Las Vegas Trip Report Part III: WPBT Results, Poker with Friends and Where's Tony?
Saturday, December 6 was the day of the big World Poker Blogger Tournament (WPBT). I didn't wake up early enough to get a decent breakfast, so a quick trip through the McD's drive thru got me fortifications to make it through the start of the tournament.
At the Aria, I ran into several old friends and acquaintances. I got to catch up with fellow TBC Inner Circle member AgSweep, who I had met and played poker with once before at a previous WPBT. AgSweep has really done a lot to help Tony Bigcharles (as many of us have), and she is a blast to talk to.
My opening table had two tough customers at the opposite end: DrChako and Mondogarage. I was happy to finally get to meet Mondo (David) the previous evening. As for the uber-aggressive DrChako ... he antagonized the table with his ruthless aggression. NumbBono was also at the table, making it even tougher.
I actually felted two people and collected their bounties. A blogger tradition is to have a bounty on yourself that is given to whoever knocks you out. One bounty was a mini bottle of some type of alcohol enclosed in a frame with glass and everything. It bears the inscription of those who won the bounty in the past. The glass doesn't travel well and was cracked, so I'll have to rehab it before the next one. I also busted one player who didn't have a bounty, so she game me the one she won: a Texas Longhorns shot glass and a bottle of Fireball. Not bad!
The tournament went south when I was moved to a new table and was seated next to AgSweep. I was moved in the big blind and AgSweep was directly on my left under the gun. She raised to 5,000. Blinds were around 600/1,200, I believe. We were both sporting stacks that needed a big move. Everyone folded and I looked down to see J-J. I clearly put AgSweep on Big Slick and contemplated shoving. However, I knew she'd call with A-K and I would be in a coin flip for tournament life before I was ready for that. I decided to wuss out and just call. And, of course, there was a King on the flop. I checked, she pushed, I folded. Damn. I at least had a moral victory in correctly placing her on her hand. It didn't make me feel any better.
I eventually pushed when I got a sooted Ace and ran it right into Cowboys. I bubbled the final table, finishing about 10th out of about 40 entrants. Rob ran into some bad luck early on, so we were no threat to win the team competition. I was knocked out for the second time in a row by CJ, nicknamed "the lucksack." CJ went on the win the tournament, as he did when he felted me two years ago. Congrats to AgSweep, who went from short stack ninja to second place.
After I was out, I headed to MGM. I was hoping to grab dinner with AgSweep, but that fizzled when she ran deep. Rob and I decided to eat at TAP Sports Bar at MGM. Rob then told me that cokeboy99 (Nick) had just gotten into town and was on his way. Soon Nick joined us, and as we were chowing down, who else but grrouchie made an appearance and guzzled down a monster sized cold one. Oh -- a special thanks to Rob for using his comps to get us dinner for free. Readers familiar with this blog know that the word "comps" is music to my ears!
After dinner we headed to Rob's home, the MGM poker room. In fact, on this trip we were informed the Rob is actually the king of the MGM poker room, ranking higher than the lowly shift managers we talked to.
As I had mentioned in a previous trip report from last winter, there is nothing like playing poker in Las Vegas at a table with several friends. The four of us were seated together (of course, King Rob was able to engineer that through his poker room connections, and we had a blast. I had a great night and, as I recall, so did Nick. I think grrouchie took it on the chin some, and Rob had a nightmare evening. But even when things don't go right with poker, playing with friends in Las Vegas just can't be beat! I'm not sure if Nick would agree, however, after he suffered some verbal abuse from me after beating me in a hand. Among the more charitable names I called him were things like "dick face" and "penis nose." Never let it be said that I am a good loser and do not carry a grudge!
We even got to see a little of the "slut parade" that Rob frequently writes about -- the long line of attractive women in various degrees of undress and tight clothing who are on the way to or from Hakkasan nightclub. One woman in particular provided some great entertainment as she drunkenly stumbled just outside the poker room.
MGM was filled with cowboys since the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was in town. It was interesting counting the cowboy hats on any one evening. And ... there sure were some cute cowgirls!
After a long night of poker, I headed back to Circus to catch a little sleep. Come Sunday morning I had to check out and move to Bally's.
On Sunday, December 7, I checked into Bally's and headed to Planet Hollywood for one of my Las Vegas pleasures -- eating Mongolian Beef at P. F. Chang's. There is not one in close proximity to my home, so I make sure I get there each time while in Las Vegas. Nick joined me, and afterwards we went to Caesars Palace for the 2014 Great Gift Wrap Up -- a promotion that gave out points for free gifts based on casino play. Being the degenerate I am (and not seeing any inexpensive gift I really wanted), I opted for getting some free slot dollars for Bally's. Can you say Willy Wonka slots?
Caesars was having a huge promotion to celebrate its revamped poker room, but there was no way we could play. By the time we got there, there were already over 100 names on the wait list. We headed to Bally's to play some $1/2 and were eventually joined by Rob, who had negotiated his way to near the top of the Caesars poker room wait list. However, there was virtually no way anyone was leaving the tables during the promotion, and Rob finally got tired of waiting for something that just wasn't going to happen.
Surprisingly, Rob was having a good poker session at Bally's -- MY home room. As for me - meh! Perhaps Rob and I need to switch home poker rooms?
Even though we were having a fun time at Bally's, Tony had been wanting us to play poker with him at Venetian. We knew that AgSweep was heading to Venetian to meet Tony, so we were looking forward to playing with her also. Unfortunately, we found out that AgSweep didn't actually play any poker with Tony at Venetian and was long gone. When we got to the V, we looked and ... no Tony. What? There were several tables with plenty of action, so I looked a second time. No Tony. There was no response to any texts.
We decided to play since we were there. Alysia Chang heard and let us know she was on her way. It looked like it was going to be another fun night at the poker table with friends. We began playing at different tables, and eventually I was seated at the same table as the others. Alysia had position on me and Rob and Nick were further away. I remembered the story of Alysia blowing Rob off a hand (the dreaded pocket Kings?) by being aggressive. Therefore, whenever Alysia was aggressive with me, I didn't believe her story. This was a good strategy!
Eventually word came from Tony -- cryptic, as usual. He was at Wynn because ... he had been 86ed from the V due to some altercation he had with someone at the Palazzo. Big surprise, huh? And of course, he wanted us to come to Wynn. We had already gone out of our way to play at Venetian, so I told him that we were going to stay there to play.
Things were going okay until I got into a big hand with a seemingly decent player. I had Rockets and re-raised his initial raise. He called. The flop seemed uncoordinated and I bet. He called. The turn was a King. I bet and he pushed all in. So, I had to guess at whether he had pocket Kings, A-K, or perhaps another hand like pocket Queens and was looking to scare me off the hand. I uneasily said "I call" and found out that he had pocket Kings and hit his set on the turn. Dang! Goodbye buy in.
I was pretty tired and was pissed off at losing the big hand, so I decided that, despite Tony's requests to talk with him at Wynn, I would just go back to Bally's and get some sleep. Unfortunately, Tony's frustrations were building up, and they would blow in full force in the days ahead.