Showing posts with label Reno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reno. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Case Of The Mondays

Not too shabby a weekend...


I played a show at the Boxing Donkey.  It was a pretty fun time and the requests were definitely keeping me on my toes.  Not sure when the last time I played "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr. or "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, but now I know they answer to both of those songs are 3/11/11.  Thanks to the great staff at the Boxing Donkey for all that you do and I can't wait to be back soon!


Mrs. B. and I got up early and went with our friends Katrina and John on a last minute trip to Reno.  Since the Peppermill was "sold out" or "only accepting two night reservations" we booked a room down the block at the Atlantis for the first time.  I felt like I was cheating on a significant other, but understand that since this was a last minute trip, there was no opportunity for a room deal or apparently even a one night reservation. 

I figured this would go one of two ways.  1) We have a great time at the Atlantis and our one night spontaneous gambling trip would be a success.  OR 2) We have our curiosity of the Atlantis and other Reno casino resorts completely filled and realize that we should never take the Peppermill for granted.  Let's see which way our trip swayed.

We arrived at around 1:30pm at the Peppermill.  Yes, we went to the Peppermill first.  We couldn't check in at Atlantis until 3pm and we had comp dollars to use at the Peppermill.  After a free meal at Biscotti's, John and I went to the Craps table (of course we did.)  We got down about $200 before coming back up past even and leaving the table with $215 each.  At that point it was around 4:30pm, so we decided to put some NBA bets down before the games started at 5pm.  We took the Bulls and Spurs to cover, found our wives and headed over to the Atlantis.

Check in at the Atlantis was nice enough and we headed up to the room.  The room was nice enough, however we paid the rate that is equivalent to the Tuscany Tower rooms at the Peppermill.  It was definitely not as nice as those rooms.  It was probably just a tad nicer than the renovated Peppermill Tower rooms that we normally get comped.  The best thing about the room was the fact that it had a usable refrigerator.  The design of the room was also pretty nice and the beds were comfortable. 

After drinking some Gentleman Jack in the room, John and I headed down to watch the Bulls and Spurs cover putting an extra $100 in our pockets.  We then met our wives at the Bistro in Atlantis and had a pretty tasty meal.  I had a margarita pizza and lots of water to hydrate back up for the night.  No complaints with the restaurant at all. 

We decided to take a cab over the Peppermill to continue gambling.  For the low, low price of $4.34, we were back at our normal stomping grounds.  John and I found our way back to our favorite Craps table with our favorite dealers (shout out to Don, Phillip, Rick and the rest of the crew.)  We are pretty particular at this point with what table we play at and we patiently waited for spots to open up. 

Once we squeezed our way onto the table, it was going pretty well.  At one point I was up another $273, and I was extremely temped to walk away.  The problem is, you compete with yourself as to whether you're up there to gamble and win or gamble for a long period of time.  The answer you ideally want is both, but sometimes that is not possible. 

While playing, our friend Kevin who is a casino host at the Peppermill slyly came up and whispered, "Hey, you guys can't gamble here because you're staying at the Atlantis!"  It startled me for a second, but when I realized who was saying it I laughed and knew he was joking.  We really should have called him, but I try not to call in favors too often.  He said we should have called him and that he probably could have helped us out.  Such a cool dude.  Lesson learned on that one, even if it was an obvious lesson to learn.  Call your casino host before going up and they will help you out.  As Charlie Sheen would say, "Duh!"

In the end, the table cleared out leaving John, Mrs. B., and myself playing.  Katrina was around watching and occasionally playing slots.  The raised the limit on the table which priced out other players from joining the game.  I think they were trying to close down the table, but we kept shooting until they told us the table was done.  This was not helpful to our bankrolls, but it is the most ideal way of playing Craps.  It's like having our own private table.  We feel comfortable and not be bothered by any riff-raff that might join the table.  In the end, I was still up for the trip but for the session, I was probably down $110.  Ah the beauty of gambling- such a roller coaster. 

Our wives had already taken a cab back to the Atlantis (Mrs. B. left the Craps table before it totally closed), so John and I did the same.  We figured it would be a good idea to try gambling at the Atlantis as well.  This was the worst decision of the evening.  The Atlantis gaming area is not as vibrant as the Peppermill's.  The live music was substantially worse, the tables were of a lower quality (when I reached down to pick up chips, the felt felt old and nasty), and even the chips were of odd quality (lots of $5 chips were different looking and felt cheap.)  John and I got crushed on the table and then we went to bed.  I think we were both still up $50 for the trip, but it was a dumb decision.  Oh well, that teaches us a lesson and at least we were still up. 


Check out was at 11am (at the Peppermill we would normally get a 1pm checkout due to our Gold Member status.)  Note to self- drinking and gambling on a "Spring Forward" Daylight Savings day is an awful idea!  However, we made the best of it, but quickly packing up and going back over to the Peppermill for another free meal.  I love having comp dollars.  It rules. 

We left after brunch and headed back to Sacramento.  We even missed the possible awful weather that was quickly approaching.  I'm fairly certain I slept the rest of the day away after arriving home.  Another successful trip to the wonderful city of Reno.  My final answer on the Atlantis is that the Peppermill is way better.  I didn't totally mind staying at the Atlantis, but as you can see, we kept going back to the Peppermill for a reason.  It has better high end rooms, a better gaming atmosphere, better food (although our dinner at Atlantis wasn't bad), and just a better overall vibe.  If nothing else, we won't take the Peppermill for granted- not that we really did before, but it was really eye opening to see how much better it is than other potential places you could stay or hang out. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"You So Crazy"

I asked my friend for a blog topic today and she suggested the State of the Union address, Oscar predictions or what would happen if the Yellowstone Super Volcano erupted.  These were all great suggestions!  Unfortunately, I didn't watch the State of the Union address (too much talk, not enough doing), I have only watched Inception and Toy Story 3 out of the Best Picture nominees, and I HATE super volcanoes (there is a good chance that a super volcano killed off the dinosaurs!)

I also don't want to talk about Jimmy Buffet falling off a stage in Australia and then being rushed to the hospital.  Some people said there was a woman to blame, but in the end, it was all Jimmy's fault.

So what do I have?  I've pretty much worked my way through the grief process of the Bears' loss in the NFC Championship Game and I am ready to start anew.  What better way to do that than to talk about an A-hole at the Craps Table?  None, I tells ya!

This past Friday, my friends John, Brandon, and I went up to the Peppermill in Reno to drink, eat, play Craps, and make sports bets.  The overall trip was fantastic.  We had a free room, received our Gold Member Parking Passes, checked in at the VIP Services room, and everyone received some amount in free play- which is always nice and helpful.

After drinking a bottle of The Gentleman between the three of us, we went down to play Craps.  The game itself can be enough of a grind, but can be made excellent by the other folks at any given table.  A fun group of people can make Craps go from a solid game, to a ridiculously fun game.  Hell, if you have people betting against the table and the dice starting going your way- that can be a blast as well!  Showing up people who bet on the Don't Pass/Don't Come Line is ALWAYS fun times!

But the opposite is also true.  If a complete douche finds their way to the Craps Table they can ruin the entire vibe.  I'm not sure which comes first- the positive vibe or the massive winnings, but I will tell you that if an A-hole comes up to the table and said table goes cold, everyone WILL blame the jerkweed for the bad luck.  We'll call this "The Jay Cutler Principle."  It may not physically be the person's fault that everyone at the table is losing, but it sure seems that way and no one will give them the benefit of the doubt.

So what happened on Friday?  A space opened up right next to me early on in our session.  A tall, big bellied white guy steps in and immediately has the stink of douche all over him.  He was extremely drunk, talking in a very cartoon-ish voice, called everyone "big man," and threw a wad of $2900 into the center of the table for the dealers to count up.  He turned to me and put a wad of money in my face and told me to count it.  I was pissed.  1) This is inappropriate.  2) Just because you are proud of how much money you have, doesn't mean it's ok to tell people to count it (or do anything for that matter.  3) Count your own damn money!

After a minute of harassing, I decided to count the money.  I half wanted to peel off a couple 100s for myself, but in a casino that's probably not the best idea.  In retrospect, I should have charged him a $100 counting fee and he was probably drunk enough to do it, but in the end, I counted his 11 $100 bills and handed them back.  He threw them right onto the table for the dealers to count.  Obviously, he just wanted to show off his money and make sure everyone knew what a "big man" he was.  I'm going to guess he's over compensating for something else.

Once he had his $4000 in chips, and made sure to mention that he "usually plays with at least $5000," we were able to continue playing.  He was buying numbers, allowing the dice to roll 4 or 5 times, then he'd announce that he was taking all of his bets off.  What a dick.  Not only do the dealers have to keep track of his large bets, but he was slowing the game by taking his bets on and off the table in between rolls.  It was maddening.

Another annoying habit this guy had was whenever people were getting visibly sick of him, he would try to give them a knuckle pound and say, "You so crazy."  All f-ing night.  "You so crazy... you so crazy... you so crazy."  Unless you're possessed by Martin Lawrence, you need to shut your hole!

The great thing about this was he was being such an obvious nuisance that he actually got reprimanded for swearing at the table.  This was a great lesson to learn.  A pit boss doesn't care how much money you are throwing down- if you are a shithead, you will still get in trouble.

