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A post-COVID trip to Sin City for poker, poker and probably more poker - Nov 8th - 26th (SEMI-LIVE)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Adam, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Hi.

    It's that time again. Time to drag myself down to the Doctor for the ol' prosta....nope. Wrong forum.

    It's finally time to go back to my second home, the one place I love being more than anywhere else in the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    I apologise in advance. I am known for writing long trip reports, as evidenced here: https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/a-very-belated-very-long-vegas-virgin-trip-report-various-hotels-november-2011.85701/ This was my first ever trip to Vegas and I did it all. I got married, played lots of machines, played lots of poker and summed it up in something that, if printed, would be thick enough to be used as a doorstop. Literally. It was longer than the required length for a dissertation. I then attempted to do a live trip report in 2013 and failed miserably, before returning to the bright lights of the Rio in 2015 for a rather unconventional trip which I again attempted to document live. I succeeded in that one until outside sources put paid to that, and that record can be found somewhere in my profile. Best to bury that. I once again returned to Vegas in 2016, and then twice in 2019, with the plan to head back over after that as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there was the slight issue of a world pandemic and that's left me stuck at home in the United Kingdom for the past 24 months. Until now.

    Now, it's 4.17am (as I type this, not when I click post) on the 8th November and I am awake for some reason in a hotel room in Dublin waiting for it to be a more coherent time in order to drag myself to the airport and get on a flight. But not just any flight. This is the first direct flight from Dublin to the United States since the Travel Ban is scheduled to be repealed at 5.01am GMT, when the borders are open again to any EU/UK citizen who is fully vaccinated, and I have a seat on it. Unfortunately for me it's United via Newark, so I have 16hrs of hell to look forward to with an ETA of 18:44 PST. It's worth it, it's worth it...that's the mantra I must chant today!

    So, the plan for this trip. As you may have guessed from the title, I have one focus. Poker. It's WSOP time and even though the Main Event has already started, the Series itself runs until around November 24th, I think. But I'm not here for that, no sir. I'm here for the cash games. Unfortunately, over the last few years my health has taken a turn for the worse and as such, I don't feel that comfortable sitting in tournaments any more, knowing that I could suddenly need to leave the table to deal with health issues, whether that be a crash in energy or a gastric mishap caused by my chronic condition. Cash games, on the other hand, mean I can leave when I want should my health be an issue. Therefore, the aim for the trip is to play copious amounts of $1-$3 Texas Hold'Em and walk away with more money than I brought with me. If not, I took a shot.

    Hotels wise I am bouncing around the place because for some reason, rates were really weird when booking. I had originally planned to stay off-Strip at Sonesta, but that reservation mysteriously got cancelled by my third-party provider for reasons I am still unsure of (they are blaming Sonesta but that makes no sense at all), and this first week seemed really, really expensive for some reason, and this was before the Travel Ban was repealed. As a result, I managed to get a one-night MyVegas comp for Aria, which is where I am headed tonight. After that, I am doing 4 nights at TI through their BOGOF offer, one night at Harrah's which was the cheapest Strip hotel on the Saturday night, then settling in for the remainder of the trip (12 nights) at Bally's. Either way, it's two more hotels to knock off my list and all of the bouncing around is early when I don't care as much about it!

    Bankroll wise I am bringing enough to cover 30 buy ins at my preferred cash game stake, some in cash and some in the bank account, and more cash for incidentals. Hopefully this should be enough. If not...I'll be looking up cheap non-gambling options.

    Anyway, let's wrap up this intro post and go and drag my carcass out of this surprisingly comfy bed for a budget airport hotel, get my luggage and myself to the airport, and proceed to subject myself to the tender mercies of the TSA in Dublin (a very handy perk of flying from here rather than Birmingham, where I live) so I don't have to do it in New York! I'll try to keep this going over the next three weeks, but if the game is good, then the game is good and I won't be leaving it unless forced, as all poker players will understand...
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  2. Chrisbeans

    Chrisbeans Low-Roller

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    Safe travels! I’ll be following along! I have to admit, I read your post with an English accent. :evillaugh:
     
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  3. drfishalot

    drfishalot Low-Roller

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    Good luck,
     
  4. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    Looks like everyone wants to get to USA, 3hrs before departure!
     

