Monday, June 27, 2016

A Complete Mess

Good morning everyone.  Well, all of my things are completely moved into my new place, and let me tell you, it's a complete mess.  After I went to the Rio last night for my brother's shift at the World Series of Poker, we ventured back to the outskirts of the city, and I got a good night's sleep (like 7:00 a.m. til 4:00 p.m.).  Hey, I had to detox from the Red Bulls, so sue me...  Then I began transferring many of my belongings from three big plastic totes into more transportation-friendly duffle bags and the like.  I was surprised to discover that I was able to fit the rest of my things into his car, and after enjoying one last home-cooked meal (London Broil, mashed potatoes, and corn), Pete and myself made our way across the desert to my new place.  My thanks again go out to Pete and Carmen for putting me up at their house, for cooking for me (I'll seriously have to use poker comps for any meal that involves ANY LEVEL of preparation or effort)  :) , and for shuttling me to and from the Strip.  I'm hopeful that I got enough rest at their place to be able to conquer the desert.

So, back to my complete mess.  My place, a small one-bedroom, has stuff scattered EVERYWHERE.  Since I plan on unpacking and job hunting over the next few days, I thought that I'd check in with y'all again now.  It's now been nine days since I've played poker, but it's not all bad living with the memory a nice win for more than a week.  At the same time, it's hard not playing with all of the action that's in town now, but getting settled and finding a job has to happen sometime.  Practicality...  I've discovered that writing at this time of night is beneficial due to the wi-fi here.  In the wee hours of the morning, more people are sleeping, so the wireless works better.  Something that I'm fighting endlessly with my new place is the AC unit.  I have wall-mounted air-conditioning as opposed to central air here, and the unit works, but I constantly go from being cold to hot, so I'm adjusting the controls seemingly nonstop.  First world problems, eh?

I don't have a specific game-plan laid out yet, but I anticipate visiting the Strip at least once this week, and then spending the weekend playing poker.  If I get this place straightened-out (semi sort-of) and fill out a bunch of online job apps, I believe I'll feel more at peace playing cards.  HR offices tend to be closed during the weekend, so that's my plan for the moment.  Speaking of the moment, the time change from the east coast is often prevalent in my thoughts.  The Walmart in my hometown closes at 10:00 p.m., and working a closing shift meant that I'd be at the store until 10:30 p.m.  Due to the three-hour difference, it's 7:30 p.m. here at that time, and the sun is still shining.  Ironically, that 5:30 a.m. opening shift that I struggled waking up for, well, it's 2:30 a.m. here at that time, and I'm OFTEN still awake here in Las Vegas.  My habit of being a night owl works out very well here in the desert, but it conflicts with watching football games (the sport I like to wager on).  The early round of Sunday NFL games begins at 10:00 a.m., and NCAA action on Saturdays kicks off even earlier.  As I've mentioned in another of my blogs (and maybe even here), I plan on wagering less on football this time around, and focusing more on poker.  I'll still study and enjoy the game, but as far as the poker goes, and that "just like riding a bicycle" idiom...  I feel very confident in my poker right now, and I've probably railed more hands at the World Series this summer than any other human...  :)  I'm extremely hopeful that this trip to the desert will be the one that sees me making my living (or a substantial amount of secondary income) as a poker player.  For those of you who have never been to the World Series, it looks something like this...

As for the blog, I don't anticipate writing until early next week, unless something newsworthy happens.  However, I thought that I'd leave you with a few photos of some of the most notable bodybuilders in the Austin/San Marcos area.  It's been so long since I've consistently stolen from the lives of my friends, hasn't it?  :)

The top two photos feature my friend and former softball player Leanne.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you've seen Leanne featured countless times, so often in fact that I probably owe her a cheeseburger (or something that healthy people actually eat)...  ;)  Leanne is posing with her mom Lupe in the top shot, and with her boyfriend Cody in the second photo (I couldn't choose Leanne)...  :)  Along with my friend Molly, who is showcased in the bottom picture, Leanne and Cody apparently did very well at a competition in Austin this weekend.  Congratulations everyone!!

And that's a wrap for now.  Have a great week and I'll see y'all next time!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Poker Chop & Much More Vegas...

