Archive for the ‘Poker’ Category

Vegas. NYE 2014

January 11, 2014 4 comments

Little bit later than expected, but heres the 3rd consecutive NYE report from me in Vegas. First off, it was a lot warmer than last year, which was great. Looking at the states now, looks like we timed it well.

We flew from London in premium with Virgin, which was a great experience thats needs to be repeated. Good service, good food and a bit of space. Arriving in Vegas refreshed we picked up a 2013 Impala which we had for the first 4 days. This made a massive difference in getting about and visiting places we usually wouldn’t of bothered with and saved a fortune in Taxis. First point of note. In and out isn’t open Xmas day (or at leased the one between the strip and the Orleans isn’t !). That night was pretty quite outside a trip to Palms ( not in a rush to get back !)

After another good night kip we hit the sales at the North Outlet Centre where i got all my xmas pressies and Mrs Mrben got some nice goodies as well. The trip back was interesting, as the ramp on to the I15 was shut and we had to take a detour into the bits of vegas people don’t see on the Travel channel. Driving down streets where everyone is sitting on the kerb, and the people standing up are nearly all pushing shopping trolleys and you don’t know where you are, sharpens the senses somewhat.

Anyway we popped in to the Hardrock Hotel ( on the way back and it looks good enough to visit again. The layout is good and the music was fantastic, just a shame it was empty. More of a summer venue from what i understand.

The following day, was the big day out, with a trip to the Hoover Dam. First time i’d been there, and it was amazing. We did the full tour, and it was worth every penny. We went 60 stories down(!) in a lift and through some rough hewn tunnels to see the turbine room which is just massive. One of the many intersting things regarding the Dam was the fact it straddles the state line between Arizona and Nevada which also has a one hour time difference, which must be a pain if you live on one side and work on the other, which you can get to in 10 minutes due to the recent addition of the memorial bridge which speeds up the crossing no end for the non tourists. I’ve tried to get the scale of both in the photos but they are just huge, trust me. Having spend all day there we had a quiet night but on the way home visited the Pinball hall of fame. Now this is my type of place. One massive room full of pinball tables and old school arcade games. We spent a great 2 hours and a whole $5 and had a great time. A must do on any gamers Vegas visit. A quick visit my first IHOP for pancakes and we headed off. That evening we visited the Orleans, which had been on my list of off strip casinos to visit for many years. This place is as good as most strip casinos and was very busy as they also (for now) host the Vegas Ice Hockey Team. We also went that evening to another first for me, The Boiling Crab Restaurant. The food was good, but that was not the most memorable part of the journey, if fact the journey itself was. The states and the UK drive on different sides of the road, and that usually isn’t an issue . Unless the sat nav tells you to turn left and see a gap in the reservation of the 8 lane road. And you go for it, and then see the 2 lanes you are in both have arrows on pointing in the opposite direction to my direction of travel. Anyway, death averted as nobody came the other way, and i sped off back to the right side of the road.

Next day we had to give the car back, so we visited one more place, post lunch at the ever impressive Lemongrass, the National Atomic testing museum. As you may know, Nevada played a big role in the development of the Nuclear Arms race and this place covered all the history really well, with real bombs, etc on display.

With the car back at the airport, the gambling and fun began. That evening I had a nice craps run and put $500 back in the kitty. Next day I undertook my one and only Poker session, at the MGM.  met up with Rob who I knew from allvegaspoker and his great blog. This was very appropriate as I got broken twice when holding the dreaded pocket kings. These are a staple of his blog, take a look. Dinner was back in the Aria for Five 50, their new pizza place. Massive pizzas, massive taste, terrible service, 4/5.

We were expecting friends on the Sunday, but due to a no show we headed down the strip to the shops at Caesars. They have the worlds biggest quality watch shop, and how I got out of there without spending all my pension was a miracle.

Monday was a food day, with the buffet at Mandalay Bay for breakfast and Buppo Di Beppo for lunch. Full. Full stop !

