Monday, June 17, 2013

To Vegas... Again!

I write today from an airport terminal (again), presently mired in full-blown what-did-I-forget mode as I await my flight to Las Vegas for another hot summer helping the PokerNews crew report on the World Series of Poker.

This will mark my sixth straight year at the WSOP, which means I’ve gone out enough times for the novelty to have long worn off and to have even developed a sense of routine when it comes to the whole idea of picking up and leaving for an extended period like this. That is to say, it doesn’t even seem like such a huge, life-altering thing to do anymore, having gone to Vegas so many summers before -- as well as made other lengthy trips, too -- in order to watch people play cards and report what happens.

Of course, it’s that feeling of routine that is probably heightening my momentary fretting over the possibility of having forgotten something. You know, like in poker when you find yourself getting used to certain patterns in your opponents or the game’s flow, then perhaps become less attentive and miss something -- perhaps even something obvious -- because you’ve become semi-hypnotized by the game’s rhythms.

To be honest, the list of essential items for me is quite short, anyway, even when making a month-long trip like this. Thankfully Vera is coming out for a mid-trip visit fairly soon, so even if I do discover I’ve forgotten something, she’ll be able to help out.

Meanwhile, I am eagerly looking forward to reuniting with lots of people, including the PokerNews and WSOP folks as well as many other players and media types whom I’ve gotten used to seeing every summer, and with whom I find myself interacting all year, too, in various ways such as via Twitter.

I remember mentioning to someone last summer how Twitter makes it feel like we’ve been passing each other in the halls for the last several months, occasionally saying hello and checking in with each other, so when we finally meet again face-to-face after a whole year it hardly seems like we’ve been apart at all. The familiar setting of the Rio also reinforces that sense that no time has elapsed between visits. Every year is different, of course. But so much is familiar, too. Comfortably so, I have to admit.

In any case, I greatly look forward to getting there. Having done it so many times before, I know how it will go, too. A month will pass quickly, and soon I’ll be packing back up and traveling home.

And wondering again if I’ve forgotten anything.

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