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TR: 12/16-12/19

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Coaster Kikky, Dec 20, 2004.

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  1. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    The arrangements:
    Mirage, 3 nights at $79/night (after having been booked at Orleans, Bellagio and Aladdin)
    Southwest Airlines: $220 pp roundtrip from BWI to LAS
    Transportation: Taxi and by foot were the only things planned

    In a nutshell if you have limited time to read:
    Casinos visited: 13
    Casinos I did not gamble in: 4
    Casinos I lost money in: 9 (you do the math)
    Patron Silver margaritas consumed: how the hell should I know?
    Prescription sunglasses lost: 1 pair

    Thursday 12/16: our first win of the trip was getting on an almost empty plane to Vegas. Several people stretched out in their own personal row. If I were somewhat shorter, I might have considered that also, but my legs would stick out into the aisle, and people would keep waking me up to get by me, so I just took a catnap in my window seat. The bad news was that since the plane was so empty, there was no "we're going to Vegas" party atmosphere. Still, I like naps so I wasn't too disappointed.

    The 2nd win of the trip was when this lightweight plane touched down at McCarran almost an hour early! Yeah baby!

    We did not check baggage, so easily made it through the empty airport to the taxi stand where there was no line of people and a huge line of cabs waiting for us. We got to Mirage, and went to see about an early check-in. We asked about a possible upgrade to a tower deluxe room, with the $20 visible, and were told that upgrades were available, but at a price. We ended up staying with our regular room, which for $79 was fine. Yes, the bathroom was small. How small? Let's just say that if you were seated on the toilet with the door closed and someone opened the door, you might as well say goodbye to your knees right then and there. But I was prepared for a small bathroom thanks to the many trip reports here. The view was south and west, with a good view of Caesars straight ahead, Rio and Palms off to the right, and a little bit of Paris off to the left. We did start with a little bit of a mishap - the girl at the desk told us we were in room 10-116, but the keys wouldn't work so we returned to the desk only to be told that room was occupied already. I hope the person staying there wasn't in the room, nervous about us repeatedly trying to get in. Turns out the girl wrote down the wrong number, and our room was 10-016. All was fine after that.

    Although it wasn't quite 11am in Vegas, it was way past our lunchtime as far as our tummies were concerned, so we went to Mirage's Caribe Cafe for a bite. Hubby had a quesadilla, I had a chicken caesar salad, both were fine - not exquisite cuisine but certainly edible. After that, we headed to the blackjack tables. I started the weekend off on a good footing by ending my session up $300. I probably should have stopped there ;)

    After that hubby went to the poker room, and I began my wandering. First stop was Caesars, where I plonked $100 down in video poker only to see it disappear. Next Bellagio, where I had to stop and watch the World Poker Tour players. I recognized Ted Forrest, whom I had seen on tv the previous night, Phil Hellmuth (who looked much fatter than he does on tv), Daniel Negreanu, who is every bit as cute in person as he is on tv, and finally I saw my favorite poker player, Howard Lederer. He glanced up and the look on his face made me think he thought he recognized me (we are both from New England but to the best of my knowledge, we have never previously met). He smiled and looked me over, and I guess he figured he didn't know who I was, but I said to myself "Awesome! Howard Lederer just checked me out!! This makes the trip report!" LOL

    From there I headed to the Fontana Bar. I have to report that all the video poker machines there were recently switched over to $1. No more quarters. And the deal at the MGMMirage properties is $20 into a machine gets you a "free" drink (more on this in a minute). I did meet a great bartender named Josie, who gabbed with me. She made a killer Patron margarita, informed me how to make good sweet and sour mix at home (which I have since forgotten) and was great fun, but she was lousy luck, because those were damned expensive margaritas for "free"... she did take pity on me and offered a shot of her favorite tequila, Don Julio anejo. Damn, that was fine! Any of the tequila connoisseurs out there try that?