Next up was NYE. Nice day in the Casino with a $750 small jackpot from a wheel of Fortune machine. Good start to 2014 ! NYE on the strip was probably our best ever with a great position for the fireworks. Not as busy as usual (335k people on the strip down from 350k!).

Home next day, and a well earned kip on the plane nearly all the way home. For the record, Mrs Mrben came home with a whole 8 bucks less than she went with. All the more for next time. Enjoy the photos !

Las Vegas Sep 2013

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

This was our first trip to Vegas this year and was long awaited as our first trip away since Easter. As usual we were flying Virgin, and they have reconfigured their planes a little. Due to their ultra expensive pricing for Upper Class, I imagine there has been a downturn in uptake, so they have taken Upper Class out of the top deck and replaced it with Prem Econ and Econ. However the Econ has more space than downstairs which is much appreciated by me !

So we settled down for our 10 hour flight, and it was noticeable we were being flanked by some Weekend Millionaires. This was borne out as the flight went on, as they got pissed, started arguing and if not for some very direct words from a stewardess might of got the flight prematurely landed. That aside, flight was great and we landed on time, and due to our position on the plane, were whisked through security in record time. Bags collected it was off to our usual haunt, The Excalibur, where once again we are graciously looked after by our host. We had a nice hamper of choccies etc in the room as we arrived ,which were just as graciously devoured!

Part of our deal was $100 in freeplay. Between the two of use we spun this around to nearly $200 cash, so good start to the week. Unlike previous trips, night one was a quiet one, and early bed. This is an unusual tactic for us but seem to handle the jet lag, so will be tried again.

Saturday was upon us in the morning. Quick trip to the pool for Mrs mrben09, quick trip to the poker table for me. 77 doesn’t beat jj, so that was me early doors. We retired to Tacos and Tequilas in the Luxor for lunch, and had some great Mexican grub which kept me going for the rest of the day. That afternoon , my wife’s cousin was coming in from Seattle,  so we decided for evening we should go upstrip, as Floyd Mayweather was doing his thing across the road, and it was going to be crazy down our end of the strip. So for the evening we met in Javier’s for cocktails and then went to the Mandarin Oriental Sky bar just outside for some more cocktails. This bar is on the 23rd floor and has floor to ceiling windows covering the whole strip as a view. Post drinks we hit the ever favourite Lemongrass in the Aria for dinner. Fantastic as always and remarkably cheap considering the surroundings. We left just as telecasts for the fight were finishing and the casino floor was packed to the gills. I had already paid for my Poker Tournament the next day so we retreated to the Bellagio and the YellowTail restaurant for a few drinks and a catch up. Suitably refreshed we headed across the road and a bit of a gamble up in Harrahs. We have never spent a lot of time here, but will be doing in the future. It may not match Aria and Bellagio for swank but the staff more than made up for it. Quick waitress service and friendly dealers made for a top night (and winning a few quid always helps). We also took a quick trip through the Quad (previously the Imperial Palace). This is still a work in progress but definitely an improvement on the old dark IP.

Sunday was my day. I have been a member of for some time but due to living some distance away, I’ve never been in any of their sponsored tournaments. Today changed that and I entered into AVP XIX at the Aria Poker room. Post registration and picking up my freebie t-shirt and other goodies I met some people that i have conversed with online for some time. There are photos of me at their facebook page from here, but i wont be linking them. As usual with the Aria the tournie was well run, and I got to the first break without to many dramas. I shared my table with 2 AVP employees, and was quite amused to watch the CTO completely suck out on the Marketing Manager to much abuse and incredulity. The first price for just over 8k, so i needed to get some hands and post break the antes were biting and I needed to make a move. The move turned out to be a disaster. I was dealt 10 10 in mid position. I called a raise, and two of us saw the flop. the flop was 9 jq so i shoved with the chance of a open ended straight. My opponent tabled a jq and won the hand. So out in about 2 hours but a decent time non the less. Before i met the girls (who were in the middle of a  4hr (!)  buffet in the Cosmopolitan, I hit the Blackjack table for a quick $200 win. Although everyone at the table was nice, i noticed they thought i was a little odd. Why was confirmed once I left the table and realised i still had my AVP name badge on while playing. Oops.

