Iíve never been to Vegas. Iíve been to Reno but thatís another story. Letís just say it involved some cheesecake, barbed wire, a pack of ďAAĒ batteries and a lifetime of memories. So given the tasty morsels of info I just shared, you can bet your sweet frozen grapes my bags are packed and Iím heading for Caesars.
I admit I was a bit hesitant of yet another show about gambling, booze and thong clad women. Oh who am I kidding? I was stoked for this new succulent tale of debauchery, greed and good ole fashioned sin. Lets dive in together and watch the tales that lie within the confines of Caesar Palace. You ready? Hang on babyÖitís going to be a wild ride.
Itís your normal run of the mill day at Caesars. For us non-Vegas types, weíre treated to footage of Sin City set to a modern day Jan Hammer soundtrack. Who knew he was back in the biz?
Our first stop is the valet area of Caesars where Rick Tambore is persuading a young drunk coed from driving home. Of course anytime youíre hammered you think your Superman, or in this case Batgirl. Taking her keys, Rick tells the girl sheís going to have to find another way home. Itís daddy to the rescue, albeit a pissed daddy. With tragedy adverted we learn that Rick has seen this all before--a common theme weíll all soon learn.
You ever hear of a pop singer named Marci? Me neither along with the other hundred random people I polled today. Perhaps Iím just not up on todayís bubblegum pop music, or perhaps I just know crap when I hear it. Either way, Marciís in town and ready to blow some big bucks.
Joe Comastro is the Pit Boss at Caesars. Heís well groomed, dressed to the nines and has been working the floor for thirty years. I like Joe. Heís well spoken and obviously a people person. Joeís the kind of guy thatíll have the courtesy to whisper in your ear how heís going to rip out your liver if you donít stop acting like an ass; all without causing a scene.
Joeís watches over Marci, whoís just losing dollar after dollar at roulette. Marci only bets on zero and it has been quite some time since thatís happened. About $60,000 times ago. Joe checks her credit card just to make sure she has the funds and immediately returns it back to her. Apparently, Caesars doesnít take Banana Republic cards. Joeís quick, I tell ya.
Marci tells us she used to own her own commodities business, trading thousands of dollars a day. At 31, sheís retired and finds gambling her release. Sheís also a devoted mother and rising pop star. She reminds me of my Uncle Ernie--he lays claim to inventing the roller skating rink, once rolled a doobie with Woody Allen and was this close to piloting the Apollo 11 flight. Riiiiight. I almost want to forget her attempt at singing her hit song and Joe breaks the uneasiness by grabbing her another cocktail.
You Ainít Nothin But A Hound Dog
Youíve seen them everywhere. They sport greasy mullets, gold chains, and faux New York accents. The kind you want to stomp their teeth in when they talk to the ladies. Their arrogance replaces their confidence, yet for some unexplained reason, the ladies love it. Every resort has them and Caesars is no different. This time there are three of them which means triple the morons and triple the laughter. The Busterís are hyping themselves to walk over and talk to three gorgeous blondes, sunning their tanned bodies poolside. Honestly, if the cameraís hadnít been on them, they most likely wouldíve sat in their rooms and talked smack.
Armed with liquid courage and the latest in Times Square gold, the Busterís glide over to teach a lesson in how to pick up women. Too bad some pot bellied forty something was already there buying the ladies exotic drinks and regaling them with stories of his younger years with the CIA as a covert op. Hey buddy, thatís my line.
Prancing around the pool is Katie Mayorga, known throughout the world as the Grape GoddessÖor rather, The Soon To Be Mrs. Speedbump. While her job looks simple, I doubt few would actually want it. Imagine spending hours a day in a Princess Leia bikini, feeding frozen grapes to bald, horny, overweight millionaires who graciously tip her chunks of change in an effort to hide their lack ofÖ*ahem*Öwell, you know. Yep, itís a tough job all right and bless her heart for stepping up to the challenge.
