May 26-June 4 Girls' Trip (Long)

Reports & Blogs by jkinsey435 Posted

Thursday - May 26th
I arrived in Las Vegas ahead of schedule at around 10:15pm, even though my flight out of Buffalo was 25 minutes late departing. I get on the shuttle to pick up the rental car and I get up to the counter at Hertz and they tell me their full sized car is a Nissan Altima. Huh? How is an Altima a full size car? I get in the car and it smells like they dunked the whole thing in a bottle of Pine Sol. Thankfully, that smell went away. Called my Mom to let her know I was on my way to the hotel only to have her tell me she was sick. Yay. Apparently, she got some bad chicken McNuggets at the McDonald’s downtown. She never eats at McDonald’s. She’s only got 1 kidney (kidney disease) so any time she gets sick it takes twice as long for her to get well.

Friday - May 27th
Mom was still sick upon waking so I went over to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. I figured I would capitalize on her downtime by going to the pool at Binion’s only to find out the pool was closed. According to my contact at Four Queens, it got shut down by the Health Department due to drainage issues. I walked over to Golden Nugget to hang out at their pool only to get turned away because the hotel is booked for the weekend and they are not letting non-guests into the pool. What a crock because only about 50% of the lounge chairs were occupied, and not EVERYONE is going to use ALL the lounge chairs at the same time but whatever. Not really that big of an issue, just annoying.

Since I couldn’t sit pool-side I figured I’d go to the grocery store and get some food and beverages for the room. I was able to get a refrigerator due to medical reasons so we like to get bottled water and snacks. It’s a good way to save some money.

Later in the afternoon my Mom started feeling well enough to go ahead and go to the Bill Cosby show at Treasure Island. That was a lot of fun. Bill Cosby is hilarious and I highly recommend you go and see him if you have the opportunity. After the show, I thought I’d play some poker in their poker room, but there was only 1 table going (at 10pm). Huh? Not even worth the trouble so I decided to just go to Gilley’s and check it out since I had my redneck gear on. That was disappointing too. It’s more of a tourist trap now than a country bar but there were still a few cowboys for me to gaze at. So far I’ve spent money, but not on gambling.

Saturday - May 28th
Woke up this morning and went over to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast again. Mom wanted some hot chocolate so I got her some. As I get on the elevator to go up to the room, I put the hot chocolate on top of my coffee and don’t you know, the hot chocolate falls off and spills all over me and the elevator. Ugh. Had to soak my capris in the sink and scrub the chocolate out later. Lol

After breakfast, I decided I’d play in Binion’s 2:00pm $100 buy-in tournament. Two things I forgot to bring with fleece and my notepad. Disclaimer: I suck at remembering positions and bet amounts after I’m done playing so if anyone who played with me is on here and reads this, please feel free to correct me or state the bet amounts if I leave them out.

Binion’s regular 2:00pm tournament is very nicely structured. I sit down at my table and recognize quite a few locals I’d seen downtown before. As I’m sitting there waiting for the tournament to start, I look up and who do I see sit down (seat 7) at my table but none other than Susie Isaacs (seat 4). For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Isaacs was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2008.

I was card dead for the 1st 3 levels, only playing one hand, which I folded post flop, which was a small suited ace that missed. In the last hand of the 3rd level before the break, I believe I was in middle position with A 10 off. The blinds were at 200/400. Action gets around to Susie and she raises to 1500. I’m thinking she’s trying to just steal blinds before the break and this is only the 2nd ace I’ve seen up to that point so I call. In seat 9 sits Gordon (another local and a friend of Susie’s whose last name I don’t know) and he raises to 4500. I’m thinking “What the hell? Are they just trying to push me around and/or push me out of the hand before the break?” Susie calls and I think to myself “I might as well take a stab at this.” The flop comes K J Q. I flop broadway and my heart starts pounding. I check. Gordon bets just over ½ the pot. Susie thinks for a few seconds and folds. I call. The turn comes a 7. I check, Gordon checks. The river comes an ace. I check, Gordon bets another 9k and I call. Gordon flips over suited K Q for 2 pair and I flip over my cards and he says “I kinda thought you might have flopped the straight. Nice hand.” Susie says she had K Q as well and said nice hand. That was a good time to catch and win a nice pot.

