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5/24-5/28 LVC, Trop (hold-em is crack!)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Falcon_Rob, Jun 1, 2004.

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  1. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Columbus, OH
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    My Trip Report

    Here's my trip report from last week. I took no notes, so I was winging it while writing, but still managed about 6 Word pages! The trip included a cool visit to the WSOP, awful blackjack sessions, decent and FUN craps sessions, my addiction to low limit Texas hold-em, and meeting up again with awesome T2Ver NEON and his wife!

    Monday 5/24 - Arrival

    Actually went to work for the most part on Monday, and made the 25 min. drive to Toledo Express for my 8pm flight. I paid a total of $256 for my round-trip non-stop flight out of Toledo on Trans Meridian Air, which included flying first class on the way out there. First class was nice, especially all of the free MGDs that were coming my way. I swear the drink service on the flight was better than most casinos I was in during the week!

    Upon arrival in Terminal 2 (TMA is chartered), I caught a shuttle out of the airport and arrived at the Las Vegas Club about 35 minutes later. Check-in was easy, and I used an American Casino Guide 2-1 coupon which made my MVP room about $30 per night. The room was GREAT! Very roomy, with a fridge, nice view, and NO smoke smell at all even though it was a smoking room! It even had bar soap, which is not automatically supplied in the rest of the hotel.

    This was the third night of the WSOP, so as soon as I got settled in, I bolted to Binions to catch the action. I walked around for a while watching the action, but didn't really see anyone that I recognized. After about an hour, I headed back to the LVC and crashed (after a full work day and still being on Ohio time, I was done!).

    Tuesday 5/25 - More WSOP, trip to Strip, Bellagio Buffet

    I woke up relatively early on Tuesday morning and walked over to the Bay City Diner at the GG for breakfast. The diner was really nice, and the food was good. The service was a tad slow though, and I think they were short-staffed because the guy who was taking care of the counter also had about 5 tables behind me.

    After breakfast, I went in search of some Blackjack tables, which has always been my gambling bread and butter in previous trips. I settled in at a $5 table at the Fremont, and thus began my first of several blackjack beatings for the trip. In the next few hours I would visit the Fitz, LVC, Fremont (again!) and California...and would get beat at the BJ table EVERY TIME!! Ouch!

    To try to kill some time, and to get to the Strip for free, I caught the Sam's Town shuttle out of the California. The "layover" at Sam's Town was about 25 minutes, which of course was long enough for me to take a loss at a video poker machine! Suffice to say, my daily gambling budget for the day was already gone! :(

    The shuttle took me to Bourbon St., where I got off and headed over to the Flaming O. My day went from bad to worse, as I argued with the lady at their Box Office about the show times for Second City. A week earlier, it was explained to me quite clearly on the phone that 2nd City's new "unscripted" show would appear on Tuesday nights at 10:30pm. Well not only did the new show not exist this night, neither did the 10:30 show all-together! :confused: Of course the dizzy employee didn't know what was going on either, since her written information was contradicting what she was being told by her supervisor! After realizing that the Flaming O's box office is suffering was a bad case of head-in-arse syndrome, I finally gave up and decided to treat myself to a really nice meal. Enter Bellagio Buffet!

    After arriving at the Bellagio, I realized it was now supper time, so the nice lunch price had succombed to the $27 dinner price! I didn't care! I had to eat! In reviewing the buffet, it was an extremely nice buffet, but not worth the $30 in my opinion. The service was outstanding, and I got a lot of crazy quizine items that were obviously much fancier than the normal "bachelor chow" that you'll find in my apartment cupboards. One crazy cut of meat was the "apple and cranberry soaked Colorado venison". Tasty, but a little tough to eat, as I was picking Bambi out of my teeth for the next 15 minutes! As usual, I ate WAY TOO MUCH at the buffet and could barely get out of the chair and walk under my own power! :eek: The Bellagio Sports Book would save the day. EVERY chair in the book there was nice and cushy, and I just crashed there for about an hour and a half, recovering from the buffet and being annoyed at all of the Californians rooting for the Lakers. It's the Timberwolves people!! Get a grip!! The NBA is barely one notch above WWE, and a Lakers win was in the script!! No worries! I also watched and rooted for Calgary to kick Tampa's butt in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals! Go Flames Go!

