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Downtown Trip Report June 5-9 Poker, VP, 3-Card Poker, Good Food! LONG!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by zerofan, Jun 11, 2010.

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  1. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Saturday June 5th

    (This was a Downtown only, Poker Tournament playing trip with a few table games and VP mixed in, as well as some great food.)

    Flew out of JFK (NYC) with my friend G on a 7am flight that touched down in Las Vegas at about 9am. (a half hour early) 5 hour flight right on the nose. Not bad.

    (This is G’s 2nd trip to Vegas, he came last October and loved Main Street Station and downtown....yeah he was hooked on downtown on his first trip...:evillaugh)

    We head to the terminal shuttle, then outside to catch a cab and there was no line at all so off we go to Main Street Station. I pay the cab there, G gets informed that he pays the cab to McCarran when we leave. Deal.

    Checking in, I had 2 rooms under my name, I thought no way they would have even one of the 2 rooms ready but I accommodated my friend with a smoking room request ( I enjoy a cigar once in awhile anyway) and it paid off (kind of) because both rooms were ready and it was about 9:30am...yup my first win of the trip! :woot: Off we were to the 5th floor to 528 and 530 towards the highway and yes (for those of you who have stayed there) THE TRAIN TRACKS!! HAHAHA

    I wound up hearing the train a few times, once around 4am, then around 8am, it shakes the damn building and to me it is funny as hell. It really wasn't a problem, plus there was already a cold refrigerator plugged in the room and that kicks ass!

    So we were very hungry but we were waiting for my friend PV from Burbank, he used to work with me starting in ’93 in NY and moved out to Cal about 5 years ago. (45 min to Vegas for him kills me!!!) PV and I meet out here all the time, sometimes twice a year. We used to come together when he lived in NY too.

    G, who came with me, I have also known a long time, since about ’84 and we now work together. He has a wife and kids and seems to be getting yearly trips out to LV. Like I said earlier, this is his 2nd.

    So we hung out for a bit and by the time my friend called it was 11am and the 777 Brewpub had opened....holy crap...yes! I love that place after eating there last year, everything is good and I don’t think you can go wrong with anything you order. We wound up there several times this trip too. Anyway, we ordered some garlic fries and the chicken nachos to munch on and I think I had a grilled chicken sandwich minus the avocado.... and it was big and very good! PV had the same and I think G had some shrimp which he said were good.

    We then called another friend, CP, who we work with who is staying at The Nugget. He came down the night before to be there for Belmont. He loves to bet those horses. (This didn’t work out too well by Tues) So we said hello, told him we arrived and went to play poker.

    We went at about 1:45p and bought in to the 2pm Binion's Poker Classic tourney which was a $210 buy-in for 15k in chips with 30 minute levels, for those of you that play poker. They are running these events every day in June and some of July, like most poker rooms are doing during the WSOP.
    Out of myself, PV and G...none of us cashed in the tourney (this becomes the theme) but there were about 113 players, they paid the top 12 and I finished about 40th. G was still playing and PV was out before I was. At this point it was probably around 8:30pm so we waited as long as we could and then headed for dinner about 9:30p. I remember wanting to eat at the Brewpub again but it was Sat night after all and people were waiting on line. So we head to the dinner buffet and no line.

    Again, the food here is pretty damn good...fresh cut turkey, pasta, tons of sides...typical buffet and again great atmosphere. Love that room. Funny thing is G shows up half way through our meal and sits down. Says he busted out and wasn’t hungry. I said grab a plate before they close it up...it was about 10pm...he says ok and helps himself. He then gets his food and sits down and asks how much he owes us...I say,â€Wha???†“You didnt pay?†G says, “I wasn’t going to eat.†I look at him..... Oh God! :eek:

    Anyways, lets just say we left a pretty huge tip for the server. Funny shit. Off to bed exhausted from the flight and the poker grind and the drinking.
    (Oh yeah those slushes in front of the Golden Gate were bought many a time throughout this trip, especially during tourney breaks) :beer:

    Sunday June 6th

    G and I get up around 10a, PV in the room next door already got up around 8a and had breakfast...again he now lives in Cali and is in synch with the time...G and I are not....The 2 of us head down to see about the Champagne Brunch and we were really just interested in all breakfast food at this point so we passed on the Brunch and I had a plan up my sleeve. Being a Vegas veteran/researcher (lol) I steer us over to the Golden Gate to try Dupar’s Restaurant and Bakery!

