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Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

U.S. 95 will close both ways near Las Vegas Boulevard, Casino Center

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

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Next week, NDOT is closing both sides of U.S. Highway 95 between Las Vegas Boulevard and Casino Center from 11 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

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Rating: 5.00, Duration: 24 , Author: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas, Likes: 1, Dislikes: 0, source

U.S. 95 will close both ways near Las Vegas Boulevard, Casino Center

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

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Next week, NDOT is closing both sides of U.S. Highway 95 between Las Vegas Boulevard and Casino Center from 11 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

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Rating: 0.00, Duration: 1:46 , Author: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas, Likes: 0, Dislikes: 1, source

U.S. 95 will shut down between Casino Center, Las Vegas Boulevard

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

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U.S. Highway 95 will be shut down Wednesday night from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. as part of Project Neon.

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Rating: 0.00, Duration: 48 , Author: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas, Likes: 0, Dislikes: 0, source

4 People Who Beat The Casino

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

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You can be lucky and win a lot of money in a Casino through gambling or you are so talented and know a few techniques to beat the casino and to manage to beat the odds.

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You can be lucky and win a lot of money in a Casino through gambling or you are so talented and know a few techniques to beat the casino and to manage to beat the odds.

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Rating: 4.68, Duration: 12:10 , Author: World 5 List, Likes: 58, Dislikes: 4, source
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On Contact: Casino Capitalism with Natasha Dow Schüll

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the ramifications of casino culture in America with Professor Natasha Dow Schüll, author of ” Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas”. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines how gambling has become our premier form of entertainment and escape.

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Rating: 4.91, Duration: 25:57 , Author: RT America, Likes: 54, Dislikes: 1, source

Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 3 stars hotel

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino – book now
3555 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States of America
Description: This resort on the Las Vegas Strip features a Caribbean-style “GO Pool” with 21+ entertainment. The resort also offers a family-friendly Beach Club Pool, along with a spa and a 77,000-square foot casino.
Guests at Flamingo Hotel & Casino can enjoy fine steaks and seafood at Center Cut steakhouse. Hand-crafted beers and gourmet coffee are also available.
McCarran International Airport is 4.8 km from the Flamingo Casino. Guests are steps from the Las Vegas Monorail which provides transportation services to local area entertainment.
Bellagio Fountains – just 350 m away. Whether you’ve won or lost, you can still enjoy the breathtaking light and water show of these iconic fountains.
Every spacious room at the Flamingo Hotel is furnished with a desk, sitting area and entertainment center with cable TV. Each room also includes a safe.
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino boasts a state-of-the-art gym. The outdoor pool provides waterfalls, a water slide and adults-only area. The casino offers slots and table games. A wildlife habitat is also available to enjoy.
Las Vegas Strip is a great choice for travelers interested in shopping, atmosphere and nightlife.

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Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 3 stars hotel
100% Verified Reviews:
Fantastic central location. Rooms are really spacious, good bathrooms, great strip views (if you’re lucky enough to get a room on the right side and a high floor!) and super comfortable beds. Great that it’s connected to the new Linq area. (second visit to Vegas, second time at this hotel!)
I think this hotel has the best location since it is located in the center of strip , easy to go either side of the strip and have a rest and go to the other side of the strip. Beautiful view of ceasers palace as well, real live flamingos and lovely gardens and fish. Truly recommend this hotel and we look forward to staying there again.
The casino area is a little dated, and the on site food is a little uninspiring, but given the great location and wealth of nearby facilities /options, it’s not really an issue.

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Rating: 5.00, Duration: 4:46 , Author: Ljpromo Hotels Reviews, Likes: 5, Dislikes: 0, source

Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on US 93 South to Wikiup, Arizona, Rear View

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

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Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on US 93 South to Wikiup, Arizona, Rear View

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Rating: 0.00, Duration: 2:59:56 , Author: Robert Trudell, Likes: 0, Dislikes: 0, source

Las Vegas Casino Refuses To Pay Jackpot Winner Winnings Slots

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

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Casino in Las Vegas refuses to pay winnings to slots player who won a jackpot caught on film video.

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Rating: 4.10, Duration: 3:35 , Author: Ryan Brake, Likes: 41, Dislikes: 9, source

Mecca of Casinos

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Brick and Mortar Casino History

Casinos are facilities that house various gambling activities such as slot machines, poker, craps, and black jack, to name a few. When people hear the word casino, they immediately think of Las Vegas, Nevada, and rightfully so. Las Vegas is the mecca of casinos in the United States, and people travel from all over the world to vacation in “Sin City,” the party city with the slogan that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The famous Las Vegas Strip houses some of the most popular casinos such as the MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Monte Carlo. In 2009, the Las Vegas Strip generated an estimated $5.550 billion. In addition to gambling, Las Vegas offers other attractive activities such as shows and boxing matches. Currently, Cirque du Soleil is a must see for people visiting the area. The warm weather also serves as a quality, and many people visit in order to escape their cold climate and enjoy some fun in the sun.