    After making a quick walk-through of the conservatory, I walked out to the Strip and just staired blankly for a minute. I had no idea what I wanted to do! Since 2nd City's 10:30 performance was non-existent, by evening plans were shot! So I reverted to my theory of "when in doubt, just walk the Strip". So I did.

    I eventually made it to the Riviera, and considered catching Amazing Johnathon. However, I once again ran into the "ditz effect" at the Box Office. I had seen AJ about 14 months ago at the Flamingo, and didn't want to pay another $50 to wind up seeing the exact same show. So according to the friendly box office lady, his show was "either much different, but kind of the same, but I would assume he would change things up, buy maybe keep the same jokes,....I guess". GOOD LORD!!

    Needless to say, I passed on the show, and walked across the street to check out that craps table at Slots-O'-Fun I've been hearing so much about. Much to my surprise, there were still plenty of empty spaces left, and I found a spot and just watched for a while. The table was $2 minimum and double odds. I had played craps for the first time during my last trip, so I was still nervous about it. But after a while, I bought in and proceeded to have FUN for the next three hours! I'm so glad I opted for craps over AJ, because in the three hours I was at Slots-A-Fun, I made a $65 profit, drank plenty of free beer, had a great 25 minute roll that made me a pretty popular guy, and learned a ton about craps without having to wager a lot of cash!

    At this point it was around 11pm, and I decided to catch the CAT back downtown. When I arrived, I bolted back to Binions for the WSOP. It was down to the last 110 or so players by now, so there was plenty of room in Benny's Bullpen (the main tourney area) for bystanders. While I was standing next to the railing, a literal who's who of poker players kept walking right in front of me (including Hellmuth, Cloutier, Duke Nagreanu sp?, etc.). I was also about 15 feet away from Dan Harrington's table. He, Jesus and Devilfish were the only three players left that I was familiar with. Very cool stuff!

    When the night ended, there were about 84 guys left, and I was bushed so I headed back to the LVC to crash.

    Wednesday 5/26 - My addiction begins

    I slept in a little later this morning, since I think I was now adapted to West Coast time. My "breakfast" consisted of the "49er", a very large roast beef sandwich at Golden Gate's deli. Very tasty and filling!!

    After the meal, I wandered around and found a $3 craps table at the Fitz. I'm still amazed at the peaks and valleys of this game, as I lost $90 of my $100 buy-in in 15 minutes! [​IMG] And then by some miracle, I turned that $10 into $150 in about 30 minutes! :D All of this playing the minimum pass line and come bets with single odds on a $3 table!! Shew!

    After heading back and checking out of the LVC, I headed over to the terminal and took the 301 (or 302, I can never remember which one) up to the Strip, eventually checking into the Tropicana around 1pm. As mentioned in one of my earlier posts in the gaming section, all 4 of the Mandalay properties offer a beginner's hold-em class at 2pm. I decided on Excaliber this time (shortest walk had a little to do with my decision!). I met some great people at the table, and proceeded to spend the next five hours playing 1-3 unstructured hold-em! I had a ball!!! I finally got up and left due to hunger, up about $50. The drink service was terrific and MOST of the dealers were fun!

