Las Vegas Trip Report:
September 27, 2007
I arrived in Las Vegas and went directly to the Venetian for some poker. The Venetian poker room is very large but at 10:00 on a Thursday morning I asked what they had available in no limit and I was told that they were starting a new $2-5 game. The employees were all very pleasant and helpful. I played for about three hours and left with a win of $500. The game was mostly locals and with a maximum buy in of $1,000 there was plenty of action.
My biggest loss for the session came when a calling station called my $20 raise from the small blind (SB). I have 4/5 suited. The flop comes 4/4/6. SB checks the flop and bet $40, SB check raises me to $100, I call. SB bets another $100 on the turn and I call. SB checks the river and so do I, he shows A/4 off suit.
My biggest win for the session came when a new player (NP) sits down with about $500. I raise to $20 on the button with 3h/4h. NP calls. Flop is Jh/2H/5c, giving me an open ended straight draw and a baby flush draw. NP bets $65 and I call. The turn card is a 6 completing my straight. NP bets $150 and I raise him all in and have him covered. After the river is a blank I show my straight and he mucks his cards and walks away talking to himself.
After the session I go back to the hotel to shower and change. Then I am off to the Wynn.
I had played at the Wynn before and I thought the room was beautifully decorated but a little bit crowded. During this session I noticed that there are very few seats at the poker tables which have a good angle to view the wall mounted TV’s. After my success at the Venetian I came into the $2-5 game thinking I was a poker superstar. I played recklessly and ended up losing $530. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
I left the Wynn to meet a friend at the Rio for dinner. I put my name on the list but did not get called before I had to leave for dinner. I was really shocked to see the home of the WSOP has such a lack luster poker room.
NET RESULT FOR THE DAY: -$30.00
September 28, 2007
Woke up and headed over to the Mirage for the buffet after breakfast, we walked over to TI to check out the poker room there. I had the pleasure of meeting Dannette. The poker room at TI is a small room but nicely decorated. It is a little bit out of the way which may explain why there were no games at 11:00 AM. Walked around for about an hour and returned to start a $1-2 no limit game with my friend Craig and some other players came over as they got bounced out of the morning tournament. I slowly bled chips until I decided to start playing a little tighter then got lucky and doubled up twice within five hands. Left the table up about $400.
After an afternoon nap we returned to the Mirage for dinner at Samba. I decided not to have dinner with the rest of the group and played cards instead. I bought in for $500 and slowly built my stake to about $650 when I suffered my worst loss of the trip. Guess what hand, of course pocket Aces. In spite of large bets before and after the flop one guy called both bets. I raised all in after a Queen came on the turn. He called and of course he had pocket Q’s. Left the table down $500.
Next I went back to the Venetian for some late night poker. This time it was a lot more crowded, still I got to a table very quickly. I played in the $1-2 game. The competition was tough and I ended up losing $200,
I decide to go for a walk and find someplace else on the strip to play. On the way I decide to slum it at O’Shea’s. O’Shea’s has two poker tables right inside the front door. There was loud music blasting the entire time which made it hard to think. There was a very obnoxious drunk to my right. His girlfriend came over and kneeled down on my right. These two were talking across my face and she kept reaching across me over my chip stack. At one point she put her head down (like she was going to throw up) this made me nervous because (1) I didn’t want to be thrown up on; and (2) I had all of my money in pocket next to her and I kept getting the feeling she was trying tor ip me off. After donking off $200 I left. This was starting to get expensive.
I leave O’Shea’s and cross the Street for Caesars. I had heard from some of the locals I played with the Caesar’s poker room was big but not nearly as nice . The room is certainly big. It is well lit which I like very much. They didn’t have a great variety of games so I sat in on a $1-3 with a handful of kids in their 20's. Won back to $200 I lost at O’Shea’s in about an hour and left to get some sleep.
