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.....
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.
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.
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
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 drink........lol
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.
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.