“VegasVirgins” Voiceovers, Tightrope Walking, and Hands You’re Destined to Go Broke On.

by Lou on May 12, 2005

Today’s filming went well and it was an easy day. We did a lot of voiceover work, and somehow that seems easier than what we did in-vision, as they say. I even had some down time between segments and was able to zip back to my hotel room to play some online poker.

I suppose there are just some hands one is bound to go broke on, and I had two of them earlier today. Despite this, I had a great day playing six- and five-handed sit-and-go tourneys at Royal Vegas Poker, and I did well in a $15-$30 cash game too. I won two SNGs and finished second in the other two played. I might have even done better, except for fate’s fickle finger.

With three players still alive — one of them was on life support and circling the drain — and I had pocket aces. The guy on life support went all-in on his big blind and was raised by the button. I was in the small blind and moved all-in with my aces. The button had me covered, but only by a very few chips. If he wins, I’m out. If I win, he can’t even fully post a small blind. If the guy circling the drain wins, he’s still very short stacked and still not really a factor in this tournament.

The flop was 9-5-3 of mixed suits and I loved it. The guy who was all-in from the big blind had 8-2 and was essentially toast. The button had K-Q. It’s a nice hand to start with but the flop missed him completely. Wouldn’t you know he caught a jack on the turn and a ten on the river for the nut straight and won the tourney, with me finishing second because I entered the pot with more chips than Mr. All-In From the Big Blind.

The other hand I was destined to go broke on occurred when I had Ah-5h and bet about half my stack into a 5d-5c-4s flop. The turn card was an inconsequential eight and I was called when I went all-in. I thought I was in good shape. After all, trips with an ace kicker is a pretty good hand heads-up. But my joy was short lived when my opponent turned over 5-4 for a full house. The river could have saved me with either an ace for the win or an eight for a split, but it didn’t help me at all and I wound up in second place again.

I don’t think there was any way I could have avoided going broke on those hands, particularly when the blinds had escalated to the point where one lost pot puts you in bad shape. I had to commit my chips on both hands. But that’s poker, and woulda, coulda, shoulda doesn’t get you anywhere at the table.

Tomorrow is the last day of filming. We begin at 9:00 AM and will keep at it until we’re finished. Earlier today the director showed me some of the episodes that have already been edited and I liked what I saw, despite a tendency to be hypercritical of myself anytime I’m on camera.

The show has a very cool look to it, and the production values exceeded what I was expecting from a reality show. But the crew that worked on this show also worked on Fear Factor and some other reality shows for a few seasons. As a result, they know what they’re doing, and they do it well.

Today I saw most of the episode where the contestants have to earn chips for the nightly tournament by walking a tightrope suspended below the Fremont Street Experience canopy. Well, “walking” the tightrope is a very loose use of that word. Mostly it involved contestants taking three, four, or five steps out on the wire and then falling off in one direction or another. The suspension harnesses got the best workout that day.

Those who did the best on that task sort of ran out on the wire as fast as they could go, until their forward motion gave way to gravity’s inexorable pull. Since they earned chips for that evening’s poker tournament in proportion to how far they were able to walk across the wire, speed translated into distance, and no points were awarded for style, or deducted for a lack of it.

In any event, I can’t wait to get my DVD of the show, which is supposed to air this summer in the UK, followed by a late summer or early fall run in Canada, and then all ten episodes of Vegas Virgins will be shown in the US later in the year.
We’ve got a pub picked out for our mini wrap party tomorrow evening, and then a Thai restaurant for dinner. Saturday morning the driver picks me up at 6:15 AM and whisks me out to Gatwick for a flight to Houston, where I’ll change planes and arrive in Palm Springs late that afternoon. My goal for the flight is to sleep my way across the ocean, unless there’s a particularly good movie on the flight. But that’s not usually the case, so I’ll count on snoozing my way across the pond.

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