At long last July 21st came and it was time for Vegas. Flew out of Rockford, Illinois on Allegiant, probably for the last time. The incoming flight from Vegas was an hour late arriving, throw in some apathetic ticket agents at the Rockford Airport and my trip was not off to a good start. After a non-eventful flight I arrived in Vegas. Instead of taking a cab, I decided to take a shuttle to Harrah's. The only thing I would do differently is get off the shuttle when it stops at The Mirage rather than staying on while it goes to Ceasars and The Quad. It would have been much faster to walk from The Mirage to Harrah's. Check in at Harrah's was excruciatingly slow. Only two clerks to check in people and one person checking in a group of 20 that they were traveling with made for a long wait in line. Good thing my 4 nights were comped. Played some blackjack, won $100.00, went to bed.
Woke up Monday and decided to go for a run, I have seen runners going up and down the strip in the early morning so I decided to give it a try. So at 6:45 I ran from Harrah's to MGM, it was nice. Perfect temperature, uncluttered sidewalks, interesting way to see the strip. After breakfast, went to check out The Quad, quick $50.00 profit on the blackjack table and it was time to meet my friend back at Harrah's. We decide to play the 11:00 $65.00 buy in at The Mirage. I have always liked this room, it was right across the street and the timing was right. All totaled, there were 24 runners. I was playing my normal TAG style and surviving with an above average chip stack when the blinds started to go up to the point where it was going to be necessary to chip up quickly. So on the button, action folds to me and I see King, Jack of spades. I raise 3 times the big blind, small blind folds and the big blind, a quirky senior citizen who would just randomly get up and walk about the casino at any given times decides to go all in. After I tank, I decide to call thinking that I have a race on my hands or at the very least I have two live cards, plus if I figured if I lose the hand I have some fold equity but if I win the hand my chip stack is a lot healthier. Cards are turned over and its my King, Jack suited vs. pocket 7's. As it turns out, it was a good thing my hand was suited as I rivered a flush for a nice pot. Shortly after this hand, I noticed the manager of the poker room running around in a frenzied state. Turns out she is freaking out because some cash game chips got mixed in with the tournament chips and she was desperately trying to figure out how that could have happened. Play continued on and we get to the final table. Again just surviving, trying to be patient and eventually we get down to 7 when this hand happens: Action folds to the short stack on the button and he goes all in. I look at A,J of spades and I go all in to try and get the big blind to fold so I can go heads up with the short stack. As soon as I go all in, the big blind snap calls. When the cards are flipped up the short stack reveals pocket 9's, and the big blind shows A,Q off suit. As the board is running out, there are 2 spades after the turn and like before, a beautiful 3rd spade comes on the river for a super nice chip up and a healthy stack. When we get to five we agree on a bubble deal for whoever finishes 5th as the money started to pay out at 4th place. Finally the money bubble burst and there is $1,100.00 in the prize pool after $60.00 for the 5th place finisher. We play 4 handed and make plays for other blinds with no one making any real progress. Break time comes and as we are coming back from break, chip leader, proposes a 4 way even chop with everyone getting $225.00. Deal is accepted immediately and my Summer poker run is off to a good start. I celebrated by buying my friend to KGB for dinner. Had the veggie burger (I'm a vegetarian) and the Captain Crunch milkshake. The veggie burger was very good and huge and the milkshake was tasty but I wouldn't order it again. I will post a report for the other days as this report has gone longer than I thought it would.