After that hand, I went pretty card dead again, though I did get pocket 9’s 2 hands in a row and played them completely different and won small pots with both. One of them against an A J.

At the 600/1200/100 level, I got involved in another big hand with Jesse (seat 5), who told me his nickname on AVP but I can’t remember it now. I think I was in the small blind and was dealt A J of spades. Jesse raises 4 times the bb and I call. The flop comes A, rag, rag, no spade. I check and Jesse bets, I call (I can’t remember how much but I was going to call with top pair, decent kicker). The turn is another blank. I check, Jesse bets a decent bet (maybe ½ pot or a little more – I can’t remember), I call. Another blank on the river and we both check. I flip over my cards and Jesse says, “I can’t believe you called my pre flop bet with A J.” I said “Dude, it was suited and it’s the first ace I’ve seen in a while and I was getting short.” Jesse then says “I had a huge hand.” and I reply “I know what you had.” During the next break I walk up to Jesse and say “you had kings, didn’t you?” He says yeah and then says that he thought he might be able to put me off the hand on the turn with his bet. I probably should have check raised on the flop or the turn but figured he had a big hand and he would be aggressive with it so I just let him do the betting. I really want to try and do more leading out in the future. I think I check-call and flat call too much.

Other than those 2 big hands and the pairs of 9’s I really didn’t get many cards. The 2 guys on each side of me got busted out and then shortly after the hand he and I got involved in, Jesse busted out. Shortly after that, our table got broken up and I got moved to a table with a guy who was obviously new to poker but who happened to have the chip lead. Eventually, I had to go all in and I finished 42nd out of 121. Not quite the finish I thought I was going to get or would have liked to get but overall I’m pleased with my play. My reading ability is getting better. When I got eliminated, Susie Isaacs came up to me and gave me her business card and asked me how often I came to Vegas and that she could help me with my game. Down $100 entry fee.

After the tournament I went out to Stoney’s for some beer and dancing. Met up with a fellow I had met at Gilley’s the night before. Nice older guy. We hung out and people watched. Stoney’s is a cool place and a lot less touristy than Gilley’s.

Sunday - May 29th
Woke up and went to breakfast with Mom at Magnolia’s in Four Queens. There’s always great service and good food at a good price there. We didn’t really do much on this day. I wandered around downtown while Mom played slots and eventually wound up at the Binion’s poker room. I played cash until Mom was ready for dinner, which we had at Tony Rome’s. Down $100 because I got involved in a hand I couldn’t get away from (pot committed after the flop) but I don’t remember the details of the hand unfortunately). After dinner I went back and played more cash games at Binion’s. No hands of any noteworthiness. The entertainment of the night was a pair of drunk guys that were in town celebrating a birthday. The girlfriend of one of the guys showed up and then got all pissed off so there was some drama but after the drunks left we finally got around to playing poker instead of goofing around. Eventually, they consolidated the 2 NLH tables because we were each short-handed. A few locals got seated with us and the Dad of one of them who had taken me out earlier in the evening was at the table. I don’t remember his name but the daughter’s name is Bree. She’s nice. And another guy that looks like Andy Bloch (without the hat) and I started a conversation about rescue dogs after he saw my card protector. I left around midnight and down $8 but I didn’t mind so much because the table was good.

