"Do you know the difference between a boner and a cheeseburger? ....You're not giving me a cheeseburger right now."
Tuesday June 3rd, 2014
The day started off like most others when a Vegas vacation is at hand.
I'm awake about 5 minutes before my alarm is scheduled to go off
anyway, so I make my way out of bed early.
It's now 3:55 AM and I'm getting ready for our 6:05 flight.
Cory makes his way over in short order, and we make our quiet venture
to the airport in the still cold darkness of early morning.
I had planned to check my one and only bag since it had sunscreen and a
small bottle of Grey Goose inside of it. After wandering into the
airport and scanning over the insanely massive line at the Southwest
check in desk, I believe the words "fuck that bullshit" ran through
both of our minds. It was the longest line I've EVER seen at Eppley
airfield, and we both wondered if we'd have time to go through security
and board if I decided to check my bag. I made the decision to carry
on, and take my chances with security upstairs.
As luck would have it, the inept TSA in Omaha did indeed
"flag" my bag for something suspicious. A female agent took my bag off
to the side, and with me, she opened it to go through my intimates. She
of course failed to notice either the sunscreen bottle, or the Grey
Goose. After her thorough 20 second search of my items, she decided to
"run the bag through one more time to see if it's flagged again." I
stopped her and told her what my contents included. After finding them
and giving me the news I already knew was coming, she confiscated them
and I was then allowed to move on. I'm not even on the plane to Vegas
yet, and I'm already down a $13 bottle of Grey Goose, and a $10 bottle
of sun screen. Fuck you TSA. How many terrorists have they caught since
9-11? Still 0? Ok.
In short order, we're boarded. I purposefully selected the
middle seat in hopes that no one would want to sit next to my smelly
ass other than Cory. He snagged the aisle, and despite having a "full
flight" one of the seats in front of us was vacant, yet our window seat
was of course, now occupied.
We entertained ourselves the best we could on the short flight
with our three screw driver cocktails and various travel entertainment.
But Southwest, don't tell me you have "free wifi" on your flight if the
only thing I can do for free is watch the progress of our flight. Yeah,
that's groovy and all, but if you're going to try to gouge me for $12
for inflight wifi, just say it.
We land on time, and attempt to scurry down to our awaiting
limo driver. This time around, I couldn't think of anything creative to
have on the sign, so I just went with "Heisenberg" since Cory's bald
and cooks meth in his spare time, I figured it fit.
Edward was our driver today, and made haste in taking our bags
to the awaiting limo. It's approximately 7:00 AM Vegas time, and the
bottle of champagne is unscrewed (yeah, not uncorked) in short order.
Since Cory's photo op is now over in his "Heisenberg" attire, he
promptly changes clothes all while Edward is telling us of the best
local bar scene, and giving us tips on what to check out here and
We make a quick stop at Bellagio to drop off our bags, and hop back
into the limo to continue on our journey. Our loose plan this trip was
to get another $1 casino chip from as many properties as we could
similar to what we did on our first trip together in 2007. Edward made
some comfortable chit-chat, and Cory volunteered that we're "internet
celebrities" when asked what we do for a living. I think this partially
sparked Edward's interest, and he started giving us information
pertaining to the local bar scene, and offering his educated
suggestions. He gave us a line on a bar where the local "fat girls" go
to, so if you're into that.........
had Edward conclude our time together as he dropped us off at Main
Street Station. As we're pulling into the parking lot, I motion to Cory
to give me some cash for a tip. I had $20 ready, and I wanted to hand
Edward our tips together. Somehow something with our communication
skills was lost in transit, and I thought Cory would just give me his
$20 after we were on our way. We're parked, and I had Edward $40, Cory
of course hands him another $20. Damn it man. Oh well, thanks again
Edward. Top notch service as always from Presidential Limo.
Our first chips are grabbed from Main Street Station, and we
continue on towards Golden Gate in order to start our trip with
breakfast at Dupars.
We're promptly seated, and I inquire if they have biscuits and gravy,
which indeed they do. (it's not listed on the menu, however) Cory goes
with his standard steak and egg breakfast selection. We also add on a
few Bloody Marys’ to help maintain the current buzz we've
adopted. The food was fine and inhaled in record speed. However, it
seems Dupars is comfortable raising their prices. The final tally
surprised us a little, but not a lot we can do at this point. We pay in
short order, and make out way out to Fremont street.
We go in and out of each property along the way and collect
our $1 chips respectively. Binions gave us a hard time saying they
couldn't sell us a chip at the casino cage. So I bought in for $10 at
the craps table, bet $5 (lost) and then cashed out. Yeah, I cashed in
$4 at the cage. Dicks. We noted their bar in the back is now closed for
most of the day, so no early morning beers with our favorite Binions
bartender Joe today. Four Queens also gave us a hard time about buying
a $1 chip at their cage. I'd like to call out, in a special
"go-fuck-yourself" that these were the only two properties in our
entire visit that had this issue. Thanks guys! Keep up the good work.
We wander into The D to check out the renovations. As we're
going up the escalator to the 2nd floor, we share a laugh as we recount
the wonderful bad beat of a poker hand I laid down on Cory a few visits
before. Oh yes, it was a doozie. We were saddened a little bit on the
inside to see that the poker room is no more. Many fun memories were
had in that remote corner.