We ended up the evening at Harrahs again and won a few quid.

Monday was a 9.00 start at the Excal crap shoot poker tournie with Michael from Australia who i had met the day before at the Aria. He bombed early just before leaving to start his 2 day trip home and I held on, to finished 3rd and triple+  my buy in . Good start to the day. We then did our usual pilgramage ti the North Outlet stores and hit the shops. Some good golf gear was picked up a new suit amongst other things. In a non holiday move we had a Genius appointment with Apple in the Fashion show mall early evening . Using the usual “it’s only up the street” approach we set off on our walk. 1 hr 20 minutes later in 99 deg heat we were at our destination and knackered! But we got a replacement Iphone 5, so all good. Dinner was in ZoozaCrackers in the Wynn. I didn’t have the burger but it look amazing, but the nachos did well enough for me.

Tuesday we cashed in the first of our myvegas (facebook promotion) and had a free brekkie at the MGM buffet. Not as big a selection as I thought the worlds biggest hotel would have, but all good nonetheless. Being in the MGM meant I had to play the 11.00 am tournament at the MGM poker room. The current location for the room is shocking and no wonder takings are down. However the staff are professional as ever. Unlike my poker, I was out quite early, having got no hands or worth, and losing a straight on straight (10 vs J) pushed me passed caring and I shoved until i could leave ! We had a late lunch in our secret hideaway off the strip, Kapit Bahay. This simple Filipino restaurant never fails and once again the beef steak and pancit were tasty as ever. So much so we went Friday as well.

Wednesday was a long day. Lunch was in Buca di Beppo in the Excalibur. The large portions kept us going until the evening, where we used another voucher for a large saving in Plant Dailies in Plant Hollywood. This is just by the escalators up to some other restaurants and the nightclubs. This meant we were delayed by about a million people trying to get photos of Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck who were there promoting their new film Runner Runner. From there we went to see Vegas the Show . This is a variety show charting the history of Vegas as a resort destination from the mobsters up to current day featuring hits from Sinatra, Tom jones, Elvis and Elton John. Well worth the price.

Post show we headed home and hit the tables. We lost a few quid but that was on the cards as we had hardly spend anything in the previous 4 days. Thats when we met Betty, Rita and Biscuit (false names, as you may of guessed). 2 50’s style ladies and one completely normal lad, all hailing from Essex. They were great fun, and we stayed at the roulette table until 6 in the morning. Everyone won and the crack was great. Biscuit could not lose and ended the evening with a $25 drop on the 00. This comes in to great cheers and $875 to Biscuit. During this early morning gambling session we also met Alan from the Hangover (maybe). I say maybe as he hardly said 2 words for the hour or two he was with us but the photos show he could of been.

Thursday was a late start as you could imagine, so we cashed in another myvegas token for the Aria Buffet. Way better than the MGM and definitely one to be done again. This led us the relaxing part of the holiday and we stayed pretty local for the rest of the week. I played the Luxor tournie Friday morning to no avail, but got a few decent runs on the craps tables to get the money flowing back my way for the trip home. We ended our trip on Friday evening in Michael Minas pub 1842 in the MGM for a really nice meal with some local beers. I lodged the Dirty Dog (not nice, had it last trip) in favour of the Anchor Steam from Cali. not bad for a American beer, and a vast improvement on the DD.

Our flight was delayed on Saturday but at least Virgin let me know via text, so fair play. We had a very late checkout from the Excal, so it was like another days holiday, and the craps table was good to me again.

All photos taken by me on this trip were with the Nokia 925, and for a mobile they came out well. The others are from a 4S.

