Las Vegas
Decks and Violence

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Swizzle shtick

Ben is blowing his poker game by becoming Exhibit A for every tell Mike instructed him to watch out for. And then he runs out of the room with a case of the dry heaves. Mike has no choice but to sit down and say, "Deal me in," while Louie looks all foreboding from the other end of the table. Just then, we get the Deus Ed Machina. He sidles in and sits behind Mike just as Louie slides his chips across the table and goes all-in, so Mike begins lipping off, "Representing Big Slick, hey, Ambrose? You got ace-king? Hmm. Let's see. You limped in pre-flop, which means you're either slow-playing a monster, or you're just bluffing. Hard. I don't think you got it." "You don't think so?" Louie rasps. Mike smiles slightly and replies, "That's a stone-cold bluff if I ever saw one." The guy next to him pipes up, "Hey, mouthy, I came here to play cards, not he-said, she-said. Shut your trap and make your bid." Or maybe I just wish he did. Mike calls the bluff -- Louie has a 2 and a 7, while Mike has the king of hearts and the queen of spades. Louie goes to recoup some of the lost chips with, "Forty grand of that is mine. Let's have it." Big Ed corrects his memory and tells him it's actually $20,000. Louie points out, "This is a private matter. Nothing to do with the Montecito." He may have a point. Big Ed pulls a Louie and penalizes him for talking. Big Ed then makes the threat, "If I ever catch you around one of my people, I'm gonna come after you, and I swear to God, you're going to wish I had a sledgehammer." Why? Did they cut the scene where Big Slick and sledgehammers were introduced, because this is making a lot less sense than it should. Anyway, I look forward to seeing the lecture Big Ed gives Mike after they skedaddle, since Mike more or less got himself into this mess by ignoring Big Ed's recommendation to stay away from Louie.

And now, Mike and Ben part ways in the Montecito casino lobby, all debts settled. Mike also gives Ben a fat cash envelope, so the guy who is a) unemployed, and b) showing that he's got a severe gambling problem in the making can get that helpful push down the spiraling slide to credit-wrecking compulsive wagering. As soon as Ben leaves, Big Ed comes on up, and they have a little conversation about how Mike probably enjoyed that little relapse more than he should have. So this way, when Mike develops a raging gambling problem during February sweeps, it'll make sense from a continuity perspective.

You'd think that would be the end of the episode, but you'd be wrong. Big Ed comes back in the office to razz the seated Danny about cracking the swizzle-stick case, then says, "Let's go get pancakes." Mmmm...pancakes. Danny's all, "The topless place?" Because going there with the father of the girl you used to date, who also happens to be your boss, is not at all awkward. Big Ed's all, "Yeah. I gotta take this," and asks Danny to move his car around por favor before their nocturnal pancake jaunt.

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Las Vegas

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