Monday - May 30th
Woke up and went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. Mom and I got ready for the day and decided to go to MGM. We go there every year to play the horse racing game and to see the lions and get our pictures taken in a photo booth. Apparently, this is the only horse racing game left in Vegas. We sat there waiting for seats to open up for almost half an hour and finally got in. It’s always a fun time playing this game. I’ll usually sit there for a couple of hours until it gets boring or I lose my $40 and then I’ll go play some poker. My Mom started to get bored so she gave me her quarters and went off to play slots. After about my 3rd beer and an hour and a half, I had to go to the bathroom so I got up. My Mom calls me while I’m in the bathroom and tells me she fell asleep at the slot machine. She hadn’t been sleeping well because she was sick. We got her some coffee in the hopes it would wake her up, but no such luck so we decided to leave. No poker playing at MGM for me this day. Later on she wanted to go to Sam’s Town to eat at the Mexican restaurant but when we called to make reservations we found out it is closed on Monday’s. Which sucked because a friend of mine’s band was playing there but I didn’t want to go just for that (lame, I know). So we wound up going to Dona Maria’s on Las Vegas Boulevard, just outside of downtown. We both got chimichangas which were pretty good. We couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more people in this restaurant. The prices were very reasonable, the margarita I had was delicious and the service was great. After dinner we went back downtown. I didn’t play any poker on this day. I wasn’t feeling all that great because what I thought was allergies was kicking my ass. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and had been really windy, blowing lots of pollen and dust around and the temperature had dropped to the high 60’s.

Tuesday - May 31st
I woke up this morning feeling like crap still. Still figuring it was just allergies. My throat was pretty sore, I was sneezing a ton and constantly blowing my nose. No matter as I had decided I was going to play in $160 NLH Binion’s Poker Classic event that started at 2:00pm. My Mom and I had breakfast at Magnolia’s again. After breakfast, I went over to Binion’s and played video poker until it was time for the tournament. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any monumental hands as I was pretty much card dead the entire tournament, only catching a few pocket pairs and basically maintaining the starting stack of 12k. I did get to meet Robert Kelly (phantom309) and he proposed a $1 last longer bet. I won that. ;) I honestly don’t remember too much about this tournament because I was feeling so crappy. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did because I know my concentration level wasn’t there. I was out at about 10 places outside the money. I just played tight, patient poker because that is easy for me to do. I’m sure I could have done better had I been able to focus more. I do remember having a good starting table of solid players. We got rid of a few loose players early on and kept having new players brought to us until the table got split up. It was when I got to the new table that I woke up a little bit because there was this girl that thought she was something and she really wasn’t. She was annoying pretty much everyone at the table because she was taking so long to act every time action was on her. I was starting to get short stacked and getting so impatient with her I threatened to call the clock on her if she didn’t pick up her pace. I don’t know how, but she had probably 25% of the chips at the table. And she didn’t shut up. Talk talk talk talk talk. Ugh. I know it sounds catty, but she was just annoying. Probably more so because I wasn’t feeling well. If I had felt better I probably would have challenged her in hands more often because I could tell she was trying to use her wiles to bluff. lol

Wednesday - June 1st
Woke up this morning still feeling pretty crappy but I had already decided I was going to play in the 2pm $235 Rio deepstack tournament. Mom and I got breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts again. Mom and I arrive at the Rio at about 1:40pm and I immediately head over to registration and get signed up for the tournament. For $235 you get 15,000 chips, with 30 minute levels. A pretty good structure for the money. I go and find my seat (seat 1) and find myself seated next to Ronnie Nguyen, Men Nguyen’s brother. He’s pretty entertaining and quite charming. There are a couple other women at the table in seats 4 and 6, as well as a European in seat 9. These are 10 handed tables so it is fairly cheap per round which affords one the ability to be more patient. The most aggressive players were the guys in seats 3, 7 and 9. So it’s me in seat 1, Ronnie Nguyen in seat 2, aggressive guy 1 in seat 3, fellow female in seat 4, nit in seat 5, female in seat 6, aggressive guy 2 in seat 7, nit in seat 8, aggressive European in seat 9, nit in seat 10.

