Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 2014 Las Vegas Trip Report - Part I

I quite unexpectedly scheduled a trip to Las Vegas in the middle of this month. A comped room offer started the ball rolling, and things just seemed to fall into place.

I had decided for several reasons to drive up to Chicago the morning of the trip instead of staying overnight in the Chicago suburbs the night before, and that ended up being a good choice. Travel to the Chicago area on Saturday, January 18 would have been brutal due to snow, winds and cold.

My Southwest flight left Sunday, January 19 morning, and I thought I was going to luck out and have an open middle seat on the plane for the flight to Las Vegas. However, I have learned NOT to count on that until the place leaves the gate. Sure enough, right before the door closed, two last people got on the plane. And ... a rather large guy chose to sit in the middle seat next to me, spilling over into my seat. To make matters worse, the guy sitting in front of me decided to recline in his seat. I just kept thinking "I'll be in Las Vegas in a few hours ..."

I rented a car from my go-to spot in Las Vegas  -- E-Z Rent-A-Car -- and was surprised to see that I would be driving around in a brand new Chevy Impala. New car smell -- yes!

After a quick stop at In-N-Out Burger (Double Double Animal Style, of course!), I checked into the Palms Casino Resort. My offer was to include some VIP passes to the resort nightclubs, but I guess they somehow sensed that I was not exactly one of the beautiful young crowd that patronizes places like that! I caught a little bit of the Broncos-Patriots football game in the sports book, then went up to my room. I had been told the Ivory Tower rooms had been remodeled. My room was actually pretty nice.

I felt tired and in need of a shower, so I just relaxed in my room for a bit and watched some football.

As the second football game was heading toward a conclusion, I met and picked up an online poker friend, AvoidOddLaw, at Bally's and drove us to THE Steakhouse at Circus Circus, where we would meet blogger Pete P Peters and his friend.

Circus Circus you say? Yes, the property is overrun by kids, but THE Steakhouse has been highly rated by Zagat for many years. I liked the idea of an old school steakhouse in the middle of this crappy casino.

This was the first time I met AvoidOddLaw in person. We usually chatted while playing The Dank, the latest version of the weekly private online poker blogger tournament that had formerly been called The Mookie. I had met Pete Peters in person a few years ago in Las Vegas, and Pete and I text each other regularly.

Having a nice steak dinner in Las Vegas with friends is da shitz! I liked the atmosphere at THE Steakhouse, and the fillet I ordered was huge. Taste-wise it was just okay. The service was excellent, and we had a great time discussing poker, jobs, Las Vegas and a whole host of topics.

Afterwards I chauffeured everyone to Bally's, where we hoped to play some $1/2 NL together. We were all seated at the same table and were joined by grrouchie. How cool -- a group of five playing at the same table in Las Vegas! It was just like a home poker game. PPP's friend was at the opposite end of the table, but the other four of us were next to each other cracking quips and jokes. Unfortunately, a d-bag sitting near PPP's friend was lucksacking his way to a big stack and apparently was dissing our play. Meanwhile, I was tossing 9-3os, 8-2 os, J-4os, ...

As the evening wore on it looked like grrouchie would be the only member of the group that would be on the plus side for the session. Such is life. However, it was a ton of fun while it lasted,. And yes -- PPP did drink Lite beers!

PPP and AvoidOddLaw both left for home the next day, so I was certainly glad to share a meal and toss some cards with these good guys. This was one heck of a way to start my trip!

Monday was a day to start off leisurely. I grabbed lunch at the Palms buffet and waited for Tony Bigcharles to get his butt out of bed. It was time for our triumphant (?) return to the Suncoast Casino to play in the O8 spread game. I played in the game with Tony a few trips back (leading to TBC's famous "even lightning won" quote) and did quite well. In fact, I have come out ahead each time I have played 08 spread in Las Vegas.

I was fortunate to begin the game by getting several excellent beginning O8 hands. TBC, on the other hand, was in el foldo mode. I was able to build a decent stack but really wanted to dig into the stack of a guy at the end of the table who was showing a very good profit. So, when the time seemed right and he was in a hand, I jumped in with a hand that would normally be folded in O8: a middle-level trapping hand with both straight and flush possibilities. It's called thinking outside the box, Mr. Bigcharles. As the pot kept building, I was in good position for a big win -- or so I thought. Unfortunately, Tony was also in the hand chasing a flush -- one that was bigger than mine. The river game me a straight, allowing me to scoop a big pot. It also, however, drew the ire of Mr. Bigcharles, who texted that I was a "mf donkey who ... thinks he's good." My official response to this statement: "Muhahahahaha. Suck it!"

Tony left the table shortly thereafter and I stayed for several more hands before cashing out a profit. We then went to Palms to that Tony could play spread limit there. While there, I played a little sweet sweet video poker. The first attempt I made at Palms the day before had a bad result. However, I tried the Multi Strike Poker machine and had this nice hand:

I didn't want to play limit poker at Palms, so went to my old honey hole, Bally's, to play. After an unremarkable session, I went back to Palms. I was ready to go to sleep but drove Tony back home first. That's just the kind if mf donkey I am.

Two days down, still no great success at $1/2 NL. That would come at the beginning on my third day in Las Vegas.


Blogger ~Coach said...

Considering how much you paid for the room, you should have insisted on the VIP nightclub passes... :D

8:49 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Good start to your trip. Winning a little poker and meeting bloggers is always a good thing.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

You got a comped room offer from the Palms??? How did you manage that? Have you even played there before?

Sounds like a lot of fun, I'm really sorry I missed that game at Bally's. Sounds like a blast.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Spending my last evening in Vegas by having dinner with Sparky, PPP, and MK was a privilege and a pleasure. Then to cap it off with a poker session at Bally's where I got to meet Serge (grrouchie) was fun.
I started off strong, even winning with the grump and some well-timed bluffs. However lucky Tennessee started my downfall and Serge finished it off. Even though I did the walk of shame back to my room, it was like Sparky stated, felt like a good home game because of the company.
I hope we can do this again, it was entertaining and relaxing. Thank you Sparky for setting aside a part of your trip so we could meet in person. It was a MF donkey. :-)

11:17 AM  

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