The headwind was null so my flight arrived from Boston at 9:15am (50 minutes early) on Monday the 21st. After a quick taxi to the Mirage, my Dad and I grab breakfast at the Caribe (good omelette and fresh squeezed OJ) before checking in at around 11:30.
Dropped $25 of good karma money on 2,4,9,21, and 26 at the roulette wheel. The number was 18 so the karma wasn't that good.
Our 8th floor room was nice with a view of the Rio, the Mountains, the pool (barely), and the top of Harrah's and Paris. I did not try the $20 trick as I've stayed at The Mirage in the past and like their rooms just fine.
We walked over to the Venetian to pick up our tickets to BMG for Tuesday night. I showed my Dad around the casino, the shops, the square, and stopped by the poker room. The room was pretty dead with about 4 tables running and no waiting or interest lists. Pretty typical for early afternoon from what I've read. However, I was at the Venetion two other times during my trip and observed little change in the number of tables going or the action. I chose to stay away each time.
Also visited the Fashion Show Mall to pick up a cellphone charger (1 store on the strip carries these??????) as I forgot mine at home.
Stopped in at TI on the way back and the poker room was very dead (one table going). I was by there two other times and saw the same thing.
Got back to the Mirage, visited the pool for about an hour and grabbed dinner at the Carnegie (good soup and salad). Then I made my way to the poker room to start my yearly adventure in B&M poker. Dad enjoyed the volcano and called it a night.
I played 3/6 for about 4 hours and booked a $25 profit. I started out playing tight, ABC poker and gradually whittled my buy-in of $150 down below $75. I was sucked out on the river a few times with the best hand going in and leading the betting out. I found weak passive was the mode of most players in the game. Also, people will call down with any piece of the flop. Later in the session I was able to play more agressively when I found myself getting some premium hands. AA twice, KK twice, AK. I was able to get my money back when people either called me down with 2nd, 3rd pair and draws that busted. At one point I got AA, KK, and AK on consecutive hands. Folded the AK to a Q3Q flop bet.
Memorable hand of the session was limping with 99 in MP I see a flop of K-9-3 rags. I raise the flop bet from the BB and get 2 callers. I raise the turn (6) bet from BB (he's on a King I figure) and the BB calls. The river is a 3 giving me the boat and I raise the BB's bet, he reraises, I reraise, he calls, and he mucks to my boat. No other hands of note for the session but I turn in early to be fresh for the AM with some additional money in my pocket.
Conference lasted from 8 to 5 after which we headed over to the Venetian for a burger at San Gennaro and then the 7:00 BMG show.
The show was great. A different type of entertainment than Cirque (which I've seen in the past). Rather than being awed by Cirque, BMG was fun. I'd recommend the show to all. My Dad, at 78, loved it so I guess it is an all ages show.
I played 3 1/2 hours at The Mirage after the show booking an $85 profit from a buy-in of $150. The session was mostly a grind (I guess you have to do that at 3/6). I found that playing agressively when you can (ie: you have the cards) will lead to you getting paid off. The table had weak passive, weak tight, loose agressive moving in and out with a couple of rocks staying firmly in place.
Memorable hand has me with 10 10 in the CO which I raise up. I get reraised by the BB and we go to the flop with four callers. JQr on the flop has me call the BB's bet and we are heads up. 10 on the turn has me raise the BB who calls. A on the river makes me think twice when the BB bets out. I raise, he reraises, I make a crying (to myself) call and he frowns showing 99. MHIG!
After a long (11 hour) day at the conference and dinner at the Outback I head to the Mirage poker room again for some 3/6. This will be known as the night of the 'Desperate Ohio Housewives'.
I get hooked up at a table fairly quickly and find myself sitting between two women from Ohio who are in town for a few days of R&R with some girlfriends.
The poker was pretty uneventful as I booked a profit again (yeah) putting $40 extra into the account from a standard buy-in of $150. I played TAG when appropriate, sat back when needed, and enjoyed the evening. I ran into the same villian twice when he rivered the nut flush to my 2nd nut and when he turned a straight to my turned two pair. He was very weak tight with a hint of passive so I didn't lose too much in those hands.
It turned out that one of the housewives was originally from the town I live in now and married a guy from the town I grew up in. We sang the Disney tune and proceeded to have a good time. The housewives came up with nicknames for everyone at the table. The best one was Morman John, for an older gentleman who looked like the Dad from Fraiser. He went with the flow and there were many laughs.
