But it was also bittersweet. The ghosts of our parents and the echos of those long ago summers were everywhere. The word Excelsior (onwards and upwards according to dad) scratched into the cement of the foundation. The joke fishing lures that my dad made for their dad out of beer cans are mounted and hanging over the fireplace. The little paddleboat my dad bought for my mother just before she became ill is lying upturned in the overgrown weeds at what is now my stepmother's place, the handpainted "Mrs. G." flaking away. For the most part, everything at the lake looks the same, yet it's all so incredibly different.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Played the ten cent MTT on Stars last night. What a fabulous way to purge the donkey from your play and generally goof off! Call an all in with 37 off? Sure! And suckout totally. At one point I was 39th of 1600+; mostly as a result of playing as randomly as I could and clicking the buttons with my eyes closed. Can't get much more donkariffic than that.
I let that slide when I played a $10 x 18 SnG on stars with the Loud One. With the donkette personality sated, I played pretty tight and ended up HU with LO. The HU didn't last long, as she quickly crumbled before my poker prowess.
Ummm. Yeah. Something like that.
The Lord Admiral boys have invited/snagged/comandeered/blackmailed Iggy into being on their latest podcast, Card Club Radio #81. It's a good listen - you'll find out what irks the Blogfather and how uber posts started. But after listening I'm left with one burning question - how can one so tiny have such a deep voice?
Yesterday's visit to Casino Rama went very well. I woke up late, ran around like a mad woman and somehow managed to catch the 10am bus with coffee in hand. The trip up was uneventful; it's a bit of a milk run, but hey, it's only five bucks return. I got a lot of reading done.
Put myself on both the 2/5 and 5/10 lists and waited for the first available seat. Within minutes they opened a new 2/5 limit table (Rama doesn't start NLHE until next week, finally) and I was seated.
And I just played. I didn't overthink. I didn't strategize too much. I just sat back, chatted with the table (mostly retired guys trying to get away from the family at the cottage for the day), tried not to be obvious in ogling the very attractive floor director (late 40's, lean, an accent like a London gangster and a look about him that says he knows how to treat a woman badly... *shiver), and played the cards when I got them with a simple rule...calling is for weenies. If the cards weren't good enough to raise with, I folded them.
And it was a good overall game plan - didn't get caught chasing my usual pipe dreams of one-outers hitting and river cards being in my favour. Stats for the day look something like this:
- Starting amount: $100
- Finishing amount: $175
- Most amount in front of me at any one time: $217
- Number of four flushes that rivered against me: 1
- Number of four flushes that rivered for me: 2
- Number of times I played the Hammer with reckless abandon: 3
- Number of time I won after playing the Hammer with reckless abandon: 3 (trip 7's, a hammer boat, and a fold)
- Funniest moment: the guy across from me asking if I was a Born Again Christian- he thought the golden hammer pinned to my shirt was a cross
- Least funny/most intense moment: the heated exchange that took place at the table after my hammer boat beat Old Cranky Guy's pocket kings. He called me something I didn't much like and I, well, got up in his face about it. Although things cooled when he said something to the effect that I should have been spanked more as a child and I had no reaction to that other than laughter.
- Number of pots I was allowed to steal after that (thank you yet again to the chivalrous gentlemen *grin) : 3
- Amount of the 8 hour session I spent shivering because I'd worn sandals and a t-shirt: 6.5
- Number of bloody ceasars drunk: 4 virgin, 2 regular
A good day. Think I may hit Rama again on my way up to the Muskokas this weekend to hang out at a friend's cottage. Mmmmmm...cottage and poker......
- I managed to play a rebuy madness well; played loose aggressive before the cutoff and was able to successfully change gears once the rebuy period was over.
- The thing only cost me $15.50. The initial buy-in, a rebuy right at the beginning and the add-on during the break. Unlike the other times where I have donked off rebuys too numerous to count.
- Look at the crowd; not only did I last longer than I have in a tourney in a while, it was with skilled players rather than the usual donks and donkettes.
- Look at the crowd; got to hang out for a few hours with friends.
