Well, I really want to write this, but we still have unpacking to do (the move is like ten blog posts by itself), and it’s really starting to be faint, so I’m going to summarize as best as I can. Jon, please chime in in the comments.
As Jon and I were leaving the Monte Carlo, I hear from Gary, a friend of mine from that job I did a few years ago that never went anywhere. He got us tickets to a comedy hypnosis show for later that night. Somehow, I had booked a New York evening in Las Vegas - three happenings in three locations on the strip, all sort of closely timed. There would be some hustling. . .
Jon and I headed over to the Gambler’s General Store - a quick drive - which was just amazing. Filled with a zillion decks of cards and a zillion poker books and bingo supplies and beautiful old slot machines and giant hold ‘em tables and dice and trinkets. . . Jon looked for some new decks of cards, and I just wandered around grinning at everything. They gave us some swag for free as we left, including a card cover which I’m still carrying around with me.
After a quick pit stop for food (more sandwiches, which unfortunately took a lot longer to make than they should have) we hit the Pinball Hall of Fame. If the General Store had me grinning, the Hall of Fame had me bouncing off the walls. Every single machine I ever loved to play was there. I could have spent hours there just playing Twilight Zone alone. But I had to make it to one friend’s little show before the hypnosis show, so my time there was super short. The only thing I played was this, the trippiest pinball machine I’ve ever seen.
Jon drove me to my next stop, Margaritaville, where my old friend Scott, who I probably hadn’t seen in twenty years, was in the show - dancing on stilts, and flirting with the Buffet Virgin, who takes a slide down the volcano into, what else, a giant margarita. Scott was great on the stilts and everyone really liked his character. It was great to see him, even if just for a few minutes. Scott has an awesome four page spread in Magic magazine - I picked up a copy on the way over to meet Gary.
Gary was splashing around at a poker table - just like old times! His lovely wife Nikki was home with their kid, so it was boys night out - we decided that he’d come back with me after the show and play at the Monte Carlo and teach me a thing or two. (Also just like old times!) As Gary and Nikki knew one of the comedian/hypnotizers, we got comp tickets to the show, the Naughty Boys Comedy Hypnosis show. We got drinks, got warmed up by the opening act, a funny sardonic magician named Josh, and then, the hypnosis. Gary tried to get me to go up there, but being really tired and not wanting to be fucked with, I politely declined. Gary’s subterfuge backfired, as he got brought up on stage instead, but he was soon released as it was obvious he wasn’t going to go under. Out of ten people, eight went into a trance, as well as a few people from the audience as well. The show was very funny and very raunchy.
We headed back to the Monte Carlo, where eventually I was to meet one more friend, Jeff, who was working a concert that night (he is a fantastic lighting designer/technical advisor). Gary and I sat down at a poker table together, where he proceeded to get tanked and completely RULE the table - brilliantly reading people, getting under people’s skin just enough (although at one point maybe too much, as the dealer asked him to tone it back a little), and running like a god. I stayed out of his way, and waited until I could nail the drunk redneck at the table who had been razzing me for being from New York (lucky he didn’t find out I was Jewish and a metrosexual!), which I eventually did - catching a set and check raising him, then pushing when his flush draw didn’t hit on the turn. Jeff showed up super late, so we bullshitted for a little while while playing “50 draw video poker” which I found pretty fun. He had to head back to the venue at 2:00 am, I went back and splashed around a little more until the table broke when the redneck started throwing slurs around. Gary was up at least $300, and I was up maybe $20 or so, but I still hadn’t had a losing session, which to me was pretty amazing.
Sunday: My flight was at 2:00 pm, so we figured I should leave around 12:45 from the hotel, giving me time for one more session. The only hand of note, and perhaps the hand I played the worse, was when I called someone’s preflop reraise, flop bet, and turn all in with pocket jacks, because I just couldn’t be sure I wasn’t ahead. It turned out he had the other pair of jacks, so we split the pot. I left up another $30 or so, never having had a losing session. Some good play, but mostly sheer luck.
There was NO ONE at the airport - it was really weird - I breezed through the ticket line and security. I could have played for another half hour at least.
We’re hoping to go back to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday - a scant year and a half away. . . PSB will go to Burning Man and I will watch the rugrat, then we’ll all meet in Vegas, hopefully with my parents and a brother or two and any other friends who might want to make it, and PSB will keep the kid while I drown myself in debauchery. . . until then, Sin City.