Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Full Tilt Drunkeness

Daniel Negreanu, two Irish guys, and I were the last people to leave a trendy Las Vegas nightclub. It sounds like a punchline to a joke, but it's not. It's my life, man.

Suffice to say, I had a great time tonight. I'm doing a little drunk blogging because I wanted everyone to know that I'm not always haunted by the dark side of Las Vegas. After five weeks of hardcore writing and blogging, I finally had a blast tonight at the Full Tilt party held at Le Bete in the Wynn casino. I have only been to the Wynn once before with Derek, and I expected La Bete to be up on the roof. It was located downstairs in the basement at the base of a waterfall. I was impressed.

Michele, the lovely PR rep at Full Tilt invited me to the party weeks ago. I made sure I got the Poker Prof on the invite list. We headed over to La Bete around 9:45. He wanted to shmooze with the big wigs, for business purposes of course. I was there for one thing only: abuse the free booze offered by Full Tilt. In fact, the majority of my liquor consumption at the World Series of Poker has been funded by Full Tilt, either from the hospitality suite or at said party. I had no less than seven Southern Comforts on the rocks. All of them were doubles except the one I got that was at least four shots worth. Al Cant Hang would have been proud.

I didn't go there to meet poker pros. Been there. Done that. I was there to get shitfaced and hang out with the other members of the media that I befriended, including the only poker pro that I hung out with Shirley from Poker Babes. The Poker Prof had been busting his ass the last five weeks (and beyond) so he needed a night on the town. We let him out of his bunker in an undisclosed location in the Nevada desert near Area 51 so he could attend the gala event.

The night club was downstairs. I shaved and got all dressed up and fit into the category of L.A. Chic. We had to get the clearance from the "lady with the list" out front before we were let through the ropes. Three guys the size of NFL linemen carefully guarded the ropes. As soon as we got the go ahead, they let us right through. The stairwell led down into a square room with marble floors. We walked through two small hallways draped in red Italian silk. We finally entered the club and right in front was the dance floor a half a level below. To the right and left were bars. I was surprised to see that La Bete had some decent lighting and the music was manageable enough so you could talk without having to yell. Most clubs are poorly lit and and have the techno cranked up to the highest levels. The first thing I did was hit the bar. The open bar. My new friend.

I found Jay Greenspan at the bar. Where else do writers hang out? I grabbed drinks for me and the Poker Prof before I wandered down to the dance floor level where people were mingling. I saw that they had Full Tilt jerseys that the were going to auction off along with a poker table signed by all the pros. To the right was where the poker tournament was being held. I bummed into Foiled Coup (aka Steve Hall) and Heather from Poker Wire right away and BJ wandered by soon after. Then I found Shirley and Amy Calistri. Soon after John from Poker News and Jen Leo arrived, while Jen from Poker Wire happily showed off her brand new pink Manalo Bahlik's, which she paid for using some of her WSOP winnings after her cash in the Razz event. Eventually Sherry, Daryn, and Dan from Pokerati and his boys from Dallas filed in. All the ladies looked stunning and sensational in their swanky cocktail dresses. I made sure I individually complimented them on their choice of shoes. Note to guys: always tell the ladies that you like their shoes. Trust me on that one. Andy Bloch wore the coolest shirt by far.

I drank steadily and watched Shirley get pictures with Marcel Luske, Phil Laak, and Jen Tilly. Jen Leo told me about the outside portion of the club where you could see the waterfalls. I met one of the editors at Bluff Magazine and did some palm pressing and ass kissing. Jen Leo introduced me to Phil Gordon's PR people and I chatted with them for a few minutes and they made me promise that I'd go to Phil Gordon's birthday thingy at the Palms, which starts in 8 hours! I found NYC Poker Babe and also ran into those two hot girls who invited me to that film screening. I figured they wouldn't remember me but they came right over and busted me for not showing up. Yeah, I blew them off to write two freelance articles. They said that someone from a local Fox affiliate showed up to cover the event. They thanked me for having that done. I told them that it was the least I could do for not showing up. I lied. They bought my bluff.

Here were the pros I spotted: Nergreanu, Andy Bloch, Max Pescatori, Jesus, David Singer, Jen Harman, Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, Clonie Gowen, Karina Jett, Paul Darden, Gavin Smith, Matt Matros, Marcel Luske, Phil Laak, Layne Flack, Erick Lindgren, Antonio Esfiandari, Josh Arieh, David Williams, and Russell Rosenbloom.

La Bete had some good food. The chocolate mousse was exquisite, which was served in an oversized martini glass. I also had macaroni & cheese & ham in a martini glass. And the best was the beef stew with mashed potatoes served in a martini glass. Kind weird, right? Shirley was great because she kept fetching me drinks at the bar.

I didn't see too many really wasted wasted, but I sure as hell did a bang up job there. Jen Harman was super tipsy and at one point she was held up by David Singer and Lindgren. I have a great Jen Harman story that I won't blog and I'll save for my Las Vegas book. Y'all have to wait a year to read all about it. It was just too hysterical.

We spent most of the party outside near the waterfall. I chatted with David Williams briefly for a few minutes and told me to head over to Pure afterwards for the second leg of the night's festivities. I finally bumped into the two Irish bloogers, Tom and Mike "Lucky Blind" from They were chain smoking and drinking heavily. My kind of guys. Great to finally meet them and we started to get rowdy. Mike ran inside and got Daniel Negreanu to join into the outdoor blogger festival.

We all took pictures like drunken idiots while Negreanu swigged on his Heineken and cracked jokes. Dan and I got some cool audio stuff from Negreanu. Yeah Cinci Sean is gonna love next week's golden nugget... a drunken interview with Negreanu at 1am. It started out serious and then trailed off into something hilarious. I won't spoil the surprise, but you'll have to stop by the Lord Admiral Card Club poker podcast next week to hear it. Priceless. Dan and I both had out our recorders. Poker Prof grabbed Phil Gordon and he ran outside for some more drunken photos and he began his own podcast. We all wished him a happy birthday.

The next thing I realized, it was 2am and the staff was kicking us out. I thought Las Vegas nightclubs were open until sun up? I guess Full Tilt only had the place for five hours. As we wandered out, I realized that the Poker Prof and I were the last ones to leave the party, along with the Poker Wire girls, Andy Bloch, Daniel Negreanu, Dan, and the two Irish guys.

Here are some random photos:

Sherry & Dan

Amy, Jen Leo, and Foiled Coup

The Poker Wire Gals

Poker Prof and his harem

Happy birthday Phil!

More photos to come after I get them fromt he rest of the crew. Just another night in Las Vegas. The media event starts tomorrow at 5pm. I'm seated at the same tale as the Poker Prof and Otis. Watch out for falling Hammers!

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