Quick poker trip for NYE and on to the Rose Bowl (LONG!)


Vegas/Rose Bowl Trip report.


Flight in:

I have a flight on Southwest out of Midway Airport at 9:15 am. So the plan is to keep to the normal work schedule (waking up around 5:45 to be out of the house with the kids by about 6:50), but instead of heading to the office, I’d just take the L to the airport. Morning schedule works just as planned. I got to the airport with about 45 minutes to spare before boarding. Had time to get a breakfast sandwich at the Potbelly’s in the terminal and head to the plane to board. Sandwich was decent, but very significant as it would be a long time before I ate again. When I booked the ticket, there were no discounted seats available, so I figured that I would pay the extra $15 for the seat and get in ‘Business Select’ seating (You get twice the rapid rewards points and priority boarding.). So I managed to be the first non-handicapped, non-active duty military person on the plane. I get the window seat in the very first row. Yay! Two other 220+ pound guys sit with me. Boo. Oh well, I listen to music for about half of the flight and manage to grab a nap for around 90 minutes. This would also be very significant as sleep would be at a true premium on this trip.

I land at McCarren around 20 minutes early after a truly un-remarkable flight. I am one of the first off the plane and head down to the cab line, which is super short. Yay! I am in a cab and headed to Bally’s by 11:00 am local time. It takes around an hour or so to get checked into the hotel as the check-in line was long and slow. I tweeted Adrock, who was also in town with friends when I landed, to see where he was playing so that we could meet up. I mis-read a day-old tweet of his that led me to think that he was currently playing at Planet Hollywood.

I walked over there and was seated in a new 1/2NL game after waiting for about 10 minutes. This was my first time playing in PH’s room. The room is a fairly nice mid-tier room. The tables are spaced reasonably well and the dealers were all quite competent. The cocktail service was unremarkable, which is good.

Planet Hollywood 1/2NLHE:
There was a tournament that was winding down when I got there and about three of the players in the game were regs who’d busted out of the tournament. They knew all of the dealers and many of the players in the game. I didn’t take great notes during the session, but here is my recollection of the line up.

Seat 1: Senior citizen lady who bought in for $100.
Seat 2: Me
Seat 3: 40-ish tourist who seemed competent and TAG-ish for the stakes
Seat 4: 45-ish tourist who was unremarkable ABC, he was straight-forward pre-flop and passive post-flop.
Seat 5: P-Ho reg. Straight-forward ABC. He is probably a modest winner at 1/2NL. Big post-flop bets meant big hands from him. I can definitely outplay him in small and medium pots.
Seat 6: P-Ho reg. 35-ish woman. Mostly ABC, but with some moves. She is probably a moderate winner at 1/2NL. She can be bluffed.
Seat 7: 30ish tourist. Loose-passive fish. Big bets scare him. He’s a target.
Seat 8: 35ish tourist. He is a friend of seat 7. Also a loose-passive fish and a target.
Seat 9: 60-ish tourist. A tight-passive rock. Can steal small pots from him all day.
Seat 10: 45-ish player. Very tight. Couldn’t tell if he was a reg or not. He didn’t play any hands.

I rarely play 1/2 NL, but this game might have made me change my mind. The play was spectacularly bad and predictable. There was only one hand where I was confused by the action. The only problem was that there wasn’t much money on the table. I think I was the only player on the table who bought in full ($300). Other buy-ins ranged from $100-$250. I was by far the most aggressive player at the table. I caught good cards early in the session, including AA in back-to-back that I showed that helped establish a tight image for me. After that, I just picked my spots and value-bet my top pair hands well.

