Very Nice Weather (chuckle) and Awesome Poker

Reports & Blogs by joeyphresh about Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand Posted

Ok, I am not British (in case you were confused by the trip summary), but I am from Boston and take several trips to Vegas annually. This, however, was my first trip during the WSOP. Before I had always avoided this time because most rooms in Vegas are packed solid and full of donkey's. Ok, I am not the next Phil Hellmuth (i am modest enought to admit that) but I have been a decent, well-rounded player for nearly 8 years, so I don't enjoy a table full of donkey-fish. Anyhow, I arrived late from Boston, around 11:30, and almost fainted when I stepped onto the jetway. Hot? You bet your behind! Hot isn't the best adjective, however; oppressive, disgusting, and "stay home," better describe the weather in July and August in Vegas. But despite the weather, I had a great trip.

I de-planed with my luggage (I didn't check my bag and that is the best thing to do when flying to Vegas because the baggage claim can be a nightmare) and headed toward the taxi stand. Usually, I wait 2 mintues for a cab, but not this time. I spent 45 minutes in a line that reminded me of Splash Mountain in Disney World but without the anticipation of a nice cool splash of water at the end of the ride. I finally caught my cab and headed over to my hotel, Excalibur. (Don't be fooled by the Excalibur, it's cheap, close to the strip and conventient, if you don't mind a few kids) I checked in to my room and headed down to the bar. It was too late and I was too tired to play a session that night (a great lesson; DON'T PLAY TIRED). Three beers and two shots of Jameson later, I was crawling into bed.

9:00 AM...Hot shower...ironing board and Sportscenter...I was ready for Session #1. After suffering through a 15 minute trek across the walkways and through NY-NY, I stumbled into the MGM Grand. After purchasing myself a ticket to see Lewis Black that night, I signed up for a 4-8 Limit Game. I like to start small on the first session to adjust from Foxwoods to Vegas. Four hours later I was down $120...sweet! "Screw this" I said to myself and headed back to the Hotel to grab lunch.

After housing a #2 with fries and a Diet Coke, I headed to the shower to get ready for the Lewis Black show that night back at the MGM. But not before a quick 2-6 session at the Excalibur. After 2 1/2 hours of play and a smallish $35 profit, I went to the show. I got my laugh on for a good 2 hours and headed to the hotel to crash.

8:00 AM...warm shower and Fox News...I was ready to head to the Mandalay Bay for a nice comfy session. Just walking in this place makes me feel good. The overwhelming smell of vanilla perfume being pumped in through the vents, and on top of that, the most beautiful poker manager I have ever seen! Ever so politely, I asked to be put into a 1-2 NL game. After a 5 minute wait...BOOM...I was seated with my chips...nice. 2 hours or so pass, and in comes Dick Van Patten and his son and WPT cover-boy Vince Van Patten, and they sit at my table...double nice. After a few pots back and forth between me and the Van Patten's...I was up a few hundred and decided to call it quits.

Next came dinner at the hotel and a $200 lost bet on the Red Sox.. I then hit the sack for my trip over to the Rio to watch Group 1B at thr WSOP the next morning.

Hundreds of gorgeous half-naked women, poker pro's, amateures, ESPN, and one hell of an experience, was waiting for me when I arrived at the RIO. The convention area at the Rio rivals airplane hangars in size. I swear you could fit three Airbus A-380's side by side in the Amazon Room (where the tournament is played). Chris Ferguson, Phil Laak, Mike Sexton, Phil Gordon and a slew of un-known's surrounded me. I was having the time of my life and I am not even playing!! After waiting in line for 2 hours I finally got to go in and watch the live play. Awesome. That just about sums it up.

3:30 pm, 7 hours until my flight home (did I mention this was a short trip?) What left to do? Back to the excalibur for one last session before I had to catch a cab to McCarran. 1-3 limit Hold em', only game running. I get my seat, my $100 in chips, and Cowboys...welcome to the table. Raise, call, call, call, call, call, call, call (typical for a low-limit game). Flop, K-3-4, turn card, A, river card, 3. I turn over my boat and some other donkey shows an A-4 off. WTF!! he yells. Oh-well, my money now. Anyways, I play another 2 hours or so..get my last supper (at Quizno's) and get my bags and a cab to the airport.

Main Terminal..America West flight 66, red-eye to Boston...quite frankly the worst flight ever. Not because the plane is small or because the people around me usually smell like booze and cigarettes, but because I am once again leaving Las Vegas, only to sleep the entire 5 hour flight home dreaming about pocket-Aces and all that neon glory.

9AM...Just got to home from Logan Airport. I go on-line to US and begin booking my next flight to Vegas. "Damn," I say outloud, I love this frickin' place!!

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