It's not how you start but, rather, how you finish.

Reports & Blogs by billycanuck about Aria Casino, MGM Grand Posted

We landed on Wed. evening about 7:35 (only 10 minutes late after leaving Bellingham half an hour late) and after a really long, but steadily moving cue to get a cab, we checked into the 25th floor at Mirage and proceeded directly to Toby Keith's for drinkin' from a mason jar and some grub. Great start and after a long day, my wife wanted to get settled in the room and hit the hay so, on a Vegas adrenaline rush, I went downstairs and was seated right away at a 1-2 table. I hit a set and a flopped flush in just over an hour but decided it was time to head back upstairs when I started nodding off down $38.
Up early on Thursday for MM tip-off and making a few $$ on a couple of prop bets and after hitting a 4 team parlay on a $10 bet for $100, we met up with some friends and eventually found ourselves at Diablo's. A couple of pitchers of margaritas and some chips with guacamole and salsa later found us wandering through Monte Carlo with the girls trying some machines without much luck. We headed north and I registered for the TI 10 pm tourney. I was card dead in this one - but lasted until about 11:30 when my two pair was rivered by a set of 10s. Returned to Mirage and again was seated quickly at a 1-2 table. No hands of note during this 2 hr session but was privileged to be dealt to by AKGal and left down just over $100. Lots of action in the room with all the BB fans.
Enjoyed the pool again on Friday morning and spent the afternoon wandering the mid strip area ending up at CPK at the Mirage for an early supper before our friends had to leave for their flight home. I was hoping to play in the Aria's 7 pm tournament but when I got there I was told it was cancelled as there were too many cash games going. I wasn't surprised to hear this as the casino was busier than I had ever seen it and it was MM weekend, so ... it's 6:50 - where can I get to in time for a 7:00 tourney? The idea of MGM came to mind in a hurry - I really liked playing there on my previous trip so I made tracks in that direction and made it for the second hand being sat in the 1 seat right away. The buy in and structure changed for a MM promo to $125 buy in, 10000 chips and 30 min levels - similar to Aria so right away I like this.
I played a real TAG game for the first 4 levels and was right around chip average - stealing a few pots after showing down a couple of straights and a boat to help earn a good reputation. The fellow to my left - M - and also a Canadian, was keeping an eye on his wife who was also in the tourney but at another table. Our table got really going when a firefighter from Texas sat to M's left. We had a great time for almost 4 hours convincing this lady that there was a Texas, Canada, eh. M's wife busted out not too long after the first break and she had to wait for him to finally bust out just before I did around 1:00am - I got 12th. I was really pleased with my game - folding at the right time and only making one decision that I wish I could do differently. I was dealt Ah4h in middle position in level 6. After a 3x raise and a call ahead of me I fold. I would have had the nut flush by the turn and would have eliminated the two players who went all in - oh well. I like the MGM room and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good LV poker experience. I grabbed a Heineken and walked back to the Mirage and hit the sack. St. Patrick's Day tomorrow:)
Took the day off from poker on St. Patrick's Day. There was lots of green beer to be had at the last block party at O'Shea's and we went to see Blake Shelton at Mandalay Bay that night. A very good show and his personality really showed when he was talking to the audience between songs - he likes what he does! And the weather that day was lousy - only 55 degrees F - it took a few days to catch up but that storm followed us to Vegas after hitting the Pacific Northwest hard the previous weekend.
Sunday's weather wasn't much better to start so before checking out and moving over to TI for our last two nights we gorged ourselves at the Cravings buffet in Mirage. Mmmmmmmm. After checking out we trammed it over to TI and were able to get a room at 10:30:)The sun was starting to show itself ( but the temp was still very cool ) so we headed out to do some indoor shopping. At Miracle Mile I had a new card cover made - it is customized with our dog's name and and the Canucks logo. After returning to the room, wifey said she needed to get something at the Fashion Show Mall for our daughter's upcoming birthday so I decided to play the Imperial Palace 3 pm tourney. I hadn't played there before and wanted to in case it isn't there next time I get to Vegas ( see my room review