larfingravy's 2009 TR - coping with rudeness and sickness

Reports & Blogs by larfingravy about Venetian Casino Posted

Rather than one long dragging story I'll just put the detail under various headings

If you want to read a TR about someone coming to Vegas with hopes of winning money playing poker but ending up down on the whole trip then I suggest you go and read my previous TRs ;-)

Good flight over from the UK with 4 poker playing buddies. Those Virgin Atlantic 747s are starting to show their age on the interiors.
Watched the taking of Pelham 123 (Luis Guzman looks so much like Tony Bigcharles in this film!) and Hangover to get in the Vegas mood.
Got tunnelled by the cab driver $30 to the IP.....

Imperial Palace
Had booked four nights here. I know what it's like and wasn't let down. I still believe the main casino smells (and not in a Venetian way) and needs a good clean. It is crying out for a refurb. until then it can survive as a value hotel on the strip. The location for the money is why I chose it.
The back area is a maze to the unitiated and the elevators can take some time to arrive. Get a room at the back overlooking the pool and either use the very far end elevators or get a very low floor and just walk the stairs.

San Diego
Took a two night roadtrip over to SanDiego. What a great city. The zoo was good and had a good drunken night around the gaslight quarter.
Last day we found a place for breakfast called The Eggery in Pacific Beach (?) which did an excellent range of breakfasts and for somewhere off the main tourist trail was very busy. Stayed at the Holday Inn Downtown. No faults and it has plenty of parking though road noise may annoy some.
Went to The Strip Steak restaurant in the Gaslight area where you cook your own steaks. I don't eat red meat (the others wanted to go) so I had chicken but I wouldn't really recommend it.

Treasure Island
On return to Las Vegas I had booked in for 5 nights at the TI. Very impressed with this hotel and would definitely stay here again. The boxing was on at Halloween and the place was heaving. Swore I saw Mike Tyson getting mobbed as he walked through, or was it a very good Halloween disguise!
Tried Canter's Deli near the sportsbook. It was 'OK'.

The Larfingravy Car Hire Poor Customer Service Awards 2009
Go to.......

The lady on the TI Dollar rental desk 10/29.
I had to drop off the large minivan we took to San Diego and change it for a smaller car at the TI. This had all been arranged for online and prepaid in the UK.
I arrived at the desk and explained to the lady that i had to drop this car off (handing her the keys) and was to collect another one. I had one hand in my pocket to give her the papers for the old rental. However she didn't look at or acknowledge me and just took the keys from me and started tapping into a computer. After a few minutes of this she looked up at me (Oh, she does know I'm here) and said 'Did you pick it up from here?' I explained No and she then spoke to me like some naughty child about how I should have told her that as she can'be expected to know everything and why didn't I show her the papers? (Well if you'd have asked for them in the first place...)
Anyway, enough to say her attitude absolutely stunk, she had zero customer service skills. If I tell you that she made comments like
'When you get back to your own country you won't be concerned about me'
'I haven't got time to do that'.
'Well you'll just have to go and find somewhere with the internet won't you'
'I haven't got time to deal with this. I can't allow lines to form'
Get the idea?
It is rare to find someone like her with a public interaction job who actually excels in doing their job so bad. She upset me so much I seriously hope she is sacked. Believe me to get me that upset takes some doing.

Played a few tournaments with nothing spectacular. The TI $65 dailies, Venetian 7pm, Binion's 6pm and Mirage 7pm were all tried before I went to San Diego and I didn't cash in any of them. I also played some 3/6 limit at the Mirage and 4/8 at the V. Managed to get my Aces to hold as the best hand of 1 pair all the way to the river with two callers at the V!!

Generally the $65 tournies on the strip vary little. 3-4k chips and brutal 20 min levels leave little room for error or race losing. Accept them for this and just enjoy them.

Upon return from San Diego I played the $120 7pm at the V. 107ish players and managed to get 9th for a cash. was very pleased with my play and it gave me a well needed confidence boost. The next day I spoke to one of my buddies who has been a bitof a poker mentor for me about entering the first Venetian DSE $340 event. I decided to give it a go.

Started at 12pm on 10/30. 507 entries was a big field. Straight away I could tell there were many good players spread out in this field and soon spotted who they were on my table. No pot went unraised, no blinds got walked no inch was given. I managed to hang around average chips making my moves when I needed to and avoiding those who I needed to and picked on those weaker players. I felt confident and played some of the best poker I've played in a long time. It's been a long time since I've felt I was playing this good and I felt i could get somewhere. After dinnerbreak the bubble loomed at about 60 players. This bubble passed and I'd cashed. Then it seemed every few minutes other players would be dropping. I continued with my stack maintaining around average. the play was to stop at final table or 2am. By 2am we finished the day with 20 players. I had 264,000 and the blinds were something like 5k/10k. I was totally shattered after concentrating for 14hours. As I went to bed at 2.45am I saw my eyes puffed and red and I felt drained. I needed a good sleep to be at my best for tomorrow.

