Sahara & Santa Fe tournaments, and lots of 1/3NL at Treasure Island!!!

Reports & Blogs by LasVegasMichael about Santa Fe Station Posted

Since I have been keeping a blog of sorts in the AVP forums (in the AVP Daily Poker Journal Thread), I haven't submitted a TR in a LOOONG time, so here goes! Apologize in advance for the length! This will be cross posted in the AVP poker journal as well, so there is no gap.


In the AVP meet thread, I mention that I ended up coming in third in that tourney. Despite being busted by Photoc, I had a great time there and was quite happy with my $800 payday, actually. 174 players were in the tourney, and to come out 3rd is a milestone for me, since I am by no means a tournament player. In the past two months, I have played in 4, and cashed in two. Played the $50 at Santa Fe, and chopped it three ways for $400 each, and then went back the following night, only to bust on the bubble.

A couple weeks after that, I played in the Sahara $62. I busted on the bubble there as well, just before the final table.

Then, there was the AVP meet, last Friday, the 16th. It was a BLAST! 17 AVPers got together, along with 157 other players.

It was quite a grind early on, but then I looked down at 22 on the cutoff, and limped along with several other players.

It was limped around and 7 people went to the flop. Blinds are 50/100. I am about equal to the table, about 4-5K in chips.


Bet in front of me is pot sized, $700, from a young player that seemed to know when to bet, but not when to raise.

I flat called. There were no draws out there and I was pretty much positive I had the best hand.

Turn: 5s

He bets out $500, less then a third of the pot, and smaller then his flop bet. I raise to 1500, and he insta calls.

River is 5h. I actually did not really like this card, as I had a bad feeling he had slow played a monster. He bet out 1K, into about a 4K pot or so.

I raised all in, and he insta called and tabled AK. I take it down with deuces full, and get the first double up and then some at the table.

After that, I caught some major cards. AK, AQ, KK, etc. Literally went on a tear.

Another hand came up where I was in the BB with AQos.

It is raised UTG from a local female player that I have played with before in this tourney. She is a tight aggressive player, but often has trouble getting away from big hands.

Her raise preflop was fairly sizeable, though I cannot recall the exact amount. Something like 6 times the BB.

I flat call after much deliberation. I had her covered by a large margin, and knew that I could easily get away from this hand if needed.

Flop came Q high, and I immediately went all in. She deliberated for a LOOONG time, and I almost called the clock. She called, and tabled JJ.

It didn't improve for her, and I was sitting on about 50 K, with the nearest comparable stack around 30K or so.

After that, some of the tables broke, and we eventually ended up at the final table, 11 handed. Blinds were getting very high, and everyone was in the money (11th paid $80).

There was one guy who at the previous table was on my right, and was now on my left. He was a TAG 2+2 type, and was firm that he was a non chopper. He also said "I'm here to win it."

This became my tag line, and at the final table, whenever I would make a big bet or bid raise, I would say "I'm here to win it!" The rail birds (which were plentiful, even at 11PM at Midnight), got a big kick out it, and it was a fun final table.

It got down to three players. Me, Photoc, and the non chopper. I look down at AK, and push on the button. SB folds, and Photoc calls with Q10.

He flops a Q, and fills up with a flush, and I bust out third for $800. They played it out, and it was over about 4 hands later. Congrats to Photoc for winning $3290!


The day after that, I returned to TI to play in their $500 max NL game (my home base casino and game).

Bought in for the max, and had a good beginning session. Then I attempted a big bluff, but unfortunately got called, and lost about $450, leaving me with about $100.

I rebought for the max, and grinded back to even, with a 1K stack. Next closest stack at the table had about $500. Love the fact that hardly anyone buys for the max here.

Most of my recovery came from the same player that I attempted to bluff at. I flopped Broadway, and he flopped the sucker end. All the money went in on the turn, and I got almost all of it back. Grinded out some other small pots, but then got sucked out on for about $200, when my AK top pair lost to a runner runner straight. All the money was in on the turn.

Ended up dropping about $250 when it was all said and done that night.


Took the week off, and returned to TI yesterday, Saturday, 3/24.

Table was PHENOMENAL. It was a Saturday evening, and the room was insanely busy. As soon as I walked in, Chris Coffin, the TI Poker room manager walked up to me and said that there were a bunch of AVPers asking about me! I got to shake hands with three AVPers who post on the forum all there on vacation, playing in the 2/4LHE game. Very nice to meet Cubswin, Pinkfloyd, and one other that I can't recall (sorry!).

There was one grinder at the table, and the rest were loose tourists and gamblers. I sat next to a solid player named Andy from Baltimore, who was easy one of the best tourists players I have ever met. Had a very nice conversation with him about a variety of topics, and we never went HU against each other. Eventually, he left to play in the tournament, and was replaced by Kristy, a dealer there working off the clock, who is an equally strong player, and a great conversationalist.

I got AK at least 5 times, and it held up EVERY time (played aggressively, of course).

One great hand was the following.

I had AKos OTB and raised to $20 (several limpers ahead of me). We went to the flop heads up. I had about $650 and he had about $150.

Flop came 10high, and he checked to me. I bet out $50, about the pot. He flat called. While this hand was going on, I was engaged in a nice conversation with Kristy's visiting mother about Phantom versus Les Miserables, and intentionally showing the player I was up against that I couldn't care less about this hand. This was all part of my play, as I wanted him to go away, obviously.

On the turn, he checked again, and I immediately said all in, and continued my conversation. He ended up calling. River brought a K. SHIP IT! He mucked without showing.

After that hand, I didn't really care anymore. I was more interested in talking shop with Andy, who returned from the tournament, and bought back into the table, Kristy, and her mom.

