Sunday, December 19, 2010

WPBT / Las Vegas Trip Report -- Part I

Getting ready for the annual WPBT tournament and big blogger gathering in Las Vegas is never easy for me. Two of the absolute worst months of the year for me work-wise are November and December. Non-stop people coming in to see me, non-stop phone calls, non-stop e-mails. I set my internal dial for 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8. If I could make it until then everything would be okay. I almost cruised to the finish line. But … at 3:00p.m., while attempting to sneak back to the office after a meeting, I was asked a question by an administrator: “How would you like to be a ‘shepherd’?” This was a request to be involved in a project I detest. I slithered back to my office without giving an answer. Two hours to go. Then the phone rang. “Can you take this call? This girl blah blah blah …” So instead of cruising through the last two hours, I had to work like all hell to not have to spend too much time after hours . I got home late and attended to things that needed to get done before I left. By the time I was ready to pack (no – I am not one of those people who gets ready a week ahead of time), I was too exhausted to do so. I hoped I would have enough time in the morning to pack and get on the road on time.

Day 1
My youngest daughter was sick, so I actually bought some extra time since I did not have to drive her to school. I still had to pick up my bounty at a store and get cash for the trip. Yes – I am a real last minute guy!

No problems with my two-hour drive to the airport. The plane took off on time, and I was ready for Las Vegas.

Although I had made my reservations last July, my brother decided toward the last minute to come with me. Our flights were arriving in Las Vegas within 45 minutes of each other, so he waited for me to get in before we took a cab to the IP. The plan was to spend three nights at the IP, then two nights at Wynn. My brother was staying one extra night. All free. Thanks Harrah’s and Wynn!

The trip now became a big blur of meeting new friends and talking with old ones. I met Joanada at the Geisha Bar and found that yes, she is the same sweetie that she is on Buddy Dank Radio. Saw a few other bloggers and said a few hellos, but decided to head out for dinner with my brother. Destination: Ellis Island, home of the steak special. For years we used to go to the San Remo for the prime rib special, but now that the San Remo became Hooters, we found a new place for the inaugural Las Vegas dinner. While there, this funny text exchange took place:

Wolfshead: Where R U?
Me: Ellis Island
Wolfshead: Smart ass

I went back to the IP and met Wolfshead, who was playing poker. Now, if you have ever read his blog or chatted with him at a table, you know that his acerbic humor is quite funny. It is the same in person, only better!

I said "hi" to many bloggers and then met NumbBono. Numb and I have had many conversations at the Mookie regarding hockey – my Blackhawks and his Red Wings. Let’s just say he is has not been complimentary about the Hawks. He gave me a big hug, which only goes to show what blogger brotherhood – mixed with alcohol – is all about! I also met Mary and saw her with a nice stack of chips in front of her. This became a familiar sight. I recall this was also when I met BrainMC, maybe, maybe not.

I did get in some $1/2 NL at both the IP and my Las Vegas poker home, Bally’s. A common theme throughout the trip was that there was little good news regarding poker. Poor cards. Bad beats. A few stupid plays. Meh. Not bad for a first day, but not like last year when I hit a Royal Flush my first night and had a mountain of chips in front of me. Ah well …

Day 2
After having breakfast at Harrah’s, I decided to check out the poker room, just in case a blogger or two might be playing there. Who do I see playing in a small tournament? Very Josie! I snuck up behind her and started massaging her neck and shoulders. Could she guess which of her many male admirers it was? I railed her for some time and saw her playing excellent poker. I sat down at a $1/2 NL table and watched her get down to the final four, then three, then two of the small tourney. Unfortunately, she took a few horrendous beats heads up and had to settle for second place. But she played well enough to win.

I spent more time at Bally’s, but was unable to crush the table like I have on previous trips. Very frustrating.

I headed over to MGM Grand for the mixed games in the evening. I was surprised that so many people were there so early. I met and talked with Miami Don for the first time. We had a great sports-oriented conversation while waiting for blogger tables to open up. I actually did quite well at the mixed games and was still showing a profit by the end of the second night. Knowing that my luck would run out and my true donkatude would show, I left my table and hung out at the bar. I then met Buddy Dank for the first time. I had a great time talking with Buddy, Joanada, and Numb. A little later Josie and I had a fun conversation (I don’t think she remembers most of it) about when I made my blog a Josie-free zone for a week or two. Accusations flew from both sides. Josie even asked the bartender, Percy, to chip in. Good times! I also got to meet Yo Soy Veneno, who was nothing like I would have imagined! Alan Penner and I talked some baseball. Waffles was all ready to go in the blogger tournament. Go team Killer B’s!

Other new people I met or talked to the first time included 23Skidoo, xkm1245, VinNay, Stephane (no, I am not really Tom Brady’s cousin), …

The night ended when Waffles, MiamiDon, VeryJosie, and I shared a cab back to the IP. After a little hanging around, it was time for bed. I was running on fumes and wanted to not be a total wreck at the blogger tournament later that morning.


Blogger Josie said...

I forgot all about Percy, the bartender! Hubba hubba! Friday night was indeed a blur.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Wolfshead said...

Hey, did I know there's a restaurant in Vegas called Ellis Island?

7:50 PM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

Ellis Island is one of my favorites in Vegas. The steak special is the tops and the pizza joint there is also good.

Good breakfast menu too.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Great report. Can't wait for the rest.

10:40 PM  

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