Viva Las Vegas

Damn this internal clock! After five days in Vegas my internal wiring is shorted out. I had an 11:58pm flight out Sunday night that was delayed so when all was said and done it wasn’t until after 3am when I finally walked in the door. I had to be at work at 8am so that left me plenty of time to sleep (yeah, right). Of course, I’m still wired so I can’t sleep and I maybe get a full 2 hours in.

I dragged along all day Monday thinking that salvation would come when the whistle blew and I could slide down the back of the dinosaur and get home to get some Zzzz. Like I said, my internal wiring is all screwed up so I can’t sleep at 6pm and I finally manage to nod off around 3am again. Only problem is that I’ve got a meeting in Long Beach that starts at 7:30am so figure an hour commute, an hour to get ready and my alarm is set for 5:30am. You do the math.

If I thought I was dragging on Monday, Tuesday was a killer. I had several presentations to give to our board and near the end of the meetings I was literally hallucinating due to lack of sleep. Seriously, I kept seeing motion in my peripheral vision and I would glance over and there’s a wall. Nothing was moving. As the meetings conclude, I get the “Hey, why don’t you join us for dinner,” invitation and my head doesn’t see pillow until after 9pm. Fortunately, this time I was able to sleep like a log.

Anyway, I’m feeling better now so I thought I would write a proper trip report. But instead of the chronological yada, yada (who cares what time I got to the hotel anyway?), I thought I would just hit on random highlights.

Hanging with Pauly and Derek. Pauly and I never got much of a chance to rap in Dec. which is something we both regretted. This time we remedied the mistake and I got to spend some time with two very interesting and funny guys.

Actually getting to speak with Iggy. Last time I think we said “hello” and “goodbye” to each other and that was about it. Again, not because of lack of desire but because I couldn’t pull myself away from a juicy Excalibur game the first night and Iggy’s unavailability (ahem) at the tournament. This time Iggy and I decided to figure out the future of blogging, online poker, and life in general. Lot’s of good stuff came out of that and I’m sure we’ll both keep pinging each other with ideas.

Taking my daily doctor recommended dose of abuse from Felicia. Sure, she abuses me in IM all the time but being called gay in person is always more pure (BTW, the picture in the header . . . she thinks it’s gay).

Discussing the finer points of degenerate behavior and lifestyle with Grubby. One of our conclusions was that there’s a subtle, but important, difference between the mid-westerner who comes to Las Vegas looking to make it big and the mid-westerner who comes to LA looking to make it big. I would go into more detail but I’m going to continue my research on this as part of my doctoral thesis on degenerates.

Representing the LA Crew: HDouble, Joe Speaker, Chris the Geek, Franklin, Lance, and Mikey. West-Side, yo!

Seeing the Poker Prof wasted. How do you know when the Prof is wasted? He’s not talking. La Salsa and way too many tequila shots took their tool on the good Prof and I was there to witness it.

Partying with the Can’tHangs. Now, a few people have questioned how a drunken hippie like Al could hook up with Eva. Those people are fools! Al and Eva are a well oiled team skilled in the art of destroying the moral fiber of all they encounter. Al leads the men in ridiculous acts of drinking bravery while Eva marshals the women in equally ridiculous acts of drunken karaoke (I have pictures to prove it). Together they are unstoppable.

Meeting Drizz. Drizz and I have been shooting emails back and forth recently so it was an exceptional pleasure to finally meet the man. Favorite hand with Drizz is a KKQQQ board and this moron keeps calling bets from Drizz all the way to the river with pocket tens. Drizz’s hand? Qx.

Laying the hammer with BadBlood. I think BB and I need to make this our little tradition to be repeated as often as we get together. BTW, Mrs. BadBlood rocks! She’s a poker monster and fit right in with the crowd. Hey BB, where’s the Mrs. BB blog?

Hanging with –EV. I’ve always loved the blog and he’s twice as funny in person.

Having FatGuy to my left during the Aladdin Classic. Scott’s a Texas kind of cool that’s hard to explain but fun to be around.

Busting Mr. Subliminal. It was a pleasure only in that I thought his speech rocked. Very witty.

Meeting John-Paul. He’s been on my wanna meet list for a long time. My only regret is we didn’t get to talk much.

Mixing it up with Joaquin. I had never read the man’s blog before but I’m a fan now. We took a taxi to the airport together and headed to different airline check-ins. While I’m standing in line Joaquin comes up and says “Mr. Rini, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. Wow. Do you think I can get a photo?” He whips out his camera and snaps off a picture and then shakes my hand saying “Thank you. Thanks!” Everybody in line around me was wondering who the hell I was the rest of the time I was standing in line.

Playing with Charity Shill. Being a geek for all things business and economics I’ve been an avid reader of his posts for a few months now. A true pleasure to meet the man behind them.

Cracking Spaceman’s aces. Another really cool guy who it was a pleasure to meet.

Meeting Al_Capone_Junior. For those of you who were unaware, one of our dealers was a famous 2+2 poster and a scary good poker player.

Playing heads-up with CJ. What can I say? It was a total thrill!

Catching a cab back to the Plaza with G-Rob. That dude is funny!

Watching Joe Speaker against the same idiot Drizz got called down on with quads, take the hammer to the river and have the guy out kicked.

Watching Joe Speaker get hit on by a orthodontically challenged crack addict while riding a bus to the strip.

Pushing chips back and forth with bloggers at the MGM.

Meeting my favorite pro player, Chris Halverson. I missed meeting him when he came out to LA and stayed with Hank so I was very excited to meet Chris and his wife as I’ve been a reader of his blog as long as anyone else’s.

Annoying the dealer at the Plaza by asking if the casino wanted insurance every time I made blackjack.

Getting a picture taken with Phil Hellmuth.

Spending over $100 on water because the casinos charge $3.50 for a thimble sized bottle.

Winning in every –EV game I played.

Oh, I’m sure there’s more and I’m there’s definitely people I didn’t get to mention here but this is more stream of consciousness than it is a well thought out trip report. If I didn’t mention you, sorry. If I did, you can have the subpoena sent to my lawyer’s office.

BTW, best Vegas joke that I didn’t tell in Vegas:

I play a lot of shows in Las Vegas and man does it get hot out there. During the summer, it’s like 115 degrees. But I’ll tell you this much, I would rather be in Las Vegas when it’s 115 than in NY when it’s 90. You know why? Legalized prostitution. – Ray Romano.

The list below was stolen from Pauly who stole it from Iggy:

Otis, GRob and CJ – Up for Poker
Tanya – MissT74
Maudie – Poker Perspectives
Boy Genius – Gambling Blues
Chris Halverson
Human Head
Drizz – Nickle and Dimes
Chad – Pokeramarama
BadBlood on Poker
Tao of Poker
Gracie – SheVerb
AlCanHang – Dead Money
Bobby Bracelet – One Too Many
HDouble – Cards Speak
Poker Grub
Bill Rini
Fool and His Money
Marty – JMC Automatic
The Fat Guy
Poker Geek
Mr. Subliminal
Poker Nerd
April – This is not a poker blog
April – Feeding the Addiction
Sideways Poker
Hel1xx – STFU
Playing Poker & Teaching Science
Sound of a Suckout
Geek and Proud
tp’s poker talk
Poker in the Weeds
Royal Poker
The Obituarium
My Little Poker Blog
Beer City Poker
Hella Hold’em
Res Ipsa Poker
a moment with
Poker Princess
The Tsunami Hitchhiker
Mike’s Poker Blog
Obie’s VIP
The Big Pirate
Catching the Antichrist
Poker Prof

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.