Eventually, we had to just color up, cash out and move tables.  It was not a tolerable situation.  I'm fairly certain the guy started propositioning other guys at the table.  He might have propositioned me at one point, but his drunken mumbling was inaudible.  The only thing I can understand was, "You know what I'm sayin'!"  I replied, "Actually, I have no idea what you're saying."  He just laughed like he was the Joker when Joker had Batman in an precarious position.

I'm all for being social and playing this great and social game, but remember kids, don't be an A-hole.  Ever.  But especially at the Craps table when there is money on the line.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reno: The Santa Pub Crawl Edition

Wow.  What a freaking weekend!  It's going to be hard to recap this, but let's try to do it in a fun but succinct manner. 

The drive up to Reno was fairly easy.  My friend John drove with me sitting shotgun and Mrs. B. and his wife Katrina in the back.  He had to drive his 4 wheel drive truck due to the chance of snow that you can encounter while driving up to Reno in December.  As it happens, the weather was fantastic and posed no threat what-so-ever to our plans.  God smiled upon this side of the country, unlike the Midwest and East Coast- but we'll get to that. 

Hilarity struck 5 seconds after getting out of the car at the valet area of the Peppermill (c'mon- did you think we'd stay anywhere else?)  As per usual, we brought liquor and mixers to build our own bar in the room.  I had purchased four 2 liter bottles of soda (because it was 4 for $.99 each or 1-3 for $1.79 each.)  I threw the plastic bag with the bottles of soda in the back of the truck initially, so when I went to grab them out of the truck the bag was splitting.  They all fell out the bottom and one of the Sprite bottles hit the pavement and exploded turning into a projectile.  LUCKILY, it did not hit another car or person.  It stopped harmlessly in the middle of the sidewalk.  I was embarrassed a little, but once I realized that no one cared and nothing was damaged I thought it was a pretty awesome sight.  I believe there was a video on Tosh.0 once showing the power of a soda bottle explosion- it's nuts!

Anyway, we checked in using our new Gold cards (using the VIP line to the left of all the commoners who have to wait in the regular line- MWAHAHA!)  After getting set and having a few drinks, we went down for some phenomenal Chinese food at Chi.  Even better, we had Miriam as our server (she was our server from the High Roller trip) so it was nice to be recognized and carry over a tiny bit of celebrity into this trip.  Dinner was delicious, but it was on to some serious business- the Craps table. 

John and I posted up for a few hours at the Craps table.  We scraped to make our cash last but it was not happening.  I had brought up some cash, but I inevitably had to go to the ATM to grab more.  I'm not really going to describe this session because it was more or less a bloodbath.  Defeated, I offered to buy John a cigar and we were pretty much going to call it a night. 

We smoked the cigars and felt lucky that our rooms were comped because at least there was no cost there.  After finishing the smokes, we went back to find our wives.  Mrs. B. was at the Craps table.  It looked like she was doing ok.  John and I couldn't control the itch and pulled out even more money from the cash machine.  This was horribly irresponsible- however this was the point where the weekend turned right around. 

John and I grabbed empty spots on the opposite ends of the table and started to play.  I only bought in with $100 and I would not need to put any more down the rest of the night (or morning as it was about 2am at this point.)  The cocktail waitress was bringing drink after drink, the dice were hitting point after point. 

The tide officially turned when a group of people decided to bet the "Don't Pass, Don't Come Line" and cheer when a 7 would clear the board.  I know I've said this before, but if you are a person who would do that, you probably would also murder a kitten and you deserve to rot in hell.  You are like the NFL player that celebrates after you make a decent hit on a receiver that just gained 14 yards and a first down- all the while your team is down 24 points.  You probably cheered for the Nazis to win World War II.  DO NOT CHEER FOR 7'S AT A CRAPS TABLE YOU EVIL BASTARDS!

The guys at my side of the table were pretty cool dudes, and they turned to me and said, "Did they really just cheer when the 7 cleared the board?  Let's over celebrate when every point hits."  I fully supported this tactic, and it lead to one of them rolling for 40 freaking minutes in a row and the rest of the table going on a monster run.  I was howling like a wolf.  I was giving Ric Flair "WOOOOs!" all over the place.  At one point I asked one of the dealers if we could tarp the area around the Craps table and pop champagne like we just won the World Series (or in some cases, just clinched a Wild Card spot.)  He laughed because apparently that was not allowed. 

It was so hot that I was physically exhausted from celebrating by the end of the run.  At one point we were all jumping around like Happy Gilmore when he celebrated with his teenage caddy by throwing him around.  Besides the 40 minute roller, there were plenty of other good rolls at the table and I eventually was too tired to continue (plus, it felt like it was cooling down a bit by 5:30am.)  John and I celebrated with a Coffee Shop meal then stumbled back to our respective rooms.  For just that session, I turned $100 into $1335.  It's too bad about the initial loss, but we more than made up that and set us up nicely for the rest of the weekend. 

Let's skip through to the Santa Crawl.  We caught a cab the next night (Saturday night) and headed to the El Dorado to meet up with Morgan and her group of friends (Morgan was the host of the High Roller videos.)  I, of course, dressed up like Buddy the Elf and while I felt a little ridiculous walking through the Peppermill to get the cab, I fit right in once we arrived at the Santa Crawl location.  EVERYONE was dressed up to some degree.  Mrs. B. was impressed because she thought our costumes were awesome (which they were) but by no means were we the only ones dressed up in full Christmas gear.  I saw millions of Santas, thousands of Jesuses, and another 3 Buddy the Elfs (Elves?) 

Some of the Crawl was a blur, but involved a decent amount of walking, at some point we found a more open area with a bar selling cans of Bud Light with a shot of Jameson for $6 each.  That pretty much made me a happy little camper for the remainder of the night.  It was fun hanging out with Morgan and her husband Kevin along with the rest of their group of friends.  Overall, it was a very fun event. 

Around midnight, we found our way back to the Reno sign and took some pictures (as seen on Facebook) and found a cab back to the Peppermill.  John and I tried to recapture the magic from the night before (and actually from the afternoon session where we won another few hundred bucks) but it was not to be.  I lost around $300 during that session to bring down a bit.  As other expenses were cutting into my cash (food, cabs, drinks, I gave Mrs. B. some money to gamble with) I calculated that I was up around $300 for the trip by the end of the night.  I was going to let myself be up and be happy with that...

I was content... at least until my childhood friend, regular commenter, awesome blogger, and humanitarian G$ texted me around 9am.  The text in fact woke me up out of bed and it said, "Bet unders in the midwest and east coast today... bet them big."  I had asked him for advice on Saturday, but the last minute advice Sunday morning stoked a fire in me and I decided to go big or go home (well, I was going home either way after the 1pm games, but you know what I'm saying.) 

I looked at the games that would be affected by the AWFUL weather on the Eastern side of the country and would also involve teams that are offensively challenged.  I put $75 each on the unders of Browns/Bills, Redskins/Bucs, and Dolphins/Jets.  G$ had also mentioned that he liked the Jags over the Raiders by 3.5 so I put $75 on that (I do love betting against the Raiders.)  This added up to exactly $300.  The amount I was up.  I was either going home up or even. 

The Jags/Raiders game was awful for the first half.  It looked bleak until the Jags made some halftime adjustments and came back out ready to play.  In winning by 7, they covered (in dramatic fashion) and I was stoked.  The Browns/Bills game was never a problem, and the Redskins/Bucs game got a little dicey at the end, but realistically, I had that game at under 40.5 so even if the 'Skins had tied the game at 17-17 to send it to over time, another 6 would have made the total exactly 40, so I would've still won.  3-0 for the morning games, so all I needed was a massive slop-fest for the Dolphins/Jets game and that's exactly what I got.  My friend John played some parlays and actually followed my bets Sunday morning, so he in fact threw $20 on those four bets and won $240- winners all around!  Thanks G$- you can expect me to click through some ads on your site to repay you a few nickles for your advice.  In all seriousness, when are you starting your own phone line or betting site? 

So in the end, I won around $600, had our room comped, dressed up like an Elf and we drove home safely.  That's what I call another magical trip to Reno! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegas vs. Tahoe vs. Reno

I wanted to let the whole "Be The High Roller" championship blow over before posting this because I sound like I'm the non-deceased Billy Mays of Reno with all the positive things I have to say about that town.  This post is aimed to give a potential Nevada visitor some advice as to why they would go to one place over another if they wanted to place some wagers, eat some great food, and drink until the casino cuts you off and escorts you back to your room.

Las Vegas - I've been to Vegas a few times.  I've stayed at Circus Circus (this was for a business trip, not my choice of hotel), the Luxor (I went with my buddy Mike for a few days to play poker and party), and Mandalay Bay (my friend Harrison's bachelor party.)  These were three wildly different trips and different points in my life.  The business trip happened before I knew much about gambling, the Luxor trip happened when I was still a bit green overall but had been playing lots of poker, and the bachelor party happened a year ago and I believe I posted about it here

In my trips down to Vegas, what I realized is that the city is awesome.  You can do pretty much anything you want.  You just have to have deep pockets and you will have a fantastic time.  There is relatively no great value in Vegas.  Sure, if you're an actual high roller you can get great comps.  But if you're just some guy rolling in for the weekend looking to spend $500 and gamble $500, that's probably not getting you much in the way of free comps.  It is possible I haven't gone there enough, but my one sentence review of Vegas is:

Everything is great- except for how much it costs.