I picked up some more good hands, and eventually left, up $302. Had a great time talking to everyone, and was very happy to meet the AVPers and others.

I was drinking, which I normally don't do at the table, and overtipped the dealers heavily, just for the hell of it. $5-$10 tokes on every pot I won (which was thankfully a few). Dealers at TI are phenomenal (both on and off the clock), so rewarding them was the least I could do.


That brings us to today. I got to the TI poker room at about 5:15, and by 5:30, they were opening a new 1/3 table. Room was insanely busy, which is not very common for a Sunday evening. They had five cash games going, and three tournament tables. Three NL games and 2 2/4 games.

Bumped into the AVPers again! Plus, a couple more. One gentleman at my table said that he printed the list of the tourney and games info prior to their trip (they were from Indiana). Not coincidentally, he was also one of the best players at my table.

I bought in for the $500 max, and was the only one that did so. The fellow AVPer bought in for $300, and every one else bought in for $100-200.

On the second hand, I pick up AK's in the SB.

No real reads on anyone, due to it being the second hand, but the villain in this hand was a typical newbie to the game, who bought in for only $100.

He raised from MP to $10, and there were about 2-3 callers in front of me. I flat called.

I did this for a few reasons. 1. I had no idea what his raising range is, since I did not know him yet. Second, I was out of position in the worst way. Third, with multiple callers in front, I wanted to see what developed first.

Flop came A63 with two hearts.

I check immediately. It is checked to him, and he bets out $15 into a $40 or so pot.

It gets called in front of me, and I check raise to $45 straight. It gets folded to him and he calls, leaving him with less then $50 left. The other caller folded.

When I see we are heads up, I immediately go all in in the dark, putting out a stack of reds. Now that we are heads up, and after the flat call, it is obviously an all in or fold situation.

The turn happened to bring a K, but as I was already all in, at this point, it was gravy.

He called and tabled A7os. TP7kicker. Ship it!

I won some small pots here and there, and even pulled off a couple bluffs. Only played for an hour and a half, and managed to rack up about $260 in profit.

Chris was off today, and Kristy was off before I got there, but John, Rick, and Danette were there and all made for a very pleasurable session.


As I mentioned in the Treasure Island thread of the forum, the staff at TI is simply incredible. Chris, Danette, and all others run a great ship, and with the addition of high hand jackpots coming next week, I see this room simply getting better and better every time I play there.

According to my records, I have clocked in about 80 hours there since November, and in the last couple of months, the room has really improved, nearly exponentially.

Sorry for the extended length of this report, and the lack of real poker details except for a few key hands. I will post more stuff, as I remember it, in the AVP Daily poker journal in the coming days. Don't know if I will be playing again in the next couple of days, but will post if I am.


Room Summary:

Treasure Island: My current home base casino/poker room. Extremely friendly and personable staff with lots of solid management experience. Solid loose action in the NL games. This is currently the only place I regularly play NL, for a reason. Plus, you get $2 per hour!

Sahara: Room fits the resort, and the tournament is well run, but their $62 tournament is really the only reason to play here. For $62 you get 5K in chips, and have 20 min levels (25/25 blinds to start) and they get 100-150 players. Other then the tournament, though, don't go there.

Santa Fe Station: Great locals room. It is actually the closest casino to me house, but I rarely play there, due to my affinity toward the Strip, and TI specifically. Reasonable tournament structure, and a rather fun group of older locals. They just moved their poker room to a new location, and increased the table number. Worth checking out only if you are already in the area. Definately one of the nicest locals rooms around, and one of the best Stations rooms overall.


Once again, thank you to those AVPers for introducing yourselves! Always nice to meet you guys, and look forward to your trip reports!

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  1. They are always an enjoyable read.

    I'll be in town at the end of May, staying at the Mirage, and am really considering a trip over to TI for some poker based on your reports. I'll look for the card protector.

    Continued good luck.

  2. Just want to say that I'm a regular reader and am coming to Vegas and staying at TI 4/4 - 4/9.

    This will be third time staying at TI, but first since they added a poker room - I will undoubtedly spend a lot of time there.

    It would be cool to meet you and thank you personally for your contributions to the site - I'll be the guy with the donkey head for a card cap....

    See ya at the tables.

  3. Donkey head for a card capper, huh? That one I will remember and seek out.

    If you introduce yourself as an AVP member to Chris, the manager of the poker room, he will point you out to me if I am there. Love to meet you and give you an AVP chip!

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Glad you like the report.

  4. Yeah great read Michael, it's been forever since I read a 'real' TR from you! Lucky for me I don't miss them too badly since you've got more than ONE THOUSAND freak'n forum posts!?! (rock on..)

    And hey whymeagain - Welcome to AVP!

  5. :laughing:

    Yeah, even I admit that my post count is rather "excessive". And you wonder why I was pushing for a forum a year and a half ago? I KNEW that once an AVP forum went live that I would need to majorly master my multitasking skills to balance real actual work with my AVP addiction. Thankfully, I have dual screens, so there is little clicking involved. :wink:

  6. Great report!

    I just got back from TI...alas, no Chris or Michael. However, Troy took good care of me and I logged my 1st winning session of the trip :grin:

    Details to come later :smile:

  7. @StrayBullet


    Good for you! Glad you had some success at my favorite little room, and that you were able to meet Troy. You are writing some kick ass reports, and I am definately looking forward to reading more of them!

  8. Thanks man, really appreciate it :smile:

    The conference is over, so I'm outta Circus Dump and back to the corporate apartment this morning, but once I get moved, I'll be recapping the action from yesterday :grin: