The Casino's Tommy Goes Bust
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas. That's a lesson 23-year-old Tommy Sunstrum learned on Mark Burnett's Fox reality show The Casino. Over the course of the series, the ambitious young blackjack dealer's had some highs, like landing his dream job as a junior casino host at the Golden Nugget. There have also been a number of lows, like arguing with his supervisor, Monique; his failed attempt as a talent manager; and his visit to the Cottontail Ranch brothel. Here, Casino's comic relief promises TV Guide Online that, in Sunday's episode (9 pm/ET), things will only get worse!
TV Guide Online: How did you get on this show?
Tommy Sunstrum: About three months into my dealing career, a memo came out saying that with [new Golden Nugget owners] Tim Poster and Tom Breitling [starting], Mark Burnett Productions was going to come in and do a reality show. They had a small audition [to] talk to everybody. Then they would call people back if they were interested. They just happened to keep calling me back until they said, "How would you like to do this?" I said, "Absolutely."
TVGO: It's worked out well for you. You landed your dream job by following in your father's footsteps. You're still working there, right?
Tommy: I'm currently a junior host. But you'll see in the upcoming episodes, this city has a lot of temptation and I kind of fall into it a little bit.
TVGO: It can't be more embarrassing than your brothel visit.
Tommy: That was brutal. Though after the show aired, I was kind of happy that the women they brought out looked like they did. If they were pretty, I wouldn't have trusted myself — and then my mom really would have kicked my a--.
TVGO: What did mother say after that episode?
Tommy: It was brutal. My mom is very, very religious. I know my mom is p----d when she is speechless. When she doesn't have anything to say, she is livid. I called her [after that episode], and it was just silent. But honestly, I am more worried about what is coming up than what has happened.
TVGO: That bad, huh?
Tommy: I hit rock bottom. I really do. The brothel is nothing compared to what is coming up. The other things were on my off time, and they just kind of laughed about it. What is coming up, I was on the clock and out with a customer, and it gets ugly. I'll just say this: I had a little too much to drink and things got out of hand.
TVGO: It can't be all that terrible if you've still got your job.
Tommy: I'll put it to you this way. Any other host in town wouldn't have a job anymore. I just got very, very, very lucky.
TVGO: Monique seems to have it out for you. Is she just jealous?
Tommy: Absolutely. She'll never admit it. Honestly, on the square, Monique is really, really like that. She's been there for 12 years; I was there for five months when I got the [promotion]. The casino-host job is, by far, the most sought-after job in Las Vegas. It is an unbelievable job. She thought that she should have got that job. But she has the freakin' people skills of a bag of rocks. To this day, she can't stand me.
TVGO: Are you still stuck sharing an office with your dad?
Tommy: No. I've got a bigger office than my dad now. [Laughs] I'm just kidding. I wish I did.
TVGO: Sounds like people are noticing you more. Are you getting more dates now?
Tommy: I'm not complaining in that area of my life. I'm definitely recognized. It is not like the show is wildly popular, but usually, wherever I go, somebody will recognize me.
TVGO: Do you think we get to see your real personality?
Tommy: I watched the show with my buddies for the first time. There are at least five times in every episode that I will just hold my head and say, "Oh God, please tell me that I didn't just say that." There are a few things that I would like to take away or that I regret saying. In one of the episodes, I said, "Dealing is a dead-end job." And to this day, there are dealers that won't even look at me. This is going to sound like I'm an a------, but at the end of the day, I got the job I wanted and I have to work with them. I wish I could apologize, but what is said, is said.
TVGO: Have you been bitten by the acting bug?
Tommy: No. Just because you get a small, small taste of what it is to be like a celebrity, I could see how people would do that, but no. I love the job I have. So I won't have my SAG card in the near future.