Thursday, August 25, 2016

Off to Las Vegas in Less Than 24 Hours

After a truly terrible summer, I am happy to see that the new school year has started and the scent of promise and hope is in the air. Better yet, it is time for another trip to Las Vegas. Things in my life were in pretty good shape when I last visited in May. I hope this trip is the new beginning I have been needing.

Since Caesars Entertainment Corporation has pretty much left me out in the cold, I have been forced to go with the hotels and companies that still offer good deals or haven't given up on me.

I'll be getting into Las Vegas on Friday and stay two nights at Hooters. On Sunday night, my wife will join me for three nights. We'll be staying at the Gold Coast.

As with most of my trips, I have few solid plans. I might meet up with Vegas DWP and fling some cards on The Strip or maybe even Red Rock. Since Pete P. Peters rescheduled his Las Vegas trip, I was the recipient of his ticket to see Journey, the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Sounds like a winner to me!

Unfortunately, my private Uber driver will not be in town, forcing me to use Lyft, Uber, taxis or shuttles. One would think that she would at least arrange a private limo for me, but ...

If Tony Bigcharles is still in town, I imagine he'll blow up my phone with calls and messages. Note to Tony: Too bad you won't get off your butt and work on your bans. Most of the places I play poker are places you can't or won't go.

The Mirage has been my honey hole lately. Bally's and MGM still treat me pretty well. I even ventured to Aria last trip. I might check out the new Encore/Wynn poker room as well.

It is time for the poker gods to favor the guy from central Illinois. 

More to come ... from Las Vegas!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Paul McCartney Concert Followup and Poker Session with Iron Mike Sharpe

Last weekend ended up a little more fun than I anticipated. Mrs. lightning and I got into St Louis mid-afternoon, checked into our hotel room, and took a nap before heading to Busch Stadium for the Paul McCartney concert. The ride to the stadium was quick and without incident, and soon we were parked and walking toward the venue. The line to get in was long but moved pretty quickly.

The concession prices at Busch Stadium were higher than those of U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field, where I had just recently seen games. The best deal food-wise was a huge BBQ brisket sammich with fresh potato chips and coleslaw for $14. Pretzels were over $9, a 20 oz. soda was $6, crappy Busch products were almost $10 and even special Cardinal Spring Water was $6. Sheesh.
The concert was due to start at 8:00 p.m. We were warned that it might start on time and to be ready. It was actually almost 8:30 before Paul McCartney took the stage, opening with A Hard Day's Night. Check out this link for a complete setlist for the concert.
Our review? Unfortunately, we thought the first 2/3 of the concert had an uneven pace of songs from different eras and was kind of boring. People were sitting on their hands unless a Beatles song or a solo or Wings  monster was sung. Frankly, I had little interest in more recent McCartney tunes, and he littered the beginning of the concert with them. I was not enamored with some of his Beatles selections, like Can't Buy Me Love, We Can Work It Out, You Won't See Me, Love Me Do, Lady Madonna, Elinor Rigby and Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. However, the last 1/3 was dynamite, including songs like Back in the U.S.S.R., Live and Let Die and Birthday. I was glad I got to see McCartney in concert, but I was not blown away as I was expecting.

The next morning we packed up and began to head for home. It was a dreary, rainy day. However, I had been hoping to get in a poker session at Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Missouri, and possibly meet up with Iron Mike Sharpe there.
No, he was not the professional wrestler who was mainly a jobber

From some Roughing the Punter posts:

lightning36: Played some $1/3 NL with Iron Mike Sharpe today. Told him that Lester gave me gold to acquire TBC Inner Circle membership. He stiffed me.

Iron Mike Sharpe: Lightning had a good session. Especially b/c I bluffed a good amount of chips to him on a 6-6-3 flop, 2 turn. He had raised in early position and bet flop, and bet small on turn (like $30 bet into a $100+ pot). I had 3-4 and raised to $125 and he shipped with presumably AA or KK. I had to muck.

My session was a grind. I got there and there was $2-5 running from last night. But it broke 20 min after I sat down and I was down $120.

$1-3 session started slow, then I started to get chips and ended up with strong second best hands and the bluff hand from above.

I was down $580 at one point. Went back to work and ended up +$50 after 8.5 hours for the $1/3 session so only down $70 total on the day. I'll take it. Thurs - Sat, I won $1500 combined for those three days.

I can't be a member of the TBC Inner Circle until TBC lifts my Twitter ban u see. Will one of my friends get TBC to lift my ban for me?

lightning36:  Nice meeting you and playing with you today. I really wasn't planning on going, but as my wife and I got to the 270/70 exchange, I decided to give it a try. We were in no hurry to get home, and my wife is exceptional in patiently reading while I play on trips.

That guy to my right who kept button straddling $10? I was just hoping for a hand but wasn't getting crap early on aside from flopping a set the first orbit.

And yes -- the hand you bluffed -- I had KK. I was hoping to induce some action, but was surprised at your raise. I figured that you wouldn't be raising the turn if you had a 6 or the straight. Glad I read it right.

I took some chances with decent hands and good draws and things worked out. I left up $400. Right before I left you won some big pots and looked like you were getting out of the hole.

I'll ask TBC about the Twitter ban. My usual charge for TBC access is a purple chip, but having met you, I might give you a discount.

Iron Mike Sharpe: I completely forgot to use the "this game's so easy even lightning36 is winning" line.

Lester: One gram of AU was all that it cost to jump the rope line into TBC inner circle status:

Tony Bigcharles: how did u stiff lightning? Only i give out inner circle membership and i only give it to those i trust.

Yes, good times indeed! Anyone else interested in procuring TBC Inner Circle membership can contact me for current rates and procedures.

Meanwhile, my next trip to Las Vegas is now less than one week away. I'll write at least one more post prior to the trip.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Paul McCartney Tonight!

After an extremely busy week at work, it is time to kick back a bit. Mrs. lightning and I are going to Saint Louis to see Paul McCartney in concert tonight.

Way back when, I was a boy when the Beatles took the world by storm. The first 45 I ever bought (apologies to the CD generation) was Yesterday. I remember threatening to run away from home when my mother wouldn't let me buy Nowhere Man. I bought a ton of Beatles albums as I was growing up and am still amazed at the magic of their music.

Time-wise, it doesn't look like I'll be able to play any poker on the trip. I was hoping to perhaps see if Iron Mike Sharpe was available to fling a few cards. It would be nice to meet him and, in effect, have him cover the cost of the concert tickets. Mwahaha!

Next week is generally one of the two most challenging work weeks of the year. Once I get to next Friday, things will get much easier. I hate to even mention how many beginnings to the school year I have worked. I went off to college when I was 18 and have never left the higher education environment. That is a lot of years!

In other news, my next Las Vegas trip is now less than two weeks away. I'll be heading out there on Friday, August 26. I'll have a couple of days by myself, and then Mrs. lightning, who will be in Arizona visiting a friend, will fly in to join me for a few days.

Catch you on the flip side.