Woke up bouncing on Thursday 24th November as this was the day we started our 10 day trip to Las Vegas. This was my second visit to the city (I came over in 2009 before I was married to the second (and best) Mrs Boulton).
Arrived at Manchester airport in the North of England at 10am ready for our noon flight and we were in the air soon after with no delays on the flight. Flight time was sceduled for 10.5 hours so settled down and watched 3 films..lol
Arrived Vegas time at 3.30pm ish - though my wifes head was telling her it was 9.30pm.. Grabbed a taxi after whizzing through customs - I tell you what New York is a lot harder to get into the USA than Las Vegas...
Our trip was split over 2 hotels so I could show my wife both aspects of Las Vegas - Downtown and the Strip. Now I love Downtown - the atmoshere and the people and the price of gamble compared to the strip - but I didnt want to push that view on my wife so I had decided we would spend some time downtown and then move to the strip.
First hotel was the (now bought and renamed to the 'D') Fitzgeralds off Fremont Street downtown Las Vegas. Now I decided with the taxi to tell them I didnt want to use the Freeway as I had done some research into long winded journeys to downtown through the airport tunnel.
She seemed reluctant and we compromised by going down E.Tropicana avenue and accross the Strip to the Freeway. Actually it kinda worked as my wife got to see some great hotels on the journey to the Fitz.
Pulled up at the Fitz - 30 dollar taxi fair (not bad my tunnel ploy worked) and checked in within minutes. Extremely pleasant behind the desk and my request for a high up room (sent via email previously) had been taken to the extreme.. we were on the top floor.
We opened the door to the room and quite frankly it was the most impressive view I have ever seen from a hotel room. We were Strip side of the Fitz and as we were 'off' the strip all we could see were the hotels of the strip - it was now getting dark - so it was straight out of George Clooneys Oceans 11.
So a quick freshen up and it was downstairs for a look around. Straight out of the Fremont entrance of the Fitz onto Fremont street and what an amazing place that street is. Whats not to like. Everyone really having a good time and we took time to look into Binions and the Four Queens and play some slots.
Now back to the Fitzgeralds and starting to flag. Its about 7.30pm local time early hours of the morning in the UK. Play some PAIGOW with Cheryl until 8.30pm and Cheryl gives up and I agree to hit the hay and get some sleep. I had hoped to stay up later to try to beat jet lag otherwise it can hit you in the morning. Anyhow off to bed - highest point in downtown Ill tell you only planes above our room. Nodding off at 8.55pm when 5 minutes later the room erupts to the strains of 'We will Rock You' Yes we were right above the 'Freemont Street Experience' doh. Loud is an understatement.
Cheryl wakes at 5am Vegas Time - I kid you not. Wide eyed - excited and ready to go... We are downstairs by 6am...people are just going to bed and we are getting up..
Wandered outside and it was a beautiful day - sun was glorious - and I didnt feel so bad being the only person just waking up in Las Vegas. Suprised no breakfast buffet in the Four Queens so we make our way over to the Fremont Casino and hit the buffet in there at 7am. Really cheap and actually good value - plenty of orange juice pancakes bacon and coffee - marvelous. Ready to go now.
First stop - Binions 10 am tourney. 65 dollars to play so we both register. From memory Cheryl had a tough time and was outdrawn a couple of times so she got knocked out and settled into a 1-2 limit game (and made her buy in back - very nice)
I (after coming straight off Gus Hansons 'Every hand revealed book' (highly recommended)) adopted a tough agressive positional approach which served me well - stealing antes and blinds - and the 3 starting tables eventually became 1. This was to pay out 5 players after 26 started. the blind levels were 15 minutes so my get busy approach had paid off.
6 left I pick up Jacks and move all in (it had got to that stage) - Guy next to me re-raises all in with Aces and I am out on the bubble.. Is this how the trip was going to go. To be fair I had taken a lot from this tournament. My aggressive approach had won me a lot of uncontested pots and going out in 6th with Jacks really was just a cooler. I felt good and ready for the next one!
