My plan had been to go somewhere else this past weekend, but when my buddy Graham decided that he wanted to watch the big game in Vegas, who was I to say no? After some stops and starts on the dates, it ended up just being another quick trip down. We booked a room at Imperial Palace (won't do that again - what a dump), as it was the only hotel I could find for less than $300-$700 a night. Even at $175 for the two of us, it was way too much.
While my other trips had been focused around playing poker, this one was more about having a good time, and checking out some of the things I wouldn't do, if I was there solo. After arriving and checking in, I played some poker at Caesar's while Graham played roulette, and checked out the scoop on the Super Bowl parties.
Around 7:00, we decided to head over to the Palms for dinner. We had dinner at "9", the steak house at the Palms. In addition to one of the most amazing steaks ever (easily top 5 for me), I ordered a bottle of the 2003 Chateau de Beaucastel (Châteauneuf-du-Pape), one of my favorite wines. I have a bottle of the 1990 vintage at home, that I need to drink soon. The 2003 was amazing; I can only imagine how good the 1990 will be!
After a throughly amazing meal, we headed up to the Playboy Club on the 54th floor of the Palms Casino. Now I'm not much of a club guy, but let me tell you, this place was worth checking out at least once. Graham had managed to get up "VIP" tickets for entrance to the club. I'll admit that I was skeptical about this - but it turns out we needed 'em! After jumping the line, and a bunch of really big bouncers, we were whisked up on a private elevator. The elevators opened onto a very cool bar, but over to the right was the main attraction. The place was floor-to-ceiling wrap around windows off the 54th floor. There are pretty much 270 degree view of the Strip and downtown - all of Las Vegas is laid out underneath you. On top of that, there are three full bars, plus a mini-casino with blackjack tables, roulette and a bunch of other games. All this stuff was major high-roller action. But I did play a few expensive hands of blackjack, just to be able to say that I've done it. :-) Oh, and did I mention that all the dealer were Playboy Bunnies? I'm sure they make lots of money off those tables...
At about 11:00, they opened up the nightclub on the 55th floor. We went up for a bit, but like I say, I'm not much of a club guy. Again, the view from up there were very cool, and the dance floor and bars were awesome. The best thing about the club (not that we were able to see it that night) is that the roof is retractable! Imagine that - nice night, they open the roof up and the club becomes outdoors. I love Vegas!
I left Graham up in the club for a while and headed down to check out their poker room. This ended up being a bad idea, as I had had too much to drink to be playing poker. I guess that's the lesson to be learned in all of this - if I'm going to be partying, I shouldn't be playing poker. Hopefully lesson learned, and fairly cheaply. We ended up crawling into the hotel around 6:00 a.m. and grabbed a couple of hours sleep.
Around 10:30 we were out of the hotel and back over to Caesar's where we were planning to watch the game. The sports book was packed - the line up to place bets on the game was over an hour long. We tried (unsuccessfully) to find a restaurant to have breakfast in, but settled for food court food. After that, Graham was kind enough to let me go play poker for a couple of hours. In the interim, he managed to track down tickets to a party in one of the bars at Caesar's. This was way better than standing around the sport's book. It included food (which was OK, a few drinks and most importantly, seats with a view of some big screen TVs with sound for the game.
The game itself was a lot of fun. There was a good mixture of Bears and Colts fans - the Bears fans were way rowdier! There was this hilarious group of four Asian guys sitting next to us that were just over-the-top crazy. It was a really fun afternoon. Sadly, I had to fly out not long after the game ended, so I couldn't check out some of the after parties.