Here is the trip report for my Vegas vacation May 20th - 25th over Memorial Day weekend. I played all cash games, and only played at the MGM Grand and the Wynn this trip. And that's right, I won the biggest pot of $1/$2 NL history!!!
We began the trip with a relaxing 6 hour drive (maaah!) down and got to Vegas just after midnight Thursday morning, checked into our hotel at Hooters, and got to bed at 1am-ish. I woke up at about 4am Thursday - what's that? Oh, was I ready to play cards? Absolutely!
The girlfriend and I headed down to the MGM Grand poker room where we would spend most of our time. The first day was a brutal poker day for both of us. My woman and I played $1/$2 NL the entire day as it is the easiest game to beat. But it was always TT vs JJ, K high flush vs. A high flush, full house over full house, etc. etc. etc. I was rather angry not only because I was losing, but because I was keeping track of all of the hands I played on my Blackberry and somehow I discovered toward the evening that the entire page of notes I typed on my Blackberry got lost. So I abandoned that cause and I'll have to remember the hand details now.
Notable hands: On my first table, there was a crazy drunk kid who was playing every hand. He was deep stacked and kept sucking out, but you could tell that he played "well." So I picked up Qd9d and limped in, he raised, and there were 5 or 6 callers including me with a pot of about $30. Flop was 256 with two diamonds, he bets $25, I go all in for $200, he..........finally folds after friggin 5 minutes, no exaggeration. Can't really remember any other hands I played at that table, I think I ended up winning $100 or so.
Another table of $1/$2 NL, this table was brutal. There was one guy that was dealt cards that beat me every hand. I had TT, he had JJ - lost $30 or $40. He'd go 30 hands without raising, but as soon as I raised he'd reraise me. Another hand we played - I had AsKc, he raised to $7 or 8, I reraised to $30 (baaaaad decision), he calls. Flop is Txx all clubs, I bet out 30, he calls. Turn pairs the board, I bet $50, he calls. I keep betting because I had two overcards and a flush draw, and he plays every hand so I had decided he couldn't have much. River is a club. I only had $40 left, so I go all in and of course he instacalls with Ac. I didn't see his other card but it was beneath a ten and was not a pair.
end of 1st day - I'm down $175, and woman is down $100. By the way, only notable hand for woman is AK vs KQ on Kxx flop, river is a Q.
2nd day gets much, much, much better. Begin our day at 11am at the MGM Grand poker room, and my woman and I are playing at the same table. This table began harmless enough, but it got CRAZY!!! We began it shorthanded with me, my woman, old guy to my right who called anything, good asian player, and a few others. In walks the craziest player ever. He was either from Norway or Ireland, I can't remember which. Anyway, I buy into this game for $100, lose all but $15, rebuy for $100, and slowly begun turning the $115 into over $1 thousand. Most of the money came from the crazy Irish guy. He would go broke, buy in for $200, and for instance, he picked up JQ, went all in on a AJx flop and some guy called him with Ax and Irish guy hit a Q on the river. I had a set of 2's and the flop came A2x with Irish guy firing. I was sitting next to woman and said "he's going to call all in drawing dead to runner runner." And he did for about $300. She did well, the only hand she played was AK on a AKx flop (with 2 spades), she got her money all in 3 way with Ks6s and AQ and won! Yay! Gave some of the money I had won back to the Irish guy when the flop was AA5 and he went all in, I called him with 88 and he tables A5!!! Lost $100 on that one. Any time you made a straight or flush you were going to double up, basically. There were lots of hands I beat him on, but I can't remember any others. Sometimes he'd river people, sometimes not. Mostly not though, but there were some awesome rivers. And now we come to the hand to end all hands: Irish guy raises in middle position preflop to about $10, old man makes it $35, I call with 99 and Irish guy calls. A note here is that this is the first reraise preflop ever for the old man, and he never would have played AK this way, so old man has AA I knew before I saw the flop. Ok. Flop comes 97x, beeeeautiful. I check, Irish guy bets $30, old man raises to $100, I go all in with over $1 thousand, Irish guy calls all in for over $500 which was expected and the old man called for friggin $840!!!! $840!!!! I really call out "no ace" and the turn was a jack, river was a small card. Irish guy mucks, old man took forever looking at the 5 cards out there and tables AA. The pot was about $2200 or so! The hand draws a crowd, as it took a minute or so to get all of the money transferred to me! That hand almost broke the table. 4 people got up and left after that hand, including both victims. After making a few more hundred at that table, I left the table after 3 or 4 hours after having turned that $115 into just over $2700 in about 3 or 4 hours!!!
