Las Vegas Part 5 - Wrapping Up
Well, you can only talk so much on one topic, so I’ll wrap up my Las Vegas posts with this final entry, in traditional ‘Random Thoughts’ format…
I love Las Vegas. I really do. I could go back 2-3 times a year. But there are a few things I just can’t stand:
The first and foremost is the unbearable heat. I wish the World Series of Poker was at a different time of year, because going to Las Vegas in June and July is a bad idea if you’re not comfortable with extreme heat. 40+ degrees every day, and 30 degrees at night when it’s dark…it’s just so disheartening to walk out of a casino at 1:00 am and still be punched in the face by the thickness of the sweltering heat. And everyone says “It’s a dry heat.” So what? It’s a HOT heat! It’s just too damn hot…why did they have to build such a glorious place in the middle of the desert?
And the dryness is another factor. It’s like clockwork every time I go to Vegas, that within 2-3 days, I’m getting nosebleeds from the dry air. It’s like going to Alberta, only with less cows.
When it’s so hot and so dry, I need to keep the liquids flowing to stay hydrated. What is my one addiction, as most of you know…Coke. Well, I’ll be damned if I can find a can, bottle, or glass of Coca-Cola anywhere! Pepsi owns the whole friggin’ town! It may seem petty to some of you, but I’m a Coke guy. I’m the guy who goes into a restaurant and has the following conversation:
Server: “…and to drink?”
Sean: “I’ll have a Coke.”
Server: “Is Pepsi ok?”
Sean: “I’ll have an iced tea.”
On top of that, one of the things I always look forward to when I go to the U.S., is that I get to drink one of my favourite beers, Rolling Rock.
Again, no place in town that I could find has Rolling Rock! I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer to drink what I like. (with apologies to The Most Interesting Man In The World.) I was very disappointed not to be able to find Rolling Rock anywhere. Even the bartender at the Bellagio expressed to me that “I wish we had the sweet nectar from Latrobe here.”
Also, if you ever see a bank of Wheel of Fortune slot machines…just keep walking. Do not stop. Do not be tempted. Do not…under any circumstances…believe the hype. Tony, Dave, and Jeremy will confirm this.
The tournaments at Planet Hollywood were a blast, and I cashed in two of the four I played. In one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, Jeremy played in 3 tournaments at PH, and made a straight flush in all three! Given, one was on board and all three players in the hand ‘officially’ got it…but it still counts.
In Event 54, when I was moved to my fifth table, I was only a couple of tables away from Nenad Medic, who was in another tournament and into the cash in the final 8 tables. Spoke to him briefly on the break. A long time has passed since we both used to play $40 tournaments on Monday nights with the UW Basketball team.
It was really great knowing everyone was following along on Twitter and on Facebook. The text messages of support were always great to receive, and it’s a feeling of buoyancy knowing your friends and peers are supporting you. I was really happy to have my ‘other’ poker group in town at the same time, and it was great to meet up with Teach, Jer, Natalie, Kevin, Damien, Brigitte, and Ming. Getting together at Caesar’s the night I made the money was a good visit for me to see the gang, and to watch Teach play in the Caesar’s tournament while completely hammered was entertaining. I met this group years ago, and they initially knew me only as a dealer, and then progressively as a player…so it was a good feeling to ‘come into my own’ with them after cashing in the WSOP. And it was fantastic to see Ming again, for the first time in over two years.
I met up with them again a couple of days later when I was at the Wynn, and I went up to their room on the 56th floor of the new Encore Tower. Words can’t even describe the view, so here’s an actual picture from their window, looking North. I walked in and was pleasantly surprised to hear them listening to my new favourite album—Feed The Animals by Girl Talk—as they were playing Hearts. I wish I could have spent more time with them while I was in Vegas, because it looked they were always having a blast.
The food was great, even though we didn’t really get to go out for a nice meal, like we had planned. Still amazing to me how fresh everything is, considering it all has to be imported daily. The last two trips in a row now, I have planned to go to Il Mullino, but haven’t had the time. Next time, for sure.
I wish I was still in Vegas today, only because Duran Duran is playing the Palms tonight.
Still hard to believe Phil Laak was playing $3-$6 limit H.O.R.S.E. at Bally’s.
Listened to a lot of Danny Michel on my iPod during the WSOP. It was really good to have a little slice of home.
I will definitely be going back for the WSOP next year. Hopefully we can get 10-15 guys for the trip this time. And we will definitely be staying at The Wynn.
Adios for 2009, Las Vegas…thanks for the memories.
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