The first of a handful of trip reports I am going to post. This one is going to cover Saturday and Sunday. For those who don’t know, I’m spending 8 nights in Vegas as part of a work/fun trip. I flew down Saturday the afternoon of the 16th and don’t go back until Sunday, May 24th.
Side Note: I withhold the right to drink a lot on this trip so please no comments about how much money I leak when I am drunk (trust me I know). I don't get a chance to party much so I plan on doing it some during my trip.
The non-stop flight from Virginia is 30 minutes from arrival. The flight attendant talks everyone into putting $1 into a hat to draw for a prize. Everyone needs to write their seat number on a dollar, which she will collect and pull a lucky winner from. Well, not everyone.. apparently the guy next to me is trying to conserve his precious dollars. He tells his wife, “I don’t like to gamble”. Good for him. He can buy something off a McDonald’s dollar menu later on instead… I hope he has enough pennies for the tax. Anyways, the lucky winner is announced and guess who it is??? NOT ME! So we haven’t even landed in Vegas and I am already on a losing streak. Ha!
I check in at the Imperial Palace. For those who might stay at IP in the future, make sure you get a room as close to the ground level as possible as the elevators sometimes take forever. I use the $20 front desk tip trick (http://www.frontdesktip.com) to get a pool view on the 4th floor… initially I was on the 15th floor. I unpack and decide to check out the poker room at IP. The IP has a small, cozy poker room with only 5 tables. I take an empty seat at the $1/$2 no limit table and buy in for $300. 5 hands into the action and I am visibly shaking. No, I don’t have good cards. I am shaking because the temperature in the room is sub-zero. I go back to my hotel room, change into jeans and a parka, and return to the freezing poker room.
I slowly leak away about $150 until the guy sitting next to me, Willis, talks me into doing shots. Apparently this is a good thing as I catch a nice buzz and start getting some cards. I end up making about $200. One memorable hand. I limp in for $2 with A2 offsuit. Flop comes AA2. Jackpot! I bet $5 and get one caller. I bet $10 on an uneventful K on the turn and get called again. River comes a 10. I bet $25 into the $35 pot and my opponent reraises all in for an additional $150. Wow. Boards is AA2K10. Very little chance of AK for my opponent. I hope he does not have A10. If he does, oh well. I take a deep breath and call. Opponent shows A9. I appreciate his contribution to the Gordon Family twin fund.
4 or 5 or 7 tequilla shots (ok, really just 4) and hours later I realize I have bought into the 8pm $80 IP tourney. This is pretty much a shovefest as you start with only 3000 in chips and the blinds go up 15 minutes later. Only 20 players but I manage to take 3rd place and profit $120 after tipping the dealers. Notable hand: I call an all in with A9. Opponent has 65. Flop is A65. I trail his two pair. Turn is 9 and my two pair takes the lead. River is a 5 and I lose to his boat. Oh well, this cripples me and I get knocked out on the next hand after shoving what was left of my stack. The guy with the 6-5 wins the tourney a few minutes later. I give him props for shoving with the 6-5 instead of letting himself getting blinded out. It is amazing how many other people just let themselves get blinded down to insignificant stacks. I remind myself that I really need to play more cheap tourneys.
I do a few more tequila shots and go back to the cash game. Apparently this is a bad idea as I am tired and drunk and make two bad plays. First, I check/raise bluff into the best hand and lose half my stack ($150). Later I convince myself that my opponent has a busted flush draw and make a bad $85 call into a $160 pot with A10 on a 7 spades-6 spades-10-7-2 board. Of course, I get shown a 7, which should have been obvious to me (my opponent had called two bets and then lead out on the river). After two hours of suboptimal, tired, drunk, but fun play, I spew off all my earlier profits by donating $333 to everyone. I decide to call it a night around 1am local time finishing down $19 for the day. Plan is to qualify for and play the Hard Rock free roll in the morning.
SIde Note: Willis says he is a friend of LV Mike's. He had lots of good things to say about LV Mike (as most people do). Willis -> if you read this, thanks for talking me into the shots... was well worth it.
Uneventful Stats for the day: -$19 poker, -$20 horse race bet (had to make one silly bet), no other gambling (I have vowed not to play any craps or blackjack this trip)
Wake up around 8am and decide to walk all the way to the Hard Rock hotel. Unlike the 30 degree (Fahrenheit) poker room last night, it is already approximately 135 degrees outside in Vegas. I still decide to make the leisurely walk to Hard Rock to get some exercise and collect my thoughts… and because I am too cheap to take a cab. Not sure this was a good idea. Ever heard the phrase, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”? Well, it’s not true. It takes me 30 minutes to walk to Hard Rock. I decide to sit down and log the required one hour to qualify for the 11am free roll tourney.