Vegas Xmas 2012, New Year 2013

April 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Hi all,

Its been a while and apologies but i haven’t been to any WHU games as I’ve either been away or they have. So i thought I’d take the chance to ensure that i get up to date with my travel photies.To kick off, we wil start with Vegas at Xmas and New year. We flew in on Xmas day and left on New years. I had a load of notes but have since swapped phones and therefore rather than half baked memories i’ll just throw up the photos.


The Bellagio Conservatory ready for Xmas (or Coca Cola !)


One big old Xmas tree


The Greek Gods Show at Caesars


Goodbye Imperial Palace, Welcome Le Qube


The strip in daytime with a visitor bottom middle !


The iconic Caesars fountains


I took this photo just knowing in my heart it would be the last time i saw it open. It closed early Feb, and will open next year as the Gannesvoort Las Vegas


The obligatory view from the room.


NYNY from the car free strip on NYE.


What night was it again ?


Strip NYE.


Strip on , what day was it again ?


Chill Peppers were playing in the Cosmo with a crap (sound wise) relay to the strip


Jumping flea found on Las Vegas Boulevard.


Bellagio Fountains at full stretch.


Some people hit the strip for just a real fun time !


Caesars looked like very majestic at night.


Mais Oui !


Slots now have guns attached to protect your winnings !


Judge Judy has her own slot (no joke !)

The rather posh venue for the Killers


We saw The Killers earlier in the week play their home town gig.


Did I mention we saw The Killers ? With VIP free bar (messy).

Vegas October 2012

November 6, 2012 1 comment

10 months after our last Vegas adventure we return courtesy of Virgin Atlantic to what is becoming a regular annual (ish !) trip. Such as here, here and here

The usual routine for these trips is that Mrs Ben hits the pool, and MrBen hits the poker table. This was sort of the order of events, but I had to change stuff around as the poker events in our hotel seemed quite slow.

Weather was nice as always

Day one we got there quite late on, so i just made a quid hundred on the blackjack. Not a bad start. There was also the usual slot machine crawl, where you start with a 20, and try to build to 100 by hit and running bonuses. Mrs Ben nearly made this (after 3 hours), she was up to 80, but we had had a few drinks and it was time to retire.

Day 2, i set about my usual 9.00am poker comp. By this time i had hit the gym and had breakfast. Gotta love jetlag. Breakfast was in the ABX Burger ad Pancake house. The breakfast pancakes for £6 are amazing. Bombed the tourney early on, but made up for ir with another $150 on the Blackjack table. Lunch was at Lemongrass in the Aria, which is a chinese-thai modern type restaurant. Dim-sum. Oh My God. Get there early, we were towards the end of  the lunch session (which is Dim-sum time), and just grabbed what we could. We also had the mee-goreng, which was spiced to perfection. More details on their website here.

Lemongrass. Great Food in the Aria.

That evening I took  a bit of a kicking and was $250 down on the tables ans slots, but easy come and easy go, eh ?

Day 3 started with Breakfast at the Mandalay Bay buffet. As usual the fare was good in a nice setting. My 9.00am bombed again, when my KK was called allin pre flop by some clown with A9, who then hit a 9 on the turn and the river. Cheers, Nice hand. Always tomorrow i suppose. Having the hump i dropped 20 into an Alice in Wonderland machine and picked up a $120 Jackpot. Feel better now.

Thanks Alice !

I then retired to the pool with MrsBen. The pool at the Excalibur has been redesigned this year and is way better than before. In fact with 4 pools and at least 2 hot tubs/Jacuzzis, this place is severely underrated.

In the afternoon we tool a amble down the strip and headed towards Caesars Palace. We cut through all the usual suspects, Aria and Bellagio (quick +$35 slot win. Hehe).  Our destination at Caesars was the Cheesecake Factory. Now in the city full of restaurants why bother with a chain. Because its not in the UK, and its just great food. The portions are huge, so main course only thanks. We shared some enchiladas and the “Bellagio” pasta. Strange name bearing in mind the location ! Fantastic allround, and I managed not to buy anything next door in the super sized Nike Store.

The Little House in the Bellagio !

