After giving the champ his props, Jesse excuses himself to visit the kitchen with Cy and Drai, to sample the flash-frozen, liquor-spiked Popsicles invented by Drai. A former Hollywood producer once married to Kelly LeBrock, Drai is a sort of godfather to the Twins. He teams up with them on all their ventures.
The three men suck on Chupa Chup-size treats, declaring the lychee martini pops good, the mojito ones in need of fine-tuning, and the ginger-sicles just plain awful. Once the flavors are perfected, Drai hopes the drinks the pops are in will sell for $17 to $20 apiece. "We need the pink bubble gum," he says. "Those are the bestvodka and chunks of bubble gum!"
At about 3 A.M. the following night, while driving his Hummer across Las Vegas Boulevard en route to Drai's, Jesse blows through a red turn arrow. He doesn't bother checking his rearview for flashing lights. "I know the guys at Metro," he says. "You'd be surprised at the influence that comes from owning a club in this town."
Now as ubiquitous as slot machines, clubs are a relatively recent phenomenon in these parts. Before 1994, when Club Rio opened alongside the gambling floor of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Vegas nightlife revolved around lounge acts and old-school stand-ups. That changed when Club Rio brought in scantily clad waitresses and big-city DJs. The cavernous RA in the Luxor, House of Blues with its members-only Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, and a revamped Studio 54 at MGM Grand soon followed suit. By 2001, celebrities were massing at the Bellagio's Light. When Tryst opened four years later, Vegas nightlife was a crush of velvet-roped operations: TAO in the Venetian, Pure in Caesars Palace, and JET at the Mirage. For the Twins, success was hardly a given.
The brothers started modestly, growing up with post-hippie parents in grungy no-name towns in Southern California and Hawaii. Their mom died when they were 5; their father, a Vietnam vet who passed away nine years ago, raised them with military-style discipline. They developed a strong work ethic and had little time for girlfriends. "I cuddled with my pillow when I was 20 years old, thinking, One day I'll have a princess," Cy says. "Now I don't know what girls want from me. They use me, and I use them right back."
Jesse, too, is making up for lost time. "I love girls," he says. "I love hot girls. I like tons of girls."
Forgoing college degrees, both boys ran through a series of flunky jobs. In 1996, at age 21, Jesse came to Las Vegas and got hired as a snowboarding instructor on nearby Mount Charleston. Through a client he landed a job as a greeter at Planet Hollywood, then steadily moved from club to club, bartending, working the door, training new employees. One of his former bosses, Andy Masi, now CEO of the Light Group, which has restaurants and clubs at the Bellagio and the Mirage, remembers him as "eager and confident." Jesse says that he's naturally shy. He abhors small talk, sometimes mumbles, and is surprisingly introverted around strangers.