Posted by WizardofEngland
May 28, 2012

Flashback of my second trip to the US, and first encounter with a gun

After reading Mosca's blog about being held at gunpoint got me remembering......


I had been to New York the previous Christmas with my sister. Had gone all out, booked first class flights, the best hotel, took loads of spending money. It was amazing. I had offered to take my little brother of around 16 years old, but he didnt like flying too much.

About six months after we got back he went to Florida for Disney. He had got over the flying issue and now wanted to go to New York. Work had been good, I had a lot in the bank, so I said ok. I had met a new girlfriend in that January (litterally days after getting back) and things were going well, so it was to be a 4 person holiday. This time we went a little cheaper, economy flights and a decent cheaper hotel. I had saved enough to book a limo transfer from the airport to the hotel for $99. My borther was going to love it!

We were delayed at Heathrow for about an hour, I emailed the limo firm and told them of the delay, they said not to worry, and that they follow the flight status so there wont be any extra charges if the flight was late. Only charges were for delays after landing.

We landed at JFK, about 45 minutes late. There were about 30 passport control booths, 5 for outside of US, and 25 for US citizens. We queued for about an hour. Now Im worried about extra limo fees. This will later turn out to be the least of my worries.

As we approach the booth, we decide that we should split up, my girlfriend goes alone, and us 3 siblings go as a 'unit'. The girlfriend takes a few minutes, and is already off hunting the cases. She is the only one who knows about the limo surprise.

My sister and me scan our passports, have our fingerprint taken and then wait for our younger brother to go through the same process. The Clerk scanned the passport. He scanned it again. Looked at my brother, looked at the photo, then asked "how old are you". "16" he replied. "Hmmm thats strange, it seems you have two passports. Thats not allowed. You need to go over there" he pointed at a room in the corner. I decided to walk into the room with my brother, while my sister went off to find my girlfriend and the luggage. We sat down in the room, rows and rows of plastic chairs, a few people of 'ethnicity' and a police officer looking guy behind a judge looking type stand that felt ten feet high. I could see my sister at thee door with the suitcases on the trolley. I got up walk over and tell her about the limo, to find the driver and tell him to wait.......

"Freeze mother fu**er"
"Do not take another step"

I turned around and the police officer at the top of his ivory tower had the gun aimed right at me. I didnt move a muscle.

"What are you doing"

"Im just going over there to tell my sister to get the limo driver before I get a big bill"

"You cannot leave this room until you have resolved this problem. Sit the F**k down"

By this point, my brother had a massive smile on his face, because we had a limo, and my sister had got the message.
We were going to be ok I thought.

A few seconds later the trigger happy cop called us up, made one phone call, and said we were free to leave. From the gun being pointed at me, to leaving felt like less than 2 minutes!

Yes! things are finally going right. Im still shaking, but Im happy again. Until we walk out of the room.

There outside the room, my sister, girlfriend and 4 cases on a trolley. "What are you still doing here"? When they tried to leave the lady asked who the cases belonged to. She said "us, and the two guys in THAT room".

"Well you cant leave here without them, assuming they are allowed to leave".

So now we approach this lady, all 4 of us. Guess what?

Random bag search. At this point I couldnt really of cared. But it suddenly dawned on me that the contents of mine and my girlfriends cases are not ones I want to share with my younger brother and sister. Let's just say mine and my girlfriends physical relationship was a good one ;-) So now I have to tell my brother to face the wall and not look around. This just caused the police more concern. Luckily we made it through our cases without anything popping up.

Next up was my sisters case. I didnt know that in the previous week my sister had a mole removed from her back in a small operation at the hospital. In her case were bandages, bags of powder for drying out the bleeding. :-( They held up the bag of talcum like powder and I just wanted to die. My sister jumped in, told them what it was for, showed them the wound and we were moved along. I walked out into the arrival area, saw our driver Lincoln holding my name and we got into the limo some 3 hours after landing. He drove like a maniac, I drank nearly the whole bottle of vodka, thinking I might as well get my moneys worth.

When we arrived at our hotel, I asked how much it was going to cost me. He said if I gave him a good Christmas bonus, he would just blame traffic. I was thinking it could be $300 instead of $100. He said give me $100 for the limo and $40 tip and we're all good.

That was the start of a great trip! :-) I got engaged to my girlfriend 3 days later on christmas day in central park, we had our daughter a year later Eden Josie, who is now 4 years old. We didnt stay together, but we still laugh about it now.


buzzpaff May 29, 2012

While it is not yet epidemic, there is a disease that is infecting the police forces here in the USA.

