Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Casino Night

I can't believe it's been an entire year since last Casino Night! My friend Shauna and I had such a good time, we vowed to make it a standing date. Unfortunately Shauna wasn't able to make it this year. I'm a decent looking girl and a good time though, I found me another date! I did promise Shauna that I wouldn't let Sonya get past first base though!

The Casino Night was once again held in the phenomenally beautiful night club, Opera. I guess I didn't hang out with Darren Eliot enough this year, because I didn't have any big pictures on the website, but you can see me and Sonya in this shot.

So we arrived at the event in the freazing cold and had to stand in a little hallway to wait and get in. More freezing ensued because it was by the door. Finally we were unleashed upon the gaming floor. We looked around, mapped out the tables and where the players would be. We also looked at some of the silent auction items. I didn't plan on bidding. I'm unemployed, it's ludicrous I'm there in the first place. One of the items being auctioned off was a GINORMOUS picture of a close up on Ron Hainsey's face. It was like the size of a piece of art you'd hang over the sofa. I was at the bar when Ron came up to get a beer. I said "Ron, that's a big-ass picture of you. " Sonya said "That's a whole lotta Hainsey." He seemed embarrassed and said it was the PR guy's idea and mumbled something else and left. It was pretty funny.

About 20 minutes after they let everyone in, they introduce the team in numerical order. (be sure and click on the picture to make it bigger to see the thoughts and conversations)

The other half of the team.

Well let me first start by saying, I was not a good photographer this year. By the time the guys hit the tables I was working on my 2nd vodka/cranberry in about 20 minutes. My pictures aren't NEARLY as good as last time, but I had a really good time!

First, Sonya and I (after we refreshed our drinks) walked around looking at the tables, seeing who was busy and taking pictures.
Nik Antropov dealing black jack.

Me and the sharpest dressed bird in town, Thrash. I said "you are my facebook friend" and he nodded. We are tight.

The guys are very helpful and generous when dealing. Todd peaks under the card to see if the player wants to hit or not.

My best picture last year was of Marty Reasoner, but this was as good as I got this year.

I thought this year was much more crowded. Here is a shot of one of the rooms. It's wall-to-wall chaos.

Slater's table was always rocking. You could people yelling and cheering.

Evander Kane dealing black jack.

After a few trips around the rooms, we decided to look for a table. That's easier said than done, most were packed. We did manage to find 2 spots at Antro's table. Each player has a pro helper for the gambling. Antro's helper was the BEST! When you sat down, she would ask you your name and introduce you to Nik. She and Nik would joke around. She would tell us to ask him questions. She also took over dealing and told Nik to go and get in the middle of us. She then took a picture with all of our cameras. Nik was a good dealer, he laughed at me a lot because while there I got like 7 "15's". He was also generous with the chips and helpful with the cards.
Occasionally the players' wives will come down and make an appearance, or as I call it, mark their territory. (God knows I would) Nik's wife came by and to say she is stunning would be the understatement of the year. She's just gorgeous.

Pavs might when the H-O-T award this year. Instead of looking like an ice cream man like most of the guys, he rocked the white suit.

After wandering around for a while, we played some more blackjack, this time with Toby Enstrom. He was very generous as well.

I don't know what the hell Darren Eliot is doing, but it's cracking me up.

Schubie was dancing and having a good time.

Word was, Kari is a hard ass at his table! He looks like he's not taking any shit from anyone.

Always a hit with the ladies, Ron Hainsey.

Slava seemed to be in good spirits. I saw him smile a few times.

Rich Peverley was much busier this year than last year. Last year he had been in town less than 24 hours before being tossed to the wolves of Casino Night.

Me and Evander Kane. I hate this picture so much I almost cut myself out of it lol.

We used my "hang around near the boys' bathroom" trick from last year and it was very successful. Before the picture was taken I told Thor "See when you hang out by the boys' bathroom, you get more dates!" I was drunk, he laughed.

You know this had to happen! Me and my beloved Moose. I had someone that offered me a seat at his table, but I never took it. Now that I know I like to play, I'm definitely playing at Moose's table some next year.

Max looking very debonair

Colby looking very funny.

Zach looking very lost.

Me and Pavs. He smelled incredible.

We were waiting to get our pictures with Zach and Colby. When it was my turned I handed my camera to Sonya and Colby made the comment "oh we have the big cameras now!" I laughed and moved my camera bag to the side. Zach and Colby saw it and kind of went nuts over it.
It's a hard case that kind of looks like a bunker. I love it because it's small holds the camera, ID, money and that's about it.

