I was just in Vegas for the annual RotoWire trip. I wasn’t planning to go except that we were in Colorado first this year, and the timing — when we were going on to LA — was perfect. How could I not stop there on the way?
I was actually the one who organized the trip for five years starting in around 2004 — I haggled with the hotels and steakhouses for decent group rates when we had a much more limited budget. I thought it might be a bit surreal going as a minor contributor now. It was not.
In fact, it was the same as always, only more upscale (see photos below) and better because I had no work obligations. The only negative was I had to pay for my room and travel (though my trip to LA was covered by Southwest points I had accumulated from previous RotoWire trips.)
The other fortuity was after 15 years on The Strip, RotoWire booked the Circa downtown where they host a version of the spread-picking SuperContest and also the $6M Survivor Pool. I texted my proxy, Toni, from last year (you need a proxy if you live outside Vegas to put in picks), to see if she could meet me to sign up Monday, and she said she’d be there in the morning — (embarrassing footage of that meeting below to be added tomorrow.)
I got to catch up with my former partners and a lot of the guys with whom I worked. It’s not like me to say nice things about people, but the more distance I’ve gotten, the more I appreciate those guys. You’d think as the one guy who left, I might have some tension or beef with some of them, but there is none. (Peter Schoenke was checking in to see if I was still happy with the deal we made. Answer: yes.)
Of course, I went to Lotus of Siam. Going to Vegas and not going to Lotus is like going to the beach and not getting in the ocean. Why are you even there? Here’s some footage of the meal with Jeff Erickson and Alan Seslowsky:
(Ignore @kcpayne26’s snarky asshole reply.)
And food pics:
I made only one bet at the Sportsbook because they didn’t have player props out, and I had already made some season-long team bets on the app from Colorado. You’ll be shocked to discover what it was:
Giants alternative win line, over eight at +220. My reasons for liking the Giants are here.
I mentioned this trip seemed even more upscale than usual, though it had already gone fairly upscale compared to when I was booking it (~$3,000 budget including drinks for 40 people at a steakhouse.)
The Legacy Club is a good name for the bar we rented out because those $50 scotches and tequilas (bartender said it was free up to $50) I ordered were a legacy cost for the company.
Here’s the view:
And we had a section of the pool cabanas during the day (that NLM Seslowsky has his back in the picture.)
It was a satisfying trip. I saw and talked to everyone, went to Lotus, got entries into both contests, procured some fruit-flavored Skoal for Shannon McKeown when he said it couldn’t be done and dominated these NLMs in a superflex draft that I’ll cover in a separate post.
The only mistake I made (besides donkeying away $200 in blackjack) was agreeing to explore Fremont Street at the end of an evening. It was a walk through hell, and I don’t mean that figuratively. Imagine hoards of desperate lowlifes in 105 degrees, blaring bad music, freakish weirdos doing odd magic tricks or shaking their asses in circumscribed places on the sidewalk, everyone and everything geared to drain you of pocket change, your dignity, your standards, your soul. At one point a stripper grabbed my arm as I walked too close to her circle, and I thought she might be a succubus pulling me toward the underworld. For five minutes it was moderately interesting, but we stayed about 25, and I thought I was going to vomit. (I was also dipping after a lot of earlier day-drinking.)
Finally, there’s footage of me signing up for the contests. I sound like every single moron on every reality show, partly because of Seslowsky’s cheesy soundtrack — he’s changing it over the weekend (which I’ll post when edited) — and partly because I’m acting like a moron in a reality show. The idea was to document the signup so that when I win, I can look back and say, “Here’s were it started, and what I was thinking.” But it came out as kind of embarrassing and trite, in my opinion, especially when I tried to recount my bad beats for Toni who was trying to do her job, and understandably had zero interest in hearing about them. I’ll put this behind the paywall tomorrow not because it’s worth paying for (it is not), but to limit the amount of embarrassment to paying subscribers.
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