Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MLK Weekend and The Hotel at MGM National Harbor

MLK Weekend traditionally means one thing.  Well, I guess perhaps it means many things.  On a personal level, it generally means a holiday weekend trip to Vegas.  A time to cash NFL season totals tickets; grab a steak or two; play some poker; and spend too much time in the sports book watching the greatest weekend of the NFL season.  And, this year, I was set to maintain tradition.  I had used points on Southwest for flights and booked a comped Grand Tower Stay Well King at the MGM Grand.  And then, like, Wednesday morning, I got lazy.  While I'm always loathe spending a combed 9.5 hours on a plane for a three-day weekend and arriving back on the east coast at 11:00 pm and wired because of the time change, I generally do it.  Because, like, what's the other choice?  Now, however, there is another choice - MGM National Harbor.  Why fly when I can drive 20 minutes from my office?  So I logged on to my MLIFE Account and saw that room rates were $400 a night.  I thought about booking the nearby Westin.  But, on a lark, I called the MGM NH directly and, to my surprise, was able to get a comped room.  Done.
I checked in to the MGM NH at 4:45 Friday afternoon and was offered complimentary champagne during the process.  I was also upgraded to a "king suite."  It was more like a regular hotel room with a bathroom the size of, like, a regular hotel room.  It was huge. A prime example of unnecessary excess.  Overall, the room was really nice.

By the time I made it down to the casino, the $1/3 NL poker list was just south of 100.  And, since I had yet to eat, I decided against signing up.  Instead, I grabbed a cocktail at the Lobby Bar, which is a surprisingly quiet retreat from the buzz of the casino (relying on a private piano player to set the more relaxed ambiance), and then smashed the 100 Hand VP machine for an hour or so.  Ultimately, I decided to see if I could get in to the bar at Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse for dinner. 
Success.  It took me five trips to MGM NH to finally get in to Voltaggio Bros., but it was worth the wait.

To the surprise of no one, I went with the filet and cabernet . . . and the "Bloomsdale Spinach," which was insanely good. 

Saturday morning (or, perhaps more accurately, Saturday afternoon) I grabbed a seat at the poker table and tried to grind out a few hours.  It was an interesting table.  Two dealers from Maryland Live! and three $2/5 MDL! regs.  While the dealers played lose and reckless (with both eventually busting), the $2/5 players were largely TAG and not too difficult to play against.  I took my biggest hand of the day off one of them:
I'm in middle position (Hijack+1 if that is a thing?).  $2/5 Reg is two seats to my left (on the button, I believe).  After several limpers, Reg raises out of turn to $17.  Reg starts the hand with about $200; I'm sitting $330 or so.  I look down at AA.  First time I've had aces in the last 30 hours.  So, clearly, I'm about to lose my stack.  Just a question of how it all goes down.  I decide to limp the $3, with the intention of raising if there is a caller or two to the villain's raise.  But it limps back around to me to close out the action.  I decide to flat.  I had not three-bet all day, and I figured that that line (limp $3 after the out of turn raise, and then raise) would SCREAM Aces or Kings.  I wanted to keep my range open, particularly against this $2/5 player.
Flop comes out K 6 x.  I check; reg checks back.
Turn is a 6.  I lead for $35, and reg calls.
River is an A.  I bet $50; reg jams; I snap.
Reg tables KK.
Clean living.  I ended the session with a modest $150 win.
At 4:00, I was off to Tap Sports Bar to sweat some NFL bets along with the 43 Fan Duel lineups I had set.  Then, around 6:30, the Poker Meister showed up, and we grabbed a quick dinner at the food court while he waited for his name to come off the list.  More accurately, PM grabbed dinner, while I grabbed a Bud Lite.  You can't maintain the figure of a young Thai boy by eating actual food . . .
Sunday I again awoke around noon, with intentions of playing poker until the 4:45 NFL game.  I began the day by sneaking into the poker room to help myself to the free coffee set up (pro tip . . .), and then decided to smash some slots.  And this happened:

Flush with cash, I scrapped the idea of playing poker and spent the rest of the afternoon mashing buttons and accruing tier credits, with the hope of keeping the comped rooms coming . . .