Cheesecake Factory

Entrance to Nike World – Caesars Palace


Day 5 started like 3 with my 99 hitting AA early on. Lucky this 9.00 am is only $30 !. As we had friends up from California  we rented out a Cabana by the pool for the day. Well worth the next to nothing we paid ! This made for a nice relaxing day.

Cabana Time !

The evening was spend on the road again, and we hit the Palazzo for dinner. We had heard good things about the Grand Lux. Well, heres my thing, don’t go there. The burger i had was very greasy (greasy is different from juicy !).  Mrs Bens ribs were dry, and the meat wouldn’t come off from the bone, and therefore was sent back. Chips were OK!. One other thing regarding the Ventian and Palazzo. They used to be quite refined, and a bit classy (for Vegas !). They now seem to have this rock vibe going on which suits Planet Hollywood, but I’m not sure about here. The Zebra Lounge gets a special mention. The band think they are playing Wembley and have a speaker stack to match. Far too loud.

On day 6 i changed venue for the morning poker comp. I went next door to the Luxor for their 10.30. This was a good move, and one I may make more permanent in future trips. Better organised, friendlier,and way more confortable. After getting away with a split pot, which i was well behind on. I managed to scrape 3rd for $134 (40 buyin). 3rd or maybe second was probably my best chance, as there was a lady who arrived at the final table with over half the total chips, and seemed to hit every hand. But i did my bit and took out 3 people on the final table. The rest of the day was by the pool, and chilling out.

The evening was a bit of an adventure for me as we went to Shibuya, a Japanese restaurant in the MGM. I’m not a Sushi fan, but i do like wagyu beef. I did try some Sushi as well, and I may be coming round (more on this below !). Not cheap but a fantastic meal and great vibe and service. More info here

Day 7  was spend mainly at the North Outlet Centre. This places never lets us down, and this day was no different, with bargains from Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Hugo Boss amongst others. My Jordan IV’s got some love from the market sellers. Our trip there was undertaken by Taxi, with a guy who seemed to no more about football than any American i have ever met. He was Mexican to be fair, but you get the drift. We discussed Booby Moore vs Pele, Leeds and Chelsea in the 70’s, and low centre of gravity being the reason for Maradona and Messi being better footballers than me.

That evening we found craps. The game not the tummy bug !. It took me about an hour to work out what was going on, but once we got going, we were flying and both made a tidy profit. Its also a great game for socialising, and just great fun. A few beers were had and great crack all round.

Out last full day started slowly after the night before but we tried the Public House in the Luxor for lunch. Great food, great price, shame it was showing  “Being Liverpool” on the main screen. Might visit one evening when its full on our next trip. Can be found here

We also had dinner in the Buca di Beppo Italian in the Excalibur. The food here is just WOW. I really love it. The portions are a little scary, but likea mamma used to maka. ! Find it here

Yum Pasta

The evening was more of the same, Craps and Blackjack.

We flew back the next day just in time , as the Storms were coming and flights were starting be cancelled all over the place.

So overall, another great trip. The Excalibur looked after us well again, many thanks to Yvonne our host as usual.

+ Lemongrass, Buca di Beppo, Cheesecake Factory

– Grand Lux, Venetian in general.

On our trip you could tell that Vegas is still deep in recession. I currently give the Tropicana about a year after a successful relaunch, that seems to be falling apart. Oh and the Mirage seems to be the number one hotel if you are looking for Hookers, or maybe it just seems that way ! Never used to be like that.

Roll on Xmas for the next visit.

Xmas in Vegas

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a modified trip report i posted on with added photos.

The end of the year brings me and my wife to Vegas for the 3rd time in 12 months.