- Was able to put into practice some things I've been reading and advice that friends ahve given me (thanks Don, Iakaris, and Waffles!).
- Isolated a few holes in my game. I need to get over the caution that creeps in at the bigger blind levels and cripples me.
A good night. My confidence is raised, my ego is stroked and I'm ready to head to Rama and kick some ass (or at least not get mine handed back to me on a platter which is more likely).
See ya there!
And, yes there will be poker content coming soon, I just have to collect my thoughts, something which we all know is a time-consuming process.
So I'm mentally refreshed, if somewhat soggy around the edges. I'm jumping in the WWdN tonight, and to make things interesting, I'm offering a bounty for whoever takes me out.
Later cool cats!
And poof...it disappeared with a flurry of curses.
I'm tired and unwilling to rehash it again, so you're going to have to take my word for it that the analogies were indeed clever and well constructed. And the Excel table was a thing of beauty - colour coded and perfectly aligned (nope, no OCD here).
So here's the gist of it:
- I did not even come close to meeting my challenge of doubling myself up. In fact I had to pull out the credit card and add more.
- Lower limits = lower quality play. I lost track of how many times a calling station sucked out on me. I even crossed over to the dark side and became a calling station for a while, but was unsuccessful. The powers of the Luckbox elude me.
- I think my current "I suck" attitude is starting to get on my friends' nerves, so I'm going to either suck less or just shut up about it.
- Playing a lot does not necessarily mean one is going to improve.
- Reading blogs, asking for advice and observing other players, then putting it all into practice means one will improve. Like this guy did. Duh.
- Optimism has no place at the poker table. The pretty pair of twos or that handsome TPTK will come to naught, so just let 'em go. Let. Them. Go.
- Blogger events are played because they are +EV for fun. There is too much stuff going on for it to be all about the cards.
- By and large, the NLHE format I do best in is the shorthanded table - I kick ass in both the 6 person SnG's and cash tables. I need to do more of them.
- I am not often in the right mindset for MTT's of 100 people or more. I need to do less of them, or develop a greater degree of patience and discipline. (I can actually hear you laughing as you read that last bit.)
- I'm getting a tad too fixated on poker, so it's time for some self-imposed balance.
And on that note, I'm afk for five days, to cruise up to Manitoulin Island and around Georgian Bay with Hunny Bunny. I'm trading the view of my laptop screen for this view, and think I'll leave the poker books at home in favour of other lighter reading.
Have fun at the tables, may the full pantheon of poker deities smile in your direction, and write lots so I have stuff to read when I get back!
And a HUGE congrats goes out to the SuperModel who took down the Full Tilt $6500 guaranteed. Iak, you RAWK!
Have I ever mentioned just how much I fucking detest bubbling? I'd rather go out first than bubble. Sigh.
Didn't fare well in the after-tourney cash game. Card dead to a degree seldom seen before. When you look at A2 off and think "woo...good cards!", it's time to go before something really bad happens.
Then home to hit the post-Mookie .10/.25 cash game. And still the card death continued, until I saw the hammer. Not only was it the hammer on a blogger table, but the best hand I'd seen in two orbits (damn, how you bloggers have skewed my thinking where hammers become good hands). And this happened:
“We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.”
~ Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Well, as normal as my life ever really gets. Vegas is over, and the vacation planning has yet to begin. So I'm working on my poker game.
My poker playing over the last month has sucked. I had a major accident where I slipped on a wet tile floor and fell into a big puddle of weak-passive. Took me forever to wash the damn stuff off!
This week has been good so far. I spent Sunday writing some objectives (which I'll keep private for the moment), and reading through DoubleA's book (damn, this is good!). I took some time out to chill and work on a new knitting project. Of course I did listen to the Phil Gordon's Little Green Audio Book while knitting.
Yes, I am quite aware that I may need professional help, thank you.
On Monday I played a $4 x 180 SnG on Stars. No distractions. No other bloggers. No girlie chat. No TV. The only noises in the apartment were from a snoring cat and chillin' lounge techno on the speakers. I concentrated, I waited, I pounced ... I came in fifth. Oh sweet jeebus, placing ITM feels so good.