One interesting hand that I played was when I raised to $16 with around $450 behind in LP with 7d-7h. $16 was my standard raise when there were 2 or 3 limpers in the pot. I got called in three spots including seat 6 (female reg one of the two best players at the table). The interesting thing was that I saw her eyeball my stack before calling the raise. This is a dead-giveaway for a speculative hand that she’s hoping to flop big to double through. Flop comes down 7s-9c-Ts. Action checks to me. I lead at the pot for $55. Action folds to her and she moves in for $185 more. The action folded back to me and I tanked. There was a real chance that she had me beat with set over set or that she’d flopped a straight. However, she could also be making that move with 9-T or any one of the many combo draws that were out there. I requested time. I even showed my hand to see if I could get anything from her. I eventually concluded that I couldn’t fold, and made the call. Turn was 3s which I was sure doomed me if I wasn’t dead already. River was the Jc, which was also awful. She mucked face down. She told me that she had 9-T for the flopped top two-pair. If she’d been deeper, I might have folded. Her shove on the flop was a great bet. I think she put me on an overpair and thought she was in front.

I later lost a pot where I flopped trip 8s with 8c-Tc and a short stack had me outkicked with 8-Q.

! was ahead about $250 for the session when things got interesting. We’d lost several players due to normal turnover and were playing 7-handed. A table behind us broke and we got three new players. The deepest-stacked of the three, with about $400 in his stack took the 1 seat. He was a 28-ish player from the Bronx. He was aggro when he had the betting lead in a hand and had obviously been playing a lot of big pots at his other table. I couldn’t tell if he was good or just aggro at first. It was later revealed that he was just aggro. He badly overplayed top-pair hands and didn’t know how to take his foot off the gas when he was bluffing and got played with.

He and I had traded a couple of smallish pots, but nothing huge. I was trying to play in pots with him since I had position and he had the leaks that I’d picked up on. The biggest pot of the session came up when I raised to $12 with Kc-Qc on the button. He limp-called from the CO. There were also two other callers. The flop came down Ks-9x-2s. The action checked to him and he led for $15. The other players in the pot didn’t look interested, so I decided to flat call on the flop and pound the turn as long as a spade didn’t fall. Everybody else folded, as expected. The turn was the 6s, which I hated. He led at the pot for $30. This was not a bet that I thought a flush would ever make. It was partly the line and partly a read. The line didn’t make sense because a spade would want to get a pot going. There was already $80 in the pot, and there was no way to get a big pot going by making that small of a bet. I’d seen him pound the pot when he had a hand that he thought was best several times before, so I just didn’t see him having a big hand there. The river was another 6. He woke up and shoved for $230. I tanked for a bit, but decided to stay with my read and made the call. He rolled over K-J, MHIG. We’d been friendly and I said ‘I thought you were bluffing’. He said to me in 100% seriousness ‘ What bluff? I had two pair with a good kicker’. He really thought that he was good. He thought he could get called by a worse hand. If I hadn’t had to go meet Adrock at the V, I might have stayed there as long as he did.

Adrock had tweeted that he was actually playing at the V. I left Planet Hollywood and headed over to the Venetian to meet up with Adrock and his friends.

Session: +$620
Trip: +$620

Got to V and met Adrock and his Buddy, Meyer, who were seated at separate 1/2NL tables. I put my name on the list for 1/2NL, 2/5NL, and 1/2PLO. I wound up getting called for a 1/2NL seat first. I knew that I was just killing time waiting for a 2/5NL seat to open up, so I said to myself, I was just going to play really ABC and not try to get creative. I bought in for the full $300.

That lasted for three hands. I was dealt in UTG+2 without posting and folded. I folded my UTG hand. On my BB I was dealt 6-8, off-suit. The pot was limped around about 6 ways, and I checked my option. The flop came down 7-4-T with two hearts, giving me a double gutshot straight draw. Action checked to MP who led at the pot for $10. LP called the $10. I check-raised to $45 to represent two pair or a set in the hopes of taking the pot down right there. MP reluctantly called. LP folded. Turn was a Jc. I decided to keep up the charade, since the jack was a good card for me. It was an overcard if he held top pair, it didn’t complete the flush and it also hit my range if I had 8-9 or JT when I check-raised. I led at the pot for $65. He really reluctantly called. I put him squarely on a heart draw, probably with an over. River was the Kc. If it had been an ace, I would have shut down. Since I didn’t think it hit him and I knew that I couldn’t win a showdown, I led at the pot for the same bet that I would make if I’d turned a straight which was $140. He showed his hand to his neighbor and folded. I played one more pot where I flopped top pair (with QJ) from the CO and raised a bet. The bettor shoved on me and I folded. At that point I was called for a new 2/5 NL game.