Due to the large amount of money that is constantly being handled on the casino gaming floors, security is an extremely high priority and intense measures are taken to protect the establishment’s money, property, and patrons. Many Hollywood films such as Oceans 11 and Casino depict the dangerous plots that could serve as potential threats. Even though major heists are uncommon, more minor-scale security issues such as cheating is always a concern. Therefore, highly-trained individuals are always on the watch for suspicious behavior, and there are security surveillance cameras and law enforcement all over. In other words, do not even try it.

Although Las Vegas reigns as the casino capital in the United States, many other cities have decided to enjoy the lucrative revenue potential. Cities such as Atlantic City, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan have established their positions in the casino industry. In 2009, Atlantic City generated $3.943 billion from casinos, and Detroit generated $1.36 billion. Detroit, a city that has been experiencing major economic hardship, looked to casinos as a strategy to improve the weakened economy. As a result, three were built in downtown Detroit, which are MGM Grand Casino Detroit, Motor City Casino, and Greektown Casino. Each casino has an attached luxury hotel, offering a resort style feeling. The goal was to not only bring in revenue, but to also positively impact the unemployment rate by offering thousands of new job opportunities to its citizens. Overall, the response has been positive and people have been enjoying the new life that the casinos have brought to downtown. Also, Windsor, Canada is right across the Detroit river, and their Casino Windsor can be seen right on the border.

Many people are attracted to casinos for just an enjoyable night out with friends, but most visit them with the hopes of hitting big and walking away with huge earnings. People have a love hate relationship with casinos, and they have remained controversial for various reasons. These appealing buildings with inviting lights, entertainment, food, and the opportunity to win lots of money, have also served as a disappointment to many people who walked away empty handed. Unfortunately, there are some who experience gambling addictions and end up in major debt, even bankruptcy and foreclosure. For the most part, casinos can be a lot of fun as long as individuals are responsible when it comes to gambling and know their limit. It is important to set realistic expectations and not set yourself up for failure. There are some professional gamblers who do it for a living, but the average person needs to be cautious when it comes to gambling and not spend any more money than an average night out on the town.


Ocho – WPBT, Part 3

Monday, December 12th, 2011

By Pauly
San Francisco, CA

Several hours after the marathon, I found myself in a late-night jam session at the Monte Carlo poker room. The session musicians included Dr. Chako, Iggy, G-Rob, Otis, Marty, Poker Peaker, Bad Blood, and Drizz.

Here’s the setlist…

12/4/11 – Monte Carlo Poker Room, Las Vegas, NV

Set 1: Possum, Nougat Farm > Extra Large Aspirin > Pillow Talk, Danny England Ain’t from England, Madras > Marty Ain’t Russian > Madras “It’s a drink, it’s a rug, it’s a shirt” Jam > Marty Borrows*, Ziggy Stardust > Iggy’s Toothache > Pusherman, Otis Tries to Stand Up^ > Otis Sticks to Beer**, Aces High, Antelope

Encore: Suzy Greenberg > Madras Reprise

* Last time played 12/5/2008
^ Otis solo acoustic
** First time played

I dropped two buy-ins… one each to Otis and G-Rob. Fucking G-Rob would open by sliding a stack of redbirds over the betting line. $100 bet in a 1/3 game? Yep. It was one of those nights when the dealers loved us or hated us. Whenever a new dealer sat down in the box, everyone pre-toked the dealer at least $1, sometimes more. Whenever Otis dragged a pot, he showered the dealer with every white $1 in his newly acquired stack — which usually amounted to a tip anywhere from $8 to $10. G-Rob convinced another dealer that he not only owned a nougat farm, but that Iggy was actually former NHL stars Zigmund Palffy. To which I said, “Ziggy? He’s no Guy LaFleur.”

Oh, and we played some poker too. Biggest pot of the night? Three-way all-in on the flop. Set over set against a flush draw. Iggy’s set of Aces held up. Drizz doubled him up and Bad Blood was felted. Drizz said that if he had won that monsterpotten, then he would have had enough money for his own private lap dance for a month. I was confused on the math, then again, strippers in Minnesota must be dirt cheap. As my brother aptly said, “Strippers without teeth cost a lot less.”

* * *

Las Vegas is a city built on cliches. The biggest cliche of the weekend? Four New Yorkers eating faux-NYC-style pizza in the bowels of City Center.

I knew it was too good to be true, but a leggy model was fixated on me as she walked through Cosmo. As a rule of thumb, any woman that makes eye contact with me after Midnight in Vegas is almost always a working girl or a Mossad agent. She kept starring at me in an extremely uncomfortable manner as she got closer and closer. She passed us, stopped on a dime, and whirled around.

“Where did you get the pizza?” she asked.

My brother pointed at the unidentified hallway across from the pool table. She mumbled “thanks” and sprinted (in high heels) to the secret pizza joint that sold over-priced slices, yet was the closest attempt at NY-style pizza that I devoured in all of Las Vegas. I had heard about the secret pizza place for a few months, but had never visited it mainly because I usually do everything possible to avoid the Strip. April and Mo discovered it earlier in the trip and gave us perfect directions on how to find it. The pizza place with no name. Open til 5am. What more could you ask for?