I've done well in some cash games as well, and have doubled my bankroll since adding to my balance of 43 cents on Sunday. (I worded it that way on purpose - "doubled" sounds more impressive than "I made fifty bucks", don't you think?).
So I've challenged myself to stop goofing around and to double my bankroll again by the weekend. I'll keep you posted.
I've just finished listening to the latest edition with the WPBT wrap-up, including interviews with Columbo, Gracie, Al and our favourite small person.
Go. Listen. Relive the gamboling gambooling that was Las vegas during the WPBT. You know you want to. Seriously, what else are you going to do on a Monday - work??
So stayed home in air conditioned comfort and played poker. Was in one of those 180 SnG's on Stars, and the poker deities smiled on me. Within one orbit I saw JJ, QQ, KK, KA and AA.
I. Cleaned. Up.
With 27 players left, my AK ran into another AK, both of us all-in when an A shows on the flop. Unfortunately, so did two clubs. Two more clubs turn over and the holder of the Ace of clubs takes it. Hint - it wasn't me. Sigh.
But, I feel I played a killer game for the first time in weeks. And that's all the boost I need right now - although...some money would be nice too!
"Don't be afraid."
"Do I look like a woman who is frightened easily?"
This was a small snippet of a conversation I had with someone on Sunday, and it's been rattling around in my head ever since. I don't quite remember the context, although I do remember it seemed a bit cryptic at the time. But it was said during one of those moments of utter clarity that seem to happen when you are least ready for them.
Don't be afraid.
I like a bit of fear. It adds that edge to events, that makes you feel alive. Facing and conquering a fear is a killer rush, way better than hitting a royal flush with a table full of takers, better than that perfect hit of your substance of choice, sometimes even better than sex.
Every critical decision is really made out of desire tempered by fear. I hear it all the time: "I'd love to ________, but I'm too scared". Then you just don't want it enough, do you?
Don't be afraid.
I try very, very hard not to let fear cripple me. I made a concious decision at eighteen to not be one of those people who laid on their deathbed uttering a litany of "I wish I'd done this, that or the other". But sometimes fear is insidious. It sneaks in under the radar. Like last weekend in Vegas - I was running scared. And the worst part is I didn't even know it until I got home.
Due to a major financial setback, I came to Vegas with about 1/3 of the bankroll I'd originally planned. To make matters worse, this represented my cash flow for the month of July. Now, I try to have the attitude that when I hit the casino and push my bills towards the cashier, my money is gone. Spent. Any of those round clay disks left at the end of my session are found money. That way I can be aggressive and, well, fearless. But last weekend I was constantly aware that chips = money and my fear of coming home broke crippled me.
I made decisions based on a not losing strategy versus a winning strategy. I played limit, which I am not all that good at, because, as my reasoning went, it takes you longer to lose a stack. When I played no-limit, I checked and minimum raised like it was my career. And, you guessed it, I came home broke anyway.
So as well as meeting all the bloggers and having great gobs of fun, I learned a very valuable lesson: caution is just fear in a prettier outfit. And while both caution and fear are useful, it's never a good thing to let them use you.
Don't be afraid.
How many of them were into this cheesey Canadian show *grin.
Jules and I met Waffles and Iakaris the next morning to go see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Bellagio. Waffles was not happy about walking, but he was outvoted.
I know nothing about art, about photography. But there were elements of the man’s work that move me to tears, consistently. And that, I suppose, it what it’s all about.
Afterwards, the SuperModel treated us to the champagne brunch at the Bellagio Buffet. Ike is like Don and Carmen, they are just so genuinely warm and generous. If they weren’t so damn nice, you’d hate 'em *grin.
Sunday, Part B; aka “If you won a bracelet would you ever take it off?” “Only to wrap it around my penis.” (8)
After brunch we went back to the Castle where we met Don and Statik to head over to Red Rocks to hit the poker room. What a great place! Next Vegas trip, I’m staying there for sure, at least for a night. The poker room was gorgeous, and it’s nice to not have to traipse across the casino floor to get to the damn bathroom!
