"What will you do about gambling? Aren't you going to suffer from degenerate gambler withdrawal?"
The answer to this question is: I doubt it.
First of all. With the exception of some brief gaming in Atlantic City, I've never played outside of Las Vegas. I have never even been to Reno. I've never been to Jackpot, Nevada. As a matter of fact, I have never been outside of Clark County in the State of Nevada.
I would, however, like to visit these places. I would also like to visit the casinos of Ocean Shores, and some of the Indian venues available throughout the country. Even after visiting these places, I will still fly into Vegas on a pretty frequent basis. I have no intention of abandoning the place, I just don't want to get my bills in the mail here. It's one hell of a buzzkill for a vacation.
Second, the main reason why I will not suffer from gambling withdrawal, is because I am finally going to open an online account.
I have written for online gaming sites for two years, but with the exception of free money games on my EVO, I've never gambled online.
I'm not being forced to do it by sponsors or anything, but they have offered to set up private poker tournaments and things of that nature if I so desire so that I can completely dominate readers and showcase my superiority at Texas Hold'Em to the world.
The truth is, I have wanted to play online for some time. The reason I have not done so yet is because I am a big pussy. I've become set in my ways with over a dozen poker rooms blocks from my home, and I've not bothered to take the plunge. Since it is completely uncharted territory, I will be somewhat nervous going in, but it's probably about time to join the rest of the 21st century gamblers and figure it out. Not to mention, for me, it makes perfect sense.
Banking, music, television, porn, I use my laptop for EVERYTHING these days. This past week, I watched the entire first Season of "House" on my laptop. My mother insists that I'm a slightly more misanthropic version of the central character, but I doubt she's right because the bitch is dumber than a bag of hammers. You know, a typical woman. Okay, that was gratuitous, but I amused myself and that's what's important.
There will be one challenge for me as it pertains to online gaming.
I do not own a Windows PC.
I have access to one, but I've not personally used Windows for my own day-to-day purposes for some time. For the most part, I only use Unix-based operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. Since Windows 7 has been getting rave reviews for the past 9 months, and since Mac Snow Leopard was perhaps the most ridiculous OS "upgrade" ever, I'm not going to do the cliche'd "Windows sucks" thing, but I do prefer the "Unix way" to the "Windows way".
Because of this, I may have to buy a copy of the dreaded OS or see if various programs run under Wine or some kind of emulator. My assumption is that there aren't a lot of Mac/Linux friendly online rooms, but I may be wrong.
Once I get that little problem solved, I kind of look forward to playing over the ether. I might even be able to make some money.
As a 5 year brick-and-mortar player, I like to think that I will have an advantage over online players. Perhaps I am naive about this, but when I had the opportunity to play against online-types in the Excalibur Electronic Poker Room, I found them to be rather predictable.
Sure, online, I won't be able to detect any physical "tells", but as I have stated many times before, I think that tells are grossly over-stated, and the vast majority of people simply don't give them off. I think betting patterns are much better predictors of what someone has instead of whether or not they look to the left when they get pocket Kings.
The other reason I think I might be able to make more money online than in physical rooms is because I won't have to tip. I mean, I don't think I'll have to tip. Maybe online vendors are hard at work putting a "tip the webmaster" button on the tables somewhere, but I hope not.
In brick & mortar rooms, I have a somewhat bad habit of over-tipping. Even though the consensus among those who don't know me is that I am an asshole, I don't become one unless someone annoys me in some way. If people are being nice to me, I almost become a pushover. Even though I am a local, I tend to tip like a tourist. This eats into my bankroll.
Lastly, I think I'll like the freedom that online playing brings.
Even living just a couple of blocks from The Strip, playing poker in a B&M room takes some commitment. Unless I walk or take the bus, I need to drive, park, and get on a waiting list. That can be 1/2 hour (or more) off the top before I ever see my first set of hole cards.
Not only does it take time, but I actually have to take a shower and get dressed. I almost have to be civilized. The great thing about playing online is that you are free to sit in a pile of your own filth with your dick in your hand. Try doing that at the Venetian. Go ahead, I dare you.
I still love playing in casinos, and will continue to do so, but let's face it ... Las Vegas is no longer serious about gambling. In my opinion, online gaming will have superior odds to Las Vegas, and will eat into the revenue of brick and mortar casinos ... eventually. This is probably why local Las Vegas gaming companies are eyeing the online space themselves. Mark my words, in the not-too-distant future, we will all be able to log-into the MGM Grand or Harrah's virtual casino, we will be rated just like we are at the real table, and we will be able to earn comps on our cards for free rooms, meals, and trips to their Vegas hotels.
I like the tactile feel of cards in my hands, and I like to hear the fat man chatting to the young woman out of his league at the 1/2 NL Table, but I also used to love walking around with vinyl records. I had a stack of them 10' high. These days, I rarely bring them out.
Online gaming is the wave of the future, and I at least need to grab a boogie board and try to surf it a little. Let's face it, at 42 ... I'm old, but I'm not THAT old. I'm three years removed from my thirties. I can still learn a few new tricks.
Now, I have answered a lot of questions in the last few posts, and I feel it is finally time for some quid-pro-quo. I really think that those of you reading this owe me an indulgence.
In that respect, please, allow me to ask you one thing, and one thing only:
Can I, may I, won't you please let me take you higher?