As they do every year before the actual contest begins, the Maloofs invited skaters and the press out for a good time in Las Vegas at thier Palms casino/hotel. We all had our own suites, VIP area at the pool and club later, and all the beverages and food were free. We had an amazing dinner at N9ne, then closed the night at Rain. Joe Maloof even sat down with Blair Alley to chat about the upcoming NYC and Orange County Maloof contests over a game of EA Skate 3. Check the video interview then scroll down to see who was enjoying the Vegas heat.

Video by Ben Kelly & Blair Alley, photos by Blair Alley.

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Before we even left for Vegas, we hit the Cha Cha Lounge in Silverlake Thursday night for the EA Skate 3 party. John Cardiel was DJing! Here’s Paul Sharpe, Ben Kelly, Sean Peterson, Cullen Poythress, Blair Alley, and Yoon Sul around last call time.

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When we finally made it to Vegas on Friday, these enormous suites were waiting for us.

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Vans had a nice VIP area for us poolside. Carleton Curtis, Cullen, Blair, and Brophy sandwiched between some bros.

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CJ Olivares from Fuel, Steve Van Doren, and Joe Maloof up in the VIP.

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Carleton and Animal Chan talk tech.

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Sean Paul performed at the pool that day.

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An epic Vegas Barney Zone.

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Podium pals, Cullen & Brophy.

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Tyler Hawkins was there—for some reason.

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Jake Duncombe takes in the view from the 32nd floor.

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Too many pickles, not enough jars! Dyet, Clem, Cullen, Steve Stratton, and Braydon.

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Working smarter, not harder—SPoT’s Rob Meronek is the master of it. His photos here.

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The Casey & Captain. Casey tried to take his iPhone swimming just before this.

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Guess this skater in the comment boxes and Volcom will send you a package. Steve Stratton promised.

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Big Herm and Tyler.

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Bones’ Jared Lucas and our BK find a Monstrous sandwich.

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Ran into Neftalie Williams in the casino.

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Tyler Szafranski and Bryan Herman toast to a fantastic dinner at N9ne. What’s wrong Herm, did you get carded?

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Those are 12 ounce filet mignons, after three courses of appetizers—no one could finish it.

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The view from our VIP balcony at Rain. Thanks Maloofs!