Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vegas Trip Report

Vegas was awesome. We had a lot of fun, and I am already looking forward to going back. I think we're going to have to make a yearly trip there.

Our flight didn't leave MN until 3 PM CST, so we were able to get in a good night sleep the night before and didn't have to rush around too much. We landed in Vegas 3 hours later after a nice smooth flight. We settled on a shuttle bus to the Flamingo over a taxi. I had heard that you can sometimes get a taxi driver that will take the long route and end up charging you over $20. But after this trip, I would say go with the taxi. We had a really good taxi ride Sunday morning, and it was only $12.20! Plus, the shuttle bus stopped at 4 different hotels before we got to the Flamingo, so it took quite a while to get from the airport to the hotel. Oh, and our shuttle bus driver was quite the character. Old dude, probably in his late 50's with a blond wig, bright red lipstick and nail polish, designer handbag and sunglasses, and about a billion tattoos.

So we get to the Flamingo and proceed to the front desk. I had read on a couple websites that I should try the $20 front desk tip trick to get a comp upgrade to a better room. So I got my "sandwich" ready (Driver's license, $20 bill, Credit Card) and went up to check-in. I gave the guy my name, and when he asked for my ID, I gave him the sandwich, and asked if there was a possibility of a comp upgrade to a Go Room, or a strip view room. He said he would check and started typing away. A few seconds later, he told me he found an empty room that would be perfect. He said it was on 19th floor, and overlooked the Bellagio Fountains! Score!

Not only did we get a nice strip view, we got a corner Go Room on the 19th floor. What was really nice is that it was near the elevators, so we didn't ever have to walk to far to our room. Here is a picture of our view

Notice the cloudy skies. Friday it actually rained some, but eventually cleared up, and on Saturday it was perfect, 85 degrees and sunny.

After getting checked in and meeting up with our friends Mike and Erin, we went out and grabbed a bite to eat. We settled on PF Changs, which I think was at Planet Hollywood. I think that is right, because the Resident Evil movie premiere was going on that night. Dinner was very good.

After that we went and saw Jubilee. Yay for boobies! I was really impressed with this show. It was a lot more than what I expected. Not only were there boobs, but they had some contortionists, and some flying scarves dudes, and some gauchos doing some awesome stunts. I highly recommend it. By the time that got done with, it was after midnight local time (2 AM our time), so we called it a night.

On Friday, we headed over to the Bellagio for their breakfast buffet. It was most excellent. I had an omelette, waffles, lots of bacon, and lots of fruit. After breakfast we walked the south side of the strip and headed down to NYNY. Basically just checking out all the hotels and shops. After a while, Mike and I decided to let the girls say and shop, and we headed back to the Flamingo to get in some poker. I'll talk about some detailed hands below, but I ended down $5 after about 2 hours worth of play. After the girls got back from shopping, we went out to the pool for a little while and then go ready for dinner.

Our plan for Friday night was to go to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant, and then go see the 2nd City Comedy Troupe at 8 PM. I had me the burger, and it was very good. The best part were the rum drinks. Mmmm, I like rum. 2nd City was pretty good, but I think it could have been a lot better. Part of their show is improv, and the audience people they asked questions too were really lame. They asked one lady what she wanted to be when she was a little girl, and she said a realtor. huh?!?!? And then they asked some old dude his name, and he wouldn't answer! Get out of the front row if you're gonna be a crab!!!

So after the comedy show, Mike and I went over to the sports book to put some money on baseball and college football. Mike handled the college football picks, since I don't follow it much, and I made a few bets on Baseball. I don't think we got one college football pick right, and I split my baseball picks. I correctly put money on the Red Sox (@ Tampa Bay), and lost when I bet on the Twins.I learned my lesson though. Never bet on the Twins at the end of a season. They really stink when they are out of the playoff race.

We then headed down to Harrah's and finished off the night at Toby Keith's bar. They had a very good live band playing, and it was a lot of fun (Very expensive drinks though). We didn't get back to our hotel until really late, so no more gambling on Friday.

