I headed to Vegas on Friday (5.29) for my buddy Eddie’s 40th birthday and for the first time in a long time I was an immediate winner. While waiting for my plane, I had asked Eddie to lay down a small moneyline bet ($20 @ +175) on the Lakers so by the time I landed from Orange County the Purple & Gold were already up quite handily. Nice. I had to fly by myself while my wife flew in from a business trip later Friday night. Since I arrived first I checked us into our CP Augustus Tower suite (I tried the @20 trick and asked for any upgrades or views. The clerk seemed to give it the old college try, but returned my $20 saying that they were booked. We ended up with a very nice room anyways—a little bigger than we had reserved, but not a good view. Oh well).
Since I had about and hour and a half to kill I thought I’d play some cards. I knew that there were a lot of plans set up for the weekend so my gambling time would be eaten up by birthday related commitments to my buddy. Anyways, I went to Bill’s, but they only had one poker table going and it was filled so I walked around to get a drink at the bar and I noticed a $10 pai gow table. Pai Gow is my gambling kryptonite, so I sat down and played / drank until my wife called saying she was at the room. I won $50, cashed out and headed up to the room with a couple of slices of pizza and some drinks. We hemmed and hawed about hitting the strip, but decided to call it a night and get a good night’s sleep. This was clue #1 that we must be getting old.
On Saturday we slept in and then hit the gym for a workout. While she took a massage, I took the opportunity to head over to the Rio to see what was going on at the WSOP. I was there for the start of the $1000 buy-in tourney. I walked thru both rooms and watched some of the “action.” Unfortunately, being there so early provided very little entertainment. It was cool to see the layout of the room (got to see the espn feature tables, etc…) and all the vendors outside, but mostly I was pretty bored, creating little games for myself like "Can I find a table with all players wearing ballcaps?" (answer: no, but I did see 9 of 10). The most interesting site was a guy with diamond(fake) encrusted headphones. That was impressive.
I only stayed for about an hour and then had to head over to the Flamingo Pool where our friend’s birthday party was in full swing. Luckily, it wasn’t all that hot outside and there was some cloud cover. We pretty much spent the day there drinking and celebrating (and losing baseball bets--damn Braves cost me a three team parlay!) until dinner. After a big meal at Diablo’s Cantina (inside Monte Carlo—the food was ok), some of the group went clubbing (Hint #2 that I am getting old. I love my buddy Eddie, but the thought of going to a club when I am 40 doesn't do it for me. Get me to a poker table or a golf course for mine) while the rest of us hit up the casinos. We played some social PaiGow and I dropped a cool hundy while taking shots and downing my share of Coronas. We finished with a late night snack at Grand Luxe (mmmm…Dulce de Leche cheesecake).
We slept in, and after checking out, I decided to satisfy my poker fix. I chose the IP because it was close to Caesars and I had a good time there at the mixed game back in November. I sat at a ½ table with $200. I played pretty tight. I won one smallish pot with QJ (BB special) vs. J9 when a Jack flopped. I kept the pot small out of position and felt like I played the hand well. I didn't win much (~$40), but I felt like I had control of the hand even though i was out of position so i was gaining confidence. I don't play poker except for about 3-4 Vegas trips a year so it always takes me awhile to get into a groove.
After another 45 minutes and some missed stabs at pots, I got the hand I wanted:
We were 7-handed and I was on the button. After 2 limpers I looked down at A/A. I raised it to $10 and the BB was the only caller (pot = $25). Flop = 8h7h2c. BB bet $17 and I looked to end it right there. I bet $70 and he really took some time. Eventually, he raised me all in and now I had a decision. I realized he must have a good pair or some sort of combo draw, but figured I might be really ahead of a good percentage of his holdings so I called. He had nines. The turn and river were both hearts and as it turns out we both made flushes, so I avoided a possible cooler there. I ordered a celebratory beer, played another orbit or two and then cashed out for $377 as I had to find the wife and get to the airport.
Had a great time as usual although I didn’t really play too much. I’ll be back in July so I’ll try to play more then. Good luck to everyone.