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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vegas Recap

Back from the desert.  While I'd love to say "it's good to be home," the fact of the matter is I really never get tired of Vegas.  This trip, while a big net loser, was a hell of a good time.

I rolled into Reagan National Airport at  7:00 am Friday morning, caffeinated, and met up with my buddy to board the 8:50 direct to Vegas.  For purposes of this post, I'll refer to my friend as "MK."  We boarded the flight to a heavy secret service presence.  I figured Harry Reid was flying home for the long weekend.  But, as it turned out, John Boehner was on the flight.  Perhaps if the Speaker wasn't such a dick, the government would not have to spend tax dollars for no less than five capital police/secret service to guard the jetway, and another six (that I was at least able to spot) to fly to Vegas with him.  I guess big government is only bad when it doesn't exist for your benefit; but I digress . . . 

Day 1 - Intro to Debauchery

We arrived in Vegas on time at 11:00, and were able to check in early at MGM Grand on the Platinum line, with no extra charge, thanks to my sweet, sweet MLIFE status.  We went over to Aria to cash my MLB totals, place some NBA action, and grab lunch at Todd English at Crystals.  Later that night, we hit the poker room at Bally's for some $1/2.  I cashed up $100 or so and, after a few drinks, we called it a night at 1:30 am.
 
Day 2 - Tournament Poker, Gordon Ramsey, and Tony Bigcharles

As always, I was up at 5:00 am Saturday morning.  Damn west coast time!!!!!  Head throbbing.  Regretting the last 6 or 7 drinks of the evening.  Wondering why I'm never able to acknowledge the law of diminishing returns during an old fashion binge.  The plan was to play the Aria Daily at 1:00.  I knew I needed to get right before then.  I went down to the casino, grabbed a coffee at Starbucks, and grinded the 100-hand machine.  After a few hours of this, I realized caffeine would not be the cure on this morning.  Time for extreme measures.  I went back to the room, threw on some kicks, and hit the strip for a run.  As I hit the pavement, heading south towards Mandalay Bay and the Welcome Sign, the pounding in my head reached a crescendo.  This run would either cure me or kill me.  As I rolled past the Four Seasons, the verdict was still up in the air.  Then, suddenly, the pounding began to subside.  I reached the sign, took in the scene for a view moments (several transvestites in wedding dresses posing for pictures . . . . I mean, what else did I expect), and turned back around.  By the time I reached the MGM I was feeling great, and decided to extend the run, turning east for a long lap around the block.  Cured.


We hit Aria just after noon to make sure to avoid the alternate list.  Shortly before cards-up, I ran into one of  Lightning's friends, AvoidoddLaw.  We spoke for a few minutes, and then took our seats.  My tournament went like every other time I've played the Daily.  I didn't win a hand through the first break.  An hour and a half.  Fun times. 

  • In the first level, I looked down at QQ. A woman raised, I re-raised, another guy four-bet, woman folded.  I laid the hand down.  
      
  • I limped with 9T and saw a 9TJ flop three ways.  Woman bet, I raised, both called.  Turn was a 7.  Woman bet, I called, guy shoved.  I folded and guy showed the 8.

  • I limped with A2 and saw an A2Q flop heads up.  Woman bet, I raised, she called.  Turn was an 8.  She checked, I bet, she called.  River was an 8.  Seriously?  She bet, I called, we chopped...
It wasn't until shortly after the break that I won my first hand.  Player raised preflop and I three bet with JJ.  The action came back around, she shoved, I called, and my hand held against her 77.  I was back to just under starting stack.  Then, a bit later, I lost a critical hand.  My stack was around $10,000, and blinds were (I believe) $100/$200/$25.  I limp-called with 78, and went three to a 665 rainbow flop.  I check called $1,500.  Heads up to the turn, which was a 7, giving my top pair and preserving my open-ender.  I again check, and villain fires $2,500.  Villain had been tight and quiet.  I think he's a decent player.  An over pair is likely.  If I fold here, my stack is still $8,000 or so.  If I call, I'm in the $6,000 and may have a hard time folding to a river bet.  I fold the hand.... Ultimately, my day never got any better, and I busted just shy of the second break when I open-shoved AT and got called by the same villain's 77.  After I busted, on the way out, villain called me over and told me he had AT on the previous hand and was shoving the river since he put my on a draw (he was, after all, half right . . .).  Perhaps I should have taken a stand in that spot, and my day would have turned out different . . .