 Before I knew it, it was 1:30 am, and I had sat through two full NFL games and consumed enough booze to kill a small Thai boy.  Yet, I was still standing. And then I made the last of a series of bad decisions.  Walking by the poker room, I noticed there was open seating for the $1/3 game.  Poker?  At nearly 2:00 am?  Why, sure.
I bought in for my standard $300 (even though the max is $500).  After folding a few hands, I looked down at AJ off and decide to raise to $17.  Two callers.  Flop J88.  I bet $30 (or so . . . candidly, given the circumstances, my recollection of these hands may be something short of "precise" . . .).  One call.  Turn is an A.  Nice.  I bet some amount of chips, and villain, who's short-stacked, shoves.  I snap and he tables 88 for quads.  Ugh.
No more than 5 hands (but no less than 2 hands) later, I again look down at AJ and again open to $17.  One call.  Flop is ATx . . . I bet, and get called.  Turn is a J.  I bet, get raised, and somehow, all my chips are in the middle when villain flips over TT.  That's right.  AJ top two versus quads and a set.  All within my first 5 minutes at the table.  Even given my intoxicated state, I'm able to appreciate the fact that, perhaps, just perhaps, sitting down to play was a poor idea.... Nevertheless, I rebuy for $200 and soldier on....

 . . . Often times, when I'm at the table and involved in a hand, with nothing, I'll think about taking a line that seems good in theory; but I'll lack the guts to implement the move.  Not so Saturday night.  After my rebuy, I got involved in another hand with the villain from the set of tens.  He has a big stack (including a couple hundred of my chips).  I find K(s) Q(s) and open to $17 after villain's limp.  He calls and we see a J-high rainbow flop.  I bet $25 or so and he calls.  Turn blanks.  I check.  Villian bets $40 or so. I raise to $165 (or thereabout).  I think my line makes sense for a hand like JJ-AA.  He tanks, and eventually folds top pair.  He asks to see my hand.  I oblige.  Credit to Miller Lite . . .  

Shortly thereafter, I think I was able to capitalize on the bluff.  I limp in to a pot with A(d) 8(d).  Flop is x(d) x(d) x.  It checks to me and I bet $15.  Villain calls.  x(d).  I bet $30.  Villain calls.  River is a non-diamond Broadway card  which puts three-to-a-straight on the board.  I bet $100-- about pot size.  Villain tanks and pays me off.

Fortunately, there was no more drama, and I was actually able to win back all but $130 of my losses before the table broke at 5:00 am and I decided to get a few hours sleep before checking out of the hotel and calling an end to the weekend. 


  1. Sounds like a great weekend -- what a nice room!

    I'm in middle position (Hijack+1 if that is a thing?).

    It's often called lojack.

  2. you see, it is a good idea to show your bluffs.

  3. I haven't decided if I approve or disapprove of your decision to avoid las vegas.
    I'll get back to you.
    Good Trip Report

  4. Nice play Mr PPP. Mixing up your game with more bluffing and value betting makes you very hard to play against. I would suggest you always play slightly lit as it gives confidence to make more moves. Just be wary of going past the sweet point to shit faced where you donk off everything.


  5. Great fun reading about your weekend! Love your writing style and in reading your escapades, I felt like I was enjoying a much more pleasant weekend than what, in reality, I experienced in mine.

  6. Well played, P3 - sounds like a heck of a time. Couldn't really see why that displayed VP hand was good (I'm guessing buffalos are good? And large coins?).


  7. What was the white spiral styrofoam looking thing positioned next to your steak with the MRARE marker???

  8. did Rob assist u in writing this post?

    1. No way. It would be three times as long.

  9. I assume that Tony thought I helped write this because it has several "boring hand histories."

    Nice report, sir....maybe AJ is your dreaded hand? Also, nice bluff. BTW, I don't think your line makes any sense at all, but then I haven't been drinking. A check-raise from the previous two street's aggressor is always a head scratcher for me.

    1. Rob, you may have slightly misread. On the bluff, I raised pre-flop and fired the flop, before check-raising the turn. I take this line relatively often with a strong hand, especially out of position. I think it makes it look like a big ace that missed - C-bet on flop, then give up on the turn. Often induces villain, in position, to take a stab with little or nothing, and I think creates value.

    2. And they'll think twice about trying to take the hand away from you next time.

    3. True, Mojo. In my experience, at least in $1/2 against a relatively experience player, if you raise pre, c-bet flop, and check turn, they will try and take the pot from you. So, this is a decent reaction to that.

    4. That is what i like about Miller Lite. I can drink it all night and still have my faculties. I was at MGM on Jan 18th and grinded the quarter BJ table to a nice win. I have been checking the website for room deals and my email for email room deals, but nothing. Thanks for the tip to call.

    5. Tino, I went again last weekend on a comp Friday and less than $100 Saturday. Definitely call and give your MLIFE number. From your play, you should easily get a comp

  10. Please Click here
    Welcome to Casino Online All Games
    Wish All you Good Luck
    ThankS You!!!
    gclub online

  11. I’m definitely coming again to see these articles and blogs.
    poker online

  12. Hello!! I'am glad to read the whole content of this topic and am very excited.Thank you.

  13. This place is so special! Speaking of special, this is how our evening went. I met my buddies in the downstairs part of Chicago venues, which is more than just an average kind of bar with a lot of woodwork.