Venetian 1/2NL: +$65
Trip +$685

I was seated in a new 2/5NL game. I was in the 7-seat. The lineup looked like almost all tourists. There wasn’t much action early in the game as people were just feeling each other out. I noted that the 2 seat (a 35-ish guy) was aggressive and seat 4 (also a 35-ish guy) didn’t seem to like it. I predicted fireworks between the two of them. In the only significant pot I played, I was dealt 8h-9h in MP. I called a raise to $20 from the player in the 6 seat (a 24-ish guy) who had raised an EP limper. About three more players called and we head to the flop 5-handed. The flop comes down 8-8-9 with two clubs. Bingo! Action checked to the pre-flop raiser who led for $75. I flatted. Everybody else folded. The turn was an off-suit 3. Villain checked and I led for $120. He called. River was a jack that didn’t complete the flush. He checked. I moved in for his last $150. He folded. He told me that he mucked two kings, which I believe. Nothing else eventful happened until I got called for the 1/2PLO game that was just getting started. I wanted to play with Adrock who was playing 1/2NL a few tables away, so we both moved to the PLO game.

Venetian 2/5 NL: +$280
Trip +$965

I have only played PLO in a live setting on two or three other occasions. However, I do play online some, so I felt fairly comfortable. The game at the V is 1/2PLO, but it is $5 to open the pot and straddles are never allowed. This causes the game to play about the same size as a 2/5NLHE game. This game is hosted by Jeff Hwang, who wrote the book that I read when I wanted to start playing PLO. I am about 90% sure that he was seated in the 7 seat of this table, but I am not sure that it was him. The line-up was mostly inexperienced players, myself (who was in seat 3) and Adrock (who was in seat 2) included. With the exception of the guy who may have been Jeff Hwang, there was only one other tough spot at the table who was in seat 1 (a 38-ish guy). There were three players at the table who were absolute fish and the others (myself included) were unremarkable. I may have been more aggro than most other players at the table, with the exception of the player in the 1 seat.

The fish in the game were funny, because they were fish differently. Fish #1 who was in the 6-seat was the angriest poker player ever. When I was at the 2/5 game I saw him in a game at an adjacent table (I’m not sure what stakes) and his body language was one of constant rage. His girlfriend was behind him giving him a shoulder and back rub the whole time, but everything he did was done as pissed-off-edly as possible. He may have cost me a pot by intimidating the V into calling when we both held the same straight on the river. His main weakness was that he never transitioned from playing NLHE to playing PLO. He apparently got a few big pairs before the flop that he was pissed about either having to fold or losing at showdown. Fish #2 (a 60-ish guy) played every hand. He was a nice guy, but didn’t know how to fold a hand before the flop. He was destined to go broke one pre-flop and flop bet at a time. Fish #3 wasn’t there when the game started, but sat down later. He was just a run-of-the-mill fish who over-valued non-nut hands.

There were a few interesting hands during this session. It was also a clinic in how there are different ways to approach beating the same game. I played a relatively high proportion of the hands, maybe 15-20% and won more than my share of small and medium-sized pots. Adrock played very few hands, but one was mid-sized (off of me) and one was a double-through off of the tough player who was originally in the 1 seat. We both ended the session up roughly the same amount of money, but we took very different paths to getting there.

I won almost all of my money off of two players, the older fish who couldn’t fold and the tough player. The tough player had one leak, which was floating too much in fairly obvious spots. He did this more against the players that he knew could fold a hand, but he over-used it. He actually got pissed and moved to my immediate left to get position on me, because I caught him in a couple of pots where he had his hand shoulder-deep in the cookie jar.

