I've been slack'n sending out Bellagio chips. The truth is, I've been out of chips since around the end of December, and I've definitely been procrastinating about stopping by the Bellagio poker room to pick up more. Why? Because the Bellagio poker room aint exactly at the top of my list of favorite Vegas card rooms.
During the past two years several excellent poker rooms have earned my business (MGM, Wynn, Venetian, heck even Caesars). These poker rooms know how to treat their low and mid limit players. Enough ranting.
Tonight I decided to try my luck at Bellagio's $8/16 Limit Hold'em game for old times. There was only one $8/16 game going, but fortunately the conditions were ideal. The table was friendly, loose, and a few of the worst players were getting hammered. Best of all, there were plenty of chips on the table, and most players had cash playing underneath. You can't ask for poker conditions any better than that.
I started off hot as a pistol, hitting some monster draws with very average (or even below average) pre-flop cards. On one memorable hand, I got jammed into a 5 way hand that was capped pre-flop holding 9c, 5c. I hit middle pair on the flop along with a club flush draw. I ended up turning the flush, and getting paid off (thankfully no river club, as I'm sure someone was holding the Ace). That was quite a nice pot.
Within the first hour I was up $350. Then I lost it all. Plus another $100. This sort of thing will happen when you flop a set of jacks and one of your opponents flops a set of kings with a rainbow board. I lost $150+ on that hand alone.
Luckily the rest of the night brought better luck. I took down several nice pots with my premium hands which for the most part held up. Around four hours into my session I was up $500.
The final two hours I wasn't card dead, but I could not hit a draw to save my life. One memorable hand I held Ad, Kd and the flop brought Qd, 10d. I bet this draw hard all the way to the river from early position, and you guessed it. No diamond, no jack, no Ace, no king.
I blew off at least $250 during the last two hours, and knew it was time to go home when my flopped top pair (heads up) got rocked by pocket Aces.
You won't hear me complaining about a winning session. In fact, I earned enough to buy Bellagio poker chips so that everyone who asked for one in 2007 should get theirs very soon!
A few notes: Sugar free red bull is available, but is not served in the can. My cherry cokes w/ extra cherries were disappointing, with the best one only having four cherries. The good news is that the cocktails waitresses were really haul'n butt. The dealers were excellent; fast and friendly. Management was better than usual, but the room wasn't packed, and they still screwed up the list several times (advising players seats were open when they weren't, sending two players to the same seat, etc).
My $8/16 poker table was a 10-handed stud table cramped in a corner of the poker room. Very uncomfortable, as you can probably imagine, and perhaps the most annoying thing about playing at the Bellagio poker room (super cramped conditions for all low limit games).