Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Settling into Arizona Life: Fun Everyday Stuff and Poker at Talking Stick Resort

It is amazing how you can sometimes settle into a new life and have everything feel natural. Such has been my transition from being a resident of Illinois to being a resident of Arizona. Of course, I had a number of things that made the transition easier. My wife scouted out a place for us to live and did a great job. We were able to transition into a new house, get rid of many old belongings and buy some new things, and take care of other tasks like getting Arizona license plates and drivers licenses without much of a problem. We continue to become more familiar with the area and have gotten into some regular routines. There have been, however, some interesting aspects such as getting used to the local flora and fauna.

The Saguaro Cactus
The Cholla Cactus
The Prickly Pear Cactus
Although we had a few coyotes in the area in IL, they are loud here some nights.
Our dog, Fredo, chased a javelina down the end of our driveway.

I look forward to spotting some snakes and scorpions once the weather gets warmer. 

I live in an interesting area. There is plenty of space for lots of wild animals, yet some human creature comforts like Walmart, Home Depot and Burger King are only a few minutes drive away. Once COVID-19 is on its way out, we will appreciate the other things that will be close by -- MLB spring training, professional sports and major venues for concerts.

I will enjoy the nice, mild Arizona winter for now. As the weather, heats up, I am sure that the pool in the backyard will get much use as I adapt to the cruel, hot summers. One other thing that is much different (and appreciated): instead of needing to drive hours to get to a decent poker room, I have one within a 30-minute drive. Speaking of poker ...

The Stick

It has been sooooooo nice to be able to hop in my car and be at the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort -- or, as people commonly call it, "The Stick" -- in 30 minutes or less. I had been successful at the Stick in the past and had also suffered some horrible beats. My game of choice is the $3/$300 spread game as No Limit games are not legal here. Having played at this game before, I transitioned to it pretty easily. Blinds are $2 and $3, and before the cards are dealt, the dealers grab $1 from the small blind for the promo drop. Raises are limited to $300, which makes the game play pretty much like a No Limit game anyway. Buy in is capped at $600, and there are sometimes stacks of $1000-$2200 or so on the table, partially due to some of the good promotions.

I started out by winning four of my first five sessions (I broke even the other one) until I hit the inevitable slide which included plenty of run bad with some tilty bad play mixed in. I did play a session at nearby Wild Horse Pass and won there. I took a bit of time off and jumped back on the horse, winning my last two sessions. I am pretty sure that I will keep my sessions late afternoon starts, where I seem to do much better. Just from my small sample, it appears that the daytime players I have run up against have been more aggressive and better players overall.

About a week ago, I got a telephone call from old poker blogger friend The Poker Meister. He seemed pretty impressed that I was able to complete my plan to retire, sell my house, and move west during the pandemic. To me, it was just doing what I needed to do. However, if that serves as encouragement to some of my friends to continue to work hard and then enjoy the results of their hard work, so be it. Sometimes as I drive to the Stick on a beautiful day, I am still sort of amazed that my wife and I set this plan a few years ago and it has worked out so well so far. As COVID-19 and other things have taught us, tomorrow is no guarantee. I will enjoy where my life has taken me and look forward to seeing what happens the next years or so. I have been retired for over six months now and actually have considered what kind of job, if any, that I might do to help occupy my time. Having a part-time job sounds kind of fun until I remember that I would actually have to work! I'll just take my time with this decision.

I have tried to detox myself recently by staying off the political channels and the news since the inauguration. I have stepped back some from social media and the cesspool it has become. Life is to precious to waste with crap! So, for now, life is very good. I will enjoy it while I can. I might be making a trip to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, and hope to soon take a two-day trip to Tombstone. I guess I just have to decide to "say when."

Thanks for reading!


Blogger Iron Mike Sharpe said...

You could work as TBC's chauffeur.

12:51 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Iron Mike: Been there, done that. 😄

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Flynn said...

We absolutely love this success story. Hope to follow in your footsteps in the next few years. Congrats!

8:51 AM  
Blogger geezer said...

Glad you're enjoying AZ..I had a condo in Scottdale 2 miles for TS which was our winter escape... 3 yr ago moved to Sun City (love it) 32 minutes to TS and 15 min from Desert Diamond (if they ever reopen)....Summer months in Clear Lake IA 6 blocks from the surf.. Maybe I'll see you at TS when I get my second COVID shot

9:44 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Flynn - Ty! I hope that we will meet up in Las Vegas one day soon after things get relatively back to normal.

@geezer: My family is covering the northern part of the area from Sun City West to Cave Creek/Carefree. I haven't been to Desert Diamond and actually thought about checking it out today. Hopefully, poker will come back. TS is starting to feel like home, but I need to focus more on solid play. Hope to cya there in the future! 😀

10:16 AM  
Blogger Ace said...

Enjoy the weather and get into golf! Less energy spent on politics is always the answer.

11:59 AM  
Blogger pokerwayne said...

Welcome to Arizona. Sunshine was a foot deep today. Glad I had nothing planned as I couldn’t get off my patio.

1:31 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Congrats on the big move and the poker success. Had a little luck here. That Arizona summer will be brutal but you can't beat the winter. Did you get your Cubs spring training tix yet?

5:08 PM  
Blogger MARK said...

Congrats on the move. Likely won’t want a part time job once nice weather hits and you can hang by the pool. Thanks for the update, great read.

7:16 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Take time to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments! You are the bellwether for creating, implementing and executing a life plan... far more than many people are able to do!

6:49 AM  

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