The symptoms manifest themselves exactly as you witnessed.

It is called the "Barney Fife" syndrome.

My wife's name is Josephine, she hates it, loves Josie. Congrats on a lovely daughter.

WizardofEngland May 29, 2012


This is her

I guess at the start, I didnt really get her. I had awful parents, and I am the first admit that I am not a natural dad. But by the time she was one year old, it all made sense. I know its one year too long, and its the reason our relationship didnt survive. But she is one of my greatest achievements.

WizardofEngland May 29, 2012

buzzpaff May 29, 2012

What a cutie pie. One thing I hate about some gamblers I have known and respected till I found out they had not seen kids for years and worse yet were years behind on child support. After that I would not spit on them if they were on fire !

Heard every lame excuse there is. Pay the money! Then go after Mom if she is not caring for the child. But pay the money.

WizardofEngland May 30, 2012

Lol, yeah. She costs me a small fortune every week ;-) but worth every penny. Besides a loaf of bread and a walk to the duckpond makes her sooo happy. I dread the day she wants a Gucci handbag and Diamond earrings.

buzzpaff May 31, 2012

" I dread the day she wants a Gucci handbag and Diamond earrings." Come on now, you know you will always be her sugar daddy.

And glad to be the #1 man in her heart !

Posted by WizardofEngland
Nov 07, 2011


So it didnt go well, but we got to fly to Vegas wear a silly wig, get drunk, win some cash games and punch a guy handing out flyers for hookers. So not a complete blow out. I think I really need to come back next year, and I have learnt so much this time. I envy the people who live here, hopefully they will start building again and I might consider plying my trade here. Fly back in two days and I am going to be sad to leave this adults playground behind. I wish we were sooo much closer.


1BB Nov 07, 2011

What did this porn slapper do that caused you to assault him?

WizardofEngland Nov 07, 2011

I didnt hit him, it was one of the others. He got offered 4 cards in a row, he told the 5th guy that if he wanted a card he would of taken it from the first one, when the 6th one offered him a card after hearing him explain to the 5th he just punched him.

I think it was a bit harsh, but those guys really piss me off. I understand there is a requirement for hookers in Vegas, but to be offered a card every 50 yards is just unreal. Then you have the billboard driving up and down the strip 24/7 is just another reason my friends girlfriend would hate to come to Vegas. Are they not illegal after all????

Either legalise it and control it, or outright ban any advertisments for it.

ikilledjerrylogan Nov 08, 2011

WoE, I'm with you on the porn slappers. I think it's wrong of course to punch one of them. If one puts that card within my personal space (I define it as the forward distance within my outstretched arm) I push their arm/hand away. Few of them do this but the ones that do simply get their hands pushed away as I continue walking.

I live in Southern California and have known many people who love visiting Vegas so much that they have moved there. They quickly find out that visiting living in Vegas is different from visiting and end up moving back. A few have stayed and love it.

Ayecarumba Nov 08, 2011

Hi WoE. Did Sam Holden have a crew working intel for him during the final? How big a staff did he use? How were the tasks divided?

WizardofEngland Nov 09, 2011

I don't know too much about his set-up to be honest, I didnt ask, and I dont think he would of told me anyway. I do know that we had 40 people there on the day and at least 100 back home on the rail. Sam's poker circle features top UK pros, most of whom had a % of his prize (some had 10% each), so its safe to say they were guiding him correctly. I know the info was coming in fairly quickly, so I am sure he knew exactly what was happening. I think he got here a week before the game was due to begin, and didnt play a single game, we met him for dinner at Julian Serrano in the Aria, and he was so chilled and cool. He had spent the day watching the videos from days 1-8 all day. I dont know how he is feeling, as I didnt want to ask that specific question, and a lot of people were saying "unlucky" and "nevermind, theres always next time" but I told him well done on winning. I cant possibly see how anyone could brand him a/the loser. Anyone you know won $800,000 this week???? Not me.

Posted by WizardofEngland
Oct 29, 2011

First Time in Vegas....Again?

Saturday 29th October, nearly a year later!

Well my flights booked, I fly Tuesday and arrive 3pm local time. Weather report is looking good. Fingers crossed this time! My friend Sam Holden is in the final nine of the World Series Of Poker, and we are going to be a big rail to support him whilst he attempts to win the $8,700,000 frist prize. Failing that we are going to get drunk and throw some chips around.... We brits have a reputation to uphold after all ;-)


WizardofEngland Nov 02, 2011

Well I made it!

