Visited Vegas with my wife from 6/2 - 6/5. Purely a vacation trip instead of combining with business/conference. We stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club resort at the Flamingo. (Agreed to sit through a 2 hour time share meeting in return for a $50/night rate on a studio apartment.) The HGVC was nice. It had a private pool area and was also located right by the Flamingo pool area. This worked out well since my wife wanted to primarily lay in the sun and go out to dinner, allowing me to spend quality time playing poker (as well as with her of course!) We also used frequent flyer miles for our flights so we were able to do Vegas on the cheap. Ate at the Range at Harrah's one night, which I would recommend. Also ate one night at the italian place at the Flamingo, which I'd also recommend.
I played $2/$4 limit hold 'em at the Flaming, Paris, and Bally's. I played $3/$6 at the Venetian. I try to stay focused when I play and play a tight/aggressive game. This was one of those trips where it just didn't matter. As can happen in low limit hold 'em (particularly in Vegas where most aren't there to fold), I seemed to suffer from either a lack of starting hands, missing the flop when I had a starting hand, or having someone who should have folded river me in spite of raising pre-flop, flop, and turn. Oh well, the folks I played with were fun. I think I lost about $440 in total so I figure the free flight and cheap room price covered me! My worst experience (and only bad beat story I'll share) was at Paris where I had pocket aces and flopped a set. I raised pre-flop and on the flop. Only one guy in with me at this point. Turn didn't scare me and I raised again. The guy knocked a cup of coffee over on the table as he called on the turn. So we had to wait 10 minutes while the room manager "mopped" the table (don't know why the didn't move us to an empty table). Then, of course, I get rivered by a straight (he was playing 7,8 suited I believe). Glad I played at the Flamingo my last 45 minutes before taking a taxi to the airport as I had my only winning session ($101). I also introduced a friend to playing hold 'em in a casino (Flamingo) for the first time. He had been to scared/nervous to do it in previous trips. He was up $65 his first session so I think he's hooked!
Flamingo, Bally's, and Paris are all pretty low key, relaxing places to play $2/$4. Friendly people, decent dealers. Waitresses are not as easy on the eyes at the Flamingo or Bally's but they get the job done. Waitresses are easier on the eyes at Paris and also very efficient. Stepped up to $3/$6 (which I play at my local card room) so I could check out the Venetian. Well run, beautiful room. They ask for your comp card both coming and going. Computerized list is nice, although they should run the bad beat jackpot at the bottom rather than taking up the whole screen periodically. Nice waiting area. Rest rooms could be closer but not too bad once you figured out where they were. Beautiful waitresses who came around more frequently than others on this site had led me to believe. Room had decent action but not packed.
I had hoped to check out the new room at TI but never got there. Next time!
Just want to say thanks to the admins of this site and to all who contribute. I have always found the information here to be extremely helpful and generally extremely accurate.
I'm curious as to how much more a poker table costs to have an autoshuffler. I can't understand why they don't all have them. Makes a big difference in hands played. Flamingo had them at some tables, not others. Bally's had it at the table I played. Paris did not. The Venetian, of course, had them at each table I played.
I'll report again later this year when I take my son to Vegas for his 21st birthday (just the boys)!