My play there, well it sucked huge. I can blame a headache, or any number of things, but in reality I have huge gaping holes in my play both NLHE and Limit. Time to go to school. J did well, and doubled herself up, and then took us for cocktails at the Lucky Bar. And yes I had a raspberry martini even though it was far too soon after Friday night. Why? I’m just built that way.
We decided to stay at Red Rock for dinner and hit the Salt Lick; you could smell the barbecue all over the casino. The defining life-is-good moment came as we were sitting by the windows and I watched the sun set over the mountains while listening to my friends talk about poker and watching Statik drink a Texas Hammer (scroll waaaaay down....dude you need to fix your column width!).
Sunday, Part C; aka “It won’t be the first time I’ve pumped a chest in a restauarant.” “Really? Hmm...I do believe I’m getting chest pains…” (9)
Back at the castle later I decided to head back down with my last remaining $69 US Dollars to see how quick I could lose ‘em. Sat at a crazy 1-2 limit table and laughed for an hour straight. It was one of those times when everyone is at just the right stage of inebriation that they’re fun. Two kids from the Midwest who wanted to know when last call was. (LMAO! They quickly realized how lame that was and stated that they'd come to Vegas on the short bus.) A father and son there to celebrate their birthdays, both of whom were cute as hell, and could give as well as they got. A man from S. Cali who was bound and determined to buy my Aussie Millions card protector off me. A couple on their 29th wedding anniversary. I lost my ass, but I have not laughed that much at a poker table since J and I started talking about NorthBound at Rama one day.
Woke up and packed while J played the 9am tourney at the castle. I did most of the things I wanted to do in Vegas – namely meet the bloggers and have BIG FUN. There were some things that didn’t happen. I wanted to meet my countrymen, Joanada and Brent Stacks, which didn't happen. I wanted to win enough to buy this or that when I got home, but ended up leaving Vegas with enough to buy this. And I wanted to get a tattoo while there – seemed like somehow a Vegas tat would be way cooler than a Tee Dot tat. Maybe I’ll head to Way Cool Tattoos this week and get it anyhow.
Jules - you are the best pal a former Bad Girl could ever have. And I cannot picture ever doing Vegas without you. I was trying to explain to someone the Kat + Jules effect - separately we are capable of getting into x amount of trouble each, but together is not x plus x, but x times x. I think they got it *grin.
April - This was awesome. Fabulous. Wonderful. Thanks to you, Maigrey, Linda, etc. who put so much effort into this.
The Brothers McG - thank you so much for your kind words on the loss of Grandma Rose. In the midst of the drunken blogger insanity, you remembered. Your consideration and thoughtfulness touched me greatly.
Iggy - while I know there's no way on this green earth that you've printed out my 100 things as you claimed, it was a good ego stroke to have the Blogfather himself remember bits of it. Cheers!
Carmen and Don - good lord you two, can you please stop being so damn perfect? You're making me feel inadequate!
Iakaris - Ditto.
Graham - while you weren't there, I do appreciate you listening to my late night ramblings. I'm not sure if I should be happy that you remember more of it than me, or not.
Hunny Bunny - he'll never read this but I wanted to put this out there anyway. He bought me the airfare for Vegas as a gift, before I could even tell him I wanted to go, and has been nothing but supportive of my poker habit. He knows precisely what kind of person I am and what I am capable of, and not only does he still love me anyway (if not more, as he claims), he has never once tried to change me (well maybe the house-cleaning thing, but it was a half-hearted effort on his part at best). My love, words fail to express just how much you mean to me; you are truly a prince among men.
So that's it for the WPBT Vegas. When's the next one again?
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(7) Waffles on the walk from Excalibur to Bellagio
(8) Jules asking the guys on the way to Red Rock; Iakaris replies.
(9) Iakaris talking about being a cardiologist on the way back from Red Rock. And that's my oh-so-subtle reply.