    After taking a $200 beating at the Bellagio, I headed back to the Mirage, and then explored the tram over to TI, to which I had never been before. Oh, and this has been said before but I have to add my voice to the choir. Who's godawful idea was it to make the new TI sign so completely butt-ugly? It is seriously HIDEOUS! /end rant

    So at TI I found another blackjack table, this one populated with boys just barely of legal gambling age. They probably weren't too keen on me sitting down, until I ordered a shot of Patron and downed it. That got a little respect from them.... and it did a nice number on my sobriety, which was already under great impairment. Now, I wasn't exactly three sheets to the wind at this point, but I would have to admit to being a couple of pillowcases and a dustruffle to the wind [​IMG] I did, however, end the blackjack session up $50.

    I apparently went back to Mirage at this point, and vaguely remember telling hubby that I was going to eat dinner right now, with or without him. He obliged, and we returned to TI to eat at Kahunaville. I had a mango margarita, which was way too sweet compared to the drinks I had been consuming. My "guilt-free" burger was quite good (hamburger and chorizo sausage, no bun, served with broccoli and mushroom sauce). Kahunaville was a fun place. Hubby had a chicken and pasta dish and it was "okay". Beats the heck outta me what I did the rest of the night... but I know I got into bed around 1am, and hubby was already in the room.

    Friday

    Breakfast at the Bellagio Buffet was the first thing to do. We had not been there before, and although I liked the selection of foods, they weren't as hot as they should be. I did appreciate the smoked Hawaiian ono (although remember that they spelled "Hawaiin" wrong). I would say I agree that it has the capability of being one of the best buffets in the city, I think we just caught them on an off-day.

    After breakfast, we checked out the Bellagio Christmas decorations, which were colorful and imaginative. I will provide a link to my pictures once I get them onto Webshots.

    We decided this day to rent a car and drive down to Primm and ride the roller coaster. We weren't too impressed by Buffalo Bill's, but the coaster wasn't as bad as I had feared it might be. It does have a couple of moments of good airtime. Unfortunately the tendency of Arrow coasters to be rough in transitions proved to be true, so we had to brace ourselves. I've been on far far worse rides though. It was $7 each for one ride.

    We headed back to Vegas, driving on the south end of the Strip so we could see the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. Hubby refused to stop because he couldn't see a place to park. He would not use the turnaround that everyone else does so I did not get a picture [​IMG]

    Our next destination was the Sahara, and another roller coaster, Speed: The Ride. We weren't sure this was even running until we heard a familiar "whoosh" while we were in the garage. I'd recognize the sound of a Premier launch anywhere ;) We found our way to the station ($10 each for one ride) and into the queue. The train was just returning from the course, with one person aboard. We got in line for front row, and the attendants made us wait for a few minutes in case someone else showed up, but no one did, so we had the train to ourselves. We had previously watched a video of the ride, so knew what to expect, or so we thought. The launch through the tunnel and right diving turn into the vertical loop were as expected. I saw the on-ride camera while exiting the loop and made a face. We bought the picture - I will try to scan it. It's pretty funny. Right after that, the 2nd set of LIM's kicked in and the train accelerated like being shot out of a cannon. Wow!!! That was awesome. We had good momentum to carry us up the spike, where we hung for a good second or two before gravity took over and we started to go backwards. There was also good hangtime in the top portion of the vertical loop, and by the time the train was coming into the station I was yelling "this ROCKS!!!!" I loved Speed. I wish we had purchased the all-day pass.

    But, it was lunchtime, and we had decided to check out Green Valley Ranch while we had a car to use. We found it easily, and although the facility is very nice, I didn't particularly like its location. It's right next to the highway, and the only thing nearby other than offices and residences is a shopping plaza. I don't think the casino itself would hold my attention for more than a day if I stayed there.

    We ate lunch at Fado, an Irish pub. I had soup and a salad, hubby ordered a chicken curry dish. They were both ok, nothing great. After lunch, I played video poker, hitting for $320 on a 2 cent machine. Unfortunately, I lost most of it before leaving playing blackjack. Hubby & I have determined that we can NOT play blackjack together. It's just bad luck, or bad karma, or something.

