1st Time in Vegas 6/1 to 6/5/2013

Reports & Blogs by Swager about Aria Casino Posted


Arrived at LV International early evening. A quick taxi ride to the Polo Towers and my wife and I were unpacking for the 5 day stay. My wife was questioning the taxi driver as to some of the things he would suggest doing, where to eat out, etc. and the seafood buffet at the Rio was one we decided to try that evening. The front desk where we were staying also said this would be a good dining choice. So off to Bally's to pick-up the shuttle to the Rio. Once there we wandered around a little so I could get the lay of the place and could find the WSOP area when I came back on the following Monday. So after looking around for a little while we found ourselves at the end of a very long line for the buffet. After a considerable wait we were seated. First thing we noticed the cost of the buffet was higher than we were lead to believe it would be. I think it was just over $90 for both of us. Maybe that was because we were there on a weekend night. So after picking out the things we enjoyed to eat we finished our meals. We did decided\ the buffet was good, but not $90. good. After finishing diner I picked up my players card and we headed back to the shuttle and Bally's. Once back to the strip we took our time watching people and getting oriented to where things were located. We were back to the room around midnight and crashed for the evening (which for us ended a 19 hour day).


Woke to the wonderful noise of the dumpsters being emptied at 6:30 AM. We decided the view of the strip was not worth being woken at that time of the day. Since we were both up we took our time getting ready for the day, but by 8:30 we were ready to go. So we wandered the strip north towards Bally's and decided to stop at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris for breakfast on the patio. Menu had a number of good choices at reasonable prices and the service was great. Finished up around 9:30 so I had checked on AVP for which casino might be running an early morning tournament and headed for the Flamingo. My wife had decided to head back to the room for a nap and to see if we could have our room changed.

Found a 10 AM tournament to start my day with. Did well, but finish out of the money by two spots. Was in the small blind with the big stack big blind behind and thought the time right to make an all in since I was becoming the short stack and the big blind calls and turns over pocket kings to my queen nine off suit. The big stack had played pretty conservative and had been able to move them off a hand earlier in the tournament. So bad timing on my part, but still had a great time. Decided to take it easy and play a cash game. Only table that was opening up was a 2 – 4 limit game. So I sat down and played for a couple of hours. Made back my tournament fee plus a few bucks. Think I was up maybe $15 for the morning. Was feeling a bit tired so decided to cash out and headed back to the room for an early afternoon nap. Was looking forward to Fremont street that evening.

Fremont street was a great party in progress by the time we got there. The overhead screen light show and the band playing outside were great. The most memorable dinner during our time in Vegas was had at Hugo's Cellar located in the Four Queens on Fremont Street. If you are traveling with your wife or loved one I think this is the place to bring them. Very classy, excellent service and excellent meals with a great wine list.

Made it back to the strip around midnight and spent a couple of hours checking out the Billagio and Ceaser's Palace. Made it back to the room and crashed for the night.


The day I had been waiting for. My wife and I headed out to find the Hash House for a late breakfast. Took a while to find it and sat down around 10:30 AM. Food and service along with our meals were very good. From there we took a walk to the Flamingo. My wife wanted to see the flamingo habitat. Spent time there and walking the hotel and casino taking in what was going on around. Afterward we headed for Bally's where my wife headed out on her own for a day of shopping, seeing a few of the attractions and a show later that evening. I caught the shuttle to the Rio for a day of poker.

Started my day with the WSOP 3PM Daily Deepstack tournament. Having never played a tournament this large it was going to be a new experience. The tournament had 1,200 entries. Well the experience lasted only about 4 hours. It was one of those time where I think I had decent starting cards maybe 6 times where I won the pot. Spent most of the time with pocket cards of 7 4 off, 2 3 off, K 6 off, etc. But when I had pocket 10s, A 5 suited and once in the cutoff (with no action before me) without having played a hand in an hour I raised 5x and just won the pot with pocket 3s. Was getting a little frustrated. About an hour later after not playing a hand, except for seeing a flop or two, I am the SB with the BB being the big stack at the table. The action folds all the way to me and I look down at K J off. My stack has been dwindling so I decide to try and take the BB and I push all-in. The BB looks at his cards and snap calls. He turns over A J off. The flop is Kx 7x Jx. Now I am looking good and thinking maybe this is mine. The turn was a 5x. Still looking good. The river.....Ax. I'm out so decided to head for the casino and find dinner and regroup. After a good fish and chips dinner at one of the bars, decided that the 10PM tournament would be good. So sat and watched a baseball game for a while and then around 9:30 I headed to the window.