It was the first time I had flown BA to Vegas instead of virgin but it was great and a little early. But for Xmas day, it should be !
We stayed at the Excalibur as usual, looked after by our great host. Xmas day evening we were supposed to meet friends and hit up Dragon Noodle in the MC, so we headed off quickly, got there and turns out they didn’t want to go there and were back in the Excal. So we traipsed back and ended up in the food court. Merry Christmas!
Once they left, we did what all people with 8 hrs jet lag should do, and started drinking and gambling until 6am. Rough, but hey!
After a little lay in on day 2 and breakfast/lunch in the Lynard Skynard I got some 1/2 in. 3 hours returned $192. Good start to the week. And we got to dragon noodle in the evening. And it was worth the wait. Dim sum was fantastic.
With a broken body clock i was up the next day at 5.30, so hit one of the new restaurants in the Excal. The ABX Burger place. the pancakes were fresh as a daisy and most filling. Missus TLJ hit the tix booth for some Elvis cirque action and I hit the poker room again. Another 3 hours but down 70. No problem, 20 mins of blackjack got me another 150.
I then got the call of the wife on holiday “shopping time”, so a quick trip to the premium mall got that out of the way, and we rested and then hit the Aria for the show. Bearing in mind this show is closing, I really enjoyed it, and it played to a near full house. Afterwards we went to the secret pizza bar in the Cosmo. I had heard about the real arcade machines and was a little disappointed to find a PC in a galaga shell. Cop out!

Outside Elvis Theatre

Outside Aria

Day 4 found me at the breakfast 9am crapshoot in Excalibur. #This started a little late as a guy was being CPR’ed and then trollied out. They set the comp up with all the medics and nesr dead guy in the room (not the biggest room either), classy ! I busted early with 10 10 against a rag who hits a on the river. I’ll be back. Today we went for a wander around the strip, highlights being $167 bonus on the pinball slot in the MGM, and dinner in the cheesecake factory.
Day 5 was a bit of a washout in the crapshoot (i’ll be back), and turned into a relax with Penn and Teller in the evening. So the Rio, what a tip! You need to a be parkour expert to navigate the slots, they are that close together.

Teller and Mrs Mrben

Day 6. The crapshoot had 30 runners + rebuys, etc. got to the final table with no worries . Then busted 2 guys in quick succession with back to back full houses. I was way chip leader when heads up, so asked my opponent if he wanted to play for stacks, as time was getting on. He won the first, but the second we played cards down. The board was k high, and he had qk, and I turned over………AK! $498 in the bag. I knew I would be back. Lol. My first tournie win in Vegas !
I then got a tweet regarding the noon comp in the Trop on NYE with Mr Gold. $100 buyin, 500 in my bin, so why not.
Not a lot to report the next day, so onto NYE. The Trop room is nice, and the players were friendly. I got seated on a table with a bounty. A lady who i did not know, who was a poker tv presenter. I made the break, after being chip leader (between hands one and two. Lol), but was card dead, hard. As well as me, Dennis Phillips and Jamie Gold were still in . So far so good.
I have a bad leak, that post break I always try to buy hands, and today for no different. Blinds are creeping up , so I go all in post a 455 flop with 46. Called by tv lady with ……….66 and that’s that.

Spent NYE on the strip, and it was fantastic. Outside Bellagio for midnight, saw fireworks and then back home for more beer and merriment.

A few people out having a nice time !

NYE Fireworks

Next day was quiet as you would expect, but we tried the new Italian in the Excal. Lovely and massive portions. Good hearty food.

We headed home the next day via Chigago. How big is that airport ? I thought if I kept walking I would be in Canada!

Xmas decorations in O'Hare

Next trip April, hopefully.

Some other random photos:

If I ruled the world !!

Some random fans post my tournament win !

Behind you !

Master Chief I presume ?

New York, Las Vegas. The North American Tour

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Where to start ? How about the beginning ? We checked in at T5 Heathrow expecting to be in Econ + (with a nifty little £100 upgrade). We got business class. Thanks BA. So a very nice flight across the pond was had by all, and we got to head the queue at JFK customs. I estimate the people at the back had to wait about 1.5 hrs to get through. What a welcome to the US !

20 mins in a cab gets us to the Double Tree Hilton 51st and Lex. We had a standard room which was very standard (and a bit smelly), but serviceable for the price. But free wireless in the lobby was a nice touch, and well used.