    It was a tiny bit warm in there, but not too bad, and we were hungry...we both ordered some coffee and their fresh –squeezed orange juice which is amazing!!! I had an omelette and home fries with sourdough toast which all kicked ass. G had 2 eggs over easy and the same and we were both quite happy with Dupar’s.

    We head back to MSS and up to our rooms to shower, relax and get prepared for another long grind and perhaps a cash this time for somebody....anybody!!!!! :wink2:

    Off again to the 2p Binion’s tourney, this time we thought PV was meeting us there to play in the 2p as well but since he was up and out early he was already over at the Nugget in a cash game...I find out that he decided to play in the Nugget 12n tourney while G and I entered the Binion’s 2p...again the buy in is $210. The tourney gets 120 players this time and they pay the top 14....


    We both make it through to the 40 minute dinner break at about 7p so we head to MSS and on the way stop at The Cal at that little lunch counter by the exit, ....their food is great! I get a hot dog and onion rings and G gets the shrimp tempura w/ onion rings.......now that we are full we go relax for a half hour in the room and get back to the tourney for 7:40p.

    G and I both run very deep and with about 30 players left we wind up at the same table, which was fun, plus the people at the table were fun too, it helps even when you’re not getting any cards. I bust out soon enough in 24th, G lasts longer and goes out in 18th (yeah like I said they paid the top 14, sorry G). :grrr:

    PV is also now out of the Nugget tourney and we are looking to lick our wounds and find some food. It is about 9:30p so back to the 777 Brewpub for more of the same. This time we order the same apps and I get a cheeseburger, cant remember much else (see slush machines in front of Golden Gate)....the 777 food is amazing and I could eat there every day and never get sick of it.

    Although, not exercising that week and hitting that place when your starving are not good! But it is vacation and there are indulgences to be had.

    We finish dinner, feel stuffed and want to play 3- Card poker at MSS, CP is exhausted from the 2 days he spent betting the horses so he heads to bed back to the GN.

    The 3 of us (PV, G, myself) find a table and buy in for $100. A very friendly dealer named “Mishell†was having fun with us and we were doing ok for about an hour. Then she goes on break and the dealer that comes in couldn’t be more of an ice queen...geez, can’t even look at a player seemed so disinterested? It wasn’t like we were making a lot of noise...we were tired as hell but still laughing. I figured, “Ah who cares, I don’t have to sit at that tableâ€, all 3 of us cash out after 3 hands from the new dealer and I only lose $45 from my $100. At this point we are all wiped from the food and the poker grind again, so we call it a night around 1am.

    Monday June 7th

    So of course we are up early around 9am and we are looking to hit the breakfast buffet at MSS that we love so much. Why? The food is great, just like dinner, the place is immaculate, and the high ceilings, brass and wood make for an awesome, comfortable and pleasing setting. I couldn’t be happier eating there anytime. :thumbsup:

    So PV, G and myself discuss the days events over breakfast. After 2 days in a row of a long grind session in the tourneys, I am ready for a poker break and am looking to play some VP and take it easy during the day/afternoon.
    PV and G are going to do the 2pm Binion’s once again, so I call my friend CP over at The Nugget to let him know I will be free for the day.

