Day 2: Gawking slot hoki at the Pros

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You’d think the all-star list of poker pros I met in the morning would be enough to satisfy me, but it was just the start.
After the tournament ended, Maudie, Bad Blood and I grabbed a bite to eat back at the Excalibur and then Maudie and I decided to take a walk of slot hoki the strip. It was Maudie’s first trip to Vegas and last night in town. The last thing I wanted was for her to head back to Oklahoma without absorbing the sensory overload of the Vegas experience.
And if she hadn’t wanted to take that walk, we never would have seen the biggest names in poker, live and in person, at the Bellagio.
After congratulating Felicia and Max, we figured out we were famished… and I rarely use that word. Since 10am Friday, I had eaten a McNugget Extra Value Meal, a tiny turkey sandwich on the plane and a few slices of various fruits. It was about 5pm Saturday and my body was screaming for something to fill me up.
I settled on the meatball sub and it really hit the spot.
From there, Maudie and I put our walking shoes on. I’d been to Vegas once before so I had a vague recollection of how to get from point A to point B, but there was still a good chance we’d get a bit lost. I figured we’d go down one side until we reached the Belaggio and work our way back.
About four times I said something to the effect of, “When we cross this street/walk through this tunnel/use this escalator, we’ll be in the Belaggio.” I apparently didn’t know the strip as well as a I thought!
As we walked from casino to casino we were virtually assaulted by all of the flyer snappers, those strange people trying to give you flyers to everything from shows to hookers. Maudie wondered if they had a special training program, like a trade school where they learn how to effectively snap.
It was nice getting to get a taste of all the casinos again, but they all paled in comparison to what we found at the Belaggio.
It didn’t take me long to find one of the biggest players in the poker world, and I mean that literally: T.J. Cloutier. I never realized how large of a man he really is, but as I was reminded, he was a football player once.
From there we saw Ron Rose, Mike Sexton, Robert Williamson III, Carlos Mortensen, Evelyn Ng, Kirill Gerasimov, Paul Darden, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Kathy Liebert, Eric Seidel, and those were just the ones still alive in the $3000 NLHE tourney.
While gawking, we were approached by a crotchety old man with an unplaceable foreign accent who informed us that Evy was about to get busted. He said he had just watched her play a terrible hand and that she wouldn’t last long (she ended up placing in the money). I informed him that Evy happened to be one hell of a player… then it got ugly.
The guy, right in front of Maudie, told us that women shouldn’t play with men, that they should play their own tables until there is only one left and she would get a seat at the final table. So it could be more fair for them because they don’t have a brain for poker, he said. I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
I informed him that a woman had won the tournament we had just played in, but that didn’t matter. I told him that Jennifer Harman, Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert and others had bracelets proving they belonged, but that didn’t matter. He was some old, senile man stuck in the 1950’s. I ushered Maudie along before she kneed him in the groin.
That’s when we got to peek inside the high limit room inside the Bellagio poker room. Inside were none other than Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen and Barry Greenstein all at one table. At one point, Jennifer Harman came by to say hi to Daniel. We were star struck.
I guess this is how baseball fans feel at the All-Star Game. Of course, the big difference is that those fans will never really get to face a Randy Johnson fastball or pitch to Barry Bonds. But I can check-raise Howard Lederer for the right price!
With stars in our eyes, we headed back to the Excalibur poker room where I settled into another $2-$6 spread game. It started slow, but picked up quickly. And you’ll hardly believe the beat I endured!
Coming Up:
My Worst Beat and then Revenge
Sports Betting is Evil
The Aladdin: Bring Your Rod and Reel