany Alpha as his main personal vehicle, and also owns an Enus Windsor Drop.
Samuel drives the new Gauntlet Hellfire, which is only $87,000.00 in game.
John drives a Ubermacht Revolter, non-weaponized as his main vehicle, and also owns an Ubermacht Sentinel. These are the personal vehicles you start with, on all three characters.
ALSO Expect a Special Edition, AND Collector’s Edition, similar to RDR2. The game is set in the summer of 2017 to 2019 as the storyline proceeds. This game WILL BE PS5 Exclusive, for the first month. The in-game experience is like no other, PS5 also has a new controller design as well. It is projected to not release until later 2020, AFTER holiday season BUT MAY BE DELAYED. I have broken down the storyline, key elements of the game, and if anyone has anymore questions I will be happy to answer. I know so much about this game as I’ve been working on it since the start, and I’m not afraid to get in trouble, as this is a throwaway. I will not be responding to negative comments, claiming this is fake, because I will not waste my time with non-believers, only true questions. all content is confirmed unless it has been mentioned by me to not be officially confirmed already, and anything may be scrapped before release as cut content, but is unlikely *PLEASE UPVOTE. I do not want my effort and the risks I am taking to go to waste. I want this to not get buried. * if you have questions or WANT MORE? (screenshots or photos as proof, radio stations, confirmed tracklists or more) Send Me A Chat. You may see songs from previous games, as Rockstar may have the licenses still, or has renewed them. CONFIRMED SONGS, AND RADIO STATIONS. Satellite Radio: Liberty City Beat 102.7- Hosted By DJ Whoo Kid Beat 102.7 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/To0Wi8c
Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, Lil Jon, Noriega, DJ Buddha, Gasolina
Alex Sensation, Gente De Zona, La Mala Y La Buena
Los Del Río, La Macarena
Interesante Musica Radio ( modern and old spanish music ) Hosted By Selená Martinez * Los Hermanos Rosario, La Dueña Del Swing * los reyes del merengue, El Baile del Beeper - Versión Merengue * Celia Cruz, La Vida Es Un Carnaval * INDIA, Marc Anthony, Vivir Lo Nuestro * Felipe Muñiz, Marc Anthony, Deje de Amar * Ivy Queen, Dime * Monchy and Alexandra, Alexandra Musica de Clásico FM ( Salsa ) Hosted By Pedro Simmóns
CTR Corlado Talk Radio -host, Lazlow - Fernando Martinez Viceland News Network VLNN VLNN Logo- https://imgur.com/a/yaBucdY Host- Vanessa Hopkins, Weazel News. - Updates on weather and Weazel News Ignore this below. Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical. Ignore this below. Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical. Along with the No phone, No photos policy, It will be very difficult to get OFFICIAL screenshots. Here is a official, accurate sketch of the GTA VI Minimap and cores design https://imgur.com/a/ghyoRb4 Here is the sketch of the mini map on computer. https://imgur.com/a/D0Qj0EP I will be uploading more sketches soon. FOLLOW ME FOR MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON Here’s my Rockstar badge / ID. it is dirty, apologies. The rockstar logo, imprinted on the card itself, along with my photo, blurred out, my name below it, and the expiration date, years 2019-2020. this is only an ID to get into the building. since i have released a bit of proof, stop spreading misinformation https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR You can still trust my leak, but here is a legal disclaimer so I cannot be targeted. Ignore this below. -legal disclaimer. this is fictional and not proven, this post is not associated with taketwo or rockstar games in any way, shape, or form.
1.5 yr later update of my knife-wielding FMIL; things are worse than ever and really impacting my relationship with my GF
Backstory/ first post from Oct 2017 My gf and I have been in a long distance relationship for two years ago. I’m 30, she’s almost 24. I wrote this about 6 months into our relationship (couldn’t remember old account password): https://www.reddit.com/JUSTNOMIL/comments/787f4k/gfs_22f_moms_crazy_behavior_is_straining_ou?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=ios_share_flow_optimization&utm_term=control_1 it’s a doozy. Long, long story short it was looking for advice not only on various crazy outbursts including knife-wielding, but on my gf’s mom controlling her life. Her mom can’t understand my relationship is with my gf, not her. Things worked out for a month or so after writing that...until my gf said she wanted to end things. A few weeks after that, I fly out at the holidays and we work things out. It was during this visit I found out for over a month while we were together she had not only been on tinder talking to other guys and having explicit conversations, but trying to meet up with a few. I was devastated by what I saw. Really crushed. One of the guys had a gf at the time and they were both talking about keeping it a secret, etc. This asshole will return later in the story. But I forgave her. I let her know it could never happen again though, and the guys you tried meeting with need to be out of your life. We get back together and a year and a half later, here we are. Before I go into the story prompting this post, let me give a rundown of the litany of terrible things that have happened, most in the last 1.5 yrs since writing my original post: Examples
Her mom is a bad gambling addict. She lives for the casino, they are insanely in debt, and it affects my gf daily, yet my gf can’t see the forest through the leaves. 99% of the world would realize how huge this is, but to my gf, it’s almost become so normalized it’s a non-issue
I can’t tell you how many times she’s cancelled my gf’s phone service to punish her; and then turns it on 45 min later
Calling her incessantly; many times a day, and when my gf doesn’t pick up she will call 15, 20 times in a row til she does. Even when we were traveling in Europe (she studied abroad in Italy a semester), instead of enjoying the trip my gf was crying about what her mom was saying to her
She skipped class so we could stop in Pompeii and Sorento on my first weekend visiting (we were coming back from Amalfi). Her mom flipped out: texted me saying she’s calling the police that I kidnapped her daughter, she proceeded to call the school and all gf’s friends that her daughter was missing
Mom’s attitude during fights: physical violence (throwing things like remotes), threatening to or saying she already called the police, at least twice she took out a KNIFE and brandished it
The mom cries wolf often: last summer the mom is complaining she needs to go to the hospital, dad is sick of her crying wolf and ignores her. She then nonstop is badgering my gf all morning to take her and my gf is refusing. Turns out nothing was wrong of course, but guess what? Her dad who refused to take mom yelled at my gf for doing the same thing
Gf’s dad and grandma (mom’s mom) are the two biggest enablers I think I’ve ever seen. They are complete and total pushovers for the mom’s tirades.
I can’t tell you how many times her mom has called her home to “talk with her” in the middle of my visit, obviously stealing my time from her
Gf is constantly at the mom’s beck and call: from driving 2 hours to the coast without a thank you when her mom lost her car keys in a casino, to rushing a beautiful picnic my gf were having at Gettysburg, to having us miss an event that ended at 4 pm so gf could vacuum floor and clean counters (she actually said “I’m letting your bf stay here you so you have to do what I say!”) when she could have easily done the chores anytime that night
Many times I’ve tried to have my gf visit she can’t because she has to “watch the dog for the weekend” while the mom goes to the casino (they’ve had neighbors watch dog, their cousin has a dog, they’ve used kennel multiple times, I showed gf an awesome dog sitting service (that I would pay for), but nothing was good enough (frankly, I think my gf was too afraid to run the ideas by her mom)
Conversely, her mom cuts my gf’s visits to me short, like having her come home Saturday instead of Sunday saying my gf has to be “well rested” for school Monday...yet one of these return weekends she wanted her to go on a late night Sunday bus trip to Atlantic City (so, spending Sunday with your bf before flying back is worse than spending the night out gambling?)
She’s said NASTY things about me, mocking me any way she can.
Only giving her two grand for an entire 4 month study abroad semester and bitching about money constantly (yet gf made sure to take thank you pictures for them everywhere we went...I spent over 10,000 on her in the month and a half I was there. No thank you from my gf.
Her mom has said “your bf never thanked us for letting you guys stay at [gf’s deceased grandma’s trailer]...where’s my thank you for spending 10,000 giving your daughter the European trip of a lifetime?
