8 Days in Vegas, The Final Chapter, "What is that smell?"

Reports & Blogs by vookenmeister Posted

The last in a handful of trip reports I am going to post. This one is going to cover Saturday. Sorry, this one took so long. I had to catch up on work. Plus, I was not as eager to write about losing so much money on the last day!

Overall Stats for the trip going into Saturday: +$1634 poker, even on other bets

Ok... once again we wake up to a shrieking alarm at 8:30am. I hop out of bed to shower. Wife is going to sleep in a little bit and then join Barry's wife, Virginia, at the Venetian pool. Barry and I are going to meet at Hard Rock to qualify and play in the free roll. Room still smells a little funny as I get dressed and leave. Oh well, it's our last night and I am just coming back to the room to change and sleep so who cares?

I am pumped up heading to the Hard Rock to see if I can make it 5 for 5 on the free rolls. I arrive at 9:30 and sit next to Barry. No exciting hands to speak of, but the gist is this: I get dealt two nice cards and raise to X dollars. I get one or more callers. Flop misses my hand. I make a continuation bet most of the time. I get called most of the time. I give up the pot most of the time. I end up losing $100 of my $300 buy in before the tourney starts.

Only twenty players and two tables today. Barry and I decide to double our last longer bet to $20. We get seated at different tables. I am card dead. My stack gets down to about 10-12X big blind so I am pushing. Barry is short stacked also, but I am playing to win the tourney. I get away with one push... then I get caught pushing the 7-5 of diamonds. oops. I get knocked out after only an hour of play. I give Barry my $20 and start to walk back to the hotel. Barry texts me to say he has doubled up. 2 seconds later Barry texts me to say he is knocked out. Ok, it was really 10 minutes later, but since I read both texts at the same time it was more like 2 seconds to me.

I call my wife who is at the Venetian Pool. Plan is to head back to HR for the $7.77 dinner at Lucky's and then play in the HR $60 7pm donkfest tourney. I ask her to grab me at the Imperial Palace poker room on her way back from the pool.

IP only has one NL table going and it is full. I get on the list and decide to play limit for the first time in 3 years while waiting. The only seat is at $2/$4 limit. I buy in for $100 and proclaim to everyone that I am insane, just buying time, and might play every flop. This is actually close to the truth. First hand, I end up winning with a flush and stack up an extra $30 in chips. Two hands later I am dealt two 10s and call a raise pre-flop. 7 other people see the flop, which comes Q-10-4 two diamonds. Pre-flop raiser bets $2, I raise $2, one person calls. Preflop raises again and I just call waiting to hit the action hard on the turn when the bets increase. Turn comes a 7 of clubs. Preflop bets $4, I raise to $8, other guy calls, preflops raises another $4. I cap the action with another reraise and the third guy calls. At this point, I am actually very concerned that the preflop raiser has two Qs. Obviously, I am not worried about the third guy. River comes an Ace of spades. Preflop checks. I decide to check also and the third guy checks. Preflop shows his Qs for a higher set than my 10s. He claims he checked because he was worried I had two aces. I wish! Oh well.

I get told the seat is open at NL while the next hand is being dealt. I look down at 22s and limp in with 6 other people. flop comes a 2. I can't remember the rest of the hand, but gist is I get all my money back as someone calls me down the whole way with my set. I end up winning $30 and head over to NL game. I think I will play limit next time I am very drunk...

