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Rio TR 7/29-8/2, Part One

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dfense072, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. dfense072

    dfense072 Low-Roller

    Jan 26, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Well, our systems here at work crashed again, so what better time than now to finally piece together a trip report…

    Jen & I decided on a long weekend in Vegas to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, so we scored $227 round-trip, non-stop flights on Southwest out of Hartford and spent four comped nights sleeping with the enemy (Rio), despite our lack of recent play at any of the Harrah’s properties. I also received an invitation to a 2006 World Series of Poker Texas Hold’em freeroll qualifier at Harrah’s, which I gladly accepted.

    The flight, luggage pick-up, car rental process (Dollar/Fast Lane), and hotel check-in all went without a hitch, easily the smoothest trip to Vegas we’ve ever had. Landed at 5:30, in our room at Rio by 6:15. We had room 423 in the Ipanema tower, not one of their newly-renovated rooms…but everything worked and the bed was comfortable so what do we care?

    Registration for the poker tournament was Friday night at Harrah’s from 2:00-8:00, so I jumped back into the car and zipped over there around 7:30. Jen stayed behind to make some donations to Rio’s tight slots. After registering, I was told to show my seat assignment card to the guy in the adjoining conference room for my free gift, which ended up being a nice Jules Jurgensen watch with the WSOP logo on the face and Rio/Harrah’s logo on the back (check out this link to see it, some schmuck’s trying to sell it for $175?! It’s worth maybe $50 tops… http://cgi.ebay.com/Ltd-Edition-Official-WSOP-Jules-Jurgensen-Watch-Poker_W0QQitemZ6198483501QQcategoryZ63756QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QqcmdZViewItem)

    There was also a buffet/open bar for registering players and guests located just outside the ballroom where the tournament was to be held, and since I hadn’t eaten, this was another welcome surprise. While nothing too fancy (cheese/crackers, teriyaki chicken on a stick, monte cristo sandwiches, assorted goodies), it was all good and hit the spot.

    I read over the tournament structure, and realized it would basically be a crapshoot. Everyone started Saturday with 1,500 chips, blinds beginning at 25/50 and doubling every 15 minutes. The final two players from each 10 person table would then advance to Sunday with 5,000 chips, but the blinds would start at 200/400. This meant you had to win early and often in order to survive, or risk wasting all your chips on the blinds.

    And there was another variable to consider: the players. I looked around the room and saw very few people that looked like poker players. My guess was Harrah’s sent invites to a huge number of their Total Rewards players, as the tourney started with 1,500 entries. It was safe to say that 95% of these people had never played Hold’em before, let alone in a live tournament format.

    Went back down to their poker room and got on a $1/2 no-limit hold’em table. Bought in for $120 and lost $45 over two hours. I was dealt a total of zero pocket pairs during that time and did a whole lot of folding.

    It was now a little before 10:00, and the plan was to meet up with Coaster Kikky and Co. at Carnaval Court. I paid my $7 and did about a hundred laps through there, but never found the crew. After about a half-hour of stalking the Court, I headed back to Rio and donated a bit to their video poker machines. They’ve never had any great VP, but used to have a bank of .25 8/5 Bonus progressives that were playable…even those are now gone. Hit the sack early on Friday…I know, I know, it’s a sin to actually sleep in Sin City! But I wanted a full night’s rest before the big tourney.

    My ADD is kicking in, I’ll post another chunk of the report soon…thanks!

  2. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Jan 8, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Looking forward to reading the rest Jim! I can't help wonder why Jer & I didn't have to pay $7 to get into Carnaval Court... they just stamped our hands and let us in. This was about 10 minutes before 9pm that night, and we went through the entrance closest to the Strip. I wonder if because it was the entrance nearest the blackjack tables they figured (correctly) that we were there to play instead of just listen to the band? Odd, in any case.
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