Due to having some more time on my hands, I managed to organise a solo tour back to Vegas, to see if I could still play poker. I used to play online a lot, but that has died off over the years, and in order to play sometimes you need long sessions, which is not fair if you are travelling with someone else. So off I went last week.
Warning: This is full of poker content so maybe not for everyone. Feel free to move on.
Day 1 Wednesday. Landed from London, after a long old flight, as we had to come on a different approach to vegas to normal. This added about 30 mins to an already 10+ flight. First win of the day was picking up my car. My order for a focus, had turned into a Mustang. Result.
A quick 350 profit a the black tables, funded some shopping for MrsMrBen so i headed of to Caesars to pick up some bits and pieces. This was a fail, as they didn’t have what I (she) wanted .Never mind I got my first taste of In N Out of the way back. I will be back, put it that way. I also dropped in Planet Hollywood to see what they had in place for tournaments, but to be honest I was too tired so I headed back home but managed to book a $215 craps profit pre bedtime.
Day 2: Jet lag ensured i was up early ( I actually went for a run on the strip at 545am !), so while waiting for shops to open I managed to book a 420 profit on a craps table but put 100 back into the casino coffers via the BJ table. Shopping over, I played the 1pm at the Aria. It has been said before by many but this is the best run tournament in town bar none. I lasted out with average chips post the second break (my longest in this tournament). I then got a quick double with my AQ turning a full house against KK (in which he had hit a straight). AQ was going to become an important hand for me during the week. Anyway, soon after, I had QQ up against AK, and lost to a A on the river. Grrr. Out in about 30th (about 130 runners). Not bad but no money. For reference, the five 50 slice counter is very handy for the poker room during a break.
The rest of the day was spent throwing money away playing craps.
Day 3: This was the day of the weigh in for the Mayweather Molina fight and I fully intended to get over to the MGM. I played the Excalibur 9am crap shoot and bombed bady. I was over in the MGM in time for weigh in but, the Q was about 3 miles long so i sacked it off for the MGM poker room instead. Good move on my part as I made $579 profit (which to be fair covered some bad craps and BJ play earlier in the day). Bought in with 200. First hand was AA which i managed to knock out to a 70 buck profit. Great start. Later on I got back to back trips (8’s and 4’s), which took me up to about 460. The 8’s were the biggest of the two wins, and i really hollywooded it out to get the call on the river (huffa and puffs, dont really want to be in this hand looks, etc). This really pissed the other player off, but outside of nasty stares that’s as far as it went. I could of got him all in, as he had the case 8 to also have trips, but i had the better kicker, but to be honest i played the river badly, as i thought he had checked, so i bet 50, which it turned out was out of turn, so he just called rather than pushing which he was going to do. Never mind.
This sums up the luck i got in the session for me. I managed to win a $50 pot with AK, against nothing. The guy was just putting in 10s and 15s with air. Thanks bud. My last hand was a6d. The flop was 68K against 4 players with 15$ each in the pot (75). There was a check around to me and i left it (as someone must have the king). Up pops an A on the turn giving me a nice disguised 2 pair. I reraised a 15$ bet to 45, and got one caller. The river was a 2, and he bet 45. Thanks mate, another 200 in the pot..
Day 4 was back to MGM on fight day to see if the ATM was still open for business. Lucky for me it was. It was quiet for 45 minutes and then this happen. A guy to my right wanted to bet all the time, and was more interested in the boxing and drinking with his mate. My kind of player. Anyway i get dealt K10s, 4 players to the flop ($40). Flop is a6s and 8h. So far so good. I pop 20 UTG, and get 2 callers. The turn give me a lovely 3s for the nut flush. my 25 dollar opener gets re-raised by the gambler to 75. Flat call from me. He pushes his remaining 45 on the blank river. I call, and he has……………………nothing at all. Thx bud, ship it (just over $400).
Next up I get 89c. I open with $7, 3 callers. K83 rainbow flop. I push in a 20 continuation bet, 1 caller. 8 on the turn gives me trips (again).I check he bets 40. I call with a huff (this is standard pattern for 888 !). Blank river. I Hollywood a 35 dollar opener on the river . He buys the huff and pushes 105. I call he mucks. Thanks.
