In the office on a cold, rainy, Tuesday in D.C. Spent the entire day yesterday traveling back from Vegas. Short holiday weekend trips are fun, but they take a toll (it will likely take me all week to recover . . .).
The trip was too short; still, it was a nice change of scenery, and it was great to leave the east coast winter for the 70-degree desert. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to meet up with any local bloggers this trip. Hopefully, next time . . .
While Saturday was spent getting kicked in the teeth in both the Aria Daily and the cash games at Bally's, I spent Sunday making a run for another 1000 bonus tier points. I grinded bonus poker most of the day -- 10-handed and 100-handed, $5 a rip. It was hard keeping track of my progress, as I was casino-hopping, from PH to Paris to Flamingo to Harrah's. Ultimately, I ended up with 1,200 or so credits, which got me the extra 1000. So, it's mid-February, and I'm sitting on 7,450 tier credits. I can't imagine Caesars continues with this bonus structure next year. It's just too easy to make Diamond now (despite raising the threshold to 15,000 yearly).
During my week-long stay at PH last August, I played mainly triple-bonus, and hit quads 16 times. It was like PH was giving away money. The VP was a virtual ATM. This trip, no such luck. I waited, and waited and waited to flop a monster on the 100 hander. It finally happened at Paris late afternoon, when I was dealt four to the royal. Statistically, one should hit the one-outer twice over the hundred hands. Of course, its common to hit those one outers 7 or 8 times if you get the better side of variance. This time, however, variance kicked me in the neck (the theme of the trip), and I blanked on all 100 hands:
On the bright side, I beat the crap at the sportsbook this trip - an 8 and 1 tear at college basketball and hockey. A run made all the sweeter given that I have not watched so much as a single NCAA or NHL game all year. I've given up on betting sports based on what I know, or think I know, about sports. Rather, each morning I spend 30 minutes or so before I leave the room "researching" games on sites like covers.com . . . looking at the consensus, the line moves and where gaps exist between the public and the so-called team experts. This generally results in betting a lot of dogs, and making a lot of "uncomfortable" plays. Yet, it seems to work. At least it produces far better results than I could pull based on my sports knowledge.
All-in-all, it was another fun trip. Had a great dinner at Koi Saturday night. Sunday, I passed on Striphouse and, instead, went to Ruths Chris at Harrah's (while I generally try to avoid chains when I'm in Vegas, I had placed action on the UNDER in the NBA allstar game at Harrah's, and didn't feel like having to walk back to cash the ticket . . .). I really liked the vibe there. Nice modern bar area, great food, and a fantastic view of the Strip at night. Would definitely head back again.
And, finally, small things have really begun to piss me off during these jaunts. Why must tourists take pictures in front of EVERYTHING? Why must people stop walking to stare at some jackass painted gold and pretending to be a robot? Why must people try and hold a live snake? Why must some jackass stop and get his picture taken being fake-arrested by two fake-blond fake cops? I mean, how small are the towns these people are from? I can't stand the pedestrian traffic on the strip... This trip, I was increasingly infuriated by the multiple people who commented on the freshness of the "Why lie -- I need money to buy beer" signs. Really? You find this amusing? Have you walked more than 30 feet with your eyes open? Perhaps it was original the first time, ten years ago - now it's just lazy (on the bright side, at least there seem to be less pornslappers lately). I mean, seriously . . . how do you locals deal with this?
Well, I'll be returning with a small crew looking for trouble next month for conference tournament week -- four days at Aria. After that, I'll be on a self-imposed Vegas hiatus until the WSOP.