As we're continuing on our journey, I noted we were right by Nacho
Daddy restaurant. The only reason I knew this place existed was because
of a review by the Vital Vegas blog. We mosey on inside, and they're
still setting up for the day. I asked "Are you the guys that put
scorpions in your tequila shots?" Sure enough, they were. Cory and I
had a half serious challenge going back and forth stating we were (or
weren't) going to partake in an alcoholic beverage with the added
optional arthropod or not. I ordered two shots of Patron and egged Cory
on about adding the scorpion to his. In the end, he backed down.
(PUSSY!) The bartender was a pretty young guy, and still finding his
way in the setup. In the end, I "got" to pay an extra $5 to have the
pickled addition placed into my glass. I was a bit apprehensive, but
went for it. I had to take a sip of my tequila first, so I would
actually be able to handle the scorpion. Cory snapped a few pics of me
in action. It was an interesting experience. It wasn't crunchy or nasty
by any means, but the texture was a little off settling. The best way
to describe it is comparing it to a cooked piece of bacon that's been
soaked in water for a long time (minus the bacon flavor). Almost chewy,
and not really pleasant in any way shape, or form. Am I glad I did it?
Sure. Would I do it again? Only if I was halfway drunk at 8:30 AM on
the first day of a new Las Vegas trip....
We wander into Downtown Grand to retrieve our chip, and don't
stick around any longer than necessary. The place was "okay" but
nothing too worthy to retain my attention.
Soon after, we're at the "Gold Spike." I put it in quotations
because when I entered, I believe the words "what the hell is this
shit?" escaped my flabbergasted self. I was unaware the Spike had
redone their entire interior (again) and now it's gambling free. The
wonderfully cheap roulette tables are gone, no more black jack, and
certainly no more female dealers in skimpy clothing. What a letdown.
I'm not sure what the owner has imagined for this place, but it's more
of a wanna-be club house type of feel. There are pool tables, an out of
place queen sized bed in the middle of the floor, and a bean bag toss
station. The bar and restaurant are still in place, and a security
guard watches over the atrocity of a room from a perch near the front
door. I'm at a loss of words for what this place is supposed to be.
It's identity is lost on me. We wander out without any new gaming chip.
I can't say I'll ever have a reason to go back....for anything....
Eventually we're at one of our favorite properties, the El
Cortez. I like to call it "dive-ish" since it's a little dirty and run
down, but still has enough old school feeling to it to make up. We
renew our playing cards and then settle in at a cheap roulette table in
their center pit.
We were knocking back the rum and diets as fast as they would come
around, and the gambling losses that frequently attach themselves to
our roulette sessions made their appearances. Out of the blue, I
decided to mix things up and after covering my usual numbers, I decided
to bet on the number 5 straight up, as well as covering all sides and
corners of the 5 spot. I don't know why... As the ball is spun, I tell
the dealer "If a 5 hits, I'll dance a jig!" (as if that's an impressive
sight or something) The ball continues on its dizzying journey around
the wheel, and out of sheer drunkenness I shout out "A 5 HIT!" I
thought it was rather funny for some stupid reason, only to turn back
to see that the ball actually did come to rest in the 5 slot on the
wheel. I happily stood up and did my best dancing jig impression. It
was horrible....not gonna lie. But we all shared a good laugh. Cory
would ask the various dealers what their favorite number is, and
concluded he would split the profits with them if the bet won. It did a
few times, and we were all happy.
It wasn't a marathon session, but my $100 had dwindled down to a meager
$25 before we colored up. Cory went to find the closest restroom and I
waited at another nearby empty roulette wheel. My drunken boredom gets
the better of me, and I throw the single chip down on the first section
of the felt. Luckily for me it was a winner, and I was paid out 3 to 1.
I'll take a $25 loss from the El Cortez and consider it a good day.
From here we decided to make the short walk to the famed Gold and
Silver pawn shop. We inadvertently walked down more than one incorrect
street before we found the place. Inside we noted the place was fairly
crowded, and begin to look for ourselves.
The shop isn't as "cool" looking as they make it out to be on TV. The
merchandise for sale mainly consisted of expensive watches and other
miscellaneous jewelry, a few rifles, art work that no one can really
afford, and a motorcycle in the back. Not...that....impressive... There
was a lot of Pawn Stars merchandise to choose from if that's what
you're into. There was also a sort of FaceBook photo booth on the main
floor that would take your picture. I assume it would then post it to
your wall, with some predefined caption, and thus giving the store some
social media exposure (which YOU get to pay for). There was one couple
trying to get their picture taken and a store associate was walking
them through the process. As they posed, I completely and utterly photo
bombed them from about six feet back. The associate saw me do it from
the camera's picture, and had a good laugh. The couple taking the
picture shared an insincere laugh with us, but mainly I think their
sentiments towards me were "fucking douche." They opted to take another
picture, but I don't know why. The first one was just fine in my
Cory asked one of the clerks if they had any Vegas memorabilia. IE old
casino chips, etc. They tracked down a bag full of old silver strikes
from back in the day when actual valuable metals were dispensed as a
type of promotional payment from slot machines. We sifted through the
selection, and eventually Cory landed on one he wanted to attain. As
he's completing the transaction, the clerk asks us "Hey, you guys want
to be involved in a scene of the show?" Sure, why not?
We're given a two page release to sign and are told that
filming would probably begin in about half an hour. Since I had time to
kill, I needed to find a bathroom as the drinks from the early morning
finally caught up to me. I asked our new clerk friend where the closest
bathroom was, and he told me there were some portable bathrooms across
the street at the construction site. WRONG! Dickhead was apparently
misinformed. There was nothing of the sort outside, so I wandered up
the street to the closest restaurant I could find. It was a Mexican
restaurant, and I think that might have been the name. "Mexican
Restaurant." (or, after I use Google Maps realize it's called "Dona
Maria Tamales Restaurant")
I didn't want to be a bathroom only customer, so I bought an overpriced
shot of tequila at the bar, and then rightfully used their restroom.
