My brother and I completed our annual poker run in Vegas over 10 days between Nov 12 – 22. Here are 10 lists to summarize the trip.
1. Best Rooms: Aria, Bellagio, Venetian, Caesars Palace. Next time I will probably only play at these rooms. Runners up: MGM Grand, Flamingo, Golden Nugget.
2. Celebrity Sightings:
a. At the Venetian: Phil Collins, Gavin Smith,
b. At Aria: Jean Robert Bellande, Minh Le, Crazy Mike Thorpe
c. Imperial Palace: Alaska Gal
d. Treasure Island: Talon_1964
3. Strangest character seen: “Toyman, Arch-enemy of all Poker Players”. A regular at Treasure Island who has a suitcase full of props and weird hats. He does the Woody Woodpecker laugh when he goes all in.
4. Best Non-Poker Activities:
a. Santana concert at Hard Rock (especially since I won the tickets in a Twitter contest).
b. Bellagio Fountain Show.
5. Biggest Leaks: Blackjack, Craps, Sports Bets, Chasing Promotions and Freerolls. Next time I will cut these from my agenda.
6. New games played.
a. Razz at Tropicana (Tuesday evenings).
b. 4-8 HORSE at Venetian (lots of action, you will need to mix it up in that game to profit).
c. 2/5 NLHE (sat down with $250 at Aria and left about 2 hours later with $915 in my first time playing at this limit at Aria. Recommend being patient for good hands as there is not much limping in this game).
7. Worst tournament decisions:
a. Overplaying an overpair to a low board during one of the Venetian $350 Deep Stack events. Had QQ out of position against one caller who called me down on my pre-flop, flop, and turn bets and then raised me all in on river after I was pot-committed. This sent me to the podium to buy back in (went out early on the re-entry after KK was cracked). Consolation: I have a DeepStack hat and t-shirt that I got as part of the entry fees (great value for $700!).
b. Not shoving JJ just outside the bubble in the Aria $125 tournament. Tournament had 120 entrants and 12 get paid. We are just outside the bubble with about 145 or 14 left. Ante are 500, blinds are 800 / 1600. I am in cutoff with JJ and fully intend to shove when UTG raises to 12,000, I have about 41,000 in front of me. I know I have two options, fold or shove. I’m not just calling and leaving myself short if I don’t hit. I had just seen the raiser take down another player with AA, so I think he is probably strong. I don’t want to race against AK for my tourney life that close to the bubble. I decide to fold. The player behind me shoves and the raiser calls. The initial raiser had A7 and the shover had TT. The board brings a Jack. I would have at least doubled up had I shoved.
8. Tournament results: no cashes in any of the 14 tournaments I played. This is unusual as I usually cash deep in at least one tourney each trip. I did manage to get my buy-in back from the Aria $125 event as we took a bubble boy collection from the remaining 13 players (12 cashed but I was the bubble boy).
9. Most memorable hand. I am playing 1/2 NLHE all night at Bellagio. I am moved to a table about 1:00 am with some crazy players from Germany, Australia, and Brazil. The Australian is drunk, having a good time, and spewing chips. Then German is coming out ahead on all his hands and has about $1000 in front of him. I am virtually card dead for a couple of hours, looking for my shot. I get 88 in the BB and call a raise in a pot with 3 players. The flop is 833, giving me the full house. The German raises all in and the Australian is next to act. I am itching to get in with my monster. The German is taunting the Australian into calling. I subtly lift my cards as if I will muck. The German notices this and tells the Australian “look, he is going to fold”. The Australian calls and so do I. I triple up.
10. Best smart phone apps used:
a. All Vegas Poker. This app became available shortly after I arrived in Vegas so I downloaded it right away. It is very user friendly for checking out all the rooms, games offered, tournaments, etc. You can even tap on the “call” button to call the room to check on how many games are running.
b. Poker Income Pro. Great app for tracking all your sessions and results.

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  1. Didn't know that Talon and Alaskagal are celebs.... Glad you had fun. It has been a while since I have spent at least 10 days in Vegas. Looking at spending either 9 or 10 days in Vegas in June.

    A little shocked that Wynn didn't make your list of top rooms based on the others you listed, and little surprised that Caesars did )You must like the tournaments).

  2. @Clem2754

    Hey, hey, hey now...easy there...let me bask in my celebrity status here for at least a day or so.... :laughing:

  3. @talon1964

    Hey, hey, hey now...easy there...let me bask in my celebrity status here for at least a day or so.... :laughing:[/quote]

    And now appearing on dancing with the stars... talon and alaskagal....

  4. I wanted to play the Wynn but never made it there. Will have to use it as a reason to go back...
    Caesar's Palace was good because I had a particularly profitable session there early one morning and the room is just nice. Didn't play a tourney there but wanted to as they have been having an overlay on their 5K guarantee...
    Following blogs and tweets from Alaska Gal and Talon have been more interesting than some of the bona fide celebrities. We saw Talon dealing early one morning at TI and there was only one short-handed table so we didn't stop in to play. Saw Alaska Gal dealing in IP and confirmed it was her at with someone at the podium...
    Edit to original post: in section 7b, it should be "13" or 14, (not "145" or 14)

  5. Nice report. I like the bullet-style format.