Vegas – the third run for glory….
Day 1 -
My third trip to Vegas was to be a bit different – My plan was to play nuthin but NL and tourneys, and to do as many different rooms as possible – expand my collection of $5 chips and generally just do other things then hang out at the Mirage – (never set foot in it actually) –
The first event was the World Poker Blogger Tour event at the Aladdin – I knew I would be a bit late (plane arrival 10:20 ETA, cab/ride hoped to be there by 10:45) – but that flight is usually early and I thought I could roll in by 10:20 – 5 minutes before departure, the pilot says over the intercom that we have to wait a few minutes for the fuel trucks to come back because they didn’t put in enough fuel for the flight. We left about 20 minutes late. While I will admit to being peeved, I must also confess that if one is to be late departing on a plane, I can think of few better reasons then “because we need more fuel to make the flight.” I was distracted from my worry by “Million Dollar Baby” which was the best movie I’ve ever watched on an airplane.
After the FASTEST departure ever from the Las Vegas airport into the shortest taxi line I’ve ever seen, I arrived at the Aladdin to find $1500 in chips and two hands at 100/200 blinds before the break. I saw two crap hands (8/3 and 7/4) and did my greetings during the break, as well as paying back Chris Halverson for my entry – LOL.
First hand I’m the BB and I have AQ offsuit – a kid I don’t think has a hand bets and an older lady goes all in – I struggle with it for a bit and make a decision. I came to win, not to play the longest, and with myself already having 25% of my chips in the BB, I’m a big fav. to a hand like 55 or A/rag
He has 10/J offsuit (I’m not surprised – BTW…LOL – he had Groucho Marx glasses and a JOPKE sign) and she had AK – I get no help, and I probably had the fastest exit from the tourney, although it was an hr. after everyone else started – ah well. Some hammers were thrown down – in no other tourney will you see more applause for 2/7 offsuit then you will for AA – LOL – but I left before it ended – went to the Tropicana and napped because I had been up for 22 hours straight.
The highlight of that leg was meeting the Iggy the blogfather, Chris H., Drizzlj, Otis, Pauly, CJ, AlCantHang, and several others – it rocked.
I made a brief appearance at the Tequila party, but for some reason, getting plastered and partying appealed less to me then hitting the 7pm Sahara tourney. My regrets to all the bloggers I didn’t meet.
The Sahara was a drag – I was told but not aware that they’re pulling out about 25% of the tourney for the juice – I ended up busting out 44th out of 177 with AQ AGAIN – that was hurtful – went back to the MGM, looked at the lines, and decided to start checking out other rooms – first stop was Excalibur, a favorite of 2+2’ers everywhere.
I got my AA cracked and got to spin the wheel for $20 on an $80 pot, but I think I left up about $75. I also drank too much whiskey on an empty stomach – it has been tradition for me to drink hard the first night and chill the rest of the time – and I did – but bygones are bygones – overall, the day is a slight loss with two tourney entry fees and a slight win in ½ NL.
Day 2 –
I go to bed at 7am, wake up at 9:30, buy milk/Tums/Aleve to alleviate the impending hangover, and go to MGM – I was gonna kill two hrs. playing NL there before going to the Sunday 1pm Imperial Palace tourney.
I played a few hands, but I remember one - buying in for $240, getting AA in MP and ending up with a $700 stack after that hand. You can find the details of that here. This broke my previous record at the Wynn for pot size, though it was twice the buyin of that one. Got to $800 before leaving and taking a taxi with three other guys who were also interested in playing the tourney.
I was disappointed – the structure used to have more chips, but they changed it to the weekday tourney formats – it’s a crapshoot now the 2nd hr. – luckily, I can play these kind of craps.
some great hands stick out – first round I get QQ in the BB and make it 600 (6 times BB) with 4 limpers in the pot – one calls and flop comes 678 with two clubs. – I push him in for his last 200 and he calls and flips over 59 for the st8 – WTF? –
Turn comes a 9 and river comes a 5 for a chop and he goes off for 10 minutes on how bad his luck is. Of course, he did call a raise preflop with 59 sooted and suck out, but ya know, that wasn’t bad luck – LOL – I talked to him after the first break and he mentioned he had busted out and it was all I could do to say “good luck” and not “no [censored]” but no hard feelings.
Middle stages I get all in with AJ suited and run headlong into AQ and 10/10 – but AQ dies again – except this time I don’t hold it and I triple up when a J hits.
