More random stuff from the Rio in Las Vegas, where the 2011 World Series Of Poker is underway…

Dennis Phillips and I recorded several interviews today for future Final Table broadcasts. In upcoming weeks, you’ll hear Dwyte Pilgrim, Tony Dunst, Collin Moshman, and Maria Ho — who told a great story about the first time she came to the WSOP. We’re going to bring in a few more guests over the weekend, too.

The weekend warriors are hitting town, ready to play in the first $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament tomorrow. Hopefully, when they bust, they’ll sit down in the cash games and donate some money. There’s no shortage of action here and elsewhere. Last night, I played at Bellagio, where every table was full. I’m sure the same is true at Venetian, The Wynn, and other poker rooms.

The Rio has “bevertainers,” waitresses who regularly put down their trays, climb up onto a small stage in their section, and sing a song. They’re not horrible, and certainly are easy on the eyes, but I can’t help wondering how they feel about their professional life. They almost never get any applause from anyone, and the few minutes they spend on stage means they’re not delivering drinks, which means they’re not collecting tips. Is that job a stepping stone? Is the next rung on the career ladder a spot in the free show in the Masquerade courtyard, lip-syncing 80s hits with a half-dozen dancers around you, hoping to get your big break as a showgirl at some other hotel in Vegas? I suppose the bevertainers tell themselves, “At least I’m not one of the I-Candy Dancers shaking my butt on a pedastal in the lobby bar.” There’s gotta be a hierarchy here, right?

No visit to Las Vegas is complete without a visit to In & Out Burger, so a friend and I drove over last night. The menu’s as simple as can be — all they sell are burgers, fries, sodas, and shakes — and the food comes out fresh. We ate at a table outside, where the pigeons are always on patrol. Despite signs asking customers not to feed the birds, these have to be the most fast-food-addicted pigeons in the world. Nothing says fine dining like a double-double on a concrete table with a bird staring you down for a piece of your bun.

I just realized that most of that last sentence could pass for a dirty joke in England.

At the other end of the food spectrum, a dozen of us from St. Louis are about to descend on Cafe Martorano, the terrific Italian restaurant at the Rio. If we end up playing credit card roulette, this could end up being an expensive night. But at least it won’t feel like an aviary.

More later.

Update: I wasn’t the credit card roulette loser, but had a helluva meal — thanks to the two guys whose cards were last, and decided to chop it.