Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pong and Circumstance

So Brett, being an Off Topic mainstay on P5s has a few friends in the poker community. Last night, we decided to meet up with them at what might be the strangest casino I have ever entered: O'Sheas.

This casino has a food court in it. And an area for beer pong tables. That is right, I said beer pong! We will be returning to that subject shortly, but first, let's discuss this food court.

So this was basically the saddest mall food court I had ever seen. Bright plastic, neon lights, and a bunch of non-chain skeezy restaurants with your token Subway nestled in the middle. Brett decided he wanted pizza. That is, until it arrived and looked a little something like this. I suggested to Brett and Wein that this pizza was likely featured in the 1987 teen film classic "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

The fact that his pizza likely rivaled him in age only slightly deterred Brett from consuming it. As you can tell by his expression, it was decided that avoiding eye contact with the slice was the best option. Shortly after Brett gave up on this little culinary adventure, more P5s peeps began to filter in. Amit Makhija, Chris Vaughn, Dan Martin and others arrived and so began the distinctive degenrate behavior of a group of twenty-something year old poker players.

Which, of course, meant money was very quickly put on the line in a game of beer pong. In case you can't decipher the photo, there was $1k on the line in a Sean and Wretchy vs Brett and Chris Vaughn showdown. A ten cup pyramid to start with was agreed upon and the epic game of beer pong began.

Wretchy and Sean were off to a great start. Focused and undeterred, they were pinging, ponging, and pwning the competition.

Chris and Brett, on the other hand, were having some issues. Despite being a solid part of the Brett/Wein tandem in earlier games of pong, Brett...well, sorry to say this Brett....he totally choked. As you can see, Chris and Brett attempted to talk some strategy and even briefly considered employing the patented Amit jump fader style of beer pong tossing in an attempt to even the playing field.

Needless to say, Team Wretch/Sean proved victorious. More importantly than them winning though, please tell me you notice the uber-klassy teriyaki restaurant behind them. Post-game, Chris attempted to win back his losses on the craps table with little success, while Brett opted for his old standby, Texas Hold Em Bonus Poker, with even less success. With the night very quickly turning into the morning and several guys attempting to win back their losses, we all ended up at our home away from home: the poker table.

The guys, being the crazy degenerates that they are decided it wouldn't be fitting to actually play poker, but instead to go all-in blind before the flop and see who had the best hand. I want you to notice how many chips Brent Hanks has on the left. This is after he has won a couple of hands, not even how much he started out with. Now check Brent on the right here...see the mountain of $5 chips? When the day was done, it amounted to $2400. If only the WSOP could be so easy, no?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Photo Adventure--Again.

After our less than stellar findings at Treasure Island, we opted for classier fare and headed off to the Venetian. The naked/semi-naked girl motif, as you can see, was much more tastefully done. Jill looks impressed.

It took much less to impress me. We found a Coffee Bean, which I have not seen since I left LA in 2006, so I absolutely flipped out. This was taken right at the onset of my caramel ice blended-induced bliss.

Next on the agenda was the Mirage. While the Venetian has and always will be my favorite casino, the Mirage may now be second on my list. Jill paused briefly to admire the gorgeous fish tank behind the reception desk. We also stopped at every restaurant to admire the menu. Not gonna lie, looking forward to when her boyfriend and friend come to visit since they are staying there and we are dying to take advantage of the pool.

You would think after the success of such classy places we would continue in that vein, but you would be wrong. I think any establishment that lures customers with signs like the one pictured here can only be described as klassy....with a big ole K. This is the Casino Royale. Not very Bond-esque at all I must say.

That is not to say that we don't have a klassy side ourselves. Jill was rather hungry and we elected to go with the ole standby. Don't you love how even the Denny's sign in Vegas has to be covered in lights?

The food was tasty, but Jill became somewhat discouraged when she noticed the unusual texture of her sausage links. If sausage aged like people, I would hazard to guess this particular piece of sausage was, say, 93 years old.

