You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em
I come from a long line of gamblers. My grandmother cheats at cards. My father squandered a small fortune in stocks before it was fashionable to do so. My siblings are medium rollers (rollers with more brains and less bling). My toddler watches the World Poker Tour on TV with me and recognizes that these people are “playing cards for money.” And I have been known to buy a lottery ticket or two (but only when it goes over the $100M mark). With this kind of resume, and the promise of a Mark Burnett production, I had such high hopes for this show. I quickly volunteered to recap and counted the days until it premiered.
And then I started counting the days until someone made it stop. But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, the show has not yet been cancelled, so here we are. My first (and perhaps only) recap. Oh how I hate this show.
Because this show has no redeeming value, I have to do something to make this recap worth reading. So I propose a game of virtually interactive Texas Hold ‘Em. I will explain the game as we go for those of you who don’t watch ESPN or ESPN2 or The Travel Channel or Bravo. References to the game will be in green, for the protection of those of you whose religions forbid you from partaking in games of chance.
The Blinds: To keep the game going, two players are forced to bet on each hand. These are the Big Blind and Little Blind. The size of these mandatory bets varies depending on who’s playing and how early you need to get up the next morning. I’ll cover the blinds with 10 dinars and a leftover pizza.
Like many others, I cannot remember which fool is Tim and which is Tom. In my mind, I refer to the puffy one as Alvin the Chipmunk and the consumptive-looking one as Mimi. For purposes of clarity, and in keeping with our theme, we shall refer to them as BigBlind and LittleBlind.
Previously, the Blinds raced their penis cars to work. BigBlind got there first and won a bet that would be several months’ salary to most people. Because LittleBlind didn’t have the cash on him, they decided to go double or nothing in an all-out game of Gin. Gin? WTF? My grandmother plays Gin.
So they play the game and we have to watch. I’m not going to recap the game. It was all I could do not to fast-forward right past it. Suffice it to say that BigBlind acted like a Cheney (both by being a Dicque and tossing out the F-bombs) and LittleBlind won the bet. And while they played? They ate something that looked almost exactly like rice pudding. Gin and rice pudding. Have I mentioned that I hate this show?
The Ho’…I mean Hole Cards: The first two cards dealt to each player which nobody else can see unless you are playing on TV in hopes of making a big pile of cash and/or a big fool of yourself. Because this is not reality television, you’ll have to deal your own cards. Go open your favorite solitaire game. The first two cards on the left will be your hole cards. Don’t show them to anyone until the end of the recap. At this point, everyone has the opportunity to call, raise or fold. I like my cards, so I’ll raise with 20 raisins and a slightly used litterbox.
So of course I get the episode with all the T&A. Seems the highrollers are coming to the Nugget in droves. They come for the great craps odds and stay for the TV cameras. Of course, what highrollers really want is a floorshow. Alas, the Nugget has no nightlife to speak of, so LittleBlind takes it upon himself to procure some entertainment.
PimpOfTheWeek arrives with a bevy of fuschia-clad maidens. The caption tells me these are the Trashy Lingerie Girls. LittleBlind is worried they are too risqué for his casino. Their leader, one Trashy Mary, assures him they can put on a show in keeping with the “Old Las Vegas” stylings of the Nugget. Instead of Trashy 2004 Ho’s, they plan to dress as Trashy 1904 Ho’s. Yeah. That’ll be a lot classier, I’m sure.
LittleBlind and HeadOfEntertainmentJoe (hereafter BossJoe if you’re paying attention) discuss LittleBlind’s Big Idea. BossJoe doesn’t think Ho’ is the way to go. He interviews that the Nugget caters to an older clientele. Hefner notwithstanding, he thinks the Viagra set might not be too keen on Hookers in Pink. BigBlind sticks his big head into the room during this discussion. He hears the Big Idea and says “yeah, whatever, it’s your call.” LittleBlind takes this as a big thumbs’ up and decides to hire the girls over BossJoe’s objection. BossJoe rolls his eyes.
The girls arrive. Now that they’re in the hotel and their contract in full force, LittleBlind decides this is the time to watch the promotional DVD they gave him at their first meeting. He watches. There’s a lot of flashing and grinding going on. From the expression on his face, I am convinced this is the first time LittleBlind has seen breasts.
LittleBlind heads on up to the SuiteOfTheWeek, where one of the girls (Friday is her name) is flashing herself in the ceiling mirror and squealing about how she loves her breasts. When LittleBlind arrives, she flashes them at him. Definitely the first live (I'd say real, but, well, you know) breasts he’s ever seen.
Out in the hall, he recovers from the shock and reconsiders the Big Idea. LittleBlind rushes to his office and gets on the phone to call Trashy Mary. Where a normal person might say “Hello?” she actually answers the phone “Trashy Mary!”. He reminds her he’s new to the gambling license game and lays down the law: No lingerie in the casino (but catholic schoolgirl uniforms are okay); No flashing in the public areas (I guess that means they can take off their tops? Sorry.); No sexuality of any kind in the hotel. This is downtown Vegas after all, not the sinhole otherwise known as The Strip. We have to maintain a sense of decorum at all times.
Trashy Mary lays into Friday. Tells her to “keep the kids in her shirt.” Friday promises not to “show the orbs again.”
The Flop: The first three community cards. These are flipped over all at one time. The following cards are now in play. Make of them what you will. I’ll throw in a small pile of miscellaneous Matchbox car parts.
Crooner Matt Dusk yearns for the big time. For him, that means moving out of the restaurant and onto the main stage. BossJoe assures him his time will come. They already have a headliner. Until he’s out, Matt has to stay in the trenches with the karaoke singers (and if this were Las Vegas or CSI, that headliner would be our HomicideVictimOfTheWeek...but I digress).
