Saturday, May 05, 2007

Off the Job and Paris' 45 Days

I had been back in Hollyweird for less than ninety seconds when the entire city stopped. Word was out about the Paris Hilton prison sentence. She was sentenced to 45 days in the slammer for being a stupid twat. She was busted for driving with a suspended license. Paris then threw her publicist under the buss and tried to blame her help for not informing her of her legal status as she stood in front of the judge, who quickly threw the book at her. Of course Paris was made an example. The law has to bust rich folks from time to time. Paris' bartab in the last year was probably more than what the judge and prosecutor made in a single year.... combined. Oh well. Perhaps this could land her a book deal... 45 Days in the Hole by Paris Hilton.

The little tart will be serving six and a half weeks behind bars. Either she'll quickly become someone's bitch or she'll become the jailhouse celebrity and everyone there will be kissing her ass. Nicky thinks she'll get gangraped by a bunch of female gangbangers and they'll shove a broomstick up her ass. So how's that different from her usual Saturday nights?

The two week Las Vegas trip was broken down into two assignments. The Bellagio gig was seven days and the Caesar's Palace event was only three days. Nicky and I split time in between two hotels... the IP and the Excalibur aka The Castle.

Here are a couple of photos taken by BJ or Flipchip while I was at work:

At the Bellagio

At Caesar's Palace

After spending a substantial amount of time within the milieu of Las Vegas, partying and gambling as a temporary visitor is a millions times more enjoyable than living in Las Vegas for work. I understand the plight of the unfortunate souls who have to toil in resort towns or other holiday hotspots as the resentment builds against those they have to serve and be around daily... tourists.

I travel frequently and I prefer hanging out with travelers more than tourists. There's a vast difference between a traveler and tourist and if you have to ask me to clarify that gap, then I'm afraid that you're a tourist in life.

Sadly, I grew frustrated with the slew of slack-jawed tourists that flooded the Strip the past few days. It was super ugly one morning at the IP or the Imperial Palace for Inbred Peasants that I've renamed it after the scene I witnessed. It was around 9am, the nasty hour where the early risers clash with the skewed populous on the tail end of their all night benders. I headed to work at the Bellagio and had to fight my way through a dense jungle of slot machines and table games in order to clear the labyrinth of avarice.

In front of the Wheel of Fortune slots, a woman with fake nails spilling out of her jean shorts and wearing one black flip flop screamed at the top of her lungs to a hagged out waitresses wearing a one-size too large hooker pink cocktail dress circa Peggy Sue Gets Married. The accent of the smashed woman was southern, perhaps with a heavy Appalachian twang. Obviously up all night drinking, the waitress wanted no more part of her as a customer cut and her off. When she refused to give her a drink the redneck got right in her face and said, "Fuck you bitch. Where's my fuckin' Bud Light!"

The waitress walked away in the most amazing display of Buddhist tolerance and patience that I had seen in a very long time. Then again, she might not be religious, just jacked up on diazepam.

Everyone's high in Las Vegas. If you're not high, you're looking to get high. You didn't come to Las Vegas not to get off somehow. Otherwise you would have gone to see Mt. Rushmore instead.

Then there was the incident with the wasted chick who ran down the hallway at the Castle (now there's a fall from grace... just a month ago I was eating 23 Euro cheeseburgers on my terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at Le Meridien Beach Hotel in Monte Carlo. Now I was shuffling in between the Legionnaire's Disease infested IP then the magical Excalibur. Good thing I bought a wife beater t-shirt and a pack of Skoal in to blend in). She was so shitfaced that she stumbled or crashed into every door that had a Do Not Disturb Sign on it and ripped them all off. When I walked down the hall ten minutes later, dozens and dozens of torn signs cluttered the hallway.

When I did most of my gambling and poker playing, it was done off the Strip in locals casinos such as Green Valley Ranch or at Red Rock. I had two days off in between and I gambled a lot during those off days or met up with friends around town. Nicky and I also locked up an apartment in a complex I've nicknamed Del Bocca Vista. Right next door in another gated complex is where Schecky and Jen Leo are living this summer. The best part is the location... about five minutes from the Rio Casino where I will be working for two months straight.

My last day in Las Vegas featured a four hour meeting with the organization that I'm going to work with this summer to cover the WSOP. Overall, I had 11 days of work and I had very little time to gamble. I managed to bet on NBA playoff games but didn't watch most of them because I was working while them went on.

After the first week, most of my bets lost and I chased my losses by increasing the amounts of my bets. Of course when you chase a loss and lose, you find yourself in a deeper hole. I started out betting 250 a game, then 500, then 1K and eventually 2K to get unstuck. Then I got lucky and nailed four straight bets. I was down about 4.5K and ran out of cash. I had to get a wire transfer to one of the casinos since the ATM would only let me take out $600 in a single 24 hour period. That's when I knew I was in trouble. I decided that transfer to the cage would be the lastdraw. If I couldn't turn around my bad luck I was done betting on sports for good. And that's when I rode the streak towards the positive side. My first 2K bet? Won. My second one? Won again. I went from down 4.5K to down just $400 inside of six hours. Unreal. The next day I only bet $500 a game to complete the 5K swing in about 24 hours.

At that point I decided to not bet any more on sports until the NFL football season starts. I made a secret pact with myself not to bet on anything sports-related until after the World Series is over. I can do it. After all, I have not touched a donut in almost 300 days ever since I went back on My Donut Diet version 2.0.

On Thursday night, I was invited to a preview of Lucky You, a poker flick set in Las Vegas in 2003 starring Drew Barrymore, Eric Bana, and Robert Duvall. I skipped it, even though a ton of poker pros were at the red carpet and it was directed by Curtis Hanson who happened to be at the helm of some of my favorite films such as L.A. Confidential and Wonder Boys. I wanted to watch the NBA games since I had money on them. Luckily, the preview was held at a movie theatre inside a casino... at Red Rock to be exact and I was able to play poker and watch the NBA games while Nicky headed to the preview with several friends.

Not only did I win both NBA games, I also won at poker... something that had not happened since I was in Las Vegas. Actually, I played online in my hotel room a couple of times and won there! But as far as live poker went... I was down for the trip. That rush at Red Rock only cut my poker loses in half.

By the time I left Las Vegas, I turned a small profit which is significant because the last two times I was in Las Vegas... I left as a loser. This trip I packed up all my things and loaded them into the car knowing that I was skipping town as a winner. We found an apartment to live in during the summer. I was offered a lucrative job to cover the WSOP and I finally got unstuck.

The drive from Las Vegas to LA on Friday started out quick. I drove the first two hours and made great time to Barstow despite the heavy winds and sandstorms. Nicky's new car attacked those hills extremely well as we flew by trucks and I did my best to draft off of the slew of SUV's on I-15.

And as soon as we got back to the apartment, Showcase was sitting on the couch in his underwear, smoking weed, and watching the breaking news on CNN.

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