Here We Go
Yes, the World Series of Poker starts today, and yes, I'm nervous. Keyed up. Want to get started, want to do the kick-ass job this event deserves. I'd like to think that I know what I'm about to get mixed up in...but in truth I probably have no idea. I'll just have to experience it for myself.
Checked out of the Imperial Palace yesterday and as I waited for Craig to get the keys to the condo and swing by to pick me up I played a little video poker to pass the time. After I dropped twenty bucks a pretty blonde woman asked if I was waiting to play $1-2 NL. It didn't sound like a pickup line and I said, no, I was just hanging out. The poker room was actually empty, but a bit later the woman and a guy wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses started playing heads-up, and the brush asked if I wanted to join the game. I passed. Short-handed NL is not a game I want to get involved in when my mind is elsewhere, even for those stakes.
So I played my video poker, missed a royal flush draw that had me licking my chops, and quickly dropped sixty bucks. I moved to a different bar to see if that might change my luck (plus the poker game had expanded to four players and I was getting twitchy) and this happened:
Yes, dem's quads, bitches. And to prove my self-control I cashed out right then and there, breaking even for the day. I went up to the sports book and watched the French Open until Craig arrived.
We drove to the Rio to check out the scene, and they were still fine-tuning the place. It's really a gorgeous room, all those tables, all that felt. And they have these HUGE posters of the former World Champions ringing the place, it's an impressive sight.
As is the final table area, which is tucked in a back corner that we couldn't get close to. It was good to at least see the place where I'll be spending so many hours over the next 47 (!) days. And especially good to get my press pass ahead of time. I think that's going to prove to be one of the best moves we'll make, because it took a good bit of time and today is going to be chaos.
The other smart move we made came last night, as we were driving from the condo to look for a place to eat. The place is further out than I expected, but it's a straight shot, the biggest impediment is the construction near a strip mall and lots of red lights. There's this lonely patch of road with nothing but scrub and abandoned trailers and I half expected to see a lone coyote howling at the moon.
We were going to head to a sports bar in one of this developments when Craig hit the brakes hard after just a few hundred yards. "Montana Meat Company" he read off a neon sign to our left. The sign said they offered steaks and gaming, a good combination, and a crowded parking lot gave me confidence. It turned out to be an important discovery--my Kobe burger was excellent, the steak fries sizzling, and the nachos we ordered were excellent too. And they have Bass Ale on tap. We could almost walk to the place, and I think we'll be visiting there many times during the next 2 months. Especially as they serve breakfast 24/7.
The condo is very nice, and as always other people's decor decisions can be puzzling. Fortunately I brought my silk leopard-print pajamas, so I fit in nicely with my bed:
But it's a nice place, quiet (other than the inevitable construction going on across the road). And nice scenery, surrounded as we are by mountains.
I tried to get a photo of the moon hanging low over the mountains, but they didn't turn out. And I'll try to post other interesting photos here over the next month-and-a-half. I'm sure I'll snap a few. But now, there's a grindstone out there calling for my nose. Time to get to work.