To start with I have to say this tournament had players that were serious and at the same time a little lighter spirited. I guess everyone was tired so they were in a more jovial spirit than the 3 PM tournament. This helped to make this tournament somewhat more fun for me. The tournament had 189 entries. This tournament found me with cards from time to time so that I could play and win. I was patient and when I did have cards was able to find someone to come along and play. Doubled up a couple of times against one player and won a number of smaller pots. However, as time went on, the number of pots I was able to play became fewer and fewer and when I had okay cards (like A 10 suited or K Q off) I would be out of position, so would release after raising when the UNG or Button would re-raise all-in. Yes, I know, bad play on my part. Was hoping that not playing many hands would work in my favor. So it's now about 3 AM Tuesday and we are down to 29 players. The payout starts at 27th. So by now everyone has been playing tight for the last half hour (not getting any cards to play with myself) and I look down at K 10 suited. I'm sitting in the cutoff +1. Everyone has folded to me and I am short stacked. So decided to make a stand and shove all-in. Everyone folds except for the BB who calls and rolls over A A. Well no flush, straight or two of a kind for me by the river so I'm out bubble +1. At least I feel better about my play this time around.

I find a taxi and make it back to my room around 3:30 AM. It just so happens that my wife and I had planned on taking a group excursion to the Grand Canyon and needed to be back up and ready to go by 6:30 AM. Luckily I'm not driving and I get to catch a little more rest on the way. Had a great day seeing one of the seven wonders of the world and made it back to the room around 9 PM. Decided to stop at one of the local stores and purchased a couple of items to have back in the room and made this night an early one. I needed some sleep.


We made our way out of the room around 8:30 AM to a scorcher of a day. Since I was looking to play an early tournament at Treasure Island we decided to head back to the Hash House for breakfast. Again we had another great meal. This is a place to go if you don't want to be disappointed. After a leisurely breakfast we decided to head out. Me to Treasure Island and my wife off to explore on her own. We were planning on meeting up later in the day to go see Celine Dion that evening. Well I made it to TI a little too soon. Had to wait for the room to open and the tournament to start. Once we had 8 players things got started. About midway through had a mental collapse (at least that what I'm calling it) where I had K J suited and was playing against one other player after the flop. Flop was Qx 6s Js. I make a continuation bet and the one remaining player called. The turn is a Jx. So now I think I'm sitting well and decide to push all-in (even with a flush draw I should have known better). The remaining player snap calls and turns over Q J for a full house. The river is a spade and I improve to the King High Flush, but already it was too late. I decide to not buy in and go and wait for a cash table to begin. However, the room only has two dealers on staff and after waiting for 40 minutes with a few other people decide to check on AVP for another tournament. Find one that seems interesting at the Aria. 1PM for a $120 buy in. So off I go walking. Things are definately farther than they seem on the map as far as the strip goes. By the time I get to the poker room it's a few minutes before 1 PM. I sign up for their player's card and make my way through the line and finally put up my buy in and head for the tournament area. I turn the corner and find over 100 players having already started. (To be honest I had not expected to see this many players and I had forgotten to ask.) So I sit down and begin to play. Overall I enjoyed this tournament. The dealers and management were very competent. Had a few good hands while at the first table and was able to maintain a just under average chip stack. The table had a group of tight aggressive player (including myself) and no one seemed to be stepping out of line. When this table was broken down and I was moved I found myself at a very loose table with lots of action. However, I was not getting cards I was comfortable with to call some of the oversized bets from the big stacks. From what I found out was this table had been felting a lot of players up till the time I showed up and the play was loose aggressive. So I managed to keep most of my stack until this table was finally broken down. After being moved a second time I received a text from my wife saying she could not pick up the tickets because we had used my credit card to purchase them and that I needed to do it before 6:30 PM. Well I knew I was not going to make it to the final table but had hoped to make it to the payout. Guess I was just too optimistic. So I played a couple of hands a little aggressive. Winning one and losing two others, but still with chips in front of me by the time the 6 PM break came. There were 28 players left and the payout started at 18th. So I went to the tournament manager and told him I had to leave and that the divorce would cost me more than what I had a chance to win. He was very understanding and said no problem. They would chip me out. Overall I was happy playing this tournament and would do so again without hesitation. Only next time I need to plan my playing time better.

Celine Dion's show was great and afterward we walked the strip back to Paris and decided to take the ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Once there we were able to catch the last water show at the Billagio from a great perspective. Afterward heading back to the room. Tomorrow was our departure day and wanted to get some rest.

For my first trip to Vegas this was a great time and hope to repeat it many times in the future. If you read all of this report my hat's off to you.

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  1. Nice report -- one thing on the buffet, get the players' card first, I'm pretty sure there is a discount for card holders.

  2. Thanks Dap. Well next time I will have my card in hand. Thanks. One other thing I forgot to mention was that by reading the input of other players at least I was ready for the cold room at the Rio during the WSOP. Fleece jacket in hand.