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Author Topic: Stories - Inspirational / Las Vegas  (Read 45759 times)
onlyme
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« on: November 22, 2005, 10:29:43 PM »

I was at the gym today and a guy was visitng from Vegas.  We started talking and he ended up knowing my uncle who was considered a "Whale" in Vegas back in the 80's and early 90's.  His secretary would tell me he would spend (or lose) between $300,000 or $400,000 a month in Vegas.  He had his own beuatiful British Hawker Jet that we would fly there and Reno. 

Well everytime I start talking about Vegas I always have to bring up my stories that I had when I was with my uncle.  So this thread I will be telling some unreal stories about my times in Vegas. Some of them are unreal.  Some of my most unbelievable times I ever had were in Vegas and with my Uncle.  Some of these stories are ones you only dream about. 

So, this thread is for everyone to share their Vegas stories.  Stuntmovie has a million of them too since he has been going there since the 60's.

So everyone share your stories whether it was when you went to the Olympia or just the night to gamble.  What happens in Vegas doesn't have too stay.........you can share it with us.  I will be back tonight for my intro story
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2005, 03:36:54 AM »

Besides going to Vegas with my parents as a kid I started going with my friends back in the early 80's.  Me and my friends on countless occasions would be sitting at one of our houses and just decide to go to Vegas on the spur of the moment.  I am addicted to craps.  Back then I painted houses and did very well and always had money.  The funny thing is for about 2 months I had no home.  I stayed with my friends or slept in my car.  But, on weekends I went to Vegas or Palm Springs and always stayed at nice hotels.  It wasn't that I had no money cause I actually had more than any of my friends, it was for some reason I never really thought I needed a place. 

Anyway, my friends loved coming to Vegas with me to watch me play.  I never won.  But for some reason I loved to go and didn't mind losing.  I did mind but didn't really care since I knew I was always working and had money coming in.

I'd get a room and everyone would stay in it.  In Palm Springs one time I had 17 guys staying in the room.  3 guys slept in the bathtub.  Anyway, in Vegas we stayed at the Stardust or Circus Circus most of the time.  Sometimes I'd stay at Caesars.  And we even stayed at the hotel at the entrance to the strip with the pool with the giant window built in.

Anyway, most of those trips weren't that eventful.  I usually budgeted about a grand for the weekend, nothing big.  But starting in 1987, I started going to Vegas with my uncle. 

Now these stories may go all over the place but I will try to keep them as orderly as possible.  My first trip to Vegas with my uncle;

I was at his office in Huntington Beach one day.  He just asks me if I want to go to Vegas with him.  I said duh!  SO he tells me to meet him at the Garrett hanger on Imperial Hwy.  Thats all he told me.  He said be there by 3pm.  I figured I'd meet him there and we'd drive to the terminal.  Well I am running a little late about 10 minutes and I pull up to the guard shack.  He says to me Mr. Jones go ahead.  I couldn't;t figure how he knew my name but I go in.  This other guy directs me into the large hanger.  And there in my Uncle standing there.  He kinds of scolds me for being late.  I said what about my car he said leave the keys they'll move it.  I didn't know what was going on.  Then he points to the light brown jet behind him and says lets go as he goes up the stairs.  I couldn't believe it,  I didn't know he had a jet.  Well I get inside and his wife is there along with Richard Roundtree, Chuck Norris, his wife Diane, Benny Urquidez and his wife and Bob Sidell (a Oscar winning Makeup artist and the guy who formulated my suntan lotion) and his wife.  They all say hi and I sit down.  They had all kinds of food, like from KFC, Taco Bell and Jack In Box.  Really healthy stuff.

So now I am all excited.  One of the first things I liked was how the plane waits for you even if you are late.  So we get in the air and he is showing me around the jet and cockpit.  He had some kind of video and information screen on the front wall that constantly told us where we were how fast how high and all kinds of other shit.  He asked me how I like the interior cause he just had it redone.  Of course everyone said how beautiful it was and I went along.  But in reality it sucked.  It was all light tan leather and Naugahyde.  The seats were really soft and nice.  But everything was covered with leather.  The carpet was nice and kind of western looking.  Anyway I had to say it was nice so I didn't hurt his feelings.

So we land in Vegas about 45 minutes later at the Executive airport.  Literally you get out of the car and there were 2 limos waiting for us to take us to the casino.  He always stayed at the Barbary Coast.  He would always have an entire floor just for his guests.  He always stayed in the John Wayne Suite which is really nice.  He like it there cause it was in the middle of everything and the owner Michael Gaughn (who owns the Gold Coast, Orleans and Sun Coast) is a good friend.  Michael's dad owns 17 casinos in Vegas and Reno and Louisiana I think.  Anyway, we get to the casino and first thing is we check in go to our rooms.  He tells us to meet at Michaels at 6.  If you have ever been to Vegas you have to eat at Michaels.  It is constantly being voted as the best restaurant in Vegas.  It is very very expensive.  Well when I get to the restaurant (I wasn't late) the guy sat me at the table and there was maybe 15 or 20 people at our table.  These were some of the people that go to Vegas when my Uncle goes.  They always meet up there.  One guys whose name was Russ owned a company called Botany 500.  They made suits.  There was another guys named Bob Waller.  His family had just sold San Diego Gas & Electric for around $700 million I think.  And then there was the mayor of Vegas at the time but can't remember his name.  Something Fury or like that.  And then Tony Alamo who made the fancy denim jackets that sold at fancy stores for $3,000+.   And there were others but can't remember right now.  So some really fancy people.

