[Content Disclosure: 100% Las Vegas]
Beyond the World Series of Poker lies the whole, big, bright city of Las Vegas. Here are a few on the more or less interesting encounters I have had beyond the Amazon room at the Rio.
I was listening to a local radio talk show on which a local banker was saying that most financial institutions in Clark County are now holding back as much as 80% or more of their foreclosed real estate because of the depressed market. At one point he ventured that the Las Vegas valley may have 6 to 8 years of back inventory in the residential real estate market.
Then I took a seat at a poker table at the Orleans and the table topic was the recovery of the housing market in Las Vegas, including:
"This city always bounces back faster then all the others."
"Prices are already going up on houses, now is the time to buy."
I'm just saying, there are a lot of experts at the poker table; but there may be better places to get your financial advice.
Another table and another expert told us that all of those "abandoned projects on the Strip" had been "secretly bought up by the Chinese" and that they were going to do to us what the Japanese did in the 80's. I resisted pointing out to him just how well that had worked out for the Japanese investors. Remember Rockefeller Center and Pebble Beach, really successful investments those were. For those who have forgotten, the financial invasion of Rockefeller Center happened in 1989, they walked away from their two billion dollar investment in 1995.
Best Improved Line: Years ago I was playing a tournament at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. On the dinner break the casino provided a player's buffet. When we got to the sushi, the kid in front of me asked about how good it was and I said: "Never eat sushi when the nearest ocean is more than a thousand miles away."
Well yesterday, I was in a restaurant known for its sushi and overheard this exchange:
"Why the hell would you order raw ocean fish when you are in the desert?"
"You know Harry, you're right. I'll have the baked desert tortoise with the grilled scorpion appetizer."
And lastly, the best explanation of the bad, lousy, stupid, insane, out-of-date, poorly planned and miserably executed departing flight security at McCarran Airport.
"You know how they charge you on the bridges and tunnels coming into New York City but it is free to leave. Same as San Francisco, Golden Gate is five bucks inbound, out is free. They want you to leave."
"In Las Vegas, they want you to stay. So when 3 AM rolls around and you think, you know we should just pack and head to the airport. But wait, no one wants to get in those stupid security lines. Hell what's one more night."
Of course, I heard this at 2 AM in a bar. Methinks the guy with this trenchant analysis was trying to get one more day in Vegas out of the wife.
Poker rooms I have played this summer:
Orleans -- Omaha8
Tuscany -- NLHE tournament
Binions -- Omaha8 tournament
Flamingo -- NLHE
M Resort -- NLHE
Venetian -- Omaha8
SouthPoint -- Limit HE
M Resort -- Limit HE