Joe goes so far as to give Matt a tour of the main showroom. For those of you fortunate enough not to have actually watched this episode, the showroom looks like a large banquet hall with rows of nondescript chairs all lined up side by side. I can’t believe that’s what the main floor looks like in real life.
I have to note here that the camera does not like BossJoe. In the light of the one on one interview, he looks pretty freaky. I like Joe. I think he’s cute in a crazy psycho kind of way. Wish he’d get someone from makeup to powder his face.
Between Tommy’s yen to be a host 4 months into his dealer job and Matt’s desire to headline some weeks after walking into the place, there sure are a lot of people taking shortcuts to the top. Of course, that’s how the Blinds got where they are, so maybe that’s the overriding theme of the series.
Matt and his crew get a hankerin’ for some Texas Hold ‘Em, so they set up a little game in an abandoned ballroom. Now here’s when I knew I was destined to write this recap. The whole Hold ‘Em theme? Had that planned from the day I first volunteered to write a recap. So what does that say about me that I have serendipity with The Casino? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
BigBlind shows up during the game and gets dealt in. Matt does a lot of ***kissing. This begins BigBlind and Matt’s Big Adventure. It starts with their first date. Matt gets to go with BigBlind to the main ballroom and watch how Martin does it. Martin is a singer with a big voice. He “packs the house.”
Martin tells his audience how he was once a lounge singer with delusions of grandeur until some headliner gave him his big break. So of course he surprises Matt by inviting him up on stage. Matt’s flustered but he manages to sing the slowest song in the history of slow songs. “Five… …Minutes… …to… …your… …door… …It… …took… …five… …hours… …to… …sing… …this… …song.” Something like that.
After the show, Matt does some more sucking up. BigBlind’s too busy to talk (he’s on his way to some well-deserved R&R in Laguna Beach). BigBlind oh so casually asks Matt along. They are such a cute couple. Matt does the cooking, teaches Big to sing. It’s just so beautiful I could gouge my eyes out with a spoon. Matt again asks BigBlind if he can have his chance at the big room. They come to some kind of agreement. I don’t want to know.
The Turn: The fourth community card. I’ll call.
AssistantZach. Oh Zach. You are 5’6 ½” tall and now the whole world (well, maybe a couple hundred thousand people) knows it. Zach is hot for the Trashy Girls. Hangs out with them while they play craps in their schoolgirl outfits (fuschia pleated miniskirt with black lace shirt tied between their breasts). One of the Girls, Roxanne, cozies up to Zach and asks for a date…with LittleBlind. Small man that he is, Zach flat out lies to her and arranges a threesome later on at the Venetian (also known as TheStripCasinoOfTheWeek), knowing full well that LittleBlind will not be there.
Back in the office, Zach has the nerve to ask LittleBlind if he can get a limo for this hot date he’s got. LittleBlind actually makes the reservations for him.
Zach meets Roxanne in the lobby and she looks all kinds of hot in her little white dress. Of course her bosoms are falling out of it so she spends the whole night checking her coverage. Another thing that looks all kinds of hot? The Venetian. I want to go there. It’s purty. I swear this show is like an ad for the Strip.
During the Venetian’s big show (which involves acrobats and trapezes at one point), short men are invited on stage to make fools of themselves. The performer specifically requests men who are 5’6” tall. Although he is 5’6 ½” tall, Zach is allowed up on stage. He wears a clown mask and blows balloons badly.
Later, back at the Nugget, Zach and Roxanne are having drinks when Zach gets a call from BigBlind. Seems Zach is still on the clock and needs to get a plane ready for BigBlind and Matt’s Big Adventure (see above). He ditches Roxanne and sticks her with the check.
Roxanne is ticked and goes up to the SuiteOfTheWeek where we learn she has her own room away from the less important guest stars. I think this makes her the token virgin/ingénue of the group. Can’t have one of our heroes (gag) dating a ho, you know. Whatever. Zach shows up while she’s giving her buddies the dish on her date from hell. An unnamed girlfriend calls Zach on his lie. He ends up coming clean to Roxanne that he lied to get a date alone with her. She wishes he’d just asked her himself because she had a nice time. Next time we see her, she’s on stage giving him a big kiss. So here’s the problem with this story: his lying scheme worked.
The River: The final community card. I’ll raise 10 AOL installation discs (which are quite useful as long as you don’t actually put them inside your computer).
LittleBlind and BossJoe are hoping the girls make it to the show on time. LittleBlind snarks that these girls are always late. I’m going to take the high road and just remind myself he’s never been with a woman and not find this very insulting to all womankind.
The girls sashay down the escalator in full fuschia drag. LittleBlind and BossJoe are terrified. The girls squeal and hug some old people who are celebrating an anniversary. They invite people to the “new vintage nightclub” or something.
The girls put on their big fashion show. Didn’t see any early period hooker costumes, just babes in bikinis and teddies. Roxanne gives a shoutout to her LittleManZach and plants a big one on him right there on the stage.
The next day The Trashy Girls head back onto their bus. Tom is relieved to see them go. Trashy Girl Friday gets naked on the bus, much to the delight of some lucky cameraman.
Next time on The Casino: I guess the Girls won’t be coming back because the Blinds are looking for a new act. Tommy gets into the mix. It’s bad. I don’t want to know. Estee, I hope the show is cancelled soon because I don’t want you to be alone on the board. I just don’t know how much more I can take.
The End: Where we reveal our cards and determine a winner.
I foolishly stayed in the game with only a 2 and a 3.
This gives me the following set of cards:
Thank you all for playing along and surviving to the end of this recap.
Here’s what you’ve won: