Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: When a Trip to Las Vegas Turned Into a Game Show Called, "The $389 Question"

 

One of the many perks of working for a company like Aces Casino is the opportunity to be with your friends and family on most holidays, since the Orange County casino party leader traditionally doesn't have events on big holidays (except New Years' Eve).  This CAN be a blessing, but as some of the Aces Casino staff discovered, it can also be a "curse."

It's Labor Day weekend, 2010, a weekend that most sports fans just LOVE; The NFL and college football are starting their seasons, and Major League Baseball is heading into their stretch run.   It's a great time to be a fan, and an even GREATER time to be a sports bettor.  So many games on the big board, and so little time to place those wagers on our favorite selections.

That's the main reason that three staff members (myself included) decided to make that short run to "Sin City" late one Friday night, once another one of the Aces Casino star-studded Orange County casino night parties came to a close.  Normally, traffic to Vegas can be a pain, but we weren't leaving until Midnight, so we assumed that this would be a quick trip to Vegas, a trip made even quicker by, shall we say, "exceeding the speed limit."

THAT was "Bad Decision Number One."

Not long into the trip, a California Highway Patrol cruiser spotted us doing about 85 on I-15, somewhere around Riverside county.  THAT was "Bad Decision Number Two."  Soon, it was lights and siren, we pulled over, and a very hospitable officer wrote this reporter a ticket for the speeding, warned us to be a little more careful, and sent us on our way.

The stoppage really didn't hit us too hard as far as our schedule goes, so we were able to get back on the road, watch our speed, and make it to Vegas in time to get a room, grab 40 winks, get up the next morning, and spend three full days and nights betting games like crazy.  Did pretty good, too; hit three different parlays, cracked a few horse races, and hit the college and NFL games to the tune of a nine-win, two-loss result.  77% will always get it done.

Translation: We had a GREAT time..

We came home late that next Monday evening totally refreshed, and parted ways late that night boasting overall profits of about $600 each.  Then, when I returned home, I was reminded of the only glitch in our fun-filled weekend -- That speeding ticket that yours truly received during the trip to Las Vegas.

 It all seemed so "trivial" at the time...

Agh.....OK, Gotta do this...I looked for and found the ticket, and since it was issued in Riverside County, California, that's the court that I'll have to attend.  So, I looked it up, found it and found out where it was, and three weeks later, on a Friday, I officially visited the Riverside County Courthouse to deal with my ticket.  The person I talked to on the phone to verify the court's locatiuon warned me to be on time...

At 7 AM.

THAT'S Bad Decision Number 3.

Now, because of my employment at Aces Casino, the Orange County casino party kingpin, I tend to keep, shall we say, "late hours."  The events don't normally start until 7 or 8 O'Clock, aren't completed until past Midnight, and it takes a little time to properly dismantle the casino once the event is over.  Because of those loose facts, me being ANYWHERE by 7am, let alone Riverside, is a tough nut to crack.  But, I did the crime, gotta do the time.  Got up, and dragged myself out there, and brought a book with me (a trivia book), just in case there was some time to pass.

I get to the court, find the courtroom handling my speed-demonship, and when the doors open (at 7:20), I file in.

Me, and what seems like a hundred other people.  Oh, that's just GREAT.... Hope I'm in the first 10 or so, I have a lot of things to do back at Aces Casino that day.....

Anyway, we all sit down, and the bailiff comes out to talk to us.  He shows us the ropes, tells us how everything is going to go, but after about 5 minutes or so, he asks the group, "How many of you in this courtroom will need an interpreter when taking their turn with the judge?"

I kid you not.  99.99% of the hands were raised.  Only me, and what looked like five or six other people, DIDN'T raise their hands.  (Hey, if they don't speak English, how's they know to raise their hands?  Sorry, I digress....)  Upon seeing this, the bailiff tells us that this information is important to the court, because they need to know how long to keep the court's bilingual interpreter.  He then looks over at this man sitting at a table, and nods to him.

Then, it dawns on me.  They're going to take all the hispanic English-Challenged citizens first......Oh, my gosh....I look at my watch, it's now about 7:50AM, and the bailiff tells us, "OK, court will be in session in about 30 minutes."  Why?  He needs to process all these people first, I'm told.

GREEEEEAT.  This won't even START until around 8:30am, and I'm instantly looking like I'm at the back of the line, because I'm NOT in need of an interpreter.  I immediately jump up out of my seat, go out to my car, and grab my trivia book.  It's going to be a long, day, I can just feel it.

That's the only thing I got right all day.  At 8:30am, the judge shows up, and he has the Bailiff call the first name.  "Jose Garcia."  Yep, we have a winner.  He walks up, can't speak english, pleads his case, and gets some sort of fine.  I'd tell you what it was, but the damned courthouse proceedings are all in Spanish.  I'm looking for the "Subtitles" button on my invisible remote.  Nope, no dice.  I'm stuck.  The judge is speakin' English, but I can't tell you the answers that he's gettin'.


