Time and again I've often seen many a familiar face shambling around the grounds of the Rio or the Venetian looking downcast. "I'm skint and I don't go home for a week. There's nothing for me to do here".
I beg to differ.
A lot of the UK guys have asked me for advice for stuff to do in Las Vegas. Restaurants, shows etc. not because I'm the oracle(maybe the orifice) but because I've been doing this a pretty long time now. I have some juice in the town after all this time, and some very good friends and know the right people, so as long as I can help the nice ones out, I'll always try. In fact years ago when I was young and green it was Simon Galloway who marked my card and showed me the ropes over here. Now I like to think we help each other. Las Vegas is a place of discovery. You have to try things for yourself and see what works for you and what doesn't. Some guys roll into town with one change of clothes and a schedule to play and that's their entire trip. A shame in my opinion, because they're missing out, and would feel better and play smarter if they took a look at what Nevada has to offer besides poker rooms, strip clubs, and gaming tables.
Finding some other stuff to do here on your poker down-time is a lesson that a lot of players never bother to learn. It may not win you the next tournament, but it certainly won't do you any harm.
OK, I turned an ankle whilst hiking today, so maybe it can do you some harm, but you get the general idea. Just don't be clumsy and you'll probably be fine.
My good friend Mark went to play the Aria WPT $1 million event today. My buddy Joe Vigurs and a host of others were playing 1C in the WSOP. I went hiking away from Las Vegas.
Mount Charleston is about 30 min outside Las Vegas. At the point I was visiting it's maybe 9000 feet higher and 20 degrees cooler than down on ground level (ie-the strip). Today I decided on a trail called Mary Jane Falls, possibly named after a pothead who took a wrong turn on the mountain one night and met a very nasty end, but more likely because after a very steep hike of around an hour, you end up at a mini-waterfall, and if you're lucky, not with a gaggle of howling rugrats trying to kill chipmunks with rocks and carve their names into the stone of the mountain.
I was lucky and unlucky. When I made it up there, it was like a day trip from Circus Circus with kids screeching and bumping into everything and everyone. Didn't help with the tranquility/downtime angle but hey, we all want different stuff. The iPod, headphones and James Newton Howard's score to Michael clayton (an excellent film also) took care of them, and when they finally buggered off to look for a McDonalds I was left just with a very nice couple. She from Canada, he from the US, and their boxer dog Rufus. We chatted for 20 mins or so about all manner of weirdness and wonderment, and then parted ways all happier for the experience of just talking and laughing about stupid stuff, and watching Rufus try an off again on again romance with my backpack.
Steady descent, stopping briefly to almost break my ankle due to being too clever for my own good, and I got back to the car and stopped off at a mountain lodge for some grub and made my way home. Not a busy day but most certainly not a wasted one.
Tomorrow of course is in the lap of the gods. I'd like more chips, but I guess I'll just have to try and earn them the old fashioned way...
The hits on the site today are even higher than yesterday, which is nice to see. I've had messages or comments from the US, the UK, Cyprus,Australia, Israel,among others so I'm glad that it seems to be a mildly interesting read, and thanks again for the kind words. Tomorrow I'll try to make it yet more interesting still with some good things to say on my WSOP day two. See you then, and if you go hiking, wear proper hiking boots. Unlike me.