for details ). I lasted an hour and a half without seeing much in the way of playable hands but was glad I played there with some friendly folks. Later that night I signed up for the TI 10 pm tourney ( it's close to home ). This quickly became the wildest game I've ever played in. I was seated in seat 1 again and it didn't take long for things to get going. A young fellow who is regularly seen there got on a real heater and knocked out 6 players - some of them twice - in the first hour. He had a huge chip stack after hitting straights, flushes and boats on almost any two cards he was dealt. He was in the 8 seat. The 6 seat had a young local blonde girl whose boyfriend - one of the players knocked out twice by seat 8 - was feeding her drinks and shots from Kahunaville. In the 7 seat was an asian fellow who was playing fairly tight. Before the first break, both the girl in 6 and the guy in 7 were able to take a chunk of seat 8's chips; the table was definitely leaning their way. After the break, the guy in 8 knocked another player out right away to raise his stack even higher. Then his wheels fell off. The guy in 7 took about 1/4 of his chips when his bluff was called then the girl in 6 got all in with him - she had 69 off and made the full house on the river - taking most of what he had left. On tilt, he was gone about 4 hands later. The girl in 7 was feeling no pain and was "donating" to the table by calling with almost anything given her large stack. I finally started to see some good cards and was slowly building my stack when I got my chance to get into it with the girl in 7. Looking down at KK, she 3 bet my raise so I shoved. She showed QJ and never caught up when the flop came with a K:) Now I was chip leader at the table heading into the second break. I continued acquiring chips and when we made the final table, I was by far the chip leader. I decided to play tight and let the others knock each other around unless I saw a really premium hand. I knocked two out when my QQ became 3 ladies on the flop. When we got down to 6 ( tourney was paying 5 - 44 runners ) the fellow to my right proposed paying the bubble. Usually I'm all for that but he wanted $20 from each place for $100. Fifth was only paying about $125 so it didn't seem right to me to pay the bubble so much. I suggested that I would take first place and they could all split the rest seeing as how I had a huge chip lead. Of course nothing came of it and we played on. It didn't take too long for the rest to get knocked out as the blinds were getting up there and chip stacks couldn't keep up - and I kept getting good hands to play and hitting flops regularly. It got to heads up between myself and a fellow from Paris, France. He lasted 1 hand when his A9 didn't hold up to my KQ when the board came Q 10 x K x. Yes! My second outright win at TI! It paid $701. The icing on the cake came afterwards when I was able to meet a bunch of AVPer's playing the mixed game. It's nice to be able to put a name and a face together. So hi to talon, psand, mpitts, akgal, pokermuffin and if I forgot someone, well, sorry. I was on a bit of an adrenalin rush after winning.
On Monday we walked up to CC and Riviera to get chips for my collection then made our way back to Wynn for some penny slots and chocolate martinis - they're great!!
The weather was nicer so we spent an hour at the pool in the afternoon the went to the Sporting Bar at NYNY to watch the Canucks lose to Minnesota. As my feet were really hurting due to blisters, I decided to stay close to home again and try the TI 10pm. After getting stacked twice by the same guy ( his heater equaled that of the guy the night before ) I left, disappointed in not being patient enough. I was able to make my $100 back in about 15 minutes at the craps table. This one guy threw a 6 or 8 at least 10 times before he crapped out - his point was 5 - and I had both 6 and 8 covered. Even for the night meant time for bed.
After breakfast on Tuesday morning we were able to catch some rays at the pool for 1/2 hour before checking out and heading to the airport.
Another great Vegas trip and I can't wait for another. Thanks for reading

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  1. What? No pictures? I thought you got some good ones of you and I after the tourney! lol...great meeting you, let me know next trip you make here.

  2. Nice report. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. Sounds like a great trip. An icy margarita at Diablo's sounds great right about now. Won't be out there until June. Might try that 10 pm at the TI.

  3. Nice report. Congrats on your win.

    P.S. Who cares if the Wild beat the Canucks? They've clinched the division now. I'm hoping the Sabres make the playoffs.

  4. Good read. Thanks for posting.