    We drove back to Mirage, and returned the rental car. It was now approaching dinnertime, and we had reservations at Kokomo's at the Mirage. When I saw the restaurant overlooking the waterfall, it reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants on Kauai (Keoki's Paradise), so I wanted to eat there. No, it was not cheap, and everything was a la carte, so we both ordered a fish dish that came with some side items. Hubby had a cajun red snapper. I took a bite, and it cleared out my sinuses! My mahi mahi was nicely done. We each had a glass of wine with dinner, but passed on dessert.

    After dinner, we walked to Aladdin, where hubby went to the poker room, and I at first did some window shopping at the Desert Passage stores. After that I returned to Aladdin and played video poker. It was here that I had the worst moment of the trip. I sat down at the bar, put $20 into the machine and ordered a margarita. They told me that was going to be $7.50. What?? Anywhere else they are free, but not here. Ridiculous. I played through the money in the machine and went to blackjack, where I also lost some. Not much - I wasn't feelin' the love from Aladdin this trip. I went over to Paris, where I've had good luck before, but it wasn't to be tonight. So around midnight I walked "home" to Mirage, feeling a little dejected. Hubby stumbled in around 5am, or so he says. I was long ago asleep!

    Saturday
    This day was exploration day. We know that we haven't found our perfect "home" in Las Vegas. The Mirage is probably as close as we've come. The new Wynn looks promising, though. I held hopes that Mandalay Bay might be it, so after the delicious breakfast buffet at Paris we headed south. (btw, Paris breakfast buffet is still the tops, in my opinion).

    I had been to Monte Carlo, although it was back in '97 when it was brand new, and I barely remembered it. It wasn't bad by any stretch but it lacked personality, so we continued on without spending any money. We also checked out NYNY, which was way too smoky for even our quick walk-through. We took the walkway over to Excalibur, but didn't go in, instead taking the tram directly to Mandalay Bay. I noticed the perfume in the air immediately. I thought it smelled like something was burning! I didn't care for the aroma - although it did not bother my asthma like the perfume at Venetian did. The scent in the air at Mirage, and also at TI, didn't bother me at all, btw.

    I liked parts of Mandalay quite a bit, particular the Island Lounge. I can easily see spending a couple hours in there, enjoying a drink and some sports on the tv. The casino employees were not the friendliest we came across. I don't mean they were nasty, but they weren't particularly outgoing. Then again, we saw a bit of that - it might be the time of year. Everyone is trying to do so much in so little time.

    From Mandalay, we took the shopping area walkway to Luxor. I had never been in Luxor, even though I am booked there for my January trip with a friend. The casino was darker than I anticipated, but I loved the view of the entrance and the lobby. Very impressive to look up so high and see the inside of the pyramid. I played craps here, mostly because everyone says they are so awful LOL. I lost $45 on a $5 table, but liked that they didn't mind my (admittedly feeble) attempts to set and "control" the dice. I had one totally lame roll, and the 2nd one was much better for hitting place & come numbers for others but I couldn't hit my point (and 9 is my number, go figure). I made almost all of the $45 back at blackjack before deciding to head back to Mirage in a taxi.

    At that point, hubby (he who got in at 5-sometime) decided it was naptime. I headed back over to TI and played video poker at Isla Tequila bar. The best luck I had there was getting incredibly yummy margaritas. Really good. Delicious. "only" $20 each. LOLOL. Sigh.... back to the Mirage to finish up the better part of my bankroll, then upstairs to check in on hubby at 5:30. He had napped since around 1pm.

    We had dinner reservations at 7:30 at Roy's, a Hawaiian restaurant chain we have been to in several other cities. We had a little time to spare, so hiked down to Bellagio, took in a couple of fountain shows while having a drink at Fontana Bar (a wedding had just taken place out on the balcony - they got some GREAT pictures).