For as in debt as they are, her and her parents went to an 8,000 destination wedding in the Bahamas for her cousin...8,000 for 5 days. Like the mom’s gambling addiction, my gf failed to see what a huge problem this was
For Christmas she wanted a new palate, I got her $200 in Sephora makeup kits. She got me a card and a clearance sweater. She forgot them at home.
For her birthday I got her an expensive opal ring completing her opal collection (all the other pieces except her grandma’s necklace I bought). She got me a card and a t shirt with her school logo (compare this to an ex who got me a custom made photo of me and my grandfather). She forgot the card again.
The money, oh my god, the money they take from my gf. They nickel and dime her for everything, everything- yet constantly demand to “borrow” money, her mom has made her multiple times to go to the bank just so gf can transfer her $10. I have to pay for everything with my gf because she never has money.
In two years of dating she has never paid or planned for a visit, I have to do everything
Her parents made gf sign a contract saying she won’t ever move away and will pay back all parents loans
Kicked me out of the house (requiring me get a last minute motel) in the middle of my visit because she “needed space”. She’s said this multiple times yet...
...yet she constantly says “I don’t even know your bf, I never spend time with your bf!”. So which is it??? Every time in the last two years I’ve visited her I’ve stayed at there house, I’ve went out to eat with them dozens of times, I’ve been to numerous family events, a week long stay in the mountains with her whole dad’s side family. Is this not average,if not above-and-beyond? Is it crazy for a long distance bf to want to prioritize time with his gf?
Zero sense of boundaries: we stayed at her aunts house for a few days in summer. In the middle of the day unexpectedly she comes while I am swimming naked in the pool. They unexpectedly popped in about 8 more times that week.
No less than a dozen times (seriously) she’s said she wanted to move to my state. Ask her about it now? That was a lie and she’d never do that in a million years. She wants to die a block away from the house she was born in to spend time with cousins she only sees twice a year
I earnestly believe the mom is the root cause of 98% of the discord in our relationship. And it’s not like I fight her back, or say anything to her face.
You know how boomers annoyingly complain about kids being on social media all the time? It’s true in the case of my gf, she is literally addicted to Instagram and Snapchat
Her mom has wanted to know my salary and what I pay in student loans.
Her mom is controlling her relationships. That’s not right. In the post I made a year and a half ago I said “she shows no signs of her mother’s traits at all”. It’s taken a complete 180. Yes, she’s still amazing with kids and all the other stuff I liked, etc, but the single biggest thing her mom does, saying she wants X then moments later reversing and saying she wants Y, is something I see a lot in my gf now. Recent events prompting this post Pre-Visit The recent chain of events: last three visits in a row were flying to see me (thanksgiving break, after Christmas, and in March) because as I tried telling her, once she starts working in summer it will be difficult for her to take long periods off and far easier for me to visit her (working from home). Next planned visit perfectly coincided with her graduation and early summer: I’d fly out to her, we would go to a cabin in Gettysburg for my birthday, do half a week in Atlantic City to celebrate graduation, then after graduation day her mom got a free stay in a casino in Maryland for the weekend as her graduation present (ugh) and then we would fly back to my place together to spend a week. Maryland and my place never ended up happening. During this time my gf was applying to grad school, hoping to get into a one year program because she said she couldn’t afford two yr. It became a sort of tug of war between me and her mom: me encouraging grad school (even 2 yr programs) and her mom demanding she start working right away. Long story, well, it shouldn’t surprise you who she listened to. So what was once her mom yelling at my gf about not going to grad school became yelling about getting a job. Things take a new turn when two weeks before I were to leave, her mom goes through everything in her room: she read through every single private letter, note, picture, memento, anything (and there’s a lot) that my gf has from me. My gf smokes a good amount of weed and I sent her rolling papers (the very very legal kind you can get at any corner gas station). Her mom flips out, gf has to stay with friends for a few days. Her mom calls me, calls MY mom, and messages a police chief friend of hers (later says this never happened but I saw the screenshots and it looked legit) that I’m a drug dealer. At this point I’m not mad, I’m scared. The women who’s shown she consistently cries wolf now might try to get me in trouble for something that is a TOTAL fabrication? In her text to me she said I can forget about Maryland and staying at there house. So, for the weekend in between Gettysburg and Atlantic City I arrange to stay at my buddy’s house, and get my ticket to return right after her graduation, skipping the Maryland weekend. The mom’s crocodile tears got my gf. EVERY day for two weeks prior to leaving every conversation would devolve into pouting “why can’t you come to Maryland”? We literally couldn’t even plan Gettysburg, Atlantic City, or graduation details because she refused to move on past Maryland. I tried explaining: with the INTENSE episode that’s happened the last few weeks, don’t you think a little space is a good thing? I have all summer, The rest of my life to spend time with them. Serious shit just went down and considering past history (not to mention how busy we will be with my birthday and your grad celebrating) it’s ok to skip this weekend- not to mention I already bought my ticket. Then it became “why can’t you call my mom and apologize?” She wanted me to call her parents and apologize because her parents went through her stuff and all my private mementos and accused me of heinous deeds. I was in disbelief. But my gf was so, SO dead set. I relented and called them: the call lasted 90 seconds. I said one sentence (about how she dug through her daughters stuff), she flipped out, and hung up on me. My gf briefly sides with me then a day later is back to pouting, “why can’t you call my parents againnn?” Long story short I did. We talked fine about nothing new (“we just want to get to know you more”, etc) and I explained how going off what she told me, I purchased my ticket to come back before the Maryland weekend. During the visit My gf still pouts until the day I leave. The first day we are together is wonderful as always, but then the fights start again. The first one on day 2 was small (me wanting to spend time at her place while her parents are gone) but then my birthday the next day another fight erupts. I was annoyed how the whole day she kept making quips like (I’m paraphrasing), “better do what you want on your birthday today because tomorrow is back to normal!”, contrast that to what I do for her, calling it a birthWEEK and try to make the whole week special for her. Sex the night of my birthday is a disaster, a huge fight erupts and I’m shaken to the core: it would be bad enough anytime but on my birthday? The next day she barely says a word until about 3pm; then things go back to normal for a couple days. The night we left I planned a beautiful sunset picnic overlooking the whole park, but her mom keeps badgering her via text the whole time, “why haven’t you left yet?!”. A girl in her mid-20s can’t make decisions on her own? I spend the weekend at my friends, we have fun. Gf is at home and guess what- her mom is having another fit. I have her admit that had I stayed there, things would have just been worse. The next few days in Atlantic City is relatively fine but at this point I’m not happy. I’m demoralized and disheartened. I was grumpy twice that I can remember, about little things. Twice we had to go to the bank that week to send her mom winnings (we don’t gamble but casinos have “free play” so of course we used it). Graduation is fine, wonderful actually: I’m so, so proud of her. I make sure to get about 1,000 photos on my nice camera of her (her family just had cell phones.) Post-visit up to now Remember how after Maryland she was going to come visit me for a week before starting work? I wanted to prioritize spending time with her on my visit so I waited to plan her visit til I returned. Instead of seeing me around Memorial Day (when I had off, it worked out perfectly), her mom got her a room in Atlantic City (you have to gamble a lot to get comped rooms on a holiday weekend). Instead of seeing me on a perfect, free week, she did something she can do literally any weekend this summer. I was not happy. I told her how she’s going to be starting work and won’t have as much time to visit me, coupled with the fact for two years I have planned (and paid) for every trip. I’m slightly more distant for a few days, but when she has to go to an MRI and turns out she has a litany of back problems, I’m there for her. She would text me in pain every morning, called me sobbing after her mri results two weeks ago. She also starts her new job around Memorial Day; I figure between the intense back pain and the stress of the new job, she’s busy. We go days without phone talking, yet just a few weeks earlier I’d spend hours a day on the phone with her. I think something is off but she did say “I’m so busy I don’t even want to talk to my parents when I get home.” I know the feeling well so of course