I did win one hilarious pot when we took the flop for a modest raise. I had a really mediocre hand, but I called the pre-flop raise. Adrock had also called the raise. The flop came down and I had an open-ended straight draw to the nuts along with bottom pair. There was a modest bet of around $20 that Adrock called and I called the bet too with my OESD. A late position player raised to $60. Adrock called and I called. The turn was a brick and it checked around. At that point, I’d given up on the hand. Unless I rivered the nuts, I wasn’t going to put another nickel into the pot. The river was a brick. The action checked to me and I checked it through to the raiser. The raiser thought about betting, but gave up on the hand and checked. At showdown Adrock had flopped a nut flush draw with a wrap that missed. The raiser had also flopped a big draw that didn’t get there. I won the pot with my unimproved pair of 4’s. Live poker is so rigged. LOL!

At this point, I hadn’t eaten since the Potbelly’s on the plane and I was ready to go. Adrock’s friends came in town that day and we all went to dinner. Both Adrock and I cashed out, which might have broken the game.

1/2PLO at the V: +$720
Trip total: +$1,685

Adrock, Meyer, two other friends of theirs, and me all went to dinner at Cañonita inside the Venetian. I had the Carne Asada, which is served with pablano quesadillas on a bed of beans and was delicious. Adrock, Meyer, and I also shared a couple pitchers of mararitas, that were also deliscious. After dinner, Adrock, Meyer, and I headed over to TI to meet up with Las Vegas Michael and SoCalVegasMK. Adrock and Meyer were going to play the 7:00 tourney and I was going to get into the cash game.


I had to wait for about 20 minutes before I was seated in the cash game. I was at the same table as LVM and SoCalVegasMK was also in the room playing the tourney. He would jump into the cash game later. The session as a whole was rather unremarkable, except for the fact that there was a Canadian fish in the game who was catching a ton of cards and had a much higher opinion of his play than reality supported. In retrospect, I realize that I was getting tired and passive. I should have been three-betting him a ton, but I didn’t really three-bet him much at all, though probably more than anyone else at the table. I was up and down a lot in the session, which is typical for when I’m tired. I basically go through spells of playing well and spells of passivity, which correlates pretty closely with my results. I also think I made some moves that might work at tougher games, but didn’t work in this game. The fish went from sitting on about $400 when I sat down up to over a grand and wound up leaving broke.

At one point I had actually been playing pretty well but the fish was catching a ton of cards and I had to fold a fair amount. The fish had been holding over me, but bleeding to the rest of the table, so he was down to about $300 left out of the $1K+ that was his high water mark. I was down to about $230, from my high water mark of ~$600. The fish had a habit of min-raising in mid and late position. I had been paying attention and he never did it with a premium hand. So, I was very liberally three-betting his min raises. On the hand in question, I’d raised to $10 in MP with Ac7c. The fish, who was trying his hardest to be the table captain noted that I’d raised and re-raised to $20. I three-bet to $80. He shoved and the way he did it let me know that he was light. I called his shove for the additional $150. I figured that I was getting better than 2:1 odds and I was nowhere near a 2:1 dog to his range. The dealer ran the board out and I made a flush. Fish rolled over A-T offsuit. He was slightly nonplussed at my play. I told him that his A-T was ‘functionally equivalent’ to my A-7 suited when the money went in. SoCal found that amusing. The fish did not. I think I was the one who put him out of his misery a few hands later. He didn’t re-buy, which netted me $5 on a prop bet that I had with Adrock concerning whether he would re-buy when he busted or not.

I also played an interesting hand with the OD. I raised from MP with 6-6. He three-bet from either the CO or the HJ. The action folded back to me and I called as we were both really deep. Flop came off rags, I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I thought there was a good chance that I was in front with my pocket pair. I checked and OD checked behind. I was almost sure I was good at that point. The turn was another rag that paired the board. I led out for a two-thirds of the pot bet. OD called. At that point, I thought maybe he had a pocket pair that I could move him off of or a goofy draw. The river was a king that did not complete any draws. I checked with the intention of showing the hand down. OD bet about half the pot. I felt like his hand had to be a bluff or a very thin value bet given his line. I shoved for around $250 more into the ~$600 pot since I didn’t want to call and he was bluffing with the best hand like 7-7 or 8-8. He tanked, then called with AK. We disagreed about the hand. He thought he played it well. I thought his turn call was awful. I thought it was especially bad since he initially said he was calling for value because he thought his hand was good.