    We got a taxi to Roy's, on East Flamingo, and had to wait a little bit for our table. We sat at the bar and Jerald took good care of us (I made sure to ask how to spell his name since I knew he'd make the trip report). I ordered a guava mojito, which was really good, and quite different. Hubby ordered a mai tai. And then we each had another. Jerald realized we were famished, and drunk, took pity on us and brought us some edamame beans. These are soy beans, with salt and possibly another spice or two they are boiled in. They are addictive!! Hawaiian junk food at its finest. Anyway, eventually our table was ready and we staggered to it. Since we were still hungry, we ordered appetizers, which is rare for us. Mine was called Lanikalau, and it was filet mignon with crab musubi inside (crab, sticky rice and nori, or seaweed wrap). Hubby ordered, and ate every bit of, his spring rolls. My dinner was a walu (a whitefish) with champagne spinach cream and bleu cheese. Hubby had opakapaka (pink snapper). We have never had anything at any Roy's that wasn't beyond excellent, and this was no exception. We left very very very full and very very non-sober.

    I know this isn't going to live up to the trip report of the greats because of this part right here.... it's Saturday night in Vegas, my bankroll is shot and my belly is so full it hurts, and I am drunk to boot. So I went to bed. By myself. At 10:30pm. Sorry guys - I know that must disappoint ya!

    Sunday was pack up day and get ready to leave. Already. I'm glad I know I will be back soon - and then again not long after that. I won't go more than a year again without visiting this fun city. I needed to stock up on Hawaiian coffee, so we walked down to Aladdin and the Desert Passage stores, where they have both an ABC and a Hilo Hattie. I got some coffee, a Las Vegas aloha shirt for my husband, a plumeria ponytail holder and a "learn to hula to lose weight" dvd. We had planned to have breakfast at Aladdin's buffet, but got distracted by Cheeseburger at the Oasis when we saw they not only had macadamia nut pancakes but guava juice. I was still so full from the previous few days that I could not finish my breakfast (and indeed, didn't eat more than a few crackers all the rest of that day).

    Not much more happened after that. We did get a talkative cabbie originally from Buffalo NY on the trip to the airport. The flight to Nashville was very full (I did wave to you Mikey), but the trip from Nashville to BWI had maybe 2 dozen people on it, including the attendants.

    All in all, it was a fun trip, if disappointing for gambling. Vegas was SO empty of people it was almost sad. We were able to cross the Strip on foot once and didn't have to fear for our lives at all.

    The very best part is, I get to go back in five weeks and 3 days :cool:
     
  2. East Coast Shuffle

    East Coast Shuffle Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Great TR CK.
    Nice choice on the tequila.Don Julio Gonzales is one of Mexico's most renown premium tequila makers.
    Hey...no worries here..you blasted out of the gates and very few would pull a "survivor" at that pace..outdrink...outcoast and outlast. ;) Sounds to me ,you're hubby may have been voted out first [​IMG] You had a great trip...cool :cool: !
     
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    I think you should get a "Howard Lederer checked me out!" t-shirt. Nice report, sounds like it was a good time, despite the $20 margaritas... I'm proud of ya for trying to set the dice. [​IMG]

    [ December 20, 2004, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: doctor_al ]
     
  4. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    Coaster Kikky...

    REALLY enjoyed reading your TR. I'm really getting intrigued about these mojito drinks--i'll have to take my 1st plunge for sure. Sounds awful that you had to pay for that 'rita when you PUT IN $$$ into the freakin machine -- jeeesh!

    Mirage--its got a pretty clever layout. Cant get lost & the atrium is cool (not to metnion part of kokomo's is under it!). Wow, an hour early on the flight??!!!

    I think if howard lederer looked at me in a poker game--he'd know my cards, what i ate for lunch 8 weeks ago & my birthdate. Is it just me--or does he have a 'groovy-cool-deathly-computerized-seeTHRUyou' look on his face? Okay--enough of that. I'm glad ya saw your heros.

    So what was the $ of the all-day SPEED ticket? I'm sooooo jealous now, i want some SPEED too. I've gotta have the stuff man !! I NEED MY FIX !! (that's coaster-talk, not drug-talk).

    How did your guy do at gambling--any luck w/ the cards?

    Oh, the burger... w/ some kinda brocoli mushroom thingy (sounds yucky), lol.

    Anyhoo---coooool TR !! :D It's cool Trip reports that make me wanna SCREAM @ my T-minus clock.