I just give her space. I rarely use social media, I logged onto Instagram and noticed her newest picture and my heart sank. The guy she tried cheating with a year and half ago liked it. He now follows her and she follows him. I’m in shock. I call her and she keeps me waiting for 90 minutes before she calls back. I said how could you associate with him? You literally promised to me you wouldn’t? Her best friend was hooking up with a guy cheating on his gf for a year and allllllllll my gf did was bash it and talk about how morally repugnant it was...what was her reply now? “I don’t care”. She goes on to clarify that what she did a year and a half ago wasn’t “real” cheating but “emotional” cheating. I tell her that’s cosmo Snapchat story bullshit. And that when she started going into how she wanted to break up. It was an exact repeat of what happened a year and a half ago: huge fight ensures with her mom, she looks for attention from other guys and tries to break up. She says the biggest issue is that I don’t want to spend time with her family. Second issue how she wants to live by her family. And third, the how much fighting we’ve been doing lately. What I’m about to say is mean and unfair. I don’t like it, but I’m trying to be honest in this post: I’ve given her family more time and opportunities than any other guy would put up with. Second, I’ve told her multiple times: I don’t care where we live, but it’s ridiculous to plan your whole life just so you can stay around parents who treat you like shit (and like I’ve told her: your mom should be moving where you go!). As for her third point, yeah there have been a lot of fights...but don’t you realize 98% of them stem from/involve your mother in some way? I should add, my gf is a regular smoker and hasn’t smoked weed in about two months (even though she’s had her job for three weeks now, I feel like her mom still has her scared about it) So... I’m just sort of taken aback on every level. It feels like the same thing from a year and a half ago is happening all over again; and the thing that kills me is how GOOD and supportive I am to her. I swear I don’t mean it as hubris I’m just being honest: I’ve been there every step of the way with her, I’ve been her one steady, consistent rock; I’ve never had anything but her best interests in mind. It’s like...it’s the principle at this point: you’re trying to break up with me? Is this a joke? Clearly I’m a fool for going along with this, but you have to understand there are about 10,000 little examples that gave me hope, that made me think maybe things would improve- and, for a while, seemed to be clear evidence it was, like all the times she said she wanted to move in with me. I feel like for many months it was headed that way, and all came crashing down recently. So many of the posts I see here involve supportive significant others who know how bad the situation is...How can someone who has it so much worse than many of the stories I’ve read here (not that it’s a contest, just comparatively speaking) still defend everything her mom does and spurn all the times I’ve been her shoulder to cry on? Is my gf’s callous behavior coming from within or a product of all this maternal discord? TL;DR: long list of examples of FMIL crazy behavio summary of current fighting between us going on the last month or two/ culminating in my gf talking to guy she cheated with and trying to end things. I feel like my gf’s cold and hurtful behavior has her mother at its roots.
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If you'd like to see this story get produced, please consider pledging to my Patreon. More details there. The link is https://www.patreon.com/undergroundpoker Thank you for all of your support. Previous: Inside Underground NY Poker #8 Spades — 1.8 Walking into a casino, for the first time, can be quite an overwhelming experience. There’s so much going on — all of the flashing lights, various sounds, the diverse amount of people flowing throughout, the list goes on. No matter where you look, there’s always something going on that can potentially pique your curiosity. Of course, at this time in the midsummer of 2007, I hadn’t a clue of what to expect. I had yet to step foot inside a real casino. When Chris called and invited me to go with him on a road trip up to Turning Stone, my mood was not only of excitement, it was also flowing with curiosity. I figured that making the drive up to Turning Stone would not only be a great deal of fun, but would also be an excellent opportunity to learn more about professional casino poker. During my phone conversation with Chris, we agreed that we would make the road trip up there after we finished our Sunday shifts at Spades. This gave us about 24 hours to gather up our buddies and put together a crew. Our main goal was to crush some live action cash games there, but we also wanted to let loose and party. I didn’t yet know it, but my version of partying was vastly different from Chris’ version. I made some calls and sent some texts, and not too long after, had a few of my closest friends confirm that they were going to come on the trip. I was the youngest of my social circle in high school, still being only 17 at the time. All of the other guys were already 18, so legally, they wouldn’t have a problem at Turning Stone. If you don’t know, Turning Stone Resort & Casino is located on an Indian Reservation, and as such, the gambling laws of New York state do not apply there — the legal gambling age there is 18, as set by the law of the land. Now, since I was still only 17, this presented a potential problem. However, I looked a bit older than I actually was, and I also had a fake ID that I had been using for a while. Chris was also incredibly confident that it wouldn’t be a problem whatsoever — he even offered to lay me a bet with 3 to 1 odds for $100, that at no point would I be unable play because of my age. I declined the bet of course, not wanting to jinx myself. In 2007, Turning Stone was a “dry” casino, which meant that they didn’t serve any alcohol. However, you were allowed to bring your own, and could indulge yourself to your own desire. As of today, this is no longer the case, but that’s the way it was back then. We calculated that the drive would take us about 4.5 hours, not entirely too long by road trip standards, but could be enough of a mental strain that could potentially effect our ability to play poker, upon arrival. Given that both Chris and I would be dealing right up until our departure, we had made arrangements to take two cars in order to accommodate our entire crew. In exchange for each of us paying for the gas and tolls on the drive up to Turning Stone, neither of us would have to drive — this would allow us to rest up a bit. My group of buddies consisted of four of my closest friends — Brian, Theo, Max, and Scott. I had brought Theo around to Spades more than a few times, and he regularly played poker, unlike the others. However, he wasn’t very good, but he was very lucky, and he had no interest in studying the game. He got better the more he played, but was by all means, a fish. He loved to gamble, and blackjack was his favorite game — most likely not a coincidence. I had invited Andy to tag along as well, but he wasn’t interested and declined — he instead made me a standing offer, an open invitation if you will, to go crush poker in Atlantic City, where there was better action and nicer casinos. However, the offer was only good if we would be going to seriously grind poker. This was an offer that I would later redeem. Chris had assembled his boys just as I had — three experienced poker players and gamblers, each in their early 20’s, just like Chris. The youngest of his crew was Rich, who was 21, and the two others were Derek and Joe, either 23 or 24 years old. Finally, our plans were set and the rooms were booked. We’d all be staying for 3 nights and 2 days in two, separate, 2 queen bed suites. I was anxious, yet excited, and I seriously wanted to book a win in the poker room, considering it would be my first casino poker room session. Sunday finally arrives, and I had decided to wake up a few hours early so that I could stock up on booze and weed. My buddies and I had agreed to split the cost of everything — 4 bottles of Smirnoff, an ounce of Sour Diesel, and four 24-packs of Coors Light. In retrospect, this was probably entirely too much for 3 nights at a casino, but what did we know? I wasn’t a big smoker at the time, although I would partake, but I did enjoy drinking when the time was appropriate to let loose. While on my way driving to Spades, I hear my phone ring — it’s Chris. “Hey dude, you on your way to the club?” “Yeah, I’ll be there in about 15 minutes. I just finished running some last minute errands, stocked up on booze and weed for the trip.” “Awesome. I’m good to go on my end, too. By the way, my plan is to splash around in the $1/$2 or $2/$5 games Turning Stone spreads. I’m bringing $10k.” “What?! $10k??? Why?!” “Well, dude, I’m gonna hit the pits too and play some blackjack and craps. We’ll crush some poker first, then afterwards maybe you’ll hit the pits with me.” “I dunno, man. I’m only gonna bring $2k in total, and that’s for all my costs. Maybe I’ll assign half of that to my poker roll for the trip.” “You should probably stick to $1/$2 then, and save some of your roll for blackjack, to try and run it up.” “Alright, sounds good. I’ll see you at the club in a bit.” I wasn’t convinced about hitting the pits to play table games, but then again, I surely wanted to make the most out of my first casino experience. I arrive at Spades, set up for the Sunday afternoon tournament, and put in the hours for my shift. I wind up dealing the final table, and the tournament ends at around 11PM. Chris was dealing cash, but