I get to the final table with a decent stack. Some guys there aren’t very good, some are – we’re down to 6 when I get a key hand – raise 3 times BB with AK and get reraised all in by a ska wannabe (if he lost 200 pounds) who has J7 sooted – he HITS and I think I’m out but I have half a BB once stacks are compared.
I triple up next hand with A9 and I’m starting to get back in the running – we’re down to 5 and I get 9 for the first card and the second card hits my stack and flips up, the 5 of hearts, so it’s the burn card and my new card is another 9 – I take my pair of 9’s all in vs. AK and double up AGAIN. The guy’s name was Tony, and he was there cause on our first table, I was there and I told him he hadn’t taken his rebuy yet as he stood up – (the receipt is your rebuy ticket) - so when I got him, he wasn’t too mad cause he wouldn’t have been there without me.
It's really important to me at this point to make 3rd. The payout doubled from $200 to $422 - so I want to get past dishwater.
I don’t remember the bustout hand, but I busted the 4th place guy - and I remember being the favorite going in on my last hand. I made it to third for some good money before 1 and 2 cut a deal to chop. – I go back to my motel for another power nap before hooking up with Photoc/Al Capone Jr. for some poker at the new Stratosphere poker room.
Nice little room – it will take some work to distinguish it from every other small poker room springing up on the Strip, but they’re working on high hand deals like the Aladdin, (got to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission, which surprised me to know) - and it’s right near the entrance of the Self Park Garage and the Sports book, so it’s off to a good start. I lost about 7 bucks after a wonderful start where I busted the poker room manager the first hand of the first game. We would have stayed as it was loose and fun but a dickhead sat down in seat 10 and ruined the vibe pretty badly. Photoc gave me a quick tour of the Downtown and the 4 corners (Binions, 4 Queens, and the other two) and it was off to the Tropicana poker room for 3 hrs before falling asleep. (I was staying at there this trip cause of it’s proximity to Aladdin and MGM, which has become my new fav. poker room) - Nice room - awesome pics. on the wall, and I made another $25 or so before retiring for 5 hrs.
Day 3 –
a quick stop to buy in for the Aladdin tourney and a couple hrs. at Bally’s where I wasn’t impressed. Got to Aladdin and did ok till I took AA vs QQ and 66 and the lady with 66 tripled up. I was in trouble after that and pretty much went out shortly thereafter. (BTW, she knew what she was doing. Young Asian girl who played very well and aggressive, and took 2nd – she was just a luckbox vs. my AA – LOL)
Sat in a 1/2 game there cause I was waiting for a Smirnoff Ice, met a producer from M*A*S*H and some hot ladies from Colorado, one of whom was built like a fine automobile and was fighting off a JFK Jr. lookalike – but I decided to take off and check out some more rooms – first one was Monte Carlo.
Let me start with this – two games full of old timers – one is 2/4 and one is 4/8 limit ½ kill with 1 and 2 buck blinds. More kids in the 2/4 game actually – I was the youngest at the 4/8 game. But it was loose, wild, and I think I made 25 bucks. Having said that, it was the COOLEST small poker room in Vegas I’ve played. I loved the vibe/room and the paintings/colors and everything – I wanted to play NL though so I left to meet up with Photoc at Mandalay Bay for my last couple hrs.
If I ever build a private poker room in my basement, I’d want it to look like that poker room. Sheeit, if I ever built a house, I’d want it to look like that. – read reviews and pics here - Very impressive although it was pretty empty at that time.
Last two hrs. at Mandalay Bay were interesting – 2/4 NL with a $200 buyin – no min/max and some wild fish. If I had been smart, I’d have played mega tight and just waited them out, but I loosened up too much and dropped about $175 before going to catch my plane – this was also a drag – the Pistons game was on in the sports book right across the rail and it was louder then [censored] in there.
My advice is if you have a big BR, go there, limp with any pp and raise with monsters and just drag it down cause there's an all in almost every hand.
I have now played poker in 15 different Vegas poker rooms, and I’m still not halfway done…LOL – but I feel I’m done with flying out till it gets cooler –
I slept almost the entire flight home in an uncomfortable seat straight up (thank got it was the exit seat) - got home, and slept for 14 goddamn hours and now I'll be up all night - LOL
Next stop – Atlantic City/NYC in July –