Good morning everyone.  It's been a pretty busy week for me out here in the desert.  I imagine that I'll be able to say that to you pretty much every week, but the past few days included finding a place to live, so this is still a little unique.  Let's rewind back to Tuesday morning...  I've been staying with my brother's family since I arrived in town about a month ago, and I've often traveled to the Strip and/or the Rio when my brother has commuted to work.  Pete has been working six days a week (with three of those days including double shifts) with the World Series of Poker going on.  Naturally, Tuesday was Pete's lone day off when I received a morning call from the place that I stayed at for 2 1/2 months when I was last in Vegas two years ago.  I came by here last Friday, and of course they had no units available, but they took my phone number, in case something should open up.  Wonderful...  But alas, they did call, and Pete agreed to run me over here so that I could snag the lone available unit.  It's obviously been great being able to stay with my brother's family after my whirlwind return to Las Vegas (which I touched on a few posts back, but still haven't spelled out in complete detail), and I'm very appreciative.  My best guess is that it will take two more trips at most to move the rest of my stuff here from their place, and then I'll have a complete mess (I'll be completely moved in)...  :)  Of course I'll miss Carmen's cooking, and the things that kids say.  My nephew, who is going out for the freshman football team, recently quipped that he wants to switch high schools because the school that he currently attends doesn't utilize wide receivers in their offense, the position that he'd like to play...  :)

So back to Tuesday...  My brother and niece had dropped me off here, and I got my key and "moved in," with what I hastily threw together on short notice.  Since I had virtually none of my stuff, OF COURSE I got a phone call later that day for a Wednesday job interview.  I messaged Pete and let him know what I'd need for the job interview the next day, and then made plans with my friend Emmy for later on Wednesday.  NOTE:  If you live in Las Vegas, your friends WILL COME TO VISIT...  :)  So now it's Wednesday morning, and low and behold, I get ANOTHER phone call, this one informing me that my interview has to be moved...  So my meeting with Emmy and her "best friend" (this is an "inside credit card joke" - brand new category) gets moved to a lunch date.  NOTE:  If you live in Las Vegas, your friends will often BUY YOU LUNCH...  Thanks Emmy, thanks again Kyleigh...  :D  After lunch, I then go to my job interview, and then return to the middle of the Strip to watch my friends play craps.  Vegas life is non-stop, in case you haven't heard...  ;)

So back to today, when my brother and I brought a substantial load of my stuff to my new place before he headed off to work, and then my friend Joey took me to Walmart.  NOTE:  Joey, Pete, and myself will once again be giving you our favorite weekly football bets again this season.  Football season is sneaking up on me, as busy as I've been...  Joey, who I dealt poker with at the Riviera,  has once again said "anytime" to shuttling me to Walmart for groceries when I need them.  Joey was very helpful to me in this regard two years ago, and of course I try to purchase them a month at a time, because who wants to shop every ten seconds anyway???  This was something that amazed me working at my hometown Walmart, the customers that I'd seemingly see on a daily basis.  Of course it wasn't many, but I couldn't do it...  Walmart would be an obvious employment choice for me if there was a store located closer to the Strip (and maybe it will still happen in the future).  I bring that up because when Joey and I rolled my full cart up to the register, I noticed the cashier responding to a message in her earpiece.  My eyes immediately shot to her name badge, at which point I stated, "I KNEW you were a CSM..."  I knew this because she had a radio, and trust me, cashiers don't want a radio...  :)  That story is for my friends back at the Littleton store...  ;)  And I can't tag all of you on Facebook, because I have a poker story too, with poker people to tag...  :P  So Joey and I have tentative plans to make an appearance at the World Series of Poker next Friday (and maybe a quick shopping trip first Joey, for those football magazines and some cold food, since the fridge seems to be working...  LOL).  And before you judge me people, Joey is skipping town for most of July...  :P

And now we go back in time to last Saturday, which seems like ages ago due to my busy week...

I had a week-long run or so of bad luck in the cash games (pocket kings getting rundown by a pair with a backdoor flush draw after I shoved post flop, pocket aces getting called and beat by 5-7 suited after I shoved preflop, things like that for you poker people).  So I decided to play in the Flamingo's $60.00 buy-in NL poker tournament after taking a few days off, and low and behold, we had 71 total entrants, with only 6 getting paid.  Can you say SHOVEFEST?  Well, karma tilted back in my favor (most notably when my ace-jack cracked ace-queen), and I won some races (ace-king vs. pocket jacks, nines vs. king-ten suited), and I zigged and zagged, and ended up in a 4-way chop for first place, and the $680.00 that you see above.  A "chop" occurs when the remaining players agree to split the remaining prize pool in a tournament in some fashion.  In this case, the 4 of us split the last $2,720.00 evenly.  This tournament cash allowed me to recoup all of the money that I had lost in the cash games since returning to town.  It also convinced me that I need to make tournaments my focus, as opposed to live cash games.  Going as far back as Joey and I working at the Riviera, our friend Rick has told me forever that I should play more tournments, since I seem to do so well in them.  I love playing them, but I hate the juice (the percentage) that the casino takes to run the tournies.  However, the house gets money from cash games also, and I have historically fared better in tournies.  Two $1,000.00, three $500.00, and a $100.00-plus cash in freeroll tournaments immediately come to mind.  SOOOO, when my life slows down a bit, I will be trying my hand (pun intended) in some more poker tournaments.  Also, when life slows down a little, I will start writing about poker in my poker blog again.  It just makes more sense when I'm actually living in Vegas...  ;)

Okay, all of that should take you a second to digest.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

State Championships & Reunions

Good evening everyone.  Just looking for a job, a place to live, and watching the NBA Finals right now, so why not do a little blog post?  Well, first, my alma mater won a state championship in baseball for the first time since 1979...