The three Bustersí are busy feeding the lines to the ladies. Whatís so classic about this scene is that the whole time the guys think theyíre getting somewhere, the ladies are telling the cameraís that they rarely spend their own money and flirt to get freebies from the men. The Busterís trade room numbers and are amped to get their groove on later on in the night.
Back at the roulette wheel, Marci is climbing her way out of the hole. Sheís only $45,000 down and with the next spin, could be on her way up. She places her bet on zero and it looks like Lady luck showed up. Whamo! Another zero and Marci is only $28,000 down.
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Apparently Caesars is the Mecca of dating. At least thatís what Anita Markotic says. Anita works the front desk and often sees what a little Johnny Walker and a roll of quarters can do. Hook-ups, break-ups and everything in between happen before her very own eyes on a daily basis.
Anita is checking in two ladies from the East coast, and guessing by their accents, New York/ New Jersey-ish. They mustíve flew in with those Busterís, or maybe it was throw out your trash week on Long Island. Annnnyways, one is blonde and the other brunette. Remember that because that is how Iíll be referring to them.
The blonde is recently single and still pines away for her boyfriend. The brunette is ever the faithful lieutenant, reminding her that Vegas has kewl hotties and itís time to officially cut the strings. The blonde calls up her ex and leaves a message along the lines of being free and single and she canít love him anymore. Yep, Iím sure heíll speed dial that voicemail, just as soon as he wakes up next her best friend back home.
Fame And Fortune
Caesars isnít just sex, alcohol and gold chains. Itís also a place where big dreams come alive and chip-by-chip, life gets just a wee bit better. For that reason alone is why we find Hina Reed speed walking through the casino. Hina is the director of Slot Operations and it is her job to oversee everything that happens, every time a handle is pulled. Hina is the oldest of twenty two children! She came to Vegas after her mother was evicted from their shoe and quickly rose up the ranks to Slot Director.
Hina is on her way to congratulate Gary who just won $5,000 on the slots. Gary has an interesting story to tell. He is terminally ill and has been battling his own odds for a few years now. After Hina does whatever it is slot directorís do, she paged over her walkie-talkie again. This time she is informed that someone hit jackpot and won one million dollars. Doing the ole I hope no one notices me trying to walk overly fast through the casino walk, Hina is quite surprised at the amount of high dollar winning.
And low and behold, it is Gary who won the million dollars. Iím sure the odds of that happening are about one in a gagillion and Iím blissfully happy that it was he who won. With winning that much money also comes the perks. The carpet is rolled out and Gary becomes royalty. Anything to keep a high roller happy. Hina does a little shaking and baking and lands Gary the Presidential Suite for the rest of his stay. Gary and his wife are shown the awesome room by Valentino Crespo, Master Butler to the stars. Valentino wows the couple (and me as well) with the room size statistics and his penchant for speaking in Italian.
Hat tricks arenít only reserved for hockey. Yep, Gary is on a roll. Before Valentino can belt out the last of verse of The Barber of Seville, Gary is another $75,000 richer. Way to go Gary!
Remember the blonde and brunette? Move over Stella cause these ladies are about to get their groove on. While drinking her sorrows away the blonde is approached by some beefcake named Mike and his wingman Stubby. After a few apple martiniís, the ladies join the men at the craps table. Itís either the liquor or the dudeís biceps, but with out a doubt the blonde is suddenly over her boyfriend. I swear, Caesars must be pumping something through the ventilation system. People are hooking up right and left and Iím left flabbergasted at the crap these guyís are slingingÖand getting away with it! Mike and his buddy have to leave for a while, but he definitely wants to meet up with the blonde later on. They exchange cell numbers and he seals the deal with a little tonsil hockey. The blonde is loving Vegas.
