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All Pinzur, All The Time

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Vegas: Now and Forever

My brother, myself and a few of our friends are heading out to the Adult version of Disneyland, also known by the more familar name of Las Vegas.  Now, we are not heading out there for two more weeks, but still, the only thing running through my head is Vegas.  I am thinking about how much money I want to take with, how much I need to win if I ever want to continue paying my mortgage, maybe a plastic football full of beer, 115*F , the sun and not coming to work on Monday.

On ESPN.com, the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, wrote in one of his columns about a trip to Vegas, that there is no better thrill, adrenaline rush and pure-out excitement, then when one friend sends out the mass e-mail with but one word in the Subject line, "Vegas".

This time around, I was sitting doing my mindless numbers thing at work, when my Lotus Notes popped up that I had a new message.  Being the crazy dog I am, I clicked on the "Read Mail" button.  And there it was, much like Ralphie from a "Christmas Story" when he first saw his Red Ryder BB gun, the word that brought back nothing but good thoughts, happier times, doubling-down, throwing $10-20 on Hardways in Craps, getting drunk and riding on the Rollercoaster at New York, New York, lying in the water in the pool and getting shit-faced.....and an occasional walk through Red Rocks Canyon, that to me is the "Vegas" I know and love.  Not that crappy-ass tv drama with a one-time bad-ass turned prom-queen, James Caan (although I still would not want to meet Caan in a dark alley, since he could still kick the crap out of me.)

I think Vegas has truly marketed itself much better than Crack, Cocaine or Heroin, since the rush of a Vegas high can run for the extent of your trip their and even a few days afterwards if things go as planned (which does not necessarily mean winning money.)  If you try and do that with Heroin, you would find yourself with a toe tag on, being prepared for a little ride down cemetary lane.

But, one of the mort fun things in Vegas, is the possibility of the celebrity spotting.  Now, I could pretty much care less about celebrities when they are on MTV, VH-1 about how good of a life they have, and how they have everything they ever wanted just because she has a small waist and 34DDs, but it can still be kind of cool to spot one, or in my case, play a little blackjack with one.

I was in Vegas for the first time, I went with two other buddies of mine, and we headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel.  After circling around trying to find a blackjack table inwhich I could participate in the festivities, but that I found a seat.   I sat down threw down my $100 and began to play.  I quickly realized that I was at a table with 5 other guys who were all friends and hanging out together.  When I looked at each of them, I realized one of them was Matthew Lillard!  Yes, Matthew Lillard!  Can you believe it?  Matthew Lillard.  Now, when I say can you believe it, I mean, do you know who he is?  Most would say, no.  With no surprise from me.  Matty, as we call him, has been in a few movies, "Scream", a cameo in "She's All That, "Summer Catch" (both with Freddie Prinze Jr. ), "Scooby-Doo", "Scooby-Doo 2", and this summer's sensation, "Without a Paddle".  All serious blockbusters.  But he was actually real cool, and when I finally lost all of my $100, since we all were having a good time, he actually tossed a $100 chip my way so that I would continue to play with them.  That or he wanted me....which leaves me to conclude that they wanted me to continue to play.  Good times.

But nothing, and I mean nothing, is better than the "Hot Streak".  Almost every trip you get on at least one "Hot Streak", except for the pinzurblogs good friend, LiAps, who never came close to a "Hot Streak" the whole time I played blackjack with him.  The last trip to Vegas was the greatest "Hot Streak" I have ever had.  It started out innocently enough with LiAps, Big Pinz and myself walking from our home base of the Luxor, and heading out to the strip via Excalibur.  Granted, Excalibur's usual clientele looks like Nick Moore from "Family Ties", but three of us spotted a craps table that was open, and so Big Pinz and Little Pinz began.  The table was up and down for the first hour or so.  But then it got hot, with $10-20 on the Hardways on the Craps table on money on the Pass line and grabbing odds, the roller decided to get very hot.  Many hits on the hard ways were quickly increasing Little Pinz's winnings.  And, knowing that I can win twice, I was throwing money on the hardways where I already have odds on or where the "point" was set.  Therefore, anytime I hit on the hardways, I was a double winner.  By the time the three of us were ready to leave, I felt much more like Matt Damon in Rounders , although still looked much like, unfortunately, Danny DeVito from Twins.   Usually once you leave the casino of where the "Hot Streak" began, the "Hot Streak" will officially be over.  It is always a sad moment, but not as awful when you have $400 more in your pocket than before you showed up that day.  The three of us met up with a few other friends at In and Out Burger, and then on to Downtown Vegas.  Big Pinz and Little Pinz sat down at a Single-Deck blackjack table for a little more fun.  Neither of us could have expected to continue any type of good luck, we each put down about $100 and began playing.  This is when I found out that my "Hot Streak" was in no way over just yet.  In "Classic" Single-Deck Blackjack, you are given two cards, both faced-down, and motion with a quick swipe of your cards on the table if you want a hit or slide your cards under your chips representing you wanted to stay.  Well, I began pulling cards on my hits that would made Card-Trick Magicians salivate.  My $100 quickly grew.  From $100 to $200.  Big Pinz was doing fine to my right, but it was Little Pinz that was hot.  I began throwing down $60, 70, 80 up to $100 per bet and winning.  When I got up to $600 and lost a $70 bet, I knew it was time to permit the "Hot Streak" to burn out like a camp fire when all the campers pee on it to extinguish it.  But the greatest moment, when I walked over to the cage to cash out my $530 winnings, the cashier (not use to cashing out such huge dollars for downtown Vegas) actually had to call over to the Pit Boss to confirm that I had won this and not stolen it.  On our walk back to the car, to return to the strip, is where the Plastic Football full of Miller Lite was found and purchased.  For the small price of $4.50, I purchased beer in a football with a straw for easier drinkability.  That was some of the best $4.50 I have ever spent in my life.

Now, with only a short time before our trip, I expect nothing from the trip in the realms of winning in gambling.  You simply cannot expect to win, there is a reason these huge hotels and casinos exist and how they thrive...by taking my money.  But it has been an almost religious Mecca for our group to meet up there, in the words of Eddie Murphy portraying Buckwheat on SNL, "Ounce, Tice, Fee Times...." a year.  This weekend, this Vegas weekend, is simply some of the best times I have all year round.  I get to see one of my best friends in my brother, and I get to see and spend time with the rest of the Vegas gang, that I proudly call my friends...although a few of them may like (and with reason) to argue the "friends" comment. 

So let this trip be no different, lets drink, gamble, sit out in the sun, do a little blow (ok, maybe skip the blow.....maybe) and have another great weekend.  If there are any stories legal or ok'd to talk about, remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, I will.  Otherwise, you will just have to take my word on it.


  • In his 25 years, I don't think I've ever said this to my little brother, but this merits it: Well said, Lil' Pinz.

    By Blogger Big Pinz, at 11:09 AM  

  • In the words of Daddy-O (who does "The Pros" as a duet with Queen Latifah), "I was thinkin' the saaaame thang." Vegas - It's On.

    By Blogger LiAps, at 1:23 PM  

  • Wow, I cannot believe I actually got comments other than, "What the &*%# is Little Pinz trying to say?"

    By Blogger Little Pinz, at 1:55 PM  

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