My brother noted that four New Yorkers were chowing down on slices — the both of us, FTrain and Timtern. We had become a cliche of cliches. The pizza wasn’t even that good, but I was schwilly after a long day and night of gambling and consumption that I was thrilled to find any sort of food substance at City Center that cost under $10.

The worst part of the secret pizza excursion was the art vending machine debacle. I heard about the different vending machines in Cosmo that offered up pieces of artwork for as little as $5. I was a little schwasted when I saw F Train walk up to an old-school cigarette machine that had been refurbished to house the special art. I thought the machine was selling decks of cards with different themes. I saw “abstract oil painting” and thought a fancy deck of cards would make a nice stocking stuffer for the holidays. I pulled a $5 bill out of my pocket and jammed it into the slot. I tugged on the handle, but to my dismay, that style was sold out. I grabbed an adjacent handle — also of the “abstract” genre — and I heard a large thud. I reached into the bowels of the machine and pulled out a block of painted wood.

“What the fuck? I just got hustled by a fucking vending machine.”

The group did nothing to hide their laughter. I was the consummate Vegas veteran yet I got my ass handed to me. The machines won. Vegas won. Me? I was humiliated beyond belief. I survived seven WSOPs which amounted to seven summers of sheer torture. I wrote a book about the surviving the murky world of the poker industry, yet I could not evade the classic “Las Vegas hustle.” So, I stood in the Cosmo with a painted piece of wood as I could hear the entire choir of angels in heaven jeering me. The gambling gods have a unique sense of humor, so much so, that I owe someone a swift kick in the junk.

Hustled again by Vegas. When will I ever learn? Next year, we should move the WPBT to Reno. At least that way if I get hustled again, I could just jump in Lake Tahoe and drown myself.

* * *

Iggy told me about the drunk in the Mickey Mouse costume panhandling on the Strip while drinking liquor from a bottle. The only street people I came across was a busker on the pedestrian bridge connecting Crystals to the Cosmo. I heard a raspy, young female voice singing along to an acoustic guitar. She looked more like a neo-punk rocker than a earthy-crunchy hippie chick, and she wasn’t what you’d call… good. But, she sang out of tune and played anyway. After I ate pizza and got hustled by the old “piece-of-painted-wood-in-a-vending-machine” trick, I wanted to return to Aria and drown my sorrows at the sports book bar. I still had a few drink tickets left over. On our way back to the Aria, the same punk girl was sitting on the bridge and butchering a Tom Waits song.

“You should tip her a nug,” whispered my girlfriend.

I had some Lemon Kush in my pocket and decided to do the right thing. Pay it forward. I slowly walked in front of her. She had her eyes closed but opened them as soon as she smelled the Lemon Kush.

“Here,” I said.

She stopped playing. “Really?”

I nodded, handed her the nug, and continued along my way.

“Ohhhh. Myyyy. Gawd! So fucking awesome! Awesome!”

I heard her saw “awesome” at least four more times as we walked away. She was so stunned by the heady tip that she stopped playing, and thereby, stopped butchering the horrendous cover. Tom Waits would be proud.

* * *

Not everything in life can be summed up in a nifty narrative or setlist. So many inside jokes happened during my time in Vegas that I could write 15,000 words and yet, the situation would be funny for only a few of you. Sometimes some things are just left unsaid. We came. We saw. We conquered. But most of those things aren’t fodder for social media and arcane trip reports. My friends would lose their spouses, their houses, their jobs. Dignity? We all checked that at the door as soon as we arrived in Sin City.

With that said, here’s a random list of orphaned lines/sentences that missed the cut from the other parts of Ocho – WPBT….

– I spent a good hour talking about refs fixing basketball games with Pokah Dave and Grange95. Grange used to ref high school hoops and shared some perspective on the mentality of the game from the zebra’s eyes. It also made me sick to my stomach to think about how many more NBA games were “manipulated” over the years. If you believe that crooked ref Tim Donaghy was an “isolated incident” then there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Oh, and Dick Bavetta? I’m looking at you pal!

– So if Texas April now lives in California, and California April now lives in Maine, then who lives in Texas?

– Derek hustled G-Rob, Change100, and I at a video version of Greyhound racing. The Monte Carlo had a silly video game in which you could place bets on different virtual dogs. We realized that you didn’t have to play the game for a race to go off — so we decided to bet on each individual race that was comprised of six different dogs. You basically picked a number and shouted it for about thirty seconds before a winning greyhound was determined. That kept us entertained for about thirty minutes before we realized that Derek was winning all of our money. That inspired one of my favorite quotes from the entire weekend: “It’s hard to handicap fake dogs.”

– My second favorite quote? I don’t know who said originally said it (so please let me know, so I can give you proper attribution), but FTrain referenced the gem one late night: “If it’s after Midnight in Vegas and you’re smoking a cigarette while carrying a baby… then you’re definitely white trash.”

