Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quickie Las Vegas Trip Report

Report of my sojourn to Las Vegas February 5-8, 2012

Day 1
Flew out of Midway airport with one on my brothers, who I usually refer to as the King of Komps. Actually, he had not been getting many great offers lately but got one we couldn't pass up: three free nights at Caesars Palace which could be used on Super Bowl Sunday. Score!

I did not realize it, but the remains of the famous Bartman ball (after is was exploded, then used in some pasta sauce!)  is housed at the Harry Caray's Seventh Inning Stretch bar and grill at Midway.

The flight to Las Vegas was uneventful. We had a great cab ride to the hotel despite the driver being a Patriots fan. We checked our luggage and I visited a few poker rooms to see where I would play during the Super Bowl. The Mirage poker room was crowded, loud, and hot, so I opted for Harrah's, which had less likelihood of winning extra promotional money, but if you won, you would win much more. The room had a much better atmosphere. Unfortunately, although some pots were splashed with $599 (heads on kickoff), $400 (safety), and multiple $200 and $100 amounts, my tabled did not get drawn for even one splashed pot!

I ended up at Bally's (where else) after the game and had my first horrendous beat of the trip. The wait list grew quickly and a new table was opened. At least two of the players were about as aggro as you get for a $1/2 NL game, so I thought I would tighten up and just wait in the weeds for my chance. It came early when I raised in early position with A-A. I got maybe two callers before one of the aggro guys raised to $60. I hollywooded for a bit and raised to $120. Mind you now, I had tightened up and was involved in few hands. One guy folded, leaving the two aggro guys. One with a short stack called (it put him all in), and then the guy who raised to $60 said about me, "I'll put him all in." I snap called with about $130 behind, and no one turned over cards. I never did see what the short stack had, but after a relatively harmless looking flop, turn, and river, my only concern was that someone had K-K and caught a set. I turned over my Aces expecting to win, and chief aggro guy turned over 10-10. Unfortunately, he caught a 10 on the flop. He bet all in over a tight player's four-bet with ... pocket 10's? My tilt meter was on high and I had to leave the table. Fauck! I decided to call it a night earlier than I have in who knows how many years.

Day 2
Went with my brother to eat at the buffet I had been waiting to try, The Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan.

It was as great as many bloggers reported from the December WPBT meeting and as other people have reviewed on yelp. There were a few items that were bland, but most were quite good. The desserts were probably the most impressive and creative.

Back to my home poker room of Bally's for some poker, then on to O'Shea's that evening to meet and play some poker with Tony aka TBC aka sevencard2003. After getting my A-A creamed when someone called my raise with Q-6 (yeah -- Q-6!) and hit two pair on the flop, I was able to get back in the positive category on the last orbit when my A-K kept improving the further the hand went along, culminating on making a boat on the river. Before heading out to catch a late-night meal with Tony, I snapped this picture outside O'Shea's:

Damn -- I look like a doofus but at least Tony looks good!

Day 3
I had already mentioned that I took the trip with my usual Las Vegas companion, my brother Jim, aka the King of Komps. Another brother, Tom, and his wife, Jo, drove up from Arizona to have lunch with us and kick around the Forum Shops at Caesars.

Jim, Jo, Tom, and me
I played at Planet Hollywood and had a great session when I got one of my few good starting hands, K-K. I raised to $15 and was re-raised by the guy on my left to $50. We had both been getting shitty cards, and I smelled the A-A pretty heavily. But I called and wanted to see a flop . The flop was beautiful -- two random rags and a King. I, of course, checked, he went all in, and I called. Nasty way for the guy to lose all his chips.

I had been getting messages from Tony to meet him at the Golden Nugget downtown, so I texted Poker Grump, who had said he would try to play some poker with me that night. I took the express bus downtown and got seated at Tony's table. Unfortunately, he busted out a short time later and left. About ten minutes after Tony took off, Poker Grump appeared (Clark Kent changing into Superman?). Grump had a good, short session. Watching him extract money from a less talented player at the table was like watching a surgeon remove a heart from a patient's chest. Excellent times!

After Grump left, I was able to connect back up with Tony despite my dead phone battery. He wasn't as amused with the street urchin trying to get money out of me as I was.

After that, I headed to ... where else -- Bally's -- for a late-late night session. Unfortunately, a guy who liked to limp with big pocket pairs won a couple of good pots off me and stopped my session from being very successful.

Day 4
Time to check out of our excellent room in the Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace. The room was really nice -- spacious, modern, and had an excellent bathroom. This picture does not do it justice:

The view from the room was also great. My brother said that it was pretty cool watching the fountains at Bellagio from the room at night. Unfortunately, all my evenings were spent in poker rooms, of course!

One always hopes the trip back home will be uneventful. Ha! We split a cab with someone else going to the airport (cheaper is always better!) and everything seemed normal. However, as the passengers on our flight were getting ready to line up to board, only one thing was wrong: the King of Komps was not there! Now you have to understand, it is usually me that is heading to the restroom or buying a quick snack right before the flight. Jim rarely does this. He called and told me that he went to grab a salad from Wendy's. Before he could return, there was a security breach in an adjacent concourse and he was trapped -- no one was let in or out. I boarded the plane a let a flight attendant know what had happened. It turns out that there were several other passengers on the flight who had also been caught. After some nervous waiting (and only ten minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave), the trapped passengers were allowed to leave and were all able to board the plane. Whew!

So ... this was the very abbreviated trip report. Several poker sessions and details were not included, like how my flopped straight lost to quad Queens or how many times really bad players chased gutshot straights ... and hit them! It was bad luck city this trip -- one of the rare trips to Las Vegas when I came home with less money than I had on Day 1. But ... it was still poker in Las Vegas, which beats work anytime!


Blogger Josie said...


12:22 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Sounds like you had a good time, even if you didn't do that great at the tables..

12:40 AM  
Blogger crafty said...

"After getting my A-A creamed when someone called my raise with Q-6..."

Days like that I just hate poker. I really do.

3:10 AM  
Blogger bastinptc said...

I'm with Gary but as you know, these times are the rarities we should not obsess over.

BTW, "The Hangover" was on the tube tonight. They're driving into the city and my wife looks over at me and says, "You have that look on your face." I ask,"What look?" She responds, "The one when you smell blood at the tables." Yeah, Josie, *sigh*.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Well, great that you had a good time, even without the poker winnings. I'm not the biggest football fan any more, but I do love watching the Super Bowl and wonder if I could really enjoy it watching from a poker room and being distracted by trying to play decent poker.

Some of those suck-outs you took are awful. Calling your raise with Q-6 is absurd of course, but the guy with pocket 10's putting you all in? How the hell does he do that when the odds are overwhelming you have one of the four hands that are way ahead of him? He must have somehow known that a 10 would hit the board, right? That's the only way....

Bad to lose all that money, but on top of that, it just really pisses you off to see someone play so stupidly and get rewarded for it!

My sympathies.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Thanks for the trip report. It's been almost 5 years since our last trip to LV and it's always a pleasure to get some vicarious visitation through trip reports.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous ManInBlack said...

Well at least you had fun. WIsh I was able to have stayed with you and Tony at Osheas.

5:21 PM  

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