What transpires in the next four hours is one Spanish-speaking scofflaw after another, all needing the interpreter, all doing basically the same thing, and seemingly getting the same fine.  12:30 finally arrives.  LUNCH.  ANOTHER half-hour lost.  I'm not CLOSE to escaping this Night-Mare-O.  I don't know why they have a lunch break.  There's nowhere to eat, OR sit down.  They kick you out of the courtroom during lunch.

 Note to the Court - GET ONE OF THESE!

So, the doors open back up at 1:15pm.  Long lunch for his honor.  The remaining speeders and what-have-you people go back in, and I'm counting Hispanic heads.  16, 17, 18, OK, 19.  19 more, then the seven of us that are left.  Unfortunately for me, THESE 19 people seemingly have complicated cases.  They're ALL taking their time.  It's different Spoanish, and we now have an attorney or two, and HE'S speakin' Spanish.  The hands on the clock are spinning....2:15....2:40......3pm...The Bailiff announces, "we'll try to get everyone in today."  You gotta be kidding me.....

I'm hot as a $2 pistol by now.  My entire day has been shot watching this Spanish "Soap Opera," and the last of the interpreter-clients doesn't step up until 3:35.  I'm frustrated, tired, and so hungry, I'm considering eating some of the trivia book by now.

Of the eight remaining people, I end up being NEXT TO LAST.  4:10pm.  I've been here NINE HOURS, and by now, I'm blaming everyone for this, including the three guys I went to Vegas with, the CHP, the Border Patrol, you name it.  I've read the book I brought TWICE, by the time I finally get up in front of the judge.

He calls me by my last name, reads the citation as doing "90 in a 65 zone."  90?  Hell, my car can't even GO 90.  "I thought it was 85," I mention to the judge, and for the first time, this judge looks down at me, over his glasses.

I can tell he's not happy about my lil' outburst.  He starts going on this diatribe about speeders on California's freeway, and how much of a danger we are to the road, especially at night.  I'm looking at my watch as the diatribe goes on, and he tells me what this is going to cost me -- $175.00.  Now, I'm even MORE ticked at what's going on in the courtroom, andthink back to that night, when it looked to me like everyone ELSE on the I-15 that night was going about the same speed.....

It looks like he's finally done with me, after blaming me for everything from the uptick in traffic deaths in California to the Rams moving out of California...And that's when he asks me that fateful question.....

"Mr. Aces.....Do you have any questions before I rule?"

Boy, I wish he wouldn't have put it that way.  I'm so frustrated at this crazy day, that for some stupid reason, I thought of the book I brought with me.  "Yes, I have a question," I responded to him.  "What major league baseball player hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, then never hit another in his long and storied baseball career, spanning over 20 years?"

I noticed the Bailiff and the court reporter WERE conversing with each other, but stopped talking when they heard what came out of my mouth.  They both looked at me, then looked at the judge, and it seemed like time had stopped on planet Earth.  This hush over the courtroom lasted for quite awhile, until the judge spoke again......

"The answer to your question is Hoyt Wilhelm, Mister Aces, and that answer will cost you a contempt-of-court citation.  Pay the bailiff on your way out.

Oh-my-GAWD.  Yep, that's the answer.  I can't believe I just did that.  The bailiff just starts laughing out loud, and the court reporter got a big kick out of it, too.  I shuffled over to the Bailiff's desk, where he asked me, "Is that the right answer?"

"Yes, it is," I responded.  "Damn, he IS good.  Son, you picked on the wrong judge.  He knows his baseball.....," as he let out this hillbilly laugh once again.  What's the damage, you ask?  $175 for the speeding, and $389 for the contempt charge.   My winnings in Las Vegas.

I guess it could have been worse.  It could have been Judge Judy.  From this day on, I've ALWAYS driven under 65 MPH when going thru Riverside, watch every reality-show small-claims court TV episode waiting for someone else to do something stupid.  (And they do...)  That always makes me feel better.

Every time I hear Wilhelm's name I twitch, and reach for my wallet.

THAT was Bad decision number FOUR.  Just goes to show you, I'm much better blogging about Aces Casino, and am so glad the base of operations of the company isn't in Riverside County.  Yep, we do our Orange County casino party stuff right here in Whittier and Buena Park, thank you very much. 


So much for my getting a job as a game show host or a stand-up comedian.  I still can't believe I did that inside that courtroom, but with every tough lesson learned, there's always a moral to the story -- If the answer is Hoyt Wilhelm, do NOT ask the question.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: When it Comes to "Camporee," Always Remember One Thing: Bill Knows Best

We here at Aces Casino have always been proud to be known as the top Orange County casino party company in Southern California.  It's what we do best by far, and we (constantly) bring this fact to the forefront when we decide to discuss some things that we DON'T do very well.

