The Weekend of Poker Degeneracy (WPD) began on Friday, June 27th, at around 5PM and ended at 7PM, Monday, July 7th, 2008.
Word of Warning: This will be an exceptionally long, overly detailed report, with little to no good, analytical poker content. You've been warned. Cliffs Notes are available at the bottom.
Friday, June 27th
The WPD officially begins as the wife and kids wave goodbye as the back out of the garage. I immediately spend the next hour doing all the weekend chores as quickly and as corner cutting as possible. Doing the dishes, filling the cat food bowl to the brim, taking the trash out, etc, since I know that I will be spending little to no time in the house for the next three days.
I clean up and start the short 25 minute drive to the first casino on the agenda: Sam's Town. Friday night, the first night of WPD, is also Excellent Adventure 5, where South Point Perry and I tour 3 to 4 Vegas poker rooms for no real reason whatsoever, other then to post little reports and expand our Vegas poker resume.'
I get to Sam's Town around 6PM. Perry and I are meeting at around 7PM. I get there early, as I'm a Poker Degenerate.
Sam's Town will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first place I ever played a hand of poker. The room where this occurred, though, is no longer there. Sam's Town expanded greatly to a new larger room accross from where the old Poker Parlor used to be. It is now 11 tables, with autoshufflers in three of them.
The employees are friendly enough and as expected, the room caters to the Boulder Locals, which are not necessarily the nicest or the cleanest, but at least the chairs are comfortable.
The game in question was 4/8 Texas Hold'em with 1/2 blinds, and a half kill. Truly, the Dodge Dart of poker. The game was as expected, except for a promotion that they were running that unfortunately, ended as of July 1st. When a player gets a payable high hand, the next pot is splashed with $50, at every cash table in the room.
Sure enough, a player got quads, and the next pot was a splash pot. I held J9os on the button. All ten players called an early position raise from a California kid who just turned 21.
The flop came 57Q, with two diamonds (my jack was a diamond).
The flop was checked around to the kid who bet, and the guy next to him raised. I insta flat called. Amazingly, everyone folded around to the kid who called, and we went to the turn 3 handed.
Turn was a 9. Kid checks. Flop raiser bets, and I call. Kid calls.
River is another 9. It goes check check, and I say, "Well, I have a nine, so I'm going to bet. Feel free to call, but I'll show either way." The kid says that I had no business being in the hand with a nine unless it was A9s, and calls. I show my J9, and win the pot. The guy on my right had a counterfitted two pair (57). Ship it!
I spoke briefly with the floorgirl and she said that the NL tournament brings a NL game by 9PM or so, and that NL really only spreads on the weekend there.
Perry got there around 8PM or so. We sat alongside each other in the 4/8 game and eventually I took a seat in the newly started NL game, which, as the girl said, started by 9PM.
The game was boring, but expected. The minimum buy in is $100 and the max is $300. I was the only player that bought in for the max.
Next to me was a ST floorman who sat and played to help start the game. I commend ST for allowing this, and think that it does indeed help games to start. I wish more rooms openly permitted and encouraged employees to play when on or off the clock.
Played for about an hour or so and left to go to Joker's Wild at 10PM. I ended up winning about $50 at Sam's Town.
The Jokers Wild is as expected considering where it is, and who it caters to.
It is a small casino, sans hotel, with a reasonably sized gaming pit, and a 4 table poker room.
The game they spread is 2/4 SPREAD limit. It is an interesting game, and can get some bigger pots, since the raises are on top of the previous bet, and can increase in $4 increments. So, if a player raises to $3, the next player can make it $7 and the next player can make it $11. The felt was that horrible burlap cloth that used to be seen at Plaza and Flamingo, but they do have at least one autoshuffler in the cash game table.
They also offer several high hand promotions and hours promotions. If you play 126 hours in a month, you get $599. If you play 25 hours, you get a free tournament entry. They do two tournaments a day, with $28 buy in, and unlimited $10 rebuys for the first hour.
