Monday, March 26, 2007

Las Slacker

I've been too busy living life to write about it. After four and a half days of intense gambling in Las Vegas, I'm physically and mentally exhausted. I flew the red eye from Vegas to JFK on Sunday night and got into NYC at 6:30am. I did not sleep at all on the flight and the guy next to me annoyed the fuck out of me because I refused to switch seats so he could sit next to his wife. As Derek said, "Not my fault you got a shitty seat. Buy your tickets early and get those good seats, pal!"

I took a cab back home as we fought morning rush hour traffic. I did laundry, napped for 45 minutes, set up Skype for work, ate a cheeseburger at the diner, hit up Radio Shack, shaved, showered, rubbed one out, and packed for almost two weeks in Europe. I had to do all of that within seven hours before another taxi picked me up at 3pm to take me back to JFK so I could board a 6pm flight to Madrid. After a three hour layover in Madrid, I fly to Nice where I meet up with Shronk, who's the video editor for We're then going to Monte Carlo for work.

Las Vegas was a lot of fun. In the past I had to work the WSOP or other poker tournaments. Or I had gone to Vegas for a bloggers convention. Although I have fun at those events, there are other issues I don't have time to write about, but let's just say, it's hard to split time among 100 different people and I rarely get to do what I want to do. That's why this special trip with my brother and Senor felt like old times... when we used to go for March Madness way before poker took over my life.

On Wednesday, Nicky picked us up at the airport after driving out from Hollyweird. We checked in at Red Rock Casino which is way off the Strip. I have never stayed in a local's casino and Red Rock is the flagship for the Station Casinos. The rooms were close to $300 a night with taxes and a bogus $20 per night surcharge. Alas, it was worth it. Aside from the Borgata, the beds at Red Rock were some of the best I had ever slept in. There were two plasma TVs, including one in the bathroom above the bathtub!

We never left the casino aside for a trip to Red Rock Canyon because Senor wanted to go "touch the rocks." We ate all of our meals on property including a couple of outstanding meals. On Wednesday, I met Flipchip and Poker Prof for dinner at Terra Rossa, the swanky Italian eatery at Red Rock. Between five of us, we polished off two bottles of wine considering we're not big wine drinkers.

On Thursday, we ate at T Bones, a high end steak joint which I had eaten once before with Miami Don and Carmen. The filet mignon was as good as always and it was tough eating and keeping an eye on the scores of the game at the same time. Thursday was fun because I can't recall any of us laughing harder at some of the stories that Miami Don, Senor, and myself recanted to the rest of the table. I totally forgot that Senor used to own a language school in Cambodia, where he taught hookers how to speak English so they could make more money. I wish I could make that stuff up.

On Saturday, I ate at Salt Lick BBQ with Amy Calistri and Tim Lavalli. She swears by the original chain which is just outside of Austin. I pussed out and ate the pulled pork sandwich with a spicy BBQ sauce. I also ordered a side of mac and cheese. Everyone else go the all you can eat special which included ribs, sausage, and brisket.

I also got to hang out with Dr. Chako, JW, and Friedman, along with Miami Don who practically lived at the sportsbook with us. I didn't do well gambling wise and lost close to 3K for the trip. If you count the 1.2K I spent on meals for the group and another 1.2K on the room, the entire trip cost me about 6K. That's why I was hoping to win big on March Madness games. In the end, 6K is a small price to spend on my brother and friends. I had a very good 2006 and start to 2007, so I wanted to celebrate with one of my best friends, my brother, Nicky, and Flipchip and the Poker Prof who have pretty much adopted me into their family. Senor said he had a blast, which was part of my objective for the trip. Plus Derek hit his first parlay ever, so he was pretty happy about that. And Nicky won some money playing poker as she got addicted to sports betting.

I'm currently at JFK waiting for my flight to Madrid to board so I don't have time to write about all the wacky and wild stories. Hopefully Derek will do his infamous trip reports. I'm sure Nicky will post something shortly.

I'm off to cover the EPT Championships in Monte Carlo. Otis and Mad from PokerStars will be there, which is a treat. Lavalli hurt his back along with Schecky, so it's just me and Shronk covering the event for with a MAW nicknamed Hotchips doing the video shoots. Oh, and we also have a Portuguese guy who barely speaks English taking photos for us. Should be tons of fun. Actually, the layover in Amsterdam on my way home will be fun. The next week will be a ton of work as I log 16 hour days in a casino and another four or five hours of catch up work back in my swanky room at the Le Meridian Hotel which is supposed to be on the beach. All I know is that it's on Princess Grace Avenue.

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