Also, woman played at this table with me the entire time. She only played one hand - AK vs AQ vs Ks6s on a AKx flop (which contained two spades). The Irish dude had AQ and the old man had the K6, surprise surprise. The Irish dude was calling with any ace or king in his hand, though, so seeing AQ was like "whoa."
The next 3 or 4 hours were about the only amount of time I spent not playing poker. Woman and I walked to Circus Circus to the arcade and played games, climbed the rock climbing wall, etc. etc. She wanted to eat at Bobby Flay's restaurant at Caesar's Palace, and would you believe that after all of that she said it was too expensive? Woman, I just won over $1 thousand is what I told her, but I think that the real reason is that she didn't like the menu because there was a bunch of weird stuff on it like quail and lamb and she doesn't really like that stuff. So we go to the food court near the poker room at Caesar's Palace (which is really good). I checked out the CP Poker Room, but honestly, just didn't feel like playing there. It's because I always lose money there all 3 times I've played, and just, I don't know, blah.
So we left and went to the Wynn for a little $2/$5 NL for me with woman watching, she didn't want to play at the Wynn. When I say short...
So I sit down at a table which is obviously full of pros and semi-pros, mostly locals, everyone was deep stacked and very attentive to the game, not too many flops as there was always a raise every hand. Just was not a game for beginners by any stretch. I figured I could make money there while waiting for a $5/$10 NL game (I did VERY well the last time I played $5/$10 NL there). I buy in for $300, 3rd hand is AK. In early position, I bet $50, guy next to me (referred to after as "villian") calls and from what I can tell is very loose aggressive. Flop is QJx, he checks, I check, hoping to trap with the right turn card - I didn't get the feeling that he was folding for a $75 bet or anything. Turn is a blank, he bets $20, I call. River is blank, check, check, he tables QT. I'm down to $230. Very next hand is 99. I limp in with the intention of reraising all in. I'm not disappointed, as button raises to $20, and villian calls, I go all in. Button folds, villian thinks and finally calls with QJ offsuit, hits 2 queens for 3 of a kind and I'm done in about 5 hands. How'd that happen?
Back to MGM now, I play $2/$5 NL there. I never really made any money from $2/$5 NL the entire trip, and MGM was no exception. I think I lost a few hundred initially, but ended up making that back plus $300 from this table actually, though. I remember having to fold KQ against an aggressive opponent after flop was KJx, turn was a Ten. He said the next day that he had JJJ set but whatever. The one I remember winning that put me up was I raised to $20 with 63 of hearts (I only do that when I'm angry), SB and BB both call. Flop is TT2 with two hearts. SB bets out $30, BB folds, I make it $150, and he calls. Shit! Turn is a 6, which I didn't think helped me at first glance. He checked, which indicated to me that he didn't have the ten at a minimum, so all I really had to worry about was a pocket pair, so I checked behind him. River is a 9 and he comes out betting $100. Well, let's think, he didn't mind calling the raise of $120 more without a ten, he checked the turn, and a card that couldn't have helped him makes him fire $100? Wouldn't he be worried that I had a ten? I call with my pair of 6's and he shows AJ of hearts for ace high. Made $300 on that hand.
