Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Having a Ball

I Can Dig ItLast summer I came to Vegas and immediately found myself engaged in a sport that I hadn’t tried in at least 15 years -- bowling. Like poker, bowling is one of those games that’s not as easy as it looks, especially for the inexperienced. You think you know what’s going on, but next thing you know yr in the gutter.

I like to think I’m somewhat athletic. Am still running every day, by the way, and in fact made it down to the especially nice fitness center here where I’m staying for a two-mile-dash on the treadmill last night. It was somewhat humbling, then, when I found myself last year struggling mightily to reach triple digits at the alley down below the Gold Coast. Which I did, barely. I think I cracked a hundred once. Seem to remember ending at 99 at least a couple of times. Will have to ask California Jen to review the photographic evidence.

Yesterday it happened again. First full day in Vegas, and I’m playing another sport that I can’t even remember the last time I’d played -- volleyball. Again, we’re talking a game that looks a lot easier than it plays. And again, we’re talking another humbling (though fun) time for yr usually humble gumshoe.

It had been an relaxing day. After some early morning writing, I met Bob Woolley, a.k.a. the Poker Grump, for lunch at the Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood. We had a good time chatting about various topics, including PokerNews’ planned coverage for the WSOP with which he’ll be involved, too, this summer. We also talked about Phil Hellmuth’s plan to show up at the Main Event dressed as a Roman emperor à la those eye-rolling UltimateBet print ads. I remembered that the ever-prescient Grump had anticipated this development some time ago, as he explains here. (Do not click that link if pictures of a shirtless Hellmuth make you queasy.)

The Bobster was nice enough to take me by a grocery store where I grabbed a few items. Was planning to get me a rental car yesterday, but the place I wanted to rent from was closed up for Memorial Day. (Another bit of déjà vu, there, as I’d run into that last year.) So I’ll take care of that today, hopefully. Ended up with a bit of free time during the afternoon and so ran to the MGM Grand poker room for an hour’s worth of low limit shenanigans, from which I came away a small loser. Then Haley carried me over to the condos where some of the PokerNews folks were joining their neighbors for some beers, barbecue, and the aforementioned volleyball.

It was great reuniting with Mickey (one of the PN reporters, back for more), as well as meeting Tom Kinsman and Tom Bostic. Tom K. has been doing video stuff for PN for a while now, and was here last year, although I hadn’t really met him before. Tom B. is joining PN this time around as a live blogger, having done a lot of stuff for other pokery outlets over the last few years. Cool guys, all.

They were momentarily short a body over at the net, so I jumped in and ended up playing three games. Figured out quickly there were certain maneuvers for which I was passable (setting, blocking), others for which I was miserable (digging, spiking). So I stopped trying the ones I couldn’t pull off, and in the end only embarrassed myself a moderate amount, I think. Our side took one of the three games, but were somehow shut out altogether in game three, at the end of which I gladly relinquished my spot to another of the rotating group of players.

There were probably 60-70 folks milling about, enjoying the balmy, not-too-hot Vegas afternoon. Saw Dr. Pauly referring on Twitter to this here complex as “stripper central,” and, yeah, he’s right. There was definitely a theme going among the several bikini-clad babes at the barbecue. Which made it easier on yr skinny, bespectacled gumshoe whenever he made another of those awkward, sprawling stabs at the ball, ’cos he knew most were looking elsewhere.

Gonna sign off today with another tip of the fedora to the good doctor -- whom I hope to see tonight following another pre-WSOP get together of PokerNews peoples -- and list links to my posts from last summer. For those who weren’t reading then, the titles are not too oblique, I hope. What I did here on Hard-Boiled was essentially to chronicle my experience helping live blog the sucker over at WSOP, so you’ll find discussions of certain events, as well as other extracurriculars along the way.

The plan this summer is to do something similar, with posts here at least once per day. Thanks again, everybody, for reading along. See you tomorrow on Day 1!

Hard-Boiled Poker at the 2008 WSOP:

Day 1: Dawn
Day 1: “We're In For Six Solid Weeks of Poker”
Day 2: Time Flies
Day 2: Live from the Rio
Day 3: First Final Table Delivers
Day 3: Who Will Wear the First Bracelet?
Day 4: The New & Improved Mixed Hold’em Event
Day 4: Into the Fire
Day 5: Five for Five
Day 5: Storytelling
Day 6: Lights, Camera, Action!
Day 7: Last Night’s Final Table
Day 7: And He Rested On the Seventh Day
Day 7: Mixed Event Look-In
Day 8: Shootout!
Day 8: Keep Up the Pace
Day 9: Running Well
Day 10: Final Table Fun
Day 10: Let’s Make a Deal
Day 11: Escape!
Day 12: Omadraw!
Day 12: Buffets, Bustouts, and Bullsh*t
Day 13: Birthday
Day 13: A Big Hand for the Little Lady
Day 14: Reporting from the Eye of the Hurricane
Day 14: Postscript
Day 15: R & R
Day 16: Year of the Pro?
Day 16: Rebuy!
Day 17: Laughs & Lightning Bolts
Day 17: Brasilia
Day 18: Bluffs & Boasts
Days 19-20: Catching Kings, Z’s, then a Break
Day 21: No Expectations
Day 21: Tigers & Grizzlies
Day 22: Be the Ball
Day 23: Sweat
Day 24: Lowball
Day 25: More Clichés Than You Can Shake a Stick At
Day 26: Cowboy Hats, Cigars, and Draw Poker
Day 27: Cheers
Day 28: Horsin’ Around
Day 29: Love
Day 30: Long Night’s Journey Into Day
Day 31: Kafkaesque, It Was
Day 31: Tell Everyone You Know and Duplicate
Days 32-33: The Beginning of the End
Day 34: Three Tales
Day 34: The Last Final Table
Day 35: The Big One
Day 36: Starting Again
Day 37: Pop Stars, Sexual Puns, and Magic Swords
Day 38: Living the Dream
Day 39: Taking Shots
Day 40: “Seat Open!”
Day 41: Chuck Norris Doesn’t Dodge Bullets; Bullets Dodge Chuck Norris
Day 42: Bubble Go Pop
Day 43: Whirlwind
Day 44: IGHN
Day 45: From the Bleachers
Day 46: Whoopee

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Blogger dbcooper said...

Look forward to your daily reports!!!

5/26/2009 11:40 AM  
Blogger Pauly said...

The strippers are ubiquitous.

5/26/2009 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love bowling but the last time I went I ended up pulling my hamstring and hurting my shoulder. Was not fun the day after I can tell you.

Looking forward to the Vegas reports.

5/27/2009 7:31 AM  
Blogger gadzooks64 said...

I guess this wouldn't be a good time to mention that I was || this close to bowling a 900 series for 4 games last night? :)

5/27/2009 1:14 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Haha, Zooks. I think it took me all summer last year to get to 900 (if I did).

5/27/2009 3:44 PM  

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