Yes, it's true: If you take the staff of Aces Casino away from the bright lights of the best casino night fundraisers and corporate events of the southland, and place them in an environment that mirrors something you'd see in an episode of "Survivor," well, as the saying goes, "you might be in for a bumpy ride.  Please fasten your seat belts."

Hey, we freely admit this.  We're good at some things (bowling, live poker, and softball), and incredibly BAD at other things (mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry).  But, when it comes to the #1 thing that THIS reporter really stinks at, that thing would HAVE to be camping.  Without QUESTION.

Camping is one of the reasons that we took the job that involves working weekends in the first place.  The way WE see it, If you're busy making a living on the weekends, you're one step closer to avoiding the remote possibility of having to go camping.  I never really understood why camping exists in the first place.  If the Lord had meant people to camp out, he wouldn't have invented hotels.  And I've seen all the movies -- Deliverance, The River Wild, Troop Beverly Hills.  Camping is NEVER a good thing.  Hollywood never lies.

Just when I thought I had advanced to the age where the possibility of "camping" would disappear forever, I married late in life, and began to raise a family.  A family that included two boys.  You know, when they were born, they didn't LOOK like campers.

Then, they grew up.

Mom's to blame, here.  SHE thought It'd be a good idea to "broaden the kid's horizons," and expose them to all kinds of new things.  I knew I shouldn't have married that woman.   I HATE new things.  I despise my cell phone, my cable bill, the Teletubbies, Barney, and ESPECIALLY Dora the Explorer.  That cartoon chick also helped create my camping downfall.

Show-Off.  That's her, officer.  She's the culprit.

So, yeah, the kids grow up, discover this cool "camping" thing when Mom registers them with the Boy Scouts, and "Voila."  Time to go camping with the boys.

Now, no father wants to look foolish in front of his own sons, but these kids are smart.  They KNOW Dad's a horrible camper, and they don't know anything about this new genre, either.  So the BEST thing to do in a situation like this?  Easy.  Makes friends with the Scoutmaster.  In MY case, the Scoutmaster of our pack ended up being a man named Bill Wetzel, a scout leader that has possibly the most decorated resume' in the history of scouting, not to mention a man that is easy to get along with and eager to teach the tricks of the scouting trade to anyone with a question.

Poor devil.  He never met anyone like me.  Bill's been answering my questions for about three years now, and unfortunately for him, I'm guessing they're always the same questions.  I keep waiting for him to ask me to help him with some fundraiser that would incorporate Aces Casino, our Orange County casino night party machine, into the scouting mix.  Sorry, no such luck.  These Boy Scouts have their act together.  They don't need me HALF as much as I need THEM.

I'll tell you a quick story about Bill Wetzel.  As this first Camp-O-Ree was approaching on the calendar, I had heard of something called an Air Mattress, kind of like a big air-filled pillow to sleep on.  Wow, I thought this'd be GREAT to have for my first camp-out, and Asked Bill what HE thought about air mattresses.  He told me, "Aces, you really don't need something like that.  I've never used one.  All you'll need is a nice soft spot inside your tent, and you'll be fine."

Well, OK, then.  I'll save the $60, and hold off buying the air mattress.  I'll go to the Camp-O-Ree without it.  If Bill can do it, I can do it.

Unfortunately, I forgot one thing.  This is BILL WETZEL we're talking about.  Super Scout-Man.  A man that I'm sure is the "McGyver" of Scouting.  He can probably make a hammock out of two twigs and a napkin.  He's been doing this for forty years.  I'm guessing he normally uses bears for bedding, and a tin can for a tent.  I'm not in Bill's league.  Won't be.  EVER.

That's Bill on the right, showing off his invisible hammock.

I went to that first Camp-O-Ree without that air mattress.  One week later, when my backache from trying to sleep on the hard ground for two nights at Camp-O-Ree had finally subsided, I went back and bought the Air Mattress.  Take it from a novice.  Bring an air mattress to your camp-out.

That was two Camp-O-Rees ago.  I'm now a three-time loser.  Last weekend, I went on my third "Camp-O."   They're pretty much all the same.  600 boy scouts or more, all of them with more camping skills than I'll ever have, and a whole bunch of scoutmasters that come off as military personnel (Except Bill, of course).  Boy, I am ALWAYS a fish out of water here, but that's the part that I enjoy.  OK, I'll camp out one more time, in the tent, with all the other stuff you have to bring...

Then, I see it.

As the first night of Camp-O-Ree comes to a close, I spot this gigantic white tent-like structure near our campsite, but it's nothing like our little Coleman mini-tents.  This thing looks like it was used in the last "Harry Potter" film.  It's HUGE.  Heck, I thought it was headquarters for this weekend's Los Alamitos Camp-O-Ree.  So, I go over to this Trump-Tower structure, to check in with headquarters.

Or so I thought.

This monstrosity isn't "headquarters."  It's a scoutmaster's tent for the weekend.  ONE scoutmaster.  ONE guy that brought this thing that's bigger than the Bonaventure hotel, and sitting right in the middle of Camp-O-Ree.  