After I went busto, I played some video poker and hit the bar while MK played on.  He ended up busting around 5:00 when he raised his AK (sitting on $30,000), and got a re-raise and a shove.  MK called, only to see AA and KK.  And, with that, we were off to Gordon Ramsey Steak at Paris for a sick, sick dinner, which included fried oysters, bone marrow, filets and a nice bottle of Cakebread 2010 Cabernet . . .  After two hours, and a combined $500 lighter, we took a cab over to the Palms to meet up with the legendary poker hero, Sir Tony Bigcharles


When we arrived, Tony was "stuck" and grinding the $3/$6 limit game.  We chatted for a bit, and I decided to join the waitlist for Tony's game, despite the fact that I don't play limit.  In the meantime, I took  a seat at a NL game along with MK (who was shaking off the shock of meeting and shaking hands with Hero for the first time).  Mere minutes into the game, and I was nearly stacked for a $300 buy-in:
  • [sitting on about $325] I raise preflop in position with Q9 and get two callers.  The flop is Q(c) 9 (c) J(x).  Now, one of the callers seems competent.  The other is Crazy Asian who might not even know what game he is playing.  In the short time we had been seated, he had already been admonished for the way he was viewing his hole cards.  According to MK, who was seated in the 8 seat, Crazy Asian was showing his cards to his entire side of the table each hand... Soooo . . . competent player bets $25 on the flop.  I raise to $80.  Crazy Asian calls, and competent folds.  Perfect.  Turn is a red 7.  Brilliant.  I bet $150, he calls.  River is a red 8.  Crazy again checks, I shove, he tanks . . . and calls.  I table top two and Crazy Asian stares at the board, grumbles and nearly mucks before ultimately showing his AT clubs face up.  He clearly thinks he has A-high until dealer points out the straight (789TJ).  Now, TBC, who was hovering over me, chatting to me incessantly about something or another the entire hand (I think about how I should be taking the seat that just opened at his limit table) while I'm trying to play, tells me immediately after the hand that Crazy Asian played the hand right because he had a draw to the Royal.  Tony does nothing if not speak his mind...  And yes, he had outs.  On the flop he had (approximately) 9 clubs and the 3 remaining Kings and 3 eights.  There is $136 in the pot, and he is facing a $80 bet (with competent player yet to act to my raise).  He makes the call.  On the turn, his outs remain the same . . .  Regardless, it seemed like a tough beat at the time.

  • I rebought for another $200 (in for $500) and worked my stack back up to $445 before the combination of booze and fatigue set in.  A new fish sat down and I raised to $12 with KQ.  Fish calls along with two others.  Flop is J high.  I continue with $35 into $50.  It folds around to fish, who calls.  Turn blanks.  I bet $80 into $120.  Fish calls.  River is a T and I give up.  Fish flips AT.  What the fuck?  I mean, seriously, WTF?  What do I possible have that he is ahead of?  He's drawing to an A if I raised with a pocket pair.  And, if I raised with an Ace myself and am simply barelling, he is crushed.  Granted, he hit his ten on the river; but that was sort of irrelevant.  My KQ was one of the few hands he was actually ahead of.  I guess monkey just made a brilliant soul read.  That stuff is known to happen at the $1/2 tables at the Palms . . .

At this point, I was tilting, and gave back some more chips, ultimately leaving down $300 or so.

When MK and I left, Tony wanted to join us in the cab back to MGM so he could catch the bus at the trop to his super secret location for the week.  This gave us some additional time to catch up.