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    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  5. RedChip

    RedChip VIP Whale

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    Sounds like quite a marathon Good luck to you!
     
    Solo trip downtown
  6. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

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    Have a great trip and safe travels!
     
    Vegas in December, Yes Please! One night Bally's, 2 nights Park MGM...
    Vegas in December, Yes Please! Part 2, 3 nights at Cosmo!
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  7. STS05

    STS05 High-Roller

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    Hell yeah! Good luck and post tons of pics!
     
    Quick Solo Pre-Christmas Getaway
  8. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Following!
     
  9. Darcie

    Darcie Tourist

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    Good luck Adam I'll be following ! I'll be in Vegas 29th November cannot wait !!!
     
  10. Mirageluvr

    Mirageluvr VIP Whale

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    Just win, and accept nothing less. If you can, keep us posted. Good luck.
     
    December 8-10
    Three nights at The Mirage
  11. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    Day 1 in the books - well to be honest the days are merging into one at the moment. With the WSOP in town there are poker games 24/7 so I've gone with the attitude of sleep when I'm tired, eat when I'm hungry, play when I feel like it and don't worry about the clock.

    The flights weren't too bad. The initial flight from Dublin to Newark kinda flew by. I had a seat which had a bulkhead behind me so there seemed to be slightly more leg room than I was expecting, which is always nice, and the guy sat next to me was pretty cool so I was able to have decent conversation for the 7.5hrs. Unfortunately when I got to Newark I had a flareup of my medical condition which meant I was quite sick and was worried that the next flight was going to be hell. Some decent medication though and I got through it, but I wouldnt recommend flying United domestically, put it that way! Why they think two toilets is enough for over 150 economy passengers is beyond me, and the entire flight was full.

    Landed in Vegas at around 7pm and grabbed a Lyft to Aria as it was only 14 bucks, so rounded it up to 20 and it was still cheaper than Uber and a cab. Got checked in and the room is nice, but some of the little things are off - the door handles seem loose and the blackout curtains don't do their job properly as it looks like they need repairing. I'm not one to kick up a stink, especially as it didnt stop me sleeping last night but it's gonna stop me falling asleep for a nap now so I'm writing this instead! Fell asleep about 9.30pm and woke up at 2.30am wide awake, which is normal for me on the first day.

    Had to make a side trip to CVS as the travel plus the dry air here has meant my hands are dry and cracking, so just grabbed some Aquaphor healing ointment, it always does the trick. Stupidly expensive however but its 15 bucks for the 18 days - so say a buck a day to keep my hands from being mangled? Worth it imo. Got into a decent 1/3 poker game at Aria afterwards and made a profit, nice start to the trip. Now just chilling out in the room before heading over to TI later for my 4 day stay there.

    With regards masks and my mask exemption, Aria seem to be a bit light on enforcement at the moment, but in the poker room they did have one guy who came and checked everyone. Dealers weren't enforcing but when they saw him come round, they were reminding everyone. I raised my exemption with him and he initially said he would check with security, before then asking if I had a face shield (which I didnt have with me) and offering to provide one, so I've been walking around with that and I'll see how it goes with other places.
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  12. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    Right, gonna try a pic dump.

    The obligatory airport shot:
    [​IMG]

    Aria Room:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Strip at 2.45am this morning:
    [​IMG]

    My stack at Aria. Think this was early on and totalled just over $300.
    [​IMG]
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  13. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    Went to T-Mobile after the previous post to get a US SIM. It didn't open until 10am so I hit MGM to wait and decided to play some VP.

