poker, video poker, aces, and the LLM
Hello All....Multiple part trip report...will include some room reviews, hilarity, and some NL content.
Your players are:
2 single guys, mid-forties, who comp-hunt and try to find the best deal...reasonably disciplined.
Me (1/2 1/3 occasional 2/5 NL and tournament player...rarely play limit, love Full Pay video poker)
Randy (Low limit monster, tightwad (said affectionately,) progressive jackpot VP whore, solid player)
RF: female friend of Randy, meeting us there for a few days, not really a gambler/poker player, won't figure prominently
Travel: I live near the Manchester NH airport, but we can't get any cheap flights by the time Randy (henceforth LLM) decides he can go...I agree to try Logan and do the car-bus-subway to airport thing from his house near Logan. Transfer in Denver and get in our rental car (10 days, 220$ enterprise) and we are off to check in at the Gold Coast.
Check in famished, and burn some comps at TGIF's...not my favorite, but LLM wants a steak and we're too tired to drive. Food and service are surprisingly excellent and I have steak fajitas which were good...server was TOP NOTCH!
We love the Gold Coast for its proximity to Rio come WSOP-time, but decide we are going to try to get on the Palms radar screen for free rooms so we want to give them some biz this trip....I have shied away from there in the past due to losses at their good-paytable Video poker (VP) but the wounds have healed and I decide it is time to give them a shot...plus, on Saturday night, the 'scenery' should be excellent.
We head over to Palms, play some 10/6 DDB (10/6 full pay double double bonus , 100.07% )VP and check out the poker room....room is kinda dead for Saturday night at midnight (1-3 NL, 3-6 Lim, 1 table each) so we play a bit more VP and LLM calls it a night. We wander back to GC and I play various VP (I'm a 1$ player, LLM plays mostly quarters (see tightwad above)) I hit a few quads and am dealt quad 5s....go to bed 4AM up a C-note.
Sun 11th LLM is up early, so I am dragging on 3 hours sleep. We go to play some cheap Pai gow and no waitress wants to serve us...played over 45 minutes with one cool dealer who told us our waitress was a bee-otch. I lose 2$ and need coffeee, so move to sportsbook bar for morning coffee and VP (fantastic combo)
I win 100 and LLM and I decide to hit the GC breakfast buffet...not bad, good selection...i had bagel/lox sandwich...cream cheese/onion....so yummy. Wander over to GC poker room....2-4 is only thing going, we pass.
On another note, on a previous trip, I had tried several times to score a $2 orange chip at the GC poker room...I was told by the female PR manager that they are STRICTLY used for drops, and they don't sell them, even though lots of people ask to buy them. I then asked her why she didn't order more and sell them, since they can't ocst 2$ to buy, and if people are buying them as souvenirs to take home, that would be pure profit for the poker room. She looked at me as though her head was going to explode. Sorry to be so logical. I thentried to get them from the cage, and the dealers, and was told no.
So, this trip, I immediately go to the cage and try again. I am told they 'don't think they sell them'.....I put on my pouty face, tell them I only want one for my collection, she goes off and procures one...DING!!! I tip her a buck and am dying to show it to Nazi-pkoer room manager (without telling her how I got it, of course!!)
LLM wants to go to Luxor to play cards until RF arrives, I head to Ellis island for VP, free play,. I lose 150 playing FPDW (full pay deuces wild VP ) and 10/7 DB (10/7 double bonus 100.17%) and need to go check in at 4Queens.
I wander downtown (DT) and get in 1-2NL game at the Nugget. I buy in for 135.
2 big hands...
I limp UTG w/ TT loose guy raises 4 limpers to 15. I reraise to 40 to isolate, and make him think I have something better than TT. He shoves, and I have a decicion for about 160$. I feel like gambling, call, he never shows, and pot comes my way.
Drunk Mexican guy comes in and sits to my left in seat 3. I get AKo in LP, I raise 4 limpers to 20, Mex calls, others fold. Flop is raggy rainbow, I bet 30, he flats. turn is ace, I check, he bets 10$ (pot was ~50). I think about raising, and should have, but instead, I call (stupid). River is a 10, no flush no reasonable straight....I check, he shoves for 120, I call, he flips over j hi. winner me. I cash out 30 mins later up 400.