OK, I'm ticked.  You gotta be kidding me.  I peek inside this thing, and find that it's big enough for a tennis court and a Jacuzzi in here.  Both these things are probably in this tent somewhere, but I don't have time to look.  What I DO see is a full bed, a kitchen, tables, and gawd-knows what else.  This thing is PACKED with amenities. 

This is my last "Camp-O-Ree," because of the age of my sons.  But, HECK, if I knew that I could bring something like THIS leviathan, I would have bought one over at "Trump's Camping Gear 'R Us."  I talked briefly with the owner of this Boardwalk hotel; He not much for conversation, and he sure doesn't like trespassers.  Heck, I was just looking for the Concierge.  Sorry.  Sue me.  But, I gotta tell you.  THAT ain't camping.  I oughta know.  I've been non-camping for three years.  Yeah, he kicked me out when I told him that.  Guess he had an appointment in his catering office.

Well, when all is said and done, this Aces Casino camping nincompoop survived.  Didn't set myself on fire again, took less than two days to put up the tent, had my lil' sand and water buckets in the right place so we didn't get marked off, and didn't tease the Sergeant Carter-type scoutmaster in the next plot like last year.  Our own pack scoutmaster, Walt Wilkerson, racked up something like seven awards for our Pack 558 last weekend.  Translation:  I didn't help them.  The kids appreciate that.

And I appreciate all the assistance I've received from all of the many good people of the Boy Scouts, especially Bill and his daughter Virginia.  They're the only reason this Orange County casino party guy has "survived in the wild" over these many Camp-O-Ree's.

If they DO invite me NEXT year, though, I've got a plan.  I'm checking into that big white hotel that the other scoutmaster brought.  I've gotta get that hotel's number.  Wonder if William Shatner knows it?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: Department Of Justice Shuts Down Online Poker, Camporee Finishes The Job

Well, I suppose we'll start out our bi-weekly drivel this way..... This last weekend was more like a LOST weekend for Aces Casino, The Orange County Casino night leader.  Not one, but TWO spine-tingling headlines hit the Aces Casino staff in the same weekend....

"Three Largest Online Poker Sites Indicted and Shut Down by FBI," and the other headline dreaded by yours truly, your Orange County casino party Blogger?

"2011 Spring Boy Scout Camp-o-ree Opens This Weekend."

You couldn't select two more awful pieces of news for this reporter if you tried.  Fortunately for this Blogger, we didn't find out about the FIRST ONE of the headlines until we suffered through the second one, so the blow WAS lessened, somewhat.

SOMEWHAT.

Now, before we go any farther, perhaps a little semi-revisionist history is worth discussing when it come to this Aces Casino Blogger.  The man whose drivel you're reading is NOT, shall we say, "The Outdoors Type."  My idea of "roughing it in the wild" is having to look for extra towels in my hotel room after taking a nice, relaxing Jacuzzi.  I never went camping as a boy; Camping is where all the spiders, snakes and wild animals hung out.  Loved all the sports as a young pup; Played Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, wished I could play Football, but was too skinny, and knew better.

Sure, I was active, but NOT when it came to "The Outdoors."  Didn't hunt, didn't care for guns.... My father was one of those Mid-2oth-Century men -- World War II decorated hero, purple heart, smoked a pack of Camels a DAY, and was one of the best fisherman that anyone ever saw.  That's why it broke his heart to see this skinny waif of a lad hop onto a half-day fishing boat out of Davey's Locker in SoCal, immediately get seasick, and become worthless for the whole trip.  Dad got a bad deal with this one, no doubt.

Oh, I took a shot at fishing; After getting tired of tossing my cookies over the railing of the boat for two hours, dear ol' Dad stuck a pole in my hand, showed me how to bait the hook (Yuck), and dropped my line into the Pacific Ocean.  Went on three trips just like this with Dad, and all three ended up the same way.  Toss cookies, beit the hook after two hours, drop a line, caught a BEAUTIFUL orange-colored fish and thought, "OK, maybe this isn't so bad AFTER all."

Problem was, I kept catching the same type of fish.  A Sculpin.  I was really jazzed about catching this thing, and the guy next to me on the boat would always say, "here, sonny, lemme help you with that," and would promptly CUT MY LINE.  Spoosh, back in the sea goes my fish.  "Hey!  What's the deal," I'd ask, and found out the damned fish was poisonous, or something.  Best to cut it loose, they'd.  Yep....Three trips, three Sculpins.  Three cut lines, no fish.  When I get to heaven (which is a long reach from here), I'll probably look myself up in the record book, and it'll say, "No fish caught during lifetime."  That's a lie, dear Lord.  I caught THREE.  Check the tape. 

So, all things considered, Dad gave up.  "He's not an outdoors kid," He told Mom.  No prob, I'll just hit the books instead.... Graduated from every school with high honors, and went to college at UNLV, where they had plenty of their own snakes, spiders, and wild animals.  Now THESE, I could handle.