    After leaving the Ex, I resorted to my stand-by plan and walked the Strip some more. By now my calves were tightening up, my back was barking at me, and I had about 3 big blisters on my feet, but I powered though it! I eventually found myself in the Casino Royale. After signing up for their players card, I played their no-catch $50 free slot play, and settled into a spot on a crowded $2 craps table. I was wearing an Ohio State polo shirt, and as soon as the dealer saw it, of course he pointed me out to three dudes at the end of the table in full Wolverine gear! It was a pretty fun table, one dealer in particular was hilarious, and the guys from the "state up north" were skirting a fine line between being complete a**holes and just spouting fun bantor between myself and them. At one point though, we were in the middle of one of our exchanges (egged on by that cool dealer) when the dice got around to them! For the first time ever, I went Don't Pass!! A big mistake! Big Blue proceeded to get hot, and I had to sit there and take it like a man for the next 20 minutes or so! I was able to struggle back a little, and my final role made the table some cash (including the Blue), so we were once again back to being a friendly dysfunctional craps table family. I cashed out after a couple of hours breaking even, and finally realized I had forgotten to eat!!

    The Barbary Coast seemed like as good of a place as any to find some late night food. I put my name in at the Victorian Room, and played my Dad's $5 that he gave me a week before in a quarter slot. Right as my name was being called over the speaker, and on the 2nd to last pull, my dad's machine hit a small jackpot and he ended up winning $41!

    I highly recommend the $12 prime rib special at the Barbary Coast. The service left a little something to be desired, but the meal was excellent! It is a little more expensive, but it really kicks the crap out of the prime rib specials at San Remo and the California!!

    After the meal, you could have put a fork right through me, because I was DONE! I struggled back to the Trop and immediately passed out!

    Thurs. 5/27 - NEON, more hold-em, and my biggest mistake of the trip

    I got up on this morning and made my way over to the Luxor to sign up for the noon no-limit tournament (it actually turned out to be a weird hybrid tourney, half limit and half no-limit....very weird format). After signing up, I ate breakfast in Luxor's cafe, and piddled around for a couple hours, checking out the pool area and losing a few bucks in some video poker and slot machines. I was really looking forward to the tournament, but it ended up being very anti-climactic! The tourney started at 12noon, and I made the walk of shame out of there at 12:25pm! :( I just couldn't get used to that initial limit format. Most of my $ was lost when I flopped four to the nut flush AND middle pair, and ended up being beat by the high pair.

    Licking my wounds, I decided to make my way back to the Ex and settled back down in a 1-3 game. The table was borderline hyper during the first hour and a half. For a 1-3 table, massive amounts of cash were being thrown in at all times, even pre-flop. At one point, the dealer asked us if we wanted to change to a 2-6 table (I couldn't figure out if she was joking or serious). Never-the-less, I made most of my profit during this time period, since I was being VERY disciplined......and lucky! The hand that made me a bunch of money was with Q-2 spades. Ace of spades showed up on the river to give me my flush. However, a guy next to me got a lot of his money in with me only to see his J-10 of spades beat by my hand!

    Five hours later, I left that 1-3 table up $150! Not too shabby! :D

    However, I would then made the biggest mistake of the trip. While cashing out, the nice lady behind the counter offered me a discount coupon for the Excaliber Buffet! Being the frugalite that I am, of course I accepted it and went up to eat!

    Please do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY FROM THE EXCALIBER BUFFET! I will have to admit that the Lamb Fries were pretty tender, and the "mysterious green stuff" was not as bad as it looked. However, there was this vat o' brown stuff on the Mexican station that brings up an obvious joke that I won't type out due to this being a family oriented message board. I also ventured into a mediocre cheese pizza that I found in the Chinese Station! Yes, a Chinese cheese pizza that would probably blow the circuits out of any unsuspecting robot without a paradoxical suppression system!

    Needless to say, I required an all-together different type of a recovery plan from my Ex-perience! After walking back to the Trop and resting for a while, I called NEON (another poster from this Board who I had met in December) and left a message on his voice mail to meet me at the Monte Carlo later that night. I then fought off the demons who were attracting me towards the $5 craps table and decided to buy a ticket to the Comedy Stop at the Trop's 8pm show! Great Stuff!! I had a real fun time in there, except for the fact that there was a drunk (so drunk he barely knew where he was) about 3 seats from me who began to heckle the stage. Whenever, he did this, the comedian looked right at me like I was the culprit, and started giving me the business! I just played dumb and got through it!

