Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Las Vegas Trip Report - March 20-24, 2023: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Having now been home over two days since the end of my trip last week to Las Vegas, I think I can reflect on it much better than if I had done so immediately. The trip started off with so much promise as the night before, I had a great winning  session at my local place, Talking Stick Resort. I have already told my wife that, as far as Las Vegas trips go, this one was definitely in the bottom half. The major reason for this was the number of shots to the nuts I took while playing poker. Nevertheless, a trip to Las Vegas still is a trip to Las Vegas, so even the bad is not too bad. There were definitely some highlights to go with the lowlights. 


The Meet Up Game

The best part of the trip was the meet up game that Luke Johnston and I sponsored. We had enough to keep one table filled for almost the entire time, which was about 4 1/2 hours. We alternated between $1/2 NL Hold em and $1/1 PLO every orbit. In retrospect, this seemed to work pretty well for everyone, as some players were not very experienced in Omaha and others really love Omaha. The players included myself, Luke, @ZetusLarry, @Hockey_Poker, @Onechiquita, @smoe913, Vinnie, @sevencard2003, @AZ_Snoop_20, Brian B and a random player. Brian B accumulated a huge stack, Onechiquita and I seemed to do very well, but I'm not sure how many others ended up with a profit. Regardless, it was a great time. Many thanks to the Sahara, poker manager Matt Barros, @jurbanic95, who was working that evening, and the poker dealers, who handled us with a light touch. And thanks to the guys who came to socialize, @Flushhdraw and @MrLimitHoldem.

Horseshoe Grand Opening

I was fortunate to be on hand for the ceremonies that "officially" opened the Horseshoe on Friday, March 24, right before I returned home. Tons of media were present, along with special guests like Jack Binion and Doyle. I heard that Doyle would be signing autographs at a poker table inside Horseshoe at 6:45pm, so I stuck around to meet him and was first in line.

Winning at MGM

MGM Grand used to be a great poker room for me. For some reason, I was really snake bit at MGM in 2022. Of the many poker rooms that I played in, MGM was near the bottom of my list in profitability. I am happy to report that I won my one and only session there this trip, actually putting MGM into the profit category for me in 2023. I also pulled a small win in my sessions at Venetian.


I had subpar poker sessions at Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and Wynn. I took some bad beats at Mandalay Bay and Bellagio and got caught making a big bluff at Wynn. However, I stayed at Wynn long enough to finally cash out with only a two figure loss, which almost made the session seem like a success.


One word: Horseshoe! I had two bad sessions right at the start of my trip and didn't play in the room for the rest of the trip. Horseshoe had been one of my most successful places in 2022. It was very disappointing that I had so much bad juju this trip. In my first session there I had a set of Aces and was up against a potential flush after the turn. I decided to gamble and lost when the river didn't pair the board. Meh.

I didn't get into any individual hands here because there was so much waiting for decent cards, having to fold when I didn't connect with the flop, and then losing, even when I had a decent hand. That part of the trip was frustrating and, in my mind, best forgotten ASAP.

I might actually take some time away from Las Vegas for a few months as my wife and I both have some travel plans in April in May. Of course, with Las Vegas only being a short drive or plane ride away, ...

Thanks for reading!


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