So, the rest IS history.  Hated camping, wsn't born with the camping gene, and never thought that the lack of this gene would re-enter my life again.

Then, I had kids.  BOYS.  TWO of them.

Now, funny thing about kids.  They grow up.  They get as big as I was,  when I was a kid, a time that my oldest son likes to call "when dinosaurs roamed the earth."  I always pay him back, though.  Ask him about fantasy football and baseball.   That dino-Dad's kickin' your butt, little one.  (Grin)  And, when these two kids grew up, just WHAT did they ask Dad to do?  Yep...Join the Cub Scouts.

Crap.

OK, we joined, they whittled, learned about rocks, raced little wooden derby cars, fun stuff.  "Hey, this isn't so bad," I thought to myself.  This'll work...Until they handed me the flyer for this "Camp'O'Ree."

Crap.

Camping.  REAL camping.  Tents, sleeping bags, skillets, rough terrain, no electricity, cold as Hades at night, and two boys that thought It'd be fun to jump up and down on the air mattress that Dad thought would be his saving grace, only to find out that "Air Mattress not to be used as trampoline" is the first thing printed on the top.  "POOOSH," popped that mattress like a balloon.

Is NOT me.  Oh, THERE'S the hot sauce.  Was lookin' for that.

This "Camp-O-Ree" experience needs it's own blog later on, it's too much to print here.  We'll give you Part Two on Thursday, and we still owe you the story of Aces Casino v. The Kardashians, which we'll get to next week.  Right now, It's time to forget the Camp-O-Ree nightmare, and get to what Aces Casino, the Orange County casino party kingpin, does best; Whine about our OTHER headline -- The shut-down of Online poker engines like Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars and Ultimate Bet.

I couldn't BELIEVE it when one of our assistant leads told me about the DOJ shutting down Full Tilt Poker and indicting the owners of these web sites on gambling and money-laundering charges that violate the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act).

One question.  Why??  Why is the Department Of Justice getting involved here?  People LOVE sitting down and playing this GAME OF SKILL that the house only takes a rake on.  The web sites don't participate in the games to try to win money and prizes.

I won't go into a long, boring diatribe here (Ed. Note: Yeah, sure.  8-to-5 he does it anyway.), but highly-skilled attorneys much smarter than I have constantly stated that this ban on internet poker and attempted prosecution of the sites' owners won't stand, and liken this action to the attempted prosecution of Ex-Giants baseball home run leader Barry Bonds, whom the U. S. Government spent about $5M on in trying to prosecute him on steroid charges, only to get one obstruction charge on the books for the five mil.

Nice goin, DOJ.  Spend MORE of our money trying to prosecute this insignificant  and LEGAL activity.  There goes another $5M.  You know, these web sites have tried to figure out ways to tax themselves when it comes to these games, with no luck.  

Note to the U. S., Government: LEAVE POKER ALONE.  It's legal, and we're not interested in you getting your grubby hands into the coffers of our winnings to help fund you next junket to Dubai.  We're taxed to death, especially in California and New York state, and can't afford your spending our already-high tax dollars on your whimsical, drunken-sailor-like spending.  Go away, and leave us alone.

OK, rant over, at least in the area of internet poker.  No doubt, this action by the DOJ will have long-lasting ramifications that will last FAR longer than they should, and rest assured that as significant development take place in this area, Aces Casino, your Orange County casino party kingpin, will be there to report the news.

And Camp-O-Ree?  We'll chronicle that "E-Ticket Ride" on Thursday.

Unless I'm still sore from last week, that is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: Thoughts About What Happened to Bryan Stow and How it has Touched This Blogger

To suggest that our blog here at Aces Casino tends to be slightly on the irreverent side at times shouldn't strike one as being a surprise, and most followers of our weekly drivel would probably suggest we remove the word, "slightly," to maintain our accuracy in reporting the "news."

Yes, we're goofy, 'tis true.  It's in our nature, and we strive to bring a smile to our reader's face every time we sit down in front of our keyboard and "create."  I know; we're not very good at this, but we DO try hard.  We HAVE to.  That's what the boss of this Orange County casino party team tells us, especially on Pay Day.  (He's a smart guy.) 

Yes, when it comes to the staff here at Aces Casino, the Orange County casino night leader, "irreverence" IS our middle name. (Ed. Note: We're NOT putting that on the business license.  Stop asking us to change it.)  We've created a virtual "Alternate Universe" at Aces, one that provides entertainment value, and leaves the current affairs of the world on the outside, while we play on the inside.

But recently, something that occurred here in Los Angeles recently and has made it's way onto the newspapers and TV news programs of the nation has touched our team of Orange County casino night superstars very deeply.  You probably have heard of it by now.