Upon our arrival back at MGM, MK and I decided to grab drinks at the new Whiskey Bar.  He had a single malt; I went with a Patron and club.  Fired back up a bit, we decided it was time to spew some chips on the black jack table.  Where better to play than the center pit at the Excalibur?  Seriously, this is one of my favorite spots for late night black jack.  This pit offers some sweet, sweet, 3/2 at a $10 table.  You can't beat it.  We arrived around 1:30 am and, despite a constant parade of broke-ass jokers joining us at the table with their $40 buy-ins and leaving after 4 hands (and, despite the continuous shuffler), MK and I ultimately left around 5:30 am, and, even then, only because we figured we HAD to get some damn sleep.  I initially dropped from my $300 buy-in to my last $35, before running my stack back to $500.  MK, for his part, turned $300 into two purple chips and left the big winner for the night.     


Day 3 - NFL Playoffs, Debauchery, Dinner with Lightning and Poker with the grouch


Day 3 began with a ringing alarm at 10:00 am.  Four hours after falling asleep, it was hard to tell if I awoke still drunk.  But, no time to think.  It was straight to the book to get action down on the NFL games.  I placed large bets on both favorites and both overs.  While generally betting favorites and overs is the kiss of death, here, the public seemed to LOVE the Patriots and Niners, so I felt good about the plays.  After getting action in, MK and I went over to Michael Mina's Pub 1842 for some food and beers.  In the event I was still drunk from the night before, no reason to risk allowing a hangover to commence.   We split our early bets as the Broncos covered and the OVER 56 was dead after the first ten minutes.


We left with road beers after the early game.  I decided to monkey mash some slots, while MK played craps.  I lost a few hundo, while MK crushed the pit, scoring $300 to $400 in a short time.  As for the game -- fuck you, Pete Carroll!!!  By the time we got our bets in (I was waiting for the Seattle line to move to 3 - which it did briefly Saturday at a handful of books -- or perhaps even 2.5), the total had moved from 39.5 to 40.5.  Seattle's decision to go for it from the 1 on fourth down early in the fourth quarter resulted in the total landing at 40 -- a painful beat.  While I split my four bets, MK crushed a nice little props parlay -- (a) Peyton Manning more completions than Brady; (b) OVER 3 field goals in the Seahawks game; and (c) more points in the second half in the late game.  Clearly, MK is an awesome gambler . . .


After the late game, MK and I jumped in a cab and headed for Circus, Circus, where we met Lightning and AvoidoddLaw for dinner at The Steakhouse.  Circus, Circus made me want to kill myself.  I had never been there before.  In my head, I was envisioning the scene with Johnny Depp and his trusted counselor at the bar/merry-go-round during their ether bender.  I was optimistic.  It turns out Circus, Circus is just a shit-hole with a bunch of little kids running around.  The Steakhouse, however, was OK.  Very old school.  The exact opposite of most Vegas steakhouses.  The food, while not fantastic, was decent, especially for the price.  But, the dinner was not really about the food.  It was great to see Lightning again in person after a few years of just texts and poker forum posts.  And, it was good to get to know AvoidOddLaw as well.


After dinner, Lightning drove the four of us over to Bally's in his Aston Martin, and we settled in for a session at the poker room.  Coincidentally, we ran into grrouchie and the five of us quickly got seats at the same table.  And, much like the night before, I was stacked within 15 minutes:
  • second orbit of the night I look down at AK spades.  It checks around to me, and I raise to $12.  I get a call from a girl in the blinds (sitting on $150 or so) and from "Tennessee" in middle position.  Now, Tennessee might have been the biggest jack ass I've seen at a poker table in a long while.  I couldn't tell if he was drunk or just a douche.  But, he was sitting on a humongous stack (which, he apparently luck-boxed into, as would become more evident as the night wore on).  Also, according to MK, he spent the ENTIRE evening trash talking the horrendous play of our (P3, grrouch, Lightning, AoL) end of the table.  Classic.  Anyway, the flop comes out AKQ rainbow.  The girl leads for $35.  Tennessee raises to $100.  Now, despite having only been at the table for 15 minutes, I'm getting a quick impression of this joker.  I don't give him credit for a monster.  And, in my head, I'm hearing my motto for 2014 -- "play strong, accept some variance into your heart . . ."  I'm not calling $100.  And, I decide I'm not folding, either.  So, I shove.  Girl snaps and Tennessee snaps.  Turn is a T . . . River a Q.  Girl flips JT for the flopped nuts . . . and I loose the rather large side pot to Tennessee's KQ rivered three-outer . . . Rebuy . . .

