Flew in early from Chicago on Friday morning - had to get up at 3 am to make sure I got to airport in plenty of time- wondering why I do this to myself - arrive in Vegas by 8 am. I was going to meet my friends who flew in the night before - but I figured they would not be awake yet, so I opted for the slowest trip possible to the strip - by shuttle bus. I had sworn I would never take one of those again after my last experience 2 years ago - but I figured I had time to kill. Holy crap - I promise I won't do that again. The driver waited until every seat was filled - even the passenger seat. Then we have to drop people off at 3 off the strip hotels and get stuck in construction traffic. It took almost an hour and a half to get to Paris hotel. Ugh.
First stop was Aria -saw Barry Greenstein playing in the back room - always cool to spot the poker legends. There was a long list and only a few $1/$3 games going so we moved on to MGM.
They started a new $1/$2 game about 10 minutes after we arrived. Played for about an hour. Was up $100 but left up $30. Went to Diablo's outside of Monte Carlo to watch some NCAA games and have a margarita, or 4. Had the nachos with steak - they were actually very good and feed 4 guys.
Stopped back in at Aria- list was even longer - so we moved on. Ended up getting a drink at O'Sheas and at the Carnival Court - drinks were super expensive at Carnival Court IMO.
Grabbed some food at Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood - one of my favorites. After that - went back to Aria for the "Daily" 7 pm. Was told it was cancelled as they had too many cash tables going. Um, if you have a tournament listed as a daily, then you should run it, oh i don't know, daily! It is a pain in the ass to walk to Aria - and to find out the game was cancelled was disappointing.
I went to Bally's for some $1/$2 - expecting some terrible players. I found the terrible players, but they were getting hit in the face with the deck over and over again. One guy was up to $1300 - he couldn't figure out how to stack his chips so he gets 3 racks - it takes him a few hands to figure out how to put all his chips in the racks. Then the dealer tells him he can't keep playing with his chips in the racks. So he says, I guess they are kicking me out - to which the dealer says no, but you can't keep your chips in the rack - so he decides to empty the racks. He asks to be colored up but they wouldn't do it until he hit $1500. I left shortly after - down $300 - not sure if fatigue or bad cards or bad play was the leading factor - but i know the combination didn't help.
Next day - we hit Carnegie Deli for and early lunch - had the corned beef and actually tried the chicken noodle soup - got it with both rice and noodles - was really good.
After lunch, we went to the Wynn. I was going to play in the noon tourney. We got there about 11:30 - so I decided to play $1/$3 - bought in for whatever I pulled out of my wallet - was $370. One of my first hands, I get AA - raise to $25 - 1 caller. Flop is Q93 - felt safe. I bet, he called. Turn was an Ace - no worries now - I check, he bets $100, i call. River is a K - if he had been playing JT, I'm screwed. I led out for $100 and he only had $130 - he snap calls and I throw up a little wondering how I just got beaten (even though if he hit the nuts he would likely push all in - but you never know) - he proudly announces 2 pair - i show set of aces - he had Q9. Why should I be surprised someone would call a $25 preflop raise with Q9....? I win a few more hands and it is noon - I'm up $347 - and buy into tourney. They had about 30 runners which grew to about 50. Early on, I am up - then get called on some bluffs by marginal hands and try to remind myself that early in tourneys, people play anything since they can re-enter. I grow card dead and play the last hour of the game looking for anything to shove with - finally have J9 suited - best hand I had seen in 2 hours - I get called by a short stack - I hit my 9 but she hits a set of 6's - I'm out - finally - it was only 3 1/2 hours but felt like forever with no cards. (hand of note, guy on my left hit straight flush early in the game with 77 - he just calls a bet on the river by someone holding the king of diamonds - with four diamonds on board - doesn't get a penalty for failing to raise with the nuts cause the dealer realizes the guy was just an idiot.)
FYI - the Wynn has the hottest waitress I've ever seen - worth a trip just to see her. (the 2nd hottest was at the M casino last year)
Went to Smith & Wolensky for dinner. Ordered a NY Strip Medium but it came out medium rare - probably the rarest steak i've ever eaten - I didn't say anything - it was good, but could have been better. Also had a caesar salad - also good. Friends had the Fried truffle Mac & Cheese - i was not a fan.