That table breaks after 5 or 6 hours, and I play another table of $2/$5 NL where I just lost $150 with the blinds and not really playing a hand. I leave. I can't remember what else even happened on this day, but I know that I ended up down $150 from when I left the crazy $1/$2 NL table.
I almost forgot! Another day #3 event was that I took money from a famous MMA fighter named Krzysztof Soszynski: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krzysztof_Soszynski. Here is his picture: http://dyn.ifilm.com/resize/image/stills/people/498429_1.jpg. Haha, I took all his money! He bought in for $100 at a 1/2 NL table, and someone sucked out on him and he was down to $30. So he raised in middle position to $6, there were a few limpers, I was after on the BB and moved all in with 99. Everyone folded, he called with JQ of hearts, and despite thinking that I would for sure lose that hand, I won! He left all pissed, too. He was there for all of the fights happening this weekend, apparently these fights were a big deal - you could have fooled me.
end of 2nd day - I'm up $1800, and the woman is up $200 or $300. (RUNNING TALLY)
The third day is $5/$10 NL day at the MGM! I think that this was the day that while I was waiting for a $2/$5 table, I played my 6 CRAZY hands of 4/8 limit holdem. Only limit holdem that I played the entire trip. I played every single hand, raised and/or reraised every single time, and broke even. The big hand I won was JT on a 78x flop, river was a ten - there were only 3 players in that pot. And the big hand I lost was against a guy with 48 who called a raise out of the small blind and flopped 2 pair on a 482 flop. And get this - he ONLY called the turn and river when I had reraised him after the flop. I had AQ for ace high. Ohhhh....kay. I asked him what he thought that I had to not reraise me back, and he answered but I don't remember being satisfied. He calls with 48 out of the small blind and flops top two pair and is worried about what I have. Typical of limit from what I can gather, which is why I never play. The other hands I won after people folded - and I think I was bluffing every single time, too.
Next came some more $2/$5 NL, with nothing notable happening. I think I made $150 and played for 3 or 4 hours. I remember being angry at one point for some reason - either I got bluffed or I wasn't getting hands or something. So I had K9 in late position and decided this was it - I raised to $25 and got 5 or 6 callers. The flop was 992, which couldn't have helped anyone, and since I had been playing fairly tight, I thought that this would be a good spot for a bluff. In reality, it was more like I was angry and didn't care if I lost the money. Playing a $250 stack, i fired $40 or $50 at the pot and the only guy who called was the button, a young Asian kid my age. Turn card was a ten or something, and I went all in. This guy sits forever hooing and hawing about this decision and starts talking to me. I answer all his questions truthfully, he's like "do you want me to call?" and I said "No!" So on and so forth, the guy folded, and I showed the bluff. So rare that I do that that I have to rub it in.
There was a fight on, so after the fights a couple of rich guys came over to join the regulars of the $2/$5 NL tables for a little game of $5/$10 NL, with one exception - 2 kids I have never seen in the $2/$5 game, about 22 or 23 years old, both with sick money and both played the game so super aggressively that it gave new meaning to the word. I buy in for $600 to this table, and let the fun begin!
Again, these two kids were both seated immediately to my left, which made me adjust my strategy quite a bit. As I mentioned, the two kids to my left would raise every hand, every hand - and would often reraise all in and pull crazy moves only to show an INSANE bluff. The kid immediately to my left was playing a stack of probably $20k, and he stacked off $1k on TT vs JJ. He was unrelenting raising and reraising literally every hand, and the whole table was fearful of him. His timing was impeccable, too, he knew when to give up and he knew when to push his weak pairs. He lost that $1k and didn't seem to blink or care at all. With my $600, I had a dual strategy - either I would wait for an opportunity where there was $200 or more in the pot which could be taken down with an all in move, or if I couldn't find a spot like that, I would let myself get blinded down and not play a SINGLE hand no matter what - had to be 99 or AQ or better to actually "play" the hand. So I'm either going all in with any hand - 22, KT, etc - or I'm playing only a really good hand.