I try to take my 130 white chips over to the NL table. My plan is look really stupid (well more stupid than usual) and act like I am sitting down at the wrong game. I don't think anyone will buy it, but it seems like a great joke to pull. Unfort. management pops in and grabs my rack to color it up. I buy in for $300 and sit down at the $1/$2 NL. I play very tight while talking a lot. After about an hour, I get dealt A5 of diamonds in the small blind. UTG raises to $10, middle position calls, button calls, I call, big blind folds. Pot is now about $38. I have about $250 left in my stack and the other players have me covered. Flop comes A, 10, 6 two diamonds. I check. UTG bets $30, middle position folds. Button raises to $85. Button is a quality player that is capable of folding a good hand. We have been chatting so he probably knows I only play solid values. I decide to re-raise all in. UTG folds his AJ and the button calls with A10. No flush card comes on the turn or river so his two pair holds up and I get stacked. I decide afterwards this was a poor decision on my part. I posted the strategy here -> http://www.allvegaspoker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8355

I buy back in for $300 more. I proceed to lose about $65 more when it happens... the event that I have unknowingly been training for all week. Virginia calls me and tells me that my wife has passed out at the Venetian pool. All of the walking and running I have done throughout the week will finally pay off. I quickly rack my chips, cash in and sprint out the casino. Crowds are too thick so I dart down the right hand lane hugging the curb. Amazingly, nobody honks and minutes later I am leaping over the concrete wall into the Venetian. (for those old timers, picture OJ running through the airport leaping over chairs in the old Hertz commercials).

Apparently, security for the Venetian pool is tight. However, it takes me only 30 seconds to convince the guard to let me thru. I find myself in the lobby with 80+ other people trying to catch the next elevator. When an elevator finally opens, I shout "My wife is passed out at the pool. I need to get on." Apparently, despite the fact I am wearing jeans, a black football (soccer to us Americans) jersey and am sweating profusely, nobody believes me. Picture a scene of 40 people trying to shove on to an elevator. 39 of these people are either pretty women or meatheads. I am neither. I catch it from all angles. Some choose to throw simple profanity. One clever guy yells, "Yeah right. Why is she there alone? Maybe I will go hit on her while she can't respond." Another asks why I wasn't at the pool. Dumb question. I was playing poker, of course. That gets a laugh as I scramble on to the elevator.

I work my way thru three more security checkpoints and a rectal search then finally make it into the pool area. Fortunately, by this time my wife is conscious, upright and drinking water. Unfortunately for me I am very pissed off from the elevator so I am not as comforting as I should be. Anyways, she is ok and we make it back to our room to change up for dinner. I forgive my wife for staying out in the sun too long and she forgives me for being so angry by the time I showed up.

We walk into the room... my wife comments that the room smells kinda bad... I tell her she is probably still dizzy from the pool. The room really does smell bad, but I am in a hurry to eat dinner and catch the 7pm Hard Rock Tourney. We can deal with it later.

We get the $7.77 meal at Lucky's. Neither of us eat shrimp so we just get the salad, 7 oz steak and mashed potatoes part of the meal. Steak was average, but excellent for the price. On to the tourney...

2 tables, $60 buyin with extra chips and horrible, I repeat horrible, players. I chuckle as I notice the payouts are only for 1st and 2nd place and less than the free roll i have been playing all week. On the other hand, my wife has never played in a casino tourney so this is a good spot to learn. Hard Rock has the best blind structure for a tourney less than $100 at any of the nice casinos.

4 hands into it I realize my wife and I might be the only people at the table who can spell the word "blinds". Of course, I can't even find cards good enough to see cheap flops and my stack dwindles slightly. My wife gets knocked out about an hour into it when she gets called by someone on a straight draw with one card to come. River hits the straight and she's out. I push all in with K2, get called reluctantly by someone with AQ, and get lucky when I hit a K to win. I eventually make it down to the final table. I have about 15X big blind. However, tourney only pays top two so I need to steal some pots to build a bigger stack. I call 3x raise from an obvious player on the button with the 8-7 clubs. Flop comes 3 hearts. Obvious player weakly checks and the other player also checks. I sense weakness (or so I think) so I push all in with my nothing to grab the pot. Original raiser folds. The other player, a very nice older lady who is playing her first tournament ever, takes about 45 seconds to finally call me. She thinks she is beat. She shows J9 of hearts fopr the flush. I try to toss my cards into the muck but no one will let me. I embarrassingly show the fact that I am drawing dead and out.

