THURSDAY, OCT 25th
This was my 4th trip out to Vegas in the last 3 years, and it promised to be my most interesting. The group I was going with were mostly a bunch of grad school buddies, staying from Friday the 26th til Monday the 29th. It got interesting when some work friends decided to go out to Vegas from Thursday til Saturday. Needless to say it didn’t take much for them to talk me into coming out a day earlier and hanging with them. I flew out of Chicago Thursday Oct 25th, and landed in Vegas by dinnertime. Quick cab over to the Monte Carlo to get my bags in the room and change clothes, then headed to Mandalay Bay to catch up with my 4 work buddies that were already in town. Had a great dinner at Aureole (watching the women repel up and around the 3 story wine rack was pretty cool). After dinner we headed over to Hard Rock to see the Alice in Chains concert. The concert was pretty cool, and I was happy to be just chilling out a bit on my first night, knowing I had 3 more nights of craziness coming.
After the concert, we hung out and had some more drinks before heading back to Monte Carlo at about 1:00 AM. Since all 5 of us enjoyed playing craps, we decided to all jump in at a table together. After playing craps for about 2 ½ hours, three wonderful young women finished up their fantastic rolls, winning everybody at the table some decent money. With the ladies finished rolling, I felt that the table was going to tilt in a bad way, and got out about $125 up. I told my 4 work buddies that I was heading to the poker room (none of these 4 guys play poker enough to feel gutsy to play in Vegas). At this point in the evening (about 3:30AM), my mind was pretty fuzzy what with being tired, and being a bit loaded with Crown & Coke. There were only 1 or 2 tables going at the time, so I ease into a seat at the $1/$2 NL table (2nd time I have ever played $1/$2 NL) and buy in for $200. The table was either rock tight, or just loaded with really boring people (or both). Regardless, this table gave me about the same feeling as sitting in a dentist chair getting a tooth extracted. Nobody talked, everybody looked to be in a foul mood, etc. After about an hour of getting horrible cards, no drink service, and no table conversation, I decided it was time for bed. I cash out for $175, down $25 from my first stint at a poker table this trip. As I trudge up to the room, I wonder if the poker gods are going to dish out more of the same on the rest of this trip.
FRIDAY OCT 26th
I wake up at 8:30, a mere 4 hours after going to bed, and ask my roomies if they are up for some breakfast. We head down to the restaurant in the Monte Carlo (can’t remember name), and have a real nice breakfast. I load up on carbs and coffee, trying to reenergize my body for another round of abuse. After breakfast, we walk right by the craps tables, and figure “what the heck”, let’s give it another go. So we all saddle back in and roll some bones. After about 2 hours of play, we all cash out, and I am up about $175. I start to think maybe I should play craps more often. I head up to the room to change clothes and head to the pool. We hang out at the pool for a couple hours, and I try my best to try to get some naptime in. I get a text message from my grad school buddies – they are in town, at the Mandalay, wondering when I am going to get over there. I quickly pack up, and head over to Mandalay to move into my room over there.
Dinner Friday night at RM Seafood in Mandalay was just ok. I really wanted to get seafood, but most of the fish dishes they had on the menu had some sort of shellfish infused into it (ie lobster béarnaise sauce or clam artichoke sauce, etc), and I am allergic to shellfish. So I reluctantly get the bone-in ribeye, and to be honest, it was not that good. I think this is the first bad steak I have gotten in Vegas. Immediately after dinner we all head over to Jet nightclub at Mirage for some pretty heavy partying. I am not much of a nightclub guy, but some of these guys are, and when in Rome, well you know! After hours of boozing it up, we head back to Mandalay. It’s about 4:30 in the morning at this point, and my first thoughts are to head to the poker room, but my buddies want to go grab some grub, so I go with them to the 24 hour restaurant in Mandalay for some breakfast. After filling up on eggs, sausage, pancakes, etc. I am in the mood to sleep more than anything else, so off to bed I go.
As I head up to the room, the realization hits me that I am ending my 2nd of 4 nights in Vegas, and have only played poker for about an hour, and lost while doing it. Maybe this trip won't be the pokerpallooza I was hoping it would be. Would I get to the tables in the coming 2 days? Would I keep getting dragged by my friends in directions that always seemed to lead away from the tables? And most importantly, if I did get my big shot to play, would I come home a winner?
Stay tuned for part 2