I had planned to play the afternoon tournament (more chips and a better structure) however the regulars advised me to wait until Saturday when added money was included by the casino and the field was larger and the tournament absolutely worth winning. So I sat down with Cheryl and played 1-2 limit for a little bit.
We had tickets to see Bill Cosby that evening in the TI so we decided to take the RTC bus to the Strip mid afternoon so I could show Cheryl some of the hotels before our evening with Bill.
RTC bus was quick and fast - standing only so a little concerned about my wallet so I kept a tight grip on it. We got off at the TI and walked through the hotel to pick up my tickets for the evening. Whilst there I popped my head into the TI card room - its off the main corridor in the hotel where the mall shops are and it looked fine however I had taken the tournament structures off 'All Vegas Poker' and was not impressed with the afternoon tournament in comparrison to Harrahs..
We got our tickets and popped into the Imperial Palace for some crazy 1-2 limit. Say what you will about the IP but the limit poker is fun and the dealers are very good and experienced. One of dealers remembered me from my 2009 trip (before he saw my rewards card lol so I knew he was genuine). Cheryl made money and I lost money - lol. We left even and went over the road to the Mirage for a Carnegie Deli sandwich.. awesome.. Guys if you are peckish but dont want fuss try the sandwiches there - and the cheesecake (sweet Jesus its huge)..
We watched the show with Bill Cosby and to be fair it was really funny however my early start on the day and the day befores trip over got to me and I started getting really tired. We got taxi back after the show and hit the sack before midnight.
Its Saturday and what better way to start of the day than a champagne breakfast at the Golden Nugget. It was AWESOME. Chilled out playing blackjack and 3 card poker and sat down at the afternoon tourney at Binions.
Feeling good after the bubble performance the day before this tourney had loads of chips (20k) a slow clock (30min levels) fantastic dealers and really nice freindly crowd a players. After about 2 hours my constant raising (no limping - raise or fold thank you Gus) was starting to get to them however my stack was getting impressive. Also as impressive was my (oh so aggressive Darling) wifes assault on her table amassing some nice chips of her own.
Started at 2 and at 10pm we were both still in with 25 left after a starting field of 120. Cheryl's stack was not so comfortable and as she plays a naturally agressive game she does not let herself get to low - she fell holding Q10 to aces at just before 11pm - out in 22nd.. A very good performance and enjoyable day. she was tired so I took her back to the Fitz so she could get some sleep and I could concentrate on the tournament. It paid to 12 so it was important I stayed focused even though I was comfortable in chips.
2 tables left i had some critical hands back to back which set me up for the final. Took on a race holding pocket 9s for half my stack against AJ. they stayed ahead and I elimated the 13th player so we were all in the money. I also took out the 12th player holding a big ace against his dominated hand.
on the final table we moved chips back and forth and decided to take a chop with 6 left for 1200 each. It was 100 to play with rake. A nice result and considering this was only day 2 I was more than pleased with the payout. I also met a fellow AVPer (Rob Vegas) who I am also pleased to inform chopped with us for the payday.. nice one Rob. Sorry this report took so long!
Some cash for the dealers - thank you guys you all did a great job - the rest in the room safe and I hit bed at around 1.30am... But hang on tomorrow is Sunday and we have to be up for 5.30am read on...
Yes i kid you not - up at 5.30am so we can be picked up at 6am and taken to the Red Rock Canyon for some pleasant horse riding..
Joking aside guys as I know you are all Poker mad and couldn't care less but this was good fun and we had a great day out...cheesy western show and all. Hello Joe Beers and lovely wife from New Jersey - great to meet you guys.
Back in time for the 2pm game at Binions and as is always the case the day after probably not a good idea. Cheryl out early and I really couldnt get started and blew up mid tournament... ah well 1-2 limit cash beckons...
funny story here - its around 5.30pm and as it was some sort of big US football weekend every time you played cash you got a small ticket and entry into a draw to be done on the hour every hour Sunday evening. Yes you got it cheryl won 280 dollars in the draw and made another 100 dollars in the poker. I made 70 dollars profit and drank myself into oblivion. We called it quits and watched the Fremont Street Experience at 11pm and then went to bed - another profitable day.
