Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WPBT Venetian Day One: Are Those Real?

As I looked at the tram leaving the government center in downtown Minneapolis going towards the Northwest plane that was scheduled to transport myself to the land of free Cap’n Cokes in exchange for playing games rigged in the favor of stony faced asian dealers, I figured I was conserving my luck for later use.

Armed with my Drizzt novels, and chilled by an Alberta clipper blowing through the downtown area, I stepped onto my train to freedom for the next three days. Every “responsible” parent/adult should cut and paste their daily schedules into the trash bin at least once a year for journey that contains no ending. While there are activities to meet and greet those scribes you read on the daily/weekly basis and get to know about their struggles with this game we love, going to the WPBT Winter Classic should be about taking care of YOUR agenda. If you want to play in that mixed game at the Venetian, do it. If you want to get rolled by a stripper, pick one up at the Geisha Bar and pass out after smelling the stench despite her promise that you’re the first customer of the day. If you want to tilt a cowboy at the poker table by telling him about the corduroy g-string you’re wearing from the Wranglers surplus store, the poker table is place where lies are rewarded.

For me, this is what Vegas is about. Satisfying my degenerate instincts to drink a little too much, gamble a little too big, laugh a little too loud, make new friends, and go home with the same smile on my face that reflected off the window seat while leaving the Lindbergh terminal on Friday morning.

After getting settled into the hotel with Speaker and the Bracelet it was time to seek out some –EV gaming and random blogger sightings. I believe I was met first by the wondrous BWOP (she is indeed the Black Widow of poker) as her suddenly slimmer escort F-Train as they were about to hit up a little Pai Gow action. Then Gary strolled in with his beautiful wife, PokerPeaker got up from the poker room to say hello after complimenting the waitress on the amount of glitter she sprinkled on her chest (actually that might have been me), then the crew of Pauly, Change100, and Derek rolled by on their way to lunch.

After seeing BG looking for a poker game, and a new table was being opened I decided to sit down with my usual small penis compensating chip stack at a $2-$4 table. “We’re out of chips sir” the brush calmly relayed after only giving me five racks. As compensation for fun, as $2-$4 limit with any bankroll size isn’t going to tingle anyone’s groin area from excitement, we made the game fun by showing down crap hand after crap hand and chatting it up with the three guys to my left who had to suffer from my re-straddles, lame metaphors, and jokes that could only be understood with that red stripe of plastic that decodes the answers to board games.

MGM Grand time was announced and after Speaker spent the entire second half of a college basketball game getting his hair ready; we headed over on the monorail to the emerald city. The mixed game is a treat for those who like holding more then two cards, and get to know their fellow bloggers via something other then a chat box. A face to the name, a name to the face, where a certain female individual was bent on removing my chip stack from in front of me by offering what was probably the best massage I’ve ever received with my clothes on and of course playing in every. Single. Hand. That I was in for four hours. After Maigrey and BWOP decided that little tower of checks was too neat and managed to spread them out in a puddle of blue and red, I have no idea if I won or lost while playing. But, winning isn’t I’m there, so I considered whatever I may have won/lost as time paid for the conversations with the people I genuinely credit for saving my soul.

Gambling may have many negative connotations to it, but to me, finding those like minded bloggers and being able to discuss how to cool down a frequent re-raiser at the tables, and how to get your 18 month old to eat broccoli in the same conversation has been a life saver. Because four years ago, I wasn’t anything. I didn’t feel. I didn’t wake up in the morning; I drifted through the day as quickly as possible. I didn’t love; I roomed with a woman that tolerated me for reasons unknown. Then, I started reading about people with similar hobbies, similar struggles. Life steadily improved; not only for myself, but rebirthing a love to that special woman I took a vow with seven years ago. My kids now get to see their man/child dad, instead of a paycheck and someone to demand that they’d be quiet while watching Matlock re-runs on TV Land.

I am not a writer in the traditional sense of someone who can entwine words, sentences, and punctuation into a story can reads like a song. My formal writing education consists of a sleeping walking through community college Freshman Comp and watching old Star Trek re-runs for English credits in high school. But, I can hammer out a few letters about things that I hold tightly from the heart like my beloved Vikings, my wife and kids, and this silly little game we gather from several points on a map to meet in Las Vegas for three days of losing a little bit of yourself, and gaining so much more back.

Thanks for dropping by, tomorrow prepare for the four horsemen as Drizz makes the final table and smokes a cigar with a woman?!!?!?!

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