I played late into the night and wound up leaving down almost $200 after my OESD couldn’t run down LVM’s top pair in a pretty big pot. LVM raised before the flop and I called with Ks-Js. I think we took the flop four-handed. Flop came down 8-9-T rainbow. I led out with a pot-sized bet. LVM had gotten a lot shorter than I thought and shoved. I had to call. I whiffed and his KT was good. It was really late (nearly 4:30 Vegas time, but it felt like 6:30 to me) and I was really tired and my cousin and his friend were coming into town in the morning.

1/3 NLHE at TI: -$170
Trip total: +$1,515

I jumped in a cab and headed back to Bally’s to try to get some sleep. I put in for a 10:00 am wake up call that would get me up around an hour or so before my cousin’s plane was scheduled to get in. However, my body wouldn’t cooperate with the sleeping plan and my eyes popped open around 8:00 I tried to go back to sleep until around 8:15 and then I gave up the fight and decided to get up. I jumped in the shower, texted my cousin to contact me when he landed so that we could get food and walked across the street to the Bellagio.

I put myself on the list for the 1/2NL game and the 2/5NL game. I also thought about getting on the list for 5/10NL, but I figured I would only be playing for an hour or two, max so it probably wasn’t worth getting into a 5/10 game.

After about a ten minute wait I was seated in a 1/2NL game. The action started pretty fast. I was in the 9-seat. The 10-seat was obviously steaming and being beaten up in the game. My first hand I pick up A-8 suited in the CO and raise to $10. I get called in two places. I flop middle pair on a jack-high board. The action checks to me. I lead for $20 and take the pot down. The next hand I am dealt KQ offsuit and raise 1 limper to $10 again. The 10-seat calls as does one blind and the limper. The flop comes down queen-high with two hearts and the limper leads into me for $20. I raised him to $65. The 10-seat cold-called the raise. The bettor shoved for $25 more. I called. The 10-seat called. The turn was a brick. I had the 10-seat covered by a few dollars and shoved. He called. The river was a brick and I showed my hand. It was good. The 10-seat was drawing at hearts. I am not sure what the original bettor had. I had more than doubled my buy-in in two hands. A few minutes later in walks my Canadian fish friend from the night before at TI. He immediately recognizes me and we exchange pleasantries. My mouth begins to water. He buys in short for $100 which surprises me. He played three hands, winning two of them. I wasn’t in any of them. He called one of my pre-flop raises and folded to a c-bet. The action really got started about 20 minutes after he sat down. He had worked his stack up to around $160. My stack was around $375. I looked down at AA and raised to $12. He limp-called, as did one other person. The flop came down 7-7-Q rainbow. He check-called my $30 flop bet. He check-called my $65 turn bet. He check-called my shove on the river A when I made a full house. I don’t know what he had, but he mucked when I showed my hand. He said I had him all the way. He rebought for $100 more. Not long after that, I was called for my 2/5NL game. Much to my delight, he was called for the same game. Yay!

Bellagio 1/2NL: +$320
Trip total: +$1,835

When I moved to the 2/5NL game I realized that the level of play was way higher. Here was the line-up.

