Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer 2015 Las Vegas Trip Report - Part II

Monday, June 1 - Tuesday, June 2

Hoping that my final session at MGM on Sunday night/Monday morning had turned things around for me, I went to lunch full of enthusiasm. I ate at the relatively new Fulton Street Food Hall at Harrah's, which fairly recently replaced the below average café and also an Asian restaurant. The food hall was very nice, with a wide selection of delicious looking food: pizza, sandwiches, sushi, breakfast items, etc. It was definitely a nice spot for an enjoyable lunch.

Next stop: Harrah's poker room. I have overall had success there and feel pretty comfortable playing $1/2 no limit at that venue. I bought in for my usual $200. I waited patiently and finally got my opportunity when I was dealt AA in middle position. A guy in early position, who had been playing pretty conservatively, raised to $16. I re-popped to $40. He went in the tank for a bit and then announced "all in." I insta-called and his face just dropped. He had been playing tight, waiting for a premium hand, and finally got QQ. My pocket rockets held and I doubled up. I stayed for a little while but was anxious to play across the street at Mirage, so I cashed out with a decent profit. My quest to get even was building up steam.

I really like the new version of the poker room at Mirage. I know that the room is not the mecca for poker that it once was, but I am fine with it being a regular, decent room in the middle of the strip. The late afternoon crowd was a tad on the older side, but there were some younger guys in the mix. I do not remember that there were any terribly memorable hand in that session, but I again cashed out with a nice profit, edging my way back to respectability.

Dinner that evening was largely arranged by Alysia Chang. AC and I had dinner with Rob and Michelle -- @Snapple95 -- at the Lux Café in Venetian. I had never met Michelle in person before, although we have traded tweets and other communications. We came up with a great plan of all cashing in our comps to pay for the meal. I was shocked to find that I had almost $30 in food comps. Frankly, they must have been accumulated over several years, for I usually don't play much at Venetian.

As Rob usually writes after one of these meals, there were probably bloggers/poker players whose ears were ringing quite loudly and frequently as we exchanged tons of gossip, stories, impressions and other sordid information. A few years ago when I used my Las Vegas in-person time to ask a lot of personal and blunt questions to Very Josie and Carmel, Josie named my questioning "The Lightning Inquisition." I was two for two in getting women to divulge some of their inner secrets to me, then cry! I was, of course ..., a compassionate listener. I tried to break both AC and Michelle, but they were two tough cookies and didn't falter under the heat of the questioning!

I felt a tad uncomfortable, however seeing that it appeared that both AC and Michelle were somehow romantically intertwined with Tony Bigcharles. I believe AC had been involved in a whirlwind engagement and Michelle seemed to be the current apple of Tony's eye. And yes -- I can feel safe writing such things since I am 1,700 miles away and unable to receive any punches to the jaw or slaps to the face!

After a fun dinner, Rob and I headed to MGM to get in one final poker session. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I was unable to see my friend, Mr. Subliminal. I believe he might have been injured in some homeless people squatting rights dispute or the like, but he was free and able to come to MGM, where I introduced him to Rob. Mr. Subliminal and I were able to chat for a bit and talked about having dinner together sometime before I left town. With that he was gone, probably after seeing see MGM security officers in the area.

Unfortunately, I finished the MGM session down just a tad -- $50. It was time to call it a night.

On Tuesday it was time for me to catch up with one of my old online poker blogger friends, cmitch. Mitch is an exceptional tournament player and always seems to cash in WSOP events and make money at the WSOP cash games. He was one of two people I most hated to play against in blogger tournaments.

We tried to catch lunch at the Hash House A Go Go at Rio, but the waiting line was a mile long. We went to Gold Coast and decided on getting a light lunch at TGI Fridays. It was difficult to believe that the online tournaments we faced off in were already several years ago.

After lunch I decided to burn some time playing slots at Gold Coast. It was the one casino where I have had success playing video poker. I accumulated enough player points to get a small give-away gift: a small flashlight on a movable tripod. It sounds a little better than it actually is! I will mention in later before my report is over. I also had a first happen: I flushed my sunglasses down a toilet! I was using the restroom and just flushed the toilet when my sunglasses fell from my shirt straight toward the drink! I grabbed frantically to no avail. Unfortunately, the Gold Coast toilets are powerful monsters. Goodbye designer (ha!) sunglasses.

I caught the Rio/Harrah's shuttle back to Harrah's where I would begin my evening sessions. I was seated at what was my worst table during the trip. People were taking FOREVER to play their hands, and I lost about $50 calling raises with small and middle pocket pairs, thinking that my implied odds in those cases were off the boards. Unfortunately, nothing hit. I got frustrated with the slowness of the table and with two players who kept jawing at each other, so I asked for a table change. My new table was much different.

