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RiverCat Journal : Familiar Scenes

Posted by on April 29, 2015

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Current Venue: Las Vegas, NV
Campground: Main Street Station RV Park
Recent Updates: 7N7, Campground Resources, State Park Directory, Written in Jello : Travel Plans


It’s truly incredible how many movies have been filmed in Las Vegas. Twice this last week I popped in a DVD just to watch a good flick — only to realize later just how close I was sitting to the actual filming location!

Main Street Station is barely two short blocks from Fremont Street, which is where the majority of Vegas scenes are shot. Sure, when a film brings you to Sin City they’ll always show you the Bellagio Fountains, Caesar’s Palace, and MGM — but the story usually ends up downtown even though you might think you were on The Strip if you’d never been to Vegas before.

One of my favorite all-time movies was a poker cult-classic called The Grand. It’s a spoof of the World Series of Poker starring Woody Harrelson, and was  was so well done it actually made me “laugh out loud” several times! It was primarily filmed at The Golden Nugget (where I may be working this summer) and The Plaza — both within a couple hundred yards of my front door.

Another vastly underrated film is Yonkers Joe, starring Chazz Palminteri. The storyline is very similar to Rain Man in that the main character is burdened with baby-sitting his long-abandoned mentally-challenged son — and brings him to Vegas during a big scheme to cheat the casinos at the craps tables. But despite the copycat storyline, it’s so well done you just don’t care. The technical scenes in the casinos are brilliant, and the characters in this heartwarming movie are very believable. Most of the scenes are at The Plaza and Vegas Club. But there a few shots directly across the street from me at Main Street Casino.


I’m waiting to firm things up, but in all likelihood I’m working  two poker tournament series over the summer — The Grand Poker Series at The Golden Nugget, and DeepStacks Extravaganza at the Venetian. I’m choosing to work these over The World Series of Poker because it gives me an opportunity to work additional events year-round. For instance, The Golden Nugget will probably use me for two special one-day tournaments per month while the Venetian might hire me for at least two other 10-day tournaments over the next few months — the next one being in September.

It seems I’m on the verge of setting up at least two weeks worth of special-event tournament work every two months. This, in conjunction with some on-call work, should be enough to keep me in that “safe zone” so I can feel comfortable investing in playing poker again and starting my trade show business. Of course, I have about a dozen other irons in the fire, as well…

That said, I don’t even want to attempt to predict my travel schedule. I’m even considering working Amazon in Haslet, Texas this fall! But in all likelihood I’ll take a vacation in August to either Yosemite or Sedona, come back to Vegas to establish solid relationships with my employers, and then take my next long trip during the winter months — perhaps the San Diego area and then Quartzsite.

Yep, Vegas is home-base for awhile. But my ducks are almost in a row — this Cat is going to have a lot of freedom to roam…


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