Monday, June 18, 2018

Las Vegas Trip Report for June 2018 - Part I

I think it would be best to start off my trip reports with one word that best describes this most recent trip to Las Vegas  (June 9-15): FANTASTIC! I got in lots of cash game poker, even played two modest tournaments, won more cash game money than in any previous trip to Las Vegas, saw several friends, met some new people, and had tons of fun!

The trip didn't start out this way, however. Readers might remember (ha!) that on my last trip to Las Vegas, I screwed up on when I was leaving and didn't even leave my house to head to the airport until 40 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. This time, however, I had Mrs. lightning drive me with plenty of time on Saturday morning. As we were backing out of the driveway, I saw that my AA flight was already listed as delayed. Ut oh.

Once at the airport, the flight was delayed again ... and then again. It became apparent that there would be no way I could make my connecting flight in Chicago. I was forced to reschedule to a fight that would leave five or six hours later. Bad way to start the trip. Instead of getting into Las Vegas before 3:00 p.m. and having the whole evening to play poker, I didn't get to my one-night crappy hotel room until about midnight ... and that was after I was unable to connect with the driver of the free shuttle. There was a misunderstanding about where I was and where the pickup point at McCarran was, and the driver told me "you'll have to call the front desk" and hung up on me. Bastard! I ended up just taking Lyft to the off-Strip hotel. In an amazing demonstration of maturity and good judgment (or just plain fatigue after being up 19 hours), I decided to just go to bed and get a fresh start in the morning. That turned out to be a good choice.

On Sunday morning, I headed to the Gold Coast Hotel. There was a fee for checking in before 1pm, so I chose to store my luggage. Since Gold Coast had comped me a couple of nights (still paid the resort fee, though), I decided that I'd better mash some buttons there so that I might get future offers. No notable slot winnings to speak of, however. I then took a shuttle to the Orleans to try out the relatively new Medley Buffet. I found it to be more expensive than the previous buffet and marginally better. I then bought in at the Orleans poker room - $1/2 NL. I was fine until I was dealt Q-Q and, along with one other player, saw a flop of unconnected low cards. I ended up running my Queens into my opponent's Kings, thus I was down a buy-in quickly. I decided to get back on the shuttle and head to the Strip.

Once dropped off near the High Roller, I decided to play at my old stomping grounds, Bally's. Bally's didn't disappoint, giving me my second biggest winning session of the trip. Well, in fairness, I must give some of the credit to blogger, vlogger, poker dealer and friend, Ron. In previous years, it seemed like Ron rarely dealt me good cards. The past year or so, however, it seems like he has become a much better dealer! He dealt me Jacks, which won me a nice hand. Then he dealt me a pocket pair that upgraded to a set on the flop. Then he dealt me Queens! Thank you very much, Ron. Check out his blog/vlog here: Ronnie Bizzle.

Oh yeah -- there was one huge hand after Ron's down finished. I was dealt pocket Aces and in a hand with two aggro guys. On the flop, my pair turned into a set. Short story: I felted both aggro guys and won a pot of around $900. Needless to say, Ballys, as it used to be, was very good to me!

I cashed out and headed down to the Mirage to meet up with poker blogger and good friend Rob. Shortly after getting seated, I was able to move to Rob's table. My first hand: Pocket Aces! The player UTG raised to $15 and I popped it to $40. He called. The flop was uncoordinated, and unfortunately I don't remember all the details. The villain checked and I bet $60. The villain then pushed all in. With slightly less than $100 I, of course, had to call. He turned over pocket 10s -- hitting a set. I said "that's not good. " The turn, however, was a sweet, sweet Ace! The river was a brick, and I doubled up my first hand at Rob's table. That led Rob to tweet: "Playing with . Since I last saw him, he's had a horseshoe implanted up his ass."  All that I can say is:
After a bit, an old time blogger and friend, Mike Ritze, saw my bat signal and came into the room. Mike eventually joined our table and shared in the fun.
Yours Truly & Mike Ritze enjoying poker and adult beverages

Rob later left but Mike and I stayed for sometime longer. We both finally cashed out ahead and headed to the food court at Flamingo to eat since, unfortunately, we got to In N Out after it closed. Mike had just gotten into town and had to rest up for a WSOP tournament, so he called it a night. I walked over to The Cromwell to see if another old blogger and friend, Shabazz Jenkins (Jeremy), was still at the blackjack table as I heard he was. Yes, he was still there! We joked around a bit and talked about drinking with your kids when they hit legal age. Good times.

I headed across the street to Bally's to get in one session before the long night ended. I was seated at a table where one guy had a stack of about $1,600. I thought, based on his play, that he would be my best shot for doubling up. I bought in for $200 and waited while the aggro players at the table (who all had more chips than me) were tossing chips around. I then woke up to find The Dreaded Pocket Kings! The big stack bet $15 in early position and had one aggro caller. I three bet to $60 and, as expected, both players called. There were no Aces on the flop -- Jack, Queen rag --, so after two checks, I pushed all in. The $1,600 guy went in the tank for a bit and then called. The other player folded. The turn was a 9 and the river was a rag. I expected to scoop a nice pot until I saw that the $1,600 guy had pocket 9s. Yeah, he called me down with two over cards on the flop and remote straight possibilities. I figured that it was time to call it a night, so I caught a ride via Lyft back to Gold Coast, got my bags and finally checked in before daybreak. I was already up for the trip. Tomorrow would be another day.

Coming in Part II: Stump, Flushhdraw and the medical procedure, and a fun night at Sam's Town.

Thanks for reading!


Blogger norm said...

Good for you Lightning.

5:37 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Wow, what a nice win. I played some at Ballys last time there and did pretty well. I like the new room location.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Zourah said...

Very nice - Anytime I’ve been comped at Gold Coast I think I’ve avoided resort fees. Hopefully that is not a new policy.

11:58 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@zourah2 - I used to get totally free offers at Gold Coast ... until I stayed there comped one trip and didn't gamble in the casino. I had no free offers for some time, but finally I was offered one free night (as long as I paid the resort fee). When they bumped it up to two I jumped on it. I did invest some slot money there this trip. Guess I'll see if it did any good.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Sorry we didn't get together. Next time I hope.

11:11 PM  
Blogger ShabazzJenkins said...

I was great seeing and talking to you. Need to meet up to play or dinner next time.

9:20 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Good for you! I can't wait to read the rest of the trip report. I'm happy that you had a nice turnaround.

1:57 PM  

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