Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Las Vegas Trip Report June 27 - July 4, 2023: Part 3 -- Heaters, Crashes, and a Great Evening with Friends

Sunday, July 2, 2023

After the long tournament day yesterday, I used the morning to get some much needed sleep and relaxation. I arranged to pick up Josie at the Horseshoe and take her a local ... ummm ... dispensary. Thanks to Chris Abramski and Alisia Chang for recommending places near the Strip. After all, some of us would have no idea where to go. #CleanLiving

I dropped off Josie at Aria and headed to the one Strip-area poker room where I hoped my waiting would be minimized: Westgate. Fortunately, I did had called in and was first on the list. I didn't have to wait too long. I got into a game where I felt uncomfortable as the players at the table had apparently been playing together for some time, so I moved when a new table opened up a bit later. A player at that table was dead set on donking off hundreds, and I was able to get a bit of it. It was a relatively fun game, and as best I remember. I was up a bit but making little progress. My old phone had again lost a lot of its charge, and I never documented this session in my cash game program on my phone. I do believe I cashed out for a small profit.

Meanwhile, while I was doing my usual grinding, Josie was having another big session playing $5/10 at Aria. I have invited her to do a guest post/trip report on my blog, but she has not yet consented. I wasn't at Aria and can't speak therefore of details as I was busy playing at Westgate, but I was amazed to see that she seemed to be on one heck of a heater. She told me that she Ubered it to Resorts after her victory and was drinking wine at one of the bars, so I headed to Aria to get some dinner with her, watch her play, and check out some of the mixed game action that was going on. While we were finishing our meal, she was alerted that her $5/10 seat was now open, so she headed to the restroom before grabbing her seat. Unfortunately, she didn't get there quickly enough and her seat was given away to someone else. She was put at the top of the $5/10 list, but only one table of $5/10 was running. It would be a long wait.

While Josie and I were waiting for seats, I started seeing familiar faces. My Ohio friend and mixed game fan Chris Minx was at a table playing mixed games, and Alisia Chang was passing out fresh watermelon as she waited for a seat. Later, Alisia was seated at the same table as Chris -- right next to her, in fact.

The classic rose between two thorns? 😝

I was also happy to finally meet someone I had never crossed paths with in poker before, Robbie Strazynski, owner of Cardplayer Lifestyle. Robbie was overseeing the mixed games.

Josie was getting antsy and desperate to play, so she offered some cashola to one of the short stacked players to give up his seat, which he shortly did. My frugal (cheap!) bones were horrified! I was concerned because earlier Josie had been talking about playing some drunk poker. I asked her if maybe it wasn't a good idea to play, and she turned away from the $5/10 table and told me "I'm making them think that I'm drunk, but I'm not." Of course, in my mind I was wondering, did she say that because she was drunk? πŸ˜ƒ The guys at the table seemed to be drooling with anticipation, and I don't mean at a Very Josie poker outfit. I found myself in an awkward position. I would have liked to have dragged her away from the table, but hey -- she has been stomping guys and it was her money, not mine. I reluctantly watched her take a seat.  I will spare you the gory details, but she got her money's worth of drunken poker. I had been seated at a $1/3 table in the meantime, and saw Josie get up from her table. She told me goodbye and was heading to take an Uber back to Horseshoe. I was getting slaughtered at the table, losing with some pretty good hands, including two pair vs a higher two pair when a player slow played K-K. I left in frustration and called it a night.

Monday, July 3, 2023

I again got back toward my normal Las Vegas routine, which means not stumbling out of bed until it was time for some lunch. I decided to eat at Baja Fresh in Excalibur. If you have never tried it before, you should give this Mexican fast food restaurant a try. As I sat down with my steak fajitas, a guy at the next table noticed the Cubs hat that I was wearing and started an extended one way conversation about a Cubs player he knows who grew up with his sun. As I began my meal, I called MGM to get on the lengthy $1/2 wait list. As I finished, the gentleman I mentioned began another conversation about the Cubs and his connection. Looking back, I should have just politely excused myself and headed out. However, he was being nice and enjoyed talking about his experiences, so, similar to letting a hooked fish run and tire himself out, I figured that I would do the same with this guy. After another lengthy conversation, I headed out to MGM, which was really packed. I got to the poker room to get myself upgraded from call in to waiting in person. To my horror, I found that I had taken too long to get there and my name had disappeared off the list. I got back n it and decided that I would watch and/or play some slots to kill time. All the other Strip poker rooms also had long wait lists, and I didn't want to hop in the car and drive down to South Point. I checked back several times and was about to just head back to Excalibur and take a nap before my evening dinner event, but I finally saw that my name surfaced at the bottom of the  first page of the wait list, so I stuck around. A few names were called, a new table opened, and when only two people who were called for the new table took their seats, I got seated. I caught some cards and was having a nice session when I saw that I needed to take off and head to Roma Restaurant & Deli to meet up with my group. Josie, Darren (who practically lives at Roma Deli when he is in town from the great white north), my friend Norm and his wife, MaryAnn, and Alisia and her brother Solomon were all scheduled to eat. Darren had also invited Norman Chad and had checked if Todd Brunson might be stopping by his restaurant that night.

