Monday, October 16, 2017

Things That Go Bump in the Nerd

Let's extend a big Flusherville welcome to guest blogger Joan of Aces!
She's a great writer and I can't wait to read all about her Nerd Herd trip to Las Vegas.

This past weekend featured the annual Nerd Herd migration to the Promised Land, aka, The Summit.

I wasn't going to go.

I was going to be good, and stay home, and follow along on the InstaTwitBook. I was just in Vegas a few weeks ago. I should stay home.

But no. Why pretend I can resist?

The Summit, presented by the Vegas Nerd Society, http://www.vegasinternetmafia.com, is a gathering of Vegas-obsessed, super-aficionados who faithfully generally tune in to the same Vegas podcasts and blogs, week after week, year after year, to live Vegas vicariously. The same weekend used to be called VIMFP (Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic, or depending on your blood level of creative juices: Vegas is My Favorite Place, or V I Mother F'ing P). It's a fast few days of silly plans with like-minded people with one thing in common. OK, two things in common: a true devotion to all things Vegas, and nothing better to do with their lives on a beautiful October weekend in the middle of football season.

I LOVE that United is using this massive photo of the Denver Broncos defense, aka "The No Fly Zone", for their Denver Airport advertising.  So apropos.  Heh. 
I had an easy drive to the DOA, err, DIA, airport. People familiar with Denver will know that as often happens, there wasn’t any parking at the actual airport. All full. Everybody is going somewhere else this weekend. I followed the signs and found a spot in Western Kansas, hopped a shuttle so crowded it may as well have been an elevator out of the MLife playbook.

I had extra time for a drink next to our gate. Turns out the other four people in the bar at 10 am were also Vegas-bound. But, of course. Nobody flying to Boston this early is sucking down suds for breakfast. Oh no, not a chance. (They are quietly draining their little TSA-compliant bottles in the privacy of a public bathroom stall, like the classy folk who plan ahead do.) We are toasting each other, our new-found flight friends.

Royal Flusher's Daily Vegas Pic - Oct 16, 2017 - Stardust Wayne Newton

What says Classic Vegas better than glowing neon touting Wayne Newton playing the Stardust?

I only ever played in the Stardust one time, which turns out to be a big mistake on my part, as it was shortly thereafter reduced to rubble in one of the biggest corporate miscalculations Vegas has ever seen.

The Stardust was loaded with history, and great video poker. The property was dated, though (just like Wayne Newton) and the owners, Boyd Gaming, decided it would be a smart thing to blow up a profit-making casino and put up a brand new multi-billion dollar mega-resort.

With the Stardust obliterated to nothing but dust, a few stories of concrete parking garage were put up just as the Great Recession of 2007-2008 hit.

Stardust Sign Wayne Newton

Boyd was left holding the bag full of star dust. Construction was halted. A working casino was gone. A few hundred million dollars were lost.

Not only was the Stardust a victim, we also lost the Westward Ho, and Boyd sold the Barbary Coast, which was remodeled into the Abominationwell Cromwell.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Royal Flushers Daily Vegas Pic - Oct 15, 2017 - Boardwalk Casino

Boardwalk Holiday Inn Casino Las Vegas

The good ole Boardwalk Casino, which was somehow connected to a Holiday Inn, had the distinction of having the most unsafe roller coaster west of the Mississippi.

Back in the 1990s, Vegas was still known as a bargain destination. You could stay on the strip, and eat cheaper than you could almost anywhere else. Graveyard specials were everywhere.

And, this little gem of a shithole, which sat on where City Center is now, north of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd., featured a super cheap buffet.

And the neophyte Flusher, who wanted to experience cheap things just for the experience of being able to experience cheap things, ate a meal at the 24 hour Surf Buffet for about $2.99 and subsequently had food poisoning for the next two days.

Mrs. Flusher was smarter - she gambled while I doomed myself ate.

The Boardwalk Casino was demolished in 2006.

Just down the street is a casino that features a real roller coaster - New York New York.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Royal Flushers Daily Vegas Pic - Oct 14, 2017 - Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace, originally opened in 1966, was the first truly themed casino hotel in Las Vegas. The apostrophe (Caesar's) was purposefully left out - this would be a place where everyone would be treated like a Caesar - thus a palace of Caesars.

I'd like to drink a Caesar having successfully waded through that explanation.

The original property was quite small compared to the behemoth that Caesars is now. It's undergone addition after addition, renovation after renovation.

And key parts of the original property, such as Circus Maximus, its fabulous showroom, are long gone.

But this part - is not. This round room, its ceiling dripping with crystal chandelier pendants, is the original Caesars casino.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Joan of Aces

Sometimes meeting strangers brings big dividends. I screwed up my courage and put my Flushie-Bigboy-pants on during this trip and met a couple of new people, and it worked out really well.

You probably read about Ginger, and how I got to surprise her after she started talking about the Strict Rules of Parlay.

As if that wasn't enough, I also met the fabulous Joan of Aces.

One way or another, Joan and I ended up at a blackjack table at the California Hotel and Casino, one of the ones on the sports book side of the house, facing the cage. Drink service was good that night, the table was full, and the dealer was quirky.

JoA and I bought in at a full table, and started playing, and talking. I was at second base, and Joan at shortstop. The rest of the table was made up of quintuplets - five identical 78 year old Hawaiian guys, thin, grey, quiet, wearing light blue short-sleeved shirts, three pounds of papers, pens and gear in their breast pocket, playing green chips very methodically.

Poolside Blackjack Dealer Golden Nugget
Photo unrelated to the content of this post. So sue me.
We hit it off incredibly well, (Joan and I, not the quintuplets and I - oh no...) and before long the entire table was annoyed with us. For them, it was like when you are sick and feverish in a hotel room, and trying to sleep, six other people in the room talk drunk shit at top volume, jiggling the bed, and laughing their heads off.