Thirty seconds later I was heading back towards the Pawn Shop.
I reunite with my bald brother from another mother and we continue to
scan over the "pawn shop" that doesn't really sell stuff a regular
store of this type would. We wondered if they were going to start
preventing people from entering the store as people left, so they could
bring in the cameras and crew to start filming. But, the store was
constantly full. There was a perpetual flow of people all over.
Ultimately, someone told us to go around back, wait behind the store by
a portrait caricature painting on the wall and someone will get us for
There were loosely a dozen people in our group, and we find
the painting in question easily enough. A door opens up, and someone
that I assume is some sort of Producer ushers us inside. We're lead
through another door that I can only describe as what you'd see "back
stage" at a play, and we're now in a room that sort of mirrors the main
shop. There's the little desk area that we're all familiar with from
the show (where the family is often talking with each other), and some
various nick-nack "merchandise" on the shelves. The room is in an L
shape, and we're given the run down by a different "Producer."
We're told today's scene just involves Rick. The rules were:
Do not take out your cell phone or you'll be removed from the scene.
Don't talk loudly during filming. Don't walk over to the side of the
"store" they're filming in. Don't look at the cameras while filming is
taking place. Oh, but by all means, act natural in the store.....you
know... As if you give a shit what's in a pawn shop.
Rick gets up from his chair and wanders over to his spot with
camera men in tow a few feet behind him. As he's walking, he's flipping
through an article on his iPhone. By the looks of it, it seemed to be a
Wikipedia article of some sort. (if I had to guess)
He snaps at a female crew member, griping something about his coffee.
Okay.... In any case, filming begins shortly, and Cory and I are
standing directly down from Rick pretending to care what's in the
display cases in front of us.
And as a side note, let's talk about those display cases. Oh, man,
they're cheesy. In this make-shift pawn shop / TV set, the display
cases are really sad. I don't think they even seriously cared what was
put in them, as they don't film them anyway. In the case we were
looking at were some matchbox cars (not even in original packaging),
and a few Las Vegas $5 casino chips that I could have gotten anywhere.
I seem to recall there being a dented and partially rusted Dukes of
Hazard lunch box in there too. It's like a mish-mosh of crap that
really has no value, and likely was found at a garage sale and then
stuffed into a display case on a TV set. Props. They were all props.
And poor ones at that.
It was really difficult to pretend to be interested in what
was in front of us. But in any case, there wasn't much more to see in
the room, so we basically stood in place while filming continued.
A "customer" brought in a shield that was apparently used in
the movie Cleopatra in 1963. The "customer" was directed when, where
and how to walk so they could get the best shot possible. Then the
typical banter begins from Rick. "Well, what do we have here?" The
customer explains what it is, and then Rick gives his typical history
lesson and proceeds to enlighten the world to his vast knowledge of
everything. "Oh, well that movie was made in the year blah blah blah,
and the budget was originally going to be blah blah blah, but it ran
over. And the actors loved it since they were paid weekly, blah blah
blah. In the end, instead of a two million dollar budget, it ended up
costing the studio 44 million, blah blah blah."
All of which, I'm sure, he quickly read on his iPhone thirty seconds
before shooting began. (My bet would be this article here:
The producers were shouting directions for both Rick and the "customer" nearly the entire time.
"Okay Rick, now run your fingers along the shield."
"Okay great, now point at it a few times."
They also fed lines to the "customer" as well, and had him
repeat things a few times. Then they do the typical Pawn Stars
"So, how much did you want for it?"
"I'd like to get $500."
you know...it's cool, and it's a nice prop and all, but it's nothing
iconic from the film, so I'll give you $200 bucks."
"Well, can you come up to $250?"
"Uh.....um..... Well..... Yeah, I can do that."
"Alright, let's go do some paperwork over there."
During one point the crew was getting another camera ready (or
something) and Cory's phone rings from his pocket. He takes out it, and
mutes the ringer as quickly as he can. It's slid back into his pocket,
and as he looks up, Rick is just glaring our way, and mutters "Foul..."
in an agitated tone.
When it's all said and done, Rick shouts out to a Producer "Am I DONE
for today?" Indeed he was. He couldn't get out of there fast enough,
but on the way out he turns to us "peons" and says "Now you guys know
that reality TV is a lot like a hot dog."
I interrupt him and say "You mean completely fake?" He doesn't
even acknowledge my existence and continues on by saying "You think
it's made up of one thing, but then find out it's completely
different." And then he's gone. No thank you, or anything of the sort.
I kind of felt like a used prom date. Unsatisfied. Oh well, fuck this
place, time to move on.
But if you see someone selling a shield from the movie
Cleopatra, look for the tall guy in blue, and the bald guy wearing a
hat next to the customer. Rumor has it, that might be us. There were a
few moments during the 30 minute filming session where I thought about
bursting into a Dr. Evil laugh, complete with the raised pinkie finger
to the mouth, but I thought they wouldn't appreciate my humor, and it'd
probably be edited from the final print anyway. Missed opportunity....