Ok, so I played at this table for about an hour or two, and it was quite a game. The crazy kid made it a very interesting game. I only won one hand the entire session, which was top pair and everyone folded. Next comes my degree all in moment - I pick up TT on the SB, one late position limper. I raise to $20, BB folds, limper calls $10 more. Flop comes T96...sweet, right? Well, this was a pretty aggressive game, so I checked to him so that he'd bet, and he bet $40. I raise to $175, he goes all in, I instacall, he shows the 78 of course. Turn and river are blanks and I lost $600. What am I gonna do?
So after that, I demoted myself to lower stakes play for the rest of the trip. The rest of the night I played $2/$5 NL and $1/$2 NL. I remember playing a 1/2 NL table with a guy my age (24ish) who was in the military and just got cards from God. He'd flop the nuts and get action, or he'd catch a straight or flush and get way paid off, he was just playing really loose. He'd raise every other hand. He bluffed me once and once I folded he said "you were good." Well, I was just itching to put a move on this guy. So I pick a spot in the SB, I pick up KQ offsuit. I'm playing about $150, he's playing $600. As usual, kid raises to $12 in late position, I raise $25 more. He calls, Flop is T8x. I bet $40, he thinks and reraises me all in, of course I insta-call $70 more with K high - I had already decided to play the hand this way so as to not get bluffed. He flips up 99, I keep my hand hidden while he annoyingly tries to guess what I have. He puts me on an overpair (like why did you call then?). So river is a Q and he's all pissed. I'm confident that the move I made in that spot is a winning play, but it certainly wasn't normal for me. I'm up to $300, he's down to $450, and I played another hand against him that I won that put me way ahead of him, up to $500 and he's at $150 or $200. I was trying to bust him now, because he kept ragging on my play, so I picked up a flush draw on some hand against him and called WAY more than I should have, probably $100, but I knew I was getting the other $50 he had if I hit it - so it was worth calling. Normally I play draws very strong and reraise with them, but not this time as he would have certainly called me all in. I left that table up a few hundred.
Other than that, I think I lost a few hundred playing $2/$5 NL. Too much poker - can't remember it all!
end of 3rd day - I'm up $1100, and woman is only up $100 or so or maybe is even (RUNNING TALLY)
So for the 4th day, I was REALLY TIRED of losing money. I mean, if it weren't for that ONE POT, I'd be down money for the trip, and boy it really felt like I was losing money for the trip. I can't avoid the inevitable - I'm winning at 1/2 NL and losing at everything else...let's play 1/2 NL!!! I only ended up making about $100 this day. Here are some notable hands. I'm dealt AK of spades, I get my $ all in preflop versus an old man (can't remember his hand) and won $100 on that. I was really doing well as far as playing...I was only getting my money in when I had an excellent hand - but the problem toward the end is that I kept winning money and then running into someone with a set of 5's and losing the same amount back. That happened twice. The 2nd time it happened, I raised to $10 in the SB with AQ, probably 5 or 6 callers, flop was Q52, I check hoping to check raise. To my dismay, everyone checks, and the turn is a beautiful ace. I check again, someone bets, I reraise all in, the guy with 555 set calls and so does another guy who mucked (probably had a straight draw?) and I don't hit an A or Q on the river.
Maybe some other shit happened, I don't know, I'm kinda done typing up this trip report to be honest.
4th day for woman was insane. She lost top set JJJ vs 78 on a Jxx flop, all in on flop, and she said that he rivered a straight. Not sure if it was a gutshot or open-ended, but it was probably a gutshot.
end of 4th day - I'm up $1200, and the woman is either even or down $100 (RUNNING TALLY)
I'll be back for my revenge on that $5/$10 NL game at the MGM. I'm also out for revenge at that brutal $2/$5 NL game at the Wynn. Maybe next time I'll play at more casinos, but the woman doesn't like moving back and forth casino to casino.