By Lark Ellen Gould
What can you say about the city that spun poker into an Olympic sport, turned Beer Pong into a blood sport, pinball into a wizard’s war and mechanical bull riding into a battle of manhood?
If it can be won, it can be wagered. Given a purse and put in the Guinness Book of World Records, it can happen in Las Vegas. Here is just a sampling of where to win your 15+ minutes of fame in outrageous Las Vegas smackdowns.
Get Your Buck on at Gilley¿s
It’s the tough guys who finish last in the Toughest Cowboy Competitions at Gilley’s on Thursday nights. There’s a $200 purse at stake plus sponsored giveaways by the bagful. The country saloon in front of Treasure Island typically signs up 15 to 20 guys who, from 11 pm until the wee hours, manage to drink themselves into a state of courage that persuades them to mount the mechanical bull and last longer than their competitors through a series of “heats,” or rounds in which the bucking action progressively intensifies. The women get their turn on Sunday nights in the Bikini Bullpen Contests, also going for a $200 prize plus swag for out-bucking each other while keeping their tiny costumes in place. Wardrobe malfunctions are strongly discouraged, although they do happen.
Hot 100 at Wet Republic
Las Vegas is not just a hot town; it’s a hottie town where every girl strives to expose her inner Kardashian. The family of sisters who famously hit most of the pool scenes on the Strip have set a new standard of bathing beauty amid Las Vegas’ exploding day life offerings, now celebrated each summer with bikini-clad throngs vying to be among the loveliest 100. It’s not quite a beauty pageant. Rather, it’s a 12-week competition juried by votes from celebrity judges, event attendees and online voting at SpyOnVegas.com. Top prize is $100,000 down to $1,000 prizes for the 18th, 19th and 20th most beautiful bikini vixens. The finale takes the stage the last weekend of June at Wet Republic.