We cab it back to Bellagio where I'm able to check in. With a
successful $20 tip to the clerk, I'm upgraded to a full fountain view
room on the 8th floor. We chill for a few minutes and have the luggage
Soon after we head on over to Cosmopolitan to get Cory checked
into the free room I was able to snag for a few comped nights. I opted
to stay at Bellagio since it's my favorite property on the strip. We're
checked in and hang in Cory's room for a few minutes before heading out
to snag some pizza in the "hidden secret pizza place."
Once we finish eating, we decide to part ways for a little bit
and opt to meet up after a while. I hang in my room for a little while,
and I think I probably snoozed for 45 minutes or so before my phone
rang. Time to get moving!
We didn't really know where to begin, but decided to head
towards Mandalay Bay and continue with our chip collection efforts. We
venture through Aria and note how many poker tables they have opened
up. They're having a large tournament in addition to their full
capacity cash tables in session.
Before too long we're walking into Monte Carlo and collect a chip
quickly enough. The mood to gamble strikes us both, so we sit down at a
Texas Shoot-out table. Our dealer was Rick, and he certainly had an eye
for the ladies. He was more than willing to point out any head turners
that were walking up behind us out of view. That was nice of him.
Whenever a female customer would sit down, his tone would mellow out a
little bit. But, when it was only us guys at the table, he'd launch
into one of his many stories about how one of the regular Monte Carlo
working hookers would sometimes flash him as she passes by him and his
empty table. His stories were tolerable for a while, but soon grew a
bit tiring. Eventually it got to the point of "yeah, another female
walked by, we got it." But he was friendly and had personality. Profits
were collected from the table, and the few drinks that we managed to
order seemed to help jump start my system for the rest of the evening.
Our adventure continues as we pass through NY NY and
Excalibur. This was just another confirmation for me that there's
nothing really at either of those properties to keep me there. No
reason to stay. We shuffle through Luxor and Mandalay Bay collecting
chips as we go. We're lucky enough to find a cheap Pai Gow Poker table
in Luxor, so I settle in, and Cory opts to watch. Often when he's
played in the past, he walks away with nothing but a fresh punch to the
dick from the dealer, so he was a bit cautious about jumping in feet
first. But as time wore on, I think boredom overcame him, so he sat
down at my table.
Frankly, this is where we were parked for the next several hours.
Playing hand after hand, and doing okay. We'd run into the occasional
abysmal Pai Gow hand (we're talking 10, and J high hands) to the rare 4
of a kind, or 3 pair hands. Things were going well, and Luxor's drink
service was on full duty. I must say that those drink glasses are damn
small. After the waitress would come around, and after two "sips" of my
drink, it'd be nearly gone. And they weren't the strongest. So, it took
a while to work up any sort of buzz. Which, in hindsight, was
probably a good thing.
At approximately 2:00 AM, a girl in a very short black skirt lays down
on the empty roulette table directly behind me. She lays down, holds
her legs in the air, while her guy buddies snap a picture (okay two
pictures) of her. I see the commotion start to unfold and totally photo
bomb their efforts. I'm perfectly in line with the chick, so I know I
made it into their pics. The pit boss in our area was PISSED, and came
scurrying over, and was soon on the phone with security. The kids
wander off, and I was a little disappointed I didn't have time to
collect a copy of that pic from them. I knew it was an epic one. For
sake of trip report clarity, I've included a snapshot of what view was
from my seat. Somewhere out there...is an awesome pic of a slutty girl,
spreading her legs in the air, laying on a roulette table at Luxor,
with my ugly mug cheesing it up in the background. That sentence just
becomes more awesome with each word...
We make friends with the pit boss and she makes some small talk with
us. She's pretty cool, but yeah....she was pissed. She had a sort of
MILF quality to her, so that probably didn't hinder our new found
attraction to her. We sat at the table for two hours more before
finally saying our goodbyes.
It was now 4:00 AM Vegas time, and we have officially been up
for 26 hours at this point. We stagger back towards our respective
properties. It was deemed a good idea to take a taxi, as I'm not sure
if our bodies would have made it otherwise. We part ways at Cosmo, and
I head to my room at Bellagio.
It doesn't take long for today's liquor to work it's sleepy voodoo sorcery, and I'm out like a light around 4:45 AM.
Wednesday June 4th, 2014
What's this? 8:15 AM, and I'm awake? What's better is that I have
absolutely zero after effect of the previous "day's" binge drinking.
I'm not feeling lethargic or agitated in anyway. I'm actually a little
amped up, so after a quick shower, I'm out the door and heading
downstairs to Bellagio's casino floor.
I easily found a $10 Pai Gow table in the pit near Noodles
restaurant and sat down. Like nearly all of Pai Gow sessions, the
swings were nil, and I was mainly running in place with some small
gains/losses here and there. Now Cory and I had agreed not to text or
call each other until after 10:00 AM. You know, to give each other
close to 5 hours of sleep (I assumed we'd need a lot more). Well, I
kinda cheated, and sent him a text around 8:45 AM just telling him I'm
alive, and actually feeling pretty good and also to advise of my
current location. To my surprise, he swiftly responded saying he'd be
on his way over from Cosmo within a few minutes. Excellent. That makes
two of us that survived the night.
It doesn't take long before Cory is also at the table, and
we're starting the day off early rotating between Bloody Mary's, and
Screwdrivers for our "breakfast." The table has some friendly players
at it, one being a guy in to play in some of the World Series of Poker
events, and he's just killing time until his first event. There are
also two ladies to my left near the 3rd base position, who mainly keep
to themselves. Everyone at the table is enjoying their time. And
then... we get a new player.
