Sunday, June 22, 2008

A NEED FOR SPEED


Day 23…

The final of the 6-handed was a mixed bag, fast paced early doors but tortoise slow three-handed. We were treated to an array of bad beats, outdraws and general up the bum hole penetration, although no player in particular directed their protruding rod.

The most eye-brow raising beats cropped up with three left. With Justin Filtz and Seth Fischer going raise crazy, the latter saw his A-K flop a king and turn a third against Filtz’s aces. Security required a crowbar to remove Filtz’s stunned carcass from the stage floor, but they eventually scooped him up.

Heads up, it was Dario Minieri’s turn to deal the suckout blow, his 4-3 (oops) all in against Fischer’s kings hitting two fours on the end to stay alive, and eventually take the title. In fact, looking back, Fischer should have been third, Minieri second and the poker gods first, although I’m not sure how multiple winners, or divine beings for that matter would share a bracelet.

One aspect that amused me during this three-handed affair was when the boisterous Italian fans on the rail started complaining to the tournament director of collusion between the other two players. The very next hand, Fischer eliminated Filtz. The Italians didn’t complain after that. I suppose it’s such a shock when it’s not going Dario’s way that someone must be cheating somewhere, surely?

Whist dashing back and forth to the loo during the breaks, I bumped into a number of new faces. Many of them were Brits, so it seems as though we’re starting to make our presence felt over here. Mickey Wernick, Kevin O’Leary, Craig Wildman, Paul Jackson, Simon Trumper, Michael Greco, Joe Beevers – all turned up in recent days.

Day 24….

Woohoo, day-off! The only problem with our day off is that we’re so tired from updating an event that we end up sleeping through the afternoon, which isn’t the best preparation when you have to get up at 10.30am the next morning. You need two days off really otherwise you just can’t adapt to any kind of sleeping cycle.

Anyhow, we did manage to rise at a semi-decent hour and get ourselves down to the Sahara to have a stab at the Speed rollercoaster. I was quite surprised, although it’s in a less affable area of the Strip, the Sahara isn’t too bad, and would probably be one of the best value hotels to stay in if you were searching for something cheap.

What strikes me as bizarre about the Sahara is how Nascar Racing can possibly fit into the Egyptian desert theme, but I guess money talks in Vegas and the price was right. Either way, it’s allowed them to stick a racing car theme onto the back of the casino where this Speed ride is, and Dana and I, being the speed junkies that we are, couldn’t resist giving it a bash.

After the soiling experience of the Big Shot at the Stratosphere, I thought I was prepared for anything, but little did I know that during mid conversation about whether or not my harness was secure, the roller coaster car would shoot off without warning at a squillion miles per hour.

Twists, turns and loops later and we were heading back, this time in reverse after reaching the end of the track. Surely that’s just laziness on their part to send you back the way you came instead of completing the track, but I guess it saves them a few bucks.

Although the reverse journey made me want to throw up bile onto the people in front, the ride as a whole was very entertaining, if brief, and just as fun-filled as the Big Shot and the New York New York rollercoaster. If I had to pick one though, it would probably be the Big Shot, if only for it’s sheer scare factor.

The Sahara was just the start of a casino crawl. On our day off we also visited the Wynn, Treasure Island, Mirage and Flamingo casinos, the latter of which advertised ‘burlesque dancers’ which involved two skanks pole dancing, before finally setting up camp in the lesser known Bill’s Gamblin Hall & Saloon.

We stopped here because there was a poker game going, albeit in the world’s smallest cadroom (it has space for two tables). Sadly, I lost $238, but Dana managed to get her big hands paid off a couple of times and left with $120. Not great, but could be worse, I haven’t told her yet, but Dana and I have a joint account when it comes to poker and er… me losing.