Perry and I only played for about a half hour, and decided to head to a random that only I had heard of: Club Fortune. I lost about $35 at Jokers Wild.
Club Fortune is a ways South down Bouder Highway, past Lake Mead.
It is truly an independent casino. Left down Racetrack Road, it is privately owned and operated by one man, who was in the casino playing Pai Gow until just before we arrived.
The casino was a relic. Very small, with one craps table, two black jack tables, a pai gow table, and three poker tables, along with a good amount of slots. They had one cash game going, a 3/6 Halk Kill game, with 5 players. Their rake is 10%/$3 max.
We sat and I immediately discovered that it was a smoking room. Ship it! I lit up, and discovered that I was short on smokes, when one of the two guys running/dealing in the poker room immediately offered to go get me a pack. Unfortunately, they did not have the brand I normally like (Benson and Hedges Deluxe Ultra Light Menthol, yeah I know), so he got the next closest substitute: Virginia Slims. Great. At least they were normal in size, and not the stick ones.
I played like a complete donk, and bought in for my remaining rack from Jokers Wild ($65). I managed to go all in within an hour, to Perry, and lost. However, I did score a free Tshirt for signing up for their players card.
We left just after midnight, and decided to head directly to Orleans. During this time, I was receiving texts from fellow AVPer Bowlingfool, and coordinatng with him about meeting and joining the Excellent Adventure.
We got to Orleans around 1AM. Perry attempted to follow me, and texted me that I drive like I'm delivering a pizza. My answer to this has always been: I'm Asian. Stereotypes are funny because they are often true.
Met up with Bowlingfool (Eric) and Evil at the Orleans Coffee Shop around 1AM. I love Vegas. Dinner at 1AM would seem rather odd in most cities, but not here. The Orleans coffee shop is easily one of the best in town. The service was relatively quick, and the food was quite good.
Perry decided to drop a bomb at dinner during conversation. We were talking extensively about poker, the history of poker, and various poker rooms (standard). I asked if he knew who Sam Grizzle was. With full hand motions pointing to himself, he says "Hey, Sam Grizzle KNOWS me." As if its something to be proud of. He will not live that one down.
We went to the poker room afterwards, and it was a sea of black and whites. Orleans is known as being a true hangout for casino employees, and that night was no exception. Mainly WSOP dealers, there was quite an ecletic crowd there that night. We played 4/8 Omaha 8. I got a seat to the left of Perry and to the right of Jennifer, a WSOP TV dealer, who I actually recognized, which is odd and pathetic, I realize. Jenn was pretty entertaining, and had good WSOP stories to tell. She also joined me in making fun of the man who Sam Grizzle knows.
She told me about a mixed game that was going on, and I instantly got on the list. About an hour later, I was in the game. It was 4/8 mixed, with Badugi, Razz, Stud 8, 2-7, and Omaha 8. I got into the game around 2AM. Eric (bowlingfool) played something else, and Evil and Perry stayed at the Omaha table.
I played that mixed game until it broke around noon saturday. Perry and Evil left around 5:30AM.
All in all, I will go out on a limb and say that I firmly believe that the Orleans is one of the best overall well run poker rooms in the city. The management of this poker room knows what players like, and the players appreciate it. Their room was packed, with several games including 4 tables of 4/8 O8 (Orleans has a lock on this game, being the only O8 that is consistently spread in town). They even had 1 table of 8/16 O8.
Our game got short handed around 9AM or so. Orleans did not take a rake when we were 5 handed. At 6 handed, they only took a dollar. We toked the dealers well, of course, and appreciated how liberal the management was with rake reductions. In fact, the Orleans in general, has the lowest rake of the large rooms. It varies from 5%/$3 max to 10%/$3 max. I think some games have a $4 max, but not all. The O8 is $3 max.
Excellent Adventure 5 ended when Perry and Evil left around 5:30AM. I played on until the mixed broke around noon. I then went home to get some sleep.
Saturday, June 28th, 2008.