A young (I'd say mid 20-ish) kid sits down to my immediate left, and
you can tell he's already bombed. I mean, I was working on getting to
the "slightly buzzed" stage, but this kid probably wasn't far from the
stage. His blood shot eyes and half empty 16 ounce Heineken bottle
reaffirmed my suspicions.
This is "M." And "M" was to become our friend for life....or
at least until our Pai Gow session was over. Now "M" was decently
dressed, being in just short of a full suit. It didn't take too much
time before he was going into how flashy he is. Apparently he was
trying to kill time before he had to pick up his NFL buddy from the
airport. It wasn't long until his phone rang, and he got up and walked
away from the table. After what seemed like 30 minutes he reappeared,
telling us that he told his professional football player buddy that he
was too drunk to pick him up at the airport, and that he'd need to get
He was pleasant enough, and certainly chatty. Through our time
together, he conveyed to us that the previous night he was kicked out
of Caesars Palace . He asked us if we were going to hit up any strip clubs, because he knew the owner of "such-and-such strip club"
and can get bottle service for half the price. He bragged about how
he's gotten lap dances from "all the major porn stars" and would brag
to them that he owns all of their DVDs. (who buys porn DVDs these
The conversation led to food, and he told us over and over
again, that we needed to get the toffee pudding at Gordon Ramsay Steak.
"If you go for just that dessert, it'll be worth it. I'm serious."
Throughout the morning, he would tell us no less than 15 times about
that damn dessert. Yeah, I get it. Sounds delicious....
During one particular hand, "M" lost his bet, and he grumbled
something along the lines of "She took my money because I'm Asian."
I've probably finished about 6 or 7 drinks at this point and I blurt
out "WAIT A MINUTE? YOU'RE ASIAN?!" We all share a laugh, and then I
ask "Are you really good at math?" Without skipping a beat, he says
"Yeah, but I'm a horrible driver." The timing was awesome.
No seriously, he IS a horrible driver. This part of our conversation
led to him sharing about his previous DUI experience. And while we were
on the topic of police and criminal records, he tells us he has a
felony for smuggling weed across state lines.
Um...............wha? He'd convey that they'd "smuggle it in by the
train car load" and that's where he's earned most of his money. Then
out of left field, the pitch comes. He basically asked us if we'd like
to be his contacts in the mid-west, or if we knew anyone that we could
put him in touch with. Sounded like he wanted to expand any sort of
distribution efforts that he and friends had in the works. "Don't you
guys want your houses to be paid off? Don't you want to send your kids
to the best private schools? Don't you want to drive a brand new fully
loaded car that's completely yours?"
Yes, all that stuff sounds fine and dandy, but getting all of those
potential perks at the cost of being involved in A FUCKING DRUG
SMUGGLING RING? Yeah, tough choice, but I'll have to pass. "Oh don't
worry, the first rule is to never rat on anyone." Yeah, I'm sure we'd
be at the top of the list as far as confidentiality goes. He then
starts to spring the same gibberish to a boyfriend of one of the girls
sitting at the end.
At this point, we've been gambling for about 4 hours, and despite
having plenty of fruit (orange juice) and vegetable servings (tomato
juice), Cory was in the hunt for something more substantial than our
liquid diet. We cashed in and decided we'd work our way over to Ellis
Island for some cheap eats.
On the walk over, we decide to check out Cromwell and collect
our chip. There was a vendor selling bottles of water for a buck each,
and so I bought four thinking Cory would want one or two for the short
walk in the hot sun. He decided he didn't. (dick) I decide I really
didn't want to walk to Ellis Island with four water bottles in my hand,
so I gave the extras to a lonely panhandler on the nearby over pass. He
gladly accepted them.
The walk is a comfortably warm one, but we make it to Ellis Island
without any problems and sit down in their cafe to get some "meh" food.
We both land on the Berkshire burger, which is half ground beef, and
half bacon. Yeah...... We add on an order of chicken wings, and one of
their custom beers just to round out the meal. The wings were
apparently left in the fryer for a little too long, as they were damn
ass dry. The burgers and beers were inhaled in record time, however.
After we wrap up our meal, I head over to one of their empty blackjack
tables and sit down. The dealer lets out an exasperated "Thank God" as
she was apparently pretty bored. The casino was DEAD after all. I made
a quick hit and walked away with a $50 profit. Buuuttt.......after
talking with Cory for a minute, and not really having a plan of attack
on how to handle the rest of our day, I sat back down and burned
through my profit and then some. Time to leave this dump!
We venture through Ballys, Paris, and Planet Hollywood and
collect our chips. We note that PH has a poker tournament later in the
evening, and we book it on our mental calendars. We decide to relax a
little bit in our respective hotels and then meet at the tournament
later in the evening.
When the time came for me to head across the street to PH, I
sent Cory a few texts advising of my venture. I managed to be the first
to register for the tournament. He met me shortly after, and before too
long, the cards were in the air. Cory and I were seated at the same
table so that was cool. About the second hand of the game, I'm dealt
pocket 8's. I actually hit three of a kind on the flop, and played it
aggressively as my opponent wasn't going away. I ended up taking about
75% of his stack in that one hand, and was felling gooooooooood about
Our only distinctive player at our table was in the two seat, which was
a spot to my right. He was a talker, and aggressive in his play. Of
course when his shitty starting hand would find some traction on the
flop and end up being a winner, he'd boast and think that he's the
greatest player in the world.
