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Halfway Luxor Poker Trip Report!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by PatekPhil, Aug 14, 2004.

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  1. PatekPhil

    PatekPhil Tourist

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC (Kabul, Afghanistan)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27

    My Trip Report

    Halfway through my trip, and I'm online, so I'll post a midway report...

    Well, my flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis got cancelled, so I was stuck overnighting in Amsterdam. Fortunately, I had read in the KLM magazine that POKER was gaining popularity in Amsterdam, and that there was even a No Limit tournament available. So, I ventured out to find the Holland Casino.

    Its quite a swanky dig, and they charge 3.50 Euro just to park your butt in the joint. And they don’t care for baseball caps – was told to remove mine.

    The only game being spread when I arrived was a shorthanded 10-20 Hold’em game as well as a Pot Limit Omaha game. I don’t care for PLO, so I sat in the Hold’em game. I did quite well shorthanded – people were playing a fairly solid, predictable tight game. I wasn’t well-financed to play 10-20, having only 200 Euros with me. So, when I hit a bad run of cards (QQ busted on the turn, JJ busted on the river, had a straight rivered on me) even though I had built my stack up to 350 or so, I found myself kind of crippled with about 120 in front of me. The game filled up with some much weaker players, who were playing every hand, and providing some pretty good action. I switched gears a bit (assisted by a run of about 12 hands of garbage) and observed their play – one guy was clearly out to lunch, another was hyper-aggreessive, playing every hand, and the third was a swarthy drug dealer type who just seemed to be throwing a party. So, I was pretty excited to get some cards. My last hand: I’m on the button with Qc8c and I have 5 limpers ahead of me – so I decide to see a flop. 8 players see the unraised flop which comes Ac Qs 6c – giving me middle pair and a second-nut flush draw. It gets checked to Mr. Clueless who bets 10, fold, fold to me where I raise (trying to establish my hand and get rid of raggedy aces etc… I have been playing very tight, so anyone with a mind puts me on a decent ace – probably not AK/AQ but solid) everyone folds to Mr. No-mind who calls. I read him for an ace, but probably raggedy. Turn comes 4h and he checks, I bet, he calls. So I figure he still has his raggedy ace. River comes 8d – my flush didn’t get there, but 2pr did which is good enough to beat his stupid ace. He bets, I raise, he calls and shows me… A4off. DOH.

    Not having anymore euros, I decide to pack it in with 40 and change left in front of me. Too bad I didn’t have a bankroll, because it was a pretty juicy game, and one that was eminently beatable. But, I need 500-800 in front of me to play 10-20 optimally, and I wasn’t going to convert my Vegas bankroll at an unfavorable rate. All was not lost, however, as I slapped my last 40 on a blackjack table, and got a 16 against a dealer’s 10. All BJ is 6deck shoe w/CSM at this place. I decided to play a coin toss and stay, and I got lucky – dealer busted. I let my 80 ride, and picked up a 10 against dealer’s A. I hit, drew another A, and dealer made a 20. I took this as a sign to take my 160 and run, and feel pretty lucky about it. By the way – no comped drinks at this place – gotta buy everything. Feeling lucky, I decided to stick 10 into a dutch-labelled slot just to say I’d played one. Happened to hit a 45 Euro little jackpot, so I cashed out at 40, making my night out at the Holland Casino ALMOST breakeven. (Minus trainfares & cabs)

    Luxor observations:

    Hotel: Somewhat disappointing. It’s a huge property, and highly disorienting (to me, anyways.) Tried the $20 trick and was told that they can no longer comp the Jacuzzi suites but that for $50 a night I could have one. Then I had to look like a cheap ass as I took back my $20. (The clerk was friendly and professional however.) Had a room on the 23rd floor of pyramid which is OK. Had to call housekeeping because there were hairs in the shower (not mine) and a dirty used Q-Tip under the counter. Was offered to change rooms or a cleanup, opted for the latter because I was exhausted after my flights – took them 45 minutes to arrive and still left the Q-Tip under the counter. Also, tried room service once and took them 80 minutes to arrive. DOH!

    Food: Not bad – the café and the deli are pretty good, although kind of pricey in my opinion. ($12 in poker room food comps earned, went to the deli with my poker buddy. She and I ordered two sandwiches, one order of fries, one order of coleslaw and two Becks beer AFTER the $12 off was still $20)

    Gaming: EXCELLENT casino staff, dealers and pit bosses – especially at the pai gow tables. Very pleasant casino gaming experience.

    Cocktail service: APPALLING. I was playing an all-nighter with my friend, and having several cocktails. Playing Pai Gow Poker, at fairly heavy levels - $100 a hand and up to $500 at times, banking the table etc… Having a great time – although not winning or losing (Swings were up to +700 and – 1000 for the session, cashed out exactly even) and the waitress at about 4am started to get REALLY slow. Like 20 minutes after ordering a beer, she’d arrive. The pit boss gave her some grief, and she copped this attitude with us – REFUSED to take our tips ‘I don’t need your money, honey!’. I have never been treated like this when playing at a premium level in a casino.

    Comps: Cheap-ass. 8 hours of Pai Gow Poker at $100+ a hand average bet got us about $50 in comp dollars. Pit Boss was highly apologetic and said he would’ve liked to do more for us, but wasn’t allowed. (For what that’s worth.)