Ouch. Definitely a martini ouch. Juliette insists she needs to eat; she needs “blotter” before the WPBT. Her first impulse is to order steak and eggs. Eggs. EGGS! And she claims to be my friend. After I make known my objections to her eating eggs, she settles for French toast. One look at it and I’m waiting for her outside the restaurant.
We then head slowly and carefully to the Poker room @ Ceasar’s, enlisting Bill Rini to help prop us up along the way.
April has arranged a killer day; Linda, Jay, Michael and Howard all speak eloquently and even in my…delicate…state I’m laughing and enjoying every word. Then it’s Phil’s turn and the Roshambo tournament.
Roshambo – is that an American thing? I swear I had never heard called anything but Rock Paper Scissors until a month or so ago. We get in the two lines, and I find I’m across from Maudie – don’t worry, I say, I rarely win these things. Sigh. I’m truly sorry Maudie, I usually don’t win! I swear! You’ve seen me play poker, right?
So I make it to the second round and look up to see Phil Gordon pointing at me and saying “you’re mine”.
I think the cosmos paused in their orbit. In that pause, that blink of an eye, my hangover disappeared, the sun shone, the ozone layer healed itself, global warming cooled and a lasting peace in the Middle East was obtained. All was right with the world.
In retrospect he probably recognized a transparent fish; in any case, I played Rock Paper Scissors with Phil (PHIL! Phil TOUCHED MY HAND!), the object of my poker hero worship (he has a GREAT voice. I so dig a good voice, even more than a good butt). After a couple of draws, he got me with two in a row. I walked away to hear Jules say “you were done by Phil!” Done by Phil...swoon. Is it a bad thing that the first thought in my head is how that would make a good blog post title??
If anyone has a picture of that I’d gladly pay for it, if only to prove to Hunny Bunny that it happened.
I took my seat to find I have Veneno to my right and Aimlessly Chasing Amy to my left. To Amy’s left is Bill Rini. Veneno goes out in spectacular fashion, against Ryan’s Royal Flush. She misses the Gigli prize by mere moments. I’d feel very bad for her if she hadn’t just won the Roshambo and acquired an hour poker lesson with Phil. My one coherent thought/mantra until my table is broken goes something like you-are-so-outclassed-don’t-fuck-up.
When I changed tables I found myself beside the one person I really wanted to meet more than just about everyone else – Gracie. Watching her play online has taught me to be patient, and wait for the cards. Reading her blog has shown me it’s ok to let yourself peek out around the edges a bit. And through her I was able to see what baby armadillos look like. *grin. She is just as lovely and fabulous irl as she is online.
I have no clear idea of how I lasted until the just past the second break. The best hand I got between the first and second breaks was a pair of nines. I was on the button and just waiting for a chance to act when Linda raises heavily in front of me. Suddenly my nines look less than fabulous so I fold. After that it was all down hill. I’m down to a blind left in chips and I see 72. OK. As in other blogger events, I decide to choose the honourable way out – suicide by hammer. I’m all in. The guy in seat 3 (sorry, I’m bad, bad with names) calls me and flips K J. Flop shows a King and I’m out.
Saturday, Part B; aka “Well that went differently than expected!” (5)
After the WPBT, J and I head to the Rio – she’s going to enter into a SnG satellite and I just need to see it. It’s the sound that hits me the most; the low murmur of voices barely audible over the sound of the chips. The clicking of the chips seems an almost organic sound; like crickets and grasshoppers on a hot summer day. It seems a constant level until you really listen, then you can pick out the patterns of crescendo and decline.
And I got bitten. I thought I might play a table as well and maybe get into Sundays Ladies Event. The rest of this story can be found here; I’m too lazy to type it again.
The choice has been made, and I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm no longer trying too hard. I leave J to her fate and grab a cab. The cabbie told stories that will linger in my mind forever. I’d rather they didn’t, to be honest - toothless gandmas shakin' their thang...shudder. Got to the castle and dicked around until I met J, then off for a decent meal involving lots of water, green veggies, pasta and more water. My body was once more happy with me.
