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Annual poker trip - California Aug 30 thru Sept 3

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mjames1229, Sep 4, 2018.

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  1. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Oh, Las Vegas, you wonderful, horrible, owly, seducing, playful, teasing meth-whore, angelic, dominatrix, motherly demon of a city... Don't ever change.

    First, a teaser to make sure you stay until the end.

    The greatest 150 seconds in my gambling lifetime.

    One additional preamble; from reading Notfromconcentrate's epic TR, it seems y'alls love photos. Therefore, I am giving you all of them... no matter how mundane or uninteresting they are (except the ones I've already deleted as they weren't even interesting to me!)

    We had a smaller crew for our Poker Trip this year, in part due to the difficulty of getting a weekend that all could agree on. We always wait until the NFL schedule is released, as we like to watch the Packers play on a Sunday afternoon at Rum Runners. So upon release of the schedule, we scratch out all prime time games (and the BYE weekend). Then out goes Life is Beautiful weekend (as we always stay downtown). Finally, each attendee gives the weekend in which they are unavailable.

    Not one NFL weekend was available until December 8... and I nixed that as it was too close to Christmas.

    We were going to force a trip for NFL Week 1 (next weekend) even though the Packers play Sunday night, but the Big Blues Bender at the Plaza rendered all downtown hotel rates to be stupid-high. It became Labor Day weekend or not at all. Not at all wasn't an acceptable solution, so...

    As I do with my poker trip reports, all times shown are PDT once the flight's wheels are up...

    Thursday, August 30 at 7:30 PM CDT - My beautiful bride drops me off at the airport, and I head to TSA armed with my TSA Precheck identified on my boarding pass. The entire TSA area is devoid of people, and only one ID checker is there, who tells me that "Precheck is closed" but gives me a laminate that allows me to keep my shoes and belt on while I dig my 3-1-1 out of my travel bag, which is on the bottom of my suitcase, which is under all manner of clothes and shoes. I am taking my time doing this as I am all alone, when a businesswoman comes into the screening area with her laptop out and liquids ready. She politely waits while I fidget through my stuff. I get it through and pass through the scanner.

    On the other side, instead of moving my stuff to the Recombobulation Area, I keep my bag on the conveyor while I redo what I undid. Apparently I was blocking the other lady (again, we are the only two non-TSAers anywhere near the screening area) and a TSA screener was playfully giving me grief for inconveniencing a beautiful young lady. Now, she was neither beautiful nor young, but I responded with "Well, I am going to Las Vegas without my wife, maybe its intentional". We all chuckled while I moved out of her way and finished my repacking.

    8:15 PM CDT- Only Phil has decided to leave early with me...


    Pat and Pete decided not to spend the money for the hotel Thursday night, opting instead for paying more $$ to take that dreaded 6:00 AM flight Friday. To each his own, I guess. Knowing that Phil likes Vegas adventure, I come up with a couple of Vegasey things to do, despite arriving just before midnight. When we get called to stand in line to board, I head to my spot in line... which was right in front of the businesswoman from TSA. My mind started racing... do I keep with the small talk, or do I pretend I didn't make a very ill-timed pass at her? So I did what most other chickenshits do... I looked the other way and pretended that I didn't recognize her.

    8:40 PM CDT - I had forgotten to check in on time, and I had been exiled with C13. I had felt shamed for 23 hours and 45 minutes, until I saw a window seat right behind an exit row.

    And even better....

    I was next to a very thin Asian woman. I don't know if I could have hand selected a better person for my middle-seated partner. She was wearing sandals, too :)


    About a half hour after 10,000 feet - Growing up, my grandmother developed my enjoyment of combining orange juice with ginger ale. As I got older, I invited a splash of vodka to the party. I am not one to drink often on a plane, but I decided that the mood was striking me, so I ordered one. Imagine my surprise when I receive full cans of both ginger ale and orange juice. However, it did pose a challenge with the limited real estate on the tray table. Luckily I figured it out so I could enjoy a very large cocktail while watching Sopranos: Behind the Scenes Volume 1.

    10:30 PM PDT - Arrival at McCarran was no sweat. And with that, I was at my second home.


    11:30 PM - Without a lot of discussion between us, Phil had decided that he wanted to make this as much a Foodie trip as it would be a Poker trip. He ultimately passed on a few poker tournaments in favor of a culinary journey. I told him that it was a great idea... as long as he was paying for his share of the van rental. One of the places he mentioned was Tacos El Gordo on the Strip. Well, I hadn't had a proper dinner, and it was on the way downtown, so making it the first stop in Vegas was an easy call.