After dinner I thought I would try the Aria game again - of course- cancelled - Really should make a note on this site under tournaments that the 7 pm game rarely spreads if this is the norm for Friday/Saturdays.
I went to Planet Hollywood to play $1/$2. Got seated right away. Great table - very fun group - we had table shots of Patron - ended up $127. One off duty dealer was playing and ran his stack up to $950 - even though he had bought in for $600 - he kept playing and eventually his stack shrunk back to about $300. Played until 6 am.
Woke up around 11:00 am - and went to Chipotle - never disappoints. Went to Venetian for noon game. I read on this site that the starting stack was now 12,000 - I did not read that the price went up to $200 - oh well - I was there - let's play.
I played about as poorly as possible for the first 2 hours. Went from 12,000, down to $5000 - just had my 1 $5000 chip left- had to break that - got down to $2000 or so. I won a hand and got moved to another table. 4 of the first 5 hands I had at new table I went all in - didn't get called until the last time - when my AQ beat 99 - hit a Queen on the turn. Before I knew it - made final 3 tables (81 runners) - then final 2 tables. Got down to about 14 players - I BB with 46 of spades. UTG limps, as does UTG+1 - all other fold to me - i check. Flop is 464 - holy crap - UTG leads out for $6000, next guy makes it $21000. I call, UTG folds. Turn is a brick, UTG bets, I raise, he goes all in, I do the Helmuth and insta call/shove my chips in. He says you have a 4, I said I have both - the four and the 6. He shows AA and I win a big pot. I am now chip leader at my table. Get down to final 12, guy at end of table keeps shoving all in early to act. It works probably 4-5 times with no callers. He does it again, I have AA, bingo! I call - he shows 66, I win - I have about $200,000 and am chip leader. Get down to bubble +1 time - 11 players - 2 tables. One local player - had survived with J3 vs AJ, 48 vs AA (after going runner runner on turn and river with a 4 and a 8), A5 vs my AJ - hit a 5 on river - I was calling him unbreakable. He was down to $2500 - which was smaller than a BB - and had battled back to over $70k. Finally, the 11th player is knocked out - we all kick in $20 for bubble boy - player goes out quickly. Finally Mr. Unbreakable gets knocked out. We get down to final 6 - blinds are 6,000/12,000 - avg stack is 162,000, but 2-3 shorter stacks, however nobody is below $60,000. Everyone feels the pressure of big blinds and with 1st place paying $4300, 2nd $2600, 3rd under $2000 - we start talking chop. We settle on a weighted chop - bottom 2 stacks, middle 2, and top 2 - I am in the middle 2 after failing to call a raise 2 times to Mr. Crazy on my right when I have AK - he just looks too happy to call - he shows JJ and QQ - didn't really feel like racing at that point so close to the money. This was my biggest cash and didn't want to overplay AK so close to a nice pay day. Tourney lasted 9 hours. None of us had eaten since before it started. Great game, great dealers, great floor.
After the game, I went to Casear's remembering they had a place where you could get slice of pizza - what a mistake - it was like $15 for a slice of pizza and a soda. They are criminals for those prices. I didn't care cause I just won a tourney, but really!
Went to bed early.
Last day of the trip, my friends had left Sunday night, so I was solo. I went to Bellagio - they only had 2 tables of $1/$2 - i was first on the list, but it went nowhere for 30 minutes, so I left. I made my way to Aria - again a long list, went to MGM - gave up $50 on an early hand with 77 on a board o 346 - thought i was good - until a guy snapped all in - i folded and he showed JJ. I moved off that table - everyone seemed solid and I was trying to look for easier tables. I ended up back at Bally's - figured I would play some $3/$6 limit to chase a high hand jackpot - I burned through $100 in like 25 minutes - then the game broke. Grabbed a sandwich at the Flamingo food court - from LA Subs - not good.
Total for the trip I was up exactly what I won in the tournament. I was even with cash games, with 1 good day, 1 bad day, and the rest small wins or small loses.
It was a great trip. I'm excited to have made my first $2000+ cash in a tourney. If I get that far again, I probably wouldn't be so open to chopping at 6 players though. Hope you enjoyed the report. Comments are welcome.