    [ December 20, 2004, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: misterKeno ]
     
  5. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    That's it exactly. There's a reason I'm only a spectator when it comes to poker.

    The all-day pass included some virtual car race silliness that we weren't interested in. It was "on sale" for about $25/pp. I didn't see a "just let me ride the coaster dammit" price.

    Best not to ask... neither of us came home with money.
     
  6. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    kikky nice report! Sounds like you did some tequila damage! That's my girl!!!! Bummer you cam how "down" in money, but seriously "up" in happy Vegas thoughts!
     
  7. Absolutdrinker

    Absolutdrinker Tourist

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    Great report Kikky..
    got a question though,
    what were the table limits at all the places you played? since i dont wanna lurk around, and im going during a slow week (this wk) as well...
     
  8. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    Kikky...

    LOL 'bout the JUST ride the coaster dammit'. I think last time i was on the strat, i got a combo ticket for tower admission, 1 big shot, & 1 x-scream for $22. Could've got the unlimited EVERYTHING for $25. Oh well, got my fix anyways.

    Sorry you didnt come home with a pile of dough---but, sounds like an awesome time.

    Picts? Picts?

    mK matthew
     
  9. Thekiller

    Thekiller Tourist

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    Hey CK, I noticed you visited 13 casinos. You needed to visit one more to get off that unlucky number [​IMG]

    Great restaurant reviews. Roy's sounds like a good place to try. I browsed around and one website said they were casual elegant. Not sure what that means. Are reservations a must?

    If some lady takes a shot of Tequila at my blackjack table she gets my repsect.

    $1 VP and $20 play for a comp drink at the bar is sad to hear.

    It's not fair, you can walk by a professional poker player and make him forget what he is doing. I think you could take him [​IMG]

    Did you get a grass skirt with that hula workout video? Waiting for the pics ;)
    Great report, Thanks
     
  10. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

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    Kikky,

    Sounds like you did Vegas well.....
    a good "warm up" for MM2.....Is there a tequila drinking event at MM2???.....my $$$ is on you to win.....hands-down [​IMG]

    Thanks for sharing

    RossW
     
  11. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Very nice TR, CK. I especially enjoyed the whirlwind tour of casinos. I often have had a post-dinner "nap" at 10:30, only to wake at 2am, freshen up, and hot the tables...

    Jack21
     
  12. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

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    Nice report! Thanks for the review on Roy's. My group just made reservations for our trip. It sounds great- and I will try the mango mojito- becasue that just sounds way to good to pass up!

    I'm glad you had way too many patron Margarita's! I always get respect for taking a shot of Tequila! I once met Tommy Lee at a bar and he bought me a drink so I asked for a a shot of Patron- and I took it like a rock star!
     
  13. Absolutdrinker

    Absolutdrinker Tourist

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    Oh... and Howard Lederer is the man.... I wonder if random people go up to him as he's leaving a casino and ask to take a picture with him....

    yes i am just wondering....


    ok maybe not... he's my idol
     
  14. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Absolut, I saw a lot of $10 and $15 tables (and up). I saw a handful of $5 - mostly at Luxor from what I remember.

    Have a great trip!
     
  15. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    mK - I saw X-Scream in action just after leaving Sahara. Ye Gods! That was terrifying. No way could I ride that! Pictures are coming. I uploaded several last night, and will send up a few more tonight... might actually be able to finish tonight and post the link.

    Killer - you're right about the 13 casinos. If I had been counting at the time I would have gone to another. Of course by then I was out of money so it wouldn't have mattered LOL. You're better off to have a reservation at Roy's if you're thinking of going on a Friday or Saturday. They're not a bad idea any night. The restaurant is fairly small. You'd be fine in khaki's and a polo shirt there. As far as making Howard Lederer forget what he's doing - I don't think so... he managed to finish 12th in the tournament (I also made eye contact with the eventual winner, but he didn't check me out).

    Ross - if there is a tequila drinking contest at MM, I don't stand a chance against some of these pros! [​IMG]

    Typh - I didn't actually see a mango mojito at Roy's. I had a guava one (ok, two). They might have a mango one though.