    CP then lets me know on the phone that after 2 days of betting the horses (Sat-Belmont, Sun-Keeneland/others) he is now up to his bankroll for the trip. He is not broke, thank God, but is done with betting. Which sucks because he still has 2 days left in Vegas with no gamble left in him, and before the trip he was very interested in poker and has played before back home in NY. Now he doesn’t want to play and feels like he should just hit the pool at GN and have breakfast/lunch/dinner with us when he can. What an ass for not putting aside any money to gamble with us! Yeah we love him anyway! :poke:

    We also had reservations for tonight at 8pm at Binion’s Steakhouse. Pre-trip, we planned on the Flame at El Cortez and changed it to Binion’s the week before we left. I am glad we did as the temps were 110 and 108 in Vegas and it felt humid and thick for the first time ever to me!! The walk to El Co would have been broiling and brutal.

    So I figured if PV and G are still in the tourney at 8pm, then CP and I will go to dinner without them. At least CP has money for that...yeesh.
    So broke ass/lame ass CP :haha:, and myself on a mental break, walk over to Binion’s to check on PV and G. They are doing ok and it is around 3pm so I was thinking about hitting the pool with CP over at the GN but it is always so damn crowded out there and doesn’t look comfortable.

    Either way , I wanted to change into a pair of bathing suit shorts in case I decided to go, so we head to MSS and on the way we always pass through the Cal but this time I suggest a stop at Lappert’s Ice Cream....this stuff is amazing!!! I had a scoop of green pistachio and a scoop of vanilla bean....freaking unreal!!! CP had a few scoops as well and loved it too.

    Then I wanted to play some VP at MSS so we sat down and I put in $100 and lo and behold CP throws in a $20....lol....anyway his 20 runs out eventually and my 100 is down to 75 after about an hour so I cash out and we go upstairs then hang in the room. Eventually CP decides to hit the GN pool and I wanted to take a nap before dinner at 8p at Binion’s .

    As I am relaxing I get a text from G around 6:30 saying he is out...ok I am glad he can come to dinner...lol...oh and PV is out too!! Nice! I mean, that stinks...now the four of us can hit the Steakhouse.

    We get ready and actually put pants on (the horror).....I hate bringing pants to Vegas let alone wear them there. I thought the dress code at Binion’s Steakhouse was business casual which to me meant no shorts. Anyway, we head to Binion’s and go up the cool glass elevator to the Steakhouse...it was kind of eerie but a nice view and it was hot in there too, no AC.

    We get to the 24th floor to the Steakhouse and it is not as cool as I would like it ( not even close). It turns out the A/C there is half operational and it kind of sucks to be honest but it didn’t ruin the meal. People wearing flip flops, shorts, t-shirts??? Huh??? I had no idea...oh well we looked decent...:nworthy:

    We were seated at a window table and it was very cool. I enjoyed the experience but wouldn’t go recommending it. If you were curious about eating there I would say go, you will like it but it is very dark and very quiet...again, eerie like the glass elevator...

    As for the food, I think the other 3 guys ordered the shrimp for an appetizer and I do not eat seafood so I ordered the French Onion Soup and it was pretty good but not as great as I had hoped. I still enjoyed it as my friends also enjoyed their shrimp. We ordered a bottle of Merlot that went quick so we had to pop another mid way through.

    I ordered the 10 oz. Filet Mignon, medium with Garlic Mashed Potatos, and it was perfect. They cooked it perfectly and the flavor was excellent. PV got the same thing and was also impressed. G too got the 10oz Filet but he likes it RARE, the sick puppy, and it was fine with him. CP got the NY Strip and was raving about it. PV and I wound up getting so damn hot from the food and the warm atmosphere that we split the bill 4 ways.....$80 per guy, including tip. I would have ordered dessert but it was way too hot up there so we left for the cool of the casino. G and CP wanted to finish off 2nd bottle of wine anyway so they stayed and did just that.

    We all get back at our rooms, eventually, to change back into shorts and
    now decide once again to go play some $5 - 3-Card Poker. We all head to the Four Queens and 3 of us buy in for $100 while CP watches for a few hands then heads to bed back to his room at the GN. We are doing ok with our initial buy –in, up and down but not too far either way.