The session never really got any better and, after MK busted out around 12:30, I decided it was time to leave.  We walked back to MGM, stopping off at the cages at both Aria and MGM to cash some after-hours sports tickets, and decided to call it a trip . . . Net result: down $1,600 . . .


I'm already looking forward to my next visit to the desert . . .



-P3          

31 comments:

  1. It sucks you weren't a big winner, but it sounds like an awesome trip.

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  2. no fried oreos or twinkies?WTF. u go slumiing to circus circus but no fremont street?

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  3. facepalm on Tennessee. Yuck! Good that you had fun though.

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  4. Isn't it amazing that in the middle of all that CHAOS at Circus Circus, you find that steakhouse? You just reminded me of a story that I need to tell in my blog... ;) Better luck on your next trip to the poker tables...

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  5. what is an old school steakhouse? like sizzler

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  6. I did like the steamed mussels at Todd English. On the QJ hand, checking after the Asian after the river would have been OK.

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  7. the Palms does not offer $3-6 limit. all they offer is $2-6 spread limit and $1-3 no limit, and spread limit is a lot more like NL than limit, its simply NL with a $10 cap. i dont play limit either.

    were u so mad i remembered the hand with ur opponents AT that i spoke the truth u wouldnt move to my table as id requested, not even when id moved to the bigger game that was 4-10 spread limit, and actually had bigger sized blinds than ur $1-3 game? the text u sent me claimed the guy hit a gutshot on u, which u now admit in ur blog isnt true.

    what wasnt very nice was how u got on the phone home, without sending me any additional texts telling me u were going back, i was thinking maybe id see u again the next day.

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    1. mayb P3 had his fill of u. P3 is in vegas to have fun not there to drive u around or listen to yr losing gambling stories.let see what P3 did in vegas. great awesome food not dollar MCD menu,watched football (another TBC no no),had some cocktails(hopefully not miller lite)do u drank TBC? play some VP and such. let the man, enjoy the fruits of his labor.

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    2. Tony, yes, you were right about the board. Congratulations. But, I wasn't made at you. The reason I did not immediately switch to the $3/6 limit game, and then to the "Larger spread game" is because (a) I had just gotten down nearly $300 in 10 minutes at a super soft table, and wanted to win some back. Surely, you understand the desire to get "unstuck," correct? Second, as to the "larger spread game," as I mentioned when I first saw you, I've never played limit before and was not that comfortable with the concept.

      Here's a suggestion - don't take everything personally. It's often not personal. Hell, the only reason my friend and I left the strip to come to the palms was to see you. I wasn't mad at you at all.

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  8. lightning told me he borrowed that car from some drunk guy--so thats a lie too and he bought the car and didnt want to tell me?

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    1. so what? they r on vacation. so STFU.

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    2. And, two nights ago, you called lightning (and I quote): a "MF donkey who calls 10 preflop with ten ten 89 preflop and back doors a straight to beat me and thinks he's good" ..... So perhaps you should call it even

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  9. Well, glad you had fun PPP, sorry you took a lose there. And as I said, too bad I couldn't be there to enjoy the fun.

    Since last time I mentioned it, I tried the 1842 Pub and was totally underwhelmed--except by the prices. For the quantity/quality of the food, seems even more overpriced than most MGM eateries. But I didn't drink there. Maybe the booze is good?

    The Whiskey Bar....the Whiskey Down, perhaps? Is it that bar/lounge place they have right near the craps tables, also right in the heart of Hooker Central? Is that the place.

    The girl who had the J10 and flopped Broadway....any chance that was Josie? J-10 is her favorite hand.

    And on that hand, I'm a little confused. The way you tell the hand, He had a boat on the river. Why does that lose to her straight? Tennessee should have won the whole pot. ??

    That steakhouse at Circus Circus has a good reputation, but still, I'm surprised you ended up eating there. Whose idea was that?