We meet up with Barry and Virginia and decide to get drunk and play $15 minimum blackjack for the rest of the night. At this point, I discover that Hard Rock offers Petrone shots for free. Good thing I had not discovered this earlier. We all have a blast playing blackjack. I, of course, stick to basic strategy (you know, always doubling on 11, splitting my 8s, that kind of smart stuff). I coach my wife to do the same thing. Barry mostly plays it by the book but varies a little. His wife is all over the place with her decisions. So... of course, I lose $140 and everybody else wins a good amount. barry's wife, wins a big chunk. I remind myself this is why I play poker, but we have a blast nonetheless.

One notable blackjack hand. Barry is first with cards and tells the dealer to double down on his 12 (dealer does have a 6 showing). The pit boss walks over with a pad of paper and writes out in big letters... 9+3 = 12. Funny! Barry relents and decides to stick. The rest of all stand pat with our hands. A man (with his wife watching) has two 2s. He splits them. First card, of course, is a 9. The other card is another 2. Barry laughs saying he would have had 21 if he doubled down. Pit boss just shakes his head. The man, very nervous now, decides to double down with the 11. He receives a 4. He is out of money now, but has two 2s for his other hand that need should be split. His wife pulls some money out of her purse. He splits the 2s and receives a face card and another 2. Crazy! His wife pulls out what looks like their last twenty from her purse. Eventually, he ends up with 4 bets on the table needing the dealer to bust. You can tell this is a make or break hand for them...

Dealer flips over a J to go with the 6 and then busts out. The man and his wife are ecstatic. I get caught up in the fun and start shouting, "USA! USA! USA!". Dealer and pit boss find this quite amusing and laugh for the next 5 minutes chanting, "USA! USA! USA!". Lots of fun was had as we get toasty drunk. We eventually head back to the room and call it a night... too drunk to notice the awful smell.

We wake up the next morning in time to shower, pack and catch our flight. Room really smells bad. We are all packed. My wife does the customary look under the bed check and screams, "Oh my god! There's a dead flamingo under our bed! How did that get here?" I tell her, "Even if I knew, you wouldn't wan to know!" The truth is I don't even know. I leave $20 for the maids and a note, "See you next time!"

And that ends my 8 days of fun in Vegas. Unfortunately, next time probably won't be till March Madness 2010.

Day 8 Stats:
-$100 Hard Rock cash game (1 hour)
-$30 Hard Rock Free tourney
+$30 limit Imperial Palace
-$365 Imperial Palace cash game
-$60 Hard Rock tourney

Overall Stats for the day: -$525 poker, lost $140 on blackjack, but wife won $80
Overall Stats for the trip: +$1109 poker, lost $140 on blackjack, but wife won $80

Next up. Lessons Learned in Vegas
- Need to play more like a chameleon
- limpers is like waving a red flag to a bull
- like to show my cards
- play tight at beginning of cheap tourneys (30 people)
- open up with 10-15 people left
- push often on limpers before money bubble
- make loud noises when defending big blind in tourneys
- play tight at cash when first sitting down to read table
- change tables
- re-evaluate and take a deep breath after every raise - ALWAYS!


Side Note:
No leprechauns, midgets, ducks or flamingos were actually harmed during this trip. However, I did kick a baby on the way out of Imperial Palace as I left for the airport. No, I am just kidding.. or maybe I am not.

Last Edited:


  1. Great set of epic trip reports! High five!


    Solid points I need to implement in my own game.

  2. I'll be honest, I'm pretty bummed out that there won't be anymore of these priceless reports until April.

    So sad...

  3. Loved the report and the humor. Although the last two day's titles had me thrown off :grin:

  4. ok.. this is not a poker video, but apparently I am not the only with fantasies about ducks...


  5. Awesome read, although I'm still concerned about the dead flamingo :scream: