Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 2012 WPBT Trip Report

Like many of you, I love my December pilgrimage to Vegas every year.  While in Vegas for WPBT, we meet new people, develop deeper bonds with existing friends and share once in a lifetime moments.  This is what makes this such a great and fun weekend.  While I love playing poker and thoroughly enjoy the Saturday tournament, this trip has become more about spending as much time with those I have become closest to over the years.  As that initial group grows larger, it has become very easy to add others to my "must see" list.  This is not a list of how famous a person is, instead it is more of a collection of people I have grown compatible with and crave their company due to mutual interests or a unique perspective that has appealed to me.  I missed a few of the kindred spirits that are usually there, but I am lucky enough to visit with most of them outside of the neon confines.

The few weeks after returning from a WPBT trip can weigh heavily on the mind.  The Vegas weekend flies by and everyone begins the work week with terrific memories of the gathering.  It's around the middle or end of that week that the reality of minimal contact begins to sink in and take hold. I will most likely not see most of you for another year and this makes me sad.  I mean seriously, that.fucking.blows!

Remember when you were at the beach and you dug holes in the sand at the shoreline?  Although you removed the earth it immediately filled back with the surrounding water.  It never stayed empty, the volume was replaced with something new.  For some reason, this image has calmed my soul and I feel the comfort of that which is already around me filling the void that was left when I hopped on that plane at McCarran.  Or in some other cases, the ones that were created even sooner than that.

While my heart and wallet heal, I will look back fondly on the weekend and at the same time be thankful for the fortunes that my every day life brings.  I'm counting the days until I see most of you again.  Trust me, it will be here sooner than you think.

Pardon my indulgence as I list out the memories I will treasure:

Playing chaperon to Michelle for the day until her sweetie arrived and her teaching me the finer points of the free play at the slots in Cosmo.  Sharing plates with her and Dan at Carnevino and then climbing in to my clown car rental Fiat 500 to return to Aria along with Carol.

Gay penguin conversations with April, Jason, and Michelle over breakfast.  Reference link found - among others.  It's on the internet so it must be true, Uhhh...BONJOUR.

The car ride out to Red Rock with Michelle and April and sooooo wishing Jason was in the car to balance out the conversation and tweet my many one liners.

Getting to enjoy the hiking at Red Rock thanks to the wonderful planning of Dan.  It was a great few hours to spend with the 14 other folks off of the felt.  Oh, and don't forget about #ninjabears.  Here are the links for the pics so far:

Meeting my roomies for the weekend, Michael and Eddie.  Thanks again to Michael for the hospitality.

The main gathering of the weekend is of course the tournament at Aria.  They do a fantastic job and have been treating us well for the past few years.  Congrats to "chipleader" CJ for taking it down right before his flight.  Nice job on the cashes for Jess, Dan, Wookie and Travis.  Thanks to Ryan for being my last longer partner.  Nothing like going out back to back to kill our chances.  I think I played well enough, right up until I shoved 77 in to Dominic's aces when I was in the 10X BB range.

Drinking my dinner on Saturday with Astin (Orange, you're up!) and Chilly then ending the night at Excalibur playing 1/2 with Alan, Carol, Fuel, Wil, Shane, Vinnay, Curtis, and Ryan.  While there, I performed a minor miracle and scared the bejeesus out of Carol by curing her hiccups in a matter of seconds.  I think when she called me a "freak" it was meant as a compliment.

My initial plan for Sunday was to go motorcycle riding with my buddy.  I let the weekend get away from me and never finalized a time so he was already booked by the time I called him.  This allowed me the chance to hang with Lori, Travis, and Carol while we cheered on the folks running the half marathon.  "Worst Parade Ever" - classic.

Dinner at Tao with Alan, Kat, Johnathan and Chris.  I always enjoy my time with Alan and it was nice to meet his fiance and brother on this trip.

Ending the trip at the Mirage poker room with Chris, Johnathan, CK, Dan and Alan.  Not playing Pai Gow (PAI GOW!) with Astin may have been the salvation of both my liver and my bankroll but I won't let that happen next time.  I will never tire of hanging out with him and look forward to a possible Toronto trip in the summer to visit with him and Katitude.

Dave seeking me out at the airport for one last goodbye.  Good luck with your tournaments this year.

I'm sure I missed something and no slight was intended.  If you have a favorite memory with me, feel free to leave it in the comments.  I look forward to seeing how I brightened your trip.

Is this my return to blogging?  Not too sure, I plan on taking a few trips in 2013 and would like to capture them so maybe some on the road posts will occur.  I will also most likely do some retro posts once I've sorted through some old pictures.