The next 3 days were spent having a wander, mainly walking and shopping. We did do the Empire State Building, and i would reccomend the extra $40 for the fast track. Entrance to top in 6 minutes. Thanks!

We then headed of to JFK on the tube to fly to Vegas Only take the E line to Jamica Av if a) you don’t have more than one bag and b) you are not easily intimidated. Its an interesting ride for sure.

Check in at terminal 3 JFK (Delta) is the worst organised setup i have seen in many a year. Its a pure cattle drive and SOOOO slow. and the lounge doesn’t take Priority Pass either, but from just outside you can use their wireless :).

Delta ecomomy is functional, and a bit easyjet, but does have on board wi-fi and live satellite tv on the IFE. 5.5 hours later and we are in Vegas. Maria picks us up and we are checked straight through VIP at the Excal. The room 25207, is a stunner and the view is fantastic. Big thank you to our host.

The next morning i manage to scrape through to 3rd in the 9.00 tournie, and book just over $150. I really don’t know why i play such a crap shoot, but its 5 mins from the room! That afternoon the wife is out with Maria so i play some 1/2 cash and book another 190. not a bad start. The rest of the week is spent on slots and showing my wife Vegas, literally from one end to the other. Outside of a couple of decent slots wins, not much to write home about. she would love to go back in Oct, so i think that will be more poker focused trip.

We also visited the Saraha before it gets shut and its a very sad place compared to the complex i visited over a decade ago.

Points of note. The monorail is a great idea that has been placed to provide as much hassle to passengers as possible. The Aria is a very nice setup, and to my mind knocks Bellagio into a hat. Freemont Street needs to update the canopy shows.

So with a pretty balanced win loss sheet after 5 days we had back to NYC. Now. remember the smelly room ? As we checked out the previous week, we mentioned house keeping hadn’t refilled the shampoos etc on our third day. They said as we were leaving there was nothing we could do. Once we pointed out we were heading back the next weekend, the auto upgraded us to a junior suite. not bad for 10 cents of shampoo !!

So once we took a peek around the 18th floor balconied room, we hit the pig and whistle on 2nd av for drink and errrrrrrrr drinks!. Then the night got  a bit messy as we hit the beer with the locals over karaoke.

The next 3 days was the full shooting match, the best New York tourism had to offer. USS Intrepid was fantastic and the beast boat ride next door was great. The tour around NBC was a bit rubbish, but meeting Ice-T was an amazing bonus in the cafe.  Top of the Rock is better than the Empire State, with more space. Liberty Island is amazing and the statue is cool, but Ellis Island is just truely inspiring. You can feel the history as you walk around. It moved me like nothing else.

You have to go to the WTC when in New York, and i’m glad to report its gettting a little less like a building site and more like a construction project, which trust me is a good thing.

Down near the Brooklyn Bridge we met Pete the fireman (at the engine no 9 station), who gave my wife the full treatment with photos in the uniform, with axes and breakers. Also near there, is Kats Deli (as used in When Harry met Sally). Sandwiches amazing, but with prices to match. And its rammed, all the time.

We went to the MSG to watch the 4th game of the Knicks vs the Celtics in the play-offs. Atomsphere great, basketball no so. The Knicks were not at the races and were bombed out by half time to be honest. However, the wife got on the big screen in the middle, so every cloud and all that.

If you ever need photo gear head for b+h. Very knowledgeable and great prices, compared to the UK at least (isn’t everything). If you want A+F don’t bother, their flagship store always has lonnnngggggg queues outside and inside is so loud you cannot here yourself think. Even the staff agree, so its not just me being an old git.

Overall a great first trip to NY, but next time, we will take the time out to see what i would call real NY, eg off of Manhattan. Vegas will be revisited in October……….

Enjoy the photos:

Categories: Poker, Travel

Vegas baby

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Vegas starts with the flight from ny today.

Friends picking us up from the airport and comped rooms.

Should I quit while I’m ahead ?

Categories: Poker, Travel