– This is not a WPBT note, rather a general Vegas observation, but I fucking hate it when I’m trying to grab a cab in front of a casino and a doorman asks me where I’m going. I know he’s doing it to trying to hustle a few bucks just in case I’m going to a strip club, but to hell with their intrusive antics. I once pissed off a doorman at the Rio over the summer when he asked me where I was headed. “I’m going to a new club,” I said. “It’s called None of Your Fucking Business.” In the last year or so, I have been lying to the doormen, then correcting the destination to the driver as soon as the door closes. Most Vegas cabbies actually like me more when I tell them what I did. Mr. Funk (@LVCabbieChronicles) would be pleased at how I’ve been treating nosey doormen. Hey, my destination is an intimate exchange between me and my cabbie. Everyone else can bugger off. And if growing up in NYC taught me anything, you NEVER give the driver your exact destination especially when it’s going to a residence. It’s always wise to ask to get dropped off a block away or give them an address somewhere nearby. Vegas is so large that it’s hard to get them to drop you off a block from a casino or the airport. But even then, I try to give a fake airline. “I’m flying on Blue Star airline. It’s near the JetBlue counter.”

* * *

My brother published his quarterly post, which happens to be a recap of his WPBT adventures. Derek rarely writes, but his trip report are among my favorites to read. Check out… Holiday Classic Recap: Words With Friends.

And you can also read Part 1 and Part 2 of my series titled Ocho – WPBT. Until next year, I bid you farewell…

Ocho – WPBT, Part 2

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

By Pauly
San Francisco, CA

Saturday morning. I sidestepped a German couple at the Aria and felt like the Joe Walsh song Life Is Good. On top of the world. Rested. Catching the first buzz of the day. Itching to gamble. In the previous years, I stayed up way too late raging hard on Friday night and staggered into the tournament on little to no sleep on Saturday at noon. This year I booked a room in the same casino where we played, so all I had to do was walk downstairs. Perfect scenario, especially if/when I busted early I could drop stuff off in my room, check the scores on a few games, then head back downstairs and sweat friends at the final table.

* * *

“I live in hotels, tear out the walls.”

I woke up with college basketball on my mind. I placed a few bets on the UK-UNC game, schedule to tip off at Noon EST or at the horrendous 9am hour in Vegas, so I set my alarm in order to get a bet in. The first business of the day featured a quick meeting in front of the sports book. I felt confident with a hot tip from G-Rob.

“I watched every minute of every Kentucky game,” explained G-Rob. “I watched every North Carolina game too. Seen every game both teams played. I’m telling you… Kentucky wins, covers, and the score will be low. Bet the under.”

G-Rob spoke with the sincerity of a Sunday preacher, yet his assessment on the game seemed like a well-crafted pitch from slick boiler room stockbroker. It’s hard to resist G-Rob because of his secret weapon — perfectly coiffed hair. My brother Derek always suspected he was a member of a CIA black-op mind control project to keep the sheeple under constant hypnosis. With disdainful ignorance, I heeded G-Rob’s advice and without hesitation I marched up to the window at the Aria’s sports book.

I also tailed a college football pick from the legendary Johnny Detroit and bet Southern Mississippi +13.5 against the Houston Cougars. All of the so-called experts on the boob tube were all over the #6 ranked Cougars. The public was also betting Houston heavily, but the “Wiseguys” syndicate were all over Southern Miss. I trusted their intel and tailed their pick, rather than bet on the same side as the schwill-drinking, booger-eating, “Jersey Shore”-loving dickwads bumping chests in the sports book. Sometimes,you gotta fade the public.

* * *

“They say I’m crazy, but I’m having a good time.”

The 8th Annual Winter Classic was hosted at the Aria’s poker room for a second year in a row. The staff liked the gang at the WPBT so much (and tolerated all of our peculiar quirks) that they invited us back. Phil Ivey’s high-roller’s room was idle while we played and he was nowhere to be seen. Otis spotted him in Maccau earlier in the week, but if Ivey is the Ivey I know, he’s been holed up in a nosebleed cash game with Chinese oligarchs. For the meantime, the only celebrity in the room was former L.A. Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser. Ironically, he wouldn’t be the only former big leaguer that bloggers would play cash games with someone in our crew.

Jordan pulled a few strings at and secured a fistful of cash to sweeten the team last longer side bet. Teams were comprised of three players and the best team finish wins the motherload of cash. Change100 and Derek were my teammates on Tao of Fear. I had special hats made for the occasion which incorporated Tao of Fear’s grey alien logo. The ETs live among us and have been assimilated for decades. They infiltrated the casino business as robotic-like Pai Gow dealers, surly doormen, and chefs manning omelet stations in the breakfast buffets.

WPBT OCHO – My Starting Table:
Seat 1. (EMPTY)
Seat 2. BrainMC
Seat 3. Lightning36
Seat 4. AGSweep
Seat 5. Mrs. Chako
Seat 6. Falstaff
Seat 7. Kat
Seat 8. Yestbay
Seat 10. Jess Welman

The first thing I noticed… the majority of the field was relatively sober. AlCantHang didn’t show up at the crack of dawn to force-feed Southern Comfort down the throats of a forty bloggers. In previous years, at least half the field was juiced up from pre-game cocktails or still drunk from a hell-raising bender from the night before trying to keep up with the AlCantHang Experience. Only one or two people had the zombie-like stare that you get when you stayed up all night gambling and lost all of your soul. One of them was Grubby. I was getting ready to crash around 4:30am when Grubby sent me a text wanting to degen it up. I politely declined in order to finish reading A Treatise on Money by John Maynard Keynes. In order to write a report for Tao of Fear, I plotted to crash a hedgefund mangers convention at the Venetian later that week, so I had to brush up on Keynesian economic theory in order to bullshit my way into the door.