It's the story of a man named Bryan Stow, a baseball fan of the San Francisco Giants.  A man that decided to attend the first game of his team's season, "Opening Day," and a game that pitted his Giants against the hometown Los Angeles Dodgers out at Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium).  As he was leaving the game that day, Mr. Stow was brutally attacked outside the stadium by two or more Dodger fans, an attack that has left him in an induced come since April 5.  I believe Mr. Stow is still here at Cedars Sinai Hospital, under the care of a team of doctors.  (Ed. Note: Actually, Mr. Stow is being cared for at L. A. County USC Medical Center.  Sorry for the misinformation.)


Now, we here at Aces Casino are big sports fans.  We love the Angels (OUR local team), the Kings, the Ducks, the Chargers... We just love sports.  ALL sports.  Oh, sure, we keep up on current events as well; world news, entertainment, you name it.  Pertinent, interesting things.  But, as the Trivial Pursuit game so adequately puts it, our favorite category in life would have to be "sports and leisure."

And that's where we currently sit here at Aces Casino.  Unfortunately, this senseless attack out at Dodger Stadium has pierced our bubble of protection that keeps us entertaining and irreverent, and has caused quite a lot of thought about just what has happened, and what this means to fans of sport.  The "sports," just like our Las Vegas casino night events, are supposed to be an escape from life as we know it, a time where discussions of playoffs and no-hitters, the current standings and who's doing well or not-so-well.

This one incident at the stadium has hit a nerve.  For this reporter, it has made me stop and think.  Yes, life here at our Orange County casino party company has gone on as "normal" since April 5, and the events have all been their usual spectacular self.  But something's been missing, something that has caused our irreverence to take a back seat.  Normally, our drivel appears twice a week, on Monday and either Thursday or Friday.

But, since the attack on Mr. Stow, it took some ten days to get a new post up on the blog.  It just didn't feel right.  The spirit was missing.

Hopefully, we'll get that goofy spirit back, but for now, a few points to make: First up, from everyone here at Aces Casino Entertainment, we'd like to send out our heartfelt prayers to Bryan Stow and the Stow family for a full recovery for Bryan Stow.  I can't imagine what your family is going through, and we wish you the very best when it comes to your family members' full recovery.

Aces Casino has chosen to donate a portion of our proceeds from our various events in the month of April to the Stow family to try to assist in what has to be a monumental hurdle that must be crossed to maintain contact with Mr. Stow while he's being cared for some 400 miles away from his home. 

Second, this unfortunate event makes us think about just what makes sport FUN for us.  Around HERE, it's the needling about one team or the other getting beaten.  Yes, our fave team might have been beaten.  But....

It should NEVER be about getting beaten yourself. 

My favorite rivalry, without question, is the rivalry between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders.  These two teams square off twice a year, with one of the games out at Qualcomm Stadium, the home of the Chargers, a venue about 90 miles south of us. 

FIERCE rivalry.  The two groups of fans HATE each other, and when they get together in the same stadium on any given Sunday, it's like gasoline and an open flame.

Now, for reference, I'm what you might call an "ancient blogger."  I used to go to Anaheim Stadium for Angel games in 1970, so that qualifies me for a 50-cent discount at any Regal theater.  Simply put, I'm too old for a "Wild Hogs" - type rumble at any stadium.  Unfortunately for most of the Charger and Raider fans that attend the games, they're NOT.

That's where the Bryan Stow situation kicks in.  What made the Raider / Charger rivalry so entertaining was the "interaction" between the two groups of fans.  And, for the purpose of this column, we define "interaction" as VERBAL zingers, jokes about each others' team and how the game might be progressing for one team or the other. 

WORDS.  NOT blows.

That's what has us thinking about how things have been progressing at the stadium lately for this game.  There's so much animosity now.  The hatred is hair-trigger for the fans now.  You can't zing some guy without him threatening to kill you for it.  Now, we've never waited for any return fire from a well-worded zinger of the Raiders, because their fans aren't normally the type to easily link a noun and a verb together.  (Yeah, zingers like that.)  Unfortunately, you shouldn't expect a zinger in return.  Now, you expect a punch, or worse.

The game has lost it's fun.  We go to the Chargers / Raiders game every year to watch the GAME, not the people, and certainly not to watch your back.  We've seen moments in the stadium and the parking lot that mirror the attack on Mr. Stow.  We've seen them a lot, all the time, time after time.

Saw this particular brawl in person last year (No, that's not us filming.  We're the ones trying to break it up).  Things like this are happening all the time, now..... WAY too frequently...

http://sports.break.com/raiders-fans-pick-a-fight-they-cant-win


This is just so senseless.  It's ruining the game experience.  I go to these games in San Diego as often as possible, but I ALSO have two young children in the house.  When one of them asks if HE can go to the game with me, I give him the answer -- "NO, son.  The games are too violent, things happen at these games that are NOT fun."

Man....

I've said this to my son for three years now.  How sad is that?  And the SADDEST part?  I say it to him as a de-sensitized father, not as a football fan.  This Bryan Stow situation has opened our eyes here at Aces Casino.

