Waiting for the Sun to Rise


Landed on a Tuesday night after a 4 hour flight from Louisville. It was my friends birthday, so the seriousness hadn't started just yet. We stayed at Bally's which was surprisingly nice. I had gambled there previously, but hadn't stayed there yet. At check in (6pm) my friend was told we were getting upgraded to a Diamond room on the 22nd floor. We didn't ask for this, but gladly accepted it of course. I guess having Total Rewards really does add up. The room was nice, had a decent view, and marble in the bathroom. We changed and hit the ground running, not caring about the jet lag that we could feel in the corner's of our brains.

The first stop was the place we were staying. Bally's poker room is right in the middle of the casino floor, right next to the table games and a bar. Don't let that make you think drinks come fast and often because that isn't always the case, but I'll save that for my reviews. We kinda surveyed the players, but being his birthday decided to play a while there playing slots and stuff, then we headed over to The Flamingo.

Flamingo now has Margaritaville casino connected to it and we got busy on some Pai Gow. For those of you who haven't played Pai Gow...it's fun, easy to pick up, and basically stress free. If you hit a good hand you can really get paid off. The Margaritaville area is festive and fun, and reminds me of the beach. It's very close to the strip (literally) and they leave the doors propped open so you get hot air breezes but still get AC so your not hot. Some of the cocktail waitresses are smoking hot, and they keep the drinks coming quickly.

After quite a few drinks we headed back over to Bally's to play some 1-2. We both set down and played until about 4am. I lost about 100, Chris broke about even. He decided to go to Aria for some PLO, but I was done and went upstairs. The trip had just begun.

We used the LV monorail and went to MGM Grand the next day. On a side note, the monorail is awesome! It saves you money, and takes you close to just about everywhere you want to go on the strip. Just some advice though, don't take it the northern most stop. There is nothing there except a bus stop. We got off and walked to the Riviera (about a mile or more on foot). Also, don't expect it to take you directly to each place. You still have to do some walking regardless.

Anywho, The Grand is still under some construction renovation, and the makeshift poker room isn't anything special. I can't wait to see what they have in store for it; the pictures on this website of the original poker room looked nice. But be warned that is not what your going to get. I busted out there making a complete bluff play, but I didn't mind, we were still just warming up. The table was a nice mix of old grinders, and some loose players as well, but everyone seemed to know what they were doing. While we were at MGM we went to the sports book and placed some parlay bets. Man, sports betting is addictive. I could see myself getting sucked into because I'm a huge sports fan in general. We both lost, but I was two runs away from my $20 bucks turning into $440.

We left MGM and headed back to the monorail. This is when we found out the last stop was nothing, and we did some 99 degree walking. We walked through the Riviera, which reminded me of what a VFW post with slot machines. It was kinda depressing. We then walked across the street to Circus Circus. Chris put 20 bucks in a Wheel of Fortune slot and hit if for $214! He's just lucky like that. From there we took a taxi to the outlet mall north of the strip. I needed a souvenir my wife saw last time we were here. From there we took a cab back to Treasure Island...walked through there and hoped back on the monorail at Harrah's.

I like to gamble. We played plenty of slots, mostly to build up points. As just an FYI, we found the loosest slots at Treasure Island and the Circus Circus. Although we did get lucky at Bally's too. I also like to eat. Paris had an excellent breakfast buffet, and the RIO had an excellent seafood buffet as well as a regular buffet. Nathan's Famous Hotdog had a great burger (go figure) and you can't go wrong with Margaritaville.

That night we started playing again at Bally's. And boy was it fun. We had a table of 9 players, and only myself and Chris and maybe two others knew what a straddle was! I thought to myself, "self, this is a good thing." It was a fun table, very loose. I had good table presence, and had one guy directly across from me trying to ask me questions to get me to speak. I whipped out the iPod and shut him off. He busted out pretty quick, and his wife who was also at the table, took over his horrible play. Wonder what kind of donkey sex these two have? We decided at about 3 am to head out. I was up about 200. Here we come ARIA.