The cards start flying, though not everyone at my table is seated yet. I am mostly taking it easy, playing tight aggressive and waiting to get some good cards. Taking down some small pots with medium pairs and suited connectors, nothing really of note and nothing really substantial. I just made standard raises and continuation bets to win some pots, mostly unchallenged. Shortly after the first break the guy in seat 5 goes all in and gets taken out and is replaced by another nit shortly thereafter. About 20 minutes after the new guy in seat 5 sits down, I’m in the big blind. Blinds are at 300/600 with a 75 ante. Ronnie folds, as do seats 3 and 4. Nit in 5 makes a raise to 1200. Action then folds to the SB who calls. I look down at my cards and see a Queen-3 of spades and decide to defend my blind for a two-bet raise with 3750 in the pot. The flop comes Queen of clubs and 2 small spades. SB checks, as do I and nit in 5 makes a continuation bet of 3 times the BB. SB folds and with 6150 in the middle, top pair and a flush draw, I call. The turn comes the 3 of hearts. I check and nit in 5 bets again, this time making it 4k to go. No doubt I’m still going to call with 2 pair and a flush draw. There is now 15950 in the middle. The river comes the ace of spades...a scare card for me since nit has been betting the whole way. I check and he checks behind so obviously the ace was a scare card for him too since I had called the whole way. In hindsight, I probably should have led out in this spot. In any event, he flips over pocket kings right away and I flip over my cards and show him the rivered flush. He immediately starts ranting. How could I call him with Q 3 and continue to call him the whole way to which I say “you made it too cheap pre-flop and when I flopped top pair and a flush draw, I wasn’t going anywhere. You made it too cheap for me and you let me get there.” And this guy, who I’d never seen before that day starts talking about how he’s watched me play and how I don’t play junk and how disappointed he was in my play. I say “what are you talking about? I’ve never seen you before in my life.” And the guy continues to go on about how he’s seen me play before and that I don’t play crap cards. Meanwhile Ronnie is laughing and cutting up at this guy and making comments and he tells me he thought I played the hand good. That hand left the nit pretty much devastated. Shortly thereafter, seat 5 nit was taken out and he couldn’t help but make another comment about me as he was leaving. Pretty funny.

In his stead, we get another aggressive player in seat 5. Just what the table (and I) needed. Lol I continue to play my patient game and maintain my chip stack until I get involved in a hand with the villain in seat 5. I don’t remember our positions but he goes all in pre-flop and I look down at A 10 suited and call for about 8k. He flips over A Q off. I’m the only caller. He wins the hand and doubles up cutting my stack down to about 12k. I probably should have folded that hand but he was playing so aggressive I didn't figure he had a big hand. I was thinking small-mid pair and that I had 2 overs. Oh well. Back to waiting for big hands until the dinner break.

Continued from my thread in the Live Tournament Strategy forum...
I had just gotten moved to a new table prior to the 40 minute break. Blinds were at 1200/2400, with a 75 ante and I was in seat 6. A girl I had played poker with before, Shannon (whose last name I can’t recall), was seated in seat 7. I was pretty card dead but managed to win a few small pots. I was doing my best to be patient and wait for good hands, but my stack was quickly growing shorter. About 20 minutes at the new table, the chip leader gets seated at my table in seat 2. He immediately starts talking incessantly about anything and everything and talking about porn and pretty much any topic he could think of. I don’t mind table talk but when someone talks nonstop, it’s more just because they like the sound of their own voice and really holds no value for me. Maybe he does it for a reason because I was becoming quite irritated by the chatter. That and the fact that it seemed like he was playing too many hands and raising too much with me still to act behind him. Not that I wouldn’t be doing the same thing if I were the chip leader. Anyway, after about 10 hands of no playable cards, he raises again either UTG or early position to about 8k. I look down at my cards and see K Q of hearts and think to myself “I can’t wait for the perfect hand anymore” and I go to shove all in but I make a mistake and make the motion in 2 moves so the dealer can only bring in the first stack I push. It didn’t really matter anyway because there was only a few hundred in the second stack and I only had about 8 big blinds left. The chip leader says “raise” so I put in the rest of my chips. We flip our cards over and he’s got A K off and immediately says “Really? Those are the cards you want to go all in with?” to which I reply “Yep…I can’t sit and wait for the perfect pair all day, I’m getting short.” Then he says “Well I’ve got the better hand but you’re likely to win anyway.” Gee, what a good sport. I make a pair of queens on the turn. The rest of the board is blank. He then proceeds to question my play some more by saying “So when I raised it to 8k and you looked down at your cards, you thought they were good enough to go all in with?” I repeated what I’d already said and he says “you really liked them that much huh?” What is this guy not getting? Am I supposed to sit around and wait for pocket aces, kings, queens, etc. while my stack gets shorter and his gets bigger? I pose that question to him and he says “well those cards aren’t all in cards.” I finally say to him “the hand is over, move on.” Am I supposed to let him push me around or do I make a stand with K Q suited? I decided to make a stand and he didn’t like it.

