I’ve had this blog since 2004 or so, and I’ve used it for some nice writing, but mostly it’s just been a place to post about a nice win, which for me is just a couple of hundy.  I’m definitely on the fringe of what most consider "A" lists, or anything like that.

I don’t know how to play craps, but I can survive at a $5 blackjack table.  I play poker, but not really that well.  I’m here for the drinks and good times. That pretty much sums up my 2010 Blogger Gathering Experience.

I rolled into Vegas on Monday.  Yep…Monday… Wait, where the fuck is everyone???  OK, I was early, but with good reason.  My lovely girlfriend lives in LV, so as it turns out, the Blogger Gathering was simply coinciding with a normal trip out there.  Hell, in the twelve weeks prior to the gathering, I’d been in LV for six of them, so the town is not new to me…but the Strip is. I hate the Strip…Don’t get me wrong, I love everything the strip has come to represent in the last decade…excess…gluttony… but I really, really, really hate being there.  Fucking tourists who don’t know which side to walk on.  Drunken whores from Atlanta who think everything is just "soooooo darn purty…." Yeah, not really my scene.  Only been down there a couple of times to see some shows, and not really into it.  Sue me.

Let’s preface the rest of this by saying that I’ve only met five poker bloggers in person prior to this.  BuddyDank and Joanada for starters.  I gave Jo away at their wedding, and to this day, this is the coolest thing that anyone has ever asked me to do for them.  Also, Jimdniacc, a local blogger from Iowa who’s fallen off the radar in the last year.  And of course, Pushmonkey, who needs all of your prayers at this moment. I’m not kidding here, send a shout up to the big man on his behalf. And CK (who’s apparently locked down her blog), who is the point-woman for anyone of you who wants to come here and meet people.

Of course, I’ve gotten to know a great many of you through the years through blogger tourneys and BuddyDank Radio.  Had many IM convos with you, talked with you on-air, etc… But nothing is like the real thing baby.

My blogger weekend started Wednesday night.  We booked a room at the Flamingo for a couple of nights.  Something like $40 per night, decent deal.  Drove down, and met up with Buddy and Jo.  We saw them at the airport on Monday, funny story actually…we had arranged for Jo and I to catch the same connecting flight in Denver, but weather didn’t want any part of that apparently.  We did all see each other at McCarren on Monday at least.

So back to Wednesday, a pretty low key night. Met Astin who was playing Pai Gow with the intensity of a Lion stalking its prey on the plains. Finally met XKM1245, aka Jeopardy Boy, and we all decided to grab a bite.  Las Vegas secret here…the Oyster Bar at Harrah’s is great, wait, scratch that, how about fucking awesome.  Marlo and I had been there before, and had a great meal, and the second trip was even better, and we both have pretty high standards for seafood.  Everyone else went to a neighboring burger place…KGB’s I think…I don’t know.  I don’t really get into gourmet burgers. If someone reading this wants recommendations for great off-strip restaurants, let me know…I know good food, I was born and raised in a restaurant.

We found my bar…yes, I have a bar…more on this in another post.

After dinner, it was some light slot play, and then eventually down to O’Shea’s for some $5 blackjack with the tourists and Jo and Marlo.  This, to me, was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend. And let me say this….I LOOOOOOOVE O’Shea’s.  So small, so full of young tourists, so fun. Just fun. I had a great time with the two of them, who seemed to be off in their own little world for a while in deep conversation.  Surely talking about nothing but good things about me…

So Day 1 in the books.  New bloggers met…two…XKM and Astin.

Thursday morning, and I can now officially say that I’ve slept on the Strip.  Yee-haw.  I feel like a cowboy.

Can I just say this right now. I hate cowboys.  There.  Done.  Fucking hicks were everywhere.

OK, I’m done.

Marlo is off to work by nine, and I catch a few more hours, wake up, clean up, and hit the Flamingo Buffet (nice deal on the room, $40 per night and 24h access to any Harrah’s property buffet).

I’d noticed at O’Sheas that they ran tournaments every two hours.  I inquired about them on Wednesday and just as I thought, they end up pretty small (1-2 tables), and pretty much have a turbo structure.  But, they were only $45…of course, I found out later that’s $30 + $15.  A terrible deal, but whatever, I wanted to play some poker.  I called Buddy up, he’s nowhere close to ready to leave the room.  Called XKM up, he’s out and about checking out Aria, but said he’d be there for the 1:00 tourney.  Yee-haw, donkey poker.  Got down there, and the tourney ends up with eight people…perfect. A donkey SnG to start the day off right.  First hand, some dude goes all in with K-10 on a K-x-x flop and some other donkey hits his six high straight on the turn.  Awesome.

It goes without saying that XKM and I ended up 1-2 in this, and we chopped the $240 (only first place paid) and headed for the IP. And so begins my downward spiral into a stupor that I wish I could remember.


We head on over to the IP, find a Pai Gow table, and I grab a seat.  I’ve never played before, so XKM is behind me for the first few hands, showing me the ropes, and I’ve got it down pretty quickly.  I’m turned around, chatting with him after setting my hand, and I hear a loud "PAI GOW!!!!!" from a few seats over.  At that very instant I KNEW that had to have been a blogger…I look over, and I see this big goofy guy smiling ear-to-ear.  I look a little closer, and I see a hearing aid in his right ear…I look at him, he looks my way…."Drizz!!!" I’m flabbergasted that I’d been sitting here for a few hands and didn’t realize I was in the company of my own.  I turn my head from him and towards myself…"Kat!!!!"…sitting right next to me…  Hugs ensued, and Pai Gow continued.  Drizz is a self-proclaimed Pai Gow Master btw.  Me, I just wanna keep pushing and get cocktails. StB is there, and XKM grabs a seat, and we sit and play Pai Gow for hours.  During which time I’m slowly getting drunk, and drunker…and drunkie… but I was winning…

During this time, Ben and Jo make their way down from their suite, and more hugs.  Iggy and Al show up…more hugs. More beer, more shots.  And by the end of the night…I’m on autopilot.  I’m all over the Geisha Bar, meeting everyone.  Doing mystery shots.  People met that day/night, but I could be wrong on this.  Falstaff, @Maigrey, Shelly, California April, Grange, PokerGrump, Otis, Snuffy, Don, BrainMC, Garth and Gretchen.  and many more.

I drank myself stupid and had to leave, which was a wise choice, but I’m pretty sure I lived up to my Huggie Bear nickname before I departed ways for the evening.  My liver started to hurt now.

More to come….