As a several year lurker, I thought it high time to put a trip report together. I typically come to town 2 -3 times per year and enjoy a wide variety of games, and my approach varies on my mood, and the “type” of trip to town I am on. But more often than not I can be found at a 1-2/3 NL Table or a 4/8 Limit Table. I will bet sports, but you will very rarely find me at a table game. When I am not travelling with family or a larger group for big events (i.e. March Madness), I will typically take on the 12pm tourney at the V or the Aria.
This most recent trip fell into the family category as I was in town with my step-brother, step-father, and father in-law for four days of golf and basketball watching. My step-brother and step-dad are not big gamblers and my father in law, while a big gambler, sticks solely to the high stakes black jack tables. Given my companions, the basketball games, and 3 rounds of golf, I knew my poker time would be limited and I had to make the most of it.
Had an uneventful early morning flight out of our Nation’s Capital and landed at McCarran around 1030a (it sure is nice to have a full day). My step-dad was on my flight and we met my step-brother in baggage claim. McCarran was a ghost town on Saturday morning and we were able to grab our bags and our rental car in no time at all. Quick stop at In N Out burger and we were on our way to check in at Paris. After check in, as my step-dad had never been to Vegas, we did the obligatory “strip tour” and finally found ourselves at Rhumbar at the Mirage to watch the UK v Louisville at the outside bar (it was gorgeous out). Unfortunately my “lock” of UK -8.5 didn’t pan out (I believe they won by 8), and this cooler was a sign of things to come in the next 36 hours. Grabbed dinner and watched the next game at the PBR themed restaurant over at PHO. The food is reasonable, but service could use a little work. At this point my non-gamblers were ready to sack out. And while I was beat from the time change, I had the itch and went to look for a game. My first stop was across the street at the Bellagio, where I was hoping to jump into a 4/8 Limit game. Unfortunately they only had one table going, and after taking a glance at the game, it certainly did not appear anyone was going anywhere anytime soon. And with three people on the list, I decided to bolt out of there. I really like playing at the Bellagio room, been going in out of there for 7 years, but could the floor people be a little obvious in their disdain for non-regulars. It’s a bit absurd, particularly given the plethora of options in town. I was dragging ass at this point and decided to head over to Bally’s, given the close, relatively, proximity to my room. Bally’s was jumping, in classic Saturday night fashion, so I jumped into a 3/6 limit game. While I was barely able to function due to jet lag and basketball cocktails, was able to eeke out a meager 27 dollar profit in about an hour. I was playing to many hands and silly, so I called it a night and meandered through the connector from Bally’s to Paris.
Day started with the typical east coaster early morning wake up. We had an 1130am tee time at the TPC Las Vegas, but I called and they said they could get us out earlier. Hit a Denny’s up in Henderson for breakfast and headed over to the course. The course was great, but the wind was brutal, and I have never seen firmer greens. They would not hold anything, no matter what. It got to the point where the play into every green was a layup on to the apron. Brutal, but hey, it beat sitting in the office. Got back to the hotel in late afternoon and after a quick clean up, we headed over to the Bellagio for drinks at the Sports Book and watch the UCONN women’s game (we are from CT originally). And hey, my second half over bet paid off nicely. Thank god for overtime, it’s a gift when you have the over. Similar to last night, my partners in crime were ready to crash, and after a quick dinner over at CPK in Mirage, I was on my own. Given it’s 30 feet from CPK, I figured I had to visit one of my favorite rooms in Vegas, and I jumped into a 3/6 game at the Mirage. After an hour of no real excitement or action, and being dead even, I figured enough was enough and went searching for a juicy NL game. The action at the Mirage seemed ok, but there was a woman screaming at the top of her lungs selling programs to the Cirque de Soleil Love show, and it was driving me insane. I honestly don’t know how the dealers and floor people at @miragepoker can deal with that. Rolled next door to Caesar’s to check out the action and it was hopping with a lot of juicy 1/3 games going. I bought in for $200 and was having a great run, picking up medium pots on semi-bluffs, making correct laydowns, and getting called down by a gentleman playing his Top Pair medium kicker very agro. There was another guy at the table in full poker regalia, lucky charms, Phil Helmuth sunglasses, cowboy hat (complete with a dream catcher hanging out of it) who would roll a pair of dice to determine if he would be or not. And then his bet size would correspond with his roll (e.g. a seven comes up and he bets $70). Certainly one of the more interesting characters I have seen. About 90 minutes into my session, I am sitting with a stack of about $380 and younger guy sits down to my immediate right and buys in for $400. We were both fairly large in terms of stack size at this point, so for another 30 minutes or so, we avoided each other. Finally, I am UTG w/ AQ suited and I open the action with a raise to $20. Folds around to the big stack villain in the BB and he calls 17 more. Flop comes 10 J 2 rainbow, not much going on, but certainly think KJ or QJ is in the villains range. Villain checks, and I fire out a $25 feeler, which the villain snap calls. At this point I am thinking he has a Q 10, K 10, or is slow playing a set of deuces. Turn brings the K, giving me the nuts straight, and the villain insta pushes 30 red chips on past the betting line. At this point I feel like I am up against 2 pair, and not the set and I go into a little bit of a dramatic tank mode, and after 3-4 minutes I announce I am all in and the villain insta calls. Cards get flipped and the villain shows K 10 for two pair, river comes and brings the 10, and I go el busto for the night and the villain scoops a $760 pot. Not sure I could have played it any different, but I was a little stunned walking out of there, and needed to get away for the tables for the night. The next morning, my brother said I was talking about the hand in my sleep.