What I wish I'd known

What I wish I'd Known Before Coming to my First BARGE

Diana Mercer, Virgin 2008

Talk to Anyone and Everyone. 
Please don’t be afraid to approach anyone with a badge. Everyone wants to meet you. Seriously. Sometimes old timers get busy talking with other old timers they haven’t seen in a year, but they don’t mean to ignore you. Walk up to anyone. Ask anything. If you somehow manage to find the one Crabby Tabby in the group then just move on. 

See some BARGErs at a restaurant table? Ask if you can sit down. You will be welcomed! Sharing a meal is an excellent way to get to know people better.

There’s a saying at BARGE that “there are no strangers at BARGE…just friends you haven’t met yet,” and it’s true. 

It’s Not All About Poker.
Well, it is all about poker, but at the same time it’s not. Don’t be intimidated if you barely know how to play. I learned to play NLHE around 4th of July and came to BARGE at the end of the month. The tournaments aren’t that expensive and you’ll learn a lot. One friend I brought had never played before! One of those plastic poker tips cards and a few hands in the hotel room and he had a blast. 

Most of the players at BARGE are excellent, experienced and passionate about poker. A few are professional players. Some have cashed in the World Series of Poker and a few BARGErs have won the WSOP Main Event. Don’t be intimidated. Hang out with them and ask questions. BARGErs are generous with their knowledge and love to talk about poker.

Dive in. 
The more you participate the more fun you’ll have. It is not possible to embarrass yourself at BARGE. So don’t be afraid to cut loose. Don’t know how to play a game? Don’t let that stop you from playing. Just ask the table how to play or buttonhole a random BARGEr and ask for a lesson. Not a singer? Don’t let that stop you from singing at Karaoke. That guy wearing a sombrero and juggling dice? Probably a district court judge when he’s at home. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has never been more true than at BARGE.  
Take and Make Bets and Other Nonsense
As the week goes on, you’ll hear about people eating Keno crayons on a dare, non-singers having to sing a song at Karaoke to pay off a bet, a man wearing a dress to the Saturday tournament…… Participate!

Carpool
Ask for a ride if you need one, and offer to take people with you if you’ve got a car. It’s a great way to have a conversation and get to know a few people better than you might’ve otherwise.

Figure out How to Stay in Touch at BARGE.
Twitter, Hangouts….whatever people are using this year…be sure that you’re on the list and checking your notifications because people will be doing all kinds of impromptu things like carpooling to Lotus of Siam, going to the Pinball Museum, whatever. All kinds of fun stuff pops up as people think of it.

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