Saturday, Part C; aka “Can your pussy do the dog?” (6)
J decided to get some rest; me, I’m a glutton for punishment so I shower and make myself presentable for Storming the Castle. No one’s around yet so I join the 3/6 limit game. It’s a quiet table. Then Eva (one of the most lovely people I've ever met, both inside and and out) comes over and I realize I’ve been sitting beside GMoney all this time! D’oh! We proceed to talk about poker, blogging, and music (where we have a surprising amount in common) while drinking. Interspersed with this is some actual poker. OK, now I’ll admit I wasn’t too on the ball in terms of playing; I was having way more fun chatting with G and saying hi to all the bloggers who stopped by. But I seriously think that the Excalibur dealers need to lighten up. I don't expect the cameraderie of Binions, but I don't expect that much 'tude from people in the service industry either.
Once more I’m taught a lesson in why poker and booze don’t mix, and shortly after Maudie joins us, I’m out.
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(4) Jules at the WPBT
(5) Me to Jules, at the Rio
(6) GMoney to me, as we’re talking old 80’s music - it's an old Cramps song, btw.
Woke up early and headed to Binions for breakfast (I love country fried steak. LOVE IT! But am pretty happy they don’t have it up here in the Great White North. My arteries couldn't take it.), and the 10am tourney. Garth, SoxLover and StatikKling showed up, still working on the drunk of the day before. My GOD those guys were funny! Read the post from Saturday for the quotes.
I love playing Binions. It has no need to tart itself up as an Italian villa, a medieval castle, a sultan’s palace, an Egyptian pyramid. It is what it is, and no more: a gambling hall. The history of the place hits you like a fist as soon as you walk in, carried by the smell of stale cigarettes, dirty bills and hope. The tables are grungy and the chips stick together. But I like it; I’m comfortable there, which says quite a lot about my character frankly. The dealers are excellent judges of character, and will joke around with you as much as you can take – the repartee between Joe the Dealer and Garth was as funny as classic Abbott and Costello. (Now the dealers at the Excal on the other hand, well, they SUCK! Cheerless bastards to a man.)
The tourney has all of two tables, and I just barely make the “final” table. By then Weak and Amy have arrived, so Amy and I jump on a limit game while Garth and Weak play NLHE. Statik? He becomes J’s good luck charm and must stay near her so she can rub him for luck. And no, don't bother going there - we already did. I get no special hands, but I did learn what a straddle was, thanks to Sox. Funny, it’s not nearly as intriguing as I thought - apparently it’s a poker thing. Drat.
Friday, Part B; aka “now I know why I’m so uncomfortable…my bra’s on too tight.” (2)
J finished second in the Binions tourney, and then I “let” her talk me into heading to the Gold Coast for the LIPS Tour Ladies Event Satellite. It was a pretty good playing field for me, challenging without being completely intimidating. I made some good calls, like putting shakey-hand Ipod Asian woman on lower pocket paint when I had pocket Kings – one of the few times all weekend when I was right. An early double up helped me last through some bizarre blind levels, but eventually I fell victim to a suckout and busted around 50th or so out of 180-ish (the top 18 got seats to the Ladies WSOP Event, alas). I outlasted J, but then again, I didn’t have Barbara Enright at my table.
What comes next is an hour’s worth of getting jerked around by the Gold Coast as I tried to find a bank machine that would accept my Canadian debit card or credit card so I could get some cash to take a cab. Add my normal low tolerance for being the buck in a game of Pass-The-Buck to the charm of riding the hormone rollercoaster and you’ll understand why I stood in my hotel room and seriously debated on bailing from heading to the MGM. But I thought to myself, “Self, you need a really fucking big martini first!” and then headed over. Which brings me to..
Friday, Part C; aka “Bartenders are +EV.” (3)
God, MGM was awash in a sea of bloggers. No way was I going to play in the pissy mood I was in (again, ty ever so much, Gold Coast and estrogen, I appreciate it), so I cruised around introducing myself. Veneno, Pauly, Iggy, Maudie, Dawn, Don, Carmen, Hoyazo; time after time I’d put out my hand for a handshake and say “Hi, I’m Katitude” only to get pulled into a huge hug.
