Comebacks via Crown & Cokes: Vegas trip report : Oct 7-10th.

Reports & Blogs by idrinkcoors Posted

I've always loved reading the Vegas trip reports, so I will humbly offer mine. Note: possibly long and boring, but full of poker content.

Friday Oct. 7th: going to Vegas! We make the drive from Colorado to gather with all of the workers and spouses from my wife's company. On the way, we stop at the Casablanca in Mesquite, where I drop $50 on the craps table. We get back on the road, and I'm down before even getting there. Wife's company put us up in the Riveria, (50 of us), and we all meet at the Carnival Court at Harrahs at 10 p.m. The place is okay, but it's tough to get a drink, and after hours on the road, I'm ready to get lit. When I finally get to the front of the bar, it's like $8 dollars for a beer. After I played at the few bj tables, it turned into $50 a beer. I have to learn how to stay away from BJ and craps. At about 1 a.m. we stumble home, (walking from Harrah's to the Riveria). I tell my wife I'm playing poker, as they have a little poker room with two tables going, both of them 2-4 limit. She plays nickel video poker. I sit down next to one of the drunkest guys I have ever seen. He has bruises on his face and a cut up eye; basically he looks like he got a bad beat, and I'm not talking about cards.

Even though I'm a little buzzed, I am somewhat nervous as I sit down with my $100 buy-in. I don't get to play live action much. Anyway, nothing too exciting, except for when I call down a guy on a 7 J A J 2 board with my A9. Dealer tells us to show, Guy asks me if I have 2 pair. I say yes and show. He shows me his quad Jacks and says, "Me two. Both of them jacks," like it's the most original thing ever said. I tell him, "Nice slowroll," like I'm David Williams or something, but I don't think that he knew what "slowroll" meant.

After a few hours I'm up a little when the wife sits behnd me. That's fine and all, but I can't help but remember reading Caro or Doyle in the Supersystem book talking about how when a wife or girlfriend sweats her man, the players then have 2 different people to get tells from. She watches me for a 1/2 hour or so and I don't fall into the trap of trying to steal just because I want to look macho in front of her. She leaves, and me and the beat-up drunk guy chug Heineken. He's from Boston, and is a huge Patriots fan. When I tell him the Broncos will have a tough time with the Patriots next week because Belichick is such a great coach, he tells me that, "Belichick sucks." Three Super Bowls in 4 years; I guess it's hard to please some people.
Drunk guy is raising everything and showing bluffs, but does lay down to pressure, so it was kind of funny when on one hand, he and I raised each other and re-raised down to the river. I showed my Queen high, 9 kicker and said "nice hand," then he showed his Queen high, 4 kicker. My nine played. I finish up about $100 bucks and instead of smartly going up to my room, I stop by the craps table and lose my $200. I have to learn how to stay away from bj and craps.

Saturday morning: Extremely hungover, I wake up in time to wolf down a bagel and coffee and run to the Sahara for their $40 + 2 nl tournament. I play loose passive and re-buy and get annoyed by the dude to my left from Maine who does not shut up the entire time. I bust out again on a bad beat (do you want to hear about it? Nah, me neither), and blow my remaining $100 on the roulette wheel. Why roulette? Because I promised my wife that I wouldn't play bj or craps. I make the walk back to the Riveria hungover, thirsty, and broke. I have to learn how to stay away from bj, craps and now roulette.

Because I'm a denegrate gambler, my wife and I agree that I can have $200 a day for gambling. So she's out with her girlfriends shopping until 5 p.m. and I'm in the gambling mecca of the world with nothing but my pride, (oh wait, never mind), a $5 Harrah's chip, and 2 bucks. I walk down to Harrah's where I turn the $5 into $30 on roulette. Then I walk away happy. Yeah right. I blow that, then walk back to the Riveria, hoping to see my wife and get some more bankroll. I don't see her, so I cross the street to Slots O' Fun, to buy a jumbo dog for 99 cents. Sitting down, I look around all of the weird people and feel like I'm in the middle of the bar scene from the first Star Wars. The hot dog counter at Slots O' Fun doesn't exactly match the ambience of Piccasso at the Bellagio. I take two bites and just about blow chunks. Advice from this expert: when hungover, don't try to eat a raw 1/2 pound hot dog at Slots o' fun.