    On the left are two Suadero (beef brisket) tacos. On the right are two Pastor (pork) tacos. Also on the tray is water. I may no longer be dieting, but I continue to avoid soda with my meals.

    Friday, August 31 at 12:30 AM - Phil and I are checked into our separate rooms at the California, and after dropping off my bags, I contact Lyft for a pick-up while waiting for the elevator. I get a call from LeRoy before I am actually on the elevator... its almost like he knew we were on our way out.

    12:45 AM - My first cocktail was...

    20180831_011315 (3).jpg
    It was lovely. Strong, of course, with hand-muddled raspberries. But for $10, my budget wanted to experiment, so my second drink was...

    20180831_011330 (2).jpg
    This drink was light-years better than the Frankenstein. I don't know why, maybe it was because it was "edgy"? Unfortunately the photos of the drinks did not turn out due to the lack of light. I also wanted to relax, so I didn't really try to play with the settings too much.

    1:30 AM - Phil's turn to buy the car, and he chose an Uber, whose driver also appeared within seconds of ordering it. These services are easier and easier each time we use them. We get back to the Cal, and despite vowing to each other that we weren't going to gamble before bed, we each drop about $60, then kick each other in the ass for being a dummy before heading off to bed.

    Evening came and morning followed, the first day.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
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  2. Astribling

    Astribling VIP Whale

    Oct 3, 2017
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I can tell I'm going to enjoy this TR!!! Love your writing style and I feel like I'm there with you!
    Fall Getaway, Cosmo - Subject to change upon better offers
    Fall Getaway - Solo trip
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  3. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Friday, August 31 at 7:15 AM - Oh, shit. Taking this photo was a lot harder than it had to be.


    7:30 AM - My head is pounding. But Pat and Pete are due to arrive at McCarran at 8:00 AM. I suck it up and start driving. (If you are familiar with my trip reports over the last two years, I think you know what's coming).

    8:00 AM - The sun is very, very bright. I get to the airport just as the guys text that they are at the Ride Sharing area. I text Pat and try to guide him one level down to Passenger Pick-Up, but since I am not with him, I don't know the signage. As I try to park along the Passenger Pick-Up area and act like I am looking for someone, I am shooed away. Twice.

    8:15 AM - Fading, I get the guys and concentrate on the fact that once I get some food and water, I'll be fine. Pat and Pete are regaling me with stories of their flight, and I can't absorb anything. I am trying to act like I am OK, but I am losing the battle.

    8:45 AM - We get to Mr. Mamas, one of two new places I wanted the guys to try... especially as both Pete and Pat look at food only as sustenance. The restaurant is warm inside; my forehead starts sweating. I get a glass of water. It tastes so good, but my stomach didn't appreciate it. We order, and I just have some hash browns. Even before they are delivered, I excuse myself and stand outside (in the shade). I need to develop a strategy to get back to bed.

    9:00 AM - The food is delivered and I take about three bites of potato before I give up. Meanwhile, the syrup for Pete's French Toast is tying me in knots. I've got another g*ddamned migraine. Pat inhales his food, pays the bill as Pete is halfway done, and we leave. Pat said that I should drop him off at South Point as they have poker tournaments and games all day long. Pete says he will go back with me ("just in case") then he will take the Deuce to the Strip to play cards.

    9:30 AM - I get to South Point. Pete keeps talking, I am just trying to focus on the 12-1/2 miles (through construction traffic) to get back to bed.

    9:35 AM - I pull over to the freeway shoulder. Pete gets out to hold my hair. ** Pro Tip - if you are going to vomit outside, do it with the wind to your back, not with a crosswind.

    10:00 AM - Pete has driven back downtown, and I tuck myself into bed. (Side note to @Astribling; you like being here with me, still feel that way?)

    2:30 PM - I wake up and though the headache is still there, I definitively feel like the worst is behind me. I rise slowly, catch up on texts with everybody's whereabouts (including Scott, who was on his way to the airport and wondering who will get him later). I shower (crosswinds, remember) and go to the casino. Though I do gamble, I am kind of testing the system. Can I handle the lights, sounds, smoke, etc?

    3:00 PM - I am not 100% yet, but machines are machines.

    I had the kicker, where is my extra 250 credits?

    4:30 PM - I talk with my wife (who has migraine meds) and she says that she can get a refill for pick-up at the Walgreens by The D. However the pharmacy won't fill the Rx for some reason that she couldn't relay, but I believe I am on the back end and won't need them. I let the guys know that I am on the way and I will be ready for slow-paced evening action.