Unfortunately I woke at 0730 with stomach cramps and pains in my chest. I tried to sleep it off but it didn't take long for me to realise something wasn't right.
I don't get ill. Seriously. I may have a day or two of sniffles once a year but generally my health has been very good and I'm thankful for that. Why today of all days did I have to feel so bad? I suspected one of the last 20 had spiked my
I'd started to shiver, my head hurt, I felt nauseous and had the runs. I got up and stumbled over the road to Walgreens and pumped myself up on painkillers and stomach settlers. I bought water, a coffee and a pastry. Back in my room I just couldn't face the pastry or coffee. My appetite was gone.
I slept until 3pm and then got up and made my way back to the V where I met my buddies. Apparently I looked as bad as I felt.

Play resumed with 20 players and by playing Poker and I made it to the final table. By now the pains in my chest (indigestion/heartburn) were worsening and I was feeling ill again. I just had to try and concentrate on my game. Some very good players around - one called Amir Esfandiary (not sure if related to Antonio) played very well, another called Joe wearing a wooly hat also played well and others I can't distinguish. These were counterbalanced by some others playing bad.
I entered a bit short stacked on the FT with 300k. One player was chip leader at about 1.3 million. He managed to commit chip suicide and went out before me. Others seemed determined to bust out and after two players got took out in one go I found myself fifth in chips out of 5 players. I made a push with J6 got called. I hit. That kept me alive for a while. Then I had to push my SB onto BB with my 7,8. He called with A9. I flopped an OESD but missed.
Out 5th of 507 for $7119. fantastic, a well needed good payday. Very happy with my play and how it all went.
Had to go back to my room to get my ITIN number to stop the 30% witholding, no 30% withholding for UK residents.

I'm not a regular player of such big buy in events and that is a result I am very proud of and pleased to have achieved.
Felt too ill to play for the last day and a half and came back home on Monday.

Overall Impressions
Vegas poker rooms seemed quieter.
Vegas is great at Halloween. So many people dressed up and such effort into some of the costumes. I particularly liked the people dressed as the Hangover character with the front baby carrier.
More pornslapppers than before and a general feel that the amount of panhandlers street sellers is higher than before gave some parts of the strip a more seedier atmosphere than before.
Encore - Wow! I didn't believe the Wynn could be topped. What a casino. Think what you like about Steve Wynn (I'm sure he doesn't care), but he sure knows how to build a landmark casino like no other.
City Center doesn't do it for me. May look better lit up at night. Does the strip really need another expensive hotel, casino and handbag shop?
I liked the Peppermill restaurant.

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  1. Big congrats on your Mega tourney result !!! Shame about your stomach upset, those can get very very nasty. I managed to keep a healthy gut last time I was there but it easily goes wrong when abroad.

    Welcome back to the UK :smile:

  2. Great TR Rob,

    Love the customer service award, if I was you I would have went above her head some of her comments were way out of line! Unlike Vegas as well as I usually find majority of them very accommodating.

    Yea & I’ve said it before but Huge huge congratulations on the Venetian cash M8, honestly couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Welcome back to the UK, although I’m sure you’d rather still be out there.

    Oh & 1 more thing, the Peppermill was the very 1st restaurant I ate at during my 1st trip, up next to the Wynn right? I can’t remember exactly what I got but it was absolute gorgeous but TBH considering the adrenaline rush I had having only been in Vegas a couple of hours anything would have tasted golden.

    Take it easy M8,

  3. Nice TR.

    While there is no excuse for the rental car lady's rudeness, I have noticed this is becoming more common in LV. I think it is being caused by the Harvard MBA-types upstairs that are putting the front line people in can't win situations due to cutbacks to try and save a few $$$. To tell people that they are not allowed to let a line are they supposed to avoid this? The end result is what happened to you - a disgruntled employee with poor morale who has been stripped of all motivation and willingness to succeed due to poor decisions by management.

    Regarding your 5th place finish - was there any discussion of a chop? Usually the chatter starts at the final table. Given your weakened condition, I would think that would have helped.

  4. @astrobel

    Thanks astrobel. That was one badly timed stomach upset! I can't even blame it on the IP :grin:

  5. @Full Tilit

    Thanks fulltilit. Yes that's the Peppercorn between the Wynn and the Riviera. Extremely gaudy pink and blue lighting.

  6. @jjmaximum

    Yes I'm with you on the business situation there jjmaximum. I know a lot of employees are put in these unworkable situations due to an Ivy league graduate's business model idea. trouble is at the TI there is only one member of staff so you feel unable to escalate your problem.

    Final table - we got to 5 players so suddenly and no chop had been mentioned before I got my chips in and busted out. Sure given a few more hands it would have been discussed. Perhaps I should have made more of the point that 'Hey guys I don't pay 30%tax remember that when wotking out a deal. I mean I could help these guys keep a lot of their money if I could get them thinking straighht?? Know what I mean??

  7. Nice report. Congratulations on your nice cash.

    Regarding your illness, I have found that it is remarkably easy to get sick during or directly after a trip to Vegas. During my last few trips I have been extremely diligent (to the point of neurosis) about using hand sanitizers and washing my hands and face in the restrooms regularly. The last time I was there, a dealer made several remarks to a player at my table after the player squeezed a lime into his Corona. One of his less grotesque remarks was, "I'd like to show you my hands after I finish a shift." The dealer may have been out of line, but essentially his point was that if you are handling the chips and consuming food with your hands at the table, you are just asking for illness.