Those of you keeping score at home may recall that the boys also brought home the title in basketball earlier in the school year.  Is it simply a coincidence that the boys bring two state titles back to Littleton in the school year that I moved back to town?  YES, it's a total coincidence, but going to watch them play was a great way to pass some time...  :)

Speaking of time passing, I had a nice little reunion with one of my former athletes yesterday.  Kyleigh played a little bit of basketball and a WHOLE BUNCH OF SOFTBALL in San Marcos, and followed that up with some juco ball, then more ball at a four-year school, and then tacked a Master's Degree onto that, just for the heck of it.  Underachiever...  :)  She is now living here in the desert and will be getting married later in the year.  What can I say about Kyleigh?  She was a competitor, and coachable, and bright, and I'd take nine of Kyleigh and play against anybody anytime.  So when I tried to pay for our meal yesterday, Kyleigh tells me that she's picking it up, since I had to deal with her as a teenager, etc...  I just laughed.  If only all coaches had it so rough...  :)  I agreed to let Kyleigh get our meal, and if you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll probably never guess where we ate...

The Pizza Joint at the Flamingo ought to be paying me for all of this publicity that I give them...  Immediately upon seeing how this photo came out, I complimented Kyleigh on her outfit, and how it seems to blend right in with the pizza paper...  :)  Anyway, great pizza and an enjoyable afternoon catching up.  It had probably been four years since I'd seen Kyleigh, and that was just briefly, on the Square in San Marcos.

As I said before, I'll let y'all know when I know more (job wise)...  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thirty Years

Good afternoon everyone.  It's been a long time since I posted from my phone, and it's out of laziness, and not due to necessity this time around.  I was prepared to write for you last night, and then I ended up watching the end of Zodiac, a movie that I had started watching earlier yesterday.  And this brings us to about 1:00 a.m. this morning, when I started watching Vision Quest, which played right into my reminiscent mood, and successfully thwarted the possibility of any writing being done last night.  Vision Quest gave a little airtime to an up and coming singer in a small club scene as she sang parts of 'Gambler' and 'Crazy For You.'  Maybe you've heard of Madonna...

Yes, that's how long ago Vision Quest was filmed, and thirty years ago today, well, what do you know, I graduated from high school.  Yes, WOW...  I need to give a shout out to the Class of 2016 at my alma mater, as they're graduating 30 years to the day that my class did.  A special shout out goes to my friend Ally, who I worked with at my hometown Walmart.  Ally was still pretty new to the store, and in an instance when I was just being me, doing... SOMETHING, this high school senior flat out called me a dork...  Of course I started laughing, and that's when I knew that Ally was one of the cool kids...  :)  Again, congratulations to Ally and to all of the Crusaders leaving Littleton High School today.  In related news, the baseball team at LHS has reached the state finals, and that game has been moved to Tuesday because both schools (Littleton and Sunapee) are hosting graduation ceremonies today.  Good stuff...

As for me, I have yet to get a job dealing poker (maybe the game had passed me by?).  Anyway, I'm about to open up the job search, because money does come in handy, and my brother's family will want their house back at some point..  :)  Seriously, they have been SO hospitable, and I appreciate it IMMENSELY...   Since I'm getting older (remember, I graduated from high school 30 years ago), I'm thinking it's probably about time I settled down somewhere (maybe??)...  For a city that thrives on tourism, I see a glaring lack of customer service in many instances, and I just need ONE GOOD JOB...  After having found out on May 4th that my landlord in Littleton had found a couple who wanted to rent my place in Littleton, giving my two weeks notice at work (while pushing to be out of my place by noon on the 18th), making arrangements to move here, and then driving a little more than 2,700 miles across the country from 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20th til 7:20 a.m. on Monday, May 23rd, I'm JUST NOW..., FINALLY, not feeling completely exhausted all the time.  I know, I know, I "gained" 3 hours while driving west, so I need to suck it up...  :)  There's no doubt that in my 30 years since high school, and in my 47-plus years overall, I lived a pretty adventurous little life (which I'm reminded of every time that I fill out a job application, and have to provide my work history - UGGHHH)...

Today I have a day full of the Strip and poker ahead of me.  My brother has been doing some "double-duty" at work, so on days he works at both the sportsbook  (Bally's/Paris/Planet Hollywood) and the World Series of Poker, we arrive on the Strip at about 11:00 a.m., leave for the Rio at 7:00 p.m., and head home at around 4:00 a.m.  Yes, he's a trooper...  :)

As for myself, I'll let you know more when I know more.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!