Sorry for the tangent. Moving on…

Action progressed slowly for a blogger tournament. Aside from the lack of serious binge drinking, I suspected the field (save the few Cannucks who had access to online poker) was rusty in the wake of Black Friday. It had been almost 8 months since many of us played online poker on a regular basis. Fucking federales.

I had a copy of Gigli with me. I handed out the DVD as a joke during the first WPBT tournament at Sam’s Town in 2004. The “Bennifer” movie is so appalling that it’s a fitting departing gift for the first one out of the WPBT Winter Classic. Bill Rini took down the first Gigli, and it’s become a tradition ever since. Unlike the posh “Hammer” trophy that Iggy spends big bucks to present to the winner, I paid next to nothing for the Gigli DVD. It cost $0.01 on Amazon. Serious. A fucking penny. It cost $3 to ship, though. Therein lies the hustle.

No one busted out in the first two levels. Yestbay came close in the first orbit when his Aces were snapped off by Mrs. Chako’s set. He somehow managed not to go broke, but he found himself on life support. Mrs. Chako embarked on a heater and jumped out to an early lead in the opening level. She was a set monster and vacuumed up chips from everyone at my table. I evaded one of her traps when she flopped a set of 7s against my pocket 10s.

Once the third level began, I wondered when someone would bust. We had eight tables with only a couple of “shorties” including Shane Nickerson. That’s when PokerVixen wandered over to collect her boobie prize. Even though she was wearing a Micros’ “run good” t-shirt, she was jinxed because she had just given up her citizenship to that weird land to the north of us… “Canadia”… where its citizens interject the letter “u” into random words and also attempts to pass off “ham” as bacon.

I took out Yestbay and collected one of my favorite bounties to date — a YES greatest hits CD. I was always above average, but I misplayed a couple of hands. I blame Jess Welman’s radiance for my live “misclicks.” I exposed my hand twice when action was still going. One time it cost me a chance to double up against Jess. And the other? It didn’t matter because I ran into a cooler.

OhCaptain moved to my table after Yestbay busted. I only sat with him for a few hands before I got involved in a hand that marked my demise. Kat open-shoved. OhCaptain raised all-in. I had both him and Kat covered and I called with Kings. I think Kat held A-Q, but OhCaptain tabled Aces. Fuck me. Kings into Aces. Crippled. Two hands later I moved all in with 8d-7d. Jess Welman busted me and won my bounty — an autographed copy of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.

The funniest moment of the tournament occurred after a Grubby moved to our table. He had pounded Kettle and cranberry drinks for a few levels and was a little tipsy when he got to our table. On his elimination hand, he got it all-in against Jess. She busted him and Grubby stumbled over to shake her hand.

“Where’s my bounty?” he blurted out.

A perplexed Jess smirked. “Wait, a second,” she hollered, “where the heck is MY bounty?”

It took a few seconds before Grubby noticed his error. He apologized and said he had forgotten his bounty in his hotel room that he hadn’t seen in days because he had been up for a couple of days chasing the progressive jackpot on Rockin’ Olives slots at the Bellagio.

I was the first member of Tao of Fear to bust, but Derek and Change100 were knocked out in the next level. Our team was dunzo. At that point, I went to the bar and grabbed some grub before returning to the final table to sweat the action. I had just missed AlCantHang and Otis’ elimination hands. With three to go, it was down to Timtern, Melissa Hayden, and quiet random guy that we later found out was Chilly’s friend from St. Louis who had never played a live poker tournament before. Figures. Murphy’s Law, right?

Timtern busted in third place and Melissa was heads-up against the random guy. She took him down to win the WPBT Winter Classic, and more importantly the trophy. She didn’t really care about the money; rather, she really really wanted the trophy. Congrats!

* * *

“I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime.”

After eight hours in the poker room followed up by an hour or so at the bar drinking overpriced beers, the time hath come to go slumming at the Imperial Palace. The IP used to be home base, but we opted to spend a few extra bucks and stay at the Aria this year and not worry about contracting Legionnaires Disease.

“It smells like socks and hairspray in there,” said Joe Speaker as he took a long drag off a cigarette. He stood outside getting some fresh air because the IP was its usual zoo for a Saturday night. Dealertainers that were bad dopplegangers for Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift belted out popular songs. Bloggers milled around the pits and rubbed elbows with Budweiser slurping cowboys, hipsters dressed like cowboys, and meth-addled hookers dressed like David Bowie. AlCantHang held court at the Geisha Bar and kept the tab running. I stood around for about an hour saying nothing but just watching people, mostly of the Whiskey Tang variety. You learn a lot about humanity on a Saturday night in Vegas. You don’t wander inside the IP unless you’re looking for a cheap thrill. Hunter said it… buy a ticket, take the ride.