SO we start to eat and they tell me to get the fish but order two cause I will like it so much.  I ended up eating 3 of them.  Anyway, I remember the bill was around $6,000 for dinner.  SO after dinner the guys and girls split up.  The girls go play slots and the guys go to the tables.  Now I never been to Vegas with him.  There are some rules that I loved.

Number one my uncle likes to bet his money but for you too.  I mean he would put a $100 chip on the line and tell me don't touch.  He did that for just about all of the friends.  Then when a number was established he would put the odds behind it.  Don't touch he says.  When you win you pick up your money and he places more n place of it.  Unreal!  Other rules included no one at the table can smoke.  another rules is no one else can roll the dice if he doesn't want you too.  Now there are plenty of people playing not with our party.  He will have the pit boss raise the minimum to get rid of the people who play to slow.  I remember one time this Mexican lady and her husband were playing very slow and playing with $5 chips and he got so mad.  He threw them a $500 chip and told them to leave. They were so excited.

Another thing that happened that night, was a guy was smoking next to him.  He grabbed the ashtray and threw it away.  The guy looked at him and he pointed to me and said to the guy, this is my bodyguard, you have a problem talk to him.  Well the guy left.  Another thing I found out is that he plays very serious.  And if the dice aren't going for him then he gets really pissed.  I have seen him on numerous occasions pick the dice up and throw them at the camera overhead.  He gets really pissed off.

Another thing he does is when he is losing he will play blackjack a little to cool down.  I am with him at the blackjack table.  You know when they deal and the dealer has an ace showing and asks for insurance.  Well my uncle will lean over the table and look at the dealers hole card.  He has done this on numerous occasion and I just don't believe it.  He gets away with allot of stuff that no ones could ever do.  We went to the Barbary allot and I ended up seeing one of the front desk girls for awhile especially when we were there.  She told me they would always have a staff meeting about when he came in.  If there were any new staff on hand they had to be filled in about how he is.  Everyone put up with his antics because he was a huge tipper.  I saw him numerous times tip the girls with $500 chips.  And some of them numerous times a night.

Now when we started this night Bob Waller had never really played Vegas.  He was a Reno man and a Europe player.  I was standing between him and my uncle.  I heard Bob tell him he need a line of credit.  My uncle asked how much and he said at least a million.  I sweat to god.  So the pit boss comes over and I hear my uncle telling the pit boss that Bob needed a line of credit.  He introduces him and within maybe a minute at the most.  They gave Bob a million dollar line of credit solely on my uncles word.  That is when I really realized he had some power here.

Now allot of people go to the Barbary.  I would say we had about 50 or more people looking at our table.  There were so many chips around. I counted them one time.  Just before a 7 hit.  My uncle had about $40,000 out on the table when the 7 hit.  I just couldn't help thinking  of that the money out on the table was more than 90% of the people watching us play made in a year.  It was just unreal cause that is how it was every roll.  He loaded up and as long as the dice were rolling he was getting paid big.  He made allot of off table bets.

Anyway, after about 5 hours I was $8,000 up as was just about all the others he was playing for.  Russ always lost money.  He was such a cheap skate my uncle said.  Anyway, Bob Waller ended up losing about $250,000 that night but the next night he won almost $100,000.  SO he ended up okay. 

Now I decide to quit and go to bed cause i am tired.  Chuck and the others stayed.  Well at breakfast the next morning Chuck and Benny come up to me and said I should have stayed a little longer cause my uncle went on a 45 minute roll.  Those guys ended up with $12,000 each. So I learned from then on to stay as long as I can no matter how tired I am.

There are a few more things on this trip and I have many more stories from other trips.  SO till tommorrow.  Sorry for being so long.  Like my girlfriend coming with me so my uncle could win her enough money to get a boob job.  And the party at Caesars for Sugar Ray Leonard in the fantasy suite.  When I met SS.  A billionaire bachelor who ended up owning $7million to Caesars and gets arrested at the airport on the grand opening night for the Bellagio.  Steve Wynn (my uncles ex business partner) bails him out and loses another $5 million at the Bellagio that night.  I got some good ones. 

Hope others write some good stories
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2005, 06:42:07 PM »

OK Only-

What the fuck did your uncle do for a living? Grin
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2005, 10:08:20 PM »

Well if you know anyone in the t-shirt business they would know him.  He also owned a company that most everyone sees when they go to the market.  It is called Don Miquel.  It is a line of mexican food that is on every grocery store and 7-11 in the country.  Frito Lay bought it from hm back in 1988 or so.  Also, the company that manufactures ceramic decanters with alcohol in them called Lionstone Distilleries was his and he sold it.  Back in the 60's he had Southern Wine & Spirits with Steve Wynn in Las Vegas.  At his peak in the t-shirt business he was doing $10 million a month in t-shirt sales.  He had several of those plaques on the walls of his office saying that.  He was the only t-shirt wholesaler in the 70's and early 80's in the country. You usually had to buy from the mills at full price.  Then allot of other companies started.  He owned the t-shirt industry in Hawaii with Happy Shirts and Diamond Head T's.  His latest company Legends Sports Memorabilia was huge in Vegas and the country with the best Memoraibiia magazine on the market.  In fact back when Tiger Woods won the Grand Slam his playing cards he made of Tiger were on Ebay for sale for $30,000.  They were CNN and ESPN and every other channel.  He has owned several other companies too.  He is now retired and just hangs out.  Plays everyday still but allot less money than before.  He also owns a hospital or care center in Korea