So i cash in $271 up for this session. But on the way to the cash office in the poker room from my table my Oakleys had fallen from my shorts. BOOO. I went back the table, and there was already a guy in my seat that I’m convinced had picked them up, but with no proof I have to move on. Bad beat.
That evening i managed to book another craps profit, which put me back ahead for the trip.
Some wise investment in a Texas Dice slot (!) pay for the Mandalay Bay 10am. This is the first time I’ve played in the room. The room itself is nice, with comfy chairs. There are 18 runners. One local that i can see, and some tourists. Good enough so far. BUT the room is a shambles, We start 2 hands before the other table (the other dealer didn’t even know where to put the button so he asked ours). The blind raises were not announced, so we were up another 3 hands prior to the other table. Anyway, post the break they posted the payout structure. Top 2. What ? When I play online even a 10 hander pays 3 spots. Joke. Especially for a low buy in tourist tournament. First out is the local, which means the dealer can get on with dealing rather than him chatting incessantly to the local about helping him move house the next day. So where did i end up. 3 of course with no bubble deal. My A10 all in beat by an AK from the chip leader. No issues there, he was a nice guy (as were most of the other players). I hope the running of the tournament was a one off, as currently I have no issues with not recommending this room to anyone. Might of had to do with all the dealers wanting on the one playing cash table, which had at least 3 stacks of over 2k (playing 1-2), after a long all night session.
I gamble it up rest if day. Not good. Booked a small win at the end of the day to start last day
I play the noon tournament at Caesars, also off the back (mostly) of a slots win. This could of not been anymore different from a professional perspective. The room is nice, although a bit sterile, but the staff are top draw. I was average just before the break (you start with 10k), but 2 consecutive allin ‘s with AK prior to the break got me to 16k. First hand afterwards was qq which i went against an all in on a less than Q rainbow flop, to get up to 38k and the chip lead. I should of then stepped away from any marginal hands then but if i’m honest i felt a bit indestructible. There was a young french guy at the table who was racking up chips with very marginal hands. We were first and second, with about 12 left. I got AQ suited, UTG I raised to 2.5k (blinds were 300-600 i think). French guy goes allin. My thoughts are if i go with him i have a chip lead by miles and will cash. Bearing in mind his previous wins, I call. He has AK unsuited and wins. I go down to hardly any chips, so i leave soon after. Did i do the right thing ? No. Would i do it again? Maybe.
I play the Excalibur 5pm. and last one hour until i go allin with a slight chip lead with AQ, and come up against AK as well. Now the blinds of this structure are so quick, that you have to shove to be able to play after the break. But if nothing else it will make me play better with AQ in the future !
As it was my last night, i hit the craps tables with my new craps buddy, Rob from somewhere America. We book wins in Excal, NY NY (twice) and Monte Carlo which negates our initial losses in the Excal from earlier, which brings me up for the trip including all the shopping and other expenses. So another profitable trips ends.
Home the next day, and I sleep all the way back to London. As its not poker related I have one more food based post, which i will put up tomorrow.
3 thoughts on “Back to Vegas – The poker tour.”
Nice report, Ben. Glad you had a winning trip.
I have to admit I had to Google “Oakleys.” Sunglasses, right? It was pretty funny reading that your “Oakleys had fallen from my shorts” and trying to guess what that meant. Strange euphemism?
Good that you got to play in Caesars for the last time. Next time you’re in Vegas that room will be gone, and be part of the nightclub. You probably noticed the construction of the new poker room nearby?
You are correct with the glasses, nothing more exciting or embarrassing I’m afraid !
I noticed a few bits of work going on in Caesars, I thought one bit was the poker room. I also know why you play at the MGM more than most!
Not sure of your experience in the Mandalay Bay, or if mine was not unique. Truly shocking in my opinion.
When I get the time (off to Cyprus tomorrow), I have a steak and eggs off strip review to do. Its the grand battle of Mr Mamas vs the Black Bear Diner !
im happy to notify u that u just became officially added to my list of other peoples blogs as of tonight