If you know where this picture comes from, then you’re either a degenerate gambler or you’ve done waaaayyyyy too many drugs. Or both. In any case, you might recognize the Chihuly sculpture that lives in the lobby of the Bellagio. Or maybe not. But if you’re looking for me for most of the next week, I’ll be closer to that sculpture than I will to any of my normal haunts. I’m heading to Vegas for my annual pilgrimage to the city of sin to hang with some of my best friends that I don’t see nearly often enough.
I started making this trek in December of 2005, and haven’t missed a year. Next year looks a little cloudy because of my impending self-employed status, but something tells me all the poop will miraculously form into a group at the right time and I’ll be there anyway. In those six years we’ve all laughed, cried, drank, overindulged, gambled and won, gambled and lost, married, divorced, lost and found loved ones and generally lived life, gotten older, not a damn bit wiser, and richer for the friendships we’ve made. This is a special group of people I’m privileged to be part of, and this weekend is just like Merlefest for me, only completely different. It’s going home. Only a different home.
Where Merlefest is a chill weekend punctuated by great music and great friends, this blogger gathering in Las Vegas is a frenetic maelstrom of drunken hijinks, crazy prop bets, gambling on anything that moves (or doesn’t) and great meals punctuated by the magical quiet moments among the storm where you connect with someone you don’t really know, but know you should. It’s less about the poker for me nowadays, and a lot more about hanging with my friends. And I can’t wait.
If you’re anywhere near Vegas, this would be the weekend to come out and hang. I’ll be at the Sherwood Forest Bar in the Excalibur tomorrow night starting around 8-9PM. Friday I’ll be at The Pub at Monte Carlo in the late afternoon/early evening drinking and munching with buds. Then Friday night we move to the Aria poker room for mixed game goodness. Saturday we have a private tournament at noon, then I’m wide open after that. Hopefully I’ll run a little better than I did last year, but I’m not holding my breath :). My poker is teh rusty. No real plans so far for Sunday, but I’ll be betting on some football and watching some games. Sunday night I have a bunch of friends running a half marathon, so I’ll be at the finish line cheering them on. Then Monday we come home, and Tuesday I detox. So you kids behave while I’m gone, and maybe I’ll even hook you up with a scheduled post or two.