So I arrived in Vegas and checked into my hotel which was a little timeshare place near the MGM. It was perfect because I hate the noise of staying in a strip hotel and this place was nice and quiet. I ended up staying 8 nights there which is kind of funny because I was in Vegas a year ago and swore that it was my last time. Every time I go to Vegas I seem to enjoy it less and less. I am glad to say that this time I enjoyed myself more than I ever have in Vegas. Why? I don’t really know but I am glad that I did 🙂
I won’t go into everything I did but I will touch on the highlights. I went to see the new Jason Alexander show at the MGM. Horrific!!!! Probably the worst show I have ever seen… I almost got up and left about 20 mins in. I went to see the body exhibit at the Luxor. Now that was really interesting. Basically, they took all these real corpses and body parts and made a very informative, entertaining and somewhat gross exhibit. Worth the trip. I spent one morning at Red Rock Canyon admiring the beautiful scenery and I was also fortunate enough to be in Vegas for the Nellis Air Show. I had never been to an air show before and this one was billed as the largest free event in Vegas. It certainly was interesting and I wished the kids were with me as they would have had a ball.
The majority of my time was spent playing 1-2 no limit Texas Holdem. I played in a regular monthly game at home and had been missing playing so I decided it was time to test my skills against new people. I had never played Holdem in a casino before so I took a lesson to understand any differences in etiquette or casino rules before I sat down. Sitting down for the first time at a table of 9 strangers who all immediately dislike you because you are trying to take their money is an interesting experience 🙂
By the time I left Vegas I had played over 40 hours of poker. That’s a normal work week and I can see how some people make poker their full time profession. Over the course of those 40 hours, I learned a great many things about Holdem. The game can be incredibly boring one minute and then instantly exciting. The most important lesson was that patience will win you money.
It really was an educational experience and I feel like I am a better player because of the experience. In the end, my chip stack went from a loss of $600 to a gain of $900 during the week so I paid for my trip to Vegas and had a blast doing it.
One funny story at the poker tables… nothing to do with poker though. It was Thursday night and I had been playing for about three hours at MGM with a fun bunch of guys. I had been patient and was up maybe $100 when I left the table to go grab a sandwich. I was sitting at a high table not far from the poker room when a very attractive girl walked by. She was all dolled up, short skirt, high heels, nice clothes, the works. She walked by me and went to sit at another table but stopped because it was dirty. She turned around and approached my table, asking if she could sit there for a minute. I said sure… DUH! She said she was waiting for a friend who was in the bathroom. My radar was on and I was contemplating if she was a pro or what the deal was. So, I struck up further conversation to ascertain her profession. She said she was a teacher from Canada… hmmm… wonder what subject she taught? Just as I was about to get up and leave, her “friend” walks up to the table. Now this girl is just as dressed up and even more beautiful than the first. Turns out that she is also a Canadian “teacher”. Now I am more than a little suspicious so I continue the conversation to extract more background. Apparently, they were both teachers from Vancouver Island, had come to Vegas to celebrate turning 21 and this was their last night.
Not wanting to leave these poor things unprotected in mean old Sin City I offered to join them later if they wanted but right now I had to go back to playing poker. I told them to come get me later if they wanted to go out. I went back to playing poker and the guys at the table just laughed at me for being dumb enough to believe the girls story. However, at about midnight, my stock at the table went legendary when two lovely Canadian teachers joined me at the table and begged me to come out dancing with them 🙂 You should have seen the look on the faces of the guys at my table. I bade them all farewell with a Cheshire cat grin on my face. What happened after that? This is a G rated show but I will say that their story turned out to be 100% true. They were the sweetest, most naive girls I had ever met. They were asking me all sorts of questions about Vegas, the clubs, etc and were completely in awe of the place. Sadly, I put them on a plane for Vancouver the next day.
On Sunday afternoon, I got a call from Alex, the guy I am riding through Central America with, and he said that his visas were in and we were ready to go. So, first thing Monday morning I began the trek to El Paso, Texas and my Thursday date with the Mexican border.
Images from Nellis Air Show, Vegas and Red Rock Canyon
Vietnam era jet fighter making pass
Tiger cubs at MGM