Tahoe - Tahoe has a GREAT reputation in the Sacramento Area.  People LOVE going to Tahoe.  I understand the draw, but let's be very clear about the difference between great looking natural surroundings and the actual casinos.  I'm certain that there are people who have a positive association with the Tahoe casinos because of that one time they went boating on Lake Tahoe that time they were 13.  The gorgeous nature has NOTHING to do with the casinos.  Here are the breakdowns:

Harrah's - The only great casino in Tahoe and yet it has a small booth for a Sports Book and no Poker room.  Also, you are not allowed to bet on the Celtics because the owner of the casino owns a share in the team.  Club Vex is awesome and so is their buffet (though it is costly.)  The breakfast place is very good as well.  Harrah's is connected to Harvey's (and owned by the same folks)...

Harvey's - This houses the larger Sports Book and Poker room.  I do not like Harvey's because the environment is quite cramped.  I'm not sure if the ceilings are too low for my liking or what, but I always feel cramped in there.  I prefer to play Craps at Harrah's if I'm there.

Monte Bleu - This is the old Caesar's Tahoe that Harrah's Entertainment had to sell for anti-trust reasons.  Besides the x5 Craps tables, I see no real reason to go there.  They haven't remodeled many of the rooms so it still looks like Caesar's and a much douchier crowd hangs out there.  Not recommended.

Horizon - This casino feels like a nuclear bomb went off inside.  They have NO table games.  I couldn't find a Sports Book or Poker room.  Essentially, they have all slot machines and a movie theater.  Their most redeeming quality is the karaoke they run on Thursdays and Saturdays.  This is HIGHLY recommend.  Every other aspect of this casino should be avoided.

These are the four best casinos that Tahoe has to offer.  Yikes.

Reno - Reno has a bad reputation in Sacramento.  Many people say, "Why would you go to Reno when you can go to Tahoe?"  Well, that's an easy question to answer, but first, let's talk about the term "The Strip."

In Vegas, "The Strip" is the place to be.  It allows you to go from one casino to the next and they are all located on Las Vegas Blvd.  Recently, other casinos have been popping up off the strip.  The Palms, The Rio, and many others offer a great experience just off the main drag.  People take cabs there and no one thinks about it (in fact, most people take cabs from one casino on The Strip down to others still on The Strip.  Those walks are deceiving and long!)

In Tahoe, "The Strip" consists of the casinos I just named.  More than likely, you would end up hanging out one of the four if you go to Tahoe.  It is known as the place to gamble if you're headed that way.

In Reno, "The Strip" sucks.  No two ways about it.  Because people think that "The Strip" is code for "Best Place In Town To Gamble," visitors to Reno will head to "The Strip" and think "This is awful."  Reno's Strip consists of Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, El Dorado, Harrah's, The Cal Neva, and other sad looking casinos.  I'm not saying that there are no redeeming qualities to any of these places, but what I am saying is that it looks like a dump whereas Tahoe looks cleaner from the outside in.

HOWEVER, if we take "The Strip" out of the equation and cruise further down Virginia St, you will find FAR better casinos.  The Peppermill is my obvious favorite, but let's take my biased opinion out of it.  You can also go to The Atlantis or The Grand Sierra and both of those casinos have great things to offer.  All three of these Off The Strip casino/hotels have more modern looks to them, great deals to be had, and great amenities.  Both the Peppermill and the Atlantis have great Spas and Pools.  All three have restaurants worth checking out.  All three will start giving you decent comps early on.

I'm obviously a Peppermill customer for life after my great experiences there, but just remember- if you go to Reno, DO NOT go to "The Strip."  Go to the place that has the nice casinos right down the road.


To sum up: Vegas is obviously the best if you have the cash.  Tahoe is great if you like outdoor activities but their casinos aren't great.  Reno has the best value for great casino experiences, but you have to go away from "The Strip" to get there.

Happy gambling... damn, writing that post makes me want to make another trip!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Videos From The Terrace Lounge At The Peppermill Reno

Well, I suppose I could talk about how bad of a coach Mike Singletary is (note: he's a great motivator, but TERRIBLE at clock management, time out management, and many other little things that did not help the Niners last night) however, the Peppermill just posted the videos of my performance at the Terrace Lounge, so I'll just post those and call it a day.  Hope you like the videos!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Recap Chapter 6

At 2pm on Saturday, we had to rally and go down to the pool.  This was made easy because we had our own private cabana.  We were escorted to our cabana and I turned on some music.  Drinks were ordered and we did our best to put on smiles.  I'm going to be brutally honest that this was probably the most difficult shoot that we had to do.  The reason for this was that we don't typically go to the pool, there were kids running around bothering us, we were massively hung over and short on sleep. 

We did a few shots of us getting drinks and whatnot.  But then it was time to jump in the pool and the spa.  In my younger days, I would've been ok with this, but I'm a solid 15 pounds over my old basketball playing weight, so I'm sure it doesn't look great on film.  I suppose we'll see once the video is released. 

The girls then went to the spa to relax while John and I hung out for a bit.  After tiring of the pool, I decided to check out and go back upstairs- John headed to the spa.  The reason I went back to the room was because I had a very important engagement at 4:30pm.  The Be The High Roller crew had set me up with a quick set on stage at the Terrace Lounge.  I had wanted to play at the Peppermill for years and they made my dreams a reality! 

I thought about what songs I should sing and I went this way:

- "50 Stories" - This song is pretty much the first "single" from my new album and it is about Mrs. B.  This seemed like a smart move. 

- "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" - I have the lyrics memorized and it seemed like something a casino band would play during the afternoon.  As it turned out, Eric actually sings this song to his wife all the time at home, so it was actually perfect that I selected this song.

- "Better Be Home Soon" - Again, I have the lyrics memorized and I was still on a high from seeing Crowded House on August 23.  This was a mild hit in 1988, so people might recognize the song, but not totally know exactly what it is.  It was pretty successful. 

They taped the whole performance and should be posting it soon.  I'm excited to see it.  I was actually pretty nervous on stage, not to mention run down, but I think it went quite well.  You never know, maybe you'll see me playing at the Peppermill again sometime soon...

Back in the room, we changed into our most dressy clothes for our dinner at Bimini Steakhouse.  This was quite special because we don't typically go there.  We went there once before and it was pretty expensive.  Going there without worrying about cost, not to mention as a favored guest, was legit. 

Right before dinner, John, Katrina and Mrs. B. were all interviewed confessional style about me.  I'm dying to see those videos! 

Even better, Lonny and Morgan joined us for dinner.  Unfortunately, Eric had to go home because his wife is extremely pregnant, so it was a bummer he couldn't join us.  However, the six of us proceeded to have a 3 hour dinner filled with great conversation.  Before I go further with that, just know that my fillet mignon was unbelievably great and the rum battered shrimp was an appetizer to kill for. 

Ok, back to the conversation.  Morgan and Lonny allowed us to talk about what we love/like/dislike about the Peppermill.  We found out so many pieces of information that made us feel like insiders.  As we gave our feedback, it was amazing to feel listened to by people who could actually make changes at our favorite weekend getaway spot.  Here was some of the suggestions/conversation points:

- Bring back some form of coupon book.  Such great value and makes us feel good about our trip even if gambling goes awry. 
- Re-do the Fish Bar and possibly turn it into a karaoke bar.  Awww yeah!
- Move some of the fashion videos from the Tuscany Tower to the area around EDGE.  It seems to make more sense. 
- We found out that the scenic videos that are shown throughout the casino were done by Lonny and a crew of some other videographers.  We now call those channels "Lonny's Videos." 
- The renovations affect the levels of comps that we get because they have to take three floors offline for every one floor they renovate.  This makes complete sense.  Supply and demand. 

There was probably a lot more things that we talked about, but the main point is that we came away feeling heard and with a brand new respect for the Peppermill. 

Then came another awesome part of the trip.  Morgan's husband, Kevin came over and introduced himself.  He is a casino host at the Peppermill (yes, like Sam on "Las Vegas.")  He was a cool guy- immediately likable.  After a few minutes, Morgan mentioned that Katrina, John, Mrs. B. and I needed upgrades to become Gold Members.  Mrs. B. and I had been on Bronze for a couple years, and were getting close.  John and Katrina were about half way there.  Kevin said, "Gold?  No problem, let me write down your names and give me a couple minutes."  He waved a magic wand and we were Gold Members quite quickly.  One of the best perks of the trip!  The card is shiny!

After dinner, it was just another blur of a night.  We all drank at the Terrace Lounge and at the Fireside Lounge at some point.  There were multiple sessions of Craps, and the night ended with John and I playing Craps at 4:30am.  We were on a table that included us and us alone.  John was killing it.  His rolls were off the hook.  Eventually, they had to shut our table down.  Probably because they were streamlining their staffing, but partially because we were doing very well.  We decided to go back to the room and I think we ended the night with some Maker's Mark.  Yikes!

In the morning, John and I met the manager of the Sports Book and taped a segment with him.  They allowed me to hold like $3000 out of the register to make a pretend sports bet on camera.  It was freaky to hold that much money that clearly wasn't mine in a casino.  To get the correct shot, I actually bent my knees and awkwardly walked up to the counter to make my bets.  Hilarious! 

Afterwards, we watched most of the Bears game (and other games), then ran upstairs to finish packing.  We went down to the Bell Desk where we were going to say goodbye to John and Katrina (as they had to drive back home because they had their car) and finish up our trip with a ride back to Sacramento on the private jet. 

After a few shots in front of the limo, we said goodbye to John and Katrina for real, jumped in the limo and were on our way back to the private jet. 

