I had almost forgotten how bright the lights are, how busty the women are, how annoying the little Mexican men are who flick the stripper cards toward my face.
What can you say about Vegas? It fits like an old glove for me. I love this city.
And I’ve been so busy the last three days that this is my first chance to post.
The sky filled with the white flash of lightning as we descended on Vegas. An electrical storm over a city of a million lights was quite the sight. I arrived at Binion’s around 11:30 Thursday night and got my hotel key from the reservation desk just off the poker room. After getting settled I wandered back down to look for Ted. Sure enough, there was the old timer playing the nightly 8 p.m. tournament.
“You’re playing too tight Teddy,” I remarked when he mucked a hand as I walked up to the rail.
I offered him a hand, but he gave me a fist bump instead. Maybe he’s got a Howie Mandel thing going on.
Ted and I did some catching up since our last meeting in Reno. He made the final table a few minutes later and I bid him adieu to make my way down to the Excalibur where the bloggers were staying and meeting up that night.
There were several games going in the Excalibur poker room when I arrived, but not recognizing anybody there I sat down in a 1-2 NL game. Finally some familiar faces popped up – Dr. Pauly, Iggy, Tennessee Spaceman – and we chatted it up. I got up from my game an $80 loser and met up with a bunch of them at the Sherwood Forest Bar. I met new faces like Static Cling and Zeem and April Kyle, the fantastic organizer of the weekend’s events. Before I passed out, I decided to make my way back to Binion’s.
My head hit the pillow and I was out like a light.
Being newly arrived in Vegas, there was still enough excitement in my body that I couldn’t sleep past 10. That, and Ted making a racket in the room.
I noticed the laptop laying under his bed and asked him about it. Ted said he had lost $400 on Party Poker because he couldn’t operate the touch pad.
“I folded goddamn aces pre-flop,” he said.
A “sketchy” fellow, as Ted called him, was supposed to bring him a mouse for his laptop.
(Fast forward to Sunday morning as I type this. I just got a knock on the door and went to see who it was. A tall middle-eastern man with shades on his eyes and lipstick on his cheek appeared at the door asking for Ted. Yep, it was the “sketchy” fellow. He told me his name is Kay and handed me his number to give to Ted. We enjoyed a minutes long conversation about New Orleans after he asked me where I was from. Kay is a doctor and he knows some doctor in Lafayette, La., that he stayed with to attend a medical conference in the Big Easy several years ago.
Kay told me we should meet for dinner one night and parted with these helpful words, “I know everything in Vegas. Whatever you want, I got it.” He did deliver on the mouse – Ted got it Saturday night, and proceeded to break the retractable cord. Never let an old man near new technology.)
So Friday morning I headed down past the Neonopolis to the bus stop. Being here for six weeks I just don’t have the capital to ride taxis everywhere. Ted said it’s costing him about $30 a day, whereas I can get a 30-day bus pass for $40. Heck, you hear some interesting conversations and met some interesting characters on a public bus. The Vegas bus system is new and improved as well. They’ve added these double decker buses for Strip to Downtown routes and call them The Deuce, some clever name bestowed on the system by some clever smartass.
The ride at the top is pleasant and provides a nice view of the city.
I took my seat at the top Friday morning and heard some old fellow talking about the condos going up downtown across from the bus stop.
“They’re building these damn high rises everywhere,” said the man, who I swore sounded just like the D’Agostino fan I met at the World Poker Tour taping at the Borgata in September.
He’s really not exaggerating. In addition to the Downtown condos, you’ve got Turnberry Place on the north end of the Strip, The Sky just down from Turnberry, Panorama off the strip behind the Bellagio and the Playboy tower going up behind The Palms.
I still haven’t decided which residence I’ll choose after winning the WSOP.
The bus driver quipped that the new Nevada state bird is the crane, in reference to the massive structures used to build the towers.
I made the slow ride down to the Rio and took the familiar walk back to the convention center
To be continued later (Ted needs the phone line)