Had another great trip filled with fun in Sin City. My choices of fun are Poker, food and drinking for free. I will general break my report into these three topics so if you are not interested in one it is easy to skip. I was in Vegas with a friend who will be called P for report. P and I make our poker playing exploits in Vegas into a competition by the winning player in each 2 hours session of poker getting a $1 poker chip from other player for each session they win. We will stay longer at a poker room if one or the other of us wants to but don't include results for out come of our poker competition. Sense P and I live in different parts of country we always try to give a chip that the other doesn't already have as prize. This has helped me expand my casino chip collection which is a hobby I enjoy. I poker played was either 1,2 NL or 1,3 NL depending on what casino offered.
Thursday May 30, 7:20 AM flight to Vegas, arrive at 9:15 and the fun begins. My friend has checked into Flamingo day before so he is well rested for 11:00 AM start of $1,000 WSOP tournament on day I arrive. Friend is card dead for tournament and lasts about 4 hours before busting out. Re-enters for 5:00 PM start and lasts only about 2 hours. I play cash games at Rio in WSOP areas for couple of hours as friend plays tournament. The strength of player seems about average in 1,3 NL game. I am an average player at best and need to get/hit cards usually to have a winning session of poker. Poker/gambling for day: Rio, -$66, 3 hr; Palms video poker down $100; Planet Hollywood (PH), 3 hr, -$68; Bally's, 5 hr, +$116. The most memorable session of poker was the 10:00 PM to 3 AM session at Bally's when we (friend and I) played at table with three woman dealers that generally played and raised with any two cards, sometimes raising all in with low pocket pairs and less. I'm very interested in comments from AVP community on buy in for $100 or less strategy and playing like a maniac. Does this ever work? This was fairly common and happened with at least one player at about a third of the games I played in. In most cases the player had to just rebuy multiple time anyway. Can this strategy work? It certainly looks like a more fun way to play than mine which is basically waiting for good cards and playing them.
Friday May 31, played following poker/gambling: Wynn, 2 hr, -$107; Venetian, 3 hr, -$186; Cosmo, Wheel of Fortune slot machine, 10 minutes +$209; Aria, 4 hr, -$339; PH, 2 hr, +$44. This was my toughest day of poker having played in the 3 room with the best competition: Wynn, Venetian, and Aria. I was actual up over $250 at Aria at one point but just couldn't admit I was beat and lay down good hands.
I was only one hand that got me most of the profit as follows. Hand had only manic at table acting first, weak looser player acting second and me with position. Though I am not suggesting my play was good on this hand it was a big win for me because other thought I should have done something else in my position. I had KK, bet before flop was $17 which was about average for table. Four player call raise including myself. Flop is 2, 4, 5 rainbow. Manic first to act bets $45, Second person folds, Third person raises to $90, I have more chips than both players with about $250 behind. I decide to go all in. Manic calls for about $75 more, Second player calls for about $150 more. Turn and river don't change anything and I drag monster pot (whay). The first player had a 5, 7 and second player had pockets 99's. Second player lamented that I should have reraised before flop with KK which I would agree with.
Now my losing hands. First hit to my stack was when I had pocket 55. Stoner (what player called himself) was winner in hand. Stoner came to our table about 10 hands before this hand and I had no ideas what his range of hands was. What was odd was he brought about $800 to table and I think max buy in was $300 at Aria 1,3 NL game. I assume he had got a table change. I have seen this a couple of times before when players get seat changes to another table in same card room and enter games with many more chips than others at table. I now suspect that these players only play an extremely tight game and only play great cards for a raise and limp with pocket pairs. This can work because for first 30-45 minutes many players are still trying to figure out how you player and will give you action on hands. Back to hand, I had position on 4 other callers in limped pot for $3 each. Flop is 5h, 6d, 10d, first to act bets $10, fold, fold, call, I reraised to $30 with my trip 55's. First position calls my bet, other player folds. Turn is 4 spades, Stoner checks, I bet $70, Stoner calls. River is 4d, Stoner thinks for a long time and leads out for $204, I call with little hesitation and loose about halve my stack. After hand I wonder if I should have been able to tell there was a set over set situation by betting, what do you think?
Second losing hand, I'll call hand winner Big Dude (BD) I have pocket AA, I raise pot to $12 and only BD calls. Flop is Kd, Jh, 10c, BD checks I bet $15, DB calls. Turn is 6d, BD checks, I bet $30, BD reraised to $60, I call. River is 4c, BD goes all in after little hesitation, I think for a long time, figure with spattering of high cards on flop it is very lighting BD hit two pair but call anyway and loss rest of my stack to BD's Qc, 9s hand.
