Not much poker, plenty of drinking, slots and table games

Reports & Blogs by larfingravy about Caesars Palace, Aria Casino Posted

From a pool of about nine of my poker playing buddies, we visit LV a couple of times a year.
This time, about seven of us were going over for the Halloween period. We make our own arrangements and arrive and leave on different days that fit around our work schedules.

Two Vegas virgins were coming on this trip J and D. Both younger than me in their twenties they had secured a good deal staying at the Wynn. But then they told me that was sharing a room.
Those two sharing a Vegas room, ‘are you crazy?’ I’d asked them. ‘How long are you staying for?’
‘Two weeks.’
I reeled back in shock clutching my chest. I know these guys very well and two weeks in Vegas was either going to make them or break them. Wynn housekeeping would probably take a good day to fumigate their room after they’d left. Plus sharing a room with a good pal for two weeks can strain any friendship. I also hoped they’d thought of some arrangements should either of them want some ‘adult pleasures’ one night.

There was going to be less poker for me on this trip as I knew I’d get roped into mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights of drinking and random slot and table game action with J and D. I know J’s family and felt kind of obliged to keep my eye on him. I don’t mind, he’s a good friend and poker would just have to be sacrificed for some of this trip. With 17 years age difference I knew it would take its toll on me.

The agony of a ten hour flight is soothed by getting upgraded at the airport. Boom! Thanks BA. Second upgrade in a year and first win of the trip. I think it’s travelling alone a lot that gets me upgraded.
Swiftly through customs and after annoying the taxi driver by telling him not to tunnel me and showing no interest in his strip club or hooker suggestions (again, travelling alone it happens EVERY time) he drops me at my home for the next ten nights. That temple to economic mammon for any single guy in LV; The ‘not so’ Imperial Palace.

As I walk in, the usual reminder that I’m back at the IP attacks my nostrils. Jeez this place stinks. I could tell where I was if wearing a blindfold. Clean the carpets please.
Win two of the trip comes with a short check in line and it’s not long before I’m unpacking in a high room in Tower 5. This has its own bank of elevators so no excruciating long waits for the elevator as is the case elsewhere in the IP. The room is the usual unique IP style of shabby, dated and on its last legs. But hey I’ve stayed here often enough to know what it is and for the price and location I’m not complaining. The balcony has a great view of, err, other balconies, but is good enough for when I want a smoke. As I leave my room to meet J and D I realise some of the other guests must be enjoying a smoke as the sweet unmistakable smell of pot fills the corridors.
A few drinks with J and D and I’m off to bed.

Up early the next day and collect the hire car then on to collect J and D from the Wynn. Amazingly they are ready and waiting by the valet. Our day is spent over at the Hoover Dam which I’ve seen before but still makes me nauseous as I peer over the edge, paranoid my sunglasses will fall off.

We then drive along Lake Mead and up the Valley of Fire. In the UK I’m used to rolling green countryside. The landscape on this drive is breathtaking and is just how I’d imagine some distant planet to look. If you’ve never done this trip, I can highly recommend it as a good day trip away from the noise and hustle of LV. The drive from Hoover Dam is longer than it looks though so be prepared with plenty of gas and water.

Back in LV we end up doing some random slot action, chugging back the beers and somehow end up at Toby Keith’s in Harrah’s. I’ve not been in here before but it had a good atmosphere and the bar service was fast. If you’re single and looking to pull (well not that being single is a requirement for that in LV) I get the feeling this would be a good place to go.