    5:30 PM - I find the guys at South Point. Phil and Pete have each separately made their way down there, and Phil is still alive in the 2:00 South Point poker tournament. Pete and Pat start talking about dinner and my stomach does not turn. While Phil plays, we all decide to get something at South Point. I choose a sandwich from the Del Mar Deli. Walking across the casino, my mind says to just start with a bagel, or maybe a half ham sandwich. Unfortunately, part of how I became 330# in the first place was by not listening to my brain.

    The corned beef on rye was, however, delightful.

    6:00 PM - Pete also has a deli sandwich and Pat grabs a hot dog and we grab a seat in the lounge behind the bar near the race book. There are quite a few people in this dark area, watching old Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble videos, but there is plenty of room for us to eat our sandwiches. Suddenly, the stage lights go on...

    Its Wes Winters!

    6:40 PM - Phil cashed for second for about $190 in the South Point tournament, then he finds us and we agree to hit The Mirage for their 7:00 PM tournament.

    7:00 PM - Even though I was feeling better, I don't remember much about this tournament. Only that my notes say that there were 36 entries at $100 each.

    20180831_190341 (2).jpg

    8:30 PM - I was out just before the first break. The poker room is near the sports book at the Mirage and I sit in one of the cushy couches and catch up on a day of Facebook and Twitter.

    mirage_vegas090816 (2).jpg

    10:00 PM - We all play at Mirage until the last man is eliminated, and I take Phil and Pat back downtown. Pete stays on the Strip to play more poker cash games. We put Grandpa Pat to bed, and Phil and I decide that we've got one hour before getting Scott at the airport. The estimated arrival time of his delayed flight is 11:45.

    10:30 PM - Takes only 30 minutes to cycle through $140 in double-deck blackjack. I announce that I have enough for one last hand, and we all know what's going to happen (as it is in the Nevada Gaming Commission code). I get dealt a 7 and 4, the dealer a 5. I have to do a pocket dive for $10 to double. The dealer has a 4 and an A for 20. She flips my single card at it was a 4.

    11:15 PM - Phil and I played a few slots and we head back to McCarran. Turns out that Phil has had a few more Coronas than I had seen, and he tells me that he is getting carsick. I can sympathize, as I had been there 14 hours earlier. But on the other hand, I had a schedule to keep. I tell him that when we get to the airport, he can baptize a trash can. Meanwhile, the little trooper is hanging in there.

    11:42 PM - I get the text from Scott. Our group had bet $2 on the time I'd get the text. I picked 12:17... I finished last. However, when he sends that text, I am in the parking garage and he can't find the Passenger Pick-up area, either. Phil tries to coordinate texts with Scott while I make more loops around the parking lot. Finally we get Scott, and I send a text to Pete that we are on our way to get him from the Mirage.

    Saturday, September 1 at 12:00 AM - Traffic on the Strip was insanely busy at Midnight. Between Tropicana and Spring Mountain, we counted eight different incidents of police or EMS. We get Pete, and I decide to double-back to Flamingo to get on the I-15 towards downtown. Now I've traded Strip traffic for construction traffic. The four of us had been discussing a proper dinner, but Phil is losing his battle with hanging on, so he says he is going to pass on dinner.

    12:30 AM - We get back to the California without an incident from Phil (thankfully). Pete and I walk over to Main Street Station (where we'll have dinner) while Scott checks in.

    12:45 AM - Remembering one of my new favorite YouTube vloggers, Living in Las Vegas, they had toured some lesser-known areas of the property in this video. Having a few minutes to kill until Scott joined us, Pete and I went on a search for the area. A security guard was in front of the elevator, and when we asked if that was how to get upstairs, he indicated that he'd be happy to escort us.


    Winston Churchill's snooker table.

    An unidentified, gorgeous pool table. The security guard said that he was new and didn't know the origin of this, but that many of the older items in this area (including things like roll top desks and such) were purchased at auction.

    1:00 AM - We thank the security guard (which, by the way, was a little creepy. It was nice to get the personalized tour, but he didn't know much and made it seem like he was just keeping an eye on us) and head to the Triple 7 Restaurant where Scott meets up with us.

    1:15 AM - On our last poker trip, Scott and I had Middle of the Night Sushi. On this visit, however, we're told that sushi closed at 11:30. That required us to look at the menu.

    Yeah, I had a root beer float... Sue me. I had only had one sandwich as food and needed the calories. It did pair nicely with the Korean Short Ribs with Asian cucumber salad. The ribs were salty, the salad vinegary and the float was sweet. This was a home run. Scott had a bowl of chili and Pete just has chocolate cake. However, he also asks for a scoop of ice cream. The cake was only $5, but so was one measly side car of vanilla ice cream. Ol' Non-Foodie Pete had sticker shock when we saw the bill. My meat, salad and float actually cost about the same. Well, it wasn't funny for Pete.

