I flew in on Southwest Thursday, Oct 7th and arrived around 6 PM. My first stop was Bally's $1/$2 - bought in for $200. I had a loose player 2 seats to my right with a big stack. I hadn't played with him very long but my early read was he was someone who would try to bully everyone and would get very chatty when he actually had a hand. He raised pre flop, I called the guy to his right is in the hand too. I flop 2 pair, first guy goes all in for about $25, aggressive guy calls, I call. Turn was a brick, river pairs the board. The loose guy flips over 3-8 for rivered trips. I thank God it is my first night and I'm playing convservative when I learn that the guy who pushed had JJ and would have screwed me on the river anyways. Later in that session, I flop a straight with 57, several players are in the hand, one leads out for 30, 2 callers, i push all in, 1 caller left and the board goes runner runner hearts - mercifully, the only guy left doesn't have a heart and the other two did - total on the night - up $1 WOOT.
Next morning I go to Harrahs around 9:30 in the morning. Some awful players but some other players who I later heard may have been playing together (got a tip from a let it ride dealer). I was up early, then the guy to my left went on a roll. I flop a set of 7's with 3 hearts on board. I push all in, he calls with KK with the king of hearts - river is a heart and I go busto.
I headed back to Bally's for some 3/6 limit. Only hand to mention was when i flop 2 pair and the turn puts a straight possibility on board. River fills me up for a boat, but wait, what is that? The guy who was last to act never released his chips into the pot before the dealer dealt the river. They called over the floor and he said that last card goes back in the deck and the last card is re-dealt. That was a horrible decision in my opinion as the play wasn't affected by that last card and it totally changed the board due to a dealer error. I lose a pot of nearly $100 and get felted when some guy catches a river against me.
I played MGM's .50/$1 $50 max beginner game Friday Night. There was one older Irish man who had no idea how to look at his cards without flashing them to the players next to him. Everyone was trying to help him but he couldn't get it. Finally he was getting irritated and said "I bet" and when asked how much, he looked at his chips and said, "This much" - he was called and showed no pair and lost. He was so drunk I'm not sure how he found his room.
I flopped top 2 with A8 and lost to a set of 7's. The dealer at MGM who shall remain nameless faked that I sucked out on the turn, because in his words, the kid was "A local and I wanted to mess with him." I blurted out "What the Fuck did I do to deserve that?" He later apologized after his deal was over, but I decided, no more tips today after that one combined with the earlier treatment at Bally's. One guy managed to get his stack up to $550 in this game - which was amazing. He left with over $400.
The next morning I went to Mirage where I hit a quarter Wheel of Fortune for a 500 quarter spin - cashed out there.
I went to the M for dinner and ate at the steakhouse. Beautiful view at sunset. My NY Strip wasn't on par with the steak at Mirage, but I also didn't opt for the $12 extra home raised steak cut. My friend had a filet mignon and it was better than mine.
Back to gambling - I tried out Pai Gow with all the bonus games they have now. Of course the guy to my left his 4 of a kind 2 hands in a row so I think this game is easy sauce. I went up $50, but then in a few short minutes ended up down about $30 and quit. I went to play 2/4 limit and cracked someone's AA with AQ - by the flop it was obvious he had AA, but I flopped a Q and a straight draw and sucked out. He was muttering to himself the same things I usually am left saying. I had to go after just a few hands and was up $30.
I went back to the Imperial Palace and played 2/4 limit - I played with a guy who set a world record for bench press - 550 lbs ( i assume it was a weight class thing). He was from Ukraine. I won $150 that night which the dealers seemed impressed to win that much in 2/4 limit.
I bought in for $100 at Excalibur - i hit quad 9's with only 1 in my hand - so i got to spin the bonus wheel - where you could win $20-$100 - of course I hit $20.
Last day I was there I played MGM beginner game again - I won over $150 in about 2 hours. Lots of nice people, but fairly loose calls and overall bad play.
It is amazing how i can feel like an idiot at some tables and a poker pro at others. My biggest lesson learned is don't play any levels that you can't play aggressively and for stakes that you are very comfortable losing. Obvious point, but worth repeating. Also, my quote of the week was, "Why is luck is always on the side of the morons."
Other dining experiences:
Hash House A Go Go - had the meatloaf sandwich - it was very good and enormous.
I ate lunch at Mesa Grill at Caesars. I ordered the burger - medium. It was nearly totally rare. It was ok - but not worth the price tag. My friend had a tamale with shrimp which he thought was great.
I had dinner at Il Fornaio at NYNY - had the chicken with some peppery sauce and ordered a side of the pomodoro pasta - 2nd time I've had that - in the words of Doug Heffernan - me likey.
And I can't leave out Earl of Sandwich - damn they have good sandwiches and soup and are probably the most reasonably priced place on the strip.