So what should I have done with these cards? Was going all in the right move against this particular player? I think so. Against another player I probably wouldn’t have done it. To me, two suited face cards with a short stack are better than a small pocket pair or a lower suited or unsuited connectors. Especially against an overactive player.

I wound up having to go all in again a short while later and finished in the 20’s (the tourney paid the top 14). This time I had pocket kings. They met up with the same guy’s pocket aces. I asked him if that was better and he says “it’s better than your last all in.” lol Needless to say, I
lost that hand. I did the sportsman like thing and went over and shook his hand.

Thursday – June 2nd
Thursday I woke up again still not feeling great. Mom and I had breakfast at Magnolia’s and decided we’d go to Harrah’s and have some fun. We get there and walk towards the outside party bar and see a frozen drink bar and decide to get a couple of drinks. They were expensive but well worth it cause we both caught a buzz of the drinks. I left my Mom at a slot machine and I went outside to the party bar to see what I could see. I ran into a lady that I had hung out with last year and we sat and watched and the younger people getting drunk and having fun. It’s pretty funny. If I hadn’t felt so crappy I probably would have been drinking myself. I had wanted to play poker while there but I just didn’t feel like I had the focus I’d need to play good poker so I just hung out at the bar. That bar is always a good time and the band that plays there always has silly little contests to get girls on stage dancing and most of the time at least one girl winds up flashing her tits. Lol About an hour later, my Mom calls me and tells me she wants another drink and she already sounded 3 sheets to the wind. We left there at about 8:30 and headed over to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner. The service was great but the food was lack lustre. Not even as good as the Joe’s in Tucson. Maybe it would have been different if we had gone during the dinner rush. After that, we went back downtown to the room. Pretty lazy day. Lord knows what I spent on food and alcohol that day. 

Friday – June 3rd
Woke up feeling even worse and didn’t want to go anywhere. My Mom was feeling better and I know she really wanted to go play but she stayed with me all day until after dinner. The only time I left the hotel was to pick up dinner at Tony Rome’s and bring it back to the room to eat and watch a movie. Mom went down and played slots later. Pretty lame.

Saturday – June 4th
I woke still not feeling good. Makes for a pretty miserable trip home. Thank God I had a direct flight. It was uneventful and I arrived home safely with only about $1,300 out of pocket, which made the hubby happy. Mom and I have already vowed that we are going to party twice as much next year to make up for the lack of fun this year.

In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have played in the BPC tournament or the Rio deepstack feeling the way I did. Though I held my own and managed to get close to the money, I know I could have done better if I had felt better and wouldn't have made as many mistakes. But I didn't go to Vegas to hang out in a hotel room. Needless to say, I am itching to go to the local casino and play some poker now that I'm all better.

Thanks for reading.


