Four 20-somethings gamble, gambol on TV in Las Vegas

It’s the kind of vintage Vegas neighborhood that veteran showroom headliners, casino executives and wiseguys call home.

But Rancho Circle’s about to get a new TV close-up, thanks to four new kids on the block: the stars of G4TV’s (Cox Cable Channel 340) new reality series, "2M2MM: 2 Months, $2 Million."

The 10-episode show, which debuts at 9 tonight, follows four 20-something guys who play online poker for a living and, in the process, live it up.

Their challenge: to earn $2 million in two months while calling a 10,000-square-foot Las Vegas mansion home.

But spending the summer in Las Vegas is nothing new for 25-year-olds Emil Patel and Jay Rosenkrantz and 26-year-old Brian Roberts.

The three of them, along with three other friends, did the same thing last summer, sharing a luxury home and hanging out during World Series of Poker season.

"Last year, there were six of us, but we cut the fat," says newcomer Dani Stern, 22, who joined the "2M2MM" cast after one of the resident poker aces opted for law school instead of reality TV.

The remaining regulars "needed a high-stakes poker player that we were friends with," Rosenkrantz says.

That turned out to be Stern. Like Rosenkrantz and Patel, he lives in the New York-New Jersey area. Roberts calls Austin, Texas, home.

G4TV may be springing for the quartet’s swanky summer quarters, but the money they bet on poker is all their own.

How much money? Well, Stern won $548,000 at a World Series of Poker tournament in May. Alas, that was "before we started shooting" the week of June 1, he acknowledges, so it doesn’t count toward the show’s $2 million goal.

Not that they’re worrying much about making the title amount. On this morning (or what qualifies as morning for guys who stay up all night), they’re more concerned about a big bash coming up that night to celebrate the end of their two-month Vegas shoot.

In the kitchen, personal chef Robert Owens, who has cooked for the guys for more than two years, goes over the party menu (ranging from guacamole to hummus, falafel to tabbouleh), while his wife, Charlene, heads out to shop.

In the sprawling backyard, there’s plenty of room for partying, with a life-size chessboard, a football field and a Slip ‘N Slide — along with the obligatory swimming pool — on hand for diversion.

There’s also plenty of room for partying in the living room, which seems especially cavernous because only a few furnishings — an old-fashioned jukebox stocked with CDs, a set of weights and, inevitably, a poker table — take up floor space.

Things are a bit more crowded inside the quartet’s inner sanctum.

Dubbed the War Room, it’s equipped with computers and giant-screen TV monitors. And it’s where the show’s foursome conduct their primary business: playing online poker.

An erasable board charts the team’s winnings and losings.

"We make our bread and butter playing Internet poker," Roberts explains. "We come to Vegas to party and see friends."

And to film their TV series, which also features the kinds of pursuits — dodgeball, dune buggying, boating on Lake Mead, partying with Playboy Bunnies — "that 17-year-old boys worship," Rosenkrantz says. "I would geek out over this if I were 17."

The series, from Park Slope Productions, grew out of a six-minute 2007 documentary that aired on the Current cable channel and captured the players’ camaraderie.

After all, playing "online poker is very isolated," Rosenkrantz explains. With the "2M2MM" format, "there are three other people who you’re friends with, who are happy with you when you win a pot." Or commiserate with you when you lose.

The latter sort of empathy often occurs in the quartet’s so-called Tilt Room, located in a garage, where the players — armed with baseball bats, sledgehammers and hockey sticks — take out their post-loss hostility on innocent watermelons, pottery and other easily bashed entities.

And whoever loses the most money every week has to undergo a humiliating (for them) and amusing (for everyone else) penalty stunt, as in the show’s pilot (shot last October), during which Rosenkrantz went out for dinner costumed as a Smurf, complete with blue face paint.

Yet the show’s producers don’t seem to be as concerned with winning as the players are, Rosenkrantz notes. "They’re more concerned with the friendships," he says.

After appearing in both the short documentary and the pilot, Patel, Roberts and Rosenkrantz had little trouble adjusting to life on camera.

Stern, however, "was pretty miserable the first week or two. I didn’t like it, and then one day, something clicked." Part of that something was the realization "this is the most fun I’m ever going to have."

Even so, life on camera can be "a double-edged sword," Rosenkrantz says, recalling a moment when Patel was walking outside and stooped to tie his shoe. The action prompted this solemn report from a crew member: "Emil is tying his shoe."

Overall, "this is a summer I’m never going to forget," Rosenkrantz says. "But for my own sanity, I’m looking forward to a time I can walk outside and get a drink of water without a camera crew following me."

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

ad-high_impact_4
News
NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like