I looked over at the bartender and asked for a martini that tasted like raspberries. And this is where the evening goes all pear-shaped.
I’d like to say I have clear recollections of the decade known as the 80’s. But I don’t. There are flashes through the fog as some chemical synapse occasionally fires; a memory is accompanied by a sigh, a smile or a groan (depending on what I did), and then said memory is softly and quietly ushered back into the fog, to live there until Alzheimer’s hits me and I can relive them again in relative peace.
Friday night is like that. I do believe it turned out to be a 5-to-7 martini night, but I could very well be wrong. Asses were grabbed, yes. Not the first time it's ever happened, but definitely the first time an acronym has been coined for the event. I do recall asking someone if they minded being sexually objectified (Garth? Pauly? Both?). I think the answer was “Hell, no!” The talk was lewd and lascivious – of that I’m sure (tends to happen around me, dunno why). And I had a great time. That I so desperately needed – between work (both school and the biz), my grandma’s passing, and a pile of other shit too dear to go into now, I was heading for a time. I’m just glad it was a good time, and that I was around friends. And if not friends, then somewhat likeminded people.
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(1) Garth to Joe, the dealer at Binions
(2) Overheard at the LIPS Tour satellite
(3) Iggy at the MGM bar
Thursday; aka just let me get through this day
Thursday was fugly, no other word will suffice. I woke up at my aunt’s house, tired and grumpy, then off to Grandma Rose’s funeral. What hell. Meeting cousins I didn’t know existed but am suddenly expected to make nicey nicey with, people quietly murmuring “I am so sorry for your loss”, egg salad sandwiches on Wonder Bread cut into triangles, bad coffee. And the guilt of knowing all I wanted to do was bail and run off to Vegas as fast as I possibly could.
Then the airport: “We’re sorry Ms. Sheep-Passenger, but there’s a layover in Chicago now”. “Of course there is”, I replied. So a flight that if taken directly is about 4.5 hours, took me just over 10. Got a lot of knitting done.
Finally after becoming aquainted with Chicago and Denver airports*, I see the lights of Vegas through the window, surrounded by sheets of lightening. How apropos. Land, grab carry-on, bob and weave around tired parents and hyper kids, find shuttle, hit Excalibur.
I have never tasted anything so sweet as that first sip/gulp/swig/bottle of Smirnoff Ice…thanks to the great Saint Al of the Bar for buying me my first Vegas Blogger Booze. Many more followed (thank jeebus!) and met a lot of the bloggers for the first time. It’s all a blur, like so much of the weekend. All I can remember is Derek's hug and DonkeyPuncher's huge serving of nachos!
* It's no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase "As pretty as an airport" appear.
~ Douglas Adams
Anticlimax: Something trivial or commonplace that concludes a series of significant events.
In the meantime I'll leave you with this:
So we're sitting on the plane shooting the shit, and when he tells me what he does he says "but don't worry if you've never heard of us". Sigh. Dude, just because I'm old, doesn't mean I'm out of touch.
We spent the rest of the flight talking about music, which was hilarious - the song stuck in his head was a country and western song that he tried to sing to me before I threatened him with pain (I hate C&W hugely). When I told him mine was Loco Gringos Like A Party by Reverend Horton Heat, he just about fell out of his seat. My hand to the deity I believe in, he said "you don't look like you'd be into that". Sigh again. And yes J, I did restrain myself.
So anyway, he asks if I mind if he played a game on his pda while we chatted coz he's going on Poker and A Movie on SpikeTV (it could be TBS, he couldn't remember), and he knows nada about poker and is learning by playing this game.
Y'all know what comes next don't you?
I pulled out DoubleA's book (which kicks ass, BUY ONE!) and we talked poker while we played this very crappy little game on a teeny tiny screen. Methinks we'll be seeing him on Tilt or Stars soon *grin.