    [​IMG]
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  14. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    After sorting out my US SIM (and thanks to those knowledgeable VMB members who assisted with my query in another part of the board) and basically getting it for free because of the quads hit above, I checked out at Aria and after mentioning that the blackout curtains were not good, plus the tablet system was very slow and some lights just did not work, they waived the resort fee unprompted. Given that I was staying on a MyVegas comp, that meant a completely free stay. Bonus! Took the bags over to TI at 11am but couldn't check in unless I paid a $30 plus tax fee, and as I was heading straight out to play I just checked the bags at the bell desk. The counter agent did tell me that although check in opened at 3pm, I would have been more likely to get a room if I'd arrived after 1pm and to come back then.

    Headed to Venetian, got in a 1/3 game and again booked a small profit to put me up +240 for the trip so far, but I ended up cashing out after 1h 40m because the auto shuffle machine kept breaking down and we were barely seeing a round of 8 hands every half hour, so headed back to TI to check in. Slipped the guy a twenty spot and got a room on one of the top floors with two great views, the window opposite the bed giving a perfect view of the North Strip and the window to the side showing the west side of the city and the mountains. For effectively an extra $5 per day it was well worth it. Unfortunately the safe did not work due to a busted keypad and it took over an hour to fix the issue, so it was nearly 4pm before it was sorted and I was able to go get some food - due to my sickness yesterday I didn't want to eat until I had checked in here. Also, one weird layout here at TI, the TV is at a 90 degree angle to the bed and it does not pop out like the TV at Park MGM does, so you effectively have to turn your head to the right to watch TV, very weird and slightly uncomfortable.

    I had planned to hit Hash House a Go Go, which tends to be a first day tradition for me in Vegas, but they have reduced hours at the moment and had closed by the time I headed out, so I went via tram to Mirage and hit up The Cheesecake Factory to sit at the bar as a solo diner. Yep, I officially like chain restaurants most people hate. Got the Orange Chicken lunch special, a Dr Pepper and a slice of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (to go as naturally I couldn't even finish the damn Orange Chicken) which came to $30 and change. The bartender, a guy named Jeff, was awesome so I rounded up to $40 and headed back with the slice to put in the fridge in the room at TI before deciding to get a Lyft to MGM to play rather than stay in the room, thinking it would help with the sleeping pattern fix.

    This was a mistake. I was tired, couldn't concentrate or think properly, and allowed myself to get drawn into bad play against bad players, calling when I should have been folding and folding when I should have been calling for value, missing bets - poker players will understand what I mean about bad sessions. At one point I was down nearly $400 but managed to get some of it back before cashing out for a loss of $270, wiping out the profit from the previous games. It happens, and I've been able to identify the mistakes I've made and learn from them, but it still stings, nobody wants a losing session! However, I came with a decent bankroll to handle the swings, and I know that I should be better than the majority of the players at the 1/2 and 1/3 tables, so we move on to the next game.

    Grabbed a Lyft back to TI, had the cheesecake and chilled online before hitting the sack at around midnight after the better half had woken up and we'd had a brief chat, putting the first full day in Vegas to rest.

    Woke up at 3.45am, ffs. :bang: :haha:
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  15. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    Pics of the view, not sure which one is which... ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  16. skinnyskunk

    skinnyskunk Newbie

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    Great pictures. Fantastic view. Good luck.
     
  17. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Yes. Yes we do.
     
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  18. NittyOne

    NittyOne VIP Whale

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    I like poker and will be tagging along. Hope you get off the strip. The Golden Nugget game I’d say is one of the better ones at the $1/2 or $1/$3 limits. Are you strictly a NL holdem guy or do you play any Omaha PLO or O8? I’d like to play some limit O8 and will probably hit up Orleans for some next time I’m in town.
     
  19. Adam

    Adam Low-Roller

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    I'm hoping to get downtown at some point but there's a long way to go yet!

    I'm strictly a NLHE player, I'm so bad at Omaha its unreal. Orleans is very good for LO8, Venetian used to be as well but it seems to have died there since COVID.
     
    Birthday trip with the better half!
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  20. Necrochaos

    Necrochaos VIP Whale

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    What that a standard room at Aria? We've never stayed there, but my wife liked that tub!

    Good luck with the pokers and the whatnots.