I arrived at the Imperial Palace on Thursday morning, but I didn't make it to the check-in counter for a little while longer. The Hooker Bar and shots of SoCo were in the way.
I met up with Alcanthang, Pauly, Derek, JoeSpeaker and StB during my first stop at the bar. There's nothing surprising about how long it took for me to start drinking. Luggage in hand, I took four shots of SoCo and drank a beer before even checking in. It went down smooth.
I eventually did check in before returning to the bar for more drinking and socializing. I remember talking to F-Train, RecessRampage, ButchHoward, Penner and an ever-growing accumulation of other kick-ass personalities who my blurry memory fails to recall at the moment. It's hilarious to me how vivid some of the Vegas recaps from those first few hours are, before the drinks impaired happy recollections.
I remember heading to the roulette table at some point, and true to my word, I set a stop loss. I booked a $115 win and never got back to roulette again. Later I headed with to the Venetian with the Penner bros, where we ate dinner and played poker. I got 10 hours of sleep that first night in preparation for significantly less sleep during the rest of the trip.
The Hooker Bar is the perfect central location for everyone to hang out. In this sixth year of the annual Winter Gathering, I realized how few new faces there were. Almost everyone had been on a blogger trip before. I don't see many new poker blogs being written. I hope new bloggers come along, and I welcome them, but I don't think they will. Most of us are products of the Moneymaker era, and the poker and blogging boom is our bond.
I hope it lasts for many years to come. I had a great time as always.