Next stop was Aria. We started playing at about 330am. The room was going pretty strong still. Limit games, 1-2 PLO, 1-3 NL, and 2-5 NL were all going full. Chris and I set down at 1-3. This was my first time playing at Aria, and I really was impressed by the room. I also signed up for the "MLife" card, which at Aria gives you $2 bucks an hours comps, and $3 bucks an hour from 5am to 10am. I played really well, and hit some draws. The craziest hand was when I was on the button with AJ offsuit and called a $15 raise preflop. The flop was 10 K junk, with two hearts. 3 players, UTG bet 20, Chris raised to 50, and I raised to 100 with my draw. Now, I know this is a tad reckless and I basically had a gutshot, but I was up and playing behind Chris is unpredictable. He could be completely bluffing, but of course he told me later "dude, I never bluff!" Sure buddy. Anyway, he called and a queen came on the turn and I went all in, Chris folded. He showed AK, and I showed my AJ. He blew up "you are a horrible poker player" I just laughed. Were good friends, I didn't care. Some guy said "yeah and he's got the money." It was about a $300 pot or so and gave me a boost. Shortly after, Chris left and I continued to play until about 7am. After that big hand, everyone was scared to call my raises. I played carefully, but was running well. It felt really good walking out the front of the beautiful Aria with about $900 in my pocket. The sun was rising and shinning down on the awesome wall waterfalls out front. I got a cab and went to pass out.

The next day we did the Venetian. First time there too and I wasn't overly impressed by it. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice room but. Another review to write i guess..... The tables were great, but getting a seat was a pain. The manager sent me to two different tables, and neither had seats. I didn't really care, after all, good hands come to those who wait, but some other guy had the same issue and came back up there saying "is this some kind of joke?!?" I told the guy to chill under my breathe which made him a bit mad. We didn't play too long there, nothing really memorable there. One guy had pocket Kings, and Queens back to back and lost both of them, bought back in and got AK and lost with it too. He wasn't very happy. I feel his pain. I do recall a chip runner...I think his name was Billy. He was really nice and I tipped him as I left for helping me get a seat.

We left there and went back to Bally's It was this night that I hit an extremely luck hand. Chris was to my left and had pocket kings. He straddled on the button for 5 and he got 6 callers so I called for 5 as well. He raised to 25, and everyone folded..except me.... What? It's my style! Don't hate! Flop came out J 7 7. Flopping a set like this I bet $25, he raised to $50, and I went all-in. I won the hand, infuriating my friend of 15 years. He dogged me about it the rest of the trip. Hey, I was gambling. What can I tell you.

The next day I went to Aria and continue running well over there. Playing my game I was hitting straights after straights, top pairs, and two pairs. It was great. Later that day we went over to Caesar's but we ended up just screwing around. We had tickets for Seinfeld, which was hilarious and a great time.

We headed "home" and played Bally's. One thing about this room...you get lots of action. I had one table that two people went all in on the turn, and both had Ace high, with straight draws and nothing else, not even weak pair, and no pair on the board. In an 2 hour session there was 4 reloads, and about 6 all-ins. Chips were flying all over the place. It was a blast. We got up the next morning, checked out and gave our bags to the bell captain so we could play some poker. I ended my poker two hours to the flight...up on the trip about 1700. Chris would of been up too, but he blew money on slots and sports bets :) Oh well, he's got the money. Anyway, a great way to leave Vegas for sure!

Overall a great trip. This was my first poker trip to Vegas, and it didn't disappoint. Hope you enjoyed reading. Please comment below on my horrible play! Good luck!

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  1. Great trip report! Looks like you covered a lot of ground visiting so many casinos. I hear the new MGM room will be very nice, but I agree about the construction. I hear a lot of good things about Bally's...will have to go play there one of these days...it's been a while. Thanks for posting!

  2. Interesting trip report. I didn't really care for the vibe of the room at Bally's but that's just me. Would love to leave Vegas with money on top. Nice job.

  3. Hey thanks guys glad you liked it. My brain was starting to epic fail by about the third paragraph. I'm usually a more clever writer. And yes it is good to leave Vegas up....I've been riding that profit for almost month, haven't had a losing session since...kinda nice.

  4. Great report. I was exhausted just thinking about all the places you played and how long you were at the tables or gambling. It had never occurred to me that a couple that plays poker poorly must have strange donkey sex.....