Seat 1: a 55-ish Bellagio reg who I’ve played with nearly every time I’ve been to Vegas. He is aggressive and tricky. He has the whole array of moves.
Seat 2: a 40-ish tourist who was tight and unremarkable.
Seat 3: the Canadian fish
Seat 4: A 30-ish guy who played too many hands. He was a target.
Seat 5: A 30-ish guy who also played too many hands. He was also target.
Seat 6: A 40-ish guy who seemed solid. He looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure if I’d played with him on previous Vegas trips.
Seat 7: Me
Seat 8: A 75-ish Bellagio reg who I’ve played with nearly every time I’ve been to Vegas. He is super solid, but is capable of bluffing.
Seat 9: A 45-ish Bellagio reg who I’ve played with nearly every time I’ve been to Vegas. He is more aggro than the 8-seat and can tilt, but he is tough.
Seat 10: Another player from the 1/2NL game. At that table I identified him as the next best player at the table. He was really solid. We never played any hands against each other.

The fish was in so far over his head that it was silly and he didn’t even know it. He bought in for $400 which I had my eye on. I actually only played about four consequential hands at this table and I feel like I played three of them fairly well.

The first hand I played I had Kc-Qc in MP. I raised two limpers to $25. We took the flop 4-handed. The flop came off K-T-x with two spades. The 1-seat (on the button) and the 6-seat called my $65 flop bet. The turn was the third spade. The 6-seat checked. I checked. The 1-seat led at the pot for $200. I folded. He showed Ad-Td. He tried to sell the turn bet as a bet for value, but it was a pure bluff. I don’t know if he didn’t remember me or not or if the show and speech wasn’t for my benefit, but there was no way I was buying. My big mistake in this hand was when I checked the turn. I did that with the intention of calling a reasonable bet, but when the V made a bet that threatened stacks, I had to give it up. In hindsight, I would have been better off leading out myself for

The second hand saw me call a raise to 20 from the fish with in LP 4s-6s and about $480 behind. There was one other caller and both blinds called. We took the flop four-handed. The flop came off 2-3-7 rainbow, giving me a gutshot straight draw to the nuts. I was the second caller of a modest $25 (I think) bet from the fish to draw at my straight since we were multi-way and I was pretty sure that I could get paid off if I spiked my hand. The final player didn’t call and we took the turn three-handed. The turn was a beautiful 5. The fish led at the pot for $50. I raised to $120. The other player folded. The fish called. I shoved on the river for the fish’s last $200 or so. He called. I showed and he mucked.

The third hand came against one of the other two fish at the table, who was in the 5-seat. He raised in EP to $20. The next player called and I raised to $85 with Ad-Kc. The action folded back to the pre-flop raiser who called. The intervening caller mucked. We took the flop heads-up with me in position. The flop came down J-J-6 rainbow. I thought this was a good flop for me as it was unlikely that the V had AA or KK or any hand with a jack in it and he had to be worried about my hand after the pre-flop re-raise. The V checked and I led at the pot for $110. The V called. The flat call smelled like a pocket pair that he wasn’t sure was good. The turn was a 9 that completed the rainbow. The V checked again and I led at the pot for $125. The V called, leaving himself with around $250 behind. When he called I planed to shove any card if checked to and fold to a shove if I didn’t catch an ace or a king. The river was the Kh. The V checked and I shoved for value. He tanked for about a minute, then folded. I think he had either QQ, or TT. There are no other hands that I can see him playing that way, maybe 88 if he was reading me for AK. I think I played the hand fine except for my turn bet was a little too light. I think I like a bet of $185 more.

The final hand that I played came against my Canadian fish again. I was the second caller his $20 raise EP. I was in MP with 3c-5c. The grinder in the 1 seat called from the blind, too. I knew that the grinder was also looking to get into pots with my fish, so his range was pretty wide. The other caller was the 6-seat who had been playing pretty ABC, so I put him on big cards or a middle pair. We took the flop 4-handed for $20 per man. The flop came down 6-6-4 with two hearts. The grinder checked. The fish led at the pot for $30. The 6-seat folded. I flatted. The grinder check-called. We were off to the flop three-handed with around $170 in the pot. The turn was a black deuce, which completed my straight. The grinder checked. The fish led at the pot for $30 again. At that point I put him on a 4 or a small overpair. I thought that the grinder may have had some sort of draw or just been waiting for a chance to make a play at the pot with a big check-raise. This was his spot to spring a check-raise if that was his plan. I couldn’t let that happen because I wasn’t ready to play for stacks against him. I was ready to play for stacks against the fish. I raised to $145 all day. This was big enough that the grinder’s only credible raise would have been all-in, which I didn’t think he’d do without a boat against me. The grinder reluctantly folded. The fish reluctantly called leaving himself around $95 behind. The river was a three, which was sort of gross, because he could easily have had 5-5 and we were now chopping. He checked to me. I announced all in. He stated that he’d ‘put to much money in the pot to fold now’ and tossed his last chips in. I showed my straight and he mucked.