Had an absolute nightmare when we landed. McCarren airport had a power outage so we sat on the tarmac for one hour. Then sat at the gate for one hour, then spent an hour in customs whilst they checked my passport under a flashlight. Then spent an hour trying to find my suitcase in the dark on a static carousel. Unfortunately I had booked a limo transfer which is now probably going to cost me stupid amounts of money in waiting time. But Im going to put that behind me. Walked the strip last night, and took it all in. WOW.

Just woke up and off for breakfast at Ceasers.

Ayecarumba Nov 02, 2011

Glad to hear you made it safely WoE. Have a great time, and give Sam my best wishes. I haven't followed the "November Nine" too closely this year, but now that I know he is your friend, I will root for him too. It's fun to have horse in the race. Will you be staying until he wins the whole thing (hopefully) or is eliminated?

WizardofEngland Nov 03, 2011

Yeah, we are here until next wednesday, unless he wins it. Then plans would be subject to change ;-)

Scotty71 Nov 06, 2011

Wow, that was a close all in, sorry your buddy didn't win it all but a very nice pay day and a great finish. Enjoy the pints!!

WizardofEngland Nov 07, 2011

Yeah :-( he had work to do, but it didnt go all to plan. He was all-in three times previously, with AT, 22 and another hand, and I assume Ben got this info at some point, so when Sam shoved with AJ, Ben knew he was at least flipping or had Sam dominated, unfortunately it was the former and it wasnt to be this time. I think Heinz played it very agressively and played it very well. If he doesnt win it now, he needs to ask himself why.

Posted by WizardofEngland
Dec 19, 2010

First time in Vegas

Sunday 19th December

Well its now less than 24 hours before I take off for Sin City, the last of the clothes are being washed and half the suit cases are packed. The questions is.... Will I take off on-time? The UK is under a thick blanket of snow, 15 cm's (or 6 inches) covered the runway at Gatwick yesterday and a 150 strong team managed to clear it and resume some flights. The phone lines to the airline are futile, being on hold for what seems eternity.

But other than that slight/major worry everything is going to plan! I am a few hundred bucks short of my target bankroll, mostly down to the previously mentioned weather costing me four days of work. But I am upbeat and ready to rock.

Looking forward to being picked up Paigowdan, grabbing a beer and wings and finding out all the stuff regular tourists miss out on.

EDIT I now find out that I have to pay the US government $14 to let me in to the country! Not happy. Will be looking to smuggle a little extra duty items to off-set the $14


Martin Dec 19, 2010

I envy you. There is nothing like the first time for anything.

I remember my first trip to Vegas. In the airport while waiting for the bags to drop I played a slot machine and hit a nice jackpot. This was in the days before tickets so there I was with 400 quarters on the machine when my buddy dashed up and said the bags are dropping. I hit the cash out button and then proceeded to put the 400 quarters into my pockets - I truly did not know any better at that time. Does anyone remember how much 400 quarters weighs? In case you don't - a lot.

That trip lasted 4 nights and I was never down the whole time - I managed to convert that $100 win into a $1000 RSF and then played some dollar slots and hit a couple of additional big jackpots (coin in - coin out - another funny story) and the rest, as they say, is history. I think I got 6 hours sleep all told.

Bon chance, Amigo.

dm Dec 19, 2010

5 quarters per ounce so you were toting 5 addl pounds of quarters

WizardofEngland Dec 20, 2010

It is now very unlikely I am going to make it to Vegas at all. :-( All flights are booked solid...... It's my birthday today too.

odiousgambit Dec 20, 2010

>It is now very unlikely I am going to make it to Vegas at all. :-(

sounds like your luck was going to be rotten anyway?

WizardofEngland Dec 20, 2010

yeah, probably. so gutted though.

Martin Dec 20, 2010

5 quarters per ounce so you were toting 5 addl pounds of quarters

Sure - in a suitcase or a backpack - not so bad - now try it in your pockets.

Sorry to hear you're not going to make it this time - better luck - (god I hate it when they say that).

WizardofEngland Oct 29, 2011

2 days, 14 hrs, 40 mins til Im on the plane, very much looking forward to it now.

Hopefully no bad luck, already won tournies this week for just short of $3,000 so should be a blast!