Thursday, June 12, 2008


Day 13…

Today was our first day off after six consecutive days of updating and although we didn’t rise until 4pm, we were determined to leave the confines of the Rio Casino.

My suggestion was The Stratosphere, as Dana had never been before. The view there is fantastic, and reminded me of my experience at the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Dana didn’t want to go on any rides, she was too scared, but I bought her a ticket for the Big Shot anyhow. I was a bit hesitant myself, but like a good challenge, even if it is one that could potentially end my life.

I have real trouble with vertigo, and even the lift was a nerve-wracking experience as it rattled towards the top of the hotel in just a few seconds. The Big Shot probably wasn’t the best choice for someone scared of heights, but I really didn’t want to leave The Stratosphere knowing that I was too scared to go on any of the rides. After all, I have a reputation as a macho man to uphold.

Although I have a real trouble with motion sickness thus limiting me to a ride a day before vomiting, I’m actually relatively comfortable on rollercoasters. However, this wasn’t your average rollercoaster, but one of those sadistic vertical rides that shoot you up into the sky at break neck speed.

Perched on the edge in our seats and awaiting lift-off, I nearly gave birth to kittens when the harness support jerked upwards. Fortunately, a member of staff trundled around the corner and pulled it back down, but I must admit, it didn’t put me at ease. I’m not sure how confident I can be on a ride owned by someone as insane as Bob Stupak. I could almost picture him lurking at the side, waving manically as he pulls down on the lever.

The worst part of this ride was the anticipation while we awaited it to start. You know it’s about to explode you up into the air at any second, but you’re not sure when. It just kinda bobs up and down a little bit whilst you wait, your face scrunched up and your hands turning red as they cling onto the handlebars.

When it finally did launch, we were thrust into the air and I recall my ass actually leaving my seat. The view was incredible, but I’m not sure I could fully enjoy it whilst simultaneously soiling my pants. What’s worse is that I’ve run out of clean boxers, so I can’t afford to lose a pair during a day, and I certainly don’t want to be forced to turn them inside out and brush off the stains.

Of course, I survived to tell you the tale, but I’m not sure it’s a journey I would want to repeat. Dana is still laughing hysterically from the experience, and her arms remain stiff as if holding onto the handlebars still.

Taking on All Comers

It would appear as though Vegas has truly become multi-cultural, especially when it comes to taxi drivers. Taxi drivers over here come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and, unlike in the UK, they can actually verbalise more than just the odd grunt.

For some unknown reason, Vegas is a magnet to Ethiopia, and a seemingly large contingent of taxi drivers are Ethiopian. Our driver to The Stratosphere was called Habetu, I said I’d give him a shout in my blog.

Weird Freak Strikes Back

You have to love Gobboboy (Jimmy Fricke). After spotting Howard Lederer signing autographs out in the hallway, he just couldn’t resist joining the queue and awaiting his rendezvous with the Full Tilt star.

For those who don’t know, Lederer accidentally copied Gobboboy in on an email to a colleague after Fricke had enquired about potential sponsorship at the upcoming Aussie Millions. Sadly, Lederer’s response was none too complimentary, even calling Gobboboy a “weird freak” or something similar.

Anyhow, Gobboboy did indeed meet his idol, and duly asked his friend to take a photo. Benjo also got a snap (see my stolen copy). The picture is terrific and I love the two expressions – Lederer is just so embarrassed and his smile so forced that you can almost see it written on his face exactly what he’s thinking… “Damn that ‘reply to all’ button!”

Weighting it Out

I spotted Annie Duke in the Amazon Room today and couldn’t get over how skinny she was. Apparently, losing weight is a common theme in poker, and often the result of a prop bet. ElkY shed the pounds at the tail end of last year, as has Mike Matusow at this year’s WSOP, both making a tidy sum in the process. Even David Benyamine has left the comfort of his swivel chair to, well… walk and stuff.

Dutch Boyd is still big.


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