7 weeks in vegas Part 1 The Warm up......
For Rooms: Aria (CityCenter),Fitzgeralds,Flamingo,Golden Nugget,Imperial Palace,M,Mirage,Planet Hollywood,Rio,
Summary: Some tourneys, some cash, some limit, some NL, some omaha some badacey
Content: I will try to post a part of the trip every few days.
Prior to this adventure, I offered to several friends an opportunity to buy into either my cash game or tournament bankroll, which I was keeping 'separately', in a virtual way. I ended up getting more investments on the tournament side, since my live tournament record is brief, but impressive, and the last time I offered this opp, people made some money.
I booked a one-way ticket as I did not want to be tied to a return date that might force me to stay longer than I could deal with, and I was to be having various visitors during the excursion.
I arrived on the morning of June 6th, a Sunday. I had done my homework on this site and others for all my poker (and video poker) playing, and had 49 free hotel nights booked in 13 different hotels.
After we landed and parked at the gate, the flight attendant, in her Southern twang said, "I'm gonna tell ya what my daddy told me when I turned 18.....get your stuff and get out....." I booked a FOX rental car....with taxes and all it was under 21$ a day. When I got there, all they had left was PT Cruisers, and I wanted a car with a trunk; I figured I'd suffer and come back mid-week if I hated it as much as I thought I would. (I did, and I did)
My first stop was the Mirage poker room to take up Chris on his very generous offer for the use of a security box (THANKS VERY MUCH, Chris) and although he was not there, I was given a box quickly, and visited it often, for both types of transactions.
With the bulk of my bankroll stored, it was off to the Gold Coast for video poker and 5x points, as I had depleted my points/comps from my BCOnnected account and needed to build up some comps, collect some free play, and Eeeeaaaaase into the trip.
By 2PM I had walked over and put my name on the list at the Palms. Played some VP there while waiting, and when 2 hours went by with no seat, I went for Mex food at Garduno's at the Palms....the fire-roasted salsa is pretty good, but the food is bland, and I'm a hot freak....
I also wanted to give the Palms a serious amount of VP play so that I can get some future room offers from them. (and play there I did)
After walking back to the Coast and getting my first ugly VP session of the trip out of the way, I drove down to check in to my room at M resort. I went down to the poker room around 1AM and got a seat at the 1-2 table. The girl running the room (Jeannie? Jenny? ) was doing it all. There was only 1 table playing...5-8 people at various times. She was seating people, playing in the game to keep it alive, dealing when the regular dealer needed relief, cashing people out, and ordering pizza (free pizza for all those playing at 3AM Monday mornings!)
There was a giggly Asian (ga) guy overbetting flops, a few rocks, and a moronic young guy (MYG). I ordered a couple Frambois (Raspberry Lambics) and was playing tight poker. The game debilitated to a 'jackpot hand' hunt. The MYG had a chance to clean out this woman when he flopped trip 2s, and she had AK on a Kk92 board. instead of trying to get her 190$, which seemed easy, he was focused on his 1-47 chance of rivering quads for the jackpot....hence the "M" in "MYG". After this hand, I left, up about 40 bucks.
In one hand, after I was involved with GA....I had kqo on a flop of qctcx, bet 35, and GA goes all in for 240 on an OESD. I folded.
Day 2 saw me leaving M and heading downtown (DT).
I hit my fave, the Boar's head Bar at Main St Station (BHB at MSS) and check in with my 'bartender friends,' Chris, Kelly, Robert, Jose, and Ronny. Ronny is the graveyard guy and is really into tournament poker, so if you find yourself in there at 2AM, tell him you read about him here from Paul in NH.
I wandered down to the Fitz, since one of my goals was to take some of TBC's soggy bills, and lo and behold there he is in the 8 seat, an internet vision come to life. It was a fun table, with a novice couple in the 3 and 4 seats (the wife was hot-geeky) and a german woman in the 5 seat who kept cold folding her unraised BB despite several attempts by others to tell her not to. TBC played tightly, and in fact I completely missed the hand an hour in when he got all his money in with 1010 and got busted.....see ya....1st poker goal attained..TBC in the flesh.