The IP was as low-brow as you can go for the Strip. The simplicity of the cheap thrill irked me. Maybe it was the putrid odor? JoeSpeaker was right. The IP reeked of sweaty socks and hairspray.

I bailed as soon as came to my senses. Playing heads-up middle-stakes Pai Gow at the swanky Aria seemed a thousand times more appealing. I didn’t care if they the pit boss sent out a dealer who was a bot or alien. I just wanted to flee the IP before the rash on my forearm spread to other parts of my body.

“It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door.”

I gazed out the window of our 34th floor hotel room. The Palms was visible in the near distance.

“That’s where Otis and Jose Canseco are,” muttered Derek. He referenced the insane cash game that a few of the G-Vegas boys found themselves playing against Jose Canseco. The word “worst player” was a popular phrase used to describe the former baseball player. I only wished I jumped in a cab to the Palms instead of trying to go slumming with cowboys and hookers at the IP. I missed my opportunity at free money and lost a shot at padding my bankroll with steroid-induced Canseco bucks.

Sunday morning. A new day. I had finally gotten back on track at the sports book after a profitable Saturday. Kentucky only won by one and failed to cover 6, but I won the rest of my bets, including So. Miss upsetting Houston to win outright and cover. After a dismal start to the trip, I finish Saturday with a decent profit. I was pumped to make some more bets and hit up the sports book first thing on Sunday morning. The lines were already wrapped around the wall. I got word that the Wiseguys were betting Carolina big all over town. Carolina, led by Cam Newtown, was originally a 2.5-point underdog but once word got out that Tampa Bay’s QB Josh Freeman was sitting out, the line jumped to Carolina -1.5. I bet Carolina along with New Orleans, the Jets, the Pats, and Atlanta. I had a few other teasers, but those were not as important as my monstrous bet on the Pats laying 20.5 against the winless Indianapolis Colts. When I showed F Train the ticket, he shook his head then pointed at his crotch and uttered, “Huevos.”

“Si. Mucho grande huevos.”

The rest of my friends thought I was crazy. Crazy? Maybe. Stupid? Definitely. Last year, I told Dawn Summers to bet her final table winnings on the Pats. She didn’t listen to me and missed a chance to turn $1,500 into $3,000. This year, I was riding the Pats again. My blind faith in Tom Brady and Bill Bellichek became my downfall. I’ll spare you the bad beat story, but New England had the game covered going into the 4th quarter before all hell broke loose and they blew a three touchdown lead. I lost my big bet and was scrambling the rest of the day to try to get unstuck. I whiffed on Atlanta and lost an impulse bet on the Cowboys. The Jets won and when I cashed that ticket, I let it ride on the Saints. I doubled down on the Sunday Night Football game hoping it would help cover the day’s losses.

We watched the game inside the Skybox sports bar adjacent to the sports book. The staff had no clue what to expect from our group which bum rushed them as soon as the doors opened. I greased the staff and the found us a nice spot in the corner. Jordan secured $1,000 from Pokerist to fund the Sunday debauchery. $1,000 lasted just under an hour before we had to start paying for stuff by ourselves.

The highlight of the day was the intricate cake that Pokerist surprised us with. The cake cost $500 and took up the entire table. Classy. The cake tasted good and it was the only thing I actually enjoyed on Sunday while sweating the games. Losing the big Pats bet put me in a bad mood and nearly killed my spirit. The cake helped me rally and I was ready for the next item on our agenda… the half-marathon.

* * *

“Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through.”

The plan was simple… sweat the first half of the SNF game at Mandalay Bay, then cheer on our friends at the finish line of the half-marathon. It didn’t occur to me the logistical nightmare of hosting a 44,000 person race. Mandalay Bay was packed but sort of looked like a refugee center. Friends and family of the runners were scattered throughout the casino as they tried to stay warm.

Heather and April found a spot in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd near the front of Mandalay Bay. About 15-20 of us stood and watched random runners jog by us. Derek hung over the rail and smoked a cigarette, while StB pounded a beer. It would have been a perfect spot to burn down a doobie, but there was an undercover police car nearby.

In order to keep warm, I blurted out random things to runners as they passed us. I can’t recall most of what I said, but all I know was that by that point of the night, I was roasted, faded, and drunk. Grange95 had a few pops in him and he kept the chatter lighthearted. The guy in the Borat costume passed us and all he wore was a green thong. Many other runners took the opportunity to don superhero costumes, wear pink tutus, and dress up like Elvis (or is it Elvi?).

Mrs. Otis posted Otis’ split times on facebook. We got word he was a couple of miles away. I told everyone it was a perfect time to practice our chant, so we belted out “O-tis! O-tis! O-tis!” We were loud and in tune. All we had to do was wait.

