Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fin du Monde! Vegas Post Morte!



Ah, nothing like washing down jet lag with a few hearty rounds of French-Canadian triple ales. Not only is it good for you, but your kidneys will thank you! I can't get enough of this stuff, which is surprising after the vast, vast, vast amounts of shady liquors I enjoyed at the luxurious Casino Royale. What interesting scents I discovered! But, I'm getting way too ahead of myself, actually, let me get way ahead of myself and say the kid woke up screaming bloody murder on Saturday morning. We're talking the howls of unending agony fueled by vodka-induced Kafka dreams, but I digress. Let's start at the beginning.

A general breakdown of the 4-day Tour de Force of Vegas' finer and not fine gambling halls, casinos, and saloons, included multiple trips to the empire known as Caesars Palace with occasional stops at local behemoths The Venetian, Bellagio, and Wynn Las Vegas. Every turn we encountered the latest blight on the once noble gaming community, the No-Limit Tourist. Seriously, these guys are basically your stereotypical person who watches way too much ESPN 8, and actually brings an iPod to the table. Resplendent. With the World Series of Poker in town, literally everyone wanted to play like the pros, and that meant only one thing: tournaments! Tournaments Tournaments Tournaments! Good lord, it was like one of them damn magical gatherings. I was waiting for them to break out the boosters at any second.

Starting with the inevitable good news, Free Money Dave managed to wield his pokering prowess in a late-night tourney. Playing well into the night against the unwashed, unclean, unsober masses, he managed to shark his way to a tidy sum. It's not as easy as you think it is to bluff people out at 2am, especially when their blood is almost 33% Sobe energy drink. Kudos to the little bastard, we all knew he'd take them down. Living up to his billing, he also managed to make most table games his man-servant as well, blistering the already shattered dreams of many a low-rent casino dealer.

Let's Go Justin and No Name Pace had their own share of Vegas fortunes and misfortunes. Taking all of this glorious town in one extreme after the next, watching their disillusionment come full circle was a sight to behold. First night, straight to casino. An all night bender of poker, vodka, imitation energy drink, more poker, whiskey, bourbon, and coffee soon followed, immediately followed by little to no sleep. What did our fair Trev-troopers plan for a morning wake-up? Hardcore weightlifting! LET'S EFFING GO! WOOO! Of course, this caused the second night in Vegas to get cut short at a malaised 1 am, but that's the kind of fatigue we're talking about when you bleed poker money for 8 hours straight. Eventually, they embraced the soulless abyss, bellied up to the tables, and dove head-first into the crushing blackness that awaited them. Both admit the trip took at least 14 months off of their lives. Outstanding.

I, on the other hand, had a tremendous time. I didn't win that much, or at all for that matter, but I got to enjoy the absolutely ridiculous losing streak of the kid. Oh my! Seriously, it was the best ever, folks. Down right dominating. After a while it just got silly, pulling teeth for 17s only to see the dealer's 8. Snake eyes after snake eyes, poker rivering gone wild, and a veritable snowstorm of busted racing tickets. Kid's in the race book like some junior Gummy Joe apprentice, pulling his hair out over a quarterhorse nag in Seattle, meanwhile, I'm having a hell of a time chatting up the local degenerates. You haven't lived until you've watched a couple of guys drop a few G's on the Cavs while simultaneously betting on greyhounds. Simply stunning. Still not enough to get free sportsbook drinks, though, bastards.

The inevitable rock bottom hit roughly around the 3/4 pole of the trip. Having bled poker money through a mixture of Sobe-vodka judgment, dumb luck, and blind skill for almost 36 consecutive hours, the kid finally snapped roughly 3am Saturday morning. Unable to take anymore money out of the ATM, into my own personal stash for a couple large Trev fun dollars, and watching everyone around him win big in the midst of his crippling losing streak, it all finally took a toll on the poor editor's psyche. The whining was splendid, and the adrenaline rushed conviction that he was actually cursed hit critical mass and produced comedy gold. Comedy gold, and security guard stink eyes. Scientifically, comedy=tragedy + time. Give this a few more days, and its going to be goddamn hilarious! His self-worth completely in check, watching him trudge along the final stretch was like going to Vegas with Eeyore.

Luckily, in true "Vegas Vacation" style, the home stretch of the trip included meeting up with Orson Swindle and his lovely bride, the Conscience, at Casino Royale to help try to bury the rest of the kid's money. Now this place, this place was everything my Trev heart desired and more. Truly living the High Life over there at Casino Royale. Cheap craps, $1 lagers, $1 Margaritas, a pizza parlor on the premises, adjoining Denny's, and speedy White Russian service. Mmm. Mmm. A fine, fine establishment. Too bad the kid was completely shattered by this point, he could have helped me play Blackjack Switch! They let you switch cards? I don't care if Blackjack pays even money, I still feel like I'm cheating, and they use a machine! Long into the night, the bargain well booze flowed copiously, and even though the karaoke line at Imperial Palace was well over 90 minutes WITH bribe, at least the charmingly dirty KJ was honest, a rarity in both karaoke and Vegas.

In summation, the trip was a success on so many levels save the kid. Time was taken off everyones lives, and everyone is a little bit lighter, either by dehydration or ill liquidity. However, in light of said debts, the fearless editor has determined that there are going to be a few changes to the office. A strict hunkering down and flying right mission is the new cause du jour, so a significant slowdown in casino tripping, maybe a slight redesign, and fewer office card games. Personally, I'm going to get IT to give me a direct line to BetUS.com, just to get my fix in. Don't tell anyone.

In final, final, final news, our shadowy secret blogging projects are reaching fruition. More on them in the near future as I begin to declassify the documents. We're through the looking glass here, people.

Trev Alberts is a former ESPN commentator and payday loan proprietor. He sees no problem with selling instant lottery tickets next to his check-cashing services.

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