Las Vegas, NV
I spotted the mob that congregated in front of the business center.
Cameras. People. Buzz. And we weren't even inside the casino or in the Amazon Ballroom.
Random pros like Mike Sexton and Kathy Liebert mingled in the hallway. I recognized media director Nolan Dalla and made a beeline for him as he stood behind Doyle Brunson, who slumped in his scooter. An ESPN camera crew and several photographers snapped photos of Amarillo Slim on a different scooter. A couple of Harrah's interns held back the surging and curious crowd. The citizen journalists took out their cell phone cameras and snapped away.
I looked down the hall and noticed a series of orange cones in the rotunda.
"They have to go around the cones twice," said Nolan.
That's when I realized that I stumbled into... scooter races between Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.
Senior citizen degens. Sometimes, I fuckin' love Las Vegas.
Slim has been lurking around the last few days in green cowboy boots and played in the Champions Invitational but did not make the final table. There was a time when Slim was exiled from the poker community over the last few years, but all of that seems to be water under the bridge. He was received with open arms.
Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim were racing for for anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000. I keep hearing different rumors. Anyway, they raced individually. Slim was set to go first and practiced starts as the camera crew got into position.
"Slim's scooter is much faster," said Nolan. "Plus Doyle is much heavier. Slim is gonna win. Do you know anyone who would want action against us?"
"Michalski?" I blurted out.
Slim took off and sped down the hallway as he made whipping motion, like a jockey whipping a horse. The crowd laughed as slim headed towards the rotunda. Slim circled the cones twice and chugged towards the finish line.
"50.28 seconds," shouted one of the ESN producers who timed Slim's performance.
Brunson was up next. "No way he breaks a minute," I said to Nolan.
Brunson flashed his trademarked smile and took off. He circled the cones with ease but the last stretch was up hill. Doyle's weight (about 300? 320?) slowed him down and he lost several valuable seconds on the final stretch. Doyle reached the finish line at 55 seconds on the nose. Slim won by less than five seconds. Seth said that he had Slim and was giving four seconds. Nice catch, sir.
Jack Binion congratulated Slim for winning the race and the undisclosed amount of money.
By the way, I'm a little bummed out because I always wanted to take on Otis in Scooter races. Starting at the Amazon Ballroom, we'd race to the Hooker Bar and down a Jager Bomb and then head back to the Amazon Ballroom. Alas, our grandiose idea for the greatest prop bet of all time was foiled.
Congrats to Slim.
Check out the RawVegas video here...
Bouncin' Round the Room on Day 6....
Yeah it's true. There was a big upset in French Open tennis. Rafael Nadal's lost to Robin Soderling, who happened to be a Scandi. If rumors are true, Gus Hansen just pissed away $900K. Last year, Ivey dropped $2 million on the Lakers. This year, it was Gus taking a bad beat at Roland Garros. Here's a suggestion... next time a big time poker pro makes a significant wager on a big sporting event... fade their pick. If you had done that the last two years? You'd be up $1 million.
I love listening to the chatter in the hallways... "Dude, if I win this satellite, we're gonna get an 8-ball," said one player in cargo shorts and flip flops to his friend who's eyes jumped out of his skull. "Take it down!" he screamed.
I checked out the Donkulus bubble with Benjo. We had no clue that we stood near the entrance/exit for the cocktail servers. Benjo quickly turned around and banged into a server with an entire tray of drinks. Bottles of water and Red Bull scattered all over the crowd. I couldn't stop laughing as Benjo turned beet red. Poor kid was embarrassed.
"Can you get that guy in the lime-green shirt a drink?" asked a sunburned guy on the rail.
He pointed to a guy a couple of tables away inside the ropes of the Brasilia Ballroom. He waved a $5 bill and one of the cocktail servers quickly snatched it up.
"Grey Goose and tonic," he happily requested. "Make it stiff and strong. He's been waiting two long days for a drink."
The guy in the lime-green shirt was his father who played in his first ever WSOP event. He usually drinks at the table when playing poker for fun with friends. This weekend was a serious event for him and he decided to abstain from drinking until he made the money. That is.... if he made the money.
There were 623 players left at that point with the top 621 players slated to win prize money in the $1K Stimulus Package concocted by Harrah's brass to give the everyday players an opportunity at opportunity at a WSOP bracelet. Two players busted on the same hand and the guy in the lime-green shirt got his stiff cocktail after he guaranteed a cash.
I'm still shocked at the rapid pace of donkey liquidation. Five every minute at one point. Efficient. The Germans would be proud. If there's anything to be learned from this event, is that the reduced buy-in (Bracelets for 33% off!) is highly popular and successful. It was like printing money. I suggest that they reduce every single $1,500 donkament to a $1,000 donkulus for the rest of the year until the economy improves. Think about it.
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