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Archive for May, 2010

Deja Vu in Vegas

In May of this year, 2010, I was just in Las Vegas for four days.  Four of my friends and I had the best time yet.  We go every year. Every year we have a ball–poker and laughs all day and most of the night.  Though we slept at Harrah’s, we spent most of our waking hours playing poker at The Venetian, just a few doors away.

The Venetian has the perfect mix of both Hold ’em and Omaha.  Most of the guys play $1-$2 No-Limit, Hold ’em. I play mostly Omaha Hi-Lo. With a modicum of success, I’ve tried to ween a few over to Omaha.  The Venetian seems to have taken over as the Poker Mecca, not because of the size of their poker room, but because of their goal to be the dominant  poker venue in Las Vegas.

We played a little at the Wynn, where the crowd is a little haughtier; the room a little smaller.  Primarily, we went there to play in their Wednesday noon Omaha tournament, which ended up being much smaller than anticipated–just twenty participants.  Four of the twenty were us. So, right off the bat, we had a 20% chance of finishing in the money. After about five hours, I was the money leader. Rather than keep playing, I agreed to split the prize pool with three others, none of whom were of our quartet.  My $120 buy-in netted me a profit of $365 (collecting $485 for my five hours of play).

The other guys left town.  I was scheduled to fly out on Friday morning at 6:00 A.M.  I saw that there was an Omaha Hi-Lo tourney at The Orleans at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday.   I left the Venetian where I was playing $4-$8 Omaha Hi-Lo and not faring too well.  In about six hours I took half of only one pot and a quarter of two others–quite a costly session. The Orleans tourney was a $75 buy-in. I figured, even if I failed to come in, in the money, I would limit my exposure to $75 and get to bed at a reasonable time.

So, I hopped into a cab and traveled to The Orleans.  I signed up for the tourney.   There were 75 participants.  I appeared to be among the early chip leaders.  With seven places being paid, I managed to make it to the final table of ten.  Not wishing to go into all the details, I played smart and made it to fifth place, yielding me $345 for my $75 investment.  At 1:15 A.M., I hailed a cab and headed to Harrah’s.

There was no traffic.  We made it to Las Vegas Boulevard in five minutes or so. The cab turned left on Las Vegas Boulevard. Very shortly we were at that fatal corner where the accident of 2006 occurred. I am still haunted by the calamity of the evening and of the needless death of a friend I had met just a few days before. Now, the accident, the chaos, the catastrophe of four years ago came to life.  Actually, it was all bigger than life. While the cab waited for the light to change, to my right two men in electric scooters (similar to the one my friend was using when he was killed) crossed the intersection.  If that was not ironic enough, to my left, in front of Caesar’s Palace, was a huge billboard featuring Jerry Seinfeld coming July 23.  The video billboard was blaring just as loud as it did the night of the accident.  It was all too bizarre.  It could have been a dream–worse yet, it was real.

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