Saturday started off with some poker for me. I got ready first out of all of us (Mainly because I think I was the only one without a hangover, haha). I played for about an hour while the girls were getting ready, and made $25.

Then we did the tourist thing and headed toward the north end of the strip. We walked through the Venetian and the Wynn and all of their shops. Both of those look to be very very nice hotels. I wouldn't mind staying at one of them sometime. We then went through Caesar's Palace and the shops there. This is where we saw the only celebrities during our trip. All within 10 minutes of each other too. The first sighting was at some store that had it's doors closed with a crowd gathering. I went over to see what the fuss was about, and Pamela Anderson was in there. I guess she is some assistant in some magic show in Vegas. Man, did she look like hell. Her hair was all scraggly and stuff. Also in the store was Ronnie Dunn from Brooks & Dunn. And then in some sports store down the way was Pete Rose signing autographs. Not too exciting, but where I live, the biggest celebrities/athletes that are from our area is a WNBA player and a back-up/retired pro hockey player.

Anyways, after all the walking, we decided to head on out to the Flamingo Pool. It was a really nice day, and the pool here is really nice. So we finished off the afternoon relaxing and drinking a few beers.

For dinner, we went over to Caesar's Palace and ate at Mesa Grill, which is Bobby Flay's place. This was to be our "fancy" dinner. I had a steak, and it was awesome. We also had some quesadilla appetizer which was excellent. Highly recommended. After dinner we walked down to Treasure Island to see this pirate ship performance. Meh. Too many people. waste of time if you ask me.

By the time we got back to the Flamingo, it was already past 10 PM, and I wanted to get in some good poker time. Mike sat at a limit table, and sat at a NL table. I was really planning on playing for most of the night, but I couldn't do it. I was so completely card dead, I got really bored. In two hours, I saw AQ three times (And missed every single time), and my best pair was 99. I got so bored (and tired), that I decided to call it a night (Down $150). Plus, we had to leave for the airport in 6 hours.

All-in-all, it was a very fun trip. We were only in Vegas for 60 hours and we packed in a lot of things (Only 5 hours of poker). I think I could have definitely stayed another day or two and I'm looking forward to the next time we can go.


On to the poker!

My first session was on Friday afternoon. There was only one NL table going, and there was a wait list, so I sat down at a 2/4 limit game. I hit a few hands and by the time a new NL opened, I was up $11.

So I sit down at a brand new 1/2 NL table, and I am the only one to buy in for max ($300). wtf? I don't want to play short stack poker. Oh well. My first win was with a $4 straddle and me in the SB. There is one limper, and I raise with A5s. I get two callers. Flop was Q43 rainbow and take down the pot with a $30 bet.

So I'm up to $330 or so, which is well over anyone else at the table. I pick AA UTG. I raise it up to $10. It folds around to the young button dude who has about $170 or so. He re-raises me to $40. Cha-ching! I take a while and just flat call. Flop is 532 rainbow, and I decide to lead out for about half pot. He quickly re-raises all-in, and I quickly call. He has QQ. Yay me. Q on the turn and he wins the $350 pot. I look at the dealers name, and it doesn't say PokerStars. WTF? Suckout #1 on the Pokerfool.

So I rebuy back up to $300. The next hand I am involved in is with A7s. I raise it up to $15 from the CO, and get two callers (The button and a limper). Flop is J22 rainbow. Good flop to continuation bet on, and they both call. WTF? Turn is a blank, and it checks around. I check fold the blank river, and they each have a Jack (QJ and J8).

So my time is winding down, and I tell Mike I am going to finish up this orbit. With two hands to go, I limp Q9 of clubs in early position. There are a bunch of other limpers (7 to the flop), and the flop comes a perfect J, T, 8 (with two diamonds) flopping me the nut straight. the SB leads out $5, and there is a caller before it gets to me. I bump it up to $20, and only the SB calls. The turn is a blank club, which gives me a flush draw now (Not that it mattered). I put him on a diamond draw, so I bet really close to pot. He obviously calls (Have you ever met a live player not chase a flush draw?). The river is a blank, and he doesn't put his last $30 in.

