Friday, July 29, 2005


Las Vegas. It's been referred to as "Sin City", "Lost Wages", "The Devil's Playground", etc. My new favorite term is "Candyland". My friend and former boss, Mike K., came up with that saying during a group trip this past April that coincided with the World Poker Tour Championship held annually at the Bellagio Hotel. Five of us flew in on a Saturday night (love those nighttime views of the city from the airplane); our friend Jason had already been in town for two days. After checking into Terrible's Hotel and Casino, we headed out to the Bellagio via the West Valet door near the poker room. Fast cars and fast women as far as the eye could see. Light, one of the hottest and hippest nightclubs in town, is just down the hallway. On a Saturday night, some of the finest looking women in the world can be seen walking past a line of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, dressed up, or as usually is the case, dressed very scantily. So that's why Mike's first words upon arrival were a loud and enthusiastic "Candyland". He hadn't been here for a few years. We're slamming Tuaca shots and winning big at the new MGM poker room; Mike would yell "Candyland"! Making big money playing craps while a beautiful and well-endowed young hottie rolls for 30 minutes at the Palms, Mike yells "Candyland"! Jason hits a $1000 jackpot on the "Wheel of Fortune" slot machine; Mike yells "Wheeeel oooof Fooortune"! Gotcha! Eating Fatburger in the hotel room at 5am after having a "smoke", "Candyland"! This "smoke" was delivered to him by a friend of a friend whom we never even saw while we were at the Bellagio at 2am. Candyland, indeed!
Obviously, living in Las Vegas and visiting Las Vegas are too entirely different animals. I've visited Las Vegas exactly 49 times in my life; trip #50 is right around the corner. I've also lived there for about a year and a half. In my humble opinion, living there is better. Why? Mostly because when people travel to Las Vegas they have a sense of ugency surrounding them, especially if they came to gamble. FYI, Austin, Texas is the largest city in the country that is also furthest from any casino worth mentioning. So when my degenerate gambling friends make a visit, they gamble hard, party hard, and get very little sleep. Hell, some of them will play poker all day and night and then go to their hotel room and play poker online using their laptop and the hotel's wireless interent connection. I used to say that it took me 2 days to recuperate afterward for every day that I had spent in town. Anyway, living in Las Vegas can be very enjoyable, especially for someone like me who is on vampire time. Casinos, shows, golf, concerts, an unbelievable collection of restaurants, Lake Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon, and easy access by cheap flights to LA, SF, SD, Tahoe, Denver, etc.
So, if you're coming to Candyland, let me know. Gamblinsteve also doubles as Chaffeursteve and Tourguidesteve. And as the saying goes, "What Happens In Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas"!