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    1. Rob, Tennessee did win both pots and unfortunately stacked PPP and the nice lady. PPP was drawing to a 3-outer against the lady for the main pot so he was counting on the big side pot to make up for the main pot. Tennessee needed to hit a 2-outer to scoop it which was typical of how that guy was running all night. I think PPP was pointing out the side pot since it was such a bad beat.

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    2. Rob!rob, (a) Tennessee did win the whole pot with his boat. (B). Yes, that's the whiskey bar I was talking about. (C) 1842 is expensive. I think the food is sort of good, but, yes, expensive. However, have you seen the female bartenders there? They have certain assets that I believe you would appreciate. It's somewhat about atmosphere, isn't it?

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    3. Re: 1842. I should explain that despite what appearances may indicate, I'm a very fussy eater. There really wasn't much on the menu that appealed to me other than the overpriced, mediocre, burger.

      As for the "atmosphere"....hmm, well maybe I am now just too old a fart to appreciate it. I took my friends there (with my MGM comps, of which I have a bit) on a Sunday nite as the NFL game was winding down. They had the sound from the game cranked up way too high and it sounded like Al Michaels was sitting next to me, shouting in my ear. I like Al--he and and I went to the same high school, tho not at the same time--but that was a bit annoying.

      When the game ended, they cranked the music up way loud and my friends and I could barely hear each other.

      But damn you for mentioning the bartenders there. I didn't notice them, we weren't close to the bar I guess. Now you've given me a reason, or is it TWO reasons, to go back.

      Maybe with you next time we're there together? I should still have some comps left over.

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    4. sounds like 1842 needs a vending machine full of tampons and earplugs for some of its customers. mayb even some testoterone patches too

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    5. Jeez, anger, really?

      I guess you're pissed I haven't put enough boobies on my blog lately, huh?

      Didn't you like the Asian chick?

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    6. LMAO.BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBIES. only asian i like is my buffet. lol.

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  10. PPP, it was great meeting you, MK and Sparky. This was actually the first time I met Sparky in person, before that, we usually chatted online while playing the Buddy Dank. I wished our poker session at Bally's was better profit wise but it was a lot of fun. Felt bad for MK being stuck next to Tennessee at the other side of the table, he looked miserable. Our side of the table with Sparky, grouchie, youself and I felt more like a home game then a typical casino poker game. Really good time and a pleasure to have met all of you!

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    1. AOL - I think MK was suffering more from lack of sleep than from sitting next to Tennessee (although, that definitely didn't help!) ... Wish I had not been on 3 to 4 hours sleep the past several nights, because I would have loved to have hung out longer!

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  11. also did u make any future MLB or NBA bets, counselor?

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    1. Nah. I hate NBA. As for MLb, I've fly in for a quick weekend in March to get some totals in before the season starts.....

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  12. Tony trolling PPP blog for the lullllzzzzz. Fucking awesome. You lied, blah blah blah. What a tool.

    Sounds like a good trip save the interaction with that idiot. And with all the great restaurants in Vegas...like world class shit.....you decide to spend one of those meals at Circus Circus...C'mon Man!

    FTR all the hands are fine except maybe the shove on the river Q9 hand. The lay down in the tournament is correct even though it sucks you are only beating a retarded bluff.

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    1. Thanks Brian. On the Q9 hand, I really, really, really (like, really) though the idiot had a Q. I mean, he was that bad. I felt worse about my AK shove. But, that might just have been the result. It's hard to imagine the pressure playing at a table with world-class poker blogger ggrouchie on your immediate right, and superstar grinder Lightning two seats to your left, with AvoidOddLaw right next to you!!!!

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    2. sounds like murderers row of donks. LMAO. joking..cant wait 4 lightnings take on events.wonder if it is too late to take up law or education? lol

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    3. Yeah if he will call you down with 1 pair on a highly co-ordinated board a lot then this is fine.

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  13. I suspect Lightning will have MANY great tales of his own from after I flew back . . .!!!

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    1. glad u had fun. looks like the yankees got that japanese pitcher. trying to buy a championship

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