Days 29 & 30…
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Another year, another World Series, yes, I’ve come to the end of my Vegas tenure and now write to you from the comfort of my own upright British chair.
Expensive prices, claustrophobic surroundings, jocks whooping on the craps tables, male strippers in bow ties, gaudy burlesque shows, loud music, and a ghastly car that hovers above while some skank throws beads down – if I could imagine a run in hell, a month of the Rio would be at the forefront of my mind. So, for the last two days, Dana and I decided to escape the confines of our prison and move into the New York New York Hotel down the road.
Sandwiched between the Excalibur and MGM casinos, the New York New York (I’m already tiring of typing that twice) was surprisingly pleasant and boasted a serenity that the Rio sorely lacked. Of course, the forced theme was inevitably gaudy at times (one sign reads ‘Authentic New York Pizza’), but it presents everything in a less ‘in-your-face’ manner, meaning that if need be, you can escape to a far corner for a moment’s peace.
The view from the bedroom window was incredible, if a little different to that of the Rio, in that it boasted the majority of the rollercoaster. The muffled screams were reminiscent of a game of Rollercoaster Tycoon on the PC, and every time they sounded I would peer out the window to confirm that this was indeed real life. That’s when I notice the Statue of Liberty staring back at me.
Now I’m back in Birmingham, I’m finding it hard to adjust. After becoming accustomed to heading down the Rio of a day, working long hours and hitting the sack unconscious, the pace here seems incredibly slow and part of me is itching to get back in the game. I’m sure those feelings will expire when I start covering UK events again, but whilst the Series is still running, I can’t help but feel as though I’m missing out.
The jet lag upon return has been tough to handle. I tried to watch Mongol with Dana yesterday, but passed out about half way through. It was only five o’clock. I recall it took me about a fortnight to recover a couple of years back, but I hope it doesn’t take that long this time. I have lots I want to do, and I can’t afford to waste time feeling sleepy during daylight hours.
I’ve been trying to work out a suitable way of finishing my WSOP account, and concluded that it would be best to compare it to my previous visits. Well, apart from a few minor changes, the experience was pretty much the same. A big giant room with lots of poker – that really is about the size of it. You might witness a few differences, such as the heightened organisation, the eradication of the tent, a few new stalls and so on, but who cares, poker is about the characters, and as always, they remain the same. Scotty still says “baby”, Doyle still hobbles around, Sklansky still accompanies a random teenage girl, Phil Ivey still puts more than first prize on the game on the plasma screen, Mike Matusow is still centre of attention, Phil He11muth is still a twit, Erick Lindgren is still a smug git, Gus Hansen is still a ladies’ man, Bill Chen is still a nerd, Jennifer Tilly is still sizzling hot, TJ Cloutier is still losing a fortune at craps, Howard Lederer is still huge, Dutch Boyd is still speaking to the voices in his head, Roland de Wolfe is still wearing the ghastliest of shirts, Patrik Antonius still boasts the chiselled features of a Michaelangelo masterpiece, Greg Raymer still dons shorts, sandals and white socks, Marcel Luske is still stark raving mad, Davood Mehmrand is still psychotic, Freddy Deeb is still knee high to an oompa loompa, Andy Black still looks like he just got out of bed, Devilfish is still dressing like a teenager, Chris Ferguson is still the carrot-chopping messiah, Allen Cunningham is still unbeatable, Todd Brunson still looks like a pony from the back, Dave Singer is still a pain in the ass and the Brits still suck at poker.
Unless Doyle finally pops his clogs within the next twelve months, WSOP 2009 will be exactly the same… but that’s why we love it so.
I hope you enjoyed my WSOP blog, it sure was tough to maintain, so much in fact that I think I need a rest. I don’t know when I’ll post on the blog again, if at all. Writing a blog can be time-consuming at times, and I’m wondering if maybe this should be my last post. I’ve always tried to bring my readers an honest account of all things poker related, whether that be Vegas, my travels around Europe, or my own personal experience with a game that deals out so many beats. I’ve done this without shoving banners, advertising or anything commercial down your face because the pure essence of poker is important to me. Although we embrace the poker boom, we also need to keep a hold of the reality… It’s just a game of cards.
See you around.