Aug 7, 2008

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Viva Las Vegas

So here I am in Vegas on a lark.  I have religiously avoided this place and Atlantic City for 10 years.  In part because my family has a history of compulsive gambling and in all candor given the right circumstances it is a bug that can bite me — and has.  The other reason is that at 51 with a wife and daughter my days of reckless abandon are behind me.  I don’t foresee me winning enough to really matter and the risk/reward just doesn’t seem enticing any more.  Besides with MS my legs are not up for the arduous walk along the Strip to see the faux wonders of the world.

So what m I doing here?  Continental Airlines announced a poker tournament for its 21st Anniversary.  The invite went out to its frequent flyers.  The stakes are miles. 21 Million for the winner.  The notion of playing in a live HOLD ‘EM tourney for free was enticing and provided a good excuse to go back to my old stomping grounds.  Back in my youth I used count cards in Black jack, which is verboten in Vegas.  I got thrown out of a number of casinos and in truth I’ve been carrying a grudge for a while because it seemed patently unfair to me to ban players who took gambling seriously but to prey on the drunk, naive and hopeless.  But I’m over it now and Continental is offering lots of free food and liquor.  They’ve done a nice job and the Golden Nugget is proving very hospitable.

So how am I doing?  After Day One there are 160 out of 250 players left.  I started with $50,000 in chips and am comfortably sitting with $164,000, having sent four players packing already.

 

Wish me luck.

 

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