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Best of Barney Vinson

Gaming Guru

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Judy, Judy, Judy

10 September 2006

One of my most memorable celebrity encounters in Las Vegas was with Cary Grant. I didn't actually "encounter" Cary Grant, but I saw him all the time when I was working at the Dunes. He was good friends with one of the hotel's big owners, so everything in the joint was free: big suite up on the top floor, meals in the gourmet restaurants, anything he wanted he just signed for it.

I was walking out of the coffee shop one afternoon, just as Cary Grant was leaving his table. Didn't even leave the waitress a tip, by the way. I still had a few minutes to kill before going back to work, so just for the hell of it I fell in behind him. I'd wanted to be famous all my life, and now here was my chance. He was walking toward the elevators, and I was his shadow. Everywhere he went, I went.

I didn't want to talk to him or anything. I just wanted to see what it was like to be famous. Walking right behind him, I caught the expressions on everyone's face as they passed him. And just for an instant, it was like I was Cary Grant. Well, you wouldn't believe it. Every single person was saying things like, "That's Cary Grant!" "Look, it's Cary Grant!" "Honey, there's Cary Grant!"

Can you imagine? This poor guy spent every single minute of every waking day hearing the same thing over and over again. "Hey, there's Cary Grant!" I never wanted to be famous after that.

Later I went to work at Caesars Palace as the gaming instructor. One day I was teaching the fundamentals of Pai Gow Poker to a group of bored students. Suddenly a man with jet black hair and a fresh face-lift dropped a hundred dollar bill on the table. "Sir, this is just a class," I said to him.

"I know how to play!" he answered impatiently, grabbing his money and heading for a real game.

There was something familiar about the man's voice, and then it dawned on me who he was.

Approaching the table where he was playing, I asked him softly, "Excuse me, aren't you Eddie Fisher?"

He smiled ruefully. "I used to be," he answered.

Barney Vinson

Barney Vinson is one of the most popular and best-selling gaming authors of all time. He is the author of Ask Barney, Las Vegas: Behind the Tables, Casino Secrets, Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II, and Chip-Wrecked in Las Vegas. His newest book, a novel, is The Vegas Kid.

Books by Barney Vinson:

> More Books By Barney Vinson

Barney Vinson
Barney Vinson is one of the most popular and best-selling gaming authors of all time. He is the author of Ask Barney, Las Vegas: Behind the Tables, Casino Secrets, Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II, and Chip-Wrecked in Las Vegas. His newest book, a novel, is The Vegas Kid.

Books by Barney Vinson:

> More Books By Barney Vinson