It's been a month since I hit Sin City, let's see what I've learned so far…
The poker career? Uh, if I had a day job, I wouldn't quit it. I don't know that I've given it a complete shot, but what I've been through so far has shown me that there is a lot more to surviving while playing cards when that is the only source of income. Don't get me wrong, I haven't lost the farm or anything like that; in fact, I'm in the black. However, I may as well be starting each month down a couple grand since money has to be made up to pay for rent, bills, food, entertainment, etc. All you 'I told you so-ers,' get 'em in now.
The off-strip experience. There are a few off-strip restaurants that I've discovered and nearly any needed amenity is readily available. Not too much else to say here other than off-strip Vegas feels like Anytown, USA, except there is a lot more driving involved.
Driving? Yes, ass-loads of it. With land so cheap and vast here, everything is spread out to oblivion. Seriously, to go anywhere is a minimum 15 minute drive. It takes half a tank of gas just to get gas. In the month I've been here, I've racked up over 2500 miles, all within the city limits.
Health. Most would assume Vegas to be pretty bad for the body. On the contrary, it's helped me get back in shape. I joined a gym when I got to town and have been fairly diligent about getting in there. I've also been making regular trips over to the ice rink and doing some skating for cardio. Being able to hit on all of the 15 year old girls helps keep the motivation up. Kidding! (they're more like 12). I've been drinking so much cranberry juice at the tables there's no fear of that urinary tract infection kicking in. Food-wise, I've been cooking almost all of my own meals and eating relatively healthy (I'd say I've lost a good 5 lbs from what I added in Europe and New York). I've got to get the abs in shape for my Thunder Down Under tryout next month.
The typical Vegas experience. Any desire to do this on a regular basis was lifted the second I set my bags down. It's like living in San Diego and never going to the beach because it's right there. Or not doing lines of blow off that hooker because there is a perfectly clean mirror on the table. I've been out a few times while living here, but solely when people have been in town visiting. On the plus side, I have been able to take advantage and see a couple of the shows that are currently playing. I've seen Le Reve (good show) and Love (good, but shouldn't have been billed as a Cirque show); tomorrow, I'm going to check out 'O' and I'm planning on seeing Blue Man when my parents come into town next month. Also managed to take in a couple hockey games over at the Orleans.
Overall…do I regret coming out here? Not for a second. I know that this isn't everyone's dream, but it was one of mine. While things may not be going down exactly as I drew them up in my head, by coming out here, it will never be an unanswered 'what if' question in my mind. And for that, I can rest easy.