Go to LVC and cash out all comp$ previously accumulated there and at the Plaza....told them they need new mgmt, as the LVC used to be a GREAT place to play 21, and had decent VP. Later on the trip I found out the LVC was just bought by the Golden Gate.
Hit the Cal, and play 1 particular 1$ 10/7 DB machine that has been good to me on previous trips (Main St end of Casino, against wall, rightmost machine nearest buffet.) I'm on my second Ben when it DEALS me 4 bullets....800 handpay, play 3 more hands and leave, up 650 for the Cal. The Cal has also removed all their 9-6 JOB 1$ bar games (they had 9-6 jacks or better VP at all bars...now gone) so they will lose a lot of biz from me.
I head to brewpub at Main Street Station (MSS) for food...calamari and a burger....the portions are huge and delish. Yummo....(comped) Head back to GC, end day up for trip ~ 1100.
Mon: Up early, no sign of the LLM, head down for Coffee and VP. drop about 400 playing 1$ 9/6 JOB and the LLM shows up. We have no plan so we take a ride to Henderson, as I want to play a particular VP game called Super Aces, and they have a 'full Pay' version (8/5, 99.94%) at the Rainbow Club aka the Peppermill. We have a been LLM plays FP 8/5 BP. I drop 260 and we head out to check in a comped room at Aliante. Hellish drive from Henderson to the TOP of Vegas.
Aliante is WTF out there, and if not for the free room, foggetaboudit.
Poker room had one table of 2-4 going, looked nice, but dead (Monday noon) so we buffet it, (comped) and play some FPDW, and screw outta there.
We drive back to the Strip and LLM checks in at the Casino Royale. He loves the location here (close to strip poker rooms like Mirage, Venetian) and it is pretty easy to get comped nights playing the good-for-the-strip .25 8/5 Bonus poker (99.17%). we've booked 4 days on back-to-back 2 night comps (him then me) so this is home base for the next 4 nights.
While he is checking in, I start playing the triple play Super Aces (7/5, not full pay, 98.8%) and within minutes I am receiving Handpay # 2 from a surly floor guy for hitting 4 Aces (2 grand at 1$/hand)
We hang at the CRoy for a while, then head to drop LLM off at Luxor to see RF and I go to Mand. BAy to play 1-2 NL poker. Lost 235$ on this hand:
I raise UTG+1 with A8s...I had been very tight previously....get called by Euro-looking guy who is dressed to the 9s. Flop is A43, pot is ~20$.
I Cbet 15, he flat calls. Hmmm if he has an ace his kicker is probably bigger, or he flopped a set, or has a pair like 7/8/9. I check the turn, its a deuce. I check, he bets 40, I call, and I see him gulp as I snap call and the river card comes.....I am now thinking he either has air and didn't want a call. river is a deuce, board is A4322. He bets 100, which is most of my stack, and I am preety sure he has no ace. pocket 3s or 4s for the boat? well, I'm a moron so I call, and...I'm right! no ace! Instead he has, ....get ready....pocket 2s for quads! Nice post-flop call, sir. IGHN.
Then I drop the rest of my chips on the craps table and leave for the Luxor, down 380 for my Mand Bay excursion.
Play some Pai gow with LLM and RF, win 50 (despite the dealer having a straight flush...If any player gets it, I win the Envy Bonus, and if I get it I win 500$) and head back to CROY with LLM.
I play more triple play (.50 Super aces (SA) ) and hit for 500, cash out up 330.
End of Monday
Up Tuesday, Coffe/VP at CROY bar, hit quads but give it back, leave up 10$ and Off to M. for freebies/comped food.
We play some low limit VP (they took out all the good stuff they had when they first opened) but I sat at tthe 32 degree bar where they have 80+ beers on tap and had 2 Raspberry Framboise drafts (should be like 8$ each) comped, won 35$ playing VP and went to VERY yummy buffet (comped)
Head to Venetian poker room, played some 1-2 NL, and bled away 150$ in an hour or so, one bad hand where My jacks lost to aces on a ten hi board.
Back to Royale, where I whacked the Super Aces AGAIN after investing heavily (Handpay #3 for trip) and +930 for VP session.