we had both made sure to get Vinny’s approval to leave early and take off for the next few days. It wasn’t really an issue for me, being that once the tournament was over, it meant my job was done, and I was free to have a good night. However, Chris made sure to get another dealer to cover for him, both the rest of the night and until we got back from our trip. Chris and I walk outside to the parking lot — it’s time to go pick everyone up. We each get into our cars and drive off to scoop up each one of our buddies. An hour or so later, I shoot Chris a text letting him know that I’m about to start the drive up to Verona, NY, which was where Turning Stone is located. He responds, telling me that he had already started the journey about 10 minutes prior, and that he’ll call me when he gets there. I have Theo take the wheel and get into the driver’s seat, as I jump into the back to close my eyes to try and clear my head for what’s about to come. Without making any stops, we finish the drive in just under 4.5 hours. We can see the illuminated, brightly colored sign — “Turning Stone Casino”, and my heart begins to pump just a little bit faster. I’m beginning to get excited. At this point, it was around 4:30AM. Sure, I was a bit tired, but the excitement and novelty of my first casino experience was keeping my adrenaline pumping. I give Chris a call, letting him know that we’re about to park our car, and head into the casino towards the check-in area. “Chris, we’re here man! This place is awesome!” “I know dude, we got here about a half hour ago. I’m in my room changing, getting ready to go play some cards. Did you check-in yet?” “Not yet, we’re about to head over to the check-in desk and get our room keys. I’m pretty tired man, are you sure it’s a good idea to go play right now?” “Don’t worry about that, I already scoped out the room. There’s some good action going on in both $1/$2 and $2/$5. I already put our name’s on the lists. Text me when you’re done getting settled in, but drop by room after. Make sure you come alone.” “Okay… I’m gonna tell my boys that we’re gonna play some poker for a little bit, while they hit the casino floor. My buddy Theo might want to join us. I’m not sure though, I have to ask him. My boys will probably want to get nice and toasty before they head out of the room.” “Sounds good dude, don’t take too long. See you in a bit.” My friend Scott handles the check-in, puts the incidentals coverage under his credit card, and I make sure to get a copy of the room key for myself. We head up to the room, we all change into presentable, formal, evening attire, and I crack open a beer, along with everyone else. I ask everyone what they plan on doing for the next few hours, while suggesting that I’ll be preoccupied playing cards in the poker room. This was nothing but expected, they all knew how often I played poker. Everyone unanimously agrees that they want to hit the pits and gamble, of course, after they get hammered in the room. I casually ask Theo if he’s interested in playing poker with Chris and I, but he declines, saying that he’s not in the mood and would rather play tomorrow night, if at all. I finish my beer, but not before forcing everyone to agree to a bet, in order to make things more interesting — whoever comes back to the room as the biggest loser gets $50 each from everyone else. We unanimously decide that it’s actually a decent idea, and everyone agrees. I leave our room and head towards Chris’ suite. I arrive at Chris’ door, and I give it quick, but firm knock. A few seconds later, the door opens, and I find that there’s nobody in the room except Chris. All of his buddies had already gone downstairs, and were gambling on the casino floor. I tell him I’m pretty tired, and then I ask him why he wanted me to come alone. “Chris, I’m pretty tired, man. You sure we should go play?” “100%. I told you, I already scoped out the games that are running. The stacks are big and there’s some good money to be made.” “Alright, fine. But, why did you want me to come here alone, by the way? Is everything alright?” “Yeah, dude. Here, I wanted to give you this. Take two of these, you’ll be in the zone while you play for the next 8 hours.” “What kind of pills are these? What are they going to do?” — I had never really taken drugs or pills before, other than drinking and smoking weed occasionally. I did, however, try Mushrooms earlier during the summer, and that was fun, but was completely inexperienced when it came to pharmaceuticals, or any other drugs for that matter. “It’s Adderall, it’s a stimulant. They’re 20mg each, take two of them. It’ll make you much more focused and able to concentrate on the game for the next 8 hours or so. You might feel a bit more chatty, and it’ll kill your appetite, but I promise you, it’ll give you an edge. All those players down there right now are tired and worn out from playing. These will put you in the zone, if you know what I mean.” “Fuck it, I’ll give it a shot. We came to have a good time anyway. I’m not gonna lose control of myself, am I?” “Hah, no, dude. It’s nothing like that. They prescribe this stuff to people who have trouble focusing and paying attention. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. You’ll feel them start to work in about 45 minutes to an hour.” Chris hands me two, orange-colored, oval shaped pills, and I swallow them dry. I had stashed $1k into the safe in my room before I left, and I had the other $1k in my pocket. We leave his room and head downstairs to make our way through the casino and into the poker room. I was in a state of awe. This was by far the biggest poker room I had ever been in, up until this point. There must have been at least 30 tables. There were only a handful of games going during our arrival, but still, seeing everything all neat, organized, and ready for action, made me think about what this place would be like during peak hours. I check out the $1/$2 game that’s going, and I see that the buy-in structure is not at all what I was expecting. It’s a $50 min and $200 max. Sure, there’s a few deep stacks on the table, but I felt like this game was much smaller than what I was used to playing. I decide that it’s going to be far too difficult to make any significant amount of money, unless I end up on the good side of a cooler. Overall, it would be a bad move to sit in this game. On the other hand, the $2/$5 game that was running had a $200 min and $500 max buy-in. This was definitely more up my alley. Several players had stacks with at least $1k, and the average was probably right around the max, conveniently right around $500. With several players sitting deep and a couple of short stacks on the table, I come to the conclusion that this is the game I want to play, as I’m fairly certain that I have a decent shot at making some money at this table. Chris had already put our name’s on the lists for both games when he had arrived earlier, so it wasn’t too long until our names were called. We were going to be sitting at the same table, and of course, made an agreement that if we were to get heads-up in a hand, either of us would make only one bet, and then check it down the rest of the way if the other called the bet. We weren’t there to take each other’s rolls, but if there were other players in the hand, then we weren’t going to soft play each other, nor try and sandwich anyone out of a pot. Finally, my name is called, about 20 minutes after Chris had taken his seat, and I head over to the cage to buy $500 worth of chips — $280 in red, $200 in green, and $20 in white. Something I’ve always liked doing, still to this day, is buying at least a full stack of $1 chips. The poker room had relatively nice chips, and I found them to be most excellent. They had a comfortable weight, handled nicely, and displayed a decent aesthetic design on them. They were definitely of a higher quality than any of the chips that the underground clubs used. That’s not to say that the clubs used cheap chips — of course, a few did, however only the casinos would purchase Paulson chips, which are the industry standard, despite them costing over $1 each chip. I take my seat at the table, and all of a sudden, I feel this intense rush of energy. It felt like someone had turned my brain up to 11. Woah — I felt my eyes widen. I introduce myself to the table, and I notice that I’m much more talkative than my normal self. However, I was able to maintain and participate in a fully-engaged conversation, while not missing a single detail of the action that was unfolding during each hand. I could multi-task like never before. I was faster at thinking through hands, I noticed more tells being telegraphed than ever before, and I was aware of the fact that my observations were razor-sharp. It felt like I had been wearing blinders up until this point, and now they were gone. I was more astute than I had ever been before, accurately being able to predict who was going to play a hand, and who was going to fold, before they even made their action. I was paying attention to the game in the same way I would as if I was dealing it. I’d observe each player in turn, then move on to the next when their action was made. I would also catch things out of the corner of my eye — a player’s posture suddenly becoming erect, while they would then immediately try to look disinterested, as they used their hands to protect their cards in such a manner that was subtle, yet distinct from their normal method of handling their cards. It was blatantly obvious to me now, when a player would deviate from their normal patterns of playing, behaving, speaking, bet sizing, time usage, and so forth. I was playing really well. All of my value bets were getting called, my bluffs were getting through, and alarm bells would ring in my head, either to