I spotted Poker Peaker whizzing by. At first I didn’t think it was him until I recognized the Colorado flag symbol on his running shirt. He posted the fastest time out of the group. Bad Blood flew by us not much longer and barely looked like he had broken a sweat. We wondered about Chako, Mattazuma, G-Rob, Curtis, and of course Otis.

We almost missed Otis. I knew he was wearing a green fluorescent shirt and we had an approximate time he’d be near us, but that was it. Luckily, he came to us when he spotted Grange or Drizz’s head on the rail. He snuck up on us with a flyby and we hesitated a few seconds before everyone belted out the chant.

“O-tis! O-tis! O-tis! Oooo-tis!”

He ran for a few seconds than thrust his arms in the air forming a fluorescent green V. It’s something I’ll never forget. The V. Otis had been through hell the previous week, yet that did not deter him from completing a task he set out to do. After 13 exhausting miles, he neared the finish line — something both tangible and personal. His resplendent V piercing through the dark, freezing night is one of the most inspiring symbols I had ever seen in Las Vegas.

“Life’s been good to me so far.”

To be continued…

Ocho – WPBT, Part 1

Friday, December 9th, 2011

By Pauly
San Francisco, CA


It’s hard to believe we’ve been emissaries for eight years. The WPBT’s annual Winter Gathering thrives even in the wake of online poker prohibition. Black Friday did not deter an eclectic group of a hundred or so people from descending upon Las Vegas for a weekend of lurid debauchery.

The WPBT began as a bad inside joke like a half-baked Saturday Night Live sketch that morphed into a global phenomena and yearly pilgrimage. In his next book, Malcolm Gladwell should write about the compelling story of how an innocuous weekend in Las Vegas became a sanctuary for an unusual group of people, which originated from a couple of potheads from the Bronx and two cynical brothers from Michigan. For as long as I can remember, I flew from NYC to Las Vegas twice a year with my brother to occupy the sportsbook for a couple of days (March Madness in the Spring and another sojourn at the end of the year to bet on football). Our trip in 2004 was enticing to our friends, BG and Bobby Bracelet (back before he was even given the “Bracelet” moniker by my brother), and they instantly joined in the fun. Once the peanut gallery found out, the trip ballooned to over 30 poker enthusiasts.

When I (loosely) organized the first Winter Classic with the Poker Prof, we thought it was going to be just a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet virtual friends, many of whom we had never met before. The first trip was a whim for many of the participants involved, yet the first gathering spawned a yearly pilgrimage. The group grew. Fast. Infectious. Huge. Then things got out of control as it became a flash mob of several hundred, inebriated degenerates clashing with cowboys on the Strip.

Eight years later, the weekend still exists which is a testament to the people involved. The original weekend in 2004 was never about online poker, gambling or a pissing match — rather it was a whimsical leap of faith in an attempt to nurture a sincere, yet genuine connection that we all made through the virtual world with online poker as our portal. Many of us originally booked their flights because we were seeking out a shared visceral experience in Sin City. The rest is history.

The inaugural WPBT gathering occurred right smack in the middle of the glorious poker boom during the halcyon days of “blogs” before Facebook and Twitter hijacked the social media cloud. From the outset, we were a rag-tag bunch of geeky writers and online poker addicts, which is why the Big Business vultures were circling around our gatherings. They dispatched savvy marketing agents and seized the weekend as an opportunity to bribe the poker blogging community. Any publicity is publicity. Simply put, the slithery tentacles of the poker industry octopus would hand out free shit with hopes that we’d write about it (and link it up) on our blogs. Fair enough.

Everyone loves two things: kittens and free shit. Alas, handing out furry adorable felines inside a poker room seems a little weird, even by Vegas standards, but the rest of the free stuff was welcomed. Over the last eight years, major online poker rooms competed with each other to get the attention of the WPBT. Some marketing ploys succeeded. Some definitely missed. Some of the online rooms outright exploited us. Maybe it wasn’t a fair deal for everyone involved, but in the end we all had a good time and acquired some free shit. Let’s not forget the last-longer pots were sweetened and the liquored flowed, while the industry unloaded tons of free trinkets (made in China, of course) like decks of playing cards, card cappers, t-shirts, and hats.

The annual weekend had become an orgy of consumption, yet this year took a slightly healthier bent when a small group of friends decided they wanted to run the Las Vegas half-marathon. If you haven’t heard, the race was plagued with logistical issues and it’s remarkable that everyone finished despite the clusterfuck. Regardless, the race was the perfect example of the quirkiness of our group — from the runners in the half-marathon to the bunch of us screaming like banshees near the finish line.


We’ve done this eight times. Nothing can top the first one, but the eighth one will always stand out.

* * *

I arrived Friday and was already stuck. I asked StB to put a bet down on a college basketball game on Thursday. It lost. Even though the game was not on TV (nor could I find it online), I was sweating the score via my CrackBerry while seeing the film J. Edgar with Change100 at a theatre around the corner from our apartment in San Francisco. The movie was so boring that I refreshed the score every few minutes. I didn’t even get to the airport and I was already down. That was an ominous sign that the gambling gods were going to fuck with me all weekend.