I have to be honest, over the years, while watching reality shows I would hate on people who would cry when they got eliminated.  "You've only been there a week, why are you crying?!"  Well, in five days we really got to know Eric, Morgan, and Lonny and while I was not a blubbering mess, it was definitely emotional to say goodbye.  We spent so much time with them each day, it really led to us becoming good friends.  They are all great people and I look forward to staying in touch with them.  I take back all my hating on reality show contestants. 

The plane ride felt like it was over in a blink.  Back in Sacramento, we took over the Pilot's Lounge and made our last videos.  I talked about my final thoughts confessional style, got to talk with Morgan, Lonny, and Eric on camera.  It was very cathartic and I did come close to breaking down (though I did not.)  Good try, Morgan! 

In the end, Mrs. B. and I jumped back in my car and we were home in a snap.  It was so weird to back in "real life" where we had to pay for things and not have VIP everything.  I mean, we went to Target and I kept saying "Yeah Sweetie, just get whatever you want."  Mrs. B. could've put anything in that cart and I probably would not have batted an eye.  It was weird that the cashier charged us money for goods!  What's up with that?! 

In all seriousness, winning the "Be The High Roller" contest was one of the best experiences of my life.  The perks were out of this world and the friendships we made were even better.  I can't say enough about our hosts and how amazing they were to work with and hang out with.  I know that this trip will be something that we all talk about for the rest of our lives. 

Who's coming back with us in December?!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Recap Chapter 4

The night of gambling went great.  I threw most of my profits in the safe and got some decent sleep.  Mrs. B. and I were scheduled to meet Eric, Morgan and Lonny at the fitness center at 11am in the morning.  Our intention was to shoot some video then actually work out.  What actually happened was that we shot some over the top videos of me benching with one arm, doing bicep curls and reading the Wall Street Journal, and then both of us on the treadmill.  Instead of finishing up a workout, we quickly went back to the room to change and get ready for our shopping spree.  Here is the workout video:

The shopping spree was a trip. They made me try on 10 different shirts/outfits all with varying degrees of hilarity. There was one outfit in particular- the metro looking pea coat that was lined with a turtle-neck sweater that was so hot that I almost went grumpy diva on the crew. Then I reminded myself- THIS IS THE COOLEST TRIP EVER and I felt great again. It did take awhile to get all the shots though. I think it turned out pretty well, but it is too bad they didn't have a Dumb & Dumber powder blue suit.  Here is my shopping video:

After I was done shooting, we went over to let Mrs. B. try on some clothes. Here is her video:

While we were in the women's clothing store (Bella Bottega) I actually met the GM of the Peppermill! I imagined he'd be intimidating like James Caan on "Las Vegas" but John was actually a very nice and down to earth guy. He complimented us and said that he felt like we were the perfect people for this promotion. It was quite a compliment and I enjoyed meeting him.

Once we completed taping, I went back over and bought the black shirt I wore later in the night and a navy Peppermill sweatshirt (as seen on the Sunday videos that are not up just yet.) Mrs. B. and I went back to Biscotti's for lunch, then back to the room for a nap. It was ridiculously necessary. I slept through my 4pm alarm and a call from John and Katrina (who were stuck in traffic.) I did wake up in time to meet the BTHR crew at Chi, the Peppermill's Chinese restaurant.

We've now reached the point in the story where I have run out of videos. I'm hoping that Eric, Morgan and Lonny have been able to relax and enjoy their loved ones.  Each of them had important family events going on concurrently with this experience.  Eric's wife is 7 months pregnant, Lonny and his girlfriend adopted a puppy (he literally got the call while we were in Bella Bottega), and Morgan's two boys are on football teams that are both doing great! They worked their asses off during the time we were there, so I truly hope they've been able to recharge their batteries.

My thoughts are that the blog will be of higher quality if I post in conjunction with the videos, so I'm going to stop here for today. Worst case scenario, I'll post no matter what tomorrow and maybe even finish up with a special edition Saturday post.

I'll also open things up for questions. Any questions coming up during the description of the trip? I'm not answering the exact amount of how much money I walked with, but I will answer questions as best as possible if there are any. If not, no big deal, but if you have one just post it in the comments. Catch you tomorrow!

"Be The High Roller" FAQ

There clearly is some confusion about this contest and it is, of course, the perfect contest to bring out the haters, so I figured I'd post some clarification on specific issues that people are hating on.  It's better that I steam off here than on the Peppermill's Facebook, I suppose.

Q: If you're such a "high roller" why aren't you acting like one? 

A: This contest was NOT "Be The Best Current High Roller" at the Peppermill.  It was geared to give us common folk a contest to show off our creativity and love for the Peppermill.  It was also a marketing campaign geared toward getting new demographics interested in going to the Peppermill.  Luckily, my wife and I fit one of those new demographics (mid-late 20s/early 30s couples that will get hooked now and continue going to the Peppermill for years to come.)

Q: Would a "high roller" really eat at Oceano?  (This was from a lady who was hating on the Peppermill Facebook page.) 

A: If a big time player was at the Peppermill over the course of 5 days, then they probably would eat at all the restaurants- maybe.  In the context of this contest, it doesn't really matter.  The point of the videos were to showcase every restaurant, club, and shop that the Peppermill has to offer along with chronicling our awesome experience.

Q: Wait a second- aren't you supposed to bring an entourage?  The contest said you can bring "up to three people with you."  Did Mrs. B. not allow you to bring friends?! (Again, thanks for hating you bitter, angry lady.)

A: Quite the opposite.  We go to the Peppermill pretty often with our friends John and Katrina (there is another couple, Jen and Brandon, who also come up with us and we all have a great time.)  John and Katrina were noted on my original "Be The High Roller" profile as the people who I would take if I won (along with Mrs. B.)  Katrina was out of town until Friday at a conference in Washington D.C.  John is an officer of the law and was scheduled for court on Friday afternoon.  They drove up immediately on Friday, were stuck in traffic, and arrived around 7:15pm.  You will see them in future videos as they were posted.

Q: Do you really like/love the Peppermill as much as you say you do?  

A: Have you ever read my blog?  No?  Well search "Peppermill" in the search field at the top and see what comes up.  I had my bachelor party there.  I've had great times there.  I've won and lost money there.  I've been wasted there.  I've taken Mrs. B. there for her birthday.  I've gone there for guys' poker trips.  Counting this past amazing trip, I've been there 4 times in the last 7 weeks.  Yes, I love the Peppermill. 

Q: Was it hard work making the videos? 

A: Yes and no.  Yes, because we did do a lot of filming.  At times it was exhausting, but I understood that the price of our ridiculous vacation was to be repaid by making promotional videos for them to use.  No, because Eric, Morgan, and Lonny were SO AWESOME.  They made it easy to just have fun and relax while making the videos.  We did multiple takes for some things, and others were completely natural, one take videos.  I am proud of them.

Q: Come on "high roller"- why aren't you betting more per hand on gambling?  

A: Well, they gave me a gambling stipend, and I'm not actually rich.  I hate Blackjack and was risking a lot of my own stipend on the filmed hands.  I was still gambling smart and steady during the trip, and I came up ahead by a lot.  It was not a life changing amount of money (as in, I'm not rich now), but I'm either going to buy a guitar and leave the rest in savings, or keep it all in my savings account and put it toward a downpayment on a future house (it is not close to enough to make a full downpayment.)  Had the cameras been allowed to watch the entire time, I did turn up my Craps game to place a base bet of $25, while backing up each number with the max ($75 for 4 and 10, $100 for 5 and 9, and $125 for 6 and 8.)  This creates a risk of at least $100 per number per dice roll.  I typically use the Pass and Come Lines to play 3 total numbers at a time.  I'm fairly certain that is "high rolling." 


If there are any other questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.  I understand now how athletes can lose their minds after listening to people hating on them.  I used to think, "That reporter is just baiting you, how can you fall for that again!"  I get it now.  It takes a strong person to let criticism roll off your back and not think about it. 

However, I will not lose my mind, just answer questions and explain what we did during our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  If you want to hate on us or the promotion, so be it.  We had a blast the entire time, truly feel humbled and lucky, and made new friends along the way.  Those are things that can't be taken away no matter what.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Contest Update - Friday!

Hi there everyone!  Mrs. B. and I have been having a fantastic time here at the Peppermill over the last three days.  It just keeps getting better and better!  If you haven't seen the videos they've been posting, definitely check out to get the lowdown.  Of course, I'll have some further stories on Monday when I get back, but the videos are definitely a fun way to catch up on the things we've already done.  Here's an video that we shot where I give away some special offers here at the Peppermill:

I've been coming to the Peppermill for a few years now, but never did I dream that I'd actually be in their promotional material- so cool!

Not only that, but I'm tentatively scheduled to play a quick show at the Terrace Lounge tomorrow night! Things just keep getting better- so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Contest Update

Well folks, I'd like to personally say thank you to everyone who supported me throughout the "Be The High Roller" Contest through the Peppermill Reno.  You all helped me WIN the contest!  That's right- a private jet is picking Mrs. B. and me up at 7pm today.  Let me repeat- A PRIVATE JET is picking us up and flying us to Reno! 