So the next hand I am UTG, and it is going to be my last hand. I pick up JJ. What is with me getting all my good hands UTG?? (I had gotten AA a 2nd time while UTG a few orbits earlier). Since I just stole the blinds the last time I raised from UTG, I decide to limp in and maybe go for a limp/raise pre-flop. Well, pretty much everyone else decides to limp. Damn, my plan backfired. JJ with seven people to the flop is not good. But the flop is a beautiful J72 rainbow. the SB leads for $10, and I bump it to $30. only the SB calls. The turn is a blank heart (putting two hearts out there). he check/calls my bet. The river is a blank, and he puts out his last $30, and I obviously call. He has KJo, and I win a nice size pot. That win got me back up near even for the day. Nice comeback by the Pokerfool.

My next session was the quick morning session. The only hand of note was again me getting sucked out on. I raise AQ, and get 4 callers. The flop comes out AK9 rainbow, and the guy to my right starts saying "be careful". I chuckle to myself and bet 3/4 pot and he calls. Turn is some blank, and again he says "be careful", so I put him in (He only had $110 to start out with) and he calls and flips up AJ. River is a 9 giving us a split pot. Suckout #2 on the Pokerfool.

And then my last session was pretty brutal. I don't think I won a hand in two hours. I was dealt AQ three times and raised PF every time, and missed every time. The only other hand I raised PF was Q9o, and got about 5 callers, and the flop had two Aces on it. I didn't put any more in that pot. The only pair I was dealt was 99 and folded that on the turn to some aggression (Flop was KJJ). The theme on the night was the deuce. I got dealt 72, and 62, and Q2 about three times each. I really wanted to play more, but like I said above, I got really bored. How do you regular live players do it? Add in the fact that we had only been getting 5-6 hours of sleep, and I decided to quit at about 1 AM. that session I ended down about $160.

So for the whole trip, I only played 5 hours of poker, and lost $140. I did end up winning $50 at video poker at the airport Sunday morning, so my total net gambling for the trip was down about $100. Not too bad.

There you have it. I hope this wasn't too long of a post.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vegas Baby! Vegas!!

Heading off to Vegas tomorrow. It will be the first time for the wife and I. We are going with some friends of ours from High School. I'm really excited. We're staying at the Flamingo for three nights only.

Not sure how much poker I'll be able to get it, but I hope to get in at least one decent session in playing 1/2, and possibly 2/5 NL if I do well. I'm only bringing $750 to gamble with from my roll. I know if seems pretty small, but I just don't think I'll get all that much time to play poker. We are planning on going to a couple shows and all that. But, I can sleep when I'm dead, right?

I'm really curious to see how I react to my first real live cash game sessions. Heck, I play 1/2 NL online, and have easily won and lost >$750 in some sessions. And it's nothing to have $1000 sitting on tables at one time playing online. But it is probably a whole other story when you have that cold hard cash sitting in your pocket. Money that you can take and immediately spend on things. I just have to remember to tell myself to play good, solid poker. Don't bluff the calling stations, and don't slow play. Oh, and don't tilt. If I do these things, I should give myself a good shoot at coming out ahead.

Expect a nice big trip report early next week.


I still haven't played much online this month. I'm up a couple hundred this week from the hour or two I've played. I did get in one long session on Saturday night. I played my usually round of tournaments ($10 Rebuys, 28k, 50/50, etc...). I only did good in one this time, and it was the PokerStars $10 Rebuy. About 1600 people, and I busted out in 24th place, netting me a $250 or so.