    Then PV tells me his stomach is rumbling and that just aint good. He decides to hand me his $35 in chips and says “Hold theseâ€....he will try to make it back to MSS to use his own bathroom. As he leaves I say “Pair Plus?†asking about his remaining $35 that he handed me to hold for him. He says, “sure†and now everyone at the table, the dealer and even the pit boss had heard it.... I was going to plop all $35 on the pair plus bet but then decided on 2 separate bets, one for $20 and another at $15, but not back to back hands! PV’s money, my rule! :ssst:

    So I am still at about $85 of my own stack and I decide to bet the first of PV’s bets and put up $15 on Pair Plus and he hits. By the time I do it again he hits a straight. Then I start to play my money behind him on the Ante bet...trying to ride the luck. Again, this is not on consecutive hands, it just seemed that every time I used PV’s chips for the Pair Plus bet, he would win! This happened at least 7 or 8 times and the whole table was having fun.

    Finally, I put my bets up and take a break on his chips for a hand or 2.....a woman asked me if I was ever going to light my cigar that I had been holding the whole time, I said sure and proceeded to light up....the dealer is now dealing and I light my cigar and pick up my cards and see the 4 5 6 of hearts!!!:banana: Straight Flush! :banana: 40 to 1 on the PP, 4 to 1- I think on the ante and even on the play, I don’t know if the dealer qualified....couldn’t remember.

    So yes those were MY chips...lol not PV’s....everyone at the table knew too and G who was still playing. Anyway, when I was done PV had $185 from his original $35 that I earned for him while he sat on the toilet...LOL

    PV now shows back up and this is about 40 minutes later and G and I are still playing 3-Card. PV goes to take $100 out to buy in again and I say “hold on dude, this is yoursâ€......I hand him two stacks of red $5 chips and 3 green $25 chips for $185 total and he couldn’t believe it. We played a bit longer and kept afloat which was nice. I left up about $200 which was nice because I never get that lucky, PV and G got back to around $100 and it was a nice break from live poker.

    Once again we call it a night around 1am because the 3 of us plan to do the Gold Nugget tourney tomorrow for a $235 buy in at 12noon!!!

    Tuesday June 8th

    We wake up around 9:30a and head our asses down to the breakfast buffet by 10a. We make it and take our time. The structure for the Nugget tourney is different than Binion’s in that the blind levels are 40 minutes at the GN as opposed to 30 at Binion’s. For non-poker players, this makes the game longer but you have a better chance with some skill and some luck with longer levels.

    We head over to GN and sign up for $235 and it is right about noon as we are signing up. We get seated and off we go. I will spare everyone the details but at the first 10 min break, after 2 hours of play we were all doing well. I didnt want to discuss stack sizes and hands because of the jinx factor...yeah like it matters.

    We get back from the first break and after another hour I see G walking out pretty pissed off. :bang: Seems he lost and busted out, but there was a ruling at this table regarding someone sitting next to G who showed their hand to him during play and it caused a situation where G wound up losing with a worse hand to the third player involved. I am confused because I didnt see it, but I found out all of that afterward and it sucked.

    (As a side note, Jerry Buss, the owner of the Lakers was also playing in the room but in the mixed HORSE tourney.....and he was dressed like a sloppy, normal guy, baseball cap, jeans and shirt.)

    Anyway about 110 players entered and they paid the top 10...... I now get moved to PV’s table with about 30 people to go...we hit the dinner break for 40 minutes at 7p and I am starving. After getting slushes in front of the GG during the break I hadn’t eaten anything since the 10am breakfast and it was 7pm and I had been drinking.

    The good news was I didn’t feel sick, but I needed food fast or I wasn’t going to want food. CP came by the GN tourney room as we broke for dinner and we hit McD’s at The Fitz at my request and I was fine after scarfing down 2 double cheeseburgers and some orange Hi-C. It took a while but I felt much better and we then chilled and headed back to the GN for the rest of the tourney.

