One of these two people was seen at a poker table this weekend. The other was my roommate for the weekend. You choose.
Back from Vegas after a terrific weekend. Very happy to have been able to share some quality time with Julia, Leigh, Louis, Kalleen and Boom Boom. We had some great experiences, including a night at Moon in the Palms, great gambling, and yes, our first real celebrity sightings in all of our trips. Thanks to a celebrity poker tournament being held at the Venetian, we saw Tito Ortiz, Joanna Krupa, Jason Alexander, Christian Slater, and yes, Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids. And yes, Leigh did indeed get a kiss from him. It was a magical moment for her.
For me, I got to watch the Poker Stars North American Poker Tour event at the Venetian from the rail. For me, it was amazing to be able to stand a foot behind guys like Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, and Daniel Negreanu, and figure out what they're doing, and what the others at the table. They're consistently making correct decisions, which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill.
This was evidenced in the poker tournament that Louis and I played in on Friday morning. I played pretty well, I thought, but just got unlucky. I had a guy dead to rights after reading him well, and he got lucky and hit a card. Later on, he essentially crippled me, and then Louis knocked me out of the tournament, mercifully. But I was most happy about the fact that I made good calls, and good reads, and I think I'm getting better overall.
We also ate some spectacular buffet meals, and if I can, I'd like to make a recommendation for anyone planning a trip out there to stay at the Rio. It will be well worth your time. The rooms are huge, the buffet is great, and there is a shuttle to and from the strip. Well worth it.
Now, I'm back at work, and the grind is back on. 2 tennis matches and a basketball game this weekend. Baseball is around the corner. It's all good.
With this post, I'm asking for any tips that peeps might have about things we have to do that aren't the "norm." I've been there 5 times or so, so anything kind of different might be great.
Also, responding to different comments: Tyler- I read from time to time as well. Tony- You were supposed to bring the Bear. You dropped the ball. All you. Your wife, your child, and your unborn boy all came. He got his first taste of the GotM. Holly- I still haven't figured it out. Have you? Kris- It should say "follow" up in the top left for you. Does it not? And on a side note, I'd be happy to have you as a follower. But not that Toddgy guy. He freaks me out.
If anyone would like to teach me how to alter my new facebook news feed so that all I see are a) status updates and b) photos, that would be swell. I do not want to know the rest of the stuff. I can tell I'm getting old, because all I think about when I see facebook "redesigns" is "GET OFF MY LAWN YOU PUNK KIDS."
I've tried hard not to be an annoying facebook and twitter person. Maybe a new status every 2-3 days. That's not too much to ask. I, unfortunately, have not gotten in to a good habit of doing it that often. I need to work on that.
My friend Sandy Stipp, whose blog can be found at sandrastipp.blogspot.com, has 17 followers, and 4 posts. I have probably 100 posts, and 7 followers. DAMMIT.
I'm thrilled at the Illinois victory last night. For a selfish reason. This year, when I have to go to the Wisconsin band concert, I will not be forced to watch highlights of Illinois getting beat by the Badgers in basketball at the Kohl Center. THANK YOU JEEBUS. Instead, I will wear a nice Illinois jersey. In combination with my "On Wiscation" shirt.
My running is going very slow. My left knee is blowing up a lot. My personal trainer, Amber Nagele, has been slow on the uptake with a cure.
In 8 days, I will be in Las Vegas. I am desperately in need of the break, as I've hit that point in the sports schedule where I will be working sports 3 days a week from here until May. I obviously need the money, but still...it is difficult.
Today, we start filming some "Teammate Game" features for fightingillini.com. I'll try to get those up here when they become available.
Also of note, the Grilling of the Meats was held this past Sunday at the Voss household. We had 13 meats, technically, with prosciutto and bacon on top of other meats...I'll get pictures up here or on facebook sometime shortly. It was a great success, as always.
Also fun was the Gameday experience on Saturday morning. I got my photo taken with the Gameday crew, but they were all looking elsewhere.
So, last Thursday, Kent Brown, Director of Media Relations for the Athletic Department, asked me as a favor to fill in for him in a sports trivia contest that was held yesterday, Sunday, afternoon. I agreed, although I have to admit I was reluctant as Sunday was my one day off this week. Regardless, I was on a team with Dave Laurence (longtime director of the Boys and Girls Club), former DIA Marketing Director Dave Johnson, and football PA announcer Ken Johnson. I had low hopes going in to the thing, as I looked over to one table and saw some radio competitors, Steve Kelly, Patrick Pfingsten, Brian Moline, and Dave Shaul. At another table, the News Gazette sportswriters, including Bob Asmussen and the legendary Loren Tate. We plugged away, were in first after the first five rounds, and got in to a tie for first after regulation, resulting in a 10 question playoff. We managed to get all 10 correct, to 9 for the radio team, and our team won a thousand dollars for being the sports trivia champions of Champaign-Urbana. Not bad for a contest I was really reluctant to even enter. Dave Johnson was a superstar, getting all sorts of stuff correct. Ken Johnson has a brilliant sports mind. I was happy to ride their coattails. And I'll be happy to take that money to Las Vegas for a little extra spending cash.
In other news, I put together a nice six mile run yesterday at the Armory, in 51 minutes. A nice 8:30 pace. Knees are so so, which I think is the medical definition. I strained the ole vocal cords at the basketball game on Saturday when Demetri hit the last second shot. That sucks. I'm really going to have to help it out a bit this week, as I've got 5 events to announce this weekend, along with the 11th annual Grilling of the Meats.
Delicious, delicious meats. I'm on call for the beef, and bison.
Gotta figure out what to do with the bison. Enjoy your days, everyone.