I arrived in Vegas on 4/13 around 3:30 PM. By the time I got all checked in and got some food in my stomach it was around 6:00 PM. I decided that I would give the TI poker room a shot since I had heard good things about it on this site. I bought in for the $500 max and was quickly seated at a 1/3 NL game. As LVM has mentioned before, not many buy in for the max so there weren't any huge stacks at the table. I had a couple locals and a couple tourists at the table with me. All in all a decent game. You just had to figure out who to go after and who to avoid. I got down at the start of it, but managed to work my way back up and finished ahead about $150. The poker room was very nice. A little small, but nice. They were very helpful with getting me a players card right away and the dealers were very good.
Saturday morning, I got up and played a little downstairs at the South Point (where I was staying). This game was a pushover. 1 or 2 locals who were decent, but the rest of the table was pretty bad. One hand, a guy raises to about $20 before the flop and gets 2 callers. The flop comes A 10 4. One of the callers immediately pushes all in for about $90. The pre-flop raiser doesn't think too long and calls. I figure one has AK and the other has A10 or perhaps a set of 10s...Nope. The guy that went all in has A5 and the preflop raiser has A3. The turn and river are both overcards to their kickers and they end up chopping the pot. Too bad I had a midday tee time or I would have loved to stay in this game. In the end, I made about $200 in 2 hours.
Saturday night, I ventured over to the MGM, and found pretty much what I expected. A loud, drunk crowd of people. One of my buddies who was on the trip decided to sit down at the same table and try his hand at poker as well. I managed to get my pocket Aces cracked by someone who called a preflop raise of $15 with 87 offsuit with no prior callers and got down a quick $150 when K87 rainbow hit on the flop. A little while later, the strangest thing I've ever seen at a poker table happened. This guy sits down between me and my buddy. I say "hi" to him and get no response. No big deal. The chip runner comes over to see how many chip he wants and he somehow manages to get $120 out and gives it to her. Now, he gets his chips and would be UTG, so the dealer asks if he wants to post. He just sits there, so the dealer doesn't deal him in (probably the best move he made all night). The next hand they tell him to post his big blind and he doesn't do anything. So, we tell him to put in 2 blue chips...he puts in 2 red. We say, no, 2 blue ones...he puts in 2 more red. The dealer pushes back the 4 red and puts in 2 blue. The guy then proceeds to bet about $20 on each turn with nothing but K2 offsuit (with niether a K nor a 2 on the board). Oh yeah, I knew he had K2 because he was literally holding his cards up in front of his face. I'm glad I wasn't in the hand because I would have had a very hard time not looking. Anyway, the next hand, he does pretty much the same and gives away the remainder of his $120. If he had gone for more money, I probably would have asked the floor to come over becuase this guy clearly didn't know what he was doing. I'm kind of glad that I didn't get a hand during his time at the table because I would have had a hard time taking his money. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem winning, but when someone is to the point where they don't know where they are, my morals might start to kick in. I didn't smell any alcohol on him, so I'm not sure if he was drunk, high, or just not all there. Anyway, I ended up working my way back and lost about $20 while at the MGM, but had a good time talking with people at the table.
Sunday morning, I again played at the South Point prior to my tee time and once again found a very soft and loose game. However, the cards didn't fall my way during my hour I had and I was down $100. Later that night, I played again at the South Point and found a slightly better, but still very loose game and made a $250 profit.
All in all, I came back ahead like $450 (Poker and Pai Gow combined). Nothing to write home about, but it paid for my flight and golf.
In the future, I'll probably stay away from the MGM. While the competition wasn't very tough, it was a bit annoying there. I would definitely recommend both the TI and the South Point (if you are down in neighborhood)