This trip report covers my visit which occurred 26 APR-3 MAY.
Hotel: I stayed at the M Resort. VERY nice. Reasonable rates (just over $100 per night). Level of service and comfort rivals the Venetian. I highly recommend the M if you head to Vegas with wife/significant other in tow. The wife and I also brought my Mother (for 4 of the 7 nights we were there). I knew from the start poker would be limited but it was worth it as I don’t get a lot of time to spend with my Mom (we live in different States). Most of my poker playing was conducted between 0200 and 0900. M Resort is about 10 minutes from Tropicana (straight up the 15). My hotel review is listed on Trip Advisor under the name “patriot6482”.
Shows – Saw Carrot Top and Jersey Boys. This was the second time for both of these shows for me and neither disappointed. Carrot Top was really on his game and the audience showed him a lot of love. He pulled his characteristic move at the end of the show and passed around the Crown Royal. I highly recommend seeing this show for the very low cost of $60 per person. Jersey Boys – what can you say? I think it’s the best show in Vegas. I’m about Cirque D Sole’d out. The acrobatics are cool at first, but those shows just don’t hold a candle to J. Boys – in my opinion.
The Poker (broke down by room):
MGM – First and foremost - the Staff is still excellent. Throughout this trip I played approximately 5 sessions at MGM (about 20-25 hours total). MGM is normally my home base when I’m in Vegas. Action was still good with a lot of loose play (as per the MGM norm). The (temporary??) room location sucks - IMO. Unless something drastically changes with the location, I’m moving my home base either to Venetian or Bellagio. The room is relocated due to construction being done near the old room. In all actuality, the poker room is simply a cordoned off area of the casino. Gone is much of the ambiance that made the “old” MGM Poker Room fun to play at. I was told by several Dealers that business is way off. The room actually went dark for several hours one morning (starting around 0800). I have never seen this at MGM – until now. No doubt the lack of business is due to the room being relocated. One particular morning around 0600, there was a semi-drunk “gentleman” (Mr. LAG) who insisted on making it $30-$40 EVERY hand to see the flop (1-2 NL). This fiasco went on for about 90 minutes. He went on quite a roller coaster before being felted. That morning also saw a particularly interesting situation develop. Most of the players had between $500 and $900 in front of them. Guy in seat 3 (S3) decides he’s had enough after doing very well against Mr. LAG. He tells Dealer to deal him out as the big blind hits him – and then begins racking his chips. Dealer doesn’t hear him and she deals him in. He resigns to play the entire round. Approximately 4 hands later he moves all in into a nothing pot ($800+) pre-flop. A young kid in seat 6 (S6), mulls it over for a while and calls. S6 has just under $800. Yup, it’s a AA against KK situation with S3 with the AA. They HOLD UP! He doubles as he’s going out the door when he already had one foot out and should have been long gone! Woops. He tips about $25 on that hand which I thought was light – all things considered.
Venetian – Played one long session at the V (from about 0600-1530). Had a great time. I normally get beat up and my lunch money taken from me when playing at the mighty V, but this didn’t happen this time. I held my own and made about $300 against some very good players. One particular hand that stands out (probably got lucky) is when I flopped an open ended straight with 44. Very small bet on flop which I called (hoping to hit the straight). Instead I hit another 4 on the turn. I made a large bet to buy it right there and another player raised. I moved all in. We both had about $250 when the hand started. He had hit a mid level flush on the turn. I had completely misread him as the hand played out and actually had him on an overpair to the board (which is why I moved all in). I caught up and boated the river which put the guy on monkey tilt. The berating he gave me was almost comical although it didn’t reach the point of Dealer intervention. He tried for the next several hours to get his money back from me, a huge mistake – as I refused to give him action! He was so focused on me, he forgot about the other players. He also kept moving closer to my left to try to get better position on me. It was hilarious. I’ve been playing for well over 8 years (not a lifetime – I know) and he continued to tell me how bad I played. For what it’s worth (not that I need to defend myself) – I think if you can play no limit poker at Venetian for nearly 10 hours straight and come out a winner, you must be doing something right. Just my opinion. There were certainly some sharks at our table. The locals outnumbered the tourist for most of my session – and those guys are not slouches. Everything about the Venetian is still top notch.
M Resort – No Limit games were rare. I killed some time one afternoon playing 2-4 limit. I’m 47 and was definitely the youngest at the table. It was interesting to say the least. I ended up exactly even after about 75 minutes – only because I won the high hand of the hour (good for $50). My final night in town I got into a NL game that was pretty juicy. I quickly doubled up initial buy in (up to $400) when I hit a flush (can’t remember if it was the river or turn). I had to pull a Jamie Gold to get my opponent to put his money in. I said something to the effect of “I’d have gone all in even if I hadn’t hit the flush just to make you fold the hand”. He quickly called after my speech and I showed the nuts. Pissed the guy off (chasing). Shortly after a bona-fide “newbie” appeared. Literally stated that he had never played before. He dumped $400 in the game fairly quick before leaving. At first I thought he was acting – then, he only bet $10 into a flush heavy board with a pot containing nearly $90. At that point, I convinced myself he wasn’t bs’ing about being new. I ended up bleeding off the profit I had built early and left pretty much even.
South Point – Played a few hours one night while wife was playing slots. I actually like this room much better than their old location. This was my second time playing since they moved. The action was good. The management team was good. My play was terrible. I dumped about $100 before realizing I was either too tired, or too out classed (probably both). I made a HORRIBLE ill timed extremely readable $75 river bluff after missing my flush draw. Top pair picked up on it fairly quickly and made the easy call. I played there on a Wednesday night and nearly the entire table was locals. I recognized an MGM Dealer and we had a pleasant chat. Overall a good experience and I will certainly give SP some more action on my next trip.
Treasure Island – Played about 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. Table was pretty weak overall. I was felted early by a player who sucked out (I can’t complain about that though). I tightened up a little and gathered my patience and was able to squeeze out a $90 win (which was OK with me). Nothing really crazy going on at TI. I think they were running a ladies tournament during the time I was there. The room was packed and they had 3 NL games running. Management and Dealers are still spot on. I played there years ago and the vibe is pretty much the same.
Bellagio – I really like the Bellagio! Attitude of the management is severely toned down from what it was 3 or 4 years ago. The action is WEAK. I played both 1-2 and 2-5. The 1-2 table was loaded with drunk Europeans (it was about 4 in the morning). They were trying to out-bluff each other pre-flop and I got tired of the $30+ cost for a flop at that limit so I simply moved over to 2-5. Great action in the 2-5 game. VERY serious players and fairly deep stacks. Each player averaged around $1000. I plussed my stack up to $400 and decided to play very tight. Actually only played 3 hands and won them all without going to showdown. Cashed out +200 after about 90 minutes (game broke). It was fairly typical to see 4 players in pre-flop (with a 25 pre-flop raise). A continuation bet on the flop of $60-$80 was the next move and it either took it down or a big pot would brew. I really enjoyed the action. I also played a 1-2 NL game mid morning. At this particular table the players were very passive and I made a small profit.
Summary: Had a great time! Barely played enough poker. Already looking to book another trip (solo) for November. Players are considerably better than they were 2-3 years ago. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.