From the general itinerary I've received, this is going to be a week that we'll remember for the rest of our lives.  It's so fitting that our one year anniversary is coming up in less than a month- what a way to celebrate!  Our Peppermill partners in crime, John and Katrina will be joining us on Friday.  I am not sure if I'll have time to blog while I'm there, but I will try.  If you don't see any posts, then just know I'm probably relaxing at the spa or enjoying food and drinks poolside, and I'll be back with a report on Monday.  

I can't thank everyone enough for joining my entourage!  You guys rock! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

Ok- I'm well aware that this might sound crazy, but I can't rob you all of this story.  My friend John was having his live fantasy football draft on Saturday at the Shang-ri-la that is known as the Peppermill Reno.  I am not in this league, and I had a show in Roseville at the Boxing Donkey on Saturday night.  However, Mrs. B. went with John's wife and a group of their friends down to Santa Cruz/Capitola for the weekend, so what else was I going to do with my Friday night other than go to the Peppermill for a night?  The answer is obvious- I went to Reno. 

A quick check of the scoreboard will lead you to conclude that I've been up to the Peppermill 3 of the last 5 weeks and have just been nominated as a finalist for their "Be The High Roller" contest.  I'm either playing this smart, or just becoming a degenerate gambler. 

My friend Brandon drove up with me (he also is not in the fantasy football league) and we immediately began drinking upon arrival.  I've developed such a taste for Jack Daniels that I started with a red Silo cup that was 3/4 Jack and 1/4 Coke Zero.  Then had another, and then a car bomb, and then another.  Point being, I was ready to hit the tables. 

We started out with a fairly hot Craps table.  Played for a number of hours and at the end I was up $500.  Great times!  I'd love to give you a recap of the action, but I honestly don't remember much.  I'm just glad the money was coming my way because you can forget about my math will that many drinks in my system. 

Eventually, we went back to the room around 3am and I thought we were done for the night.  I took out my contacts, took off the sweater I was wearing, made it rain on video (I hope that doesn't surface anytime soon), and brushed my teeth.  Then it was decided that we were going back downstairs to eat graveyard food at the Coffee Shop ($7 for all breakfast items 2am-5am!)  I didn't bother putting my contacts back in, nor did I think twice about putting on an extra layer over my pit-stained white undershirt.  Yikes. 

After taking down some Juevos Rancheros, it was back to the Craps table.  As you can imagine, this session didn't go quite as well because a) we were all stumbling drunk and b) I couldn't see the dice due to my lack of contacts.  I had to wait for the dealer to call out the number each and every time.  We must've looked like wrecks to the dealers and everyone else in the casino. 

Overall, I was still up over $300 which was fine by me.  I more than doubled the money I brought up and had a great time.  I admit that there was vomit involved in the next part of the story, so I'll omit the details.  I also took a bath in the suite jacuzzi at some point, probably 7:30am?  No idea what I was doing, but it sounded like a great idea once I realized that I felt awful. 

Brandon and I left the crew to do their live draft around 3pm on Saturday.  After collecting Brandon's massive $4 Keno win (hey, a win is a win in that game!) we got back on the road.  It was smooth sailing back to Sacramento, though I was dead tired while driving.  Once back home, it was time for a quick nap, then back out to the Boxing Donkey...

Another great show at my favorite bar in Roseville!  I'm surprised I played as well as I did considering how hungover I was from the day before.  And yet, the show was great.  So great, in fact, that a girl came up to me and told me that her friend thought I was "super cute."  My two competing interests of gaining fans vs. my marital status led me to smile and laugh it off, but they were not to be deterred.  The girls slipped me "Jenny's" number on a drink coaster with a note that I'm "cute" and to "call her." 

Luckily, my drink actually needed a coaster since it was sitting on my music stand next to my computer- thanks ladies!  I promptly threw away the number after the show because of my undying love for Mrs. B.  :D

I had a blast, and it seemed like most everyone at the Donkey did as well.  Can't wait to go back!  Playing at that place is like constantly coming up to bat with runners in scoring position with no outs. 

Yesterday was spent getting my life back together.  I went to the gym.  Drank 2 oz. of wheat grass.  Ate decent food.  Went to the mall to buy new white undershirts without pit-stains.  Saw Tyreke Evans at the formally mentioned mall.  He looked like he was in a hurry in his baggy sweatpants. Put brand new strings on my acoustic guitar and bass guitar.  It was a day for re-vitalizing myself and my equipment. 

And here we are- back to Monday.  I actually feel pretty good.  My Sunday detox went really well and having a great show on Saturday just motivates me even more.  By the way, can we start the NFL season already?  The Bears look awful, but I want to see them in real action- I can't explain it.  I just do. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mark and Rebecca's Wild Wedding Weekend Adventure

I don't know where to start on this one.  I had Friday off of work and played a private show at an office party from 1-3pm.  I drove my equipment back home, picked up my friend Brandon, and got on the road to meet up with the rest of our group at the Peppermill in Reno.  They left around 1pm or 2pm.  Brandon and I had a pretty quick trip up (though we did stop at In-N-Out Burger for a quick meal.)  Upon arriving at the Peppermill we immediately went to the Tuscany Tower where my room was.  Mrs. B. had check in earlier and we were sharing a room with our friends Katrina and John.  The drinks were already set up and I started with a stiff Jack and Coke Zero.  I think it was 3 parts Jack and 1 part soda pop.  This was the first of (conservatively) 26 Jack and Cokes on the night.

Eventually we made our way down to Chi.  Once again, it did not disappoint.  Chi is easily my favorite Chinese restaurant anywhere.  Yes, even better than China Village in Walnut Creek (and it's not even close.)  Well done, Peppermill!

It was, of course, off to the Craps tables after that.  Before going any further, let's be clear, I realize I lost my damn mind during this next stretch of gambling.  My strategy on Craps these days is to place the Pass Line and two Come Line bets, and back them up with full odds.  This is a fantastic strategy when going well, and an awful strategy when the table is cold.  You cannot stomach more than four awful rolls before trying to pawn your wedding ring for gambling money.  I'm obviously kidding, but your money goes quick if it's bad.  Luckily, it started off alright.  The money was not pouring in, but we weren't down.

Then a douche in a Sharks shirt got the dice and started making ridiculous statements during the entirety of his roll.  "Alright everyone- let's go!  Let's make some money!  Everyone's gonna make money!"  This is what we call a jinx in the gambling biz.  I should've shut down my strategy immediately, but it was too late by the time I realized this guy was a idiot.  All my bets were laid and the inevitable 7 came out.  Side note, why was the 6+1 7 just showing up all over the place this weekend?  At this point, I'm down $300.

The Sharks guy left and came back some time later.  He asked us if the table was getting any better.  We responded with, "Eh, it's ok."  He started complaining about one of the stick men and how the dealer told him to be quiet.  I couldn't hold my tongue- "That's exactly what we were thinking," I said.  Not believing I'd be rude to his face, he said, "I know!  I can't believe he told me to be quiet."  I came back with a, "That's absolutely shocking!  SHOCKING."  He still didn't get it, and walked away.  Ok, where was I?

I decide to go play Poker.  Long short short, I was outkicked, drawn out on, and cold decked during my patient session.  Down $200 more.  I'm about to kill myself.

Why I went to the ATM again I have no idea.  I remember the ATM telling me twice to choose a smaller amount (thank you banking system.)  Brandon and I stayed out after everyone went to bed, and our Craps table caught fire.  Everyone's bets were hitting.  My Pass Lines, my Come Lines, I hit a Yo 11, and a hard 4 and hard 8.  At 5:45am, Brandon and I decided to call it a morning.  I cashed out with $600 which made me feel less like a piece of crap (pardon the pun.)

I woke up after sleeping for what felt like 5 minutes.  It was time to get a shower, breakfast, and make our way to Mark and Rebecca's wedding.  Mrs. B. was suffering from car sickness when we arrived there because she was doing make up in the van during the 1 hour plus ride.  Luckily, she didn't get sick and eventually felt better.

The wedding ceremony was awesome.  Mark and Rebecca looked quite happy and I fully enjoyed their pug Cooper walking down the aisle.  The reception was excellent.  They had a signature cocktail called "Cooper's Delight" (created by John and Katrina) that was getting gulped down by the gallon.  I had one, but stuck mostly with beer and/or water because of how wrecked I was the night (morning?) before.

I must say, the toasts at this wedding were excellent.  No one was long winded and everyone got at least one or two (some got more) laughs.  Eventually it was time for the meat-fest that was dinner.  Mark is into all kinds of meats and his father-in-law cooks up some of the best ribs, sausage and turkey I've ever had.  The beans were also out of control.  Well done Mr. Sy- well done.

After dancing and playing lots of ring toss, it was time to roll out around 8pm.  As you can imagine, a dinner filled with meats and beans after a hard night of drinking and an hour long van ride with 8 people might not be the best plan.  The windows of the van were going up and down based on the gases expelled from our respective sludge factories.

Luckily, the trip back sailed by and we got back the Peppermill.  Unfortunately, I was feeling quite run down from all the excitement.  There was still gambling to be done, though.  Back at the Craps table, we had quite a nice little session.  It was solid fun (though less rambunctious) and I ended up $100.

