Sunday, July 5th, 2009, 12:52 am
I’m not a club guy. It’s not my scene. Some people come to Vegas and spend the entire time waiting in line outside the trendiest hotspots on the Strip so they can dance the night away. Not my thing. First of all, I dance like Frankenstein after a double hip replacement. For me to get down/get funky I gotta be totally wasted. Totally. And while that’s fun and all, it also means that I’ll be blowing chunks all the next day. Not good when I know I gotta get to the Rio by 11AM to lock up my seat and get to work.
So how to explain that I’ve spent three of the last five nights in clubs? The answer is actually quite simple–it was for work. Some nights I gotta watch poker until the dawn; some nights I gotta go out and watch scantily-clad women gyrate for my amusement. And I’m the sort who believes in fulfilling all my professional obligations.
So first I went to the party UB threw at the MGM’s Studio 54. I went there to see my various bosses and co-workers and, heh heh, hope that they remember who the hell I am. I was told that there would be no need for me to “cover” the party as I do in Aruba, as they’d hired a professional photographer to shoot the fun and I could have a day off. Nice to enjoy the party without carrying my gear but after taking so many pictures during the Series I’d was hoping they’d WANT me to bring my camera. Instead me and Al and Jen and a rotating cast of characters hit the open bar and watched the various acrobatic performers spinning and twirling above the dance floor. But I brought my point-and-shoot along and took some pics. Most of these outfits were painted on. Most:
It being dark in the club and the flash on most point-and-shoots pretty wimpy I had to do some fiddling to make something of a few pics:
I talked to some people I hadn’t seen since Aruba, chatted up a few of our players, and by 2AM I ducked out the door and headed back to the room. Knew I couldn’t drink too much because I had to cover a boxing match between UltimateBet’s Liv Boeree and PokerNews’ Melissa Castello. You’ve probably noticed that those are female names and, yes, this would be a bout between two women. Liv is like the coolest chick you’ve ever met (I haven’t taken a bad picture of her all Series) and I’ve worked with Melissa both in Vegas and Argentina and she’s not somebody I’d want to randomly piss off. I wasn’t looking forward to watching them throw haymakers at each other but the fight was actually entertaining. They both got a bit of professional training, they wore regulations gloves and headgear, there were three professional judges to determine the winner…it was quite serious.
Liv won in a unanimous decision, and it was a pretty competitive and compelling event. I’ve never wanted to get hit in the face less in my life.
But I think I get ahead of myself. The fight was two days after the UB party–the night before I was at the Hooker Bar with Al and Otis sipping a Heineken and discussing the Meaning of Life when we got texts from F-Train that Drizz and Carol had made the final table at the Omaha/8 event down at Binions. And those two troublemakers wanted to zip down there and sweat them. Now, this seemed like a really bad idea. It was 2AM, and I was weary. Plus there was the chance that they’d both be out before we got there or, worse, we’d cooler them and be the reason they lost. But strange as it may sound I’ve never been to Binion’s in all my time in Vegas and a pilgrimage to poker’s Holy Land is something I had on my agenda this year. “Ah, shit,” I said as I hoisted my bag and followed them to the cab stand.
We got there just as Carol got knocked out and we watched Drizz battle for the win. Actually, we were more watching (and listening) to the apeshit guy at their table and his totally batshit wife on the rail. When we got there the guy was serving a four-round penalty (a killer in a shorthanded game with huge blinds) because he refused to shut up. Drizz said the guy had been going on like that for four hours, non-stop barking and crying and complaining and angle-shooting. And his wife was worse. She wore this bright blue floral-print dress and had all these papers stuffed in a FedEx envelope that she clutched to her chest. She walked by us on the rail one time and she slammed into me and stuck her elbow in my ribs. At one point her husband was screaming for the floor (who was sitting right there) to penalize a guy who said he’d “check a hand down”, and when the floor guy said he hadn’t heard that the wife screamed “Security! The floor has lost control of the table, security!!” It was maybe the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in poker. Worse than Hellmuth and Matusow.
The crazy guy wouldn’t make a deal even though the stacks were so short that it was a total crapshoot. And then he lost a pot which left him in dire straits and in the big blind, so he relented and they discussed a chop. Drizz got a pretty good deal and a nice chunk of change, along with a bottle of Captain Morgan that Otis picked up at shop up Fremont Street:
That begat more drinking, and then a trip to the Gold Coast, where we played Pai Gow until brunch. Things went poorly for me–very poorly. In fact it might’ve been The Great Pai Gow Massacre II, but Otis and Drizz both made straight flushes and Al made quads and as I was playing the fortune bonus I got a little cash for their good luck. And then I won the last hand I played and that made my losses far more manageable. I haven’t lost as much gambling this year as I did last year, but it’s been a struggle. It’s been a struggle.
OK, maybe a pause here and write about the rest of my exhausting week tomorrow. Just remembering all these late nights drags me down. Play ends for the night in a half-hour, I think this might be one night where I turn in early. Or maybe have one beer. One. Maybe two.
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