I eventually catch up with the wife and we play video poker together at the Riveria bar. All of us from her company are going to the Damon Wayans show at the Mirage, and we hit the buffett there beforehand. After the show, the women go dancing at Tangerine at Treasure Island and the guys go gamble. My wife's boss and I look for a friendly looking nl game, and settle on the Stardust 1/2 $100 max buy-in nl game. I sit in the 9 seat, and a guy who I can only describe as a younger Elix Powers is in 6. Elix junior is talking smack to everyone and pissing people off. He has a stack of about $300 and tells me when I sit down, "I told myself that tonight I was goin' take all the tourists' money." A big drunk cowboy guy is next to Elix jr. in seat 5, and they come thisclose to brawling after Cowboy sucks out on Elix jr. Elix called him a dumbass and I really thought the the Cowboy was going to deck him. Another fight almost broke out when Elix jr. and the Table Coach in seat 8 (an off duty Stardust dealer), and him were jawing. A dispute arose over an all-in and it honestly took a good twenty minutes to resolve it. The manager and 2 other dealers had to help settle it. It sure wasn't the most happy poker environment from a guy like me, who is used to playing home games with his buddies.

The Cowboy keeps ordering double Bailey and coffees and sucks out at least four times on people. He ends up with a stack of what I would guess is $700 dollars. It's right for the picking, but I get sucked out on when I take my pocket kings all in against another guy's Q/J. I would re-buy, but my wife only gave me another c-note, so I walk back to the Riveria.

Sunday morning: I make it to the Sahara 11am tourney and continue my brillant loose passive game. Being the impatient fool that I am, I want to either double up or leave, so I push all in with AK and lose to QQ. Once again, I blow the rest of my allowance at the Sahara roulette wheel and make the lonely walk back to the Riveria. I have to learn how to stay away from bj, craps and roulette.

Again, I won't see my wife for a few hours. Even though I only have five dollars, I make the most of it compliments of the 75 cent margaritas at Slots o' Fun. I watch the Bronco game at the Riveria on a t.v. that has poorer reception than the t.v. you keep in the spare bedroom.

That evening, we all go the Benihana at the LV Hilton, and I get even more lit. The girls want to go dancing again, but we can dance at home. I can't play poker at home. My wife tells me that I shouldn't have blown my money again. I beg her to let me have $200, when all of a sudden, a giant can of Milwaukee's Best falls from the sky and crushes me. She agrees to give me more money. We go to the ATM and because my wife is a little buzzed, she tries 4 times to withdrawl, without success. I grab the Atm card, because it there is one skill I possess, it is the ability to operate an ATM while drunk. I give her back the card, and five of us guys are headed for the Wynn.

My goals at the Wynn: drink as many Crown Royal and Cokes as I can before going broke, keeping a souvenier $3 chip, and at least getting in some playing time before having to walk back to the Riv.

I take my seat in the elegant poker room. I'm close to the hallway so we have railbirds. Cool! After a few Crown and Cokes I lose my nervousness. I limp in with A 9 and get raised to $15 by the nice lady to my left. I call and the flop comes: A 9 3 rainbow. I check, nice lady bets $25. I move all-in, hoping that the over-bet will convince her I'm bluffing. She calls and shows: A K . Rags come out and I've finally won a pot! Believe me, after literally playing penny video poker at the Riveria, a stack of $400 feels like millions.

My confidence back, I play good agressive poker. Check raising bluffs, good lay-downs. It feels good. Until: I get 6 6 I limp in, and call a raise from an off-duty dealer at the other end of the table.

Flop comes: 4 7 K rainbow. I bet out $15, he raises $15 more. I think about it and keep remembering a few hands earlier when he said something to the guy on his right about bluffing me out of a pot. I call, and the turn is a beautiful 6 . I check and he goes all-in with just about $200. I quickly call, absolutely knowing that he cannot have raised pre-flop with 3/5 or 5/8. To be honest, I didn't consider the possiblity of trip Kings or 7's. He quickly flips over 3/5 for the straight. Before I have a chance to get depressed, an even more beautiful 6 hits the river and I am up over $600.