One quick tale, though- a dude with a shaved head came up and stood next to John during this session.  Brandon was to my right killing it on a roll.  He had a hit a few points and Come Line bets.  Any roller killing it like that, just leave them alone.  This mofo, lays down one $5 chip on the Pass Line.  He has no money besides that.  Brandon hits a 9 to win the guy another $5.  All of a sudden this guy starts yapping.  First he starts telling the dealer how many bets he is going to make once he gets a little bit of money.  Then while Brandon is in mid roll, he yells out "Don't crap out!"  This easily as bad as talking during Tiger Woods' back-swing (in fact, worse because I don't have money on Tiger Woods ever.)  Brandon didn't crapped out on the following roll and the d-bag left the table.  For any of you novice Craps players- DON'T DO THAT!  Get excited and boisterous after a win.  Otherwise, keep a low profile and never be overly boastful.  Don't be overly negative either.  Drink your drinks, smoke your cigars, and enjoy the ride.

Since I had driven separately, Mrs. B. and I had my car to go back in Sunday morning (the rest of the group left in the van around noon.)  I wanted to watch the A's game because I put them in a parlay (mistake!)  I actually was 6-2 on my baseball bets this weekend... unfortunately, that included two parlays (3-1 on each.)  Dammit.

The group that left earlier than us informed us that there was terrible traffic on highway 80.  On our way out, we got curious and decided to check out a couple other Reno casinos.  We literally have been to the Peppermill over 10 times in the last 3 years and never ventured elsewhere.

We recently saw a Travel Channel show about how to take advantage of casino coupons.  Our plan was to sign up for the casino rewards club at the various casinos, and use the coupons/free play we get.  Then we leave.  Easy, right?

First, we went to the Grand Sierra.  Interesting look to the casino.  Very different from the Peppermill with a more Country/Western/Darker look.  We signed up for the rewards club and got some free play on slots and $15 in chips for $10.  We went to the Craps table and had some fun.  The first guy rolled well, but Mrs. B. actually stole the show with her roll.  In fact, a guy next to me won over $300 quickly (he was betting a ton on the Pass Line with max odds) and tipped her $10.  I ended up winning $35, Mrs. B. won $44 and we played our free slot play and left.  Bad traffic was still around, and it was on to the Atlantis...

We signed up again, and got to swipe for a chance at free play.  Mrs. B. got $5 and I got $3.  Their free play was a bit different than I'm used to.  We played video poker.  You activate the free money, then deposit some money to play with.  If you lose, it replenishes your loss (up to the amount of free play you have.)  I won $2 of my $3 in free play (cashing out with my $5 base and $2 extra) while Mrs. B. hit 4 Queens and won $16.  She played a bit more and cashed out with $14.50.  BAM!  We walked around for a bit, and eventually decided to find our way back to Sacramento.

Overall, it was another fun weekend at the Peppermill with a centerpiece of a fantastic wedding.  Congrats to Mark and Rebecca- you both are awesome!  Back to the grind of the work week... when is Labor Day again?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Peppermill Trip 7/29 - 7/31

This past Thursday - Saturday, I met up with two of my buddies and went on a poker-centric trip to the Peppermill in Reno.  As anyone who has read my blog previously knows, the Peppermill is my favorite casino and I'm currently trying to win a contest called "Be The High Roller" (check that out here.) 

I met up with my friends at 10am and we were on the road immediately.  The trip up seemed to fly by, and we arrived in Reno around 12:30.  My buddy Mike went immediately to the poker room and got after it.  Brian and I went to Saucey's BBQ for some delicious sandwiches.  I went with the pulled pork sandwich with the house BBQ sauce.  I hadn't eaten there in awhile, but it absolutely hit the spot.  We were back over playing poker in no time. 

If I'm not mistaken, Mike was playing pretty well when we got back over there and we sat at his table.  The table was quite tame as the average age at the table was probably 60 (yes, there was an 82 year old at the table, and plenty of 70 year olds.)  Also at the table, there was one younger guy who said he was from Chicago, so I had a nice time talking about whether or not Ryno should be the new manager of the Cubs.  We decided that it really doesn't matter, but why not give him a try?  What's the worst that could happen- they don't win the World Series? 

I was coming down with a fierce headache, so I decided to go with Brian to grab our bags and bring them back to the hotel room. After that we went back down to the poker room and Mike had switched tables and that table seemed to be a large improvement from before.  We sat down, and so began the funnest poker session I've ever experienced. 

We played tons of side bets using the "Lodden Thinks" game that has become popular on various poker shows (I saw it on "Poker After Dark" but I'm sure it has been on other shows.)  The premise of the game is to have at least three people in the game.  One person thinks of an answer to a proposed question that the person doing the thinking preferably doesn't know the actual answer to.  For example, a couple (Kelly and Pat the Police Officer) were playing on either side of the dealer, and we asked, "How many years does Tony think Kelly and Pat have been dating/married?"  So thought of the number and went with 11.  I locked it in, and let Mike and Brian go back and forth until someone buys the prop.  In the case, I forget who bought it, but if I'm not mistaken, someone took 9 and over and won.  The actual answer was closer to 20, as we found out later, but that matters little in this game. 

After some caffeine, my headache was feeling much better.  I'm not exactly sure how I can relay the rest of the poker room experience.  Just know that we were getting pretty loud, and the pit boss was none too pleased.  He had to talk to us a few times, and I think the dealers were getting sick of our prop bets (and probably 3 of 10 players were annoyed- which incidentally gave us the advantage over them during the actual poker game.)  Some of the players were also getting frustrated because we (ESPECIALLY and MOSTLY Mike) were being super aggressive with raising.  Mike could have easily raised 10 straight hands, but I can't totally back that up because we were getting awfully drunk at this point. 

In between all of our shenanigans, we got to know a few of the players at the table.  Check this out:

- There was a girl who was from Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek and went to College Park High School.  She was a year younger than me, so we chatted about the East Bay Area a bit.
- As previously mentioned, there was a guy who was in from Chicago. 
- A guy named Ryan sat down and mentioned he was in town for a mining competition for his business that helps mining companies prevent disasters where miners get stuck.  He said he was in from the Atlanta area.  I mentioned that I lived in a suburb of Atlanta from 4th - 7th grade.  He asked where, and I said Fayetteville, GA.  He was shocked.  He was also from Fayetteville.  We traded info and we went to the same elementary and middle school.  He was 5 years younger than me, so we didn't know many of the same people personally, but he had heard of some of the names I came up with that I remembered from Little League. 
- And of course, there was a 22 year old dude from Sacramento.  If you count Davis with the Sacramento Area guy, then there was only one place that I have lived that was not represented in Reno...
- I am horribly disappointed with Napoleon, OH- you'd figure they would've represented at the poker table in Reno.  G$, I expect you to be there next time! 

Much of the trip flew by because we drank tons.  I'd like to thank the people at the Peppermill for a fantastic trip.  The people at the poker room were great.  From the dealers to most of the other folks (the pit boss who kept reprimanding us was not our favorite, but I get why he was annoyed)- I was quite pleased.  They even comped me a French Bread Pizza from the Sports Deli (delicious!)

In the end, I was up a decent amount overall.  I lost a bit in Craps ($70 I think), Sports ($10 parlay that sucked- and no, I'm not betting on the Bulls.  The odds dropped to 12/1), Keno ($20), and Video Poker ($20- however I was up 8 Jack and Diets so I'm fairly sure that $20 was worth it.)  I did do well at the poker table so I think I was up around $200 for the trip. 

Such a great time though!  Oddly enough, I'm going back in two weeks because my friend is getting married up in that area.  As always, I highly recommend the Peppermill! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Be The High Roller" Contest

If you read this blog ever, you know that my favorite casino is the Peppermill in Reno. I taken my wife there for her birthday. I had my bachelor party there. I go up every few months because it's a great time. Well now they are having a contest called "Be The High Roller" where you can win a vacation where you stay in their nicest suite, get VIP access to clubs and restaurants and pretty much get to live life exactly like Ric Flair:

So I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and see if I can win this thing. To start, CLICK HERE TO SEE MY PROFILE. When you go there, please click the button in the lower right corner that says "Like this Profile."

Next, view my video. I've included it here for your convenience:

As you can see I've spoofed the Dos Equis commercials and LeBron James' decision to bolt for the Miami Heat. I'm not sure what the next move is, but feel free to suggest ideas for my next video that are do-able (I wanted to spoof the new "Old Spice Guy" commercials but unfortunately I don't have a special effects budget.)

I'm not sure how seriously I took this at the start, but now that I have a couple clips that I feel are decent, I'm looking to keep going. I'm even going up to the Peppermill in a couple weeks, so maybe I can work the casino in to another video. I guess we'll see, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the video.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

This weekend found me playing not one, but two shows in my hometown of Walnut Creek. On Friday, I bolted from work at 5pm and immediately drove to the Dub-C. As per usual I played 4 hours of music at the Pyramid Alehouse.

I stayed at my Mom's house that evening because driving back to Sacramento would've been a dumb waste of money (gas and bridge toll.) After magically managing to sleep in until 11:30, I eventually headed to the gym.

I ran into my former high school teammate Alex who is now an airline pilot. The conversation inevitably went toward LeBron James (this seems to be a common theme throughout the weekend.) He's excited to see what the team can do together. I still say I hate them and will cheer against them in every single situation. PS: Did you see that the Bulls picked up Kyle Korver? They also put an offer sheet to J.J. Reddick... I hear it will be raining threes in Chicago come October/November.

Eventually I got ready for show number two and went back over to the Pyramid. I'm not exactly sure how I ended up getting scheduled for double-duty this weekend, but it's all about paying the bills, so I'm not complaining.

