I've thought on more than one occasion that I'd like to live in Las Vegas. There's plenty of upside, but there's a downside, too. Vegas is a destination city. The good news is that friends who might not visit you in Poughkeepsie will stop by regularly for the sin city experience. The bad news is that some of those friends don't get out of their constricted lives as parents, teachers, doctors, etc., and they may tend to overindulge when they get there. As the host, there is an expectation that you will obviously meet up and entertain on some level, but at what point can you back off? What if your friend goes over the top in making a fool of themselves? Are you expected to then take care of them? Can you simply shake your head and walk away? How about if they drink 5 shots of tequila before dinner, sample 7 different beers during dinner, and then throw it all up in a planter outside the Aria?
Not that any of that happened. This is just a hypothetical.
This trip was so I could attend a course put on by Dr. Stoller. He is a radiologist who wrote several of the textbooks I use every day in the practice of medicine. The course was fairly basic, but so well done that I came away with far more pearls of wisdom than I expected. Money well spent. I only nodded off once or twice during the two and a half days of lectures, but it's Vegas. It could have been much worse. It was held at the Wynn, which was extra good since they house a Ferrari dealership. It normally costs you $10 to go in and see the cars, but if you own a Ferrari, they let you right in. There's some amazing metal in there, including a $2 million (approx) Ferrari FXX, based on the Enzo. Strangely, other than the Ferrari, I own no Ferrari paraphernalia, but I rectified that situation.
The highlights of the trip were:
- Seeing my buddy Josh, who let me crash in his comped Aria suite. I always enjoy hanging with Josh, even though we've never had a great craps run when we play together. We stepped it up a level and threw the dice exactly 6 times. 6, 7, 8, 7, 6, 7. Brutal. Just brutal.
- Seeing the lovely CK and CaityCaity, who, along with Steve (a true foodie) were my ever-present companions and eventual saviors. Seriously, I can't thank you enough. Before I went seriously south* our conversation was brilliant and lively. It's great to hang with like-minded individuals with different life experiences. Thanks, too for the lessons playing mixed games. If I subtract my losses up there, I was actually pretty close to even for the trip (thanks to some great PLO and a very loose 1/3 NL game).
- Hanging out with Katkin. Sorry to be the half of the Chako household that won't make out with you. Sitting around chatting with you and Caity in the Mirage was terrific. The look on your face (and the subsequent tweet) about losing me and then finding me grinding at 3/6 LHE was priceless. What, I'm going to sit around and do nothing while you run to the bathroom? There was an open seat, dammit!
Every experience in life is a learning experience. This one doubly so. If nothing else, it should prepare me to pace myself for the WPBT.
*I have a HUGE bruise on my neck. I do not remember getting it, but I'm fairly sure I lost a battle in the Sage** bathroom. My assailant may or may not have been a toilet seat.
** (Yes, I put a footnote asterisk inside a footnote. Deal with it). Sage restaurant in the Aria hotel is insanely good. Seriously, if you appreciate food, go there. It's so good, you should plan your vacation around it. Get the pâté . If you really want to add to the experience go with a foodie. I know where you can find a couple. Just please don't overindulge.