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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Free roll Friday

Freeroll Friday

Like Vegas and oxygen, sleep is truly exquisite when you haven’t had enough. I woke up feeling Vegas Great, and just in time for my first session of the latest California video poker tournament. Freeroll Friday was underway. I stopped in to say hello to Oleg, and ease into my day with a spot of coffee with Rumchata at Boar’s Head Bar.

Already, the day was off to a good start. It was almost off to a great start:

Main Street Station, royal flush almost, Boar's Head bar

Where are you, King of Hearts?

Once again, let me just mention that the near-miss royals, even on dollars, didn’t register as something to take note of until I stumbled upon my boss, The Royal Blusher, keeping a running count of them on this very blog. Just sayin’.

Back at the Cal, I signed up for a place at the table--at the post-VP tourney banquet, that is scheduled for the following day.  Yes, I signed up for two people.  Anybody want to be my date on a hot Saturday night, err, afternoon in Vegas?

banquet, VP poker tournament

Join me for dinner?

I let the Boyd kiosk make my football picks for their free Pick the Pros football contest. In week 2, I went 14 for 15.  Dang you, Packers!  You can pick your own, or let the machine do it.  It's another excellent free roll, so do this if you're at the California or Main Street Station.

I wandered east on Ogden.The downtown Vegas Farmers Market is held every Friday morning from 9 am to noon. Maybe since I had just visited the Pike Public Market in Seattle a few weeks prior, this farmers market seemed pretty anemic.

Vegas Farmers Market, Farmers Market, Main Street Station, Fremont, Fremont Experience

Farmers Market, Fremont, DTLV

Stuff you can buy at the downtown Vegas Farmers Market

I didn’t expect jubilant young dudes in rubber pants joyously flinging fish around or anything, like in Seattle. That said, I thought perhaps famous chef-looking type choosing some fresh, local stuff for their fancy strip restaurants might be here. Five or six vendors sold some lonely vegetables and random stuff to three or four customers. A lady played a harp.

Fremont, DTLV, Las Vegas

Yup. It's a harp.

It’s in a small, cute building on Ogden between Main Street Station and the Mob Museum. After a quick look around, I wandered past Hogs and Heifers, their doors wide open and ready for business at 10 am, on my way to Fremont Street.

Hogs and Heifers, Las Vegas, Fremont, DTLV

Ordered an always amazing and (today) complimentary Zingerman’s cappuccino at the D. Ahhh, the D. Ol’ reliable. Makes me nostalgic for Detroit, even though I’ve only been to the airport.

Next up?  What else? A run south on Las Vegas boulevard, to the strip. Plenty of light and sunshine, with patches of shade as I ran on the east side sidewalk past the pawn shops, the drive-through chapels, and many of the coolest murals in the city.

I used to have a '72 Cadillac El Dorado Convertible just like this one, but in gold. Dreamy!

The Mirage used to feature open rehearsals of their Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show, Love, which had a reboot last year. Those were replaced with a Magical Technical tour, which takes place at 1 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

A hundred curious Beatles-lovers came together to learn about the production’s requirements, including 6040 speakers in the theater. In fact, there’s a speaker facing backward on every headrest of every seat, cheerfully blasting Beatles into the face of the person sitting behind. A crew of 120 technicians keep the phantom tricycle pedalling without a rider, and operate 80 lighting displays. Nine lifts drop the floor 19 feet down. You can read about it here, too:

Mirage, Beatles, Love, Vegas

Love in the afternoon

All you need is love. And rainbows.

I left the Mirage and headed south on the strip, the afternoon sun on my shoulders, my trusty UNLV hat shading my face. I had an hour or so before meeting up/tagging along at the Long Bar at the D with the Oceans 14 XL gang. So, of course, I soon found myself at the Chandelier bar. Under another ticker-tape parade raining drink coupons on me at the bartop VP, I commenced sampling many of their fine libations.

Cosmo, Cosmopolitan, Chandelier, Vegas

Wonder if he got his goods at the Farmers Market? 
(I do know where he got his outfit, thanks to yesterday's accidental free-range, backstage tour)

Later that night, I had several drink coupons left over.  The times are printed on the tickets, so you can see how often they come out.

Cosmo, Cosmopolitan, Chandelier, Vegas, drink menu

Cosmo, Cosmopolitan, Chandelier, Vegas, drink menu

Delicious.  How could I chose just one?

Hours later, I emerged from the purple haze of the Cosmopolitan to realize somehow, it was dark out. 

Cosmo, Cosmopolitan, Chandelier, Vegas

Purple dreams

I looked at my pocket wad as I left. Now that I had a safe again, I’d put my wallet and some bankroll in it. My wad, this time in a little plastic baggie, held players cards, an ID, and what was left of my bankroll. It was several Benjamins thicker than when I'd left my room.

Joanie was comin’ back, baby!

I was a good four hours late for the 4 pm meetup. Oh, Vegas. You and your beautiful distractions. The Oceans 14 XLers would be way ahead of me. I Ubfty’d to the D, and wallah the gang’s all here.

Joining them was Scott Roeben of the funny and helpful Vital Vegas ( blog and podcast fame. Even sweeter and more hilarious in person, he was kind enough to allow me to photograph him with Our Friend Eric (who is also very sweet and hilarious). Buy these boys a drink if you see them.

Eric Rosenthal, Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas, Vegas, the D

 Eric and Scott, two wild n crazy guys

Unlike SOME bloggers, like the Floral Rusher, who won’t let a girl take a pic now and then, these guys were game for a photo.

Even though at 9 AM, I had thought I was so well-rested, exhaustion set in hard. Going through all the good stuff at the Cosmo had put so much Vegas joy in me, I could barely stay standing. Bedtime beckoned. I had hit a few quads at the Long Bar VP, and lovely Eric, the baritone, golden voice of reason, guided me away from further gambling. I cashed out for $925, to add to what I had locked up in the safe. The bankroll was back, people!

That’s when my phone buzzed, and I was invited to a party out in the southwest hinterlands. Things got Vegasy all over again.

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