I couldn't get anything going at this table, and lost 71$, which really deflated my minimal poker ego (losing at the Fitz on a weekday afternoon...yuk) I hightailed it out of there after dropping 2 bills on a DC bet on the craps table, and received a call from my poker-playing nephew (PPN) who was to be arriving the next day. I dejectedly walked back towards MSS, thru the horseshoe (it'll always be the horseshoe to me, although i believe they should change the current slogan from" Where it all began" to "Where it's all over".) It's really too bad. The 'shoe was the best casino in the world 15 years ago....now it is merely an air-conditioned cut-thru from Casino Center to the Cal. (no offense Maui)
I was now down about 1500 from VP and on the way thru the Cal to MSS, whim made me sit down at a 10/7 DB 1$ machine where I had watched a woman sit last summer for 5 minutes and hit a royal...I popped in 100$, and on the second hand saved the kqj of spades....out pop the ATs, and it's instant profitablity and complete attitude adjustment...Royal #1 on day 2!
It's now 5:30 and I check out the MSS buffet, not too bad for downtown , although the fried chix is a bit dry. I tried oxtail stew/soup for the first time, and it was delish.
sitting back down at the bar (BHB) I feed some of my fresh hundreds into a 9/7 DB machine and get nothing.....then I pull quad 9s to get some money back....5 minutes later I am dealt KQJTs....can it be.......? WHAMMO As! Royal #2 for another 4k! NOW I am truly bankrolled for this trip, up almost 6k.
I finally get together with KN, a friend in town for a jewelry show with his wife who is a vendor...he and I fart around, play some BJ and craps, and then I head off for the nugget, with KN tagging along to watch.
The big hand here was flopping a flush with KJs and slowplaying myself into a 4th spade on the river and losing to the Ace....so, the Ace of spades giveth, and taketh away.... Also, this guy who looks like he could be homeless, but appears to be a regular comes to our table. He doesn't look like he has all his marbles....older guy, maybe around 70...dealer calls him by name.....he gets dealt in......about his 3rd hand, he checks his cards, stands up and says....."ummm, I have to go to the bathroom....."
This is a move I need to try.......
I lose 22$ in about 3 hours, and walked over to the brewpub at the QQQQ (4 Queens) to check on the progressive Royals at the bar. The brewpub is up a set of stairs near Magnolias, and was not open....however, the rope across the bottom of the stairs was not being employed, so I plopped myself down to play some VP...It was wonderful....quiet, relaxing, a good end to the day.....Then a worker starts vacuuming, and the pitch of the vacuum is just the right frequency to make my head start to hurt. Amazingly, he asks me if he is bothering me, and I tell him the truth. He disappears. Serenity again. Not 5 minutes later, 2 security guys are standing behind me, telling me the brewpub is closed, and I need to leave. I mention there was no rope, so I figured it was ok to be in there. He says there is a rope....YES100$ buy in.
I get short on chips, and know I only have one more good hand to play.
I end up all in in Stud; start with (JJ) T, and end up against two players. I'm all in on 4th street with JJT8; I end up pulling 749 to make a straight and triple up.....1 Suckout in the bank. I'm at 21k (starting stack was 12k I think)
we go to Omaha 8 and I 3-bet PF with AAJ3 with one flush draw....make nut low and my aces are good for a scoop....I'm up to 30k
I get my stack up to about 50 k and this hand arises.
We're at 21 players, blinds 2500/5k Omaha 8, I limp in EP with t932 double suited. I figure if I don't hit an ace on the flop, or 2 of either of my suits, or no OESD, I fold.
I call a raise from a very tight guy in the 6 seat, and the flop comes 984 2 spades. I check/call. I had this guy on AAxx after his raise, and maybe I can hit something on the turn...anyway, I'm getting like 5 to 1.
turn is a q still no low...I check, ready to fold....6seat bets, and just as I'm about to fold, I remember my read...now, q984 double suited on the board has got to be kind of scary for the other guy, and without even realizing what I'm doing, I check raise! This leaves me with only 1 1/2 big bets left, and the other guy sees this and goes in the tank. He finally calls. The river is a king, so no low is available, and I fire out with confidence, with ....a pair of 9s! His low didnt come in, and all he has for high (i think) is aces, and he is too good of a player to call here.......he waits about 90 seconds, shakes his head and folds!!! WOOHOOO! The dealer pushes me the 90000 chip pot and I show my hand....except the 9 from my t932 hits the dealer's hand and lands facedown. someone at the table says 'Oh you had the straight...the down card was a jack, right?" and I say ..."no...it was a 9....I had nothing (99), but I put him on aces and the board was too scary".... To his credit, the guy came over 30 minutes later and shook my hand and said what a fantastic bluff it was and I set it up perfect with the turn-check-raise....probably the greatest bluff I've ever pulled off.
