WHAT TYPE OF MASSAGE?
Whilst Dana and I await the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'Em on Monday with the anticipation of an atheist on Death Row, our PokerNews colleagues have been busy beavering away at the opening $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'Em event. Although they could prove elitist, I quite like the introduction of these high buy-in events, if only because there is more potential for a star-studded final table, which in turn will, hopefully, boost the ESPN views that have been sagging so much of late. Of course, at $10k it could possibly take the shine off the main event, which is why I'd like to see them bump up the fee to $15k, or maybe even $20k. If they can attract several thousand for a $10k event. I'm sure the field would remain meaty and satellites popular if they added $5/10k to the asking price.
One thing that I've latched onto this year is the usefulness of the Rio shuttle buses, which commute hourly to other casinos such as Balley's, Paris Paris and Caesar's Palace. Normally I wouldn't have given them a second look, but at several bucks a pop, not to mention the virtually obligatory tip, taxis fees can add up and make a dent in your wallet over a long period of time. The shuttle bus driver made me chuckle today - the journey was only about three minutes, yet he was on the mike like a holiday rep saying things like, "Welcome aboard the Rio shuttle bus, we hope you have a good stay" and "We shall be arriving at our destination very shortly, we wish you the very best of luck". I don't think we'd even left the Rio car park when he said the last one.
On our travels we visited Paris Paris, Balley's, Planet Hollywood and finally the Bellagio, the latter of which I spent a good deal of time in when I covered the 2007 WPT Championship Final. For those who haven't been, the Bellagio is pretty darn exquisite with marble floors, indoor gardens, fantastic fountain display (their biggest expense, I heard) and, much to Dana's joy, a ceiling high chocolate fountain. The atmosphere, although bubbling, seems to be more refined, and everyone acts in a more civilised manner, unlike the Rio where it quickly becomes a cesspool of whooping and hollering as young jocks toss each other off. Whilst admiring the Bellagio interior, we also popped our head into the cardroom where we expected to see a few famous names, but on the whole, the place was dominated by mateyboy with the only familiar face being Marcel Luske. Oh, and, much to Dana's tabloid-loving delight, David Sklansky.
After blowing my roll on blackjack, I convinced Dana to try out one of these aqua massage machines which, as the title implies, uses jet sprays of water to massage your body while you lie patiently in a tank. It's a unique experience to say the least, and apart from tickling my tootsies on every venture south, was rather invigorating. Two little cute Russian girls stood behind the cashier desk, and if Dana hadn't been lurking, I may have wooed them with my boyish charm or, more realistically, cowered like a frightened infant. Either way, I was glad I didn't embarrass myself like one dickhead did as he passed, this American bell-end (should that be hyphenated?) when asked if he wanted a massage replying "What type of massage?" and chuckling away with his buddies as if it was the wittiest jibe they'd ever heard. Fucking twat.
Later we vetoed a night out in the swanky clubs to live it large in the er... Gold Coast casino next door. The temptation of cheap food and a more reserved atmosphere (oh, and we couldn't be bothered to travel further than the next casino along) was too much to resist as we found ourselves pumping the video poker with loose change. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that the best way to achieve a cheap night is to stick around the one cent slots in these quieter places and just keep ordering cocktails. See, not just a face.