The countdown is well underway and the odds of me doing anything productive for my next four business days (no wait, 3 business days and two hours) are practically nil. Yup, I've started the ever-present thoughts of "this time next week I'll be in Vegas," that precede every trip to hang with my invisible internet friends. It's a bummer that some folks who have been at every WPBT trip that I've been a part of aren't able to make it this time 'round, especially the lovely April.
But there are some old faithfuls, like The BlogFather, me, Spaceman, as well as a bunch of new folks like Astin, IronGirl, Lawchica and more. Plus, there's always the hope that Michalski will pull something good outta the trash to wear again. For you first-timers, here's an amalgam of rules that I've picked up from people from my trips. These tips should insure that you have a good time, and that everybody else does.
1) No, really, some people mean no pictures. Some folks work very hard to protect their visual anonymity and their real names. If you take pictures, and most of us take a TON, make sure it's okay with the subject to publish them. Some of us have had our photos plastered (our photos of us while plastered) all over the internet, so we don't care. Like me. If the camera can stand it, take as many as you want. I got this tip from Pauly before my first ever trip, and it still holds.
2) Don't sweat the schedule. Except for the tourney, most everything is timed with an "ish," so don't sweat it if you're late, or early, or decide at the last minute to hang solo somewhere else. The variety of great stories comes from people doing the unexpected, like playing mixed games with Dutch Boyd at the IP at 4:30 AM the night before you leave.
3) Drink a lot of water. Do not pull a Tripjax and try to drink like Al. That's a one-way ticket on a wheelchair ride if ever I've seen one. And if your buddy is so plowed that he needs a wheelchair to get home, for shit's sake take pictures!
4) If you've never been to the WSOP, make it a point to get over to the Rio at least once. It's a spectacle not to be missed.
5) Accept any free drink offers, and reciprocate. This is a crazy-generous bunch of folks, and the round you buy will be repaid in spades.
6) Don't forget to eat. This one's more for me than you, because I have been known to spend 11 hours at a table and forget to eat.
7) Poker chips are dirty. Like really, really dirty. My last trip to Vegas was the first one where I didn't come home with the creeping death flu, and it's because I became an obsessive handwasher for the trip. Every other dealer's down I leave the table to wash my hands. This trip I bought a couple of those little bottles of hand sanitizer, and plan on having that with me when I play. It might look a little germophobic, but the Vegas Ick is no fun.
8) Don't sweat walking up to a loud obnoxious group of people you've never met before. They'll be your best friends before you leave. I'll be in the Orleans bowling alley Thursday night wearing a Full Tilt hockey jersey (number 72) with Falstaff on the back. I'm 6'1 and 250 lbs, so all that makes me hard to miss. Can't wait to meet you.
And for me, my goal this trip is to play less poker and hang out more. I also plan to get bachelor-party drunk at least once, and I'm a big dude, so it takes a bunch. See you in a week!