This is the end my friends. Of another trip anyway. I'd have to say that this is the fastest it has ever felt. There's clearly more I want to do and the Vegas weather is supposed to heat up the next couple of days, which would have made the pool an option.
I feel pretty good with my packing choices. Didn't forget anything, had everything I needed, and the only things that went unused were brought as just in cases: an extra undershirt, an extra pair of underwear, a pair of shorts and a bathing suit. That's pretty solid. Unlike others, I don't delude myself into bringing gym clothes: it's just not going to happen.
It's hard to even talk about yesterday's gambling. I had a five-hour poker session, which was the worst one of my life. This is my first ever down poker trip which is, I suppose, great in retrospect, but its hard to go five hours essentially not winning a hand. And, actually I mean that literally. I had a few small pots I took down before any bets were put in or with a bluff, but in terms of having a showdown, I did not have a single win. I barely played any hands and I only had two pocket pairs in over 200 hands. Aces where I got my set and they still got cracked when four clubs came on the board and it was clear I had to lay down my hand when the guy went all-in even though I had already put a very substantial amount in the pot. And jacks that got beat by aces on my last hand of the day--although I didn't have much on the table at that point.
Butler won and I got to watch the entire spectacular game on a TV right in front of me while playing poker. I am sure the table could have gone without my screaming, but seriously, it was the high point of my day. They were going to have to deal with it. However, the Arizona loss was very tough. A win there, combined with Butler, would have recouped over half my poker losses from the day. A loss combined with my ridiculous loss taking the under in Butler, which was a lock until overtime, and I would be barely up on basketball and have my huge poker loss. When Arizona went on that run in the mid-late second half where they just had dunk after dunk, I really thought I had it in the bag. I'm not sure why they stopped doing that; not getting dunks, but pounding it inside to Williams. And seriously, why was the plan on the last shot to go for the win at all costs with a three instead of getting to overtime? I was a little upset at them shooting a three instead of going inside to start, but when you get the rebound and have what looks like a pretty easy two and instead kick it out for a three with almost no time left, that seems inexcusable to me. You take the overtime. Really a heartbreaker.
Finally, dinner was a signature experience as requested. We had the private chef's table at Mix at the top of THE hotel at Mandalay in a room with one side looking over the whole strip and the other side looking into the kitchen. The view was great, the service was great, and the food was great. I'm not sure I would pay those rates again considering we had such a great meal at Mastro's for less than half that the night before, but it was quite incredible. To me, the Filet Mignon Rossini was the top course. The chef came out afterward to introduce himself and it turns out that he started his career at a restaurant near where some of us live. Small world.
After that, it was mostly people watching as the food, drink and culmination of everything had us all pretty wiped out. My thought is that I will play a little blackjack in the hour I have before departing and then head over to the airport. Thanks for reading--until next year!