Apparently the bank is open. The player to my right is an extremely drunk and obnoxious idiot who’s vocabulary consists only of profanity. Fortunately, this idiot proceeds to donk off about $700 of his money in just 40 minutes. Unfort, I am unable to make any true withdrawals from this walking ATM and end up breaking about even. No exciting poker hands to share. The true interesting part that I find out later is that this idiot was actually Mike the mouth Matusow’s brother. He made his brother seem like Mother Theresa. I’m told Brother Matusow frequents the hard rock most Sundays. Too bad I won’t still be here next Sunday.
For those who don’t know, the Hard Rock is running a May $1000 Free Roll promotion. All you have to do is play at least one hour in the poker room from 5am to 11am. Payouts are typically $500 to the winner, $250 to 2nd, $150 to 3rd and $100 to 4th place. You start with 2500 in chips, but can but 1500 more chips for only $10. There are usually only about 20 players so you have an excellent shot at semi-free money. Anyways, I survive a couple shoves with nothing and make it down to the final table. I am about 7th out of 8 in chips when I shove all in with 6-2 on some limpers. Fortunately, everyone folds. Right after, someone proposes an 8 way chop. Lucky for me, everyone agrees. We split the prize money 8 ways for $125 each. Cha ching!
Next time in Vegas, check out the Hard Rock. It has a quality room with lots of space and a convenient bathroom built in. Unfort. for them it is off the strip and hard to get to unless you are driving or cabbing. I suspect this is why they are doing the free roll tourneys to drum up business. I vow to come back my available mornings to take advantage of it.
I take the 30 minute stroll back to the room change into jeans and decide to play the 2pm $80 Planet Hollywood tourney. I get knocked out early when someone catches a lucky card on the river. Oh well, I decide to rebuy back in for another $80. I end up coming in 2nd place and profiting $160. Pretty happy with this result as I spent the final hour shoving many ungodly hands that thankfully were never called. I finally got looked up at the end and lost to the winner. It’s amazing how tight people get when you are close to the money bubble even at these small tournaments. Nobody wants to call your all in unless they have a monster hand and few people are willing to shove anything but a monster hand. I’ve been pretty lucky so far that no one has called my hands in these tourneys. I vow to play more tourneys the rest of the trip.
It is now about 6pm on Sunday so I decide to check out the Excalibur’s electronic poker room tables. For those who don’t know, there is no dealer. You sit with up to 10 other people at a monitor and electronically control your hands. Since I never play online, I find this a pretty interesting change of pace. I sit at the $1/$2 for about 20 minutes before I decide to seek easier targets at the .50/$1 NL table. It is a very fun table so of course I start drinking budweisers and doing tequila shots. It works out well as I decide to play like a loose aggressive maniac. I raise a couple small pots to $25 (saying it is easy to hit the green $25 chip button) then I show a 7-2 bluff when everyone folds. Later, I straddle and manage to get someone all in who thinks I might have 7-2 again. I show him A-A instead and manage to crush his 88s. I build my stack up from about $100 to $300. The guy to my left is visibly on tilt after I show yet another 7-2 bluff on the turn after a fold (I have decided to play my 7-2s like they are AA). I get dealt 9-8 clubs and limp with 4 other people. Flop comes 9-8-8. Jackpot. The guy tilting bets $4 into a $3 pot. I raise it to $50 by pressing the green $25 button twice. I am pretty sure he is going to think I am bluffing again and there’s a good chance he’ll call. He responds by re-raising all in for $100 more. I call of course. He shows K-8 and becomes visibly upset when I show my full house. He is dead to a King and ready to rip my arms off. Unfortunately, for me he hits the three outer when a King comes on the river. He rakes the $300 pot and my stack has shrunk down to $150. I don’t mind that much as I am happy that I managed to get him on tilt and got my money in with the best of it. I lost a little bit more of my stack then get talked into a sit and go where I lose $35 more. I then go back to the same cash table and play for a while. I continue playing till about 4:30 in the morning and decide I better go home and get some sleep so I can wake up in time to qualify for the 11am Hard Rock free roll. I have a blast though as I got to play the maniac role, had lots of tequila shots and fun. In fact, about an hour after the hand earlier, the guy I put on tilt apologizes to me. He admits that I put him on tilt and he got lucky. But hey, that’s poker.
I decide to run/jog all the way from the Excalibur back to my hotel room. Along the way, I almost pass another jogger. While running I hear someone ask
“why is everybody running?”. Apparently, there is another drunk guy behind me also running. I yell back, “that guy is chasing me. Stop him.” I make it safely to the hotel.
Stats for the day: +$122 poker, no other bets
Stats for the trip: +$103 poker, -$20 other bets
Next up Memorable Monday. Monday is a fabulous day as the deck hits me hard and I make a lot of money. However, I am too tired to do the writeup for it now. You will have to wait and hear it later. And no I am not making any of this up... as far as you know.