He also invested in Vegas back in the 60's.  He at one time owned the property where the Palms Casino is built.  He sold it back in the early 80's.  He told me he wished he hadn't.  Back when he was buying along with Gaughn the property was as low as $1,500 an acre.  You can imagine what it is worth now.
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2005, 01:05:30 AM »

Will if your uncle was in business with Steve Wynn he was doing some good business I bet-and by the sound of it he was.

Steve Wynn's first casino in Vegas was the Golden Nugget Downtown on Fremont Street-which is 1 block from the Clarke County Courthouse and 2 blocks from the Federal Defenders office where I worked.

Hey-any chance you can get me a ride in that private jet!
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2005, 02:20:02 AM »

Man I hope for your sake you're in his will!
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2005, 02:32:28 AM »

he no longer has it.  His big gambling days are over.  he has settled down sold his house in Huntington Harbor and the one in Lake Tahoe.  He lives up at the end of Sahara now in Vegas.  Steve Wynns wife was their secretary I think I heard him say.  Oh I just remember the mayors name.  Ron Lurie.  619 do you know who that is.  I think at the time he was the mayor of Vegas.  I think his dad is Art Lurie.

My uncle warehouse is on Valley View behind the Palms.  He also had a store in the Tropicana but close it down when items were being stolen.  We knew it was the guards but no tapes showed anything.  They were blank.  They stole allot of stuff throughout about 6 months.  You must know who Michael Gaughn is and his dad who I can't remember his name. He owns the Union Plaza I think and the Gold Spike and I think he owned the Frontier at a time.  I think I heard he owned 17 casinos. 
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2005, 02:58:51 AM »

Okay here is boxing story.  My uncle got allot of tickets to the boxing matches.  I mean allot.  Like 40 or more at times.  Casinos give comps and because he played and everyone he brought played he was a good customer.  Unlike Stallone who no longer gets any tickets for free.  He is a cheap ass.

Anyway I was in his office when his secretary is on the intercom and says line for you.  He picks up the phone and starts to talk then puts the phone on hold about a minute later.  He says to me you won't belive who is on the other line.  It's the secret service.  I said what.  He said there are a few of them in Vegas and wanted to know if they could get some tickets to the upcoming Tyson/Bruno fight.  I said no way.  He gets back on the phone and ended up calling the casino to get them a couple comp tickets.  Iwas really funny.  He was a very large cash contributor to Bush.  There were pics of him and Bush all over the office and he went to some fancy party at the White House and crap.  He was named Veteran of the Year one year for the Korean war or something.  He also got some award for raising 100's of thousands of dollars to buy radios for all the troops in Desert Storm or someting like that.  He did allot fo charity work.

Anway, we go to Vegas on hos plane of course and got there the night before the fight. AGain we eat at Michaels (619 have you eaten there).   SO we gambled that night.  The next morning we meet at the cafe for breakfast.  Tony Halme is with us this time and it is when I first met him.  Well the Keno girl comes by and he doesn't know what the hell t is so I explain to him and he ends up playing.  He gives her a $20 and wants change back.  I said no just play with that.  He said no I don't gamble, so he ended up play $5. 

Well I swear to god he won.  I can't exactly remember what he played but he won $5,000.  If he played the $20 he would have won I think it was $100,000.  Man I couldn;t believe it.  Him and his girlfriend were so happy.  She worked and managed the Crazywear warehouse. 

SO anyway, the day goes by and then we all gathered at the hotel to go to the fight.  I think we had 15 people with us.  Each and everyone of of us had one of those spakle jackets like the one below.  Tony Alamo the owner of the company made them for us all and we each had a different one on.  When we got to the fight I swear everyone wanted to take pics with us.  WIth the lights these jackets just shined all over. 

So we sit down and we are in the 5th row right behind a bunch of the casino owners and excutives.  When you go to these fights everyone around you all get up and say hi and introdcues themselves to you.  They knew my uncle so it was easy.  Anyway about 15 minutes or so later after everyone in the place took our picture we hear this huge roar and chanting.  we couldn't out what they were saying.  Then all of a sudden as we are looking around it's Arnold.  He just wlaked in and everyone went crazy and was yelling.

If you haven't been to one of these they are packed with famous people.  Anyway the fight starts and sitting tht close you can actually hear and feel the punches thrown.  When Tyson hit Bruno it was awesome.  Well the big bet in town was that the fight wouldn't go past 5 or 6 rounds I can't remember.  Well after the 5th or 6th round ended all the owners and execs stand up high five each other and then leave right after the bell.  I ask my uncle why they are leavig and he told me about the big bet.  They left cause they were happy the big bet lost and the casino didn't have to pay out millions of dollars.  Well the next round Tyson knocked him out.  Pretty funny.