Its move day - we are moving from the Fitz to the IP on the Strip after a nice breakfast at the GN. Ridiculously easy to do - 20 dollar taxi ride - room ready for 12 midday at the IP so no waiting at all. Great room (deluxe)...
in the afternoon we played in the PM tourney of the Planet Hollywood casino a 70 dollar game. Really bad structure after we had been spoilt by Binions (even the 10 am faster structure game). I get busy and raise with 67 and hit a 662 flop. Big blind had called my raise with A6. Im out and not enough chips to not get them in and to be honest Im not that good to spot a BB calling with A6 against a raise...
Cheryl did rather better than i and made the final (only 3 tables to start) however she went out on the bubble moving all in with AQ and hitting (I kid you not) the following board.. A Q 3 K 10. He had Jack 3. Silver lining i hit a straight flush on video poker and made 50 dollars.
On the way back to the IP we go through the Flamingo and Cheryl makes 270 dollars on the slots and I make 50... Weird.
in the evening we enjoy the Volcano erupting outside the Mirage...very impressive. We play some 1-2 limit in the IP and we both break even. Another day 'up' in Las Vegas...
Tuesday - Breakfast at the Mirage. Best breakfast of the trip - the buffet there is absolutely amazing. If you are in town please please try it. Its Bellagio Tuesday PM tourney day so we spend some time at the mirage enjoying the dolphin park (really good) and then head off to the Bellagio - Cheryl hoping to bump into George Clooney planning his next heist..
All ready to reg up but disaster strikes.. Its WPT week - buy in 10k. Er thanks but no thanks.. So after our little drop on the slots yesterday we wander the slots of the Bellagio and (obviously after abduction by aliens) we lost 5 hours of our life... When we go outside its dark lol
We watch the fountains and then play some 1-2 limit in the Flamingo for the evening....we lost money... still well up for the trip though so all good.
A boring day for all you poker fans as this day was a round trip by coach to the Grand Canyon via the Hoover Dam. Look - im a tourist OK. Joking aside a great day out and we made some good frieinds... Manny the Mexican coach driver Im looking at you..
We play the morning tournament in Harrahs. Really good structure for the money (PH are you listening here) and a great card room. Thank you guys for making the tournament fun and enjoyable. A cash for Cheryl - could have been better all in with AK called by A5. The 5 hit.
Some Blackjack and PaiGow and alcholol. Fantastic.
then it was off to the National Rodeo finals in the evening. We own horses so its a horse thing guys.. Great time had - biggest suprise was how much the weather changed that day. It was cold... Im still in a tee shirt however - locals in huge jackets.. lol
A fun day - played in Bills tourney as we were walking through - no cash but good guys and you know what for the cost (25 dollars) fun quick and a poker hit. Recommend if running low on funds out there... We played because we happened to be there 2 mins before the start..
We spent the rest of the day playing table games in some of the casinos Cheryl had not seen - NewYork New York, lunch in Paris, MGM Grand for Slots...
Helicopter ride down the strip in the evening. tourist remember.
DAY 10 - On our way..
Just time to try to IP Breakfast - using up our Total rewards - not bad. Not the Mirage but not bad. Tourney in Harrahs... Bubble for me Argghhh. Ah well.. Took a walk down to Circus and Riveria. Not good down there at all - needs some serious cash. How people can moan about downtown and glam up the strip seems strange to me sometimes..
Check out of the IP and take a taxi to the airport for the flght home....
Cash - Up
Tournaments - Down
Slots - Well up and potentially now addicted.
Table Games - Shes in love with 2 dollar Fitz BJ - Love the cheap gambling downtown
Cash - down
Tournaments - Up - thank you Binions
slots - slightly up
Table Games - broke even at PAIGOW - though who doesnt.
Overall Summary - Fantasitc holiday and I am so please Cheryl loves downtown as much as me. If anything she wished we had stayed downtown longer. With this in mind we are staying at the California next trip - close to Fremont but a little quieter.
Hope you enjoyed the report - sorry if I rambled on a bit.... Loads of great photos and memories. Roll on next trip.