I finally caught up on my sleep in time to go get a vasectomy this morning, so now I have an ice pack on my balls and I'll see what I can remember about our trip.
Flight from Pdx was good, left Friday at noon or so, and my buddies had been drinking since 7. I hadn't had much sleep (3 hrs) the night before due to work, etc..., so I tried to get some on the plane to no avail. Typical flight to vegas, everyone's drinking, girls behind us have dicks on their heads (obv. bachlorette party), and the guy in the suit and enormous watch next to us (in coach, mind you) starts pulling out photos of his yacht and spreadsheets of his wine and cigar inventory, etc... When asked what he does, the obvious answer is "I chase pussy"... It's shaping up to be a good trip.
Check into the El Cortez for smooth $5/night courtesy of Hotels.com. The room was clean, spacious, and the beds were comfortable. No complaints with the El C.
Went downstairs, met up with other buddies, played a bit of the 1-3-6 spread limit game with the (former?) owner Jackie Gaughan. I don't play much limit and certainly never played this version of spread limit, but I didn't catch much, and left down around $50 or so, but had a great time breaking into the vegas swing. El C. is classic vegas, you have to love the stained glass poker table in the ceiling above the poker room.
Hit Hennessey's for fish and chips and drinks and my buddies (around 10 of us at various points, I lost track) were well lubricated this evening.
Went to Golden Nugget (saw TBC leaving as I was walking in), sat down in 1/2 nl game (the typical game this weekend save a couple tourneys). One big hand, a young asian kid had just hit a set of sevens and then completed his quads for a high hand bonus on the previous hand (he was still filling out paperwork), when I get QQ. I raise to $10, I think two callers, one is the quads kid. Flop low cards with two spades, I bet 2/3 pot or so, he asks how much I have behind and then bets $100. My image was fairly tight, but I'd built my stack from $200 to $300 (his stack is $500 plus). It's a huge overbet, I think about it, think he's not likely to have hit a set two hands in a row, decide he's trying to push me out with his flush draw, and I push. He insta calls with a set of sixes. I groan and look up at the ceiling until I hear him groan, look at the board and see I hit runner runner spades for the flush, and rake a nice $600 pot. Lucky (donkish) start to the weekend. I resolve to be more careful calling big bets and end up cashing up around $400 at 2 or 3 am.
Next day, more poker off and on at G.N. and Binion's. I had breakfast at the El C. before hitting the tables (not bad), and played solid all day, generally finishing sessions up $100 to $200. ABC poker will win you money in Vegas $1/2 nl games. I had two losing sessions on the weekend, one at the start, and one at the end, both small losses.
I did play two tourneys on Saturday, I think 11:00 a.m. at GN, and the 6pm $125 at Binion's. Both were fun. By the time we were to one table at the G.N., just about everyone was short. I donked off my stack quickly with AQ and I think A7 when neither hit. The Binion's tourney had better play, deeper stacks, was a lot of fun, but I got short and pushed my 93 in on a Q9x board, but the villain had KK. A 3 on the turn gave me hope, but the Q paired on the river to send me to the rail. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was 10pm or so, so I tried to find some buddies to join me at Binion's steak house. Ended up eating there alone. This place is CLASSIC Vegas and I recommend everyone check it out when you're there. The food was pretty good, but the steak was great. By the way, I think Doyle B. was giving a speech to the Barge group, I'm not sure what Barge stands for, but it's the Gambling.Poker.Rec group that had invaded Binion's. I found that out when I was playing there, and doing OK, but decided to head back to the GN for fishier tables. The Barge guys all knew what they were doing.
One thing that gets overlooked about poker is the social aspect of live poker. You don't get any of it online, but I really enjoyed the conversations I had with people of all ages and backgrounds on this trip. I really look forward to the next trip and meeting more interesting people, etc...
So, speaking of interesting people... I ended up sitting with Tony Bigcharles (see his blog on this site if you haven't - called sevencard 2003 or something). Interesting dude, he was nice, but had some bad luck the times I played with him. Some of the hands he played while i was at his table are detailed on page 171 of his blog. I never really got into a hand with him, though.
Tony, if you read this, good luck with your bankroll, stay off the machines, keep your laundry clean, take showers daily (one of the other guys at the table mentioned you could use a shower - so I'm offering this not to be a dick but as honest advice), and respect others personal space. There was a bit of a battle for space at one point, and I think some of the guys were gunning for Tony just to get him off the table. I've heard it said many time, and it's very true, you want to make people feel good about losing their money to you. You don't want to offend them in any way, and bad odor, taking up too much space will do just that. Granted, some people you want to tilt, but try to be aware of when/why/how you might be offending others.
Sunday went down to MGM Grand, on the 3rd hand, hit a set of 8's. Poor lady across from me hit a set of 7's. Up $200 instantly. Went to tell my buddy a few hands later, he had already busted with Aces up vs. a set. This was typical for my buddies this weekend. So I played a few more orbits and cashed. Took him to the airport, met up with another buddy who was staying at the Tropicana (avoid this dive), then went to the Venetian. I had a great time playing here, and ended up around $100 after a couple hours. Only hand of note, I think I flopped quad 4's, tried to slow play it (I was in early position), couldn't get much interest, an Ah completed the heart flush draw on the river, so I pushed, hoping someone had hit it. Apparently nobody did. I probably could have extracted a bit, but thought it was worth a shot to double up, in hindsight I think a much smaller bet is better.
Went back downtown for a last session at the G.N. First hand at a short table (with TBC - see above), I get 72 off on the button. Folds to me and make it 7 to go. One caller. Board is AKx, and the caller bets $10 to me. I decide it's a feeler bet with middle pair or bottom pair, so i pop it to $30. He lays it down, and I show the bluff with a smile. Another guy says "oh, you shouldn't have shown that", and the next hand I make a small raise, this guy yells "ALL-IN!" and I laugh and lay down my KT face up. He says "That's what happens when you show everyone you're full of shit!" I just say I'm having fun and trying to get some action going at a new table... So I'm just praying I get a big hand in the first few orbits and felt the guy, but nothing ever materializes, and he realized later he was pretty much out of line and apologized. Had a good time this night, but ended down $20 or so.
Sorry so long winded, we got on a plane the next morning, ended the trip up $1,100 or so. Can't wait to go back. Problem is, all my buddies lost all their money at BJ/Craps/Roulette, so nobody wants to go any time soon... I'm trying to talk my dad into going with me in Sept.