3.5 days w/o kids, poker, poker, and.. poker.


First trip to Vegas in 10 years w/o kids so I was very excited. Wife and I both went but rented two cars! (We stayed in Green Valley with familiy)

I flew into Vegas on Tues am. Upgraded to 1st (only 17k miles+$75!) which was so worth it for the 5 hr flight. We were there Tues-Sat am of superbowl weekend so the entire city was hopping by Thurs afternoon.

From airport to Mandalay Bay for their small 3pm tourney, turned out real small.. noone showed up. So I played 1-2nl, table was super weak, readable. Won $215 in just 2 hours before dinner.

Went to bed Tues eve early (8pm!) and slept till 6am the next day.

Went to Planet Hollywood for their $50 10am (6k chips, 20 mins). 2 tables + 4 alternates. My best hand, AA in 3rd posn, raise to 1200 and two callers. Flop was 49A rbw, I bet 1k, 1 caller. Turn 7s. I bet 2500 and he shoves. I called and table Aces. He never showed and left before river was dealt.

After that I had 14k and struggled to maintain it till the final 7 (paid 5). There was suckout after suckout to keep people in it. Myself I shoved with 6k with A5. Called by 99 and board ran 510JQK, lol. Still I went out in 6th and then plan 1-2nl on the next table for an hour and broke even.
won $20 on the slots so I was +$185 total on the trip.

I went to the Venetian to play Omaha 8/b (8/16 half kill). I played monsterously loose and missed all my draws. Below through $560 in 3 hours. It was horrendous.

Wed eve I didn't play, late dinner.

Thursday I played the Orleans noon $80 NLH event (7500 chips). I thought it was 10am so I got there at 9am! Played 2 hours of NLH (lost $70). In the tourney I got AA early in 50/100 level, raise to 650 after 2 limpers. Two callers. Flop of 810J and I get 1500 and a guy shoves.
I felt he had to have a 9 with a pair but didn't want to go out early. I folded and he showed 8,Q! oy.. But just 10 hands later I got AA again and raised to 1500, got two callers. Shoved the flop and too it down, getting my stack back up.

Few misses and in level 3, 100/200 down to 6k already, a guy shoves for 3k, another calls. I shove for 6k with A9 and the same guy calls. The main pot is about 9k, my A-9 vs A-Q vs KK. The side pot was 7000, my A-9 vs KK. Flop brought an Ace but the river was a King!

Ugh, so I went to th Aria, hearing it's a good place to go. Wow what a nice room, nice chairs, GREAT waitress service and nice tables. I play 1-3nl and was about to change tables from 2 super aggro betters when theu both left. I went on a really nice run and ran $300 to $700.

I wanted to stay but I wanted to play the 7pm Orleans Omaha 8/b tourney ($75/7500 chips). that tourney was a lot of fun. I usually finish on the top 20 (of 100 or so). This time they only had 7 tables (and ~70 runners). Payed top 8. 8th was $20, 7th $250... 1st $1410.

My first table (table #2 so we didnt break up till the end) had 5 ladies at it. People were hitting it all and by the end of level 3 I had just 3900.

They added a 150/300 level which was nice (and later also a 3000/6000 level).
I wasn't hitting much and getting 1/4'd or counterfeitted. I folded every bad hand and played only premium hands. There were sooo many times I would have flopped a big hand, but would have lost. It was very interesting to see how smart play kept me in it.

This is how my stack faired at the start of each level, playing smart/tight.

limit stack
100/200 7500
150/300 4400
200/400 3900
300/600 3000
400/800 4000
600/1.2k 3000
800/1.6k 3000
1k/2k 11600
1.5k/3k 18000
2k/4k 31000
3k/6k 22000
4k/8k 19000
6k/12k 18000
8k/16k 9k

I made it to final two tables, was low stacked and lated till we broke to the final table at 6k/12k level just as I was utg! nice!

One player had a single 1k chip but he drew the button! Fortunately I had no cards and folded the 3k and 6k blinds and two short stacks (1k guy too) went out and I was secured for 8th. With 9k everyone else had 50k+ so I went all in with QQ109 double suited but missed.