We leave there late and I stagger back to the IP. On the way back to my room I spy one of my old favourite slots, ‘Kitty Glitter’. Yes I know it can look a bit odd for a middle aged guy to be playing this (though not as odd as the guys I saw playing Village People or Sex and the City) but it holds an emotional tie to me. If any of you know this slot, why the hell did the designers make the cats so freaking miserable looking? They look like cats that want world domination. C’mon liven it up a bit for Kitty Glitter 2. Make them purr, wag their tails and meow in chorus when you hit the bonus or flex their claws for five of a kind. Ideas patent larfingravy 2011.
Being the whale that I am I slip a crumpled $20 in and spin away. It’s then that my attention is drawn to the woman to my right.
‘how ya doing?’ she asks in a raspy voice that gave away her 40+ a day smoking habit.
I look over to her expecting to see the usual LV, dive casino late night hooker fare but instead see a scrawny, not particularly pretty thirty year old in some clothes that looked as if they hadn’t seen the laundry for some time. (Maybe that is the new dive casino late night hooker fare?)
I briefly acknowledge her but turn back not wanting to encourage conversation. She is persistent though and talks about the machine she is playing. I spy that she is playing 1 credit 1 line on a 1c machine. I grunt mono-syllabic replies and keep my eyes on those goddam miserable looking cats.
My attention is drawn away from them though when she says amongst her ramblings to me,
‘I spoke to my man today and he can’t help me with the money. He’s in prison and I don’t get to speak to him much.’
OK, let me spin down this $20 and I’m out of here.
‘Would you like a massage?’ she asks. ‘I’m very good.’
I look at her spindly, bony hand, the fingers stained yellow with nicotine and the chipped nails holding more black dirt than a poker chip. I nearly puke in my mouth at the thought of this woman straddling my back as those hands rub my bare skin. I then imagine her smashing the bedside lamp over my head as she helps herself to my cash.
I turn down her kind offer and leave. As I’m walking back to the elevator I realise that I’d left about $25 in the slot. Fully expecting her to have spotted this as fast as a hawk sees its prey, I walk back to see that she has gone. I get to the machine and see that my credit is still in. That’s as good as a win.
I take the weed walkway back to my room and feel the buzz from the smell it’s that strong. Bed and I deadlock the door.

More to follow……

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  1. Nice TR Rob, I don't check in here very often just thought you might have a TR or two on here worth a read. I'm off to search for more, oh and I look forward to the more to follow. :wink:

  2. Now that is a trip report. Paragraphs, spelling, punctuation and an interesting story line to boot. Well done.

  3. Thanks Full Tilit and Tucson Jim, glad you liked it.

    BTW if any of you like to read LV TR's I can highly recommend clicking through to Full Tilit's blog for some highly entertaining stories from his numerous visits over the years.

    Back to the continuing TR....

    OK due to the general haze that Vegas leaves me in, the order of some of the rest of the TR may be wrong!!

    Friday afternoon I decide to play the Aria 1pm tournament. I like this tournament and along with the Venetian daily tournaments are my favorites. I get seated next to a British guy to my right who seems solid. Then this happened in level three…. UTG+1 raises, British guy flats. I look down at, yes that nightmare of AA. I repop it. UTG+1 folds and Brit flats. Board comes Q high with two spades.
    He checks, I bet. He flats. (Oh dear). Turn is a spade, completing the flush. He bets out. I cannot put him on the nut flush as I am holding the A spade. KQ not possible due to the Q being a spade. I know I’ve got the A spade and by now most of my stack is already in the pot, so screw it, in it all goes. He calls my all in and flips……QQ. Noooo! His flat of the UTG+1 raise is where I got thrown. Then magically the river is a miracle 4th spade and as I fistpump in my head and pull my chair back in, the bitch that poker is slaps me hard across the face. Oh, what? Sorry, yes you’re right the river paired the board, so he’s got a full house. NH, WP, GG, GL. I continue my standing up, sitting back down again act by standing right back up.

    Now when I get knocked out of a poker tournament I like to say ‘thank you and good luck’ to the table. Nothing conceited just trying to spread the good karma. Most of the time the whole table ignores this. This game is no different.

    On to Saturday and today we spend randomly roaming the strip with plenty of drinks, catching the sights and messing around on some slots. I have never had such slot luck as I did this day. I can honestly say nthat just about every machine I played paid me out good. I put in $20 and walk away with at least $50 every time. It started to get almost embarrassing as my friends rued their luck at not picking the machines I was sitting at. The Midas touch was following me. I played the Hangover slot at Bills and this was good fun. I love the film and the Mr Chow vocals and bonus rounds are entertaining. You really need to hit the bonus rounds on it though as the line win pay-out is low.