SO we are walking back tothe hotel with me, my uncle Tony Alamo, Ron Lurie the mayor and Bob Sidell.  Maybe a couple others but can't remember.  Well I had my fart machine.   So I start farting on everyone as I walk by them.  All they guys are behind me watching me.  ANd just start laughing so hard.  Well I came up to a couple hookers talking to some guy.  I stood right next to them sticking my head right in netween them to hear them and to make sure they know I am there.  Well I start to fart.  The girls go ballistic and start yelling at me calling asshole and fucking pig and all kinds of stuff.  I turn around and I swear to god the mayor of Vegas is sitting on the curb laughing so hard he is crying.  He was having a blast.  Tony Alamo is a church going guy big time and is on the ground next to him.  In fact my uncle told me I should n't fart in front of Tony because he is so religious.  Well man they had a blast.  Ron was so funny on the ground.  Some people actually recognized him too.

SO we head off and that was the night.  We didn't play that night cause everyone was tired.  We left the next day around noon.  More later.................
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2005, 08:56:43 PM »

Glad you brought this subject up, Only.

If anyone has any doubts of Uncle J's existance, I'll be glad to substantiate the fact that he does exist and is/was one of the major players in this crazy patch of desert.

I myself have been going to LV since 1961 and have a few other unbelievable stories to pass on to one and all, but some of these too will have to be placed on hold for fear of retaliation by some well known desert critters and their decendants.

Since this is a bodybuilding board, let me start off with George Eifferman who some of you might recall but most have never heard of. Not because you're stupid or something, but most of you are just too damn young to remember or even give a damn.

George had a gym in one of those old time shopping centers with loads of uncovered parking in the center. I kind of recall it being located about a mile east of the Strip on Sahara Blvd.

I forget the first year I actually started going there but George was usually at his desk to the right of the entrance making sure that everyone paid or had a membership during his time on duty.

None of us training there were too impressed by George's personality but he did offer a decent place to train before Gold's and others entered the valley. Most of the people in the place were Las Vegas locals, with a large part of them in the local entertainment business. It was always a great place to meet the "show biz folks" and some of them were exceptional characters in their own rights.

Over the years I got to know George pretty well and soon learned that he was one hell of a great guy. We never spent our off business hours together but before he passed away, he gave me a silver medallion with his image on it and a great inscription on the back. One evening his wife took me aside and said, "George doesn't give those to just anybody. It's his way to showing just how much he appreciates you as a good friend!".

That made me feel great to say the least.

The years rolled by and someone called me to let me know that Steve Reeves was ill and in the hospital. A few hours later I got a call that he had died and was asked if I would let George know as George was a very close friend of Steves.

We I reluctantly made that call, or an attempt to make that call, but I found out that George was in the hospital himself and could not be contacted at that moment.

A few hours later, I got a call from someone close to George in LV who asked me not to tell George that Steve had passed away as he was in no shape himself to get that kind of news.

So I never did tell George about Steve's passing. I don't know if he was even aware of it before he himself passed away.

George was a great man who never got the tribute that he deserved from the bodybuiling industry. Yea, and there are a lot of others too.
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(More LV stories to follow if ya all promise to keep them secret!)
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2005, 09:37:26 PM »

A little more on Eifferman.  When my friend Will Friedman opened up the first Gold's Gym in Vegas it closed down George's gym.  Will felt really bad and knew George was an icon.  So he hired George to work at Gold's.  Basically he just let George do anything he wanted.  If he wanted to sit in the back all day then he did.  It didn't matter, the gym is where he belonged. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2005, 09:40:46 PM »

I can sort of recall my first visit to LV. This was back when you had to stop in a little service station just east of the LA boundary and have them install some kind of air-conditioner in your backseat window so you could make it through the desert without sweaten away most of your bodyweight.

There was no major highway back then. You would sort of follow the railroad tracks through numerous apple and orange picken  towns that might have had a population of 500 each, and when you got to Pasadena you were on your own all the way into Las Vegas town.

Las Vegas wasn't too popular cause no one could take the heat.

But once you almost got there you were guaranteed to enjoy yourself because the food was cheap and the hotel rooms were even cheaper and someone always came around to ask you what you wanted to drink. They really liked to keep you good and wet.

The first time I arrived on the Strip, the first place you came to was the single story Hacienda stansing there all alone on the left side of the road with a green batch of grass and a small swimming pool in its center. It was there all alone stranded by it lonesome self, but there was a sign offering coolness inside and free champaign from a silver fountain.

I like silver fountains so I never let it pass me by.

Further on down the Strip was a new joint called Ceasars Palace with a big wet fountain out in front a bit further was The Sands.

There could have been other small joints along the way, but none did much to impress me enough to remember, but there was nothing to the east or to the west of the Strip. Not even roads or dirt lanes to head ya off in those directions.

All along the Strip there were hand painted, 4x8 plywood, signs offering Strip-front acres for $300/per, but we all figured that you'd have to be crazy to own anything way out here, so we'd just laugh at the stupidiy of it all and keep on trucken down the road because our type of action was located downtown on Fremont Street where men were men and women were really women, and the beer was cold and plentiful and no one ever heard of Tequila shots or fancy highballs.

Fremont Street was wide open way back then with ample parking withing five feet of the casino front doors. On many occasions I'd have to encourage an old timer's donkey to move a bit so I could fit the car behind his ass-end.