And the worst part?

I don't know if there is anything that WE can do to make this go away.  We need to get the fun back into going to the games.  He can't be afraid of taking our kids to the games.  The worst fight I ever SAW at a game happened two seats away from me, at a Charger game.  We're NEVER involved in these fracases, but in a way, we ARE.  It spills right into where you're sitting.  I was sitting next to a young woman that almost got CRUSHED by the throng of bodies throwin' blows.

This just has to stop, and we don't care HOW.

Maybe we can do our part by identifying these hoodlums, getting names, license numbers, descriptions, and getting this information to the proper authorities, so this can be dealt with under the laws of the land.  In Mr. Stow's case, his attackers MUST be found and prosecuted for what they did.  This in UNACCEPTABLE for us, for our kids, and for the sports we love.  Report these idiots that are ruining the games, and make them pay for their unacceptable behavior.

To all of the friends that expect the usual irreverent drivel here, we apologize.  Our rant is over, and we promise to get this out of our system when it comes to the Aces Casino blog, and get back to the business of being the Orange County casino party leader when we resume the blog on Monday.

But...Rest assured, Mr. Stow.  We will NEVER forget YOU, and we'll never forget how much this event changed how we view going to the games.  We won't be de-sensitized any longer, thanks to YOU, Bryan.  We'll help in any way we can, and hopefully, someday, we'll be able to tell you how much your recovery meant to us.  Again, our prayers, Bryan, to you AND your family.

The Chargers / Raiders game will never be the same for us, now.  And that's NOT Bryan Stow's fault, people.  Those of you that come to these games to show off your machisimo and brawl with anybody and everybody...It's YOUR fault.  Get a clue and knock it off.  We don't need any more events like this happening again.

EVER.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Aces Casino Blog: If It's Not Too Much to Ask, Here's Our Top 5 People We'd LOVE to Meet Someday...

You only have to look at the sign above the main entrance of the offices of Aces Casino to know just how our team feels when it comes to "working" for this Orange County casino night party company, considered by many to be the top casino party company in the Southland.  That's the sign that has the company's motto / mission statement emblazoned in big black letters...

"This Beats Working."

You can say THAT again.  Ask anyone here at Aces Casino -- We DO have the greatest job in the world, and it shows.  Each and every event has that mark of excellence, because we all love what we're doing.  We're out helping people have a total blast.  And, along the way, we've met more than our share of the top celebs in the entertainment industry, along with some of the most interesting people from ALL walks of life.  Oh, the stories we could tell. (Ed. Note: Could, and already HAVE.   Check the Aces archives.  There are a couple of doozies already printed here in this blog for all to see.)

Yes, it's been nice having the chance to rub elbows with the hoi-polloi of Hollywood, along with most of SoCal's major sports franchises' superstars.  But, from where THIS Orange County casino party giant sits, our list of celebs that we've worked with is still missing a few important names. No problem -- We just haven't seen them at an event yet.

And, for the record, let it be said right this second -- We are NOT shy.  We LOVE celebs, and they love us.  We give them extra chips at the events...They LOVE extra chips!  (Ed. Note: They NEED 'em, too.  They're normally horrible players, except Vince Ferragamo.  More on him some other time, in a future blog.  GREAT guy.) 

Now, as you can imagine, the Aces Casino "Must Meet" list changes more than Kim Kardashian changes shoes, so check with the Orange County casino night party kings for the latest updates.  But, as things stand right now, here is the official Aces Casino Entertainment "Top 5 People We'd LOVE To Meet" at one of our upcoming casino events....

#5 -- Barry Weiss (From History Channel's "Storage Wars")

This is one of those people that you may not have heard of, if you haven't had the pleasure of seeing the reality show that Barry, one of the "5" main characters on this series, regularly appears on.  "Storage Wars" revolves around the world of the "storage locker auction," which is something I had never explored before.  (Ed. Note: big deal.  The author also has never explored the world of putting equipment away when an event is concluded, either.)

It seems that when a storage locker goes a certain amount of months without rental payments being made, the storage facility has the right to sell the contents of the delinquent locker in order to recoup the debt.  "Storage Wars" shows what happens at these auctions, and what these winning bidders get when they get a chance to actually check out their recently acquired auction prize.

Barry Weiss is one of the regular bidders, and he is DEFINITELY a character.  He's never at a loss for words, has a great sense of humor (he shows up at auctions with psychics and/or little people on stilts armed with night-vision goggles just to create a stir) , and likes to gamble on lockers that he thinks might hold some cherished collectible inside.  Whereas the other main characters are definitely out for the money to be made in re-selling items won at auction, Barry's more interested in finding things that he'd just like to have.


"Hey, at least the psychics were well-endowed!"

