Friday, February 11, 2005

Home Game Tonight! and Vegas on my mind...

Remember when you were a little kid, and it was the week prior to Christmas? The house was decorated, the tree was all lit-up, and underneath were shiny shimmering packages with your name on it? Remember the countless hours you spent holding each one, gently shaking it, running your fingers along the tape, wishing you could take a peek inside but knowing in your heart that it was worth waiting for?

That is how I feel today.

I am still so bloody excited about going to Vegas next week. This will be my fifth time there in the past four years, but it may as well be my first for how much I am looking forward to it. In my last post I talked about how I am, more than anything, looking forward to seeing my husband. Though it is the predominant reason, I am going to (mostly) set it aside for the moment because a.) I don't want to risk gushing on for hours about him, and b.) I am thinking of all the other reasons I love Vegas so much.

I found this link for poker tournaments:
I don't know how up to date it is, but we are going to check them out and hopefully play in some of the NLHE tourneys.

I have to admit, one of my favorite things about Vegas is the free drinks. Now, I have college education in marketing and advertising, and I DO realize that the drinks are not exactly free, and I know why they offer complimentary beverages. I willingly fall right into their trap when I lose $300 on the blackjack tables during a nine-hour stint when I can barely tell the difference between an ace and a deuce, however I simply don't care. "Bring another round, and make them doubles!" is my mantra in Vegas.

I suppose we have to be able to get away with it somewhere. I always feel let down when I go to a local casino and have to shell out $5 for my libation of choice.

The first three times I was in Vegas we stayed at the Stardust. $39.95 per night, including two free buffet meals, need I say more? However last year when we got married, our wedding package was at the Imperial Palace, so for two weeks that became our home. Great place to play cards? No.....I really don't recommend it. They had just opened their "poker room" - and I use the term loosely - when we were there, so I cant really comment on it since it was so new. It will be interesting to see what they have done with it in the past nine months though.

My favorite thing about the Imperial Palace is one of their restaurants. In a small, comfortable dining space, not a slot machine in sight, you sink into a booth and relax. For less than $10 per person, they offer not only an all-you-can-eat buffet, complete with endless coffee/juice/pop refills, but also an all-you-can-drink-help-yourself-we-aren't-going-to-pour-it-for-you champagne tap. Yep. Champagne on tap. Good champagne too - although by "good" I mean tasty - certainly not expensive. There is nothing like starting off your day (or ending it) with unlimited champagne. I don't know if I would recommend it for day-to-day life, but hell - this IS Vegas after all.

Needless to say, that is where we will be staying again. After an extensive search, I found out two things. First, we picked one of the worst weeks to go to Vegas. Most of the hotels were either sold out or had hiked up their prices to an astronomical amount. Second, don't believe the casino websites when they say that you will save money by booking online. The Imperial Palace website stated that they were almost sold out on the Friday and Saturday night, but if you would pay $142+ per night you could stay. However when I phoned them (and because I have their players card) I was immediately transferred to VIP Casino Reservations, and my room for $49 weekdays and $69 weekends was booked in minutes. "Welcome back Joanne, and enjoy your flight in. We hope that you have an excellent trip."

Well. Thank you. I am certain I will.

So on to more domestic news. My brother is having a home game tonight, which of course makes me extremely happy. I somehow don't get sick of playing poker, even though I devote most of my week to it. Looks like there will be either six or eight of us, so a good time should be had by all!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. For those of us who are home all the time, the day of the week doesn't make much difference, however I still love Fridays - the whole day seems to have a different feel to it.