04 July 2009

Why I love Las Vegas

I will preface this with the phrase, better late than early. I
apologize to the 4 readers of this blog, I hope to get back in the
saddle. Tomorrow's blog will be about three things I hate about Vegas,
and as much as I love the place, it has many things to hate about it...

Well, I just got back from Sin City, and sinning as the base of
consideration, I had a pretty uneventful experience. There were no
police involved, I didn't lose a shit ton of loot, my hotel room for
the 3 days cost me less than a relatively expensive dinner for one.
Got to play a ton of poker, make a little cake, I even downloaded
articles and cut some debate articles (while waiting for room
service). Not exactly The Hangover or Leaving Las Vegas, but it did
allow for a little ME time, which after the National Tournament, was
deemed necessary. The ideas for blogs have been aplenty, but when I
was at the tables, someone asked me what it was about the town I
enjoyed so much. I think I stunned her with my ability to answer this
question She did comment on how I didn't "sound black." Never really
understood what that meant- I always imagine the "black voice" as one
of those deep, resonating voices- the name James Earl Jones pops into
my head, as does Don Cornelius. Clearly, this is not what she
meant...but this is the theme of another blog...as usual. I
digress...I was asked to come up with my five favorite things I love
about LV, and three things I do not like...likes are always first, as
hate needs to simmer to be fully appreciated...

1) America's Adult Mall
Really, what more is there to say? This is a town where a guy, with
the right motivation, means and transportation, can get a guaranteed
head shot, and not that Greta, girl in your English class you KNEW
gave up the nappy dugout, but never fucked you guarantees, but a Billy
Mays (RIP) iron clad money back guarantee. The Mustang Ranch is just a
bit out of town, a legal brothel, because Nevada is just fucking
smarter than us on this one, taxing and testing it's state
prostitutes, to make sure she doesn't catch you and leaving you
burning or give you a case of the HIV's. I, personally have never
utilized the Ranch, but in my youth it was because the alignment of
the stars required (in Vegas and drunk enough to think "hookers, let's
get some hookers" but not too drunk to get us to said location) never
really came to pass. So, for those still curious, I say "legal paid
sex good" even though I no longer seek or need paid sex (it surprises
me, too). And legal sex is only the tip of the sinful iceberg-if you
want to see a "legitimate" show on the strip, one of the many faces of
Cirque de Soelil (which has more spinoffs than Law and Order, if
that's possible) and the "Love" show. My boy says "take a date, find
Viagra, because she'll be hard to please..." Another friend told me he
went wit his family to another Cirque show and they sent the 10 year
old home at intermission, not wanting to corrupt him. This speaks
nothing of the Strip Clubs, which I will speak about at some length
later. There are also many, many, many porn shops (called adult stores)
across the town, so any devious, shady, embarrassing fetishes? do you
enjoy genre of pornography even your true friends would find utterly
disturbing? well, the two story adult store on Tropicana will be able to
fulfill every one of your desires- they're especially deep in midget porn...

2) Poker
The real reason I come to Vegas. All the things you'll read in this
would be irrelevent if Boise, ID, Texarkana, TX or Waterloo, IA were
places where I can choose from over 100 daily tournaments (my
preferred mode of play) and literally and denomination of limit, no
limit, Omaha, stud, razz, hell, I even found a 5 card draw game in
this town (Orleans). It's a poker players paradise. I've never been to
Atlantic City, but have done more than my fair share of riverboat,
Indian casino, shady backroom hoping to God the cops don't show up to
break it up, as well as gambling towns all through Nevada, and Vegas
has more games a day than most places have in a week. And it's not
just that there's a ton of game here, there are players of all levels.
If you think your game is mad tight and you want to test your chops on
the 5/10, Caesars and the Wynn are great places to go. If you're just
learning the game and play a little Everyman action, go to the
Bellagio and play a little 3/6- you could even see Bill Gates, or you
could go to Binions and play 1/2 no-limit with a $100 max buy in-
poker for all price ranges and for all skill sets.

3) Food
It's a foodies paradise. If you can think of a top tier restaurant in
the United States, you can find it in Vegas. I'm a huge fan of Emeril,
and unfortunately I don't happen to live in New Orleans, so the
Delmonico Steakhouse would normally be out of my access range- except
there is one in the Venetian. Bouchon is in the Bay Area, but it's
almost 100 miles from my house, so it's not really an option. Bobby
Flay's Mesa Grill in Caesars. 120 steakhouse in the Hard Rock. And as
good as all of these places are, Lotus of Siam has been described as
the best Thai restaurant in the country. It would be possible to eat
every meal at a top tier spot, for a month, and never hit all the
spots. Quick FYI- Bouchon's Chicken and Waffles for breakfast, Lotus
of Siam for Lunch, and 46 Steakhouse, if you only have 3 meals and
want an actual food orgasm, follow my lead.

4) Open Container Laws

The town facilitates abject alcoholism- this is a town where Jamie Foxx
is right, blame it on the a a a a a alcohol. The town does not have a last call.
Sure, some places don't stay open 24/7, but when they are open,
they're serving. This, by itself, would probably be enough to make the
list. However, it's much cooler to know you can walk the streets with
your beverage of choice in plain sight, with no concerns from the
police. This means that I find myself drinking a ton more than I would
otherwise, because I can walk out of Bill's Gamblin' Hall on The
Strip, turn in any direction, and wander, aimlessly drunk, down the
Strip without having to worry about getting your drink on, because
anyone smart is carrying their beverage with them.

5) Free Vacation possibility
It's called gambling for a reason, there's always the possibility you
could have to leave town in the dark of the night because you owe some
loan shark named Knuckles $15K and your hotel room has been ransacked.
But the flip side is also true- you can go on a great run, win
thousands of dollars, spend money in Vegas like Jay-Z or Tony Danza,
go to The Bellagio and make enough to have them fly you out another
weekend, or go to Sapphire, the world's largest strip clubs for the
dinner buffet, and stay until...well, until you have to go back home.
On a trip I took Christmas '07 with my girlfriend, a good run at a
craps table and some solid poker play meant that the entire trip
(airfare, hotel, food, cabs, massages, alcohol) was paid for (most
comped by the Venetian, the rest I just had the cash in my wallet as
we left town, so I had more money in my account upon my return than I
did upon my arrival. Now don't get it twisted, I loves me some
Disneyland (nominees for most grammatical damage to a sentence...) but
there's no possibility I can go on a run at It's a Small World or The
Matterhorn that can pay for my vacation (legally, of course, you could
just sell a bunch of smack, but you'd just end up in Disneyland Jail.)
Lots of vacation spots are intriguing, most don't pay for themselves.
Las Vegas is one of the exceptions. and the one that sucks the least...

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