    Off to the MC to meet up with NEON. I eventually found him at the Brew Pub with his wife. NEON is a great guy and we were able to shoot the breeze for about an hour, catching up from December and complaining about the volume of the music in the Pub! He also bought me a couple microbrews, which I'm forever grateful for! I'm looking forward to NEON's trip report, because he and his wife were able to score a free "queen suite" at Harrahs, and were seeing a bunch of shows during their trip.

    After getting a decent buzz from the beer, NEON and I made our way to the MC's poker room and I was seated first at a 2-4 table. The very first hand that I was dealt was K-K!! Unfortunately, a combination of the beer buzz, and the better players at this table resulted in about $20 of my $100 buy-in dissapearing during this first hand! Shortly thereafter, NEON was seated right across from me, never knowing the beating I took that first hand! We played for about an hour and a half, and NEON seemed to be having some moderate success. He eventually needed to get back to "take advantage of his suite", or something to that effect ;) and we bid farewell.

    I played at the MC until about 3:30am. At one point, a new player to the table (a grizzled local who looked exactly like Peter Gammons from ESPN) sits down and gets a straight flush, nine high, ON HIS FIRST HAND!! Due to the MC's cool jackpot rules, this wound up winning him $500!! I got a jack high straight flush the previous day at Excaliber.....and was rewarded with a "Excaliber Poker" ball cap! Oh well.

    My worst poker beat of the trip came late in this session when I was dealt 10-10 in the blind, which I bet! The flop came K-10-5! Bells and whistles are going off in my head. I got as much money as could out on the table, and 4th and 5th streets were rags. Turns out the guy on the button next to me had pocket kings! OUCH!!! Not long after that, I rode ace high to the river, caught an ace on the river to beat some older gentleman, and immediately became "that guy", the guy who plays dumb and gets lucky on the river! I know that nobody likes "that guy", especially on a table with talent, so I finally decided to cash out (just a tad below even) and made my way back to the Trop at 3:30am, running into suspected "professionals" and lunatics on the way.

    Friday 5/28 Departure
    As soon as I woke up on this morning, I knew I'd have to shake off the hold-em addiction, because my first instinct was to go right back to the Ex and play for another few hours. However, I slept in too long and my flight was sheduled for 12:10pm. So I bummed around the Trop for a little while, checked out, and finally took my FIRST and ONLY cab ride of the entire trip to the airport.

    One note about terminal 2! The security lines are a BREEZE! I was at my departure gate exactly 15 minutes after getting out of the cab!! Too bad I didn't sleep in a little longer! The flight home was quick and non-eventfull!

    Final Thoughts
    - I never made it over to Ellis Island! Oh well, the steak will taste that much better next trip!
    - There is a free "buffet" in the poker room at the Excaliber for players only. DON'T BE FOOLED! It is leftovers from their regular buffet!! You have been warned!!
    - Meeting back up with NEON and his wife was a highlight of the trip! Thanks for the beers man!
    - Phil Helmuth is MUCH bigger in person....he's gotta be around 6'6" or so!
    - Annie Duke is MUCH cuter in person!
    - Dan Harrington is just as boring and disciplined in person. He is my hold-em hero!
    - Blackjack was NOT berry berry good to me!
    - Craps can be a great and fun game, as long I can avoid losing my buy-in in 10 minutes!
    - Once again, hold-em is crack! After doing the math, I played nearly 15 hours of Texas hold-em in a 36 hour period.

