Arrived late evening SF with two poker playing buddies after 24 hour journey and it takes almost an hour to sort out a car at the Hertz desk. I'm literally falling asleep at the desk.
Quick drive to the Holiday Inn. Spend three days in SF doing the tourist things. Visit Muir Woods, go on a tram etc. Visited the San Pablo casino on Saturday afternoon. Give up waiting to get into a N/L cash game. Amazed at how busy the place was for a saturday afternoon.
I've never driven in the US beforem and it's years since I drove on the right. We share the driving and after a while on my go it's not as difficult as I anticipated.
However I do prefer to make my way around SF without turning left!!
Turning right on a red is strange and drivers on the freeway don't like to let you into their lane.
The car we got was a Pontiac Grand Prix. I've never seen or heard of these before but it was a good car with power when needed.
We drive to Reno and check into Harrahs. Room is fine and we set out for a tour of the Reno casinos. Most impressive I found was thwe Peppermill. Its garish lighting is OTT but you get used to it.
Ebtered the $55 game 1800 chips with 15 minute levels. Not my first choice but it's the only option. Unsurprisingly it turns into an all in fest and my AK is cracked by A8. I then have to push with Q7 and bust to 8,8.
Then I go for the evening game, $125 and 40 players. I bust out in 7th and miss the cash.
Next day is the long drive to LV. Amazing landscape to drive through and how you americans drive on such long straight stretches of road with low speed limits. This is proved true when my friend is pulled over for doing 91 in a 70 near the end of the journey (Indian springs?).
A foreign driving licence gets him off with a warning.
Check into the California for the first two nights. Perfectly fine room, though some may fing the bathroom a little small. There was also a slight drain smell but not enough to bother me.
Crossed the road to Binions to play the 8pm. 6k chips and 30 minute levels should be a good game. I forget the buy in but only 14 players. Sat to my left was one of the best female players I have met in LV. Don't know who she is but she was one of the few who could actually play poker and was one to be wary about. I just make a small cash in third.
Binions card room is off the main drag but I thought it was good if a bit dated. Staff were all helpful and friendly and cocktail service was good.
After two nights at the Cali I move to Bills for five nights. Pleased with my choice for the money. Room is big and spacious, I have a partial view of the Bellagio fountains and from casino floor to my room in less then a minute can't be bad! The noise from the road may disturb some people but that doesn't bnother me and I get a good nights sleep each night.
Played a $65 10pm at TI. Third hand it's folded to me in MP. I raise with KQ. Button calls. flop is King high. I bet, button calls. Turn another K. I bet out and button raises all in. Praying he hasn't got AK i call. He shows KJ. Happy days. Alas the flop brings a J and I'm out on the third hand.
I now concentrate on the Venetian. This is my fevourite card room. The setting is fantastic and staff are good. It attracts a good mix of players.For the next 5 days I play the noon and sometimes the 8pm tournament. I don't cash in any but come 12/118, 23/180 and 13/80 to get close but not close enough in some.
The first one I went out early raising from mp with KK, button all in for a few thousand more then the BB goes all in. I call (he has me covered) button has AJ and BB QQ. Ace on flop takes the main pot then a turn Q robs us all.
Played the $540 game which is a great game with a good structure. Unfortunately I had a buddy playing on the same table which is never good in a tournament. I'd mush rather us all be seperate tables. After hours of getting nothing I get AA utg. Raise and my buddy calls. Flop 8 high. I bet out and he reraises all in. I know he's got to have the nuts to do this to me but it's so hard to give up the best hand I've sen in hours on a flop like that. I just have to laugh and fold. He knows what I've got, the whole table knows what I've got! He shows top set. Trouble is this means the table now thinks he will push on the flop with the nuts and that I'll fold a big overpair to a raise. That's why I don't like friends being on the same table. He told me afterwards that he felt he had to show me the hand to enable me to close the hand out of my head and get on with the game.
Few hands later loose player to my right open limps CO, I check button with AJ 4 to a flop. Its A,10 rag check to me I bet. Blinds fold CO calls. Turn J. He checks I bet he calls. River a K. He pushes Pot has about 1500 and he is all in for 1100. I should have folded but call. He shows KK for a rivered set. Yuck!
On my last day I play the 8pm venetian. Not as good as the noon as you get less chips for more money. First hand KK in mp. I raise and SB calls. Flop 10,9,gh. SB checks I bet he calls. This makes me very suspicious as to what he holds. Turn another 9. Double suits the board. I check - suspicious and not wanting to bust out first hand - he checks . River a rag. I check, he bets helf pot. I call he shows 10,10 flopped a set and housed on the turn. Phew I knew sometinhg wasn't right with his flop smooth call.
Later it is folded to me in the button. I look down at 3c4c. SB and BB are two ladies and the SB has been playing very tight. Decide to raise it up from 200 to 600. Both call - damn!
Flop is 8 high with a three, checked to me, I bet trying to end it there and then. But the BB calls. I'm thinking of giving up with the hand when the turn is another 3. BB now bets out, I push all in. She thinks and calls with AQ. No draw no nothing?? Nice double up.
The table now see what I'd been raising with. This causes great amusement to the dealer who asks if I'm European as only a european would get away with the play.
I lose a few races and end up having to push very short stacked with 5h6h to lose to AQ.
I also played two SNGs at the Mirage. I would recommend these $75 for 1k chips 10 min levels, $115 for 1500 chips 15 min levels and $175 chips for 2k chips 20 min levels. Top two get paid. I played the $115 and the $175 coming second both times. However I had to complete a tax form to get paid and got a TIN(?) number. not sure what that was all about. They are good games with 10 players and you get a mixed bunch of players. They're good to fill a couple hours between tournies.