This is my twelfth World Series of Poker, and the first for which I will be in Las Vegas for the duration of the Series (actually, I was a day late due to illness, but I’m going to count it!).
For the first time in a while, my girlfriend is here with me. Understandably she wasn’t interested in spending the summer in some sad, low-end studio apartment of the sort I’ve rented for past WSOP trips. But she also wasn’t interested in some luxury one-bedroom condo – she wouldn’t be my girlfriend if she were! #nitcast
Her suggestion was that we rent a house instead. I was a bit reluctant, because I didn’t have any clear idea of who would occupy the other bedrooms, but it looks like it’s going to work out well. Dara O’Kearney will be here for most of the summer, and then a variety of friends and students will rotate through the third bedroom over the course of the series. I’ve often said that one of my biggest regrets is that I never did the whole “rent a house with a bunch of other players and spend the summer immersed in poker and learning from each other” thing, and this is the closest I’m likely to get.
It’s what I think of as a typical Las Vegas house: newly built, blandly functional, and fundamentally cheap beneath a facade of luxury. I’ve always said that Las Vegas is a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with America.
Speaking of which, the house is in a little gated community that, judging by the packet of rules that was waiting for us when we arrived, seems to be governed by an aggressive Homeowner’s Association. Though ridiculous (No fake plants of any kind on exterior property! No decorations except for American flags or appropriate holiday decorations that are promptly removed!), none of these seems likely to affect us except for aggressive street parking restrictions which could be an issue because the house has a two-car garage but we’re likely to have three cars here at various times (returning again to the theme of everything that’s wrong with America). In all likelihood we’ll just be able to get a visitor parking permit and it will all be fine, but I’ll feel better once that’s sorted out with the landlord.
Anyway, on our first night here, I dreamt that a high school friend of mine, his family, and his dog (I don’t know where that last part came from, as he doesn’t have a dog and never has) came to stay with us. Also my boyhood dog, Paul, was alive and with us. My friend’s dog ran away, and while we were out look looking for it, Paul made a mess of the living room carpet.
We found my friend’s dog, but it escaped again while we were cleaning up Paul’s mess. This time a community security guard brought the dog back to us with a stern warning and also a referral code for a doggie daycare, in the style of the “Girls Direct to Your Hotel Room!” cards that are omnipresent on The Strip, because of course this is Las Vegas and even in your dreams everyone is getting a kickback.
I woke up enough to realize that my pounding heart was just the result of the dream. “None of that really happened,” I reassured myself. “The dogs haven’t gotten out.” Then I woke up a bit further and remembered that there are no dogs here and Paul has been dead for 15 years.
Happy WSOP everyone!