On Friday I met my cousin and played just an hour at Mirage (terrible service, dirty chips and bad chairs). I then went to Green Valley Ranch since I was having dinner there early and lost a few tough hands at 1,2nl (6 outered of a $200 pot, missed straight and flush draws on all in $480 pot...).

All in all a great trip, played cash Omaha too loose, and had good tourney experiences.

I def recommend the Aria for the chairs, service, chips, and decor.

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  1. Nice trip report, didn't know about the additional levels put in the Orleans Omaha tournament, might have to head back there and give it another go sometime.

  2. In the Thursday NLH tournament, you state that the blinds were at 100/200 when a guy shoved for 3k and another guy who had you covered called in front of you. At this point you, with 6k (30 big blinds) decided to shove with A-9. Even if you ignore the fact that A-9 is a weak hand, how could you not have known your ace was dominated by one of the hands in front of you? With 30 big blinds in your stack, I’m wondering what your thought process was at that moment. Later in your trip report you describe another tourney and write, “This is how my stack faired at the start of each level, playing smart/tight.” You undermine how seriously we will view your idea of “smart/tight” when you begin you report by detailing a very basic mistake you made. That said, congrats on what sounds like a fun trip and for the info about the Orleans. Always great to have a flash of the old “kid free” days!

  3. We were about to go up another level and at 20 min for the 1st four levels I was about to have just 10 big bets. I don't look at # of big blinds but at # of big bets. I felt the guy was shoving light having just 3k and with the blinds I felt I could isolate. I agree it was weaker than it should have been but I went with it as I wanted to get many chips early or go play something else.

    As for ur opinion of my smart/tightness, u have to understand that Omaha is a very diff game than nlh and Omaha 8/b is much more technical and I do better at that than nlh.

    I was short stacked early and was able to out maneuver most of the field to get a cash. 8th paid $230 btw. I've never ended worse than the top 20% in any Omaha 8/b event where nlh I've not usually fared so well but I can also say I've played less than 10 nlh in the past 10 years where I play 2-3 Omaha 8/b each year.

    I agree I'm not too good at nlh tourneys and view them as entertainment vs omaha 8/b where I view them as much more serious.

    Than for the comments, any criticism is good to hear.


  4. Hope I didn't come off too critical - I definately enjoyed the report, just was surprised by that one move. Agree with you about Omaha 8/b and the skill involved. Hold'em's rise to popularity in '03-'04 was due as much to the simplicity of the game as to the TV exposure. I miss the days when you could find stud & draw games at most casinos. They're out there, but the easy money isn't sitting at those tables.
    Sounds like you get a lot of Omaha practice. The only real money Omaha game in my area is an insane pl Hi Hand only game that gets capped every round and no one folds. Too pricey & too much luck involved. Just another reason why Vegas is the best.

  5. I have to admit I thought it was very critical and my response was defensive... but after an hour I realized you were right, and (even if not) trying to provide feedback. So I edited my response... as you see it.

    Along that lines, you know.. I really didn't think too much about the hand being weak. One guy shoved and I just felt he was being loose as he only had 3k. It was a start of a full day of cash and tournies so I wasn't long term minded (as I likely would if this was my only poker for the day). I def deserved to go out with A-9 playing it like that.

    Aria runs a 1-3 PLO ($500 max) game which is just as insane. Routinely all in on flop/turn.. (they let you do business at Aria).. I see players with 3-4k with big smiles. I'm told the 2-5 (5-5?) plays even more crazy.

    If you have the stones and the stomach, give it a shot.

  6. LOL - Stones & stomach, yes. Bankroll to handle continual all ins - no.

    Let me get your opinion on Omaha if you don't mind. When I go to Vegas I have never veered from 1-2 & 2-5 NL Hold'em cash games simply because it seems to be the place where most of the easy money can be found. I'm versed in all the other games but don't want to "waste" a Vegas trip playing in less bloated games. So with your experience....

    Do PL Omaha tourneys tend to be more or less insane than the PL Omaha cash games?
    Where do you tend to find less wild PL Omaha cash games, or do you have to settle for limit betting if you want a game that isn't a cap-fest?