Weíre back to MarciÖagain. You donít think she has a bit of a gambling problem do you? Nahhhh. Sheís $45,000 down and asks for her lucky dealer, Timmy, to come back to the floor. Joe yanks Timmy off his smoke break and Marci squeals with delight. After nine grueling hours and a few hundred packs of Parliament Lights, Marci has finally broken even. Youíd think after nine hours of trying to win your money back, and then succeeding, youíd be out the door. Not Marci. ďOne more spinĒ, she says. And like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of Caesars.
Basking in the light of a potential hook-up later on, the brunette just happens to look across the casino and see the blondeís guy Mike. Mike works fast and heís seen getting his teeth tangled with another woman. The blonde is crushed and at the urging of her friend, she decides to let the other girl know that Mike is a player. The other girl happens to be Mikeís girlfriend and isnít going to take any crap from Blondie. Do I think whatís going to happen is really going to happen?
The brunette is by the blondeís side and itís two on one. I like those odds and call my bookie. Of course, Mike is suddenly quiet, shuffling his feet, whistling and slowly tiptoeing away. He gives his girl a tug on the sleeve and as they walk away, the brunette grabs the girlfriend by the back of the head and itís on. Hair is pulled, bitch slaps are presented and the only thing missing is Michael Buffer and the ring card girl. Itís an all out battle as the girls go at it. Some people pay to see this kind of thing. We get to see it for free. High fives all around!
The blonde and brunette manage to skid addle before security arrives. They escape up to their room, breathing a sigh of relief for not getting busted. They mustíve forgot about the million hidden cameras or the fact that a camera crew followed them. Either way, security knocks on the door and asks them for a statement. Theyíre not as good of liars as they are fighters. The jig is up. One look at the fight caught on tape and itís evident the two girls are at fault. Theyíre shown the door and itís leaving Las Vegas for them.
Itís Now Or Never
Michelle Adams has been dealing blackjack for seven years. And like Joe, I like her as wellÖjust not for the same reasons. Michelle is wise beyond her years. She knows the deadly game of Vegas and has become numb to the poison appleís it presents. Oh yeah, she also drives a kick ass car. ĎNuff said.
Michelle starts out the night dealing to a bunch of drunks. Sheís chatty and knows how to work the game. Turns out one of the couples at the table had just met about five minutes before sitting down. Sheís playing coy; heís playing meathead. Whatever he slipped in her Shirley Temple is working like a charm. Their hands are all over each other and the table guests are enjoying the show in between shuffles.
The happy couple decides that a room is in order after all, despite the pleas of the onlookers. The girl confides that she is married and is trying to hide from the cameraís. Sheís busted. Enjoy the ride honey, cause your marriage just ended as of Monday.
Move over Eminem because Johnny B is the next up and coming white rapper. With visionís of fame and fortune, Johnny B is lacking the cash and recording contract to get there. Improvising on the street corner, Johnny B raps for money and manages to scrape up a few bucks.
Johnny then joins Michelleís table in hopes of parlaying the $1.70 in to $1,700. Heís actually doing quite well and manages to come out ahead. Michelle tells him he should probably put half in his pocket so he at least has something, but Johnny B decides to go all in and loses everything. What a moron. Michelle feels bad and gives him one more tip: donít eat the yellow snow. Actually, she knows of a jazz pianist at the lounge who has connections to the Hip Hop industry. Johnny B heads over and finds Ghalib Ghallab tickling the ivories. Iíd bet a bottom dollar that had the cameraís not been there; Johnny B wouldíve been thrown on the streets. Letís face it. Johnny canít rap to save his ass but somehow manages to perform with Ghalibís band. It was a hard scene to watch and Iím glad it ended.
And so begins the quest for Caesars Palace and all it has to offer. If tonight was any indicator, weíre in for quite a ride, juking and jiving our way through the underground world of one of the most famous hotel and casinos in Las Vegas.
Oh, and by the wayÖMarci finally left the table after 10 hours right where she started: 60 Gís down. And those Busterís: they were given the wrong room number. Karma can be a bitch sometimes, huh?
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