I told them it was my treasure chest, because I put all of my casino night coins in it and my camera goes in it. I knocked on it to show them how hard it was. They knocked on it too and laughed. Colby said "Can you imagine if she hit you in the head with her purse?"

Then it's time for the picture and I turn around, swing the case and almost clock Zach in the nuts with it. Ooops. Sorry pumpkin. I did say "I'm sorry." He said he was fine.

Another bathroom victim, me and Schubert.

Charles Manson...I mean Anssi Salmela was dancing by the bathroom. Easy pickings.

Now for the best moment of the night!! The tables are closed and everyone is heading to the front. Sonya says "There's Popovic, let's get a picture with him." Okay. So we go up to him. He's looking at me like he knows me. He asks me "What is your name? I see you at the games and practices all the time."
That totally made my night. Wow I'm easy. Just that little bit of recognition meant a lot. I mean I've only been going to practices regularly this season (since I lost my job) and he's been out a while. I mean it's not like I've made him 15 posters, have 2 of his jersey's and am a rabid fan of his...yet he recognized me and asked me my name. I'm totally getting a Popovic jersey for the next holiday and I will rock that jersey until it falls apart.

There was one poor man at the end of the night who was so drunk he was laying face first on the table. He was an older gentleman. He kept swaying back and forth and finally fell out of the chair and was laying on the floor. His wife was trying to get him up. It took her, a staff member and another guest to get him back into the chair. Know when to say when, my friend!

Can't believe it's over..AGAIN. This year my pictures sucked, but I had a better time. Who knew I enjoyed playing blackjack with the players?? Last year I just kind of chatted and gave all my money to Shauna because she knew what she was doing. Next year, I'm playing more and drinking less...okay, probably not :p
If you missed my pics of the last Casino Night, they are here:


Michelle January 11, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

Awesome!!!!!!! Next year baby!

Elizabeth January 11, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

Ha I love Anssi's face!
he looks like a five year old trying to pout! so funny!!

Great pictures! its the next best thing to being there! thank you for them! =]

Beth Dolgner January 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

Great pics! Pavs definitely has a little GQ in him. Thor was looking dapper, too!

Thank you thank you thank you for snagging a pic of me and Jimmy last night. You are a life saver! I can't believe that the four of us who went together all forgot our cameras. Otherwise, it was a perfect night!

SMO Cat January 11, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

Wow! What a night! That ROCKED! We SO have to do it again next year. I love your group photo comments - that was hilarious! I hope to have mine up later tonight.

Shiona January 11, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

Great Pics V! I would love to do that some time, it looks like a blast. I love the bathroom trick.

Sunshine36616 January 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

Shiona, the bathroom trick is money in the bank! Works every time. The boys are drinking beer, they have to pee!

Ally January 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

I'm starting to think Anssi looks creepy on purpose :P

Pavs was making me a little weak at the knees the whole night!

krisabelle January 11, 2010 at 9:06 PM  

Awesome pics, Sunshine!! Nice seeing you there as well - I knew if anyone would understand the burn of the foolhardy mistake of leaving one's camera's MEMORY CARD at home in their laptop, it was you! The picture of you, Bogo & Colby is fantastic! Zach has the best nose in the world. Anssi...he was...interesting. Pops was adorable and so, so nice. I had a great time and can't wait for next year! Oh and I finally got to meet Little! Woohoo! Until next time, cheers!

Wayne stuck in AL January 11, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

Is "Casino Night" the only idea the Thrashers have for a charity meet and greet, and are they the only NHL team doing so? I remember the Atlanta Knights doing the same thing years ago...

Tara January 11, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

go look at the 2nd photo gallery at the thrashers site.
Anssi is a hardcore rocker than a serial killer. (just needed the tounge sticking out though) LOL

Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 2:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tara January 12, 2010 at 6:33 AM  

SPAM? ^^

Sunshine36616 January 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

Yes Tara, I'm having BLAM (blog spam) issues. I don't want to disable the ability to post anonymously, but it's getting ridiculous.

Jane January 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

Wow! Awesome! You're a very lucky girl to rub elbows with all those wonderful hockey boys!! Glad you had a good time! ; )

sleza January 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

dear god the finns look scary

Sasha January 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

Awww...We were there too! (Check out my recap at We need to meet up next year...especially since it looks like we have different tastes and won't be fighting over attention from the same guys! Lol! ;)

Great pics!

PS Are you on Twitter?

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