The cocktail waitress and the housewives got into it as the service was very slow. It got to the point where the waitress ingnored the housewives which resulted in the 'scene'. It involved the whole team of Mirage poker room staff to talk with the housewife as she wished to file a complaint, blah, blah, blah. I guess she was satisfied with the management's response.
The conference ends at 12:30 pm and my Dad and I hit the stores for some souvenirs. I followed this with a trip to the pool for a huge lunch (quesidilla's, shrimp cocktail, and ice tea) and about an hour and a half on a chair and in the water. Dad decided to lay low around the hotel. He had to get his pictures from the Hoover dam and the strip developed (four disposable cameras worth) and was a bit tired.
I decide to head to the Bellagio as I like to go there at least once during my annual trip. I buy in for $200 to a 4/8 game with an immediate seat. (I must have timed that right). The floor was very nice and the service was good as well. The dealers were the same from past years and ran a good game. Ah, the game. It was absolutely nuts. A lag-fest which I have never experienced before. 5 or 6 to the flop, often capped. Two villians initially responsible with a third joining in. This game was variance at its best.
Early on I hit a flop of 10-A-A with 10-10 in my hand. Was capped all the way down and I pulled a big pot when villian showed A 6 for trips. He said he thought I would fold my Ace to his aggression.
I played very few hands for about an hour, watching the insane action. My stack was good (almost doubled up) but I became a victim to the game and myself. I started getting good starting hands (not great) and started to play them in and out of position. However when you play AK sooted capped pre-flop and don't hit, you need to fold. I dropped a couple of $20 pre-flop bets during the second hour.
Also in the second hour an old (I mean old) woman came in from a broken table and proceeded to disrupt a hand in action. I imagine she is a regular at the B (I saw her back in 2001 or 2002 when I made my first trip to Vegas) because even though she disrupted the game during a hand with a huge complaint because she had the right to the first available seat, no one from the dealer to the management told her to sit down.
I should have left when cooler woman arrived and I learned a lesson from not leaving. I didn't perceptively tilt but played too loose for the table during the next hour and dropped down to about $75 from my original buy-in before leaving.
The other lesson I learned is adjusting to a different type of game. I had never experienced a lag-fest like that. I commented that it was like playing online to a young guy (had his AA flopped set, turned Broadway busted by 49 sooted completing a flush on the river - I folded what would have been a turned Broadway - good move) and he agreed. I can say I did learn something about myself during this trip. One session at Bellagio gave me some good insight into my game and gave me a new (enjoyable and not too expensive) experience. It was interesting watching the three guys play the LAG style fairly well. They happened to be hitting their hands. Though I can imagine that they would not be able to keep that style up on a restricted bankroll.
After cashing out I headed to The Mirage for a final session as I was out on an 11:30 flight to Boston the next morning.
I buy in for $150 again and sit at a fairly tight passive table. I talked with a valet from Caesars who was sitting to my left. He was very weak tight but I enjoyed his conversation as well as the women from Winnipeg on my left. I was told by a Euro-type car salesman that I was not a good player because I didn't show down my AA when I flopped a set and had the table fold to my open bet. He said 'I had you on Queens and you would have been shaking if you had AA.' He didn't believe me about the AA. I think he was trying to get in my head. Too bad, nothing there my man.
Maybe that's why he called me down two other times when I was dealt and bet premium hands (KK and QQ) that won.
Hand of note: I get A7d in the BB and check it through. Flop comes Ah-7H-rag. I bet out my two pair, get raised by MP, reraise, and he calls. Turn brings a non-heart and I notice villian wince. I bet, he raises, I reraise, he calls. River is a non-heart. I bet, he calls and MHIG.
Young guy who replaced Winnipeg lady in seat #2 (I was in #3) asks why I reraised after the flop and I said that I had a read. This was one a quite a few examples of my pre-trip reading (books) paying off.
Anyway, I played until I was very tired and after about 5 hours at the Mirage (+75) and about 3 at Bellagio (-125) I ended my poker for the trip.
The poker profit was small for the trip but I learned a lot from the experiences at The Mirage and Bellagio, had a great time playing poker, enjoyed an excellent show, and best of all, spent time with my Dad.