Despite their disconcerting appearance, Jill then saw fit to play with the sausage links, because that is just what people do when they elect to go to Dennys at 1am.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ask and You Shall Receive

So Jill and I decided to take advantage of our night off and go on a casino-exploring adventure. And what better place to start an adventure than Treasure Island! Right?? Right.....? As you can see, Jill and I were both rather excited at the prospect of free entertainment, so we decided to wait in a giant mass of people outside the casino in order to take in and enjoy "The Sirens of Treasure Island". Well. While the majority of the script of this little presentation was rather tongue in cheek, the best, most hilarious line in the whole show is completely, deathly serious. After the pirate the sirens has kidnapped introduces himself, one of the lil sirens completely deadpans the line: "They call me Cinammon." Needless to say, Jill and I about peed our pants and I was literally laughing so hard I had tears coming down my face. No one around us seemed to be laughing though, so we left disappointed in the show and the intelligence of mankind in general. See for yourself:

I realize the pics are a little all over the place, but you will have to bear with me as my blogger tools are acting up on me. I also think it may not be able to handle too many pictures, so you will just have to stay tuned for our next installment tomorrow when we travel to the Mirage on our Casino Adventure Night.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What a Waste

I took this picture of Phil Collins for P5s about an hour before he busted out of the event in a brutal hand with Shannon Shorr (the guy sitting next to him). I liked it so much that I had to gank it and post it here though. Plus, Phil is one of the nicest guys on earth so I thought I would give him some props after a very disappointing finish. Phil is one of many, many great guys we have been covering in several of the events.
As for the photo itself, I don't have a background in photography, but I am constantly trying to make my P5s pictures more interesting and innovative than the simple portrait shot. Hopefully I will just continue to capture shots like these, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Seeing the Sights

The past two days have been loads of fun. At work, one of the guys, Brett, and I have been on the morning shift. This means we get to the Rio around 11am and have been sent home around 5pm. Not too shabby, right? Well, with all the extra free time in the afternoon, we have decided to go exploring and see as much of Las Vegas as we can.

Day one of our little adventure went as follows: We decided to head straight to the strip after work. We parked at Bally's, wandered through Paris, tried out the video poker at the Bellagio (unsuccessfully), and Caesars Palace before spotting a Cheesecake Factory in the forum shops and deciding we needed sustinence. Post-food, our degenerate tendencies kicked in and we decided to play some cards.

Caesars poker room is BEAUTIFUL! Each table is equipped with cushy swivel chairs for all the players and a nice footrail underneath the table to prop your feet up on. When I wasn't in a hand, I spent a lot of time deducing some way to steal one of the chair's with some elaborate "Ocean's 11"-esque scheme, but I couldn't figure out anything.

While the room was beautiful, the play in there was so solid that it became somewhat difficult to win much money off of everyone. I am going to have to eat my own words and admit I missed the excess of donkeys Caesars Indiana has to offer. Granted, I only missed one or two of them, not a whole table full, but it was definitely unusual to play in a smaller stakes NL game with a bunch of people who actually pay attention to player tendencies. Brett managed to rack up 30 bucks while I walked away with $85, so I am going to consider this evening a success.

Yesterday, Jill (I can't find her P5s profile, or I would link), Brett, and I were sent home around 5pm and we came back to the house for a little bit to eat, unwind, and watch some "COPS" (no cable here, so we take what we can get). Jill was exhausted and decided to stay in for the evening while Brett and I headed for the MGM Grand. "Headed" being the operative word here. After passing the Grand and eventually making a giant loop that took upwards of half an hour to complete, we finally arrived only to park, walk in the opposite direction through the parking garage, and make yet another big loop on foot. This trend of making a big circle in order to get to our destination continued throughout the evening.

Brett made a great call when he said we should video poker it up again. I had a machine that was hot hot hot and turned my $20 into $75 after hitting quad sixes three different times. Brett, who is not the seasoned video poker pro I am, did not fare as well and, in fact, appeared to be suffering from some VP tilt, so we decided to go play real poker instead.

MGM Grand's room? Not as nice as Caesars, but the granite inlay around the rail of the table was nice. Unlike Caesars, where I was surrounded by super friendly and talkative people, this table played $1/$2 in virtual silence. On top of that, I could get nothing going and it was getting late, so I played kinda bad and managed to lost $60. For those of you keeping track, that means I am only up $40 over two days, but I will take any victory, no matter how small.

If you want to read some more poker-centric blogging of my escapades in Vegas, you need to check out http://www.pocketfiveslive.com/ asap! Or, whenever you get a chance, considering we will be covering events for the next six weeks.