Saturday June 1, played following poker/gambling: Harrah's, 2 hr, -$177; D downtown, Blackjack 2 hr, +$10; Flamingo, 2 hr, +$30. At Harrah's I think I was seeing a good pokers player also getting very lucky, I'll call him Lucky Bastard (LB). LB started with $300 and in first two hands lost about $175. Over next 2 hours LB busted several players, some multiple times. LB played any two cards in right situation, in position usually. He called most continuation bets and got luck in hitting two pair several times to take all chips of player with top pair great kicker.
LB busted another player at table for about $300 in following hand. I will call person who lost hand Poor Sap (PS). SP has Ace clubs, Queen hearts and raises to $15 preflop, LB calls in position. Flop Ace hearts, jack clubs, 8d, PS bets $15, LB calls. Turn 10d, PS bets $35, LB calls. River 6c, PS bets $70, LB raises $140, PS goes all in and looses to LB who has ace diamonds, 10 hearts for turned two pair.
LB busted P out with a 2, 3 offsuit, P held Ace clubs, jack diamonds. P raised to $17 before flop and only LB called on button. Flop was ace h, 2c, 3d. P fires $20 bet, LB calls. Turn is 8d, P bets $45, LB raises to $110, P goes all in, LB calls. River is 2h which adds insult to injury and move all P's chips to LB stack.
LB almost got all my chips two hands latter when I had ace, 9h suited, LB had position on me. Preflop I raise to $12, my standard opening bet, LB is only caller. Flop was Ace, 7c, 6h. I bet $15, LB calls. Turn is 7d, I bet $30, LB reraised to $60, I hem and haw for awhile and fold. LB shows 7h, 6c for turned full house (thus I refer to him as luck bastard :) LB certainly is a better poker player than I.
Sunday June 2, played following poker: MGM, 2 hr, -$45; Excalibur, 2 hr, +$191; Mandalay Bay, 2 hr, -$74; Luxor, 1.5 hr, +$61. I think the softest poker in Vegas that I have played is at Excalibur. This is the only room year after year I usually can make money playing in.
Monday June 3, played following poker: Bellagio, 2 hr, +$90; Monte Carlo, 2 hr, -$67; Mirage, 1 hr, +$46; Caesars Palace, 5 hr, +$179. I didn't get a hotel room for night so played poker from 1 am to 6 am at Caesars Palace until I needed to leave for my morning flight home. The poker game at Caesars Palace was the most entertaining game of the trip. There was an ever changing set of players as people quit to go to bed I assume. The one constant player with me at table most of the session was a very Loose, Aggressive Hollander (LAH) drinking Corona's as fast as server could bring them. I was drinking coffee for hole session to help stay awake. By 6 am table was two Hollander's (were friends), two from France (were friends), two more looked foreign but never said, and two other American's at table. The LAH straddled virtual every pot he could which made poker more expensive for me because he was on my left so all my big blind were $6 minimum to play and LAH raised most pots to $22 minimum. LAH play made table play very loose which is probable why my tight type of play worked. Most pots were over $100. Sense the middle of the night in USA is the morning in Europe it make sense that Europeans would be playing poker all night sense their body time clock thinks it in morning. What happened at most other late night poker games around Vegas is play got very slow and tight in wee hours of morning.
On food topic, I ate Good Old Raisons and Peanuts (GORP) throughout day with one regular meal at night. This works well for me as I don't eat much during day and pig out at buffets. This trip I ate at Cosmo, Mandalay Bay, and Bellagio buffets. For last couple of years I always thought Bellagio buffet was the best in Vegas but not anymore. My new winner for best Buffet in Vegas is the Wicked Spoon buffet in the Cosmo.
I always bring a drink list and see many different types of drinks I can get for free in Vegas. I don't drink until I am sick but have a drink every hour or two. I suspect my poker game may improve if I didn't drink in Vegas but I'm mainly in Vegas to have a good time and keeping a moderate flow of alcohol in my system in part of fun. I think the poker rooms with the best drinks are Wynn, Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo. Caesars Corporation's (CC) poker rooms have smallest and many cases weakest drinks which seems unfair sense the rake plus jackpot drop in CC pokers rooms is the highest I've seen in Vegas. Drink's I enjoyed include: whiskey sour, screwdriver, strawberry margarita, black Russian, pineapple vodka, bloody mary, Manhattan, long island ice tea, tequila sunrise, mai tai, pina colada, fussy naval, hurricane, amaretto and cream, several bailey's Irish cream's, white Russian, Jack and coke, Caesar, and several corona's just for good measure. I know list looks long but over 5 days it isn't much.
Thank you to all that write trip reports, reading reports over my lunch hour brings some joy to regular my 9 to 5 grind.