(continued later)
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2005, 09:45:36 AM »

Who  hasn't heard of George?



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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2005, 11:54:32 AM »

Thanks, Knny.

And then there was a guy who competed with Steve Reeves and made a similar impression among the bb fans by the name of "Pedersen" (might be wrong on the spelling there).

He moved to LV and got involved in the "Bad Debt" business which was a very heavy business back in those days.

In fact I honestly cannot recall a weekend when I went to LV when the local newspaper didn't have another story about another mysterious hole in the desert with another body in it.

Those were the days when the Boyz ran the town and it was totally and completely (but not permanently)  different than you see it today.

For instance, if you walked out the back door of any building or structure on Las Vegas Blvd, all you'd find was deserted wasteland all the way out to the horizon and the starriest sky you've ever seen covering it all.

I'm sure that many a hole digger took a break and enjoyed the cosmos on many an occasion before continuing with the business at hand.

I recall once showing up at the Sands Hotel/Casino about 3:00 in the morning. We were a bunch of young Marines (Lieutenants) and a couple of old time Navy Chiefs who had requisitioned an olive drab bus off the base at Camp Pendleton and decided to see what this place had to offer.

Back then there were only a handful of casinos on Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip), but each of them had an official Greeter at the door 24/7. And that Greeter would be a recognizable figure like George Raft or one of the top boxers of the day. His job was to shake your hand and make you feel welcome before you got five feet inside the casino and throw the bums out when and if they caused any trouble.

There was a battle on over in Viet Nam and we all had Marine Corps haircuts (even the Chiefs who were part of our outfit) so we were greeted exceptionally well and taken immediately to the bar where our Greeter informed the bartender that, "The drinks are on the house!"

After a few cold beers and a couple of shots by the older guys, we ventured out onto the casino floor and received an immediate and warm reception from on of  the Pit Bosses who was apparently notified of "our importance".

Most of us followed him to one of the Craps tables which was relatively empty and he informed us that he was there to make sure we had a good time and didn't blow all our money that first night in town. We thought that he was joking so he got a big harty-har in return.

Then he said, "Go ahead and play. Have a good time! But just make sure you quit when I tell you too!"

So we all lossened up a bit and got into the game throwing the dice with no real knowledge of how it all worked but the Craps crew also got the "word" and were very helpful.

About a half hour later, the Pit Boss came by and checked each one of us to see if we were winning. Each of us was ahead a bit (me by $30 or so - a good amount of money way back then), so he told half of us to take our winnings and  have some more drinks at the bar. Eventually everyone ended up at the bar with decent winnings except for the two Navy Chiefs who weren't satisfied with their $60 winnings which they eventually lost completely.

So we're all at the bar talking about the great game we just played and the most money we had ever made while having fun, when the Pit Boss comes up and says, "Thanks, guys! It really is a pleasure to see you all enjoying Las Vegas and we want you to know that we really do appreciate what you're doing over there. And let me just add this ........ This town wants to make sure your enjoy yourself before you head on back to work or overseas, so if one of the Pit Bosses ever offers advice on when to quit a game, take that advice and count your winnings. We don't want any man in the service to lose in this town right now."

And then he said, "Make sure you stop in the Stardust before you head back to the base."

And the next day we did just that and the same thing happened while we were there ....... Greeted at the front door, drinks on the house, friendly greeting and important advice from a Pit Boss, and counting profits at the bar with complimentary drinks all around.

I started to think that the House was cheating for us! The only loss was when the Pit Boss advise was not taken.

We all got back to Pendleton with extra money in our pockets and great stories of this little town in the desert that took care of Marines and Navy guys real well.

But I still got that feeling that those casinos cheated on our behalf, but those were the days when the good old "Boyz" ran the place and things were so much different then.
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2005, 12:36:03 PM »

I'm not quite that old to know stories quit like that Stunt.  But I do know they happened.  But I can even tell a short story kind of in relation to that old days.  I loived in Vegas in from late 1999 to late 2001.  Had a really nice condo up on Flamingo just past Decatur.  While I was there I worked for my unlce and then Pete G. bought a T-shirt company which I ran.  The place was just under 10,000 sq. ft. in size.  We did a ton of work for the casinos and even casinos and hotels all over the country.  That is how cheap it was to print shirts in Vegas.  We even printed the Mr. Olympia shirt for 2 years. 

Well another thing we did was sell Super Bowl t-shirts which is huge iin Vegas because if all the betting.  My uncle every year for 20 years have setup tables inside several casinos and sold Super Bowl shirts.  It is the easiest money you can make. 

Well we had a salesman that worked for us that was a quick talking guy who appeared to have allot of connections.  So he went down to the strip and delivered shirts for us to the casinos and helped seel shirts at our location at Harrahs.  Well one day I get a call in my office from a guy who I swear I could barely undrstand. He sounded like the Godfather with a cold.  Anyway this guy was very pissed off.  He exlained to me a guy came into his hotel he owned (The Conch Hotel) and sold him 10 cases of Super Bowl shirts.  That is 720 shirts.  He said the guy dropped off 2 or 3 cases I can't remember but hasn't been back and that he paid him already IN CASH.  He sent over the invoice signed and everything from our shop.  So I told the guy I will look into it and try to see what is up.

