Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Vegas Vacation?

I have been digging through the archives of the Tao of Pauly looking for poker related material. And I just found this blog from the end of April 2003, when I went to Las Vegas (for the second time in three weeks!!) with Cali Jen, who flew out from San Francisco to meet me at the Bellagio for four days!

I originally blogged this on 4.30.03 called: Heavy Losses at the Bellagio, Cali Jen Buys New Shoes at Prada, and Other Goofy Tales...

I'm back from Vegas! Had an amazing holiday (which means I won...!) and as usual I wanted to stay the entire week, but alas I am home in NYC. The Vegas Reprise Holiday (my second trip in a month) was a true technology free vacation without the distractions of television, the internet & e-mail, and most importantly... my cell phone. I avoided all of those things (hence the lack of blogs and the back log of e-mail and voicemail messages). I feel out of the loop but refreshed! I was plugged in for too long and I needed a break from the eWorld.

The Bellagio was decadent. I ate fine cuisine (Chilean Sea Bass) at Aqua. I saw Andy Warhol portraits at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. The soft robes in our room felt comfy and I wanted to steal one!

On Saturday, Cali Jen shopped at Prada then sat at the pool while I played poker. On Sunday, she went to the Art of the Ages Painting Exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum then shopped at Gucci and I played more poker. We got dual massages at the spa after I played cards all night and lost almost $500 at the poker room downstairs, but won everywhere else I played (especially at the Excalibur & the Mirage).

When Jen went back home to San Fran, I went to Binion's Horseshoe and attempted to win a seat at the World Series of Poker. Yes! I was pissing in the tall weeds with the big dogs. I played in a satellite tournament. The entry fee was $125. The winner gets $10,000 towards the entry fee ($10 grand buy-in) into the World Series starting May 19th. You have to beat 18 other people to win then you advance to the World Series and a shot at winning $2 Million plus!

I did not win but I was the next to last guy at my table. I beat out some good card players from all over the world including a wise cracking, Cuba Libra drinking Canuck from Calgary. The grumpy guy I lost to was twice my age and had six times as many chips as I did. He knocked me out rather quickly when we played head to head. I got bullied by a seasoned veteran but I took my shot at the big time in my first NO LIMIT Texas Hold 'em tournament. It was tougher than I expected and I was nervous due to the excitement of knowing that tourists are huddled behind me, watching me play cards during the tourney... that was a rush. Man I dig Vegas.

Other highlights of Vegas Reprise included...

1. The heavenly 50 minute couples massage at the spa in the Bellagio with special warm stones placed on all my sore spots! Especially welcomed after an all night seven hour poker session. I skipped the lemon ginger scrub and kiwi cumcumber facial wash to go crash.
2. Getting Four of a Kind... (I held) wired 7s, then got two more on the flop (a hefty $400 win) at the Mirage!
3. Locking our cell phones in the room safe for the duration of the trip and not taking it out once!
4. Playing in my first No Limit Hold 'em Tournament and a getting glimpse at the lure of the World Series of Poker.
5. Tasty sushi at Shintaro, yummy yummy! And checking out the live jellyfish!
6. Getting stoned and staring at the Fiori di Como the breath taking ceiling sculpture in the lobby... 2,000 hand blown glass flowers by Dale Chihuly.

I dunno if I can wait until the end of this year to go to Vegas with my brother! I want to go back next weekend!"

Wow! I had two great trips to Vegas in April!! Of course, I'll be in Vegas in three days. I'm getting excited!

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