    Poker: Excellent. The room has expanded since I was there last, and they spread mostly 2-4 hold’em, SOMETIMES with a 1-4-8 table, and often a 1-2 blind $50 buy-in NL game. I hate 2-4 hold’em, but the 1-4-8 wasn’t being spread often enough so I was stuck playing it for quite a while. Players varied between grinders, some quite competitive, some clueless, some drunk – but it was difficult to change seats between tables if your game got really poor (or if another table looked really juicy) all of a sudden. The rake is steep in this house – max $4 plus $1 for the jackpot box, so these are really house-favouring games. But – the best deal if you’re considering playing here is the freeroll tourneys for 10 hours of play. Make SURE you sign up for these and get your 10 hours in. They don’t actually spread the tournament – they do a chop between all qualifiers – so I got $65 cashback (basically) for logging 10 hours of play. This helps offset what you lose on the high rake! Plus, 5 hours of play a day gets you casino rate on your room and a $4 food comp (whoot) Another bonus with the 10 hours of play is that they do two $100 draws for all freeroll qualifiers – so if you’re seated in a cash game between 5:45pm and 7:45pm on Fridays (and also Tuesdays I believe) and you have already earned your 10 hours of play not only do you get your cashback for the freeroll tourney chop, but 2 shots at a 1:30 – 1:40 draw for $100. (I won one of these!)

    Their daily tournament has really grown from when I played here last. $25 gets you 250 in chips, and there is a dealer tip addon of $3 which gets you an extra 50. The juice is pretty steep on the tourney ($6 to the house out of the $25) but they sellout at 80 players or so – and it sold out every day. It’s a limit hold’em / NL hold’em hybrid tournament with the blinds rising pretty quick. If you want to play, sign in begins at 9am and the event WILL sell out. Don’t do what I did on my first day – dragged my butt down to the casino floor for the 9am buy-in and went back to the room for a nap before the noon start time. Casino didn’t make the wakeup call (another black mark for the Luxor) and I slept through ‘til 2:30. Talk about dead money. I played the event twice while I was here so far, knocked out early on once, and made the final table only to get killed on the bubble. (Pays 7 places – I squeaked in to the final table with a short stack, and couldn’t get anything in one round of hands to justify an all-in move - not even an ace. Finally when forced to go I had 6h8h against a raggedy Ace and flop came with 2 aces for the end of my fun.)

    Other news to report:

    Plaza has gone through a rebranding makeover kind of thing – very 50’s/60’s new logo, attractive new cards and chips etc… Unfortunately, their gaming has gotten kind of strip-like (craps here sucks now $5 min 3x4x5x odds – confirmed!) I was greeted warmly by the pit staff who remembered me, but I don’t think I’ll play there much anymore – although I WOULD still stay there. Their poker room shows renewed signs of life with an expansion and a general clean-up. They said they spread 6-12 – but I didn’t sit in this trip.

    El Cortez was the site of the craps deflowering of my traveling accomplice, and she performed admirably, shooting for 35 minutes with LOADS of numbers and several passes, turning a $300 buy-in (for the two of us) into just shy of $800. I don’t think she understands the game any better than she did before – she was just throwing dice and following my betting lead – but man, she really rolled them bones. Textbook first time shooter. Looks like the ElCo is the last vestige of good’ol downtown…

    The trip continues…

    -PatekPhil
     
  2. krobertson21

    krobertson21 Tourist

    Joined:
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    nice report,
    ill be out there looking for some NL games in about 2 weeks
     
  3. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Southern California
    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip [​IMG]
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Nice detail, patekphil, sorry you had to find out about the Praza though.
     
  5. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
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    The Harrification of downtown continues... :mad:

    Thanks for all the details--It looks like I'll be doing my downtown craps shooting at the Elco with Dr Al from now on.

    Mikey
     
  6. PatekPhil

    PatekPhil Tourist

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC (Kabul, Afghanistan)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Just got home - excellent trip overall.

    Some final notes:

    Luxor redeemed itself somewhat at the last minute. Played one more hour of black action Pai Gow and got introduced to a host, who gave me RFB for 3 nights (half my stay), and was very pleasant. So they aren't QUITE as cheap-ass as I thought.

    Played some 4-8 with a kill at the Horseshoe and took three racks off the locals who for some reason were playing crazy loosey-goosey. Sample hand - I'm on the button, EVERYONE limps in, and I look down at two red aces. I'm not happy about having to run down 8 players with 'em, but I raise and build a MASSIVE pot. Board comes with an A and two unsuited cards. Someone comes out betting, I raise, and EVERYONE stays in for two bets. Turn is a rag, all check to me, I bet, and four people go to the river. Last card put up a weird straight if someone had a 5-7 or a 2-5, no flush, no pair on board. All check to me, I bet, one caller who mucks when I show my obvious hand. MASSIVE pot. One of the locals complimented my play at the end which was kind of cool. I still like this cardroom even though it's being 'Harrified'

    Checked out the 4-8 with a kill game at the Golden Nugget - another really juicy game. They'll be getting play from me next trip for sure. Very friendly & professional staff.

    Played the Sunday nite $40 + $20 AO tourney at the Sahara. Great tournament, although seating 12 at a table blows. Made it to the top 25% but never really was able to build a stack to be competitive. Was reduced to one move (all-in) for much of the last hour. Another cardroom that doesn't like to spread 4-8 hold'em.

    With the explosion of poker, I'm scared that the casinos are going to screw up this opportunity by killing everyone by spreading only stupid low limit games (1-2, 2-4 with HUGE rakes). There is only one winner in those kinds of games, and once people figure it out, this bubble may burst...

    Now I need a vacation from my vacation!

    Aces to you!

    -Patekphil
     
  7. ucamper

    ucamper Tourist

    Joined:
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    Sweden, gbg
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    Good report. Thanks for all the poker info.

    I'm surprised you didn't get a room upgrade though. $20 worked for us at Luxor two weekends in a row.

    /ucamper
     
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