I departed San Francisco on Friday morning and ran into Katitude at the airport, which was odd because she’s Canadian and supposed to be flying from Toronto to Vegas, yet she had a random layover in SFO. Even more weird? She was on my same flight. SFO > LAS.

I checked into Aria and had a Jerry Seinfeld moment at the front desk because of the reservation snafu. I found paid StB slamming Widmer at the bar in front of the sportsbook and I paid my debt. We went inside and studied the lines for upcoming games. I scanned the different screens back and forth when my brother piped up, “What the fuck is Lingerie Football?”

StB checked his iPhone and discovered the Lingerie League was a legit league with 12 teams of women playing football in pads and… lingerie. It’s the kind of sports entertainment that strikes an angry nerve with feminists and even makes sport purists squirm. Even with a competitive angle, Lingerie Football is classic Americana Whiskey Tango Entertainment. Heck, it’s nearly soft core porn which is why it only appeared on PPV. Even if we bet on the game, we couldn’t watch it. What’s the point to betting on something you can’t watch? You have no sweat equity.

Fantasy versus the Crush. The Fantasy were the favorite and laying 8.5 points. I had no clue if that was good, or not. I couldn’t even tell you the cities the teams were from. In case you were wondering — Cleveland and Orlando. But which one was the Fantasy?

We bet on it anyway. Our first impulsive degen moment of the weekend. Five minutes before kickoff, we stood in front of the sportsbook and pooled our money — Derek, Chilly, Iggy, StB, Maudie and myself. StB walked up to the window. My only regret was that we didn’t bet more.

StB sprinted to the window and tried to joke around with a humorless woman in a Jim Kelly Buffalo Bill’s jersey. She took our bet on the Limgerie Football game, but didn’t care for our shtick. Too bad she wasn’t working when we cashed our winning ticket, because StB would’ve rubbed it in. Bad.

Our career as a Lingerie Football betting syndicate was short-lived. No other games were scheduled while we were in town, so we’d have to disband the group indefinitely. At least we turned a profit. In fact, Lingerie Football was the only bet I’d win on Thursday or Friday. I was mired in a slump after whiffing on a college hoops game (I tried to fade the Ivy League and took Loyola Marymount -9 against Columbia) and a college football game. In a Six Degrees of Separation moment, Chilly randomly mentioned that he knew the head coach of the team I had bet on.

“What the fuck, Chilly? Why didn’t you tell me? Send him a text and tell him he better score lots of points.”

Around Midnight, Chilly hustled me in a prop bet — how many of his toes were painted with nail polish? He gave me 7-1 odds and I instantly bombarded him with questions. After I extracted some answers, I barked out: three. I was wrong as he took off his shoes and socks to settle the bet, much to the delight of the eye in the sky. Chilly revealed his toes, which normally would horrify most sane people, yet the Friday night crowd was distracted with the edifice of Elvis — a bust near the entrance to Viva Elvis, his new Cirque du Soleil show. A steady flow of tourists stopped in front of the bust all night and snapped photos with the bronzed statue of Elvis’ head. A pack of soused cougars took turns molesting and making out with the head, but that all that sexual frisson overshadowed a semi-circle of shit-faced degens standing around Chilly as he wiggled his toes.

Whenever someone new showed up at the bar, Chilly attempted to run the same hustle. We didn’t get busted so I suspect whoever was watching the eye in the sky was a foot fetishist and/or had a thing for portly bald guys.

To be continued…

Las Vegas Circa 1962

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Thanks to the gang at LasVegasVegas for pointing out this video of Las Vegas recorded almost 50 years ago. Sin City sure had changed since then…

Las Vegas 1962 from Jeff Altman on Vimeo.

Wo trifft man Daniel Negreanu? In Las Vegas.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Wenn die Stimme versagt und der Hals rau ist

Wo trifft man Daniel Negreanu? In Las Vegas, Kanada, Monte Carlo …und wo noch?
Ganz klar, in der Weltpokerstadt Saalbach-Hinterglemm. Ja, ihr lest ganz richtig. In einem verschlafenen Nest in den österreichischen Bergen.

Ich habe mein großes Pokervorbild zwischen den anderen Teilnehmern der EPT entdeckt und konnte es erst gar nicht glauben. Einmal Augen reiben, aber es war so: Daniel Negreanu saß völlig entspannt am Pokertisch. Michael Keiner war so nett, uns vorzustellen. Wir haben dann kurz miteinander gesprochen und zugegeben, ich war unendlich nervös! Daniel ist übrigends wirklich so nett und freundlich wie man ihn aus dem TV kennt. Sehr viel kam mir leider nicht über die Lippen. Total untypisch. Dad sagte mal: „Mädchen, wenn du irgendwann stirbst, muss man dir den Mund extra tothauen“. Aber mein puterrotes Gesicht war ein offensichtlicher Teil der Freude und nach ein paar Witzeleien kehrte die Stimme zurück.

Einmal cool sein, nur einmal! Das muss ich wohl noch üben.

Habt ihr schonmal euer Pokervorbild getroffen? Schreibt mir doch wer es ist und wo ihr ihn/sie getroffen habt. Zum Pokertisch bei Betsson.