He's just someone you have to talk to AND listen to... Barry's definitely a cool cat, and easily makes the Aces Casino "Top 5 List of People To Meet."  We need you at one of our Orange County casino party events, Barry!  First drink's on me!  And, if you haven't seen Storage Wars yet, check it out.  It's a great half-hour show.


#4 -- Tom Hanks

Now, seriously, who WOULDN'T want to meet Tom Hanks?  I know this one's a slam dunk, but, hey, Aces Casino has seen more than it's share of celebrities at our Los Angeles casino party events (Joan Rivers, Steven Spielberg, Robert Wagner, Bruce Willis, and Mike Myers, to name just a few of the 100's we've seen), so why not put Tom Hanks on our wish list?

He did a bit recently on the Jimmy Kimmel Show that just floored us.  LOVE Tom's sense of humor, and here's hoping that someday, we'll have the chance to cross with Tom at one of his favorite charity events, so we can let him know just how much he's entertained our Aces Casino crew for so many years with his TV shows and feature films.  Call us, Tom, and let us know what charity you need us for!

#3 -- The Cast from "Pawn Stars"

Now, here's another reality show 'team' that makes our top 5.  I mean, who HASN'T heard of these Pawn Shop guys from Las Vegas?  Rick Harrison, "The Old Man," "Hoss" and "Chumlee" are BIG favorites around the Aces Casino offices, and rightly so.  Their show is informative AND hilarious, and each one of the main characters that appear on screen have a ton of personality, and really mesh well together on screen.

We'll see you in Sin City, Gentlemen!

The good news with THIS listing in the Aces top 5 is the fact that, with an upcoming event date scheduled in late June of 2011 to coincide with the World Series of Poker, the Aces Casino team WILL be meeting the cast at a function in the shows' home town of Las Vegas a little less than three months from now!  Don't worry, we'll definitely have the story AND pictures right here on the Blog when THAT happens.  (Then, we'll have an opening on our list!)


#2 -- Arte Moreno, Owner of The Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Here's a man that we've just missed connecting to in the past twelve months; Arte Moreno, the dynamic owner of the Angels, a self-made man that earned every dollar he's made over the years with his style and perseverance, starting with his venture into the outdoor billboard business.  He parlayed that lucrative venture into an $8B sale of that business, and immediately invested in his first love - Baseball.

He bought into the Salt Lake Trappers minor league baseball team back in the '80's, and after turning THAT franchise into a cash-cow, he set his sights on a major league baseball team.  He purchased the then-Anaheim Angels in 2003, right after the team had won it's first World Series title, and has turned the Angels into a perennial contender with his savvy business sense to go along with an easy-going personality.  You can just tell he's a 'people' person, and he's one person we're dying to meet.

Go and look in the dictionary under the word, "success," and you'll see a picture of this gentleman, a class act, without question.  Good luck with the Angels in 2011, Arte.  Here's hoping we get the chance to meet up someday....

#1 -- Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers

Definitely our all-time favorite, and a man that we have yet to meet.  Being a fan of the Chargers, it goes without saying that this All-Pro Charger QB might be at the top of the list, but Philip also has what the other people on our list have in common: He is who he is, and the real deal.  Total class act, a rare commodity in the world of sports today.

No Bolts' fan will ever forget Rivers blowing out his knee during a 2007 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, then immediately going thru knee surgery on a Monday in order to PLAY against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game just six days later on a SUNDAY.  He gives 100% every time he takes the field, and lets NOTHING get in the way of what he needs to do to succeed. 

Without even knowing it, Philip Rivers taught us here at Aces Casino just what it means to be dedicated to your job, and to your team.  When our company had a tough stretch during a rough economy back in 2009, we actually looked back at some of the people that we thought we could learn from people that ALSO had tough times and persevered.  NONE of them shined brighter than Philip Rivers.  He continues to shine in every way imaginable with the combination of a great, honest, down-home personality and a insatiable, white-hot will to win. 

 Just throw it to Antonio Gates, my friend...

Philip, thank you for all you've done to teach us what needs to be done in order to succeed against some pretty tough times.  Hopefully, we'll get the chance to meet you someday and thank you for the lessons.  Oh, and here's to you someday getting to that currently-elusive Super Bowl.  Now, THAT'S a party we'd LOVE to attend!

Well, that's all for now.  Some parting shots on this Monday morning......

Boy, we thought moving Aces Casino equipment into tough venues was hard work, but it's nothing like installing a lawn in the ol' back yard this past weekend.  50% rototiller, 40% steer manure, 10% laying the grass checkers into place, and 100% sore back, sore legs, and sore EVERYTHING.  I'll take an Orange County casino party over lawn jockeying ANY time...... Butler makes the NCAA Hoops title game.  If they beat UConn today, we'll win out futures bet worth about $1800; Then, we can go and buy some people to put the grass in FOR US next time...... Big weekend for the company starting this Friday night with a frat party at USC, followed by a Saturday morning trip to Bakersfield for a 24-table event later in the day.  Who's buying the donuts? ....... Have a good week!