Tuesday, July 25, 2006


-- The Orleans --

A couple of days ago, Jen and I moved from the lovely Can Cun resort into the more gambling orientated Orleans Hotel. Compared to the rather garish sights of the Rio, I quite like this place. It’s full of bright flashing lights, but it’s not over the top and there seems to be less of a corporative influence.

Based a few miles off the strip, the Orleans remains a pretty popular place, with the Resort currently inhabited by a seemingly endless supply of basketball players (teenagers who seemed to have spent most of their childhood on a rack) and a most welcome scattering of beauty pageant contestants. In fact, last night in the elevator, Miss Florida complimented Jen by saying, in a bizarrely cutesy and suspiciously preempted manner (those child-pushing parents seem to have em by the short and curlies), “Your shirt is really neat.” I was so tempted to respond with “Yes, isn’t it just swell!”

These youthful (I do hope they’re not younger than 16) beauty contestants aren’t the only eye candy on offer at the Orleans, the waitresses are pretty tasty too. Whilst less glamorous locations such as the Horseshoe and Tropicana seem to be infested with tobacco chewing Russian shot-putters, the waitresses over here are mighty fine. And you should check out their outfits! Whoever decided on giving them all wedgies was a genius!

Whilst taking a brief hiatus away from the poker table, I couldn’t help but take a wonder around. The place really is huge, and so are the Subway sandwiches. I had a Meatball baguette, and it was bigger than my arm! She gave me so many options (type of cheese, baguette, sauce, etc) that in the end, I just said “You choose, I’ll go with anything”, although that was also partly due to the fact that I was having trouble understanding her accent.

-- Accents --

Talking about accents, I guess it’s true what they say, these Americans love the English vocal chords. I have no idea why, I can’t remember the last time someone actually requested my rather dim-sounding Brummie voice. The women seem to love it though. Boy, I’m moving over here, pronto!

I’ve encountered some amusing conversations too. The amount of times I’ve had to repeat my name is unbelievable, it’s not a complex one. At the Can Cun resort I took about 30 minutes to order a taxi because the dude behind the desk couldn’t catch my name. “Alan? Aaron? Ali? Antoine?” He even said Abdul at one point. Do I look like an Abdul?!?!

Whilst playing a tourney at Binion’s (they have a pretty cool 2am daily multi for $60 plus one $40 rebuy), one opponent even gave up on a conversation. After repeating myself three times, he eventually conceded “I’m sorry, I just can’t understand what the hell you’re saying”. Fair enough, it reminded me of when Paul Jackson was given a warning at last year’s WSOP and told “English only at the table”.

-- The Women --

However stupid and alien this language barrier makes us feel, it will always be a mighty useful tool in attracting the women. They just seem to swoon at the mere thought that you might be foreign. Quasimodo could come over here with a Cockney accent and still pull!

And we’re not talking about women from the lower end of the aesthetic spectrum either, these are top class babes, dressed from head to toe in, well, they’re barely dressed at all! It’s awesome! (for singletons – I’m a taken man)

If you have a hooker addiction, then Vegas is the place to be. If you reckon Amsterdam is the prostitute capital of the World, then think again. Every bar over here is propped up by some delightful totty sharing drinks with a slimy old codger. Not that I’m on the hunt or anything, but rumour has it that the hookers in the Bellagio and the Wynn are a sight for sore eyes. Good golly, if you do have the aforementioned addiction, then I hope you’ve got deep pockets.

If you’re like me, and you’re resigned to window-shopping due to having a lovely vixen back home, then you can’t go far wrong by hanging around the Rio. Just trundling around the back of the cardroom will provide a feast of visual eye candy, most notable of which, in my humble opinion, are the cowgirls outside Doyle’s Room.

Whilst the Full Tilt and BodDog hotties get seats, these Trojons have to stand for the whole day. Their commitment to the cause is highly admirable indeed. And I give them a big thumbs up for being located by my pressroom, resulting in my passing by every second. This may be the cause for such frequent posting of late.

In poker, some say it’s all about timing (A.K.A luck), and I had great ‘timing’ the other day when I managed to snap this classic piccy. The legend and his cowgirls, I’m tempted to blow this one up and stick it up on my wall I’m so proud of it.

-- The Weather --

I wouldn’t be British if I didn’t potter on about the weather. As you’ve all heard countless times, it’s roasty toasty over here, but what many don’t realise is that it’s like the North Pole indoors. It’s worth being ripped off by the million-dollar-a-minute masseuses just to keep warm!

I brought over a few pairs of shorts, but not once have I found the need to don them. It would be goosepimples a plenty in the rather brisk Rio cardroom, so they've been gathering dust in my bag for the least week or two. Having said that, I was presented with the rather amusing sight of a pale ‘I never see daylight’ Devilfish waltzing into the cardroom in vest and shorts. Boy, a bronzed Adonis he was not. And guns, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word!

Whatever you do, don’t walk anywhere. Mad Yank said he once attempted to ramble from Downtown to the Main Strip. A jaunt which took ten times as long due to the soldering heat and the umpteem mugging attempts. Defending yourself in a sauna doesn’t seem like much fun to me.

We did have one non-‘I’m going to die from this heat’ day. I thought it was a fireworks display at first, but on closer inspection, it was clear the Vegas sky was graced with the most stunning of lightening strikes. I’ve never seen anything like that before, truly spectacular.

-- The Food --

Coming from the land of ‘beans on toast’ and ‘fish and chips’, I always knew that the food over here would provide more than a slight improvement on my Brummie cuisine.

After spending time in Monte Carlo where I had to queue up for ages to purchase a viciously overpriced and poorly cooked burger, eating over here is a delight. Everything is oversized, (I couldn’t finish a hotdog the other day), instantly accessible, and served with a smile – compare that to the disgraceful service at Grosvenor Bolton during the Poker 6 and you really begin to appreciate the American’s level of professionalism.

The food service in the Orleans is worthy of a mention too. I ordered some Lemon chicken and within several minutes they were rattling my door. What I received was way over the top, but much appreciated; big plate of chicken, bowl of rice, two bowls of lemon sauce, a selection of savoury dips, salt and pepper, bowl of what looked like Twiglets, bottle of Tabasco sauce and a bottle of soy sauce. Aye carumba!

Well, that’s enough wittering for one day. I hope I’ve given you a little taster of what Vegas is like. Until next time, keep it real peeps.


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