    Walk from PH to Paris and sit at an electronic roulette game.
    I always bet heavy around 0 and 00. Every bet covered and then sometimes drop chips around 1,2,3. Started off with $20. Left after four spins with $180. 00 came in and I always double the bet when I win on 0/00. Wahey!! 00 came in again…..yaaaayyyy.
    By now D & J are shaking their heads in disbelief in how my luck is running this day, so to share the karma I take them for dinner at some random restaurant between Paris and Bally’s. The waitress was from Michigan and spoke in a false French accent – for atmosphere I guess.

    Sunday, could have been Monday?? I play the 1pm at Aria again. D comes in for a third of my action.
    86 entries and I grind and grind it out. Down to two tables. Shove when I need to and stay alive keeping at average chips. Eventually get the final table. I’m in seat 2 between a cage fighter in seat 1 and a host from the Cosmo in seat 3. The cage fighter is a real nice guy. Friendly, chatty and really pleased to have reached the FT. A bubble prize is suggested but seat 3 disagrees and says that he will not be doing any deals. Some short stacks get knocked out and the chip lead is fluctuating between the Cosmo host and a very drunk German in his early twenties.

    The drunk German has been on my table most of the game and had to rebuy in. He says that he arrived yesterday and had been up drinking all night and day having come to the poker room from Drai’s. His eyes tell me that he isn’t lying. Luckily he wasn’t an annoying or obnoxious drunk, he was just happy if a little slow with his actions.

    The Cosmo host seems desperate to bust him out, getting involved in hands against him. In one hand he makes an excellent river bet call with K high to win a decent pot. Good call.
    The cage fighter gets busted in something like fifth and now it’s myself, Cosmo host, a jovial Californian and the German drunk. The Cosmo host insists that he will not do any deals.

    At this point my attention is distracted by a face I see walking through the card room. I’ve seen that face before – why it’s AVP’s very own missingflops. I’ve followed his vblog and strategy postings and know that he is a very good thinker of the game. If you haven’t seen his blog yet, look it up. He will definitely get you thinking about your game. I go up to him and introduce myself. He’s playing the 9pm tournament and we wish each other luck.

    Back to my FT. Of course the Cosmo host tempts fate with his refusal for a deal and the poker gods don’t fail to deliver when he busts out in a huge hand against the German drunk. It all gets in on the flop and the German has him covered by a few thousand and wins.

    Now that the ‘no deal’ obstacle is out of the way, we talk a deal between myself, the German and the jovial Californian. The German has about 60-70% of the chips and we carve out a deal. Myself and the Cali get $1800 and the German got something like $2100. Yipppeee!! Some LV spending money.

    I call D and tell him that he has got a return on his investment. They’re over at the Mirage and so I don’t tell him what he’s got and cab it over to the Mirage carrying that warm glow a decent tournament cash gives you. I meet him at the Mirage and count the $600 into his hand – really good to give him a decent return on his investment.

  4. good job

  5. Thanks for the plug Rob. One thing I forgot to mention is when ever I get in a taxi from airport to the strip, I always say take me down Paradise road ( It leads a straight line to airport). It runs parallel to LV Blvd on the east side, then they take Tropicana, Harmon, Flamingo, Sands, Riviera, Convention Center or Sahara turn off onto the strip depending where your staying. Takes like 8/10 minutes and should be approximately $10-$15 depending where your staying, if they try and take you through the tunnel and onto the freeway tell them you want to speak with Nevada Taxicab Authority before settling the bill.

    EDIT: Likewise if your taxi from strip hotel to airport, always ask to go do Paradise road.

  6. Great trip report. :smile: Funny...I've had dudes like you described that woman do pretty much the same thing to me. And I'm usually just sitting at the bar (when I'm not playing poker).

    BTW - next time you go to Vegas you must check out Stoney's. It's a country place that beats any other country bar in Vegas nowadays. If you like that sort of thing. They get all kinds of people in there too. Pretty friendly crowd.