Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Vegas blog

Well, Vegas got off to a bumpy start. We descended in heavy winds as the plane made lawnmower-struggling-to-start noises, and hit the runway like a snooker ball with a lot of side.

Apart from that, so far so good for the most part. It doesn't take long in Vegas to go along with the notion that for as long as you're here, the rest of the world creases to exist in any material sense. Bizarrely free of jetlag, I played two tournaments so far, day 1A of the 1K on Saturday, and a mega satellite on Sunday. The first was more successful in theory (I made day 2 a bit above average with 23,525) but the second (which sadly effectively ended when my flopped top 2 couldn't hold against an overpair) was way more fun thanks to a more interesting cast of authentic American characters. My favourite was a couple of wannabe rounders from San Fran. The older one looked like a guy who might have got away with some stuff in his life he probably shouldn't have but you were kinda glad he did anyway. He patiently folded a few hands before shipping it in pre with A7o. The younger guy meanwhile was nitting it up. Some of the interplay between the two (the older one stayed around to rail boisterously and philosophically) was classic stuff. The older one told us he was the coach to his "protege" (although his brief performance suggested he might be better off on the coached side rather than the coaching) and there was all sorts of Mr. Miyagi advice about staying in the moment, harnessing the power of luck and stuff about shakras. Americans are wonderful in the best sense of that word, they really are.

As I went down to breakfast yesterday in an elevator full of coughing and spluttering humans, it suddenly hit me how many germs there must be on your average elevator button. I have a new understanding for the way Howard Hughes went towards the end. Hopefully the more dangerously diseased occupants of the hotel are on floors other than the sixth.

During day 1A of the 1K, an American kid complained about the lack of any discernible cheer in the room when the US equalised against England. I assured him there was bound to have been a bigger cheer in Ireland.

Haven't run into many Irish yet. As I strolled off in search of a taxi after day 1A, I ran into (Mark) Reilly and Derm (Blaine). Reilly announced with characteristic glee that he'd played 4 tourneys so far and was yet to make dinner break. This afternoon as I rushed through the Rio for the supersat, I suddenly became aware of a stunning looking girl beaming broadly at me. This doesn't happen to me as often as I feel it should, and I started to fear for her sanity until I realised it was Rebecca McAdams from Card Player who seems to fit in Vegas like she really belongs here.

In Vegas, there's always a fun discussion waiting for you to walk by. As I came up to my room about an hour ago, I walked by a young couple debating their next move at the roulette table.

"I like black", she announced. "Look at all those blacks".

"Yes, but it has to even out" was his counter argument.

I was tempted to chime in my support for her position. The evening out idea is a nonsensical common sensical misinterpretation of the laws of probability. On the other hand, there's no such thing as a perfectly random wheel. While most real life wheels approach randomness closely enough to make no discernible difference to the odds, they might as well go with the admittedly remote possibility that this was a discernibly skewed wheel than the unfounded idea that because blacks came up a lot recently, reds were "due".

But with a big day coming up tomorrow which may see me notch up my first WSOP cash, I decided it was more prudent to keep striding purposefully towards the germ ridden elevator.


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