    To all the rest - I thank you for your interest in my long-winded trip report! Thanks for finishing it [​IMG]
     
  16. Coaster Hubby

    Coaster Hubby Poker Stud Cowboy

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    Since you asked Mr. Keno, I'll post two hands that pretty much typified the weekend:

    1. First hand - This was in a satellite for an entry into the Mirage Thursday night tournament. The top two finishers get entries. I started with 300 chips and had pretty quickly worked it up to 550 chips, which was good for 2nd place. I'm in the big blind (25-50 blinds). The chip leader on the button raises to 200 chips, and everyone else folds to me. I see pocket jacks. :D I didn't think the raiser had much of anything, so I quickly said "All In!" He looked like I had just punched him in the gut. After about two minutes, he reluctantly calls and flips over K-J offsuit. Cool - I'm a 2-1 favorite! [​IMG]

    As the flop comes out, I'm thinking, "No kings and I'll be fine." Of course, the poker gods had other ideas - the flop came out Q-10-9 to give him a straight. :mad: I didn't get any miracles on the turn or river, and I was gone.

    2. Second hand - Aladdin 2-5 no limit cash game. Three of us see the flop for $20 each pre-flop. I have A-10 offsuit (no spades) in the small blind. The flop comes out A-9-2 - all spades. I bet $60 - big blind calls, then the third player says "All in" and pushes over $500 in chips to the middle. That got my attention. The more I thought about it, though, the more I didn't believe he had a flush. I decided he had the King of spades and a non-spade card. Much to my own amazement, I call. The big blind agonizes for about two minutes then folds. The raiser says "Nice call!" and flips over the King of spades and the nine of clubs. Because he had the 9, it was a coin flip. Unfortunately, another spade came out on the turn, and I was toast. [​IMG] That's poker!

    I second everything Kikky said. I had a blast, and I can't wait until the next visit! [​IMG]

    Hubby
     
  17. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    man oh man -- those are tough ones to swallow. I'll have to admit here & now--that i may be ignorant on 'limit' or no-limit terms. I am WAYYY confused to say the least----

    You say 'Aladdin 2-5 no limit cash game' ??? Doesnt that mean the LIMIT IS between $2 & $5 per bet? (( not to mention raises & re-raises )). Now, where does the term 'no limit' fit in ???? I'm lost!! Now i click over to the thread 'NO LIMIT HOLDEM ON THE STRIP' ... and there's things like

    Excalibur has a 1-2 no limit game with $100 buyin.

    Palms has 2-5 no limit with $100 to $500 I think.

    (( i'm goint off topic, sorry )).

    Since you know poker more than I -- fill me in, lol. Ive done hold-em one time in my life---and that was at binions juuuust b4 it closed. The table was 2-4... and for 3 hours, there were NO BETS over $4. What am i missing ?

    mK
     
  18. abner2xday

    abner2xday Tourist

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    Mr. Keno-

    $2-$5 No limit cash game indicates that the small blind will be $2 and the big blind $5. In no limit tourneys the blinds escalate as time goes on. In a no-limit cash game they remain fixed and the minimum bet at each round will be equal to the big blind.

    Some no-limit cash games have a minimum and a maximum buy-in. The min is self explanatory. The max buy-in (sometimes as low as $200) protects the players from being pushed around by someone with a lot of money.

    In a limit game 2/4, 4/8, 10/20 etc. The first number indicates the big blind and the betting requirement for the first two rounds, the second number is the requirement for the 2nd two. Limit games also traditionally have a limit of three raises per round.
     
  19. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    understood---i guess that's why i like 7-card-stud more, lol

    When i buy in to 7 card stud, say a 1-4 game, i'll buy a rack (while others are buying 40)...guess i want a little bit more firepower.

    mK
     
  20. IllMarty

    IllMarty Orangutan

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    CK,
    Nicely detailed report. Sounds like a great fun except for the losing and $20 free drinks.

    I also find the Mirage easy to get around in and I really get a cool vibe there. What were the BJ conditions there? Any 2 deck $25?Marty
     
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