As this hand was playing out, my cousin and his friend walked into the poker room. That was the last hand I played. I got racks and left to go get brunch with them.

Bellagio 2/5NL: +$915
Trip total: +2,750.

This was the last sober poker I played. My cousin, his friend and I went and at at Chipotle. I know. I asked them if they wanted to go to a buffet or a decent restaurant, but they either wanted Denny’s. As it turned out, the wait at Denny’s was 25 minutes long, which was too much for them, so they made the call to go to Chipotle. I picked up the tab since they were younger and I was glad to be hanging out with my cousin.

I was supposed to meet OD, SoCalVegasMK and maybe LVM at TI. My cousin and his friend had never played poker for money before and we wanted to drink. I decided to put them into the 2/4LHE game and meet up with people before things got nuts, if they were even there. I got there and there was only 1 NLHE game going with a list and none of the AVPers were in the room. I decided to sit in with my cousin and get hammered. I bought two racks of chips and gave each of them three stacks and took four stacks for myself. I was giving them pointers on the trip over and the folks at the table were really patient with them. I have to give major props to the TI dealers who held their hands all the way through and were the best, as usual. Both of them were actually ahead in the game for a brief moment before they started bleeding chips fast. I won a few pots and I kept replenishing them from my stack. I asked the table if anyone minded before I would push them a stack of two of chips. Of course, no one did because the chips were going from someone who knew how to play poker to two players who did not. While I was there LVM, who was still at home tweeted that I was actually at the table with his wife. We introduced ourselves to each other and played on. Yelena was very nice and it was a pleasure to meet her. I did my best to apply Grange’s drink value maximization strategy properly and left TI nicely buzzed and only down $80 between all three of us.

I played 1/2NL at Bally’s while I was waiting for them to shower and got cold-decked twice and caught bluffing once, and was down $700 in the blink of an eye. I decided drunk 1/2NL was not a good idea. So I headed out when my cousin got back to the poker room and we hit the strip with drinks in hand.

Bally’s 1/2NL: -$700
Trip total: +$2.050

That is the end of the poker content. I can post about the strip on NYE and the Rose Bowl if people want to hear it, but this post is long enough now. If I get feedback

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  1. Nice TR. It always amazes me how much detail you can remember.

  2. Nice TR. I vote that you continue with the rest of the trip.

    I think I just missed you at TI a couple of times although since you probably would have carved me up I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

  3. Your TR was a great read. Thanks.

  4. Nice TR, RedRight...

    I enjoy reading your breakdown of hands, both in this TR and in general. Keep up the posts.

  5. Great report, though I expect nothing less from you. Sounds like a great trip, good combo of serious cards and fun with the buds!

    It was interesting to see your take on the 2/5 NL game at Bellagio. During my recent pre-Christmas trip as well as the last IMOP, I actually found the Bellagio 2/5 NL game to be my most consistently profitable game (with the 1/3 NL at Wynn and TI close behind). I'm not sure why, but I think it's partially because the 2/5 NL at Bellagio plays a little more "true" (i.e., not a lot of limped pots, not a lot of multiway pots, not a lot of surprising hands with junk cards), and partially because I know I focus a lot more and play a lot tighter when I jump in that game. Where and at what games do you find yourself typically doing better in Vegas?