I wander around and playing VP, and gave the Palms more VP biz, winning 100$, using an LVA free play, and finding 11$ on floor (!!!) so I leave there up a buck and a half, head to Ellis for food, and back to CROY. LLM returns and talks about a crazy session of 3-6 limit with some Oakland Raider and his hot wife. Apparently the wife was SPEWING 100 dollar bills at the 3-6 limit game, and LLM was the recipient. Raider guy's quote, when his wife asks him for another Ben: "But Babydoll, you're just going to lose it to him.....why don't I hand it to him directly???"
LLM wins 510 (!!!) at 3-6 lim, including a 75$ HIHAND.
End Tuesday.....2B continued
Part 3. Friday AM:
Plan is for the LLM and I to play the noon HORSEy tourn at Orleans....we hit the buffet there (comped) and we are both exhausted as this is now day 7 and lack of sleep/odd hours are really puttin a whoopin on us. We decide to nap in his Orleans room for 2 hours and when we wake up we are still in no shape to play so we set our sites on Sunday's Horsey at Wynn aand head down to M to pick up more freebies. Then I need to check in at MSS downtown, so I check in and hit the 10/7 DB machines and drop about 1500 as quads were nowhere to be seen.
LLM heads over to the Nugget to play 3-6 Lim with a kill...I eventually join him, he has a stack of chips as usual...I drop about 120 and he makes 250. We played for 4+ hours.
Saturday I am licking my wounds, as Friday cost me about 2k in Poker and VP, but I am still up 6900 for the trip. I wake up at MSS and head down for...what else coffee and VP. Put my second hundred in at the Boar's head bar playing low variance 1$ 9-6 JoB and fill a 2 card Royal, Handpay #5 (and last) so I start the day up 3907$....WOOHOO, and am now ahead more money than I have ever been in Vegas....at this point my goal is to go home with 10k more than I landed with.
We head to the Palms, but no poker action yet, And LLM needs to check in at the Gold Coast, so we head over...then we go to Henderson and try to find some action...I want to tweak the Fiesta there to keep room offers coming, so we spend 10 minutes plaing VP and head to the Poker room...they are spreading 2-6 spread limit HE, no seats open, so we head to GVRanch and LLM gets in the 4-8 game, And I get in a new 1-2 game.
After an hour I get up for a smoke and walk by the LLM's table. He has a MOUNTAIN of chips like the chip leader at the WSOP, and 4 stacks of red (!!!) and I just start laughing.....he apparently hit quad 8's for a jackpot, AND had people betting into him.....with 2 6's on the table, he thought the other guy might have quad 6s and he might qualify for the jumbo BBJ but no quads for villain.
I play at a table with 'Buzz', apparently a local poker celeb down at GVR, and he sucks out on me once, rivering a K with KQ vs my AQ, but I had previously doubled up when I rivered a flush on a semi-bluff shove post flop with 4 diamonds vs. 2 pair, aso I was good with walking away up 170 in 1.5 hrs. LLM cleared 350. The Green valley room was nice, and they were very professional, making me a new players card right in the room, dealers were friendly and excellent.....highly recommend this experience. Seems to be 80% local regulars...I was one of 2 'strangers' at the table.
Maybe I need to play limit more...LOL
We head back DT to the Nugget.....final part coming.....Saturday night at the GN with the Gus Hansen wannabe.
Great report. I play a lot of $1 VP at the CR as well (usually can't swing the $2 game unless I am way up, I rarely drop down to $.50). Outside of TI there aren't that many decent places to play around there. I really hate it that the V and the Wynn took out all their decent $1 and $2 VP. I used to play $2 VP at the Wynn just because I hate playing short pay machines. I will play just enough at the V to try and keep my free room offers coming. I figure it's worth $200 to $300 in expected payouts on the VP there to keep those offers.
I'll have to get back to the Palms when I go back out in ten days. I haven''t been playing there and they quit offering me free rooms.
I played a fair amount of 10/7 DB 1$ at the palms, as well as some Pai gow (~25$ a hand) I did this for the SPECIFIC purpose of trying to get rooms.
I haven't yet received any mail (been home 3 weeks)
Hope I get some....
Are you familiar with vpfree2.com? Great info on paytables.
Yes I keep an eye on VPFREE2. I don't know if they have anything that is that good about blackjack but I guess no one really stays on the soft 17 anymore anyway.
The Palms is slow in acting on your play. I would say give it at least three months before you decide if your play there pays off. I love those 10/7 progressives.