Category Archives: Travel

Day One of the Brazilian Experience

 KLM Logo - Royal Dutch AirlinesSo I was up at the tender time of 4am this morning, out of the Sheraton by 4:20am and into my waiting taxing to start my trip, starting of course with Terminal 4. Jesus, how much snow, didn’t even occur to me on the slippery taxi ride that the snow may interfere with flights etc, etc – If I had thought about it I probably would have stayed at the Hotel and flown tomorrow!

Anyway, flight is supposed to take off at 6:30am, 6:15am come and goes with no boarding information, I can already feel it, I’m going to have a bad day. So at 6:29am they announce gate 11 for boarding, a mad scramble ensues and the plane is full in a matter of minutes – most people were traveling early to catch connecting flights to either Sao Paulo or Cape Town. 4 and half fucking hours I sat in that plan still attached to the terminal. 11am rolls around and we’ve left, no sooner than we are in the air and drinking our vodka’s, and the pilot announces that we are starting our descent – I forget that it is only 45mins to Schipol.

Land at 1pm ish (don’t forget to add the hour for the Netherlands), totally missed my flight to Brazil. Have to find a transfer desk, the ‘computer’ (and if by computer, they mean worthless piece of shit, then I mean computer) booked me another fight for tomorrow, but with all the wrong seats – I did not get up at 4am on Sunday to checkin with great seats to have them taken away from me now. After a lengthly argument, KLM gave me a better seat for tomorrows flight, and like €10 for food, €10 phone credit and a €50 discount for my next flight (yeah, right). 

So about to leave the Airport and I haven’t even grabbed my baggage yet, I don’t hold out much hope for it as I figure they will hold it until tomorrow (I was right) – 2 and a half hours later and I finally have my bag. Went to the Sheraton to book a room (figuring it would be similarly priced to the UK), not a Fucking chance £220 for 1 night, just for the privilege of being able to walk for 5 minutes, tried the Hilton £190 for 1 night and finally the Mariott £150 for 1 night – Jesus H Christ, what is the world coming to – eventually found the Best Western about 10 minutes away (by shuttle), settled there instead for a comfortable €97 a night (god knows what that translates into, £87.94 as it turns out).

So to sum it all up, I’ve had a shit day and it’s taken me well over 12 hours to travel a couple hundred miles. Tomorrow (providing my god damn plane actually takes off) I will spend another 12 hours in the air, followed by another 4 in a car on my way to Bauru.

Moral of the story – next time – direct flights.

 

Vegas Day 3 / 4 and 5 – Where did all the hours go….

Jesus, no wonder there are no clocks in Vegas, where the hell have the last 3 days been sucked away to?

So Wednesday has been and passed into oblivion. Spent the day looking at Commercial properties all across Vegas and Henderson – I can’t say to much, but my oh my, they really do things differently over here and it will be an interesting few months upon my return to the UK.

Thursday and it’s time for a kind of day off – I haven’t stopped since we arrived in the desert, so it’s a welcome break. Decided that after my win at the Flamingo, I would try my hand in a bigger tourney at the Venetian – goddam – I love the Venetian, it’s just such a classy place in every sense of the word.

12pm rolls around, 165 people entered and the top 18 places paid. That was the longest 7 hours of poker I have ever played. Straight from the off, it was a tough competition. I was never in the lead for the entire 7 hours and every hand I was practically dead, the river saved me more times than I can remember.

I’ve got KK, all in, against AA – the flop comes 78Q, turn comes 2 and the river K – double up! Now sitting with 9,000 chips. Then a few hours later I’ve got 10 10, I go all in with 5,000, the 10 hits on the river! Then I’ve got A7 vs 67, I walk off knowing that I’m beat, big mistake, 32J54 – haha – straight! The tournament started with 7,500 chips, 7 hours later I’ve scrounged up about 30,000, but the blinds are now 3,000 / 1,500 with 500 Ante, I move all in with AK vs AQ, he hits the Q on the river – ain’t karma a bitch!

Friday (that’s today I think), spent the morning at Green Valley Ranch down in Henderson (awesome place) looking at properties, just ‘oh my god’ I can get a 4 bed house for like £130,000, must. get. greencard.

Entered the Venetian again at 7pm, thought I’d try my luck again. Crazy tournament, just crazy – finished in 52nd out of 130. Long story short – I had 3,200 in chips – the blinds are 600 / 1200 with a $75 Ante, and I was the next big blind which would have left me with 1,925 (not very threatening!), got dealt 88, went all in, 2 players joined the hunt, got dished by a pair of K’s!

Totally knackered, and totally off to Washington on Sunday, so must get this gambling head back into the maniacal work routine. I love LV!

Vegas – Day 2…. A winner I am!

Yes!! 5 final tables, and I have managed to actually win an event! Went over to the Flamingo for the 6pm tournament, got to the last three and we all decided to ‘chop-it’ $1200 split three ways = $400 for lil old me!