While I was loading in I ran into power couple Dan and Lisa B. I lived with Dan for two years in college, so it was great to catch up a bit. They were making a quick trip to the ATM because they were going to Vegas the next day. I imagine they are there right now. Hopefully they win and do not have to sell Dan into prostitution- he's only done it two other times, and I'm told he did not enjoy it- for the most part.

Half of the patio was cut off for a private event which ended up being the De La Salle/Carondelet 15 year high school reunion. My good friend's sister happened to be in that class, so I ran into her, her fiance, her parents, and a few of her friends that I've gotten to know over the years. I was extremely nice to have such enthusiasm at my shows. Their singing-a-long during "Rich Girl" was second to none!

After the show it was back to Sacramento. Total music played from Thursday - Saturday = 10 hours. So much fun, but I'm tired just thinking about it.

Yes I watched the World Cup final. I wouldn't categorize it as boring because it held my attention, but watching players explode at the ref each time he called anything was getting really old. Not every free kick given is life or death guys- calm yourselves!

Then it was off to Mrs. B.'s Mom's house to visit with relatives. I know what you're thinking- Tony, why even recap this weekend? Nothing exciting happened!

I agree, this was not one of my most fascinating weekends, but what else am I going write about? Jesse Jackson calling Dan Gilbert a slave master? Hardly. That story deserves less ink than it has already received.

If you want me to have a more exciting weekend to write about, then go TO THIS WEBSITE AND IN THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER CLICK "LIKE THIS PROFILE." It's a contest through my favorite casino, The Peppermill in Reno, to be their "High Roller." I'm fairly certain I get to use their private jet if I win, so I need as much support as possible. Upon winning, I'd get to stay in the nicest suite and make ridiculous prop bets on Craps without feeling bad about losing my rent money. It sounds like a great experience, so hook me up with your support!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: A Weekend of Almosts

After watching the US Soccer team luck their way into a tie with England, Mrs. B. and I (and friends) went to the Reno Peppermill. We were somewhat celebrating my "golden" birthday (my b-day is actually on the 29th and I'm turning 29.) Even though it's a couple weeks away, I was happy to provide an excuse for us to visit the greatest casino ever.

Once we were settled (and at least slightly drunk), we headed to the Craps tables. Things were not to be as magical as they have in the past. Every time we were about to break the game open in our favor, the devil's 7 would come and steal our chips. Weak. After awhile, we stopped fighting the gambling Gods and just gave up.

The next morning brought new possibilities. The Peppermill gives their Passport Player's Card members a coupon book each time they show up. This coupon book has match play on Sports parlays and Keno. I woke up and decided to place a $10 matched parlay bet (so it was like the parlay was worth $20). I bet on the Rangers, Mariners, Cubs, and Lakers +3. From noon until 8pm, I was in the Sportsbook agonizing over all of these games. You see, the parlay would've paid out $291.

The Rangers took care of business without much fanfare. The Mariners kept it close but ultimately dispatched the Padres in the end. Then it was up to the Cubs and Lakers to get it done. Ted Lilly was earning his paycheck by taking a no-hitter into the 9th. Simultaneously, I was watching the Lakers lay a huge egg against the Celtics. Honestly, the Lakes' defense was suspect at best and their free throws looked like they magically allowed the 2002 Sacramento Kings to shoot the foul shots for them. The Lakeshow was out-hustled and out-classed- and only lost by 6 points! I'm am so angry that they lost and ruined my parlay (they could've lost by 2 or 1 and I wouldn't have given a shit.) However, I'm even more angry that I cheered for the stupid Lakers.

We went to CHI after to get some delicious Chinese food (CHI is definitely the best value restaurant at the Peppermill.) Our server was a French lady (yes, a French lady is a server at a gourmet Chinese restaurant) who ended up singing me a birthday song in French. It was pretty sweet. The food was great as usual, and afterwards we headed back to the Craps table.

This time, it was a bit better than the night before, however, it was not a profitable table. My friend John started killing it, and after one roll, some guy at the end of the table threw a fit and started yelling at the pit boss. The halted the game because of the controversy (I don't actually know what the problem was). Once John got the dice back, take a guess what number he rolled...

I got fed up and decided to head to the Poker tables. I ended up playing until 4 in the morning and played decently, but end up about even in the end. The worst hand, however, was one I played exactly the way I should have. I had Ace-5 offsuit with the 5 of diamonds. The flop came 3-4-7 of diamonds. Straight flush draw? Heck yeah! During the round of betting, a guy over-bet the pot at $15, and he had one caller, and then I called. I figured I'd give it at least one shot. The Jack of hearts peeled off on the turn. He then bet $30 in such a way that I was positive he had the Ace of diamonds with another diamond (this was a correct assumption in the end.) I realized that the 6 of diamonds was the only card in the deck that was going to help me win the pot. $30 for a one outer is not good. I folded. There were two guys left in the pot, and of course the 6 of diamonds came on the river. If I was Q*Bert, I would've said "%@&!"

Not only would I have doubled my stack through the guy with the Ace high flush, I would've gotten a $150 bonus for the straight flush and a $50 bonus for the high hand of the hour. I can't even express how damaging this still is to my psyche. Seeing that 6 of diamonds was like realizing that Freddy Krueger had jumped into my dreams to knife me up. I clearly made a good decision by folding because of the odds, but gambling-wise it still feels awful.

In the end, there was money lost, but the Peppermill was a great time as usual. You can't win every time you go to a casino- they don't build those things on people making a killing off them. It is terrible that I was close to winning lots of money a few different ways, but what are you gonna do? Move on, I suppose. So Peppermill, I will not hold this weekend against you, but I look forward to some sweet comps later on.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peppermill Trip 3/21 - 3/23

Another successful trip to the Peppermill in Reno is in the books, and I'm here to give you the summary.

Mrs. B. and I went up with two other couples, Katrina and John, and Jen and Brandon. We tried to get up to Reno as soon as we could on Sunday to have an outside shot of betting on the remaining NCAA games. Unfortunately, we arrived around 2:30 so we barely missed the deadline.

With no bets on the Duke/Cal game, we requested rooms all on the same floor, which they were able to accommodate. Since we're player's card members (congrats to John and Katrina- welcome to the "Bronze Member" family) the Peppermill comped our rooms. We had brought up a few bottles of alcohol each, and proceeded to create an impressive bar in our room. I know we have a picture of it, and I'll put it up once I have access to said picture. We probably could've run a dive bar for a night with the amount of alcohol we had.

The Jack and Cokes were flowing, and John and I were lucky enough to have caring wives who went down to the Sports Deli to get a French bread pizza. This thing is massive. For $8.99, it may be the best deal not only at the Peppermill, but in the entire United States. Maybe I'm exaggerating- maybe not.

Eventually, it was time to head to the Craps table. Brandon had never played, and I wonder if he's hooked now because that was a hell of a way to get introduced to the best game in the casino. We all left session 1 of Craps up hundreds of dollars. Since dinner was a 8:30, we wandered over to the Peppermill's fine Chinese restaurant, Chi, to fill up on General Chicken and Mongolian Beef.

Afterward, it was back to Craps, and the winning just kept on going. I'm going to give everyone some advice right now. Many people don't know or are intimidated to play Craps. Get over it. It's a great game. Furthermore, when playing, think about the odds. When I first learned the game, I would be happy when the button was laid on 6 or 8 because those are the numbers that are most likely to come next (besides the evil 7, of course.) Now, I'm less excited about 6 or 8, because in order to get full value on your odds, you have to back up your $5 pass line bet with $25. Seems a bit rich. However, if it's on 4 or 10, you are only allowed to back it up with $15, and multiplier is such that you win more money while risking less. I know it all evens out in the end based on laws of probability, but at least it is worth thinking about.

Many times I would straight up buy the 6 if the button was on the 8. DO NOT DO THIS. You actually have to hit the number you bought at least twice before you make any profit. A better strategy, you ask?

Play the Come line. It is a game within the game. It's like playing the Pass line multiple times. Obviously, if the table is cold, you lose money much faster, but if the anyone is rolling for an extended period of time, you are more likely to hit points and win with odds included.

I'm done boring you with gambling strategy, if you're interested further, then email me or comment. Otherwise, just know that the table was a lot of fun, we were drunk, and everyone won lots of money.

[Unfortunately, I did end up throwing up at 5am. It was quick, and relatively painless- and I felt better the next morning.]

The best part of waking up at the Peppermill is that you get to go to their signature Coffee Shop. It's basically a Denny's with larger portions and the ability to play Keno. The Huevos Rancheros did me right, and I was ready to place some sports bets.

The Peppermill gives members a coupon book that is very useful throughout any trip up. One thing they do is offer to match $10 of any sports parlay wager. John and I were bored (apparently) so we decided to bet on Spring Training games. He took the A's, Giants, D'Backs and Cubs, and I made the same bet just without the A's. Of course, all the teams won except for the Cubs who lost to the damn Cleveland Indians. To be fair, Fausto Carmona is tearing it up in Spring, and I have picked him up on my Fantasy Team because of it. He's looking like the 2007 version of himself, which could end up being very helpful. Main point- of course the Cubs are the reason we didn't win an easy $110. So stupid.

We also placed an NBA parlay. Going with all road teams that were favorites:

Raptors -4.5 over the T'Wolves

Heat -6 over the Nets

Grizzlies -2.5 over the Kings

The funny thing about sports betting, it makes boring/meaningless games turn into Game 7 playoff experiences. We watched all of the Heat and Raptor games. The Heat game was closer than I wanted it, but they eventually took care of business and won by 10.

