Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two Weeks

Two weeks. 14 days. That's all it is until I leave for Las Vegas.

As has happened a couple of times in the past four years I have travelled out to the desert in the summer for my annual poker pilgrimage, things at work are on a massive heater heading into my final couple of weeks, so I know already I am simply not going to have the opportunity I would really like to savor and anticipate and get excited for and look forward to my upcoming trip. Instead, I'm going to sit in my office, thinking only peripherally about work while I try to focus on the task at hand. As is often the case, it is clear already that this is going to be among the loooooooooongest two weeks of my life leading up to this trip, and I can honestly say that with everything going on around me right now, I have never needed a trip like I need this one just to get my head back on straight. I have a ton of responsibilities between my family, my job and otherwise, and even though I rarely if ever let the cumulative weight of those responsibilities break me down, it is clear to me that this time I really need to get away from it all.

I thought I would take a few minutes and go over some of the things I have planned for this year's Vegas trip as I try to get psyched up for a few minutes and leave my other worldly troubles behind. So, to the extent that there is any real plan since I tend to try to let the poker dictate when I'm free for the most part on a trip like this, this is what I'm looking at so far:

Tuesday, June 1: Flight leaves in the early evening from New York, arrives in Vegas late evening. This is the only night I am currently still homeless, as I priced suites at the Rio a couple of months back when this trip seemed only like a distant circle on the calendar, and the prices for the up-level suites were simply atrocious. Like, laughably silly. I think the Rio has their regular suites available for stoopid cheap, like $70 and $80 a pop, which I'm sure will do me fine if that's where I end up staying, but I called a couple of months back and asked for a price on their higher level suite, the one with the jacuzzi and the extra space and the floor to ceiling windows that I stayed in the night before my second WSOP back in 2007. The price I was quoted? $1200 and change. At least, I think there was change, because my ears and I think my entire brain shut the hell down as soon as I heard the nice lady quote me that price. Ummm, no, I think I will pass on paying Rio $1200 to stay for one night starting after midnight in a suite off the strip at a place generally considered less-than-desirable as far as their accomodations, all when the regular suites in the same hotel are going for well under a hundy a night. My hope here is that sometime between now and then I will call the Rio back -- I am thinking the longer I wait and the more availability there still is, the better -- and be able to talk them into upgrading me to the good suite for the regular suite price, or something close to it. When I spent a night at the Rio in 2007 they upgraded me free of charge downstairs at the front desk when I first checked in, and ideally that's the same dealio I would love to get now. Either way though, I'm still figuring on staying at the Rio that first night I get in, although nothing is set in stone yet I suppose.

So anyways, the plan will be to arrive in Vegas, take the cab from McCarron, make sure the guy does not drive me to the Strip through the tunnel, and then most likely head up to my room at the Rio. Then I will head back downstairs and register for the next morning's noon PST World Series of Poker tournament, which is the $1500 buyin no-limit holdem event.

Wednesday, June 2: WSOP at noon. Hopefully this encapsulates my entire day's plans. Still having made only one Day Two in my live tournament career, I can't say with any real assuredness that I will play all through the day on Day 1, but that certainly is my plan, and so I don't have anything else scheduled for this day. At some point in the evening on Wednesday, my brother will arrive in town with some of his friends, so at some point I will meet up with him, and bring my bags over to the MGM where we will be staying in the super penthouse suite for the rest of my stay.

Thursday, June 3: Hopefully, again I will be back at the Rio for Day 2 of my WSOP event, and as such I do not have any specific plans in mind for this day. There is a possibility that I will be accompanying my brother and some friends for another helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon on Thursday afternoon -- again this will be totally dependent on my WSOP status at the time -- but this is a trip I have taken now 3 or 4 times over the years, and it never ceases to amaze, especially for a northeasterner like me who has never really spent time around mountains of any size in any meaningful way. The trip out to the Canyon usually takes maybe 45 minutes or so, flying out over gorgeous Lake Meade, past about a million joshua trees, and then all of a sudden you go over a ridge and booom! The Grand Canyon awaits. It's a great deal for anyone who has the money (around $400) and the inclination to ride in a helicopter, and it's something I've done with various family members three other times in my day, including I believe last year. So tentatively my clan has another trip out to the copter scheduled for Thursday, so I may or may not be participating depending on how the poker is going at that time.

Friday, June 4: Trying not to be unrealistic, by this point I think it is safe to say that I will no longer be in WSOP event #8, as the third day I believe is generally reserved for the final table, and even after my success of last year I am not even considering a WSOP final table as any kind of a realistic possibility. Thus, Friday is the day when I will consider whether or not to play a second WSOP event -- there is another $1500 nlh donkament scheduled for midday already -- or maybe instead I can check out whichever other of the main casinos are running summer tournament series like I did last year with the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza. Either way, the plan is definitely to get involved in some kind of poker tournament on Friday as I cross the halfway point of my trip to the desert for 2010. Tentatively, again assuming no poker tournaments get in the way, I may try to drag my friends to go see Blue Man Group -- one of my all-time favorite shows -- since no one else in this group has seen it before somehow, and dinner at Tao at the Venetian has also been discussed. But I am trying not to make too many commitments or plans for the same day as the WSOP events I will be playing in, since with the events starting at noon, I sincerely hope I will still be alive by dinner time on those same days.

Saturday, June 5: Although this will be my last day in Las Vegas this year, it is also shaping up to be one of my fullest. First and foremost, again, will be poker, and if I am still alive in Day 2 of WSOP Event #12 from the day before, then that will be my plan for the day on Saturday. If not for whatever reason, Saturday night is my regularly-scheduled annual dinner at Prime in Bellagio -- still easily the best filet mignon I have ever eaten, that stuff is like buttah I tell you -- and then we have tickets to go see Terry Fator at the Mirage, a show I have heard is supposed to be really funny so I am looking forward to that. Basically, Saturday night should be a great night to end my Vegas bash for the year, as I will either be playing poker, or hitting up Prime and Terry Fator, late into the evening, and then of course poker, poker and more poker throughout the night where I will as usual stay up straight until my 6am departure time back to the real world.

I expect a lot of this to come more into focus over the coming days as we get closer and I get things like my hotel room for the first night ironed out. Although I have already begun making plans with several of you, anyone else who is going to be in town on these days and would like to meet up, it would be my extreme pleasure so please let me know in the comments.

Two weeks. 14 measly days and counting....

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Blogger BWoP said...

I see that you didn't schedule a NLH cash game session with Chad and me . . .


2:24 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Don't worry, plans are already in the works for just such an occasion.

Minus the you-calling-my-raises-with-shit-and-then-sucking-out part, of course.

3:17 AM  
Blogger BWoP said...

But that's the best part!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Ankit Chhabra said...

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2:05 AM  

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