    PV had a decent stack and I had less than the average. I started to chip up a bit with a decent run of cards and a bet on a flop I didnt hit but everyone folded. Little things like that kept me alive but PV went all in eventually at about 20 players left and got beat by the other players kicker....that sucked! Now I was there was not too many chips and looking for a hand with about 15 people left.

    I go a few folds and finally get AQ offsuit and shove all in. I get another all in guy 2 players to my left, which is fine because that should protect me from other all ins...this way myself and my opponent dont have another player in the pot which was smart of that guy to do. Anyways, he turns up JJ I show my AQ and we are off to the races...I am about 50/50 here, but the board just bricks out and I go out in 14th at 10:30p, after 10.5 hours of poker on my last day in Vegas, freezing my balls off in the GN tourney room for nothing!!! YOU GET NOTHING!! YOU LOSE!!! GOOD DAY SIR!!!! :eek: :grrr:

    PV was waiting in the wings as I did the walk of shame from the tourney room and I called G and CP to say I was done and we should head to the Brewpub. Again we ordered a ton of stuff and ate so much that when our food came we all ate about half of it but it was once again incredible.

    So we all went to our rooms very full, very tired and very drunk/hungover. As we are packing, it is about 1am and G starts laughing, looks at me and says, “You want to go play some video poker?†Well fuck I say to myself, I am tired but asking me to play VP is like asking a fat kid if he wants cake. I am in! :beer:

    We go downstairs freaking bleary eyed and sit down by the Boar bar for some beers and we each put in $100 but dont really get anywhere. I run mine out playing .50 and he cashes out a ticket for about 30 bucks. We then look around for other machines, now us being poker players I have no idea about a lot of new slots but I saw the 1c Goldfish game and told G I had heard about it on this board!

    I threw in a $20 and he threw in his ticket in a machine and I think I was betting 3 bucks a spin without a clue, but I did get the fun as hell bonus round. I picked a few random fish food cans then it asked me to choose turtle out of 3 turtles....I chose the one to the right and it was the most credits when they revealed the prizes, it may have been 1000, I was hammered I don’t know but I kept spinning and lost the 20, G lost his and suggested The Cal right over the walkway....

    I looked at my watch and it was 2am...we have to get up at 8a for our flight. I knew we would lose whatever we did....lol...so we ended the night.

    Wednesday June 9th

    G, CP and I said goodbye to PV and we cabbed it to the airport at 9am.The security line wasn’t long and moved quickly.

    We were on the plane by 10:45, off at 11a and landed in NYC in 4 hrs!!!!! 6:15p at JFK, home by 7:30p.

    Notes:[/]
    I never got to use any coupons on this trip and had them all with me.
    I didn’t get to the Gold Spike and wanted to play there for the hell of it. No Plaza and No Vegas Club this trip either....I wanted to “slum it†a bit.....but I guess I still did.?
     
  2. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Damn fine stuff, zerofan.

    Man, I need to stay downtown one of these days.
     
  3. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    Thanks for writing that up. I share your love of MSS and the brewpub...I think I ate there almost every meal on my last visit :thumbsup:
     
  4. Wanger1969

    Wanger1969 High-Roller

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    Downtown TR

    Love your trip report, especially a poker/downtown centric trip report. I personally love downtown too, and for all the reasons you enjoyed. I haven't stayed at MSS, but I plan to the next trip I'm down there.

    Very entertaining!
     
  5. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Thanks for reading! It took me longer to remember the facts/details than it did to actually write up the report.

    I did not have pen to keep notes so I jotted everything down once I got home. :peace:
     
  6. rlhendrix

    rlhendrix Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed it. I keep wanting to do a trip that revolves around poker tournaments, but it never seems to happen.
     
  7. pumpkinfish

    pumpkinfish Tourist

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    What a great report!! I love some Downtown action! :beer:


    Plus, major props for your use of Willy Wonka quote (from the original!!!)

     
  8. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Thanks PF....I enjoyed writing it. Glad you liked it. :peace:
     
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