Pesky ash and lucky cash

So, I’m back from a trip to Las Vegas. I was away for a week, although it looked for a while there that I’d be stuck out there a lot longer. I flew out there the day before the eruption from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajoekull volcano caused havoc with European airspace. If my return flight had been cancelled initial estimates suggested I would be stuck out there for another three weeks or so. ‘Stuck in Vegas. Oh no, what a nightmare!’ a couple of friends mocked — but the fact was that I had left my wife and boy at home and as much as I love Vegas I didn’t really relish the prospect being apart from them for that long.

Thankfully, my scheduled flight back was the first to leave McCarran International Airport after the ash worry had subsided, so I got home as planned. I did, however, still manage to miss my boy’s first ‘proper’ steps while I was away. My initial reaction was one of frustration and regret but looking back now I guess I could just as easily have been at work when it happened.

The highlight of the Vegas trip, perversely, came once I had been knocked out of a big tournament. A couple of friends and I entered the first WSOP Circuit Event at Caesar’s Palace, which had a $230 buy-in and nearly 400 entrants. The top 36 got paid so when I found myself still battling away late on Day One I quite fancied my chances of making the money. Unfortunately, I got moved to my friend’s table and we ended up both getting our relatively short stacks into the middle pre-flop with 42 players remaining in the tournament. He table 77 and my AQ failed to catch up by the river, meaning I was eliminated agonisingly close to the money.

He, however, continued to duck and dive all the way to the final table. They returned the next day to battle it out for the WSOP ring and a top prize of $15,000. Long story short, he played very well and finished up in 3rd place for $7,000. Thankfully for me, we had agreed to swap 10% of any winnings so I made a tidy little profit from the tournament despite bowing out earlier than I would have liked.

But I’m back now, as I say. And I’ve finally got what I think might be a viable premise for a novel. Where to go from here, I have no idea.

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