At one point, he was all in with a abysmal J-2 off suite against
another player's A-J. A jack and ace hit on the flop, but yet, he
didn't realize how truly far behind in the hand he was. He lost a
significant amount of his stack on that hand, but seemed to think his
opponent made some magical play. "You out draw me on the flop" he said
to his opponent. I had to correct him by saying he wasn't out drawn,
but completely dominated. He didn't seem to understand my logic in that
statement. Of course later he would out draw pocket kings with his own
A-J which made trips on the flop, a boat on the turn, and quads on the
river. I turned to the lady he out drew and let out a sympathetic "that
got worse for you with every card."
I wasn't able to last much longer than the first hour of the
tournament, and never really got any traction aside from my quick start
at the beginning. Since Cory was still in the hunt, I wandered the
casino floor and enjoyed the pleasure pit with its various dancers on
make shift stages, and the dealers in revealing clothing. The floor was
packed, despite the horrible games and odds PH offers. Cory fared
better than I in the tournament and ended up taking down 3rd place
which was good for about $140 in prize money.
We bid PH goodbye and continued our journey down the strip towards MGM.
We were going to play the Lionshare slot machine, but there was a line
of people waiting to take their chances at winning the 2.1 million
dollars. Instead I had to settle for a quick win at a nearby video
We continued through Tropicana and Hooters collecting our $1 chips. At
this point came the "What do you wanna do?" followed by the typical "I
dunno, what do YOU wanna do?" banter. We concluded that we had a good
time at Luxor's Pai Gow tables last night, so we ventured that way. At
the present time, there weren't any openings for us to squeeze our fat
asses into, so we looked over the "Poker Room" (I use that term loosely).
As luck would have it, they were starting up their 10:00 PM tournament,
and we had a whopping two minutes to spare after signing up. This time
we were at separate tables, and I had a family that were likely from
the south seated with me. From what I could gather, they all play
together around the kitchen table, so they thought they'd give a
tournament in Vegas a shot. Wonderful. I knew I could chop them up, if
only I could get a hand or two to start with. One player to my left
apparently was completely color blind. Combine that with his old age,
it made an interesting time when he was attempting to call or raise a
hand. The purple, grey and green chips were mixed up more often than
not. This kinda irked me, since the dealer sorting him out every hand
significantly ate into the already short blind levels. The deal would
make it around the table MAYBE once before the blinds were raised up.
This tournament was going to go fast.
I didn't get any hands I could do much with, so in the end I was forced
to go all in to put someone to a test. It turned out to be a coin flip
type of a hand, which I came out on the losing end of. Cory was bounced
a few hands after I, and we ventured back to the Pai Gow pit to scan
out the scene.
Our new pit boss friend was working again, and as we sat down
I said to her "I hear you guys have the most comfortable roulette
tables here, so we decided to stop by to check them out." She laughed
and remembered both of our names from the previous night.
The rum and cokes were ordered again, and we settled in for another
marathon session. For the most part, it was just Cory and I playing, so
we started to change it up a little bit in our own douchebaggery type
of ways. We'd frequently bet each other who was going to have the
better (or worst) five card hand, 2 card hand, etc. Our side bets would
range anywhere from a quarter (Yes, 25 cents, I know!) to a red chip.
It was just something to change it up a little and to brag in the
loser's face. The dealer got a kick out of it, and for some reason
found us funny (or she was laughing out of sympathy - more likely).
The drinks weren't "doing their job" for me, so between rounds, I'd
order us some Southern Comfort and Lime shots. I believe I ordered a
round of Kamikaze shots as well (you know, the manly stuff). During the
night / early morning, there was a point in which I was sending drunk
texts to friends back home while sitting at the table. I had my phone
under the rail, so I wouldn't get reprimanded from the dealer. The pit
boss happened to be walking by at that moment, and as she passed me,
she reached under the table, playfully grabbed my leg with a gentle
squeeze and said "you can't text me at the table" and with a wink and a
smile she was on her way. Yeah....she wanted me.
We concluded the session a short while later, and took our minor losses
out the door. We search for something quick to eat, but nothing is
really opened at this late hour. We wander through Excalibur and see
that the Johnny Rockets "restaurant" is open. We venture in and place
our orders. A greasy burger sounds as good as anything else we would
have found at this hour, so we settle in. The place must have had only
two employees working. The cashier, and the lone cook in the back. It
easily took 20 minutes for our food to finally arrive. It was decent
eats, but certainly not worth the wait, nor the price. Since we didn't
have much in the way of options at this early hour, we begrudgingly
inhaled our food and got the hell out of there.
A quick cab ride back to our respective hotels and it was time
to do the typical drunken stumble through the Bellagio floor. It seemed
a ghost town at this ungodly early hour and the cleaning crews were out
in full force. On my walk of shame, I saw our friendly Pai Gow dealer
taking her spot as it seemed her shift was beginning. I may have
offered a drunken wave as I passed. I noted a singular roulette player
blanketing the board with $100 chips covering nearly every spot. He
easily had over $5,000 out on that spin with those lovely black chips.
I would have stayed and watched for a while, but the night's booze was
starting to work it's witchcraft. One elevator ride upstairs and I was
crashed at about 4:00 AM.
Thursday June 5th, 2014
I'm awoken at about 9:00 AM to Cory calling my phone
telling me he's on his way over to the Bellagio to check in. To my
happy surprise, I'm feeling pretty good, and lacking any hangover. I
contact the front desk, and give them the green light to add Cory to
the reservation I had booked under my name for an additional room for
the single night. With minimal issues, Cory's checked in and is given a
room right away on the 11th floor. As he's moving his luggage into his
room which is a few floors above mine, I take the opportunity to take a
shower and get ready for another warm day in Las Vegas. We agree to
meet downstairs at "our" Pai Gow table.