I'm not used to being on the good side of a bad beat, so I rack up and we all leave for the Bellagio, where I hope to satellite into the WPT. Too late for any Sng's, and the tables look full, so we plan to go back to the Stardust. Before we leave though, I see Jennifer Harman stroll past me. Then I see Antonio Estafandari talking to a guy in the hallway. I'm not a fan of his or anything, but something makes me go up and shake hands with him. I resist the urge to say "Rocks and Rings Baby!". He was polite to me so I give him a 1.4 or whatever his code number for cool is.

At the Stardust, I jump into the same $100 1/2 game from the night before. I sit next to a Haitain rapper who is practicing his rap during hands. For example: "Ya gotta see the flop, check it like a mop." And that was one of the better ones.
My loose passive tournament game returns for this cash game, and I buy-in a couple of more times. But soon, more Crown and Cokes and Heinekens have me playing fairly well, (or maybe I'm still catching good cards). I double up my reduced stack by slow playing pocket kings against pocket tens. Then this hand, where I get pocket aces. I limp in, (I know it's not smart), and the young guy three to my left raises to $25. One caller to me. The caller is pretty tight, so I put him on a high pair. The young bettor is loose, but has about $75 left. I push in, knowing that at least one of them will fold. It gets to the young guy who calls. The tight man folds, and my AA holds up over his A3. Yes, you read that right: A/3. They were sooooted. Tight man tells me he folded pocket fives and that made me feel good since the board had flopped a five.

We leave the Stardust at 3 a.m with me up a couple of hundred. The guys go to bed, and I decide that I am confident enough, (or drunk enough), to hit the Bellagio Poker room. After all, this is poker's boom time, and the Bellagio is the Mecca.

I get into a 4-8 limit game and love the chair and overall feel of the poker room. I sit in the ten seat. My table has a drunk/drugged up casino doorman, 2 rich looking older Asian women, a pretty boy from Italy, and a middle-aged man with a Michigan State shirt on. Nobody seems real good, but the young Asian man in seat one seems pretty solid. Everyone else is super aggressive.

I buy-in for $300 and order more Crown and coke. Don't mess with a good thing right? I'm up and down within a $100 for 2 hours until my most magical hand I've ever played, (even after the quad 6's hand).
I'm to the left of the Big blind, and look down to see: 9d Jc .

I know that this is a folding hand, especially when you are first to act, but I have three reasons why I limped in: 1) J/9 is my favorite bad hand to play. (2) If I flop something big, this agressive table will pay me off huge, and finally, and most importantly from a poker theorists point of view in conjunction with mathmatical probability: I was drunk.

It serves me right to limp in with that hand when the pretty boy from Italy raises to $8. Michigan State guy re-raises $4 more. The doorman, (who said earlier he was going to buy drugs with his winnings), calls as do the two Asian women. In for a dime, in for a dollar right? I call the $8 more. Profitable tight agressive poker playing is what I always say. Yeah right.

Flop comes: 7h 10h 8d

I have the nuts (for now). It's checked to me, and I check: knowing that the big pocket pairs at the other end of the table will do my bidding for me. They raise, re-raise, doorman folds, Asian women call, as do I. (I still wanted to hide the hand strength).

Turn: Kd

I hated this card because of the double flush draws & higher straight draws out there. One of the Asian women bets the $8. The other one folds, I call, Italy man raises, Michigan State re-raises, I call the $16, almost drooling over the pot. Still I need a low black card on the river to insure my nuts, (so to speak).

River: 4 c

Long boring story short: bets are capped. Doorman, (to show off to his girlfriend sitting behind him) brillantly predicts that someone probably has a J/9. I show my hand, dealer announces "straight," and the older Asian woman says, "I have straight too." She flips over Q/6. ???? I scoop up a huge pot, see that it is 5:20 a.m. and go back to my hotel, mircalously skipping past the table games. At this moment, somebody is winning millions, some guy is in bed with a playmate, but I KNOW that I am the happiest guy in all of Las Vegas.

The next morning, we go to the breakfast buffet at the Riveria, and I drop $100 at the craps table. I want to dig in, but fortunately, the wife has the money. I have to learn to stay away from bj, craps and roulette.

Overall I had a great time. For the next trip, I'll work on my tournament play, try some other casinos, and will definately stay away from the 1/2 pound hot dogs at Slots O' Fun.

Thanks for reading. Peace.

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