    *If you've made it this far, without simply skipping to the end, congratulations and THANKS A TON FOR READING MY REPORT!!! If you want any clarification about anything, just ask or email me! Rob
     
  2. abner2xday

    abner2xday Tourist

    Joined:
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    Sounds like a great trip!! I can think of other Vegas mistakes that would be worse than going to the Ex's buffet so I think you got off easy there. I agree that Hold'em is very addictive. Played in a tournament on Sat ($25 buy in) and went all in with pocket aces after seeing the flop K 9 Q, no one raised before the flop so I thought I had top pair, but got beat by pocket Q's. :mad:
     
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a fun trip. Glad you got out to the CrapsAFun table and had a good time, it wasn't kind to me last time out. And I know what you mean about Annie Duke... [​IMG]
     
  4. boxcars

    boxcars High-Roller

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    Rob,

    I enjoyed reading your report! Sure sounds like you had a great time. You were out there just abou the same amount of time I'll be there starting next Monday.
     
  5. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    Nice report, Rob! :cool:
     
  6. NEON

    NEON Tourist

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    Santa Fe
    Great report Rob!
    It was a blast chatting and playing Poker. I indeed cut out to "enjoy" the Suite! [​IMG] but I also sensed a hand coming that you ended up with, 3 of a kind only to get beat by a higher hand! [​IMG] I could tell that was the way it would end up for me so I cut out to enjoy the room and walk away even for the night!
    Again, good times and hope to see you there again soon! I hope to throw together a report in the next day or two, as we had some good adventures..... [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott R

    Scott R Tourist

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    Good report, thanks for sharing it with us.
     
  8. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

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    Thanks for writing it up Rob...after a trip like that, You showed great discipline! [​IMG]

    I swear I could play hold'em every night for a month. I need to get a hat that says "Cracky" on it, or something. I saw one online that said "dead money" hahahaha maybe that's more appropriate. hahaha

    This made me laugh out loud:


    Never-the-less, I made most of my profit during this time period, since I was being VERY disciplined......and lucky! The hand that made me a bunch of money was with Q-2 spades.

    hahahaha! which was it, dammit?! Disciplined, or Lucky?! hahahahaha Q-2?! I am begging you to tell me you were in the big blind!! hahahaha

    I like that MC poker room....nice friendly little room.

    So when is the next trip? Not until after football season? It's never too early to plan for the Madness, you know!

    T.
     
  9. JulieG

    JulieG Tourist

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    How did you like TMA. I have a flight booked with them for Vegas in August. It will be my first time flying with them. We live in Michigan and found the better Air throught TMA out of Toledo. First time going to the Toledo Airport also.
     
  10. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

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    Great trip report! Thanks for sharing.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

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    Terry, there was only one $1 blind at those 1-3 tables. If I recall, it only cost me a buck to call on the button with Q-2 suited, so I did. The non-spade on the flop happened to be a queen. So, in a sense, I was very disciplined as I only played that hand because I was on the button and it was cheap to stay in, AND I was lucky that the flop was good, AND the other player did not have K-X of spades (because he was betting like he had the nuts!).

    Julie, I had no problem with TMA. We were mysteriously delayed about 30 minutes each leg of the flight, but besides that, I have no complaints. If you are used to flying out of bigger airports like Detroit, then you'll find Toledo Express a breeze!
     
  12. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

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    Great trip report.

    I would have figured you had learned your lesson betting against Michigan last fall. LOL... I can't believe you bet on the "Dark Side".

    We've had the breakfast buffet at Excaliber and learned our lesson too.
     
  13. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

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    heeheehee... just giving you a hard time. I'd call with that on the button as well.


    So you're in for MM?
     
  14. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

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    Damn, Terry! You are putting the river before the flop! MM? What about summer, fall and winter?!? You are a little better rounded than that, right?
     
  15. Falcon_Rob

    Falcon_Rob Flying Winnebago

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    Terry...and others!

    I'd love to join you for MM next year, but unfortunately Spring Break (which is when I'm able to vacation) occurs during the conference tournaments, NOT the first round of the NCAAs! That's happened that past two years, and it'll happen again next year! :mad: :mad:
     
  16. Gator5220

    Gator5220 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report. Very nice.

    Go Bolts Go!
     
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