We seat ourselves at the familiar table, and I see the same
friendly face that I drunkenly waved to a few short hours earlier. We
dig in for another marathon session, and see another familiar face as
well. The guy who was playing in a few World Series of Poker events
also took up a seat next to us.
For "breakfast" we went with the tried and true trinity. Screw drivers,
Bloody Mary's, and for me, a few Tennessee Highballs thrown in for good
measure. As the city around us began to wake up, we were burning
through hand after hand of Pai Gow. Towards the end of another marathon
session, Cory hit a Pai Gow bonus which paid out 50 to 1. Luckily for
him, he had a $5 on the bonus bet, so it was a nice way to close things
out. By this point, it was coming up on the 1:00 PM hour, and we
decided to head towards Caesar's Palace to continue on with our chip
It was bustling this morning, so we just wander in, grab a
chip, and leave. As we're leaving, I opt to buy us each a fruity rum
girly drink at their kiosk leading into the casino. I want to say it
was about $15 each. Since I was already working on a healthy buzz, I
didn't put up too much of a fight. But on the inside I was saying to
myself "dickheads!" But I digress...
We head over towards the Linq to check out the newly renovated
area of the strip. Chips are collected from O'Sheas before we head
towards the High Roller. Cory is still nursing his fru-fru rum drink
when we buy our tickets for the High Roller. Of course he's not manly
enough to finish it, so he ends up tossing the better part of half of
it. But no worries.... There's a bar just before you board the wheel,
so I buy us a round of "normal" rum and cokes. I add a few cherries to
mine, Cory decides to think outside the box and for some reason has two
monstrous olives put into his. It's not a martini, man!
We board our pod, and there are a total of four of us sharing
the space for the duration. There are a few TV screens in each pod, and
at various times a stoner kid appears to spew some facts about the
wheel. It was just enough to break up the silence as the slow rotation
Cory actually eats his "rum olives" and being that it's the first
sustenance he's consumed today that required chewing, he says that it
actually helps. We were waving obnoxiously at the pods behind and in
front of us, only to receive the same treatment in return. The High
Roller was cool, and glad we did it. But until they start filming bum
fights, or porn in those pods, I don't see a reason for me to go back
again. It was one of those things I can check off my Vegas bucket list.
On the way out, and into the gift shop, we stop to scan over
the "pre-boarding" photograph they took of us. It was a gem of a
picture, so Cory actually coughed up the money to have them print it
off. No, we weren't actually THAT bombed in the picture, but it was too
funny to pass up. While in the gift shop, I pick up some souvenirs for
the dirty little hamsters that reside at my house, in addition to a new
can of overpriced sun screen.
While walking out, Cory and I reenact a scene from our first Vegas trip
together. It also involved Caesar's overpriced fru-fru drinks. For our
buddy Mike back home, we honored the Vegas memory of me knocking a
freshly purchased (and expensive) pina coloda out of his hands spilling
everywhere onto the ground. By dropping Cory's drink to the ground, he
showed his pseudo disappointment by falling to his knees. The first pic
didn't turn out as I wanted it, so I had him do it again. This time, he
tells me the stones lining the street are actually pretty damn hot.
Despite his pussy-ness, I have him pose for a third time so I can
finally get a decent picture. When all's said and done, his knees are
showing a lovely pinkish red where the ground burned a layer of skin
off. What a pansy. We're walking along, continuing our journey, and to
my surprise Cory blindsided me with a quick (and undeserved!) shot to
the nuts from the bag he was carrying from the High Roller souvenir
shop. My only reaction was a quick "UMMPH!" as I stumbled to a nearby
wall. Some passersby witnessed the assault, and to show support for me,
ended up giving Cory a few undeserved high fives. You sonofabitch!
After recovering, we walk into a hat shop at the end of the Linq, and
Cory ends up buying a nice looking Porkpie hat (
Heisenberg). It was easy to justify the purchase after hitting the pai
gow bonus hours earlier.
Various stops are made at the properties along the way all in the way
of collecting our $1 chips. Harrah’s, Flamingo, Venetian were all
on that list. We make our way to Treasure Island, and end up signing up
for a soon to be started poker tournament. Let the cards fly!
The poker room is now located in a room I can only describe as
a "closet." The space the room formerly occupied (close to the Mystere
theater) is now more unnecessary retail space. This room seemed to be
almost an afterthought. If you go to Treasure Island's website and look
at the virtual tour of the poker room, it's not updated. They show the
old (nicer room) still. In any case, it was large enough for a few
poker tables and a podium to cash out at, so that was good enough for
us. We're seated at different tables and are given a decent sized stack
to start with.
As I begin to get a feel for the table, I noticed a lady in the 10 seat
was in her first tournament. She was given instructions on what it
means to call, and check...told over and over again what the
denominations are, and repeatedly told when it was her turn that she
has the option to check, raise, or fold. It only slowed down the game,
but did put a target on her back for me to gain some easy chips. In one
had between she and I, I had missed all sorts of draws with my J-8. At
the river I had a lovely jack high. I had bet the flop and turn, and
she hadn't given up the hand yet. I bet big at the river, only to have
her nonchalantly call. I embarrassingly turn up my cards, only to have
her turn up a queen high. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, My jack high hand
lost to a queen high hand. She didn't realize she won right away, and
the table and I were floored. Either she's the best poker player in the
world, or the worst. My bet is on the later. The dealer turned to me
and said "20 bucks says she wins the whole thing" after seeing the
As the tournament continues, I start to gain some momentum.