Well I couldn't find the guy and never saw him again.  Then later that day I get another call from another casino (The Westward Ho).  and I get the same fucking story, except only 5 cases and they paid the guy with a check and faxed me over the invoice too.  Well now I'm getting more pissed but at least I know they guy is still in town.

So I call the guy back from the other hotel.  I tell him the call I just got.  I couldn't say sorry more than the  conversation I had with this guy.  I could tell right away that he was from the old days especially when he kept telling me that.  Well to make a 30 minute conversation shorter.  They guy ended up not being mad at us and not making us repsonsible.  He said it was his fault he paid the guy in cash and that he paid beofre he got all the shirts.  But he did make sure that I knew that he would take care of it personally (he said that) and that he promises this guy will not do this again.  He said his brothers are already looking for him.  They had a vidoe of the guy so the had a picture of him.  In fact, it was one of his brothers who said go ahead and pay him in cash.  You know keep it off the books kind of stuff.  I mean they buy the shirts from us fro $10 and sell them for $20 or $25.

Well, we never did hear from this guy ever again.  And his name did come up a few times from some others he ripped off during his time in Vegas.  Well even though no one ever seen him again, I am pretty sure he never left Vegas.
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2005, 06:28:32 PM »

Only, I don't know if you ever saw "CASINO" or not but it was based on a true story of the guy who managed the Stardust Hotel/Casino for the Boyz.

Back then the stuff you mentioned was not a common occurance because only the Boyz messed with Boyz and always with the permission of the other Boyz. The guys who ended up resting in holes were usually those guys who owed substantial amounts of money and tried their best to pay another day.

When the Stardust Manager  retired he moved by my old place in a very exclusive oceanside neighborhood called Lagua Neguel in Laguna Beach pretty close to where Ozzie and Harriet Nelson lived with Ricky and David. We all got together once and played vollyball on the beach behind their house.

Good times and fun days but we never had any idea nor even cared who our neighbors were back then. Can you picture Ozzie and Harriet and a retired Casino boss playing vollyball on the beach in Laguna?

I couple of years ago, I went on a search for the real and original "Whiskey Pete" who way back when had a ten stool bar right at the California/Nevada boarder.  (Now called Primm, Nv.)

Some of you might recall that place as it had blinking, 100 watt household lightbulbs hanging from a rig about 100 feet overhead that you could see from that 10 mile rise leading down to the Primm Valley flats. And it was the only light and structure in that whole damn area, so many old timers would stop in and have a quick one before hitting the road once again for the next 45 miles into something more civilized.

The guy who owned this place of about 600 square feet was called Whiskey Pete and today there are three huge hotel/casinos close to where he used to hang his hat and tie up his horse, but no one in any of those places today ever met or even knows what ever happened to him.

I know that for a fact because I spent one entire day doing my best to locate someone in authority who could offer me some reliable information, but no one could or even seemed to give a damn.

SO when you guys drive by Whiskey Pete's on your way to the Olympia or the USA, make sure you bow your head in silence for a moment or two in memory of good old "Whiskey". He was a real good guy, trying to make a living in the desert and apparently  he did pretty darn good.
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2005, 07:56:55 PM »

I liked that movie "Casino".

I always wondered how much of that actually was taken from actual events.


I would bet, the way they handeled cheaters in a casino ended alot of guys in a hole.
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2005, 10:52:04 PM »

Gary Leonard won the AAU Mr America at the Santa Monica Civic in 1980 and I think it was Pete G. who got him a job at the Lake Tahoe Caesars Palace Resort Spa soon after that win.

The following year (1981) Tim Belnap won the title and the contest was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in the main showroom right off the casino floor

I sort of recall that the contest had to be held mid afternoon because Inglebert Humperdink was using that same showroom that evening and it was already a sellout.

They had it set up so that the overflow crowd could watch the prejudging and the finals on a huge screen in one of the large ballrooms back there beyond the checkin desks.

I do recall  Tim Belnap celebrating his victory right after it he won the title out by the elaborate pool that they used to have. (Still is elaborate but a lot different now.)

It was still daylight so it definitely was still pretty early in the mid afternoon.

A few of the major sponsors had booked some major sized suites for victory celebrations and we ended up in one that got better and better as the hours went by. Whomever threw this event wanted us to stay because wine, beer, and champaigne started appearing by the caseloads via room service.

I'm sure there were over 100 people jammed in this decent sized suite, all having a hell of a great time and on the verge of raising a lot more hell as most athletes with a couple of drinks tend to do on most occasions.

In addition to a lot of the contestants, the place was full of old timers who were big names in the sport back then..... Rock Stonewall? Remember him? Or was it Rick? Dave Dupree, Bill Grant, most of the suppliment reps (there really wern't more than a handful back then), the magazine reps, principal photographers shooting stuff that would never appear in any magazine, and all the rest I am sorry to say that I now forget.

It was a rare occurrence and a great time and lasted for a good long while.

Somehow we got a call to meet up with some others in one of the rooms down the hall. Someone had some Maui Wowie and wanted to start a party. So we paid our respects to our unknown host and headed on down that Yellow Brick Road to see what the Wizard had in Toto's doggie bag.

An hour later and we were off the Yellow Brick Road and somewhere over the rainbow.

