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Phone Your Friend

by 'Mad Marty' Wilson |  Published: May 01, 2010


I’m just back from Las Vegas. I was over there for five weeks. We did the PartyPoker Premier League, which was unbelievable, it was outstanding, it was out of this world. It was one of those poker tournaments that you get now and then. There is only one way to describe it, absolutely brilliant. But my favorite part of being in Vegas for those five weeks has got to be when we decided to go to Laughlin. Laughlin is 82 miles from Vegas, so we hired a stretch limo that we got a real good deal on, it had see-through windows and blow-up tyres, and we drove down to Laughlin.

Anybody who ever goes to Vegas should hire a car and drive to Laughlin. There’s a place on the way called Searchlight that is 40 miles outside of Vegas and there’s a casino there that has a massive light. It’s the same one that they put in the air for the Batman sign! It’s not very busy in Laughlin; it is mostly a place for locals and people in RVs, those big caravans that drive up and down. But I was an Englishman in Laughlin and they comped me everything.

Laughlin is on the Colorado River. It’s got nine casinos, and it was a man’s dream called Don Laughlin, who built it up out of the ashes. The last night I was there I ended up feeding the baby raccoons. And I saw hummingbirds. I didn’t think they had hummingbirds in America, but there they were, feeding from these orange plants on the Colorado River. I saw hummingbirds, raccoons, skunks; I even went to pick up one of those scorpions, thinking it was a little baby crab. Laughlin is a place you can go to chill. You can go on the raft boats, and they’ve actually moved London Bridge to a place not far from Laughlin, as they do a river trip down to the London Bridge. But let me tell you about a guy I met out in Laughlin by the name of Conrad Ruiz.

He’s a part-time barman at the Golden Nugget in Laughlin. This story absolutely amazed me. Conrad Ruiz doesn’t need to work, the guy’s a millionaire and he’s a very, very clever man at quizzes. I got to asking him questions and we had hours of fun. Then he told me this story that will live with me forever.

In America they have this game that we have in England called Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Conrad Ruiz decided that he wanted to go onto the show. Now when you go on you give six people’s names that are “Phone a Friend”. Conrad gave in six names and one of them was to be his wife, whose name was Judy. But by the time it came round to Conrad going on to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, it was 12 months later and his wife and him had separated and she had gotten a new partner.

Conrad went on the show and lo and behold he gets to the million dollar question. The million dollar question has come up and Conrad has still got his three lifelines, he’s got his phone a friend, his ask the audience, and his 50-50. Conrad was a real smart guy. The question was, “Who was the president of America on the day that World War I broke out?” Conrad asked, “Can I use my phone a friend? I’d like to phone my ex-wife.” And the presenter said, “Yes, why sure you can, Conrad.” So they phoned Judy and the new boyfriend picked the phone up. The presenter said, “We need to speak to Judy, I’m with her ex-husband Conrad.” So the grumpy boyfriend fetches Judy and Judy comes to the phone and says, “What can I do for you?” Conrad says, “Hi Judy! I’m up to my million dollar question and the question is, who was the president of America on the day World War I broke out?” And then Conrad says, “And I want you to be the first to find out that I’ve just won the million!” And then Conrad put the phone down and he says, “The answer is Woodrow Wilson, he was the president of America when World War I broke out!”

What a guy! Conrad Ruiz knew the answer all the while and he only used his phone a friend to tell his ex-wife that he won a million dollars. Spade Suit

Mad Marty Wilson is a professional gambler and poker consultant for Matchroom Sport.