After breakfasting in our room, we hopped on the monorail with our gear. We got to convention center just after it opened at 10 am. That's early for us--we usually have trouble making the opening when it's at 12 pm.
Unfortunately, our booth was located in the boondocks--a stone's throw from the most remote corner of the hall. To give you an idea, our immediate neighbors were two vendors who didn't show up and a vacuum cleaner salesman. Someone had taken our table and chairs so I had to track down Exhibitor Services and request them.
We set up our booth and talked to a few people for an hour and a half. A few comment worth repeating:
Then Victor returned to the hotel room to post more stories, leaving me to man the booth. Over the next 3.5 hours I entertained a small trickle of visitors, including John Palinkas of Pechanga, Jim and Brenda Soulliere of Cabazon, and journalist Dave Palermo. The traffic was light enough that I left the booth unattended a few times to get some water and candy from other booths.
Finally Victor returned and I went to buy a sandwich for lunch. I then wandered a bit and took photos. I saw Adam Beach at the Cadillac Jack. Curiously, they've changed his Ghost Bear slot machine so it pictures a long-haired Indian in a headband rather than a portrait of Adam. I guess his modern look wasn't stereotypical enough?
The only discordant note came when a smiling G2E employee said I couldn't take pictures without a press sticker on my badge. He correctly noted that I was a member of the press, but said that wasn't enough. I'd have to go through the Mickey Mouse procedure of getting a sticker to confirm my identity.
He was telling me this politely, he said, but if caught me taking pictures again, he'd confiscate my camera till the end of the show. Yeah, that'll be the day. What about the all the other people taking pictures with their cameras and cellphones? I asked. He said they were trying to crack down on everyone.
How stupid is this policy? The show exists to publicize new products. Why in the world wouldn't you want everyone to take pictures? You could argue that G2E should throw the doors open to the press and public to maximize the "buzz."
Anyway, I put my camera away and returned to our booth. Out of sight of the G2E Gestapo, I proceeded to take more pictures. We hung around for another hour before deciding to leave for the day and return to our room.
In the evening
After more work and Internet troubles, Victor and I headed to the Palm restaurant in the Forum Shops area of Caesars Palace. Accompanying us was Victor's friend Billy Tallichet. We were supposed to eat with a group from IGT, the world's largest slot machine manufacturer...but when we arrived, they had already started.
The three of us decided to get our own table. Billy, who's in the restaurant business, said the food was great but the service was poor. He entertained us with stories of the restaurant biz and his latest passion: professional go-cart racing.
Afterward, we walked through the Roman-themed shops area in search of cigars for Billy. This place is about as rich and decadent as imperial Rome at its peak. Monumental statues, huge domed ceilings, even a Trojan Horse...Caesars Palace is truly faithful to its theme.
Finally we returned to our room. Victor and Billy went off to meet some friends and smoke their cigars. Victor tasked me with updating PECHANGA.net while they were gone. I hadn't started when they returned--I almost dozed off. But then I powered through three hours of newsgathering while Victor went to sleep.
P.S. Since we were staying at the same hotel and taking the same monorail as last year, I tried not to duplicate my previous photos. For more on the MGM Grand and the Las Vegas monorail, see:
Global Gaming Expo (Day 4)
Global Gaming Expo (Day 3)
Global Gaming Expo (Day 2)
Global Gaming Expo (Day 1)