And hungry as the Munchkins looking for a little libation.

So I being "Mr Know It All",  decide to lead the party to a great buffet across the street that everyone would enjoy and was more affordable than what Caesar had to offer.

We were all damn hungry so I decided to take the "shortcut". I had been going to Caesars since the grand opening, so I knew every shortcut in the place, but on this occasion, my shortcut had been remodeled without my approval and the wall we leaped over took us right into a new Caesars fountain that never was there before.

So four of us shortcut seekers ended up sitting on our ass in three feet of water fronting the Las Vegas Strip.

But it was warm and we were hungry enough to just keep on trucken and managed to slosh our way across the Blvd and kind of wade into that big paddle wheel boat looking place that used to be directly across the street.

They had good security there so we had to go back outside and dry off in the setting sun with a beer or two in each hand to keep us occupied.

Eventually we got to the buffet and had a decent meal.

Those were good days when this sport was pretty small and everyone somehow managed to get together to celebrate other peoples' victories without a cover charge.

And the "big cheeses" liked to see everyone enjoy themselves so they kept it going as best they could/

That part of this "game" is missed a lot today.





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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2005, 02:21:57 AM »

Okay one that involves former strongman, UFC fighter and now politician Tony Halme.  I think I told this one so sorry if a repeat.  I will try to keep it short.  A friend of ours had a t-shirt design compnay in LA.  I get a call from him to come to his office.  I get there and he comes out to meet me with a black eye.  I ask him what happened and he tells me.  He apparently designed and made some golf shirts for a car dealership in Las Vegas for there annual Golf event. 

While he is telling me this I notice a hole in hs wall in the office.  Apparently the car dealership still operates like in the old days and sent out a hit man to rough up my friend.  He put his head through the wall and hit him a few times.  On top of that my friend said he was about 60 years old but very big.

Anyway, my friend put together all these shirts (about 3 or 4 dozen) and sent them to the dealership.  Well they said they were wrong and wanted them done over.  Now mind you no payment has been made yet and the design was signed off on the order he showed me.  But, it appeared they made a change when they say them and wanted them done over with the changes.  Well my friend said no problem but that the ad to pay for those since they ordered them and approved them.  They said no so my friend said no to ding anymore work before getting paid for these.  The total bill was around a grand I think.

Anyway, he want to pay me and Tony to go to Vegas and tell this guy never come back to see my friend.  So, me and Tony drove to Vegas.  Now we get there (the place is called Falconi Honda) and we are standing in the entrance looking around.  Now Tony is very mean looking with a shaved head and an arrow shaved in it, tattoos and is about 6'4" 330 lbs with a very heavy Arnold type accent.  I am small at 6'1" about 300 lbs.

This guys comes up and asks us if he can help us I say yea we're looking for Mr. Falconi.  He points over to one of those cubicle offices spaces.  We start heading over there.  There is this guy behind the desk.  Tony asks Are you Falconi? (remeber in a heavy Arnold accent) he says yes I can help you after I am done with these folks.  Tony says you are done with them now.  He then grabs the girl and guys and tells them to go outside and wait.  The guy stand up from behind the desk and before he can say anything Tony shoves him back in his seat.  Nw I am standing in the opening making sure no one comes in.  One guy comes over and asks if there is a problem.  I say something like Not yet gett outta here.  Well now Tony has his hands on this guy and he says who are you guys.  Tony says none of your business all you need to knwo is if you come or send anyone else to LA to see Jerry we will come back to see you.  All this time Tony is on the side of the desk with this guy with a handful of shirt.  The guy is shitting.  Anyway, Tony asked if he understood and he said yea.  He also said something like do you know who I am. Then I say.  Yea you are some small time mob fuck who has nothing better to do than beat up a guy for some shirts.  Is the mob business that slow.  Then Tony said remember what I say.  Don't come back. 

So on the way out I notice a hottie is working behind the frnt desk.  I ask her for her phone number before Tony grabs me and says lets go.  So I had to leave empty handed.  And nothing else ever came of this incident.  Anyway, that was a small part of my experience with the mob.  I have one more that involves allot of REAL mobsters at the Rio and Pete G and Stunt.  That is a funny story.  Later
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2005, 01:54:10 PM »

more stories please. I can't get enough.  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2005, 05:00:12 PM »

Some can't be repeated, but knowing Only, I'm sure he'll tell every one.

Here's just a casual observation I've made over they past few years.

I'm an avid Blackjack player and know Basic Strategy as well as anyone. I don't count cards, but I do know how to count to 21 quite well.

I know that the odds will be against me almost every time, so I play for fun and have a good time winning or losing.

I enjoy watching others play the game and have noticed that competitive bodybuilders enjoy the game after the contest and months of training and diet to be their best up there on that stage.

But I have a feeling that many competitve bodybuilders have difficulty counting up to 21 as many may  feel rushed and stand on 10 or 11 and sometimes even hit on 17, 18, and 19 instead of taking their time to add up the numbers.

On many occasions, I've grown impatient and jump in and offer some advice even when I've had a few too many and have to resort to counting on my fingers myself in order to offer the right decision.

One last remark on this subject......... Competitive bodybuilders are usually crammed in at Blackjack tables that offer $25 minimums and even when they're losing chips, they appear to be having a hell of a great time.

