Surreal has pretty much been the personal buzzword bouncing around in my head the last few weeks, and its pretty applicable today, sitting here in the media room watching the final table action on a live television feed piped into the room. While the real action is literally occuring 100 yards away, media restrictions basically render 95% of media badge holders as mere spectators (and Harrah's for some reason insists on providing seating for only a hundred or so spectators) so it's easier to cover the final table from the media room.
I never thought I'd say it, but man, I'm pretty sick of Vegas. Not for any real demonstrable reason, other than its not my home, not my house, and my wife isn't here. For the first week or so I actually liked the routine nature of each day, as far as working my butt off on the writing/reporting gig, cheering on PokerRoom.com team members, getting together for dinner and drinks at the same place each night, and so on. Then suddenly I realized that I was doing the same damn thing, day in and day out, and it wasn't something I really enjoyed, as far as what I'd be otherwise doing with myself.
I'm not sure I've come to any grand understandings in my 33 years on the planet so far, but I do feel like I'm eliminating some things I'm not. I'm not the sort of person who enjoys being away from home. I'm not the sort of person who ever wants to be away from home on an extended business trip. I'm not the sort of person who enjoys long nights of boozing and assorted adventures.
Whining aside, it's been a fun trip, and something I'd happily do next year if offered the chance. I won a big gob of money at the silly -EV games like blackjack and video poker, thankfully more than enough to offset the losses at the poker tables. This trip was pretty brutal on the poker front, despite a decent cash in a Caesar's nightly tournament. Like most trips, most of the damage was done in a couple of pivotal hands, including losing a $1,400 pot with AA versus 66 and another $1,000 pot with AA versus J7o (on a flop of 10 4 2, no less).
Not really sure what this trip has done for my outlook on poker, in a broad sense. It did light a bit of fire underneath me to want to play in the Main Event next year, so I suppose that's encouraging. But it's also driving home the fact that I'll simply likely not play a ton of poker in the future, and that when I do I need to resign myself to a certain amount of ridiculousness. I only managed to get in seven or eight hours at cash games this trip, and that's far from enough time to draw any sort of conclusion (or derive any sort of advantage) about any poker skill I might have. Progress to full-time poker duffer continues, but still kind of hard to get my head around from time to time.
Flying home tomorrow, thank Jebus.