They are paying 12 players,and get sat next to a VERY odorous Frenchman as we are at 2 tables. We are at 15 players, and noone has more than ~18 BBlinds. I survive to the money (9-12 pays 300, 8 is like 380, 7th 470, etc. ) and we get down to 9 players, ....5 at my table, 4 at the other. now it is 15k/25k limits I raise in O/8 with A455 and get 3 bet. Flop is QQ9,with 2 clubs and I only have enough chips for 11/2 big bets...V. bets, and since I know I can't fold, I resign myself to my fate of going out here. The cards get flipped over, and villain has......A234! My pair of 5s hold up! UNBELIEVABLE! and I now have about 180k chips! I lose a few, and we make the final table! Suckout 2 in the bank!
Tourney gets paused, and we redraw for seats and new game on the 'mini-stage', and have a 15 minute break...it’s now almost midnight...we are almost 10 hours in. I am 6th of 8 in chips, and draw the 3 seat (STILL next to stinky Frenchy!)
I take out Steve Diano, a vegas limit pro who plays in the IP mixed game, and we are at 7. We lose Frenchy, and the BO fog lifts. I tighten up and we get down to 6, and a loud-mouth kid who claims to be a big online cash game player busts and we are at 5. I go all the way with a razz hand, and get all in, needing a 234 or 6 on the final card, and pull a gorgeous 4 clubs, and double up! Suckout 3 banked!
Down to 4 handed, and it's aggressive stealing everywhere....then breaktime. when we return, I note the chip count is something like this Me 450k, seat 1 390 k seat 6 350k seat 4 185k. Bets are 30 and 60k, and this isn't really poker anymore. I ask the table if they want to keep playing bingo, or chop it up. The 1st 4 places of prize money add up to ~ 11000. I suggest an even chop 3 ways and giving the short stack half a share. No one argues. 1-3 get 3170 and 4th gets 1550 ish.
Then there is the matter of the trophy. The TD scrambles the 'game plaques' upside down, and we are going to play 1 hand of hold em 3 ways face-up for the trophy. I am dealt Q2s; one player pairs his 8 on the flop, but I go runner runner diamonds for the flush and the trophy! Suckout 4 wins it all!
I am elated and GF is there to see it happen.....we get paid, I tip 70$ and vamoose...! +2960 (less tip)
We drive back to the Coast, and GF has an early flight (it is 206AM when we get in the car.) We fart around and then have breakfast, and I take her to McCarran....end day +2700 after some minor slot/vp losses
Day 35 Alone at last Sat 7/10
i get my normal gold-coast VP abuse and lose 550....head to the Hi-lim room and play 2$ DDB....draw to a pair of aces and pull the other 2....1600 handpay, and I'm up 800 for the day.
I drive all over the strip looking for poker action at IP/Flamingo/Osheas but not much is happening. I play at Aria and get totally outplayed, losing 325, but making back 175 at craps (1 roll)
I head to the palms, and play VP.....Ugliness begins, and I lose 1800 at various VP gqmes. Off to bed. up ~9300 for the first 5 weeks
Sunday 7/11 day 36
Watch the end of the World Cup final at the GC bar, and make 100 at 9/6 Jacks or better VP. I drive to the Venetian, as I am staying there next.....I walk to the IP, but stop at CRoyale....It's time for more Super Aces adventures. I have about 1500 on me.....I lose 1400 of it, and the machine deals me quad 8s (triple play). 2 hands later I get dealt 3 3s and pull quads on 1 line....then quad 4s less than 3 minutes later. I am now back about even, but am playing 21$ a hand (1$ x 7 coins x 3 lines) I am dealt 4 to a royal, and don't pull it. Next hand, I am dealt 3 aces, and can't pull a 4th on any of the 3 lines....then I start max-betting (30$/hand) and draw 2 aces to the pair I had....Thats a 'royal equivelent', 4k payoff.
I am up 2440 for the day.
I walk to the IP at about 4:30 and get on the list for the mixed game. My name is 10th on the list. i make sure I tell the floor I want to play 1-2, but will move when the mixed game starts at 6PM if they don't have 8. At 6:01 I walk over to the desk, and I am 3rd on the list, which is IMPOSSIBLE, as the 8 person mixed game table is full. I let the floorguy know I'm displeased, and he says it was a mistake, blah blah.....grrrrr....I see Mrs Lederer again, and Steve Diano from the Horseshoe HORSE tourney, and hang until 7 but no seats open, and I leave, PO'ed.
I head for a few beers at the Crown and Anchor and throw some darts with a cool local guy named Jeff.....head back to Bills for yummy steak and eggs, and then check in at the Venetian.