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  1. Great trip report Jess. Sounds like you had a nice time
    considering getting sick in the middle of it. I hate that. It is
    so hard to be in Vegas and be sick! I know how hard it is to play while
    you can only think about your stuffy head or runny nose. Awful.
    Thanks for posting - enjoyed the read. Sorry you felt so bad for alot of it, but
    there's always next time and I'm sure you will fare better when not sick.

  2. Glad you managed to find your way to Stoney's. Gilley's is such a tourist trap I hate that it reflects the "country scene" in vegas to many people. Next time you are in town give me a holler and I will introduce you around Stoney's. I am there at least once a week and it is always a blast.

  3. Thanks Nite. It definitely was disappointing not playing more poker. I played more poker last year in less time. It just sucked because I just wasn't really motivated to do anything. I was lucky to get up in time to play in the tournaments I did play in. :shrug: There will be a next year and Mom and I are already talking about it. :smile:

    Yeah, me too Bald. I had tried to get out there since the old Gilley's closed because that was the one time a year I'd go two-steppin'. I thought Stoney's was fun and had a good mixture of people. Maybe I did see you when I was there. What do you look like? I met quite a few locals when I was there. I'm not real shy so it's easy for me to talk to people. I also did some dancing by myself since no one asked. That was probably due to the fact that I had my wedding band on and I was hanging out with a guy that could easily have been my husband (from the view of another dude). :wink: Do you recall seeing a girl in Wranglers, a green plaid shirt and black cowboy boots and hat?


  4. Not off hand.. but I talk to a lot of people so it is always possible.

    I always sit at the 2nd table from the front of the dance floor by the bull against the rail and wear black boots and black cowboy hat.

    Wedding band doesn't matter, if guys see you dancing once then they will start asking you. You just have to break the ice with that first two-step then you won't sit down the rest of the night.

  5. Great trip report. I had Susie Issacs sitting right next to me last year during the Seniors WSOP day 2. She was getting lots of autograph requests and picture requests. She also lasted longer than I did and managed to cash where as I just finished out of the money. I see she cashed this year too.

  6. Great trip report! Sorry to hear that you and your mom spent so much time under the weather.

    Sounds like you had a couple of jerks in your tourneys, though. Not sure why it is that people feel the need to be insulting and continue to harp on your play. Maybe they're just former internet players with chatbox withdrawal. Glad to hear that you seemed to let it roll off of your back.

    I love the Sigma Derby horse racing game; not sure why they don't have a few more of them around town anymore. Seems like an ideal addition to most sportsbooks. I think the last time I played one in Vegas was at the Luxor about 10 years ago.

  7. Bald...I was closer to the big screen on the right side of the bar so I probably didn't see you. I had one guy ask me to dance when he saw me dancing by myself and I danced with a guy who was young enouhg to be my son from Brazil. I danced with one guy that was so huge I couldn't really coordinate my steps with his. It was during a dance music break and the song wasn't really doing anything for me. Either was the guy, honestly. lol Other than that, it was just me and my acquaintance watching people and chatting. Guess I don't have as much mojo as I used to. lol

    Thanks cooper. She's a very nice lady and it was an honor to play with her (and take some of her chips :wink: ). She did make mention of playing in the senior event. Nice to know she cashed.

    Thanks Cash. Yeah, there's always a jerk or two in any given tournament. I seem to always wind up with them. It's all good. I'm pretty good at defending myself and not taking crap from anyone. They can insult me to their heart's content. I'll remember it and use it against them when they make a donk move. And players who are Hellmuthish always make donk moves. We love the horse game too. It's always fun. Any chance you'll be heading this way in the near future?

  8. I hope to get down to Seneca sometime this summer. I get the feeling that I'll be stick to cash games, after realizing that they take 30% off of any winnings (not just profits) for their tourneys for non-resident taxes. I'll definitely send you a PM if I head down that way, and would love to see you there.

  9. Do let me know Cash. Maybe we could actually sit at a table together.