After the first break my table is broken up and I WOULD have been
re-seated at Cory's table, but the smartest poker player in the world
didn't realize she sat down at the wrong table, thus occupying my
rightful spot. The same seat number was open at the other remaining
table, and the dealers directed me just to have a seat there. I thought
about disputing the assignment, but let things go.
At the new table I soon found myself to be nearing the chip leader. My
bluffs were near magical, and occasionally I found myself with a decent
hand which was good enough to take the pot. Then we started to get to
what I like to call the "awkward" stage of a poker tournament. Where
there are plenty of people left, but the blinds are so huge in
comparison to the stack sizes that a lot of people are going to be
dropping quickly. Yet, everyone still has "just" enough chips to make
all ins awkward and difficult to assess. Blinds were $500/$1,000 and
I'd say the average chip stack was $7,000. I found myself with $10,000
and the chip leader at my table had about $13,000. After collecting a
pot after another daring bluff, I found the lovely A-K of spades in my
possession. I raised it up, just to have the chip leader as my caller.
The flop came out showing A-3-10. My heart started racing, as I saw
this as my opportunity to double up through the chip leader, and
effectively crushing him in the process. I bet $5,000 into the pot,
only to be raised all in. I couldn't say "I call" fast enough, and
turned over my cards proudly, thinking I need to dodge a long shot
draw. He turned over the God damn ace-ten giving him two pair (HATE
THAT HAND!). My king failed to hit and I was bounced just like that. I
failed to assess the situation to potentially see the danger before it
was too late. I thought I was on a roll in that tournament. Damn.
Little Richie's diner was directly around the corner from the poker
"room" so Cory and I drowned our losing sorrows in the food offerings
they had. We each got a dog and fries, which were "meh." However, since
this was the only real food we had for the day (other than olives and
cherries in our drinks) it would have to suffice.
We take the tram from Treasure Island over to the Mirage and
collect a chip from there. We pass the craps pit which at the time, had
one full and boisterous table. With each toss of the dice someone at
the table would let out a loud "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Which, of course, had
to be followed up by two or three other loud "WHOOOOO's!" The dealers
had that "Fuck-my-life" look on their faces.
We walk back to Bellagio and part ways as we take a break in our
respective rooms. I take the opportunity to do make a quick phone call
back home, take in a fountain show, and take care of some preliminary
packing. I wasn't able to book an impromptu shaving appointment at the
Bellagio spa, so I called down to the front desk to see if they could
have a razor brought up for me (the one thing I forgot from home). It
made its appearance in short order, and I was set. They delivered two
bottles of shaving gel, two razors, and some chocolates. Nice touch,
Bellagio. I shower, and kill some time in my room before deciding I was
going to hit the casino floor one more time tonight.
I make my to the Pai Gow pit for my last session of the trip. It was
about 5:00 PM now, and my last night in Vegas was starting up. I didn't
have the urge to get insane drunk, and frankly didn't want to really
want to spend much effort in walking anywhere. I played a few hands
before a young couple sat down to join in. The girl ordered a glass of
champagne while her husband/boyfriend contemplated if he wanted to play
or not. I did order about three Tennessee Highballs, and frankly that
Cory and I exchange a few texts, and he wisely decides he's going to
retire in his room and get a decent night's sleep in preparation of our
early departure the next day. I take my minimal loss and walk away from
the table to cash in. I contemplated if I wanted to get another "Roll
Call" from Sensi, but I simply wasn't hungry. I WANTED to want to head
that way, but I think the trip had finally caught up to me. I was done
for the day too. I did a few laps around the casino, and checked out
the conservatory before heading up to my room and calling it an early
Friday June 6th, 2014
My Bellagio wakeup call comes at what seems like an
early hour. It's 6:00 AM, and time to get moving so we can catch the
limo back to the airport at 7:30. I'm a little sluggish today, despite
capitalizing on a full night's sleep the day before.
After stuffing all my clothes and belongings into my suit case
and somehow managing to get it to completely shut, I make my way down
to Palio. I grab a bowl of fruit and a coffee to start the day,
while texting Cory to see if he's moving. To my surprise, he's
awake and sitting where else? But at the Pai Gow table we adopted as
our own. I make my way over there, hot coffee still in hand.
As I pass the blackjack tables on the main floor, I note a
player betting two hands, each being $2,000. He had about $40,000
in $500 chips in front of him.....at 7:00 AM...... Ah, Vegas.....
I meet Cory at the table and watch him for a few hands. Before too long it's time to
check outside for the driver. At first he wasn't there just yet, so we
sit inside, waiting in the Bellagio lobby. Cory wanders off for a few
minutes and later comes back with two huge cinnamon rolls. Thankfully
one was for me. I thank him for his generosity, and we find Edward
outside holding the door open. We climb in the limo, and I inhale the
sweet pastry before me. Edward asked us if we found any BBW's (Big
Beautiful Women or fatties) at any bars we may have visited. Sadly, (or
not so much) we did not.
In the end, I ended up with casino chips from 38
different properties. And after double checking, I forgot to get one
from Bellagio and Treasure Island. Are you kidding me? I stayed at the
property three nights, gambled there almost exclusively, was tipping
cocktail waitresses and dealers with those $1 chips, and neglected to
pocket one for myself. Stupid bastard.
In any case, the ride home was a safe and short one, and another trip is in the books.
Until next time, Vegas................