So there you have it. Shook hands with a Rock Star and a Poker Star. And got hugged by a whack of Blogger Stars. God what a weekend.
sitting at a rent-a-computer in the castle, and time is running out so this is a quickie. typos will not be corrected.
notes so far:
- garth on no sleep and alcohol is funny as hell. and StaticKling is pretty damn nifty.
- i really love binions
- the sign of a truly great bartender is one that doesn't even flinch when you say I need a martini that tastes like raspberries, and then proceeds to come up with not one but two incredible drinks.
- the hammer is an hounourable way to go out of a blogger tourney
- i have turned into a swag whore. yes me, anti-label girl is wondering how to pack the multitude of poker related gear into her already full carry on bag.
- poker bloggers are the FUCKING COOLEST PEOPLE on the PLANET, bar none.
Best lines so far:
- it's like the girlie chat without the typos - J to me during a binions tourney with garth, static and sox
- if you want me to play with both it'll cost ya 50 - garth to a dealer, and not about cards either.
- bartenders are +EV - Iggy
- martinis should come in sippy cups....these look elegant and all but I keep spilling 'em! - me
- figured out why i was so uncomfortable...my bra was too tight. - at the WSOP LIPS tour ladies event sattelite.
- if you order eggs and eat them in front of me this morning, i swear i will hurt you. me to J this morning after a 7-ish martini evening.
much more to come . having a wonderful time, wish you were here!!
So, I've been having problems sleeping (quel surprise, eh). Between the sadness over Rose's passing, the excitement for the WPBT, and all the fun things in between my mind has been going a mile a minute. Case in point - last night I was just in that blissful state of drifting off when my subconscious threw this thought out there:
"Do you know where your passport is?"
Fuck. Wide awake now. So got up and read my book I bought for the plane, cover-to-cover (note to self, pick up another book today). I painted my toenails. I knitted. I wrote lists. I surfed the blogosphere.
So now Hunny Bunny is awake, I've been suitably caffeinated and I'm ready to do the hundred things* I have to do before getting on the plane tomorrow for Vegas.**
In 36 hours or so, I'll be in Vegas. I cannot wait to meet you all! My plane gets in much later now, 11-ish, I'll be wandering around looking for folks to annoy shortly thereafter. If you see a shell-shocked redhead, buy her a drink. Quick.
So until then, take care, have safe flights, and practice catch-and-release when fishing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* pick up rental cars, relatives, packing, laundry, buy a book, download my audiobooks to the iriver, charge the batteries on tech devices, pack charges for tech devices, get eyebrows done (yeow!), pick up brother at airport, download vegas and flight info to tech devices, find passport, funeral duties, service tomorrow, then drive me and brother back to airport.
** A huge thank you to Paula, who is likely the only person in Air Canada's Customer Care who actually understands what those words are supposed to mean. In less than 15 minutes, she found me another later flight to Vegas, without any bullshit or fees.
I found out this morning that my grandma has passed away. Peacefully and blissfully unaware and pain free; for that I am thankful. I had seen her only once in the last six months, not because she lived far away but because her mind had gone far away. Dementia, alzheimers - what ugly, evil little words.
Grandma Rose was amazing. Strong and resilient, she left an abusive husband in a small town at a time when one simply did not do that. She worked full time in her brother's store, raised my mom, my uncle and aunt, and got through life. She always seemed to have a quiet grace about her. Not much bugged her, she knew how unimportant the small stuff really was. It broke her heart when my mother died, but she showed us all how strength of spirit can help you carry on. She never passed up any opportunity to tell people they were loved and they were important. She loved to slip crisp 20s and 50s to the 3 grandkids when no one was looking. And she made a killer lemon meringue pie.
I'd said my farewells to the woman that was Rose a while ago, but now there are the formalities to get through. It would piss her off no end if I cancelled Vegas on her account (Grandma loved Vegas even more than I do, and thought it wonderful that Keith and I got married there) so I'm still going - I just may be a day late.
Folks, enjoy and honour your relationships. Time slips away faster than you ever anticipate. Thanks for listening.