What saved me, a pair of Kings, so the flop comes K A 2 and I’m all like – great Trip K’s, then in comes the 9, then an Ace, I look at the board and all I can see are the four spades, the asian bloke I’m playing heads-up is laughing and he thinks he got the Flush (which he has), I get up wander off, nope, I got the full house – adios Asian dude, hello the money!

So being the clever so and so I am, and thinking that the next tourney I entered would also get me to the final table – entered the Caesars Palace ‘Bounty’ Tournament – basically for every player you knock out you get $50. Finished in 12th place – aaargh, no final table, must be more careful, but when your being blinded out and you have 1125 in chips left (the largest on our table was about 10,000), what can you do.

Anyway, been a great day of meeting and event and I’ve done all sorts. To top it off, the pussy cat dolls were playing at Pure in Caesars Palace for Mariah Carey’s party or some such rubbish like that, great stuff!

Vegas – Day 1 – Here we go again….

View from a 747, utah....So it’s 6am over in Vegas, I got into bed at 10:30pm last night after a 28 hour stint with no sleep. Had an awesome trip over, I don’t ever want to travel in ‘cattle class’ again after experiencing the beauty of premium economy – 2 seats, not three, nicer food, drinks, view, service and company – the 10 hour flight was a breeze rather than a nightmare. I suppose it helped that I was in the Virgin lounge at Gatwick before departure – fantastic.

Got into vegas at about 1pm ish, cab to the Paris – god, it’s like we have never left, nothing has changed, the relentless machine keeps its wheels turning, constantly sucking money from it’s unsuspecting victims. Grabbed a SOTB with some blueberry Stolli, some Wheel of Misery and of course $40 on my Diamond Spinner – which I lost.

Later on, Andy and I entered the Poker tournament at the Flamingo, I made the final table and ended up 2 and half hours later leaving the tournament in a respectable 5th – 2 places off the money – damn!

Vegas Day 11 or 12 or 13??

The Venetian and Me!My god, I HAVE to stop drinking! The days have just blurred into one another. So Wednesday spent most of the day time working because Andy was still in the WSOP. Ended up in a club in NYNY called ‘Coyote Ugly’ – nice place, loud, friendly not so good with the Karaoke at all! I watched 4 stunningly beautiful women completely butcher ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and so left! Went into the Venetian for Dinner at about 3am in what was quite possible the poshest restaurant that I have ever graced. Did some time in Treasure Island (no pirates), and some other places (I forget) – the funniest thing? Walking outside at what I thought was about maybe 3:30am and the sun was high in the sky, shining brightly – turns out I didn’t even get into bed until 7:30am the next day – that was one very long and enjoyable night!

Got about 4 hours sleep and then welcome to Thursday, crazy town! Grabbed some breakfast (nearly didn’t keep that down) and tried to relax for the day, spent most of it in bed nursing a sore head, could not face the heat today!! Anyway, longer story even shorter than the last, ended up in ‘The Bank’ which is a nightclub in the Bellagio (it’s a vegas club, oh yes), WOW! Amazing place, marbled floors, awesome lighting, everyone in smart casual, some big players in their – I dread to think how many people I bumped into last night, but let’s just say that when I arose from my pit this morning, my phone was chokker with txt’s and I even managed to grab some pics of whatever the hell I was up to last night, or the night before!!

Everything is backwards here, from fear and loathing:

Raoul Duke: [referring to the knife Acosta is holding] Jesus Christ, where’d you get that thing?
Dr. Gonzo: Room Service sent it up, I needed something to cut the limes.
Raoul Duke: Limes? What limes?
Dr. Gonzo: They didnt have any, they don’t grow in the desert.

I’ll be back in the UK on Sunday morning although if i’m honest i’d rather stay Stateside. The dreary trudge of wet old England does not befit me well at all. Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas Day 10

Wheel Of MiserySo, these long nights are becoming a bit of a habit – mix that up with work and you’ve got one crazy concoction! Up at a reasonable time this morning, had breakfast and did a bit of work – yes I know I said I’d take it easy – but trust me, a bit of time on lappie saves me several hundred $’s downstairs!!

Met up with Andy and the pool and had a ‘Turkey’ club sandwich and yes, as usual they brought me out an entire turkey covered with two tiny bits of bread – man oh man, eating a sarny by the pool in the desert – not the most comfortable experience. Entered the Paris poker tourney yesterday and made it into the last 14, out again just off the money!

I played poker with Andy 3 times since I’ve been here and every time stayed in longer, but these little tourney’s are crap shoots – who gives a shit going all in with nothing – it’s only like $70 or something – I doubt Andy is playing anything but Gold at the WSOP today! – Bastard – Just had a phone call from Andy- ‘What’s the number for Virgin Atlantic, we’re off home’ – WHAT? Oh, your only joking, right, funny – from the sounds of it Andy is in good shape over at the Rio.

No gambling today – absolutely none and I feel great – shopping tomorrow if I get time and fancy getting myself scorched!

Yesterday was another relax day, getting prepared for the big event today!