Friday wrap-up

No Q for us.

We ended the day -4, and that just won’t cut it.  Micky and Don Nemiro fell off the charts, too.  It’s regional events for all of us tomorrow.

Perhaps the most famous gambler of all time was Nick the Greek Dandalos. he won several online poker indonesia champions.  He lived by the motto “The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.  Playing is the thing.”  That’s the way I feel about bridge, especially national events.  Spending the day playing the hardest I can against the best competition I can find is as good as it gets–winning would be great, but it’s incidental.

Meanwhile, the change in this hotel is amazing.  They have taken many of the upper floors and completely remodeled them.  Gone is the hideous carpet, the ’70’s decor, the worn fixtures.  Everything is dark and rich and sexy.  The rooms have refrigerators and microwaves.  Huge flatscreen TV’s in the room, and small ones in the bath.  It’s impressive.

The main floor is re-done, too.  All new restaurants, featuring big-time Chicago chef Charlie Palmer.  A super-modern wine bar:  you buy a card for some amount of cash, and then the machines automatically dispense from 80 bottles of wine, no bartender.  The prices are absurd, though.  $7.50 an ounce for a decent but not fantastic port.  Gambling is expensive, too.  $5.00 minimum tables are rare, most are $10.  I still want to play 10¢ craps, but I guess I’ll never see a table like that again.  The coffee shop is unchanged, and the big deal seems to be half price for seniors, between 2 and 5 pm.  That’s way too early for me to eat, but I have some friends who will be taking advantage of the offer.

It looks like I made a good choice to drive up last night.  Danny and Linda Friedman left Orinda this morning and made it here by 1.  Dan Scarola, on the other hand, left Oakland at 11:30 and got here a mere EIGHT HOURS later, through the snow and the slush.

The hotel seems like it is full; the playing rooms are certainly full.  Another NABC is off and running.  More tomorrow.


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