Surprisingly, Norman Chad, who Darren thought might not appear, was wandering in the restaurant and came to our table. The wine was flowing, the food was, as always, excellent, and the company was the absolute best! Norman was really funny and appeared to have a great time before leaving. Later, Todd appeared and stopped by to say hi, sending Josie into a mini jumping fit jumping up and down. The dinner is just really hard to describe -- a group of people, some who knew each other and some who did not, came together and just had a great time. it was easily my favorite part of my trip. I was especially happy to meet Norm's wife, as I have thought that MaryAnn had been wondering who this guy from Illinois was that Norm had been heading out to see several times in the past year or two. πŸ˜€

Josie, Darren, me, Alisia, MaryAnn, Norm and Solomon

The only scarier Norman was Norman Bates

Josie stopped hopping up and down long enough to get this picture with Todd

People who know me would likely describe me as ... frugal? In truth, I try to be generous with my friends and people in need, but I watch my other spending carefully. Therefore, I give many thanks to Darren, who generously paid for the entire dinner! Josie said she was going to use her winnings to buy dinner (and I believe her), but Darren beat her to the punch. Absolutely nothing tastes better than free food ... especially when sharing your mean with such outstanding people. πŸ’“

After dinner, Josie, Darren and I went to Venetian to play some poker together if we could, As luck would have it, a new table opened and we all were seated at it. Josie, our $5/10 queen, decided to raise most hands, and I hoped to trap her. I looked down at 9-9 and raised. Guess who called? The flop was K-rag-10 with two diamonds. I raised and Josie (the WHORE!) re-raised me. I did not believe for a second that she had a King. I called. The turn was a diamond. We both checked. I did not believe that she had two diamonds in her hand. The river was a low rag and she checked. I was pretty sure that I was ahead of whatever crap she had. I thought about how much of a raise I should make. I decided on $55. She tanked for a short time (always a good sign!), basically saying that she didn't have a King or the flush. She decided to call and turned over her cards: 10-8os. Arggggggggghhhhhhh!!!! The temptation to reach across the table and strangle her Sicilian neck was great, but I know that I would make a terrible prison bitch, so I just loudly grumbled. Even with a King and a flush possibility on the board ... I actually got more disgusted when I saw her calling the raises of another player with nothing but Ace high, then hit her four-outer straight on the river. The Lucksack Lady Supreme.

Josie was on the wait list for a $5/10 and as called, leaving Darren and I playing at the lowly $1/3 game. Darren was not getting many playable hands and decided to call it a night. I stayed at the table and decided to sneak a look at Josie's stack. wtf???? It looked like a developer was building a whole  subdivision of homes all at once! As I was starting to burn off my humble winnings, I asked her how much longer she planned to stay. I decided to cash out, charge up my phone and wait for her to finish her session. When she cashed out, I had to assist her in getting her racks to the counter. I am pretty sure that I got a hernia carrying them for her, and later attempted to enlist Pete P. Peters, Esq, to file my legal action against Josie because of my injury. He has not yet agreed to do so, so I will comment no further on the situation. Josie had smoked the other players so thoroughly that they were actually in awe of her session. The dealers loved her because she was generous with her tips. I was leary of someone following us to the parking garage, but no players were looking to get their chips back. I drove her back to Horseshoe and got ready for my final night at Excalibur.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

This trip was much nice than my previous one in terms of hotels. Last trip, I had some free room offers and changed my trip twice, so I ended up staying at several places. This trip -- only Excalibur, which I now feel very at home at when staying there. I woke up, got the hotel to extend my check out time to noon, then went back to sleep. I woke back up with a little time to spare, hustled everything in my suitcase, and then headed out to Aria to say goodbye to Josie, who was on the $5/10 wait list there. We had lunch at Posh Burger, and then I headed out, feeling pretty tired. I was not looking forward to my almost 300 mile drive home. In fact, I took my first nap at a scenic view site shortly after I passed into Arizona. As I headed toward Kingman, I was pretty sure that I was going to have to stay overnight there and continue my trip home in the morning. I had even looked up potential places to stay when I got into a phone with a former colleague who is a good friend. We ended up talking for over an hour and a half. By the time we lost a signal, end the call, I was already well past Kingman and wide awake, so it looked like I would be sleeping in my own bed that night. The rest of the ride home was uneventful.

Having now been home almost a week, how would I evaluate the trip? The worst part was the long wait lists to play cash poker games on the Strip. The poker itself wasn't that great for me, but I got to see an amazing display of poker prowess (or an amazing heater, or both) from Josie. I got to see several friends and had that great dinner at Roma Restaurant & Deli. All in all, it was a different type of trip, but one that was certainly more interesting than most. I have no current plans for my next trip, but with Las Vegas only a short flight or drive away, ...

Thanks for reading!


Anonymous Chris said...

Good seeing you! I agree about Baja Freshβ€”I almost always make a point to eat there each trip. Wait lists were the longest I’ve ever seen.

5:37 PM  
Blogger josie said...

Great recap of events! That 5/10 Venetian game was an amazing time - both on a heater and playing really well. One reg who kept losing to me had his buddies railing and laughing at him, pot after pot. He pointed at me and told them "I'll be in every pot she's in." then I proceeded to check raise him and watch him fold. Thank you for getting me out of there with all those chips.

Dinner was an amazing time I hope to recreate in December!

2:39 PM  
Blogger JT88Keys said...

Sounds like a fun time. i was marveling at Josie's monster cash stacks via Twitter. Maybe someday I will have the bankroll and cajones to do that.

If you're in the mood, I will be back in Vegas from August 14-18. My wife will be in town using my comps to stay at Cosmopolitan with her sister, but I even though we will both be there I am treating it like the solo trip it was originally planned to be. I will be getting them settled at Cosmo and then it will most likely be, "See ya at the airport on Friday."

I reserved a comped room at Excalibur for December 18-22. If I can cobble together a decent sock roll and the airfare cooperates I might see you and Josie then.

6:42 AM  

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