    Also, if you enjoyed the 1/2 PLG at venetian, you may want to check it out at Aria next trip. I played PLG there twice on my recent trip and made a decent profit. Game had a couple of solid sharks, but mostly it was people who liked to gamboool a lot, and who played way too many marginal hands way too far.

    Oh, and I would love to hear about the Rose Bowl!

  6. Nice TR, and I would very much like to hear about the NYE debauchery on the Strip!

    As for the Rose Bowl, looks like Prior is finally trying to be a QB. If he can make that same jump that Troy Smith somehow made, then this may just work out for the Scarlet and Grey yet.

  7. great TR!! please continue on with a TR from the 6th row at the Rose Bowl. Sorry you didn't have time for me to meet up with you at one of the So Cal card barns.


    think this might have been your most +EV part of the trip? :grin:

  8. @Grange95

    I get my best results from the 2/5 games at Bellagio and the Venetian. I tend to do well in 1/2 and 1/3 games early in the session, but if I stay too long, I wind up playing down to my competition. My biggest leak in 1/2 and 1/3 games is that I expect people to lay hands that they have shown interest in down. If I would stop that, I would be far more profitable in $300 max buy-in games.

  9. @bowlingfool

    think this might have been your most +EV part of the trip? :grin:[/quote]

    +1 :grin:

  10. @ThunderEagle

    People tend to forget how young TP actually is. He is still a true sophomore. He will be just fine. I know that Buckeye quarterbacks don't have much of a track-record in the NFL, but I think with two more years in the system, Prior will make a really good NFL prospect.

  11. I have to write up the NYE and Rose Bowl details when I get home, but I'll try to post them tonight.

  12. Nice report. It's so refreshing to read something that actually makes sense. No surprise you are a winning player. Thanks for posting.

  13. Nice report RR. Reading it reminded me what an incredibly solid player you are.

  14. @Kiwi

    So true. Never seen anyone maximize poker-drinking profit to this degree. Breathtaking*!

    *Referring to the skill shown, not the alcohol on his breath.

  15. @Grange95

    Whew! I was afraid the $175/drink Jack and Gingers that I had at Bally's on NYE might have been too big a negative to overcome.

  16. Outstanding TR ... Continue to learn lots from your posts. Love the insight and detail related to the hands.

    Your TR is as aesthically pleasing to the art of strategy as an IMOP report is to the funny bone... Not to take anything away from Grange's strategy posts. I am sure he is consistenly able to turn a respectable profit. In fact, I easily think he could garnish 2-3BB an hour at O'Shea's complex 2/4 LHE.

    seriously, great TR. thx again

  17. @vookenmeister

    I assume "2-3BB an hour" means "2-3 bottles of bubbly per hour". Seriously, I would need to be getting comped at least one bottle of Dom Perignon per hour to show a profit at 2/4 LHE.

    But yeah, nobody does "strategery" post better than RR88. I just want to hear about NYE, and assume it will involve degeneracy! :smiling_imp:

  18. @Grange95

    If it doesn't involve degeneracy and debauchery (fail if not both!) based on the first part of the TR, I'll be severly disappointed.

  19. @ThunderEagle

    If it doesn't involve degeneracy and debauchery (fail if not both!) based on the first part of the TR, I'll be severly disappointed.[/quote]

    RR will take a paragraph just to describe the waitress & bartender in great detail :dizzy_face:

  20. @redright88

    If Art Schlichter had not gone TBC on us then that might have been a different story. Of course, if the Browns had just kicked a field goal in '81... :wink:

    Nice report. Go Buckeyes.

  21. Enjoyed the trip report RR88, great breakdown and detail.

  22. Very good report. What are your opinions of the MGM games, the 1-2 and 2-5 to be exact?

  23. Awesome post! I enjoyed reading it. Reading how your gauged your oppenent's bets was very enlightening. It affirmed some observations I have been making and also pointed out some leaks i need to take care of. I'm heading on my first solo trip to vegas next weekend (i've been 4 or 5 times with my wife) and can't wait to play some serious poker without feeling bad (nervous) about leaving my wife unattended at the MGM pool.