Each year since 2003, I have organized a group of about 30 friends for a Vegas trip. We rent a big tour bus, fill it with booze and make the 4.5 hour drive from OC, California for two nights at the Flamingo. Each bus trip revolves around a theme and the participants usually dress in some sort of costume. This year’s theme was Heroes and Villains. We all had to create an original superhero and the winning costume won a cash prize. Some of the costumes were very creative (Pink Flamingo, Dirty Martini), some were sexy (The Powerful Panty Princesses), some were hysterical (Captain Mullet, SupperMan), and some of the costumes—ok, many—were highly inappropriate (Captain Viagra, Orgasm Girl, Master Baiter). However, the prize went to the girl who dressed up as FireCrotch (alter-ego: Lindsay Lohan), a dim-witted celebutante who fights crime by shooting flames from her hoohaw. Yes, pyrotechnics were involved. The best part of the bus ride was the looks on people’s faces when we all walked into the Barstow In-N-Out for lunch.
Anyways, we arrived at the Flamingo about 6:15 (earning more looks) and checked in. The wife and I reserved a GO room, but despite asking for non-smoking when we made the res. we got a smoking room. Didn’t realize till we got inside the room. Bummed me out a bit, but I was too drunk/tired to fight it.
A few of us went to dinner at Spago’s inside Caesars Palace. Food was very good and service was excellent. I knew that Friday was going to be an early night so I played some Pai Gow poker and VP, hung out with some friends and hit the sack at about midnight. For me this trip is all about Saturday.
I woke up about 7:30 and headed over to V for breakfast at Grand Lux (I have an old friend who works night shift there so I get to see him). After breakfast, the group starts to assemble at the pool for a day of drinking. I spend a little time there and then make some sports bets before heading over to Bill’s for some NL.
I was a bit surprised to see they moved the poker “room” inside the sportsbook area. And in the old area, they have new pit games with—wait for it—dancing girls. Wha-wha-wha-whaaaat?! Anyways, I buy in for $100 and play for a couple of hours. I am strictly a low stakes, ABC-ish player who enjoys a good bluff from time to time. One interesting hand of note:
I’ve only been at the table for about an orbit or so when I am dealt two black 10s OTB. I have about $90, villain about the same. Two early callers, raise from MP to 3 I reraise to 10, folds to original raiser who calls. pot ~$22
Flop 10/7/5 two hearts (yippee!)
v bets 10, I call. (I could have raised, but thought I could extract more money as long as a non heart fell). pot ~ 42
Turn 5c (yippee kayyay MFer!)
V bets $10, I raise to $25, he calls. Pot ~ $92
River K (non heart)
I know I’m good here, but am praying that the king gave him some love as I believe he was drawing to the flush with two high cards (one of which is the Ah or Kh), so I need to make a value bet. I bet $20. V thinks for a few and makes a reluctant call.
Was my river bet too light? I really felt like he knew he was beat so I felt I had to make a bet that would be small, but did I miss any value? Sadly, he mucked and I don’t know what he had.
Anyways, I gave a lot of those winnings back when I got pocket 10s later in the session. I forget the exact details, but I mucked on the river when a straight and flush both got there in a multi-way pot. Overall, I played ok, made a little money and had a great time. Also, one of our dealers was AlaskaGal, so it was nice to meet her. She did a great job with the game.
I went back to the sportsbook to watch a couple of my baseball games come in (I went 3-1 on the day), hung out at the pool a little while and then played some more VP and Paigow. By 8:00 it was time to head out for dinner at Benihana’s. We had about 23 people and the restaurant was very accommodating. After two Sapporos and several sakis, we decided to play the devil’s game (BJ) and some paigow (I lost about $90 there. Stupid BJ! Stupid me!). Then we made our way back to homebase and a few of us went back to Bill’s for some poker. I played for about two hours and got some lousy cards for most of the entire time. I now have a new least favorite hand: pocket nines. What do you do with those things? I guess you can push, but basically, I just went set-hunting and never got there. Cost me some money. I did have one hand I was quite proud of. I will be the first to admit, I am not a good player, but I am really trying to work on my reads and in this hand I felt I read it correctly (albeit with a weak player):
I am in late position with about $65 (down from my $100 buy in) and am dealt 44. It limps around to me and I raise to $5. I would have probably done this with any two cards just because of position. There are two callers, pot ~ 20. Flop comes A / K / 10. It checks to girl in MP who bets $10. I had only been at the table for a few minutes after a table change, but the other players made jokes about how she had pocket Aces in her first two hands at the table. She seemed a little new to the game. At any rate, I decided to push her around and quickly raised it to $25. She called. Turn is a 6x (I think). She checks and I fire $25 again. She mutters that she thinks she is being pushed around (yes it’s true) and she folds facedown. Really, it was the only decent pot of the night for me. I did a lot of chasing and folding. I lose about $30 on the night, but feel like I got my poker fix for the weekend. I do have to give a nod to one of the dealers that night. I wish I could remember his name…he was a young guy with a tiny little beard and he’s from Virginia. Very funny and very good job controlling the game (F-bombs, people whispering to each other, etc…). He did it with humor, personality, and class. In fact, that should be Bill’s new slogan: Come to Bill’s for humor, personality, and class…and $2 hot dogs!”
The next day we boarded the bus and made our way back home. The wife and I will be back in four weeks, but will be staying at the Mandarin Oriental in City Center. Pricey? Yes, but the bargain hunter (my wife) scored us a great deal.
So, to summarize:
Highlights: the looks on people’s faces, meeting AlaskaGal, beers in the sportsbook, and bikinis
Lowlights: pocket nines, 112 degree temps, and blackjack.
Thanks for reading and good luck to all.