Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Where Did the Time Go?

It seems like it's been such a long time since I've done this, I hope I remember how.

By "this" I mean write a blog post.  Yeah, I posted something Monday night before going to bed (this), but let's face it, even those of you who complain about my posts being too long couldn't be pleased with that.  It was such a trivial post I didn't even tweet it out.  I just stuck something up here so you'd all know I wasn't dead.  At least the GIF was nice.

I really can't believe I found so little time for writing while I was in Vegas for an entire month.  Where did the time go?  I honestly don't know.

I really expected to write and publish more than three "real" blog posts while I was up there.  I can't account for all the seemingly lost time.

Sure I played a lot of poker, but I bet I played less poker, on a percentage basis, than I have on most if not all of my recent Vegas trips.  I worked of course, but I wasn't overworked.  For a change, most of the Vegas rooms holding series didn't have a lot of last minute changes and corrections for me to tend to. And I saw friends and socialized, but really not as much as I would have expected.

And I can tell from the way I felt dragging my ass out of bed my first morning in L.A., I sure didn't spend much time in Vegas sleeping.

I just don't know where the time went, but it didn't go to blogging.

Perhaps the problem was that I wasn't very inspired.  It was a disappointing trip in many ways, and I don't just mean the poker. I mean, I did ok on the cash side but (spoiler alert) I failed to cash in any of the tournaments I played—and I played in a lot of tourneys.  I used to think I was a better tournament player than a cash game player, but I guess I need to rethink that.  Or maybe it was just being on the wrong side of variance.  On the other hand, maybe those times I did cash in tournaments (in what seems like the ancient past), I was just on the right side of variance?  But with all the series going on while I was there, this was certainly the time play tournaments if you like to play tournaments.

But it was more than the poker.  I was hoping to get some really great stories to write up, and the amount of good material I came back with was, again, disappointing.  There's not one incident, one story I'm dying to write up, and that's unusual.  And honestly, I haven't a really crazy/funny and or salacious story to write in a long time.  Those are the kind of stories that inspired me to start this blog and that I most like to write.  Just writing up poker hand histories is starting to bore even me—especially when the outcome is not favorable.

It got so bad—the lack of that kind of material to write about—that I actually considered playing some 2/4 limit. One night, I decided to take a break from poker and somehow found myself at the Flamingo.  That's the only poker room on the Strip where you can still find a 2/4 game.  I went over to check it out, thinking I may play some 2/4—not to play as much as to see if I could find a fun game that might just give the kind of story I'd like to blog.

Well, as it happens, they had just called a new 2/4 game when I got over there, and I checked out the players at that game.  OMG.  What a miserable looking group of human beings.  When I was playing it regularly, 2/4 games were fun—people laughing, joking, talking.  They were there to have a good time, not necessarily to take your last four bucks.  And there were usually women there.  Almost always.  And women were always a key part in my early, fun stories.  I sure do miss the "woman saids."

But this group...yikes.  All male, every last one of them miserable looking, like they had just lost their last ten bucks and had to beg on the street to come up with the buy-in for this game.  Not a one had a smile on their face, nor spoke a word.  You could tell just by the way they were all sitting there they had no interest in socializing. All with headphones or earbuds. It was sadder than the worst tableful of 1/2 grinders I had ever seen.  I suppose I could have looked at another 2/4 game but once I saw that game, I had no interest in playing 2/4 anymore.  The only story I could have gotten out of this game was a bad beat one. No thanks.

And truth be told, this trip just continued to sour me on the whole Vegas experience.  I've talked about this in the past, but really, aside from the poker (and a few friends who live there or I meet there), Vegas really has nothing for me anymore.  It used to be a bargain to go there, but now it's just a money pit.  There are no bargains. The rooms are expensive,  the food is expensive, and of course, they are now charging for parking most everywhere (not that I have to pay—yet—but it's only a matter of time).

When my buddy Norm and I used to visit Vegas regularly back in the day, aside from the gambling, we'd really look forward to a variety of really cheap, really great food options.  A lot of the time we'd hit a great buffet for just a few bucks that would usually provide us enough food for the entire day.  If not, we'd hit a really great snack bar for something to tide us over til morning.  Again, it was cheap.  We'd actually look forward to eating at all these places and plan our trip so that we could hit them all in the short time we had.  There were also great food specials at most of the casinos' coffee shops (and no, I don't mean a Starbucks).

Now it's so pricey to eat that I try to eat almost exclusively where I can use my poker comps—especially since now it seems those poker comps are going to expire, so if you don't use them fast you are gonna lose them.  That means I also choose where to play poker that night by where I have comps I can use.  And those places that take my comps—well, it can get pretty boring to keep eating there.

And as I get older, I have less patience with the inconveniences of Vegas and of Vegas poker.  For example, I won't mention any names but there are some poker rooms that are just too damn cold to be comfortable in. It was obscenely hot in Vegas when I was there—over 110° virtually every day and hitting 117° a couple of times.  But in the poker rooms, at least some parts of them, I felt like I needed a parka and gloves to be comfortable.  It's ridiculous. Seriously, I carry around a zipped sweatshirt but I'm not going to carry a heavy jacket around when it's over a hundred out there.

