Friday, July 07, 2017

Back to Vegas

This morning I was trying to calculate just how many days I’ve been in Las Vegas before. It’s probably the one place where I’ve lived the most without having actually moved there.

Going off to college or grad school doesn’t count, as those were genuine “moves” wherein I was more or less living full-time somewhere new. Nor does that year Vera and I spent living in France, even though we knew all along that was a temporary thing.

I spent six summers total reporting on the World Series of Poker (from 2008-2013). The first three I was there the entire way, meaning stays of about seven-and-a-half weeks. The latter three times I only went for four weeks. Add to that other visits here and there, and it probably adds up to 10 months or so living in hotel rooms and apartments in Sin City.

Feels like a lot, although I have friends and colleagues who have spent a lot more of their lives in Vegas while actually living elsewhere. And some who started out going there for a few weeks at at time, then moved there permanently.

In any case, the time I’ve spent in Vegas has been more than enough to make coming back here today seem a bit like some kind of faux homecoming.

So many familiar sights and sounds. I’m staying in the Rio this time, too, and already I’m realizing I long ago memorized many of the details of the place. Have already made that long walk through the casino, down the halls and past the Penn & Teller, down to the ballrooms where everything is still full blast as the last prelims play out and they ready for the Main to start tomorrow.

I’ll be here 16 nights altogether to help report on this year’s WSOP Main Event. More features and interviews and “color” this time than in the past when it was mostly all about hand reports and chip counts for your humble scribbler.

A couple more differences from past summers -- I won’t be updating here everyday along the way, although I will try to check in occasionally. And with the November Nine having been jettisoned (finally), I’ll finally see the sucker through to the end.

Best part of this whole trip is getting to reunite with many friends, a lot of whom I’ve worked with or alongside before, and most of whom I’ve only been interacting online since my last Vegas trip. A lot of been-there-done-that feel, then, but a lot to look forward to as well.

Image: “Las Vegas: Welcome to Vegas” (adapted), WriterGal39. CC BY-ND 2.0.

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