I just returned from my annual Vegas pilgrimage to the WSOP senior’s tournament. The trip was wonderful from beginning to end.
Our flights were flawless and our luggage traveled with us on the same planes. That’s always an excellent beginning.
The dream continued. Our bag was among the first regurgitated onto the carousel at McCarran and the taxi line was short so in no time we were headed to our hotel.
Good fortune stayed with us. It was barely noon when we got to Paris but were checked in without waiting.
This was Wednesday and my tournament kicked off Friday, but if you’ve ever been to Vegas, there’s no such thing as "dead" time. We had things to do so after unpacking, we hopped around town.
We picked up reserved tickets for Ann and Jan’s Mandalay Bay show and then headed to the Venetian for another set of tickets. They’d see some shows while I hopefully remained engaged in the tournament.
On the way back, I stopped by Rio’s "will-call" desk to pick up my table and seat assignment. Angels sang.
We rode over to the Gold & Silver Pawnshop. No, I wasn’t going to hock anything.
I enjoy the show "Pawn Stars" and figured I’d drop by and say hello to Chumlee. He wasn’t there but a ring that caught Ann’s eye was. It flew home with us.
That evening Bret and I played a little blackjack. We all ate at a nice Italian restaurant after which our circadian rhythms beat taps for Ann and me to hit the hay.
Our California friends Tom, Jan and David checked in around noon Thursday. Jan is Ann’s shopping buddy and they had plans to assault the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and melt some plastic.
Truth be told, they burn more shoe leather than money shopping. David went along as their GPS system. He protects them from shopping in circles, always a danger when those two get lost in forests of clothes and purses.
Bret and I entered a little tournament at Caesars as prelude to our Friday’s World Series of Poker. I’m semi-colorblind and disliked the lack of contrast between their dull pastel chips. I had to read denomination numbers when I couldn’t tell colors.
The next morning I was bushy-tailed ready to go. I know I say it over and over but the WSOP Senior’s Tournament is an absolute joy to play. This was my forth year and each has been a textbook model of efficiency and organization.
We seniors set another record this year with 4,407 entrants. I went pretty deep, sent to the rail in 156th place, which gave me a decent payday.
I apologize if I sound like an infomercial about this shindig but anyone over 50 who enjoys poker should definitely take this ride. It’s spectacularly well organized and staffed and we "adults" play poker without much theater and drama nonsense.
It’s a huge joy and is sure to be so again next year.
Otis Gardner can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.