The Raptors were livin' on the edge like Aerosmith. They let the Wolves get within 4. The Wolves had the ball and missed a shot. The rebound went to the Raptors and with 2 seconds and change left, someone on the Wolves fouled the guy with the ball. No idea why he did that- and I don't care. Two made free throws later, the Raptors won by 6. Hell yeah.

The Grizzlies were a bit scary as they got down 48 - 32 during the first half, and yet by halftime it was 49-46. We went to eat at Bimini Steakhouse so we were unable to watch the remainder of the game. That didn't stop me from obsessively checking my phone. The Grizzlies easily covered and that is the story of how we turned $10 into $70. Not the best odds because we picked all favorites, but we'll take it.

Last story, we went to the Craps table again, and witnessed the biggest trainwreck of a woman ever. She had a blond mullet. She was chainsmoking. She was dropping her Player's Card, lighter, chips, and cigarettes all over the place. She was tipping the dealers over the amount she'd win on a bet. In fact, I'm pretty sure that was the reason they allowed her to keep playing. After awhile we gave up. Our magic from the previous night was not happening (I was up for the session, but only by $50 or so.) The lady was bothering everyone at the table, so it was time to leave.

Lady, please don't ask if anyone minds if you smoke, then get offended when someone (not any of us) says that they mind. It's a casino, you're allowed to smoke. If you're asking the table if they mind and giving other people the option, someone might speak up. It's stupid, and you're stupid.

I left out my terrible cold decked session of Poker, but overall, including food, room, gambling, etc. I finished the weekend up $210. Not bad, eh? I basically got paid to go to Reno. Fantastic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peppermill Weekend

I won't make this post a marathon trilogy of posts for this weekend- and mostly it's because there were gambling losses and I'm not big on talking about losing.

Our group arrived at about 5 or 6pm on Friday, checked into our suite in the Tuscany Tower, prepared our makeshift bar, changed clothes and began drinking. After a nice little buzz, Mrs. B., Katrina, John, and myself went to Biscotti's for some dinner. I always get their stir fry because it is frickin' delicious. Eventually, John and I made it over to the Craps table and for Friday night, the table was HOT. John bet bigger than I did, and that night pretty much set up his weekend. I was up, but not an insummountable amount.

After getting some breakfast the next morning, Mrs. B. and crew had spa appointments, and I went to the Poker Room to play some 1-2 No Limit Hold 'Em. I was up and down for 5 hours, and I learned that 5 hours is the maximum amount of time I can ignore stupid people at the table. Between the 9 fingered veteran complaining about Obama or the woman wearing a holiday reindeer sweater that kept talking about what a great poker player she was (she wasn't), and me getting cold cards, I ended up losing a bit of money right at the end of my session (only about $75, but I wasn't pleased.)

Dinner at CHI was great. Our group got the $24 a person dinner deal which allowed all of us to get a family style Chinese dish each, which we all split giving us a variety of 6 dishes each (we had seven people, but they allowed us to get one fewer because the portions are huge.)

After more drinks it was back to Craps. Winning the first night is great- but it can also be a curse. The tables were cold, so I eventually went back to the Poker Room. After playing patiently for awhile, I picked up pocket 10s and raised. 4 people called. The flop came Jack, 10, 3 of diamonds. Fearing the Flush Draw I made a pot sized bet of $35. It folded around and got to the guy to my right. He made some comment like "Let's gamble" and put himself all-in for $38. I called the $3, and was dismayed to see he had Ace-5 of diamonds. Save the speeches when you have the nut-hand, asshole.

To make matters worse, the next two cards were the 2 and 4 of diamonds. Yep, I got beat by a straight flush. And had I actually been able to magically go back in time and somehow get that original Jack of diamonds to become the 10 of hearts, I would have lost straight flush to four of a kind. This would have netted me the bad beat jackpot of $12,000. Unfortunately, I am not Biff Tannen and I cannot steal the Delorian to go back in time. I believe I ended up down $50 for this session.

I went back to the room where the group continued drinking and listening to alternative rock from the 90s. It was awesome. What was not awesome was me, the next day, betting on the Raiders (I hate JaMarcus Russel) and NY Giants (those turnovers were soooo costly.) I'm lucky the Peppermill enjoys comping us rooms, otherwise this would have been a really bad financial weekend.

I must say, overall, it was a great time. I just hate losing. Case in point, I made it back onto Full Tilt last night and won two sit and go tournaments before going to bed last night. That helped me sleep easier, I suppose.

In the end, the Peppermill is still a magical place and we all had a lot of fun. Hell, John even put a $100 bet on the way out on the Monday night game for the Niners to cover and he took the under- BAM! I wish I would've followed him on that one. Until the next trip...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Off To Reno...

Alright folks, Mrs. B. and I (and friends) are going up to the Peppermill once again. If we don't die in the snow on the way up or freeze to death in below 0 degree temperatures, then you will most likely find us at the Craps tables tonight with many drinks consumed. Having just watched "Jersey Shore" last night for the first time ever, I'm ready to treat Reno in a very "The Situation"-esque way. That show is unreal. I can't believe a dude socks "Snookie" in the face next week!

Anyway, I'm looking for betting advice for the weekend. 1-3 NFL games would probably do the trick. Any good bets you have your eye on? I hate to say it, but I saw Green Bay -3 over the Bears and that looked pretty enticing (I should rot in hell for saying that.)

I'm coming back on Monday, so hopefully I'll post late Monday with some adventures. Have a great weekend, and try to keep warm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekend At The Peppermill Reno (Part 3)

Let's see, where were we? I believe we were headed to dinner- well, maybe not quite dinner just yet. The group met at a suite in the Tuscany Tower for some pre-drinking and I had some Crown and Cola- and it was tasty. After a few drinks we sauntered to Oceano, a faux-sushi restaurant. I say faux-sushi because what sushi restaurant has chicken sandwiches and pasta on the menu? I decided there was no way I was going to have bad sushi, so I did in fact go with the chicken sandwich.

The main reason we went there was to do Sake-Bombs anyway, and that got done in a major way. I really have no clue how many I did personally, but six or seven sounds about right. Thank goodness I went with the chicken sandwich because it gave me just the right weight needed to power through the drinking. There's no chance I would've been ok with just sushi. In either case, dinner was a lot of fun and after all the drinks, I was humming.

The entire group of 18 or 20 folks left the restaurant and we immediately lit up cigars. I don't smoke all that often, but this cigars were actually very good. I was told they were only $5, but to be honest they were better than some more expensive ones I've had. All the guys in the group decided to find a Craps table to post at. We were unable to find an open $5 minimum table, so we grabbed a $10 min. table. This was probably the best decision of the weekend.

I was not terribly comfortable initially, but face it, I had drinks in me and I was already up for the weekend- I got over it real quick. After buying in for $140 and ordering more Jack Daniels, it was on. I managed to stay away from the middle of the table bets and keep my strategy of Pass Line and 6/8 betting. The rollers were hot. I'm not sure I can remember the order or a remotely close play by play, but lets just say we had three different rollers all roll for about 30 to 45 minutes each without giving up the dice. The payouts got insane. My first bathroom break I went to he cashier cage and cashed out $165. So if I had lost all the chips from that point on, I would be up $25 for the session.

On my second bathroom break, I returned to the cashier cage and cashed out $405 and still had a lot of chips to play with. This is about the point where things go hazy. I know I cashed out more money when we finished the game, but I'm fairly certain I gave Future Mrs. B. $100 and we played some Roulette and Blackjack. I won on both games and we eventually ended up eating breakfast at the Peppermill's Coffee Shop at 5:30am.

I think I got two and a half hours of sleep and then got up to prepare to leave. I did lose $40 or so on Blackjack in the morning, but it could not ruin the mood. I have never had such an amazing gambling trip. I've won some, lost some, and broken even before, but nothing like this. It's no time to get cocky and stupid with my bachelor party coming up in August, and I suppose that writing a three part blog about how much money I won could be the ultimate jinx, but I feel like I understand the games a bit more now. I get why the casino wants people to drink and bet on the terrible odds. I also get that even by reading a success story like this, it may promote others to trek to the Peppermill and lose more money than I won- but don't be fooled! Second Rate Blog does not endorse gambling trips- it only endorses trips when you win lots of money!

Quick Recap:

- Got let off the hook on a speeding ticket
- Won money on Craps and Roulette the first night
- Drank but was not hungover and bedtime was 4:30am
- Woke up and won $268 on Poker
- Went to the mall for a belt but also got socks and a kick ass shirt
- Back drinking Crown and/or Jack, then Sake-Bombs
- Smoked a cigar
- Won over $430 at the hottest Craps table I've ever been at
- Ate breakfast at 5:30am
- Free Wedding Suite
- Did NOT run into Dangle, Jonesy, Junior or Wiegel. One of the Craps rollers/Birthday Boy's buddies looked a bit like Nick Swardson though.

I seriously have not caught up on my sleep yet, either. However, the trip did give me a shot in the arm. I was feeling a little bit lathargic- one could say I was in a rut, but nothing cures that like winning $700 - $800. I hope this tale was inspiring and more importantly, not boring. I wish I could remember smaller details about the dealers and other aspects of my adventures, but unfortunately- no dice. That's about the only thing that was "no dice" for the weekend! Until my next trip, we'll get back to the regular stuff tomorrow... are the NBA Finals tonight? Will that even be interesting? Probably not.