Looking back at my hand history, I can't believe how tight I played. I only was dealt Aces once and Queens twice. i think I rebought a total of three times (Initial rebuy, and one double rebuy). I didn't take the add-on because I had a really nice size stack at the end of the first hour. I won a really big pot in the last hand of the rebuy period with 4 people all-in. I had 99, and was up against AQ, A4, and KK. The river was a 9, giving me a huge 17,000 chip pot.

I busted out with A4s against QJo. I had just below an average stack, but it was still only gave me an M of about 6 or so. I should have just pushed PF and the BB with QJo would have probably folded. Anyway, the flop was KT6 with two of my suit. He led out small, and I pushed. I figured that I had one over and the nut flush draw for 12 outs twice. Little did I know that I was ahead, 70/30. The turn was a blank, and the river was an ace, giving him a straight. If I win that hand, I think it puts me in the top 7 or 8. Oh well. Better luck next time. I am doing really well in these big rebuy tournaments, and will continue to play them. They are a lot of fun.

I also played a lot of cash games that day. The morning I won a little bit, and then in the afternoon I got killed (The highlight being a FullTilt 200NL regular CALLING my 4 bet with KQ, and getting rewarded on the flop). But then at night I went on a nice tear, making me a profit for the day. Here is the graph.

Yikes! Look at that!


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Monday, September 10, 2007

Damn I'm Lazy.

Time for a Mega Post!

It's been a while since I posted last. I think it has to do with the cold streak I am on in the cash games. Take a look at this Set-o-meter pic from Aug 24 till Sep 04. Pretty pathetic, huh?

This is about 5500 hands worth. Looking at this graph, it looks like 98% of people flop more sets than me. Pathetic! From Sept 4 until today isn't much better. And I blame my cold streak on my lack of playing. I think I've only gotten in 2,000 hands or so this month so far. And that is after I got in 18,000 hands in August, so I am on pace for only 6,ooo hands this month. WAY below average. I've gone at least four days this month without playing at all. That is very strange for me. Whenever I would have free time, I would fire up the poker machine and play for a quick half hour or something. The last couple weeks, I am instead sitting down and playing some Resident Evil 4 on the Wii. My new favorite game of all time!

So even though my cash games are going terrible, I am doing awesome on the MTT front. If you read my previous post, you'll see that I took down The Hoy last week. I played some Tournaments again this past Friday and did really well.

I played three tournaments, and I cashed in all three. I played the $26 nightly $28,000 guaranteed, Full Tilts $10 rebuy, and PokerStars $10 rebuy. I finished about halfway through the money in the 28k guaranteed, which only profited me about $20. But the two rebuy tournaments I did really well. At one point deep in the tourneys (And in the money), I was in the top 20 in both.

There you see me in 3rd place and 17th place at the same time. I had the chip lead for a while in the Full Tilt rebuy.

The amazing thing about these rebuy tournaments is that other than the initial rebuy at the start of the games, I did not have to rebuy at all. So after taking the add-on, I only had $30 into each tournament.

In the end, I finished in 52nd place at PokerStars and cashed $150 (First place cashed $13,000). I went out with AK vs QQ.

And at Full Tilt, I finished in 6th place and cashed $750. My first final table at a big MTT, and my biggest MTT score ever.

I went out with AK vs KK. Uggg, My best hand during the final table, and I run into KK. What luck. If I have time tomorrow, I'll post some of the interesting hands from these two tournaments.


I might as well post my August results too in this mega-post. I played the most hand I have ever played, and when I include rakeback, I made over $2,000 again. I'm liking this streak of $2,000 + months!

Here are the monthly graphs

I figure about $40 an hour for the month. Not too bad, and pretty close to what I have been averaging the last couple months.

Goals for September? Well, I guess playing more would be a goal. But even as I type this, I don't have a huge desire to play much online poker. I am going to go to a bar league tournament tonight, so maybe that will get my interest back up. I had a lot of fun playing tournaments last Friday, but I don't get many opportunities to play tournaments, online or live. I better get that interest back up soon so that I am at the top of my game when I go to Vegas in a week and a half.


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