alert me of a perfect spot to make a squeeze play, or if something about the hand didn’t “seem right”. Something I definitely noticed about the Adderall, was that it made me feel much more confident in the plays that I made. It was much easier to pull the trigger, and when I did, I felt certain that my timing was right. My range was also wider than it normally was. I was playing more hands, going for thin value on the river when I would normally check back, and had no problem laying down strong hands preflop, when I was sure I was behind, but would normally be too stubborn to let it go. My session was going very well. Incredibly well, in fact. I made several huge hero calls, and I applied intense pressure on opponents who I deemed capable of folding, only to pick up pots I could never win at showdown. About 3.5 hours had gone by at this point, and within the last hour a new player had taken a seat. His name was Duke, at least, that’s what other players were calling him. This guy was super aggro. He was opening every other hand, raising every C-Bet a player would make, and would just bully people out of the pot by shoving the river or bombing the turn with a $300 bet. The majority of the table was getting annoyed with Duke. Whenever they would fold, they felt like he was bluffing with air, however, when they would inevitably get frustrated and make the call, he would actually have it, and get massive value. During the course of about an hour, he amassed a stack totaling around $900. He had absolutely no fear, and the money at stake, to him, was evidently insignificant. From his perspective, it seemed as if he was playing for, what you and I, would consider pennies. I folded quite a few strong hands to his preflop 3-bets — AQ, TT, 88, and QJs. I would open to $15 or $20, and he would re-pop me to 4x or 5x. I even open folded AKo on an Ace-high, 3-flush board on the turn when he check-raised me all-in, only to show me complete air. That was enough for me, this wasn’t going to continue — not tonight. I had now decided that I was going to be as patient as necessary, and only get involved in a pot with him if the situation was favorable to trap him. You can’t bully a player when the money at stake means far less to him than it does to you. Subsequently, you can’t get value from that same player who is good enough to recognize that you’re only showing him aggression when you have it — they’ll just fold instead of blasting off, knowing that you’re praying that they’ll come over the top. About an hour and a half later, it was around 10AM now, and I had built my stack up to around $1200. Duke was sitting on just about the same, though slightly less, about $1100. He was still bullying people out of pots, and the majority, if not everyone else at the table was clearly annoyed with him. Low limit players often become angry when they encounter an opponent whose style of play isn’t within the same paradigm as their own. The key is to be capable of adjusting your own style of play. Finally, preparation meets opportunity, and I pick up pocket Aces in UTG+1. I raise to $15, and of course get 3-bet by Duke in the Lojack to $60. The button cold calls, and for a split-second, I almost 4-bet, but I resisted what almost felt like a reflex, and decided to just call. The flop comes A5A — I flop Quad Aces! That was the first time I ever flopped quads, let alone quad aces. I stick to my game plan of trapping, and I check my quads over to Duke, who also checks. The button checks as well, and we see a turn of a black 4. The board now being A5A4 rainbow — every fiber of my being is burning on the inside, trying to tell me to start getting some value and make a bet to build a pot. Again, I resist, and check it. Both Duke and the button check back. The river comes in, a red 9. The complete board run-out is A5A49 rainbow. I check, again, for the 3rd time. Duke fires out $200 into the pot of $187, the button snap folds, and I immediately snap-shove on him for a total of around $1140. He looks completely perplexed, and then goes deep into the tank. Not a single player had yet displayed this level of aggression against him. He’s now been thinking for about 6 or 7 minutes, and he announces to the table that he’s sorry he’s taking so long, but he needs some more time and has a decision here. Some random player chimes in, telling him to take all the time he wants, it’s the biggest pot of the night. Another 3 minutes go by, and I’m starting to get agitated now. It’s been at least 10 minutes, the dealer is clearly annoyed, enough is enough. I call for the clock. The floor comes over and gives Duke the “countdown” speech, informing him that he has 30 seconds to make a decision. Before the floor even begins the countdown, Duke announces, “CALL”. Under the influence of the Adderall, I assume, I inexplicably get the impulse to table my hand similar to the way a blackjack dealer would table their cards. I pull both cards adjacent to each other, now sitting side by side. Using one finger, I flip one of the Aces face up, and then use that same Ace to slide it underneath the other, and flip up the remaining facedown Ace. I somehow managed to pull this off with such finesse, that it all happened in one, smooth, fluid motion. It was most certainly a rare form of poker showboating, and it was an incredibly cocky, and unnecessary thing to do, however I just couldn’t help myself. I had just decimated the guy who was running over every single player. The entire table is shocked to see that I reveal flopped quad Aces. Even more surprised, is Duke. He is absolutely stunned to his core. He tables Jack high. I immediately stand up from my chair, and lean in closer towards the table, while rubbing my eyes to confirm — yes, indeed. Jack high. “You triple checked flopped quad aces.” — the tone of his speech indicating a statement, not even close to what asking a question would sound like, as if he was in disbelief of what had just happened. “Yes, sir.” “I just called you with Jack high.” — again, it seemed as if he was confirming, for himself, the reality of the situation that had just occurred. “Yeah, you did, but why?” “I couldn’t put you on a hand, and I thought that you had finally had enough of me pushing you out of pots. It didn’t make sense, how could you have anything there when you checked the whole way?” “I took a risk, and I just figured that you would eventually try and steal it.” “I’m not even mad, kid. Well played, very clever. I salute you.” The dealer ships me Duke’s entire stack, plus the pot, and I toss him two green birds. I quickly start to stack all of the chips while I fold the next hand, and then I get up from the table, as does Chris. “Dude! What a sick fucking play! What in the fuck! Triple checking quad aces?!!?!?” “I know, right? I was waiting all night for that moment. I got stupid lucky that he called. I have no idea why he called me with Jack high. I mean, I heard what he said, but still, why? How?” “You figured him out, dude. Plain and simple. Really nice play, I’m impressed. I don’t think I could ever have triple checked that.” “Thanks, Chris. I think it was just the Adderall. I just felt like I absolutely knew that he was going to do exactly the same thing that he has been doing all night. Whenever he senses weakness, he bombs the river. I wasn’t expecting him at all to call my shove, but I knew that if I bet into two players while out of position, on an ace-paired board, after calling a 4x 3-bet from Duke with the button cold calling, they would both fold.” “That actually makes a lot of sense. Great play, dude. Seriously, that was just sick. Let’s get out of here and see what the other guys are up to.” Chris and I cash out, and we leave the poker room. I ran $500 up to about $2300. Chris booked a nice win himself, running $500 up to $1.1k. We both tipped the cashier behind the cage $10 each. The two of us are still wired from the Adderall, but now only physically stimulated, and not at all under the influence whatsoever. Sleeping is not going to be an option, so we decide to head back to my room, and get to work on polishing off a few beers. I insert the keycard into my room’s key slot, and slowly open the door, as I hear a circus of ruckus coming from inside the room. All of the guys are inside — Theo, Brian, Max, Scott, Rich, Derek, and Joe — they’d gone through two bottles of Smirnoff, a bottle of Jameson that Rich had brought over, a 24-pack of Coors Light, a ton of the weed, and had now moved on to blow, which one of Chris’ buddies had scored from someone in the casino. As far as I knew, none of my friends had ever done coke before. I certainly hadn’t. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves, though, and who was I to judge? I had just played an intensely long poker session on some drug I had never heard of before, I won a bunch of money, all was good, and so I just went with the flow and chalked it up to an isolated incident on a vacation-like casino trip. I asked my boys who had lost the most money, both as a way to settle the bet, and to make a subtle brag about how much I had won playing poker. I wasn’t surprised at all — Brian was the biggest loser, totaling a net loss of a measly, yet exact, $100. He was by far the cheapest person out of all of my friends. He would always argue down to the penny when it came to splitting checks, or getting reimbursed for fronting money for a purchase. Indeed, he sure was cheap, but he wasn’t at all stupid. He made sure that the other 3 guys — Theo, Max, and Scott — lost less than he did so that he could come out ahead on the bet. Of course, he took a gamble by not knowing the status of my winnings, but the worst that could happen was that he would either lose $100 or book a win taking a gamble with it. The 4 of us each paid up, $50 each, and he offset his $100 loss with a $200 gain, for a net profit of $100. We all continued to drink, I tried a few lines myself, and everyone stayed up until the upcoming evening — it was now time to go gamble again. So, what did we do? We drank even more, smoked a blunt, and finished off the 8-ball of blow. The 9 of us were thoroughly bombed. Any and all traces of our decision making skills were completely distorted. Joe was playing $100 flips with Derek — they would cut a deck of cards and whoever cut to the higher card would win. Rich was playing beer pong with Scott for $50 a match, Theo, Max, and Brian were playing $20 rolls of C-Lo with dice that they had bought from the gift shop, and Chris and I were having a pipe dream discussion about how much we were going to win playing blackjack in the next hour. About 30 minutes later, all of us, while undoubtedly lacking full consciousness, head down to the casino floor and make our way into the pits. This time, I brought my entire roll, and so did Chris. The first thing we did was stagger over to a roulette table, only to sloppily introduce ourselves to the dealer. “Hey sweetheart, listen, we need your help. Black or red?” “Are you trying to ask me whether I think you should bet on black or red?” “Ya, of course. You know how you’ve been spinning that ball. Black or red? Which are you feeling?” Chris and I both take out our rolls and count out $1,000 each. “Whatever you pick, sweetheart. If we win, you get 10%. If we lose, you think you could get us a comp for 9 to the Wildflowers restaurant?” “Put it on black, boys. How about we just concentrate on winning for the time being?” “Let’s do it! $2,000 on black!” With a quick flick of her forefinger, the dealer launches the tiny ball into motion, and it begins to spin around and around the track of the roulette wheel. The dealer waves her hand over the table to close the action. “No more bets!” To be continued… Next: Inside Underground NY Poker #10
A Cliff Notes Summary of the First One Out Interviews
If you haven't had time to listen to seven hours of podcast interviews, or you didn't retain everything you heard, here are some key points. I didn't think to do this until just now, so I'll be posting it as a work in progress and updating it throughout the afternoon. That way more people will have a chance to read up before the premiere. Karishma Patel, 37, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, Houston, TX -First generation Indian-American Her mom was as a legal assistant, and got her a filing job at her law firm when she was 14. "I didn't have other options. I was basically told I was going to be a lawyer and I didn't disagree."She has watched every season and regularly listens to RHAP. She sits close to the TV to study the inflections on people's faces when something is said to them, so that she can think about what that means. But, her parents and husband don't share her enthusiasm for the show. Asked if it's her dark pleasure she says, "It is completely bright. It is a beautiful pleasure of mine, but it is mine and mine only. I haven't been able to find people to share it with." -Doing the show has caused her conflict. "Not only is it not expected, it's not allowed. It's kind of like being a disobedient Indian girl. You're not supposed to be doing this. What you're supposed to be doing is having babies. But I don't care. I'm a risk taker. I'm here to prove to myself that I don't need to listen to anybody else. I don't need permission from anybody else. This is my journey and I'm going to take it. I hope that people watching out there can see that an Indian woman's value does not come from doing what she's told." -She doesn't currently have children, and she says she has some decisions to make as she enters a crossroads and the next stage of her life. -Her law firm told her they'll replace her if they're able to find someone, and she can have her job back if they don't. "I didn't flinch." -Her strategy is to be non-threatening and play a social game. She doesn't look 37, and she wants to use that youthfulness to be disarming. She wants to build relationships other people believe in. She defines success by other people vouching for her loyalty when they go off and have private conversations with one another. "That means I got 'em, because it's actually the other way around." Asked if she wants to find someone she can trust, "I'm not going to be capable of it. I'm too skeptical for that. I overthink things, so I'm not going to be able to trust somebody the way I want to be trusted... If I do, that's the end of my game." My take: Oh my God. Poor Karishma. Her story hurts my heart. She reminds me so much of myself in her isolation, her defiance and her deep feelings. I worry that her fear of trusting people could get in the way of her forming genuine bonds. But, there's nothing she can do. Society has made her the way she is. I hope she gets a lot of screen time so she can be a star of her favorite show. Missy Byrd, 24, Military Veteran/App Developer, Tacoma, Washington -Originally from Georgia. Her family was 'decently poor.' She played basketball for the Air Force Academy because she thought it was her ticket out. -She had a brain tumor. She stopped menstruating for a year and two quarters. "I'm not dating anyone but I have breast milk. I'm a literal cow... I would look down and my shirt would be wet, and I thought, 'Dang you're clumsy. I knew you were clumsy, but you're clumsier today than you were yesterday. But it was - it was - uhh - milk." She had crying fits. She developed a stutter and couldn't look at people. Doctors told her she was just stressed. When her dad died she couldn't process emotions normally. She was about to go to the French version of the Air Force Academy, École de l'air, after graduation but because of her mental instability she was removed from school. The military shipped her to the same Air Force base as Sandra (Fort Lewis.) "I don't want to be there. Super sad. Check into the post office - fuck this. Check into the dorms - hate that." The doctor there found the tumor. She got an MRI and all weekend she believed she might have cancer. Over the next year and a half she eliminated the tumor and the symptoms using vitamins. She enlisted and worked logistics. -She made a list of the things she wanted to do now that she was going to live. "The first thing was go see Beyonce. Beyonce costs way too much money for a normal person to go see, but if you've just almost had a near death experience you go see Beyonce, bro!" She was feet away. She drove across the country. She tried weed. -She had an idea for an app, but didn't even have the computer literacy to use social media. She found a veteran's association and asked if she could intern. "They said, 'No, you should build this out yourself. We want to work for you.' I said, 'No, the fuck you don't. Okay, lemme call my grandma.'" She wrote a grant proposal and won a $1,500 office space in the center of Seattle. "Just to do whatever I want. It was like a laboratory for a child. I had Play-Dough up there. I had a white board... Just mind blowing shit when I could have been dead." -She'd seen every episode of Survivor at least three times. She started watching because her Air Force Academy basketball team was getting decimated, and she related to Foa Foa getting decimated in Survivor: Samoa. She added the show to her list. Josh suggests, "The bugs are eating you because they want some of that magic." -She isn't going to tell people her story until she's in the Final 3. "That's that Final 3 magic." She doesn't want to overly rely on strategy. She doesn't want to win individual challenges. She to build a social game and find ways to relate to everyone. My take: She's so full of exuberance. There's not a negative bone in her body right now. She's too young and her life experience is too necessarily limited to talk around three years of her life. If she shares her story, the beauty of her perspective will cause everyone to fall in love with her and want her to do well. If she doesn't, people will sense that she's hiding a lot. I think she'll figure that out and course correct within the first day. Since she was at the same Air Force base as Sandra and she was a massive fan, does that suggest she knows her? Ronnie Bardah, 35, Professional Poker Player, Henderson, Nevada-Born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, 20 minutes south of Boston. They were the only Israeli family in town. 50% of the people in Brockton were from Cape Verde, and he considers himself an "honorary Cape Verdian." A couple of his friends were shot and killed at a young age. -He was a good kid and had a good heart, but he was always hustling. In Junior High he was flipping Oatmeal Cakes and Fudge Rounds for a profit. Slinging baseball cards. Both his parents gambled. They were always at the dog tracks or Mohegan Sun. He had his friend make him a fake ID and got stuck with the name Alaja Jones. He went by Al and started playing the casinos. Quit his job at Sears Automotive to play poker full time.-He played Atlantic City, Vegas, then internationally. He had his first big score in 2010 when he took 24th place in the main event for $320,000. Got to keep $150,000 after taxes. "Poker's a hard way to make an easy living. Lots of people try. We risk every day. You have to get to a point when you can manage your bankroll and I've never gone broke in the 16 years I've played." -In one of the most viewed poker hands of all time, he was bluffed out of a million dollar pot by a supermodel on a poker TV show filmed in Monaco. "She made a sick play. She had no idea what she was doing but all the stars were aligned."