Monday, July 7, 2008
Hello West Coast!
12 days after setting off from Atlantic City, I finally made it to Los Angeles, CA! It was an overall awesome experience, probably the best trip I've had (and I've had some good ones). I kept busy from 8am until midnight every day, barely with enough time to eat a meal -- always had to keep on moving! I fit in just about everything I wanted to do, and more!
For the record, LA is very smoky right now due to the local forest fires. I will post photos later, but you can see clouds of smoke overtake areas north of redondo beach. In fact, when I drove into the city late last night (about 3:30 am) I could barely see the skyscrapers from I-10 (which literally borders downtown).
Anyway, I did want to mention a bit of fun I had in Vegas. I went to the Rio, where the World Series of Poker main event was taking place. One of my friends from RPI bought in for $10k, so I figured I would go watch him. Here he is going all-in with trips:
Now, this event is enormous: 150 tables of 10 players per table, plus just as many people in satellite games trying to win a seat in the main event. The tournament takes up just about all of the Rio's convention hall space, and includes an entire expo filled with poker related events, huge celebrities, even putting/driving range challenges and new types of poker games inventors are trying to push.
I got a chance to meet Daniel Negreanu, one of my favorite poker players. He was signing his books in the expo, since he busted out of the tournament the day before and had nothing else to do.
Johnny Chan was also at the expo, and I watched Chris Moneymaker and Doyle Brunson playing for a bit before going off to play the low stakes myself in downtown Vegas.
Before now, I had never been to downtown Vegas -- I've always stayed on the Strip and never had much of a reason to leave it. Going downtown was a neat experience, it's like going back in time 40 years to the days when neon lights (and other things) were abused.
I played poker and half a dozen variants of blackjack for much of the rest of my time in Vegas, before heading West to LA. I left around 10pm on Sunday night to avoid traffic, but it didn't help as it still took nearly 5.5 hours to get to my new apartment in Redondo Beach. Still, it was all the way around quite a great trip and life experience!
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