Turned 21


So I finally turned 21, so it was fitting that I spend my bday in Vegas. Me and my buddy decided like a week before my bday that we would go. I've been playing poker for about a year. Mostly online, and at a casino that is 18+ in Northern California. My buddy plays quite a bit at a local card club. I will talk about my poker experiences in the different card rooms but not get too much into hands that I had, etc.

When we first arrived we decided to head over to the MGM Grand, my friend wanted to watch sports for a bit. So I decided to sit down at $1/2 NL holdem at the MGM. It was a Wed night so there was no wait. I really liked the MGM poker room. The lighting was perfect and you are pretty much in the middle of the casino which is cool. The only thing I didn't like was the table. Right in front of you there is marble for about 4-5 inches and then the felt of the table. And it is too difficult to bring your cards all the way to you, you have to look/leave them about 5 inches in front of you. Which can make it tough to look at them, and your cards are so close to the middle of the table. You better protect them! Anyways played for only about an hour, bought in for $100, cashed out $220. So doing good.

Later that night, after a little bit of drinking, me and my buddy both decided to do the $60 tourney at the Monte Carlo(Where we were staying). I'm not a fan of this poker room, its kind of secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of the casino floor. It's really dark and not that much action going on. There was I think only 16-17 people in the tourney. Made it to the final table(Paid top 3), went all in with AQ, AJ called and he flopped a jack and knocked me out. Buddy went out a little bit later with 99 against QQ. If I didn't get unlucky I'm pretty sure I could have won. The skill of the players was very bad, many at our table had learned poker that day. Another thing to mention was the chips in this tourney have prolly been used since 1970, very old.

Next day I sat down at $1/2 NL at the Mirage. I had heard many good things about the Mirage. Overall the poker room was nice, similar to the MGM. Maybe just my table, but it was very aggressive preflop. You couldn't see a flop for less than $15. And that doesn't help my type of play. I'm a very conservative player. My style is limp in for cheap, make the nuts, and bust a post flop aggressive player(s). So needless to stay my stack drained pretty quick and was done after an hour.(Bought in for $100).

After that I headed over to Harrahs and found they had a tourney starting in 10 min. So I decided to do it. It is a $60 buy in with an optional $40 rebuy. You start with 2000 in chips and the rebuy gets you 2500 more. You can rebuy anytime within the first hour. I decided to do it at the beginning. In this tourney there was about 22-25 people. 20 minute rounds, so it lasted almost 4 hours. I got lucky a couple times and made it to the money. It paid top 4. I made it to the top 2 and we chopped the remaining prize pool. $500 each. Another thing to mention is this is a bounty tourney, $10 for everyone you knock out. I only knocked out 1 but I did good!

Later that night I played from 2am-5am at the Imperial Palace. Sat down at $1/2, no wait at all. Think we played 5 or 6 handed mostly. Imperial Palace has bigger than normal poker tables the dealer was telling me. I didn't notice a huge difference, but they did seem bigger. Maybe just because he told me or because it was only 6 handed. Regardless I liked there poker room, its right next to the casino. I didn't do too hot and eventually lost my $100 buyin.

Next day played $1/2 at MGM again, once again doubled up my $100 buyin. After I was finished with $1/$2 NL I sat down at my buddies table who was playing $3/$6 Limit holdem. I have never played limit before at all. So I kind of learned on the fly. Actually finished up. I must say I'm not a fan of limit. Because everyone just calls to the river and if you have a great starting hand it doesn't matter, you cant bet people off the pot. So if you have top pair or 2 pair, u better hope theres no flush or straight draw. Because everyone will chase it, because its cheap and good pot odds. But maybe I will learn limit. I think though that everyone playing limit was having more fun, a lot less stress than no limit.

And before we left I decided I would do that Harrahs $60+$40 bounty tourney one more time. A few more people this time. The cards were coming my way like I have never had before. Knocked 3 people out early. Arrived at the final table with probably double the next biggest stack. A few more people in this tourney but it still paid top 4. I ended up playing too tight trying just to make the money. I succeeded in that, finishing 4th. 4th paid $175, plus $30 from bounties. So nice double up. Fun tourney too. I would definetly recommend it to anyone. Both times very friendly people. Good poker room at Harrahs too.

Anyways thats the end of my poker for the 3 days I was in Vegas. We ended up getting to stay an extra night for free because our flight was cancelled. And US Airways put us up in a hotel right next to the Orleans hotel(about 2 miles off the strip). We decided to drink instead of play poker. But the Orleans poker room is the biggest I have ever seen. Probably 30-40 tables, all full at midnight. They have holdem, 7 card stud, and Omaha, all waitlist. Didn't play there, but it looks like all the locals play there. Very impressive room, check it out.

I loved Vegas and am heading back in a couple months. Good luck!

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