Got home around 1:30PM, and logged onto AVP and attempted to plan out Day II of the WPD. I fell asleep around 3PM or so. Yappy called around 6PM, and we talked poker and evenings agenda. He was going to TI to play the Saturday night Headhunter. I decided to join, as I had not been to the TI in quite a while.
Treasure Island (TI)
Got to TI around 7:20PM. To quote Rounders: I felt like Buckner walking back into Shea. The room was packed. All 8 tables were in use, about evenly divided between the HeadHunter tournament and cash games.
I got into a rather short handed 1/3 NL game, like the old days. Bought in full, $500, and had a great time talking to all the old friends and employees that I don't see very often any more.
It was like old times with Yappy and I at TI. He would yell to me from accross the room whenever he was all in, and I would either get up, if not involved in a hand, and go see him suck out, or just yell back that I was in a hand.
Saw a lot of the TI crew, Danette, Michelle, Chris, Jessica, Steve, Nick, Vance, Nam, and others. I lost about $150 playing NL, but still had a great time. After Yappy finally busted, we decided to return to an old watering hole: Isla, for dinner around 10:30PM.
Dinner was enjoyable. Had the seafood enchiladas. David treated with comps. At the end of dinner, we were one of two tables left (they technicaly closed shortly after we were seated). David slowly and methodically decided to finish off the chips and salsa. After about 15 minutes of this, I said, David, its time to go, and he insisted on taking the chips with him. Fortunately, they come on parchment paper.
We walked back to the poker room, and said our goodbyes. David wanted to bowl, and I had not bowled in about 12 years so I agreed, on the condition we go to Orleans, since they will probably have a 4/8 mixed game going again.
The Orleans (again)
We got to the Orleans around midnight on Saturday night. I checked out the poker room, and saw Jenn playing the mixed game. I got on the list, which was about 10 names long, and walked with Yappy to the Orleans bowling alley.
The Orleans bowling facility is not exactly the nicest or cleanest around, but it is close to the Strip, and is convenient, so it is where we went. David constantly complained about the quality of the facilities. Whiner.
The clientele was not exactly Bellagio quality, but it is what it is. The pricing was a but high, as it was the weekend. $22 for three games, plus one shoe rental (David owns his own ball and has his own shoes. No surprise there).
We made several Antonio/Laak style sidebets on the game. Starting with a general .50 per pin bet, with a $15 dollar cap, as I suck in bowling and haven't done it in 12 years.
Of course, the .50 per pin was not enough, so we added a $5 first strike bet, with matching rights.
David managed to only bowl one strike in three games. I bowled at least 5 or 6. Ship it!
One of the greatest bets came when I had bowled two strikes in a row. David said I'll give you 3 to 1 on not making a turkey (a third strike in a row). I said no, and he immediately said FOUR TO ONE!. I took the bet, and concentrated on the next roll like no other. STEEEEEERIKE! Twenty dollars coming my way.
He also gave me 100 to 1 on $5 to make a nearly impossible spare. I had to take the bet, due to the odds alone, but did not make the spare.
When it was all said and done, David won two games and I won one. He beat me by about 30 or 40 pins, and yet owed me $18 due to the additional sidebets that he lost. I convinced David to partake in the 4/8 Mixed game that was going on downstairs. We get to the poker room around 1:30 or 2AM or so. The list for the mixed game was quite long, and we put our names on the list, and asked about starting a new game. They complied, and the game started about 20 minutes later. David and I both got seats.
About an hour or so into the game, we decided to raise the limit to 5/10, to add a little more action, and to take off the must move that our game was. We changed up our chips to reds, and the blinds became 2/5.
Game was great. David did not fair too well in the beginning, and we decided to sidebet on that. I bought in for $200 and got it up to $400 rather quickly. He bet that I would get down to $300 before I would get up to $500. When the limits changed from 4/8 to 5/10, we adjusted the line to $525 for me. I also made a prop bet on David, who managed to drop $200 rather quickly. ther best was that he would bust before he doubled up.
