Several months ago, I booked 13 days at Aria during the WSOP. What's better than 13 days in Vegas, right? Well, after watching a bunch of reruns of Magnum, PI, I came to the conclusion that spending some time in Hawaii might be better. So, I paid the $150 change fee to USAIRWAYS, and split the trip in half - 6 days in Maui, a red eye to Vegas, and 5 days at Aria. What could be better, right? Well, after two painful sessions of $1/2 NL and a craptastic tournament run at Showboat on Saturday, I woke up yesterday morning, dusted off my hangover, fired up the IPAD, paid another change fee ($200 this time . . . thank you USAIRWAYS . . .) and cancelled Vegas altogether. I mean, if I'm just going to throw money away, I might as well throw it towards 5 days at the St. Regis in Princeville, Kauai . . .
I woke up early Saturday morning and was on the road by 6:30 am. My goal was to get to AC in time for the 11:00 am tournament at Showboat. The drive was uneventful and I was registered by 10:15. I made it through the first break unscathed, and managed to build my starting chip stack up to 32,000. Then the wheels fell off. With blinds at $1,800 / $900, I lost two decent size pots and saw my chip stack fall to 22,000. Then I made my first real blunder. Action folded around to me on the button. The small blind had just had a nice little rush and commented, "I'm done playing hands for a while." I look down at KQ clubs and raise to 4,200. Small blind calls. So much for his respite. Flop comes out A 5 9. I'm first to act and fire out a 5,800 continuation bet. Small blind moves all in, and my cards are in the muck before his chips cross the line. Small blind showed AJ. In retrospect, that was probably a poor spot for a C-bet.
Shortly after the hand, I got moved to another table. My second hand there, I look down at 99 under the gun. I open for $5,800 (which pretty much committed me to the hand, as I started with only 13,500). It folds around to the old lady in the big blind. She looks at her cards in disgust and says, "what the hell, let's see if I can hit something..." She calls. Flop comes down KT2. She shoves. Fuck me. I have no desire to sit around waiting to shove my remaining 7,000 on another hand. I know she has the fucken king. But I donate. She flips K6. Love it.
A few hours later, I bought into the cash game for $200. An hour or so in, I'd built up my stack to about $325, when this hand occurs:
I'm in late position with 88. Three people limp, including a 90 year old man and a kid who's tilting heavily and is down to his last $65 or so. I raise to $17. Old man calls $17. Kid shoves for $65. I call. Old man, who is sitting on about $350, also calls. Interesting.
Flop comes down 3 7 T. Old man checks, and I bet $85. Old man calls. Turn is a 3. Old man leads for $50. I call.
As we're awaiting the river, old man starts yapping about how he wants a deuce to fall. Huh? Is that old man humor or senility? The river is another 10 instead. Old man bets out $100. I fold. Old man triumphantly tables 23 off for the turned trips. Turns out, he actually did want that deuce on the river. Yep, old man puts in $65 preflop with 23 off and crushes my 88. Love it! [Kid had AQ, by the way]. I got up shortly thereafter a solid $100 in the hole. It was time for dinner and drinks.
After a filet and about 6 glasses of Cabernet, black jack seemed like the right move, so I stumbled over to a $15 table right as the dealer was stacking a fresh shoe. I bought in for $400, and proceeded to bet between $20 and $30 a hand. Dealer repeatedly set me up nice with hands like 8 against her 6 . . . pocket 77 against her 5 . . . I doubled and split and got shit, while she turned her 6's and 5's into magical 20's. I didn't even last the shoe. Love it.
It was still early, so I decided to head over to Revel for some more $1/2 NL. I bought in for $200 and simply could not hit a hand. I bled down slowly to $65. I didn't even have enough cash in my pocket to top off, so I just played it out. Eventually, I got dealt AJ and raised to $10. One caller. Flop was A 5 9. I bet $14 and he called. Turn blanked. I checked and he checks back. River was a 7. I bet $25 and he raises me all in. I call. He shows . . . . [drum roll] . . . A 7. Love it!
So I awoke yesterday morning with a banging hangover and nearly a grand "missing" from my wallet. I had a comped room Sunday night, but really just wanted to head home. I felt, however, too sick to drive four hours back to D.C. So I grabbed some coffee and mashed some video poker. I started feeling better and decided to go for a run on the boardwalk. That's when it hit me. Maybe it was the site of the ocean . . . or the clean beach . . . or the attractive, half-dressed New Jerseyians frolicking on the sand [yes, sarcasm . . .], but I decided about 3 miles into the jog that I was skipping Vegas. I got back to my room, broke out my IPAD and made the arrangements on the spot. Done deal.
Afterwards, I spent the rest of the day mashing more buttons -- video poker, Sex in the City, Miss Kitty, Mr. Cashman . . . all of it. Didn't play a single hand of poker. And I couldn't have been happier.
As the afternoon winded down, I found myself enjoying a cold beer at the new Landshark Beach Bar, just enjoying the view (no sarcasm this time) and looking forward to some time in Kauai.