Those little BJ tables sure arn't made for a row of guys with big biceps.

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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2005, 03:23:41 AM »

Okay here is another one of my quick stories.  After a fight at the MGM we decided to play at Ballys.  Now, when I play with Uncle it is usually at one of the Coast properties.  I played at the Rio and Caesars but that's it.  Well like I should have known, they knew my uncle very well at this place too.  Now Ballys is packed.  He has to go do something so he tells me to go scout out a table and see which one is hot.  So I go scoutin and I see a table that is very loud.  Here is a hint to anyone out there.  If you here allot of yelling going on at a table, that ususally means they people are winning there.  That is a hot table.  So I observe a little and I notice it is hot table but the people are playing nickels and quarters ($5 and $25 chips)Well right off the bat I know that the stickman is going to have trouble cause he was having trouble paying out winnings when the people are only betting a few dollars.  he is going to have a heart attack when he has to start payng out thousands of dollars.

Well my uncle and the entouarge show up.  He asks me how is it oing and I show him that table.  It is right in front of a major walkway where just hundreds of people are passing by every few minutes.  SO he decided this is the table to play.  The pit bosses come over and say hi and whatever.  Well right away my uncle starts.  He ALWAYS has to play on the end of table.  Well the guy on the other end is rolling.  Right off the bat he places $500 on the line.  The guy rolls an 8.  He right away bets $5200 across.  He almost always presses the numbers 3 times.  He bets $100 on all the hard ways.  And does his regular $25 acee/ duecee.  He bets allot of off table bets too.  Well the guys rolls a 7 on his first roll.  My uncle got so pissed so fast. 

Anyway, it was his turn to roll.  Now, right after he lost that money and the guy rolled a 7 he looks at me and says something like, "I thought you said this was a fucking hot table.  Ijust shrugged my shoulders.  ANyway it's his turn to roll.  To make this short he held the dice for about 10 minutes and probably made about $20,000 or so.  Well now it's my turn.  I told him not to bet on me but he did.  Well I 7 out to and now he is pissed even more.

Anyway, the dice took a trip around the table a couple times.  He was making a ton of money and I was doing okay too.  Richard Roundtree was with us and everyone was asking him for his autograph.  We have quite a crowd around us now becuase the money was flying.  By this time.  Allot of people had to leave because my uncle had the minimum raised on the table.  Allot of the people were holdng up the table by betting slow and shit.  Plus the stickman was getting really nervous casue he took so long to pay out.  My uncle knows exactly how much he is getting paid on every roll.  He tells the stickman what to pay and he pays it.

The pit bosses just watch cause they know he knows what he is doing.  Anyway, the dice get around to me.  I skipped my last turn.  Anyway, I roll.  I hit a hard 8.  So my uncle decides to bet on me.  So he sticks out a whole ton of money.  I was so scared cause if I do bad he gets really pissed at me.  We to make a long story short.  I held the dice for 40 minutes.  He made over $100,000 and I did pretty good too with my $12,000.  Well in the middle of my roll we had a problem.  My uncle told the guy what to pay and he took a little to long to pay and then gave him a short amount.  Well now he is really pissed.  Then I roll the number.  Well the stickman thought I sevened out.  He started taking down all the chips.  Well all hell broke lose.  My uncle is yelling andliterally grabbed the stick and broke it.  Then the pit bosses came over.  Well my unlce is pissed enough to tell the pit bosses to call some guy.  I found out later it was the GM.  Now it is around 1:00am.  The GM is at home.  They call him and they give the phone to my uncle and he is yelling.  Then he throws the phone on the table.  Well, about 2 minutes later I think every pit boss and other boss was there to calm him down.  They then whispered something in the stickmans ear.  He then gets up and leaves.  I later found out he was fired.

Anyway, this night was something else. It was very profitabloe for everyone. I have one more Ballys story.  It involved my uncle closing the table to everyone except us.  Now that was a night.
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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2005, 02:37:15 AM »

Hi guys-

It looks like plenty of funny & interesting Vegas/Bodybuilding stuff on this thread. FWIW, I am good friends with The Viking! aka Tony Halme and will jump in with some funny Viking stories (getting arrested, drinking, gear, Mexico, training at Gold's Venice, fighting, etc.) in the next few days. I have some photos of the Viking passed-out in my flower garden. I'm not kidding. I'll try & find them.

onlyme- It appears we have mutual friends. I lifted USPF 220,242 & 275 from 1981-1994. Lifted with IPC(International Powerlifting Club) out of San Francisco for many years. I was friends & trained with Lee Moran, John Gamble, Larry Pacifico, Armington Rafael, Manuel Burrel, David Pasanella, Jim Lem, Ron The Wall Morris, Dave The Man Shaw, and a few others who put together some solid totals.

The hour grows late. I'll post some Vegas/Viking stuff soon.


-Tom
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2005, 02:08:08 PM »

Tommy have we met?  I got tony his first wrestling gig.  We were sponsored by Legends too.  Did he ever tell you about our mafia hit in Vegas at the car dealership
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2006, 03:28:24 AM »

I went to vegas last year, lost money on the pokies, checked out a few stip joints, got a hand job off some pro and a bad sunburn. Cant wait to go back...  Cool
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2006, 12:15:40 PM »

I hope the Pro wasn't Titus
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