NET RESULT FOR THE DAY: -$100.00
September 29, 2007
Woke up and went to breakfast at the Wynn buffet. Planned on going to the sports book to watch the Maryland v/ Rutgers game. Unfortunately, I passed the poker room on the way. I sat down at a $1-3 table. For those that have not played in this game it is a no limit game played exclusively with $3.00 chips, so a stack of chips = $60 and you need a calculator to figure out how to bet a crazy number like $50. It took about three hours of play to get used to this. That’s when I made the biggest mistake of my poker career. I was holding pocket tens. The flop came with a 10 and two diamonds. I bet the flop then the turn. On the river I was thinking I would be all in as long as there was no diamond. The river was the seven of diamonds. A player in front of me moves all in. Assuming he made his flush I folded. A split second before the cards left my hand for the muck I realized the 7 paired the board giving me a full house. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My play improved drastically after this wake up call. I ended up felting a couple of players and left for dinner up about $400.
After dinner and a nap I headed over to the MGM. All that was available was a $1-2 game with a maximum buy in of $200. There was only about $1200 on the table. After playing at the Wynn with no cap it felt like child’s play. I stayed at this table for half an hour until I was called to play in the $2-5 game. For about 3 hours in the $2-5 game I played way too loose. At one point, when I was down about $600 I got up and took a walk. I decided I was either going to get my act together and win back what I had lost or if I couldn’t do that I would have to leave right now. I sat down at the table and started being more selective about my hands. Played solid poker for two more hours and left down $240. I would have stayed longer and gotten back to even and then some but I was just too tired. There was still more poker to be played tomorrow.
NET RESULT FOR THE DAY: =$160.00
September 30, 2007
Went over to the Venetian for some AM poker. Played in the $1-2 game for about an hour until I had to drop my friends off at the airport. Played pretty well. On one hand I raised before the flop to $15 with Kc/Qc in early position. The flop was Ac/4c/7c. I bet $20 hoping someone had hit their ace, or, better yet made a smaller flush. I wanted this to look like a continuation bet. After I bet the $20 I glanced away when someone commented on something on TV. I heard a female voice at the end of the table say “all in.” I couldn’t believe my luck but turned around to see she only had another $40 left. Her all in bet chased away the remaining two players. I called and scooped a medium sized pot. I left for the airport up about $75.
After I dropped off my friends at the airport I headed downtown to Binion’s. I love Binion’s for its lack of pretentiousness. There are no tacky themes or over priced restaurants. When I got there they had were three tables, $2-4 limit, $4-8 limit and $1-2 no limit. I sat in on the $4-8 limit table to wait for a seat at the $1-2 table. I played about six hands at the limit table. I only saw one flop. While I was holding A-3 off suit the flop was A/x/A. I bet on every street and was raised and called by about five players. I scooped a huge pot (for that game) and then was called over to $1-2 shortly after. I inquired as to the maximum buy in for $1-2 and told there was none. I bought $500 in chips and sat down to find out nobody had more than $150. The competition was extremely soft, almost every pre-flop raise of more than $5 was folded. I won a couple of decent pots in the $50 range. Then I flopped top two pair against one other player who had about $70. I flopped top two pair. He called a big bet on the turn then I forced him all in on the river. He called and showed a flush draw and open ended straight draw. Naturally he made his straight and scooped up most of my winnings for the session. I decided to play a few more hands then check out the action at the Golden Nugget.
I walked over to the Golden Nugget and found the poker room after thee people gave me directions. The room is a little bit cramped but the action was much better than Binion’s. Players at the $1-2 table all had at least $100 and would get involved in pots and occasionally try to steal one. I won every large pot I was involved in. I left downtown up about $150.
I headed over to Planet Hollywood for a final session before I left Las Vegas. I was completely card dead for the first 45 minutes I was there. I literally didn’t play a single hand past the flop. The good news was it gave me a very tight table image which paid off when to people tried to make moves on me by going all in. I won about $150 and left for the airport.
NET FOR THE DAY= $375.00
NET FOR THE TRIP=$380.00. Not too bad.