The mixed was the same as the night before. A rather boring mix of Stud 8, Razz, 2-7, Badugi, and Omaha 8. The game was quite different then the game I host at Imperial Palace, as it was all WSOP dealers, and a couple walkins. When playing with players who actually know and understand each game, the dynamic of the game changes, and more sophisticated plays can cme into the arsenal.
Perry texted me at 4:30AM that he was playing PLO at Mirage, and just woke up. We decided to resdezvous a little later.
David won his bet, and managed to more then double up, and walk away a winner in the Orleans mixed game at around 9AM or so. By the time I cashed out, I had $501, falling just short of the $525 goal. Oh well. It was a nice run, and a $300 profit made up for the previous days EA loss. Perry showed up and took David's seat in the game, and played for about an hour.
We left around 10AM and decided to have breakfast at the Orleans with Evil. It was an enjoyable meal, and since I used Orleans poker room comps, we were able to use the comped line, and bypass the long regular guest line. Sweet.
At this point, I knew I had to get home and get some sleep, as the IP/AVP mixed game was a few hours away. Perry and Evil went to a movie, and I headed home around noon. Took a good nap, and set the alarm for 3:30PM. Got up, cleaned up, and headed to the IP around 4PM for the 7PM mixed game.
Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Imperial Palace Mixed Game
For the 7th week in a row, I was looking forward to the IP Mixed game. I called in around 4:30 and there were already 2 names on the list for a game that doesn't start until 7PM. I put myself and Cindy on the list. I got there around 5PM, and there was already a nice older gentleman that was already waiting for the game to start, sitting at Table 2, two hours before game time. We have built quite the dedicated mixed game clientele.
I shooke some hands, and saw some new regulars that have discovered and heard about the game both on street and online. By 6:00PM, whe had 8 names on the list, and by gametime at 7, we were up to 14 names.
The game started promptly at 7 on Table 2. I was in seat 1, as always (I sit here mainly so I can assist the dealers in dealing and reading hands in a game that they never have to deal unless we're there. By the 7th week, though, all the dealers are like machines in these games, and all are now well acclimated to the mixed games.
Mrs. Boofer came over, but unfortunately could not get a seat at the start. We did not turn any players for a couple hours, as expected. Usually, we get through one full rotation of all 10 games in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. This time, we set a new record, and got through all 10 games in only 3.25 hours. This is further proof that the dealers (and players) are getting more and more used to our funky game.
The Sledgehammer (Paul from South Point) also made his way down. Wink (new mixed game regular), called and inquired about the game, and Perry said he was coming down as well. at Midnight, we still had 7 names on the list, and by 130AM, we had 10 names. Rich decided it was time to start a second table, so for the first time ever, the IP mixed game went to TWO tables, tables 1 and 2. Kelly, the Sunday night cashier, had to order a new chip buy, as she knew that a mixed game means that there will be massive chip buy ins, as is standard in any mixed game. She got the chip buy, and the game went off without a hitch. The new game started around 2AM, and I took a seat in that game, since it needed a table captain (person that keeps track of the hands, games, and keeps an eye on the dealers for assist). Cindy was captain in the "main game" as I took a seat on the new game.
Both games were full from the start. It was a great feeling to know that this game had become such a success. I am proud that I was able to bring this game to IP, and have it be a weekely success for both the patrons and the room. Having the poster, professional flyers, and a reduced rake really helps to get the word out and make the game and easy sell to locals and vistors alike.
The main game broke at 8AM. IP had all six tables full most of the night, and by the time the morning rolled around, there were 5 games still running, including our two mixed games. When the main game broke, our second table filled up, and we were 8 handed at 8AM. By 9:30, we were 7 handed, and the room started to fill up again due to the older nits and locals that chase the Aces/Kings cracked promotion. They looked at us like we were a circus sideshow, and did not understand why anywould would play a poker game without a jackpot drop! Wheat is the world coming to.
Anyways when the Aces cracked promotion ended at 11AM, the room went dark except for our mixed game, back on table 1 (the table against the wall in the back of the room). We were still 7 handed, and even lost and picked up a couple players.
It was at this point that I decided that I was too tired to drive home, and got an IP hotel room for fifty bucks. That was $50 wasted, as I never set foot in the room. I got my second wind around noon, and was not tired at all, as Mike (AVP'er chipwich) joined the game and added some real spice to the game.
Mike is an action player, and Rio poker room employee. I loved playing with him as he was as entertaining as he was an action junkie. Raising out of turn blind, capping to $15 preflop with his hand faceup, and buying in for about 5 or 6 racks at the start (and of course, as soon as he got a little "short" rebuying for a couple more. At one point, I think he had about 1300 in play.
When we got to 5 handed, we decided to throw out the mix and just do a dealers choice kind of thing, as everyone wanted to play the oddball games: 3-2-1 Omaha, 4 Card Ocean Crazy Pineapple, 2-7 Triple Draw and A-5 High Low (which Mike informed me that its official name is California Split).
He promised to raise blind in 5 straight hands of 3-2-1. We capped it preflop for 5 straight hands, and it was a great time. A couple times he played his entire hand faceup, and still won both times. In 3-2-1, it takes a while to figure out a winner, and we were mocked by the 2/4 HE Aces cracked chasers. We just laughed right back. It was great.
Unfortunately, Mike had to leave rather quickly, as he was meeting some friends for golf. He was able to clarify that when a player discards all cards in badugi, they do not need to get 3+1, unlike in duece. Good to know.
With the game going on Monday morning/afternoon, it game me the opportunity to train dayshift dealers on these new games, which was nice. All adapted very well to the game, and did perfectly fine.
Our game eventually went to 5 handed, and by 5PM, we were 4 handed. I was getting texted by Mrs. Lederer, Perry, and David asking if I was actually still there. Eventually Rich G and the dealers who started the game the night before showed up, and snickered at us (me especially) for keeping the game alive for almost 24 straight hours. It was pretty funny and gross all at the same time that I managed to play the IP mixed game for 23 straight hours, and I was NOT alone! There was another buy that left just before I did that played it for amost 23 straight hours himself.
Eventually, at around 5:45 PM, I got a call from the wife that she was driving back from Cal, and was almost to the Strip. The phone cut off, and I knew that the WPD was coming to a close.
At 6PM, Rich G and Kelly showed up and their look fo shock was priceless. Shortly after that, my wife and kids showed up, and waved. That was the sigle that it was time to go. I sent the wife upstairs with the kids for dinner so I could cash out. I ended up making just over $300 in the game, about $12 an hour. Better then working at In N Out.
In the last hour, we were 4 handed, then 3 handed, as we busted the 4th right around 5:30PM. We broke the game 3 handed at 6PM, after 23 hours of play.
Had dinner at Burger Palace upstairs at IP using my comps (to which I earned $46 that day alone, at $2 per hour).
Finally, at around 7PM monday night, the WPD came to a close. I drove home, posted some stuff on AVP, and my head hit the pillow at around 8:30PM. I had hope to rendezvoud with Perry later that night, but I went into deep sleep almost immediately, and didn't even wake up to my phone ringing and text messages coming in from Perry and Yappy Dave, who was playing in a tournament at Golden Nugget.
It was a hell of a fun Weekend of Poker Degeneracy. I managed to only spend about 6 hours in my house during the entire WPD. Thanks to all the characters that made it so entertaining: SouthPointPerry, Yappy Dave, Evil, Danette, Cindy, Rich G, Jenn from the Series, Mike (chipwich), and of course, the Wife, for taking the kids to Cal and giving me 3 days of WPD.
I look forward to the next IP/AVP Mixed Game next Sunday, and another WPD in a couple weeks. Stay tuned!
Cliffs Notes: I played poker from Friday night to Monday night, and slept for a total of 6 hours that entire weekend. All nighter mixed games for three straight nights, and the Sunday Night IP Mixed game lasted for 23 hours. I'm tired as hell, but it was worth it.
If anyone actually read this entire thing, you're a worse degen then I am. Thanks to those that do. You make degens like me feel better about ourselves.
Seriously, though, thanks for reading, and see ya on the board!