My new table was a little slow due to a guy who had been drinking quite a bit and was apparently hitting every flop and dominating the table. I was hoping to trap him if at all possible. He was actually quite fun, and we joked about the aloha shirt I was wearing. I told him that he could have it if he felted me.

My opportunity came when I was dealt pocket 9s and caught a set on a Jack-high flop. I raised and the initial raiser, the decent play on my left, just called. The turn was a blank and I raised substantially. The villain called. At that point I had only a little over $100 left and pushed all in after the river blanked. He called with, unfortunately for him, with A-J for top-top. Ding!

Shortly thereafter, a really obnoxious woman replaced the guy and sat next to me. She seemed to have a crush on one guy at the table who she had recently met. She kept directing conversation toward him, and he clearly was not interested. She did have some mad poker skills and amassed a large stack rather quickly. As for me, I couldn't stand her chatter anymore and cashed out, looking to play again across the street at Mirage.

The session at Mirage started out slow. I was not dealt anything and could not catch anything. Soon a new guy came to the table, bought in for $300, and basically announced that he was giving away his stack since his horse at the WSOP had made the final table of THE COLOSSUS. I was able to get a bit of it. He busted, and then his girlfriend played. I then witnessed perhaps the most amazing heater I have ever seen at the table. This girl, who appeared to be a competent player, was getting flushes, nut flushes, full house after full house ... It was amazing. She was dealt excellent cards and creamed virtually every flop. She won nearly every hand for 1/2 hour and built up a really nice chip stack.

The guy and girl left, only to be replaced by three guys who appeared to know each other. One guy claimed that he did not know how to play poker. His little game got old after 30 seconds. Unfortunately, AlaskaGal1 rotated to my table to deal and had to put up with this butthole. On one play he went all in and showed 7-2os! The guy knew what he was doing and increased his stack quite quickly. I was determined to take some of it.

I am not sure how it happened, but I somehow irritated him -- perhaps by winning a hand against him. He told me that the next time I threw chips in the pot that he would go all in. I believed him. I was ready. A couple of hands later I was dealt K-Q. I figured that it has to be in good shape vs a random hand. I threw two chips in the pot and, as expected, the villain went all in. The flop came K-rag-rag and the villain flipped over K-J! Ding! I had never purposefully slow rolled anyone before, but this was my first time to do it in a b & m casino. The turn and river were rags, and I slowly turned over my superior hand, winning with a higher kicker. The villain was not happy and started saying how I was a woman for waiting to make sure that his three-outer didn't hit. I considered my options and decided to just be quiet in the hope that I could get the rest of his stack. The table was pretty happy to see me piss off the jerk.

The jerk eventually left and normal play resumed. Then a gift from the poker gods appeared. I was dealt K-Q (lucky hand for that night!) and called a raise by a guy who seemed to be a decent player. The flop: 10-J-9 rainbow! The villain raised and I re-raised. He thought for a few seconds and announced that he was all in. I called and flipped over the nut straight. The turn and river were rags. He mucked his cards and counted out how much of his stack he would have to ship to me. All but about $25!

So here it was -- after my terrible start, I was almost dead even. I cashed out and went back to The LINQ, feeling like a returning conqueror.

COMING IN THE NEXT POST: Chicago Blackhawks, Planet Hollywood, Mr. Ben, Bally's and ... for the FIRST TIME EVER ... a picture of Mr. Subliminal!


Blogger Rob said...

That was a fun dinner at the Cafe Lux, good company, good conversation. I believe there was one subject that took up most of the convo but for some reason I can't recall who it was.....

Thanks for picking up my tab with your long forgotten Venetian comps.

Also....thanks for introducing me to Mr. S., that was great. He looked pretty good for someone who is homeless.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Koala said...

Nice report Lightning. I so wish all you guys were going to be in Las Vegas in August. It would be fantastic to catch up with you again. Maybe Rob will be, as he seems to almost live there now.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the jerk called you a "woman", i assume that's your code word for "bitch". lol.
Sorry i missed meeting you while in Vegas. GL sir.
Big L

3:48 AM  
Blogger ~Coach said...

Nice closing sessions... :)

10:25 AM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

Koala, I will be making a trip to Vegas for a quick weekend in August. I'd enjoy meeting you and buying you a beer over a conversation if you were so inclined. Feel free to tweet me "nickg_96" if you're interested.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Love to see Mr. Subliminal's mug. Hope living underground hasn't been unkind to him.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You bet, you didn't raise.

1:52 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

LOL at flushing your shades down the toilet! At least it wasn't your phone... Good to see that you had a great time out in Vegas!

8:33 AM  

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