Also, a lot of rooms (again, no names) are not built for comfort.  For various reasons, the tables are too close together.  Certain seats are jammed up against the seat behind you from the table behind you.  Others, there's just a narrow path between them—too narrow for the average human to get through.  This doesn't stop people from trying.  It annoys the piss out of me when people walk behind me and bump into my chair, especially when they fail to exhibit the common courtesy to say "Excuse me."  Yeah, that really upsets me.

In most cases, it wouldn't take much effort to go around, just a few seconds.  And surely these people who do it have to be able to tell they can't really fit between those two chairs without bumping into people.  Perhaps these folks think they are a lot skinnier than they are.  But in a lot of cases, even if these guys were as fit as they were in high school—and clearly they no longer are—they wouldn't fit.  They'd have to be freakishly skinny to squeeze in, and they are not.

So what happens is I go to a room based on the comps I can use and then get sent to a table and a seat where I am freezing and being bumped into.  So I have to ask for a table change and maybe a seat change too.  And then I end up choosing a game to play based not on what table would be the most profitable for me, but based on where I won't freeze to death and also where I won't want to kill the next person that bumps into me.

Nowhere in any poker book have I read the section on "game selection" and read about picking a game in the warmest part of the room.  One time I actually left a really juicy game because I was too cold to concentrate on the poker.

So, I really dunno when I will be returning to Vegas.  Lately, every time I come home, I feel less and less eager to return.

But I don't want to sound too negative (too late?).  I did have a lot of fun, and I got to meet up with some friends and some fellow bloggers.  I'll have reports on those meetings for you at some point.

Assuming, that is, I can light a fire under myself to get to writing them up.  Like I said, maybe it wasn't the lack of time that prevented me from doing more writing.  Maybe it was lack of motivation.



  1. Hey Rob!

    So sorry I didn't reach out to you when I was in town. I was just feeling really bogged down and was taking naps every day. I had a lot less energy than expected and really underperformed when I did go out.

    1. That's a shame, Dave, sorry to hear that. But no need to apologize, it's understandable.

      Take good care, my friend.

  2. Hey Rob,

    You know those $2/$4 games are almost completely attended by promo whores, right? Heck, at the Mirage's $3/$6 games a bunch of players stay right up until 2pm, then leave for 4+ hour only to return at 6pm and once again play to get their aces cracked.

    Sorry I missed you at Bally's That mixed game was not one I wanted to play in anyway. But maybe I should have invited you to go to the 52s game with me on the 4th, the fireworks game. It most definitely was not cold.


    1. Thanks, Chuck, you know you make a good point. I guess even 2/4 games have changed over the years. When I think of fun 2/4 games, I am thinking about the 2/4 games at MGM that really got me hooked on poker. But back in those days, they didn't have a promo drop--no promos. The people who played that game were almost all tourists looking to have fun. There were some locals--mostly casino employees who were looking for a way to drink for cheap after their shift.

      I guess unless I find a low limit game at a room that doesn't have promos, I can't find what I'm even looking for.

      I definitely wouldn't have been missing my heavy jacket at that baseball game!

  3. Hi Rob Maybe you do not have as much energy as you use to. Surgery will do that to you. I was going to the WSOP and after I checked out my flight, rooms, and food budget I figured I saved 2K in expenses. I stayed home and donated to my local casino. Yeah Vegas just does not do it for me anymore.

    1. Thanks, Ed. Good point about the surgery. Maybe I was more tired than I'm used to being.

      Yeah, maybe I'll just stay the hell away from Vegas for awhile. But it sure as hell ain't going to get better.

  4. Time to change the name of the blog to . I think I have a solution for you: go to Vegas in late fall or winter! Now if they would move the WSOP to a cooler month too.

    1. Well, I don't hate Vegas as much as I hate what Vegas has become--especially as compared to what it used to be.

      And the time of the year I go would make no's freezing inside the poker rooms year round. I've been there every time of the year.

    2. I understand your logic. Vegas has become a place that attracts first time goers who are mesmerized by all the hoopla that they don't mind paying outrageous prices. I haven't been since 2015 and I only want to visit again so I can take a trip to the Grand Canyon and place a sports bet or two.

    3. They are definitely going after a different market than they used to.

  5. I wish I could be tired of Vegas. Even with the shooting at PH and people being of constricted mindsets, there is still nowhere on earth I'd rather live.

    1. Yeah, I've often wondered how different would be if I lived there. I think it would be better--but I worry about staying out of the poker rooms and the casinos long enough to survive.

  6. Living there is a different story. Locals have homes and cars. They don't have to worry about long flights or flight, rental car, and hotel prices. I thinking living there wound fun.

    1. It would be a totally different experience for sure, Ace. But you better have a lot of discipline to pull it off.