-He watched Borneo when it aired and got back into it when fellow poker player Anna Khait was on. He calls Jean-Robert, "kinda a lazy guy...He's really good at befriending multi-millionaires." "Anna Khait... is probably the least poker player out of all of us. She played for a couple years." "And then Garrett - He's a very, very smart, smart kid... Self-made millionaire. One of the very, very few." -He only drank water for 7.5 days and lost 25 pounds for his health and to get an idea of the conditions of the show. He thinks he'll thrive in the survival situation. "People like being around me. I like to fucking bust balls and joke." He thinks old school alliances are a good plan, but you have to adapt. He says that like in poker, Survivor players can have every advantage, but they have to really smell it. -He wants Vince out. "There's an Asian Zeke in there. What value does he bring besides ruining people and getting in people's heads? He's a liability in challenges. He looks like a little corn puff. We gotta get him outta here. Sorry to sound so mean but it's the truth." My take: Ruuuuude. He has no way of knowing how other people on the cast are talking in their interviews, and may assume the trash talk is standard. If he were playing on some seasons it would be. But, in this particular season it sets him apart in an unflattering way, and it seems a part of the tough persona he's built up to escape a scary situation growing up and enter a fantasy career. We'll see whether his tribe thinks he's a straight talking character or a jerk. Tom Laidlaw, Former NHL Player, Brampton, Ontario, Canada -He was with the New York Rangers for 7 years and the LA Kings for 4. Now he has his own podcast, True Grit Life (truegritlife.com). Does it with a friend, Kevin Allen, who writes for USA Today. Does motivational speaking. -Growing up on a dairy farm outside Toronto there was a pond to water the cows. It froze over in the winters and he'd play hockey because there wasn't much else to do. Went to Northern Michigan University - four year hockey captain, ranked #1 team in the country. Drafted as a 20 year old. "My buddy had a horse farm. We were cleaning horse shit out of the stalls. There were no cell phones back then. This is 1978. My father got a call at our farm house from the New York Rangers at the draft. Back then nobody went to the draft - it was just teams. They said I'd been drafted in the sixth round. He calls the farm house where I'm working. They bring me up. He says, 'Son, you've been drafted by the Rangers.' I said, 'Great. What do I do now?' He says, 'Finish cleaning the shit out of the stalls.'" -When he played intimidation and fighting was strategy. There were guys tougher than him, but he could fight and he could also play. Problem was, he fought a guy once, and from then on the guy wanted to fight him over and over. -Jerry Bruckheimer, big hockey fan, called the NHL and wanted to get some players on the Amazing Race. Tom had kept himself in shape, he had his passport. They ended up asking him about Survivor. He'd watched it before but not for a while. He wasn't so sure he wanted to play a game where you hurt other people, but friends helped him get his head around it. He was very impressed by Christian's toughness in the endurance challenge. To prepare for the show he studied how he reacted to different situations, how to control his heart heart, etc. He wants the mental challenge. My take: Tom really ticked me off when he spoiled a couple of outcomes of this season. That's a betrayal of the producers, his cast and the viewers. But, if that hadn't happened I would like him. He's an easy-going, charming guy. His life experiences are a bit different than anyone else who's been on the show, which is what you want. Vince Moua, 27, Admissions Counselor, Merced, CA -His family is Hmong. His parents lived in Vietnam in the destruction left by the war - dead bodies, guns, people who wanted to kill them. They went to refugee camps in Thailand. Then his dad became a Montana farm hand. He met Vince's mom in the US, but she came from the same place. -Vince is from small town Merced, California - the 209. Few people he knew went anywhere but the UC system and community college. He went to Stanford, one of only 7-10 Hmong. He realized the significance someone can bring to people from the same community. He tried to be pre-med but realized "no, not today." The issues of access he cared about came well before people got to the hospital. He ended up going with education. His mom was a teacher, "But when I was growing up she said, 'Yo, if you become a teacher Imma disown yo ass.' To all of us. But, that's always kinda been my jam." -He lived in South Korea for five years. He taught English in a town. Then in Seoul ahed worked with low and middle income students who wanted to study outside of Korea. -He's a Survivor superfan, who even mentions on his Tinder account that he plans to be on Survivor. His parents were worried about him doing TV because he's not out as gay to his extended family. He comes from a clan where his dad is the "top dog" and Vince is "the next top dog." In the Asian American/Pacific Islander community when you come out, it's your family who faces - in a sense - dishonor. For a long time he distanced himself from his family, hoping they'd all be less hurt if they found out and disowned him. He always tried to find friends who would be there for him should his parents not be. A year ago his mom asked him rhetorically if he was gay. "I was try'n to go around it. I was like, 'Gurl, you don't wanna know! Yo ass keeps asking!' But she kept asking, asking. So finally I told her 'Yeah, I am!' and she was crying. My dad was like, 'Oh, my son!'" But, Vince is fine with who he is and wants to show kids like him that "let's hope that it gets better." Now his parents just want him to win. -He'd like to play an old school strategy but "I'm not afraid to cut a bitch." With the tribe he's going to be Homeboy Vince from the 209, but when he talks to the camera he's going to tell people "Don't underestimate your narratives." This past year with Crazy Rich Asians, he wants people to know that there are some Crazy Hood Ass Asians. My take: What a character. Vince has a clear point of view - Hmong, blue collar, gay - which is unique to him in Survivor lore. Even though double minorities have sometimes had trouble fitting in socially on Survivor I think somehow he's going to pull it off. As unlikely as this sounds I could even see him being a Cochran-esque winner. Aaron Meredith, 36, Personal Trainer, Warwick, Rhode Island -He's very keyed up at Ponderosa. Rambling so fast it sounds like you're listening to 1.5x. He's read four books so far - Relentless by Tim Grover, Can't Hurt Me by Dave Goggins, Iron Cowboy by James Lawrence, Harry Potter. -He was an engineer at a building insulation plant. He was miserable, too antsy sitting at a desk. Couldn't focus. So, he drove up and down the East Coast popping kettle corn - from Maine to Florida - traveling with carnies. Bartended for a while. He'd played college football and baseball, lifted since high school, and he and his friends wanted to get "huge and jacked and ripped." The owner of the gym suggested he become a personal trainer. He ended up working mostly with middle aged women and it taught him empathy. Now he owns two women's-only fitness studios. He puts supportive women around one another and offers them the positivity to seek self-growth. -He's also a party boat emcee. Lights, DJ, bar, drinks. He's an extremely social person. -He'd first applied at 23 - 6 or 7 times over the years. He was in the mix for Cook Islands and David vs. Goliath. -He's been married 7 years and has a 5 year old son. His son is a huge fan of Survivor. Libby Vincek is his favorite player. Kara Kay was his next favorite. Aaron is already sure Molly will be his son's favorite. "He has a type. He He likes the attractive blondes. He says, 'I like them because they have a nice face.' I like mommy because she has a nice face too." The boy was very concerned about his dad going on the show. He said, "Dad, I don't want anyone to laugh at you and make fun of you." Aaron said he wanted to win. His son said, "But you might not win." When they watch the show he'll always ask, "Do they like him? Do they like her?" If Aaron is portrayed in a negative light he'll have to sit down with his son and talk. He doesn't want to play a deceitful game, but he will, because he doesn't care how he's portrayed. My take: His story about his son is one of my favorites from all these interviews. I hope he gets to work with Molly. His adrenaline is too high. I hope he calms down a lot when the game starts. But, someone so social and sweet hearted who can win challenges and take themselves to the end has got to be a contender to win. Chelsea Walker, 27, Digital Content Editor, Los Angeles, CA -Chelsea just took the cast photo and they put her in the third spot from the bottom, a good omen because a weird number of winners have been in that position. "Your girl's number three. I got this!" -She's a Jersey girl. She went to the University of Maryland. "I didn't do Survivor: Maryland or anything." She studied Broadcast Journalism. She knew the generic emails for NBC Universal and emailed random people until someone replied. Now she's been in LA a year. She did coverage of award shows. Now she works at IMDB, where she helps Kevin Smith with his show. She just interviewed people at SXSW. -She's been watching Survivor since she was 8. She's cried in every interview because this means so much to her. She's trying to explain that at the point she starts crying again. "It's been such a dream of mine and To be told no year after year after year - these past six years have been a total mindfuck. I've basically been called every single year. I've been to finals three times. Survivor is my one true love, but the one year they didn't