Monday, July 10, 2006

Is This A...What Day Is This?

This is the Bellagio. These are the famous fountains.

There is also a botanical garden, a gallery of fine art, and a dozen pools set in Mediterranean villa style. Other amenities include a spa, salon, golf course, and, of course, a wedding chapel. There are five gorgeous bars, seven decadent restaurants (including Le Cirque and Prime Steakhouse), five more casual eateries, a bakery, a gelato shop, and the most ridiculous buffet that I ever laid eyes on - are five types of cooked salmon really necessary at breakfast?. There's enough convention space to hold a prize fight and a theater large enough to host a branch of Cirque Du Soleil. There are also close to twenty shops to indulge on fashion, like Armani, Gucci, and Prada, and jewelry, like Tiffany & Co. Oh, and it's a casino too. One that houses the most famous poker room in the world.

So, yeah, I would have been content spending the entire weekend in doors. That is, if the high times in poker season didn't draw me over to the Rio for my big chance to become the next amateur winner in the World Series.

I lasted 104 minutes in the World Series...

1. Level 2 Blinds - $25/$50
2. Under the gun, with $600 in chips remaining, I limp with Qc-Jc.
3. One more limper comes in behind.
4. Brad Booth, respected cash game player at the Bellagio, raises from the button to $125.
5. Both blinds fold.
6. I call. Other limper calls.
7 . Flop comes: Jh, 9s, 5d.
8. Having made top pair with good kicker, I move the rest of my $475 stack into the $450 pot.
9. Limper folds.
10. Booth pauses, looks at his moderate stack, and calls. Though the flop missed him completely, he turns over big suited connectors. Kh-Qh.
11. The Qd peels off the turn. I make my top second pair, but Booth picks up a gutshot straight draw...
12. which hit when the 10s spiked on the river. Damn.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I even got my own bad beat story out of the price of admission. But, the real thrill was playing against the legends in the game. And outlasting some of them.

Running on less than four hours of sleep right now, I'm still in a post-Vegas haze. But, I know that it was hot as hell and with enough vices to make sure you end up there. It was, also, an amazing place to be a romantic and food fan in.

I can't believe it took me this long to get there. But, if t-zero is turning 21, I guess that it really wasn't quite the wait. Other highlights of the trip include: [This portion of text has been deleted by the "What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" commission]


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