26/11/2009

Vegas Insider: 2009 November

Steve Hall 'A Brit in Vegas'

Jerry Moss
Jerry Moss


Audley Harrison


Kieren Fallon

A memorable month. I was fortunate to attend the Breeders Cup 2009. Despite my strong "British pride" I was 100% Zenyatta, California's pride and joy. To know her is to love her. Owned by Jerry Moss, who founded A&M records alongside Herb Alpert, the horse is named after the Police album. I believe she could have won the fillies race on Friday and still beaten the boys on Saturday. My other prediction is that Kieren Fallon may be here for the winter meet which starts on December 26th. Would you rather spend the winter in L.A. or Wolverhampton? He doesn't have the Beckham paparazzi appeal here either. The racecourse easily absorbed the 49k crowd and I walked straight in after riding the free shuttle from the nearby Sierra Madre train station. My access, without a media pass for once, was phenomenal. 10-10 Santa Anita.

Annie Duke made a TV commercial at Santa Anita but was on charity poker double duty this month. First up was another "Ante Up for Africa", this one a much quieter affair than the televised tournie at the WSOP. In fact I was the only poker media present at San Manuel but loved the fact the casino created a media tent with free coffee and cookies! I also left with a really nice AufA cap.

The casino donated $500k to the cause, which gave 120 locals the chance to play with some top pros (Annie, her brother Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson, Joe Sebok, Ali Nejad and Hollywood Dave Stann).

I fancied my chances of adding to my, very lonely, database entry at Annie's DEF charity tournie at the Commerce. Four unknowns were at my table with five empty seats. However, after a charity dinner presentation finished downstairs Allen Cunningham, Adam Levy, John Hennigan, Chris Tryba and classy Lynette Chan joined my table. With the pros rebuying five times and adding on I was 100-1 and left clutching my goody bag once again. So now I have a nice t shirt and two Annie Duke coffee mugs added to my list of swag. Boxer Audley Harrison played after a successful homecoming fight in London.

Those of you visiting Vegas next month will be among the first to see the project that nearly sunk the MGM, City Center, open. MGM group had to sell Treasure Island and offered Mandelay Bay to keep the project afloat. It is an eyesore from the outside but is certainly priced to be upscale on the inside.Vegas posted its 21st straight month of declining casino profits recently.

Two of my favourite players have birthdays in December, Joe Beevers and Neil Channing. Happy birthday to all of us Sagittarians.