Sunday, April 22, 2007

Shamus in Vegas: Episode 1 -- Overture

Standing across from the BellagioSo we land at McCarran mid-morning Wednesday. Work our way down to baggage claim, slot machines and big-screen ads filling the air with a raucous din. Takes a good long while for our flight’s luggage to appear on the carousel. Meanwhile a largish crowd has gathered. Finally the chute starts spitting out bags, and as I stand there leaning forward, eyes trained on the opening, someone taps me on the shoulder.

“So they just go around in a circle, right?”

A reasonable question. How else you gonna know? Right?

Just got home a couple of hours ago and I am fairly exhausted. The trip was a total blast from beginning to end. Took a lot of notes and have a ton to relate. Even used that digital audio recorder once. Thought at first I might take a few days and produce an Iggy-styled uberpost relating the entire adventure in one shot. Decided instead to parcel it out over several posts -- ten in all (including this one). I may have to interrupt the narrative if other matters arise, but barring that eventuality, here’s what the next nine posts will describe:

Episode 2 -- The Return
Barely unpacked, I head over to the MGM Grand for an afternoon of 2/4 limit hold ’em.

Episode 3 -- Hands Across the Water
I meet up with Paul, a.k.a. the Microlimit Donkey -- poker player, Leeds United fan, and helluva nice guy.

Episode 4 -- Shamus, Get Your Ass In Here!
I visit with Tom Schneider (Beyond the Table, Oops! I Won Too Much Money) as he tries to satellite into the WPT Championship.

Episode 5 -- “It’s Only Money”
More 2/4 limit hold ’em, this time at the Imperial Palace, including the craziest damn hand of the week.

Episode 6 -- The Place That Made Poker Famous
I take the trip downtown and try the 2/4 game at Binion’s.

Episode 7 -- Pass the Tequila
I hang out for awhile in the booth with Wade Andrews of Hold ’em Radio.

Episode 8 -- They Even Have Books About Crazy Pineapple
I visit the Gambler’s Bookshop where Howard Schwartz gives me a lollipop and a bottle of water.

Episode 9 -- What Happens In Vegas Gets Spread All Over the Internet
Riding back uptown on the Deuce, the entire second level (and now, the world) learns how a certain young lady’s trip to the Rio went the night before.

Episode 10 -- Stargazing
Wandering around the Bellagio with Vera on Day 1A of the WPT Championship Main Event.

* * * * *

Vera and I stayed at the Best Western down on Paradise Road -- cheaper than the strip, of course, and much more convenient for walking over to the Thomas & Mack Center where the FEI World Cup Finals were taking place. (The real reason for the trip.) We arrived at the hotel around 11 and were able to check in early, allowing me to catch the noon shuttle up to the MGM Grand.

I had been to Vegas only once before -- two years ago -- when I had only played a single three-hour session of 2/4 at the MGM Grand. I had been playing poker online for just a few months at the time, and was probably fortunate to have only lost a little over $50 in that exciting (if a little bewildering) session. Riding up Tropicana Avenue in the Best Western van, I knew I’d be going back to the MGM to see if perhaps I’d learned anything over the past two years . . . .

Stay tuned.



Blogger Cell 1919 said...

Look forward to the narrative over the coming days Shamus :)

4/23/2007 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a pleasure to meet you my friend :)

4/23/2007 3:55 AM  
Blogger Cadmunkey said...

Welcome home Shamus!
I cant wait for the next 9 blog posts :-)

4/23/2007 8:21 AM  

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