Poker takes a backseat.........
In more ways than one.
I haven't played since last Saturday, and I am enjoying my last of four days of not dealing it. Wednesday morning found me picking up the family at the airport. We went directly to Ellis Island for steak. I told my sister, who had never been to Las Vegas that I was sorry that her first LV Casino experience would be in dump. I specifically pointed out the 6 seat sports book. Last night we ate at the Hilton and she got to see the world's largest (at least according to the sign) Superbook. Quite a contrast.
In between Ellis Island and the Hilton we squeezed in a night at the Flamingo, two nights at my place, a paddle wheel cruise on Lake Mead, a tour of Hoover Dam, the TI Pirate show, the volcano at the Mirage Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and a few jaunts through some other casinos. My 3yr/10m old newphew was with us, so that explains some of the events that were geared, somewhat, to children. This was my parents third LV trip in 18 months and once again they spent at least one night at the Flamingo. I originally put them up there because it was centrally located and I had a ton of comps there which took care of the room charges. After the first visit, I discovered that my mother would probably be content to sit in the room and watch the Bellagio Fountains from 25 floors up. One the second trip, I again requested a corner room as high as possible. Once again, the fountains entertained mom. This time, the room was still 25 floors up, but the view also included Caesars since we were strip-front. Of course the lake at Bellagio was still easily viewed. The only problem was that we waited and waited for the water show to no avail. I finally called across the street only to be told that the show was cancelled for the evening. (It was a little windy, but not overly so) I couldn't help to think that it was ironic that the fountains were dark on the very night that Steve Wynn was opening his new joint. Maybe I was the only one on the planet who linked those two facts, but it struck me as funny.
In any case, the family was worn out from a long day of traveling and they all turned in early. No way on earth I was going to miss the grand opening of Wynn LV, so around 10:15 I walked north on the Strip. Just past the Venetian I ran into the back of the southern end of the line of folks lined up for Wynn. Holy crap. I continued walking and when I got to Sands Ave I considered seeing what the South Valet area looked like and if there was also a line there. I decided against that idea and continued to walk past the main entrance. The line to the North was much shorter, so I entered the queue. Everything was orderly and civil. When the marquee counted down to the We Are Open message a cheer went up. Partly because the place was now open for business and partly because almost no one in the line really thought that it would open on time. Anywhoo, there was an initial movement of the line and then it stopped. Then the cross walk light changed to "walk" and a huge mob crossed the strip from the Spring Mountain intersection and bolted directly for the front gate. So much for civil and orderly. All hell broke loose as the Wynn Security staff tried to keep some level of calm. They were only letting 10-15 people through the barricades at a time. Bags were being checked, etc. The people who waited patiently, for hours, on the sidewalk on the East side of the strip were pissed that those who bolted across the street were let in before us. Verbal barrages were fired back and forth between the increasingly mob-like crowd and the security staff. Shortly before I finally made it past the first check point it got scary for a few minutes. I weigh somewhere north of 200 pounds but at one point I swear that had I been able to lift my feet off of the pavement I would have been propelled forward. I now know how sardines feel. Well, how they would feel if they were stuffed ALIVE into the tin. Once I made it past the first barrier, another 10-15 minute wait occurred just outside the main doors.
After I got inside, I wondered why I had even bothered. I swear, the place is Butt Ugly The floors have a sort of garrish mosaic. The ceilings have shockingly un-pretty flowers painted on them. And the WATER FEATURE? Looks to me, unless I wasn't looking in the right place, to be a simple wall with water cascading down it. The similar panels behind the check-in desk at the Hilton are nicer than that. With a price tag of $2.7 BILLION I don't really know what I expected. This place cost over $1 Billion more than Bellagio? Maybe it will grow on me. I actually hope that it does. Maybe you need several million in net worth to appreciate the "beauty" of this place. I visited Wynn again last night, hoping to see it in a different light. Still ugly in my eyes.
Tonight is the weekly shindig at Linda's. I wonder if it will be Pan or Big 2? It really matters not. The brand of cards played takes a back seat to the company of good friends.