call me I got really pissed off so I tried out for Big Brother. I ended up becoming the alternate and got my key being filmed and all of that crap. But I don't like that show anyway." -In September 2017 she was at a WeHo bar for her friend's birthday when, "Oh shit that's Jeff Probst." Her girlfriends all know she's obsessed, so she pulled the waiter over and asked what that guy was drinking. So, Chelsea sent another one over. "I told my friends, 'Take my credit card. Split the bill, because I can't come back after I do this. As soon as the waiter drops off the drink I'm like, 'Jeff, this one's on me. You can buy me the next one at finals.' And I just walked out of the restaurant... That was a big move!" They didn't call her again that year, but Jeff still remembered when they talked this year. -She's been working out at four different gyms - weights, pilates, yoga. Push ups. Memorized puzzles. Reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, which she keeps in.a Bible sleeve so people will think she's religious. She also carries Harry Potter because she would trust someone who read HP. She wants to keep it cool. Make one on one connections. Eventually find idols - and not tell anyone she has one - and make calculated moves. "I don't want to be a Jacob. No offense." My take: Hearing this girl cry from joy because she's so happy to be on the show makes me emotional. She's a real go getter. I wish I were that damn fearless. Truly, I wish I were more like her. I hope her pure zest for life comes across on TV and she doesn't get stuck with a purple edit just because of her age and gender. I also hope no one decides to get threatened by her as a competitive girl and vote her off premerge. I think she'll go far. Hope so. Dean Kowalski, 28, Account Executive, New York, New York -Referring to himself in the third person, "Dean is 28 years old. As we mentioned, he lives in New York and he prides himself on being a well rounded person when it comes to interests, abilities, personalities... If I'm listening to Drake and Lil Wayne, I gotta go home and cry to This Is Us.. I can play basketball but also think about our place in the universe." He likes to tag basketball courts with a peace symbol with a ball on it which he makes using a stencil. -He structures most of his interview with Josh around an Outwit, Outplay, Outlast format, explaining why he excels at each. -He grew up in an affluent suburb. His dream was to play in the NBA. He was 5"9 3/4, so he set his eyes on college basketball as a realistic alternative. In order to get looks from colleges he went to a school 30 minutes away - top five in the country, Nike would fly them around for games and give them free Jordan sneakers. He was one of only 4 white guys in the whole school and the only one on the team. He played with Kyrie Irving, the #1 overall draft pick. "My friend said you look like the Make a Wish Kid who just wants to be on the team for a day." He played at Colombia University, where he was co-captain his senior year despite averaging two minutes a game. He became a teacher, then did sales for a tech startup in New York. He now sells ads for Google. -He's a fan, but far from a superfan. He started watching Brenda's season. (He thinks it was Nicaragua, but it was actually Carmoan.) He works with a superfan who freaked out when they had a meeting at H&R Block with Carolyn Rivera and they went out to Bourbon Street with her. He kept watching for five years and thought he could do well. He hates when people are all talk, so he sent in a tape. For the video he interviewed random strangers on the street, who had never met him or seen the show, and asked them, "Why am I going to win it?" A barber, a construction worker. He's going to tell people he's in marketing, not sales - people have sales. My take: I'm just not that into him. Elaine Stott, 41, Factory Worker, Rockholds, NY -When Josh asks her not to touch the table she asks him, "You seen that Bart Simpson commercial, right? Don't touch my Butterfinger? I'm already hungry thinking about it." -"I had a pretty rough way to go growing up." Her single dad raised her and her three brothers. She was the youngest. "I was raised like one of the boys. Know what I mean? Daddy didn't know how to raise no little girl." He worked 16-17 hour days. The kids raised themselves. "When little children make their own decisions, they make poor ones." She was a hellion. -She's originally from Woodbine, Kentucky, Nick Wilson's hometown. Her god sister went to school with him and she knows him through the grapevine. "We rode on different sides of the track. 20 years ago he coulda been my lawyer, because I was on the other side of the law. I'm not bad. I've just done some things." Public intoxication several times. "I come from a dry county. It's like Footloose. We cross the state line to get a beer and when you come back you're in trouble." She stole a newspaper stand once and had to do community service. "I was a little bit mean." -She went to live with her grandpa and cleaned her act up, by which she means that she started smoking a little weed and playing sports - basketball, softball, track. She played softball and judo in college. "I couldn't do nothing real technical. We had Brazilians on the team who could do flying arm bars. But if I got these claws on you and got ya on the ground I'd waller you to death." In casting she put this guy Will in an armbar. She was gonna choke him but didn't know if she should. -When she graduated, her girlfriend was a college Freshman so she went to all the same parties and ballgames for four years. Then she realized she needed a job. Now she drives a Ford truck for a factory. She's been there 15 years. She works 12 hours, 7 days a week. -Growing up her mom "was always in my life in some sense. She'd never miss a birthday. She'd be homeless, but she'd still call." Elaine and her brothers bought her cars, and places to live, and got her jobs. "In a sense I've been mourning the loss of my mom my whole life." Once Elaine was homeless herself and there was snow on the ground. It was cold, and her teacher took her in. Gave her Christmas presents. Made her go to prom. Survivor was a thing they shared, and the teacher was gonna be Elaine's loved one. But within a one year period the woman lost her daughter, her husband, her dog and then had a stroke. Now "she walks like Frankenstein" and can't go. Elaine got Probst to talk to her, and she can't wait to watch. In October Elaine's biological mom went into a coma. She was on life support, but Elaine wouldn't unplug her. Her mom came out of it and seemed to be doing a lot better only to die very suddenly of a heart attack. -Her girlfriend and her girlfriend's two sons are gonna be watching. The 18 year old doesn't know because he can't keep a secret. The 13 year old helped her lose 20 pounds doing crossfit to come out here. She wants the money, but she really wants "some of that soul searching, that life adventure, that life changing - some of that. You know what I mean? Gimme some of that soup! Lemme eat some of that up! I want this show to build me up, because I feel like it can. I sure hope to hell it don't tear me down." My take: About 12 sobbing emojis in a row. She's my favorite. If she gets voted out premerge I'm going to go into mourning. And how can you not sort of expect that? I am going to be so upset if they just dismiss her because she's older and looks out of shape and sounds country. If that happens, I want another Second Chance season next year. Elizabeth Biesel, 26, Olympic swimmer, South Kingstown, Rhode Island -Josh says that Elizabeth was outright identified by one of the other contestants because they'd been watching YouTube videos about how to be a better swimmer. Others guessed she was an Olympian based on her rings tattoo. -She's from the Ocean State. They lived a block away from the beach, so they wanted her to take swimming lessons. She was a rambunctious child and swimming was the only way they could calm her energy. She started breaking records when she was 7 or 8. When she was 13 she made her first national team. At 15 she went to the Olympics. She got good early. Women peak around 22-23, and she ended her career at 24. You couldn't make much money doing it. She swam one of the longer, more grueling races, and her body said "no more." She listened to her body and retired. Some athletes lose their love for swimming because they're embittered by losing by 1/100th of a second, or they leave injured. She left on a good note. Still, if she could swim competitively for the rest of her life, she would. Now she doesn't know who she is or what she's going to do with the rest of her life. Every hour of the day used to have a purpose. Now her days are wide open. She can't keep eating 5,000 calories a day. "It's sort of like I'm mourning the death of Elizabeth Biesel the swimmer." -She was a Survivor fan as a kid because Richard Hatch was from Rhode Island. In her area "Every single household that had a television set was watching Survivor." When they asked her if she'd do the show, she felt pure joy. She said absolutely right away. She's excited about the competition of Survivor. No heated Olympic pools. You're stripped down to your core. She's amazed by the scope of the production apparatus. She's not a schemer. She wants to be a challenge beast - not the best woman but the best overall. She'd love to have a Wendell and Dom relationship with another woman. But, she wants to avoid the drama as long as she can. My take: Could Chelsea be Wendell to her Dom? She's so wholesome. She's just so "Olympics." I love her and everything she represents. I'd love to see her rocket through the swimming competitions, lapping everyone else. Go Elizabeth.
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