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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

What I Learned in Vegas Part II

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At the end of my first “What I Learned in Vegas” story, I wrote “I’m sure there is more I will remember as things start to settle,” and things have started to settle.

A major thing I forgot in my first story was the topic of Las Vegas water.  My first two days there I made a silly mistake assuming that water you got from a tap in Las Vegas was the same as anywhere else.  On my third day there my uncle who lives about 30 minutes away from “The Strip” took me to a restaurant for breakfast called “The Egg and I,” but the way my stomach was feeling even an egg was too much food for I.  I told him not much from my diet had changed, and to that point in the trip I had eaten pretty healthy. 

Without missing a beat, my uncle asked “have you drunk the water?”  Apparently residents of Las Vegas have a term for people trying Vegas water for the first time, “The Las Vegas Flu.”  From that point on I made the responsible choice and tried my best to stick to beer and liquor.

The water woes for Las Vegas may be even more doomed, if you can believe that.  At the Boys and Girls Club charity pool party I alluded to in the last story, I met two people that work for the Las Vegas water authority.  Not only did both of these guys tell me they would never drink the water, but they also told me that same water is drying up and could pose a major problem for the city in just a few years.  They feel so threatened by the threat of the desert drying up that they say they have both started looking for places to live just in case.  My thinking is that these things always have a way to work themselves out.  I mean, come on, it’s Las Vegas, they will find a way.  Even if it means shipping in millions of gallons a water a day, water that will most likely taste better, they will find a way to get the city going right along. 

But, imagine for a minute that Las Vegas does go the way of a ghost town.  I have a vision where they move the “new” Las Vegas a few hundred miles in one direction or another and they start it all over again.  In the future when you visited this new Las Vegas you could take tour buses to the old Las Vegas, much the same way you visit the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyons now.  In the middle of the desert would be all the remnants of the great hotels covered in dust, including the “pyramid” and the New York, New York roller coaster.  Sometimes my imagination gets a little away from me, being in Vegas will do that to you.

I also learned that I shouldn’t bet on sports.  I bet on the Boston Red Sox three times when I was in Vegas.  The Red Sox – best record in the American League – had a record of 0-3 during the games I bet.  Not only did the Red Sox lose, but they lost in emphatic fashion.  The first game they had a 9-1 lead in about the third inning.  I made the gambler’s mistake of counting the money before the bet was actually over, and it was far from over.  Six innings later the Red Sox has squandered the lead, and gave up the biggest lead in their history since 1984.  I should have quit there, but I bet the next game, where they were ahead, and ended up losing in 12 innings.  One more time I bet on them, this time they lost 6-0.  

My gambling observations as a whole may be a little concerning for the readers at  After all, I’m a poker player, not a gambler.  I should know that I don’t have edges in any of these games, and I should avoid them like Las Vegas tap water.  I have no excuse.  Vegas won, living up to its nickname of “Lost Wages.”  All the colorful lights and the hope of striking it big with a single spin were too great for me to handle.  Lesson learned.  I should have followed the poker players at the charity pool party, and stayed away.  When we first got to the party at the Golden Nugget they had five or six blackjack tables right when you walked in, spreading limits from 50-200 bucks a hand.  The poker players there could easily afford that, but not one of them approached the table for over three hours, leaving the bikini clad dealers with nothing but their smile.  With about an hour to go before the party, the limits at the blackjack tables dropped to 10-25 dollars.  Only then did a few people mosey over, but none of them were the big named poker players.

Finally, I learned that eight nights in Vegas is a long time.  Around the 4th or 5th night you start to get a bit of a restless feeling that can only be cured by either walking around in a drunken haze until the sun comes out (see” What I Learned in Vegas Part I”) or going home.  I’m happy to be home now, the cold is gone, my dog was happy to see me and I missed my wife.
Now only if I can find a way to fall asleep before 5 a.m. in the Eastern Time zone, things will be back to normal, at least as normal as you can get after an extended Las Vegas trip.

*Read Billy Monroe's Blog*

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