My full time job sent me to Vegas for a few days for the annual team meeting. They chose to have it at the Red Rock since they are a part of the Station Casino network who is a new customer of ours. The Red Rock is about 12 miles from the strip, but from the hotel room, you could still see the strip (and the mountains) as though it’s not too far away. For being off the strip, it’s really quite an incredible hotel – the bathtubs are probably 3 feet deep and you could easily drown if you don’t electrocute yourself from the remote control for the TV right over the tub first.
Anyway, I arrived Monday before the work functions began specifically to play poker. Being that it was an off strip hotel, I figured it would be pretty much all locals playing. My first impression was that it was about half locals, and half business people there with some time to kill. There was some sort of dentist convention going on there which was perfect because lots of dentists apparently like poker and have money spend. Anyway, my first session went fairly well. Without having any memorable hands, I wound won $57 without any major confrontations in about 2 and half hours or so – not enough to quit my day job.
My work obligations then began and I was tied up until later that evening. I managed to get another hour and forty five minutes in and made $114 without any trouble. I recall hitting trips and getting some premium pairs but not getting paid as much as I would like. I was probably up more, but lost a few showdowns with the second best hand.
The next day I only had about an hour to play and was essentially card dead. Being the nit that I am, I only lost $36. I probably called a raise or two and limped a few times and missed. I think I raised once and pretty much just took it down. It seems these players play way too many hands. Even the locals. I love live poker, I seem to make most of my money with just preflop selection and using position.
The next day I didn’t really have any time to play until night. I was thinking of actually calling it a night, but I thought since I’m here, I may as well play. It turned out to be a wise decision. I sat down, hit trips, got paid. Was card dead for a while, raised a bunch preflop, kept getting called and kept taking it down with C-bets. Then I was dealt 88 in a raised pot. I call. Flop was 885. Well, that’s nice, how can I extract now. The raiser puts out a C-bet. I’m trying to conceal my excitement. I try to make as few movements as possible since when I have the stone cold nuts I sometimes shake. I think for a few seconds and call. Turn was a Q. The raiser doubles his bet, I call. River comes some other rag, I try to put out a smooth $50 bet, but apparently it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted and he folded. I think he pretty much would have folded to any bet though. I still made a decent amount from that hand. I ended up flipping over the 88 because with quads you automatically get into a freeroll tournament. Well, it turns out that tournament was on Sunday which I couldn’t play anyway. I asked if I could give it away to the guy who I just beat, but unfortunately they wouldn’t let me. Oh well.
The guy sitting to my left and I got to talking a bit. He was one of the many dentists out there, only he seemed to be fairly competent. I guess he used to play online quite a bit, but his wife made him stop when he would play tournaments until three in the morning and ignore her. He said after his online winnings paid for their $40,000 wedding and then some, she made him give it (for the most part) up. I guess he took down some Full Tilt $10,000 guaranteed tournament among many other smaller wins. Anyway, it sucked to be on his right, but by me being pretty nice to him, and him not having too much live experience, I think he avoided some confrontations with me when he probably could have taken me to the cleaners.
After winning a few more small hands, they made an announcement to the dealers to “please keep all the players at the table, someone may have won the bad beat jackpot.” After that, the entire poker room started applauding. At the Station’s Casinos they have a bad beat jackpot that starts out at $150,000 and requires four sixes (I think) to be beaten by a straight flush. The loser of the hand gets $45,000 and the winner gets $30,000. Everyone else at any of the Station’s Casinos poker rooms gets to split the remaining money. So I had to fill out a form along with all of the other poker players. Each player ended up with $327 for just being there. Not bad. The play obviously started loosening up after that, but I was exhausted and decided to call it a night. I ended up winning $546 in just under an hour and half that. One of my coworkers was contemplating playing, but he ended up chickening out and was he ever pissed when I told him how I did.
After that my work obligations were over and I got a room at Treasure Island (TI). The rooms weren’t as nice as the Red Rock, but they were perfectly adequate and really, all I was doing in the room was sleeping, showering and checking the occasional email. Being that it was a weekday afternoon, there were no cash games going on at TI so I walked on over to Harrah’s. I played there for a couple of hours and was just completely card dead and lost $60.
That night, my boss took me and a few cowokers out to some fancy steak house down at MGM called Craftsteak. It was pretty good, but for the money – even though I wasn’t paying, I guess I expected a bit more. We got there by taking the Monorail. What a complete waste. From TI it was probably a mile walk just to get to the monorail. Then it’s $5 each person and for five of us, that’s twenty five bucks. We could have taken a cab in less time and for less money. I felt really bad for my boss, just as we were getting in, he started feeling sick, and he ended up not eating a thing. Needless to say, we took a cab back, and I played my $10 in free slot play and turned it into $20 on the video poker machine after hitting a couple of full houses and quads then went to sleep.
The next day, there was still no cash games going on at TI so I went to Imperial palace, none there either, so I went back to Harrah’s for another beating. The table was about half cowboys (there was the big rodeo show going on) and half locals. I swear, I have never gotten so many second best hand losses in my life or had my cbets get raised and my legit bets get folded. For example, in a 77726 board, I’d have pocket 8′s and lose to pocket 9′s, that sort of thing. I started getting on monkey tilt a little bit. The last straw was when I had Kd Qd in a raised pot with me calling on the button. I had about $80 going in. Flop was Ad Td rag. Well, there’s a royal flush draw where the royal pays I think like a $5000 bonus. It checked to me, I bet like $30 and the raiser pushes. I have no choice but to call especially if I hit my royal. He tables AK like it’s the nuts and I whiff the next to streets and walk out down $400 I then went back to the hotel and took a nap.
I woke up, grabbed dinner at the Jewish-type deli at TI where I can highly recommend the barley bean soup. The tuna salad sandwich wasn’t too bad either. Then I entered the TI $125 bounty tournament. More about that experience in the next installment of my Vegas trip report!