    1:30 AM - Although it had been a very long, eventful day for all of us, Scott had been in Vegas and hadn't gambled yet. I reminded him of this, and said that if he didn't at least make one wager, he might get his Visitor's Pass revoked. We found the $0.90 MAX Quick Hits and I tell him to burn a $20. Naturally, it is really just an excuse for me to shred a bill, but we all sit down.

    Very (VERY) unexpectedly, Pete sits down and also slides a $20 in the machine. I had never seen him play a slot before (I've seen him try craps and Pai Gow Poker to mixed results). This was such a rare event that I had to get the photographic evidence. I burn through my $20 pretty quickly and head to bed, as the morning meet-up was only a few hours away. Apparently after I left, Scott hit a bonus for over $220. He was glad I forced him to gamble.

    Evening came and morning followed, the second day.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
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  4. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief bottle washer

    Aug 20, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Love your poker TR's cant wait to hear "the rest of the story":popcorn:
    Football and poker
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  5. Astribling

    Astribling VIP Whale

    Oct 3, 2017
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great reporting! But ya could definitely do without the bring sick part. I've been sick on vacation and it sucks. Glad you got past that!
    Fall Getaway, Cosmo - Subject to change upon better offers
    Fall Getaway - Solo trip
    • Like Like x 1
  6. LuckyDuckyDan

    LuckyDuckyDan Low-Roller

    Jul 28, 2017
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Feel better and I hope you run good on your poker games!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 AM - I had managed to actually go to bed shortly after leaving Main Street Station, so when the alarm went off at 7:15, I was in reasonably good shape for the meet-up at the valet. As had been expected, Phil wouldn't be joining us in the morning... Pat (his roomie) told him that Good Phil is a Phil that gets a good night sleep.

    8:25 AM - Stopped dead in traffic on I-15 at the Spaghetti Bowl. We thought that the Project Neon - construction in all 12 directions between the Strip and downtown - was the reason for the delay. Instead, it was an accident through the junction. But it proves that the construction ecosystem on the freeway is very fragile.

    8:40 AM - I pull into the parking lot for Mr. Mamas feeling about a zillion percent better than the previous day, and I owed it to everyone to give them a diner breakfast experience that they could actually taste.

    9:00 AM - Though I am a pancake guy, I loved the thick cut bacon so I had the BLT.

    Why, yes... those are hash browns (Hair of the Dog, McMahon!!!). This time I had them with sauteed onions and peppers.

    9:45 AM - We arrive at Green Valley Ranch for the first poker tournament of the day. There were over 100 entries at their Saturday tournament on our last visit, so we highlighted this as one to play again. We got there a little early, so I got my gamble on.


    A quick four-bagger shortly after sitting down helped to sunnyize my disposition a bit. Despite not feeling well on Friday, I did manage to have a diabolical gambling day, so getting what amounted to a free poker tournament entry was like pennies from heaven.

    10:15 AM - Time to get started. Bear down. Here we go...


    11:00 AM - I am feeling a lot better than during the Mirage game the previous night, but my concentration was lagging a bit. I get the same thing sometimes with bowling tournaments. Instead of being process oriented, I become results oriented... and when I don't get results, I start pressing and playing stupidly. Which is why I busted out when trying to bluff a wet board with J8 off-suit in my hand.

    11:10 AM - I buy-in a second time because the first few levels move slowly and there was sooooo much money available. As I sit down, a lady a few seats down is getting congratulations on her 74th birthday. I am seated at Scott's table, and shortly after I sit down, he tries to bluff me. I've played home games and tournaments with him for 10 years, and he tries to snow job me? I wasn't having any of it. I knock him out and chuckle to myself. I don't want to let on that I know him too well, but I don't know that anyone would worry about collusion with about 60 people remaining in a $50 tournament.

    12:00 PM - I wish I had an audio of this conversation. An older guy at the end of the table was talking about how he takes a couple of hits of marijuana before bed to help him get to sleep.

    "What do you take?" asked a tattooed-up stoner.
    "Whatever puts me to sleep" answered the older guy.
    "Have you tried a couple drops of xxx into a vaporizor? Knocks me out every time" said the stoner.

    Random conversation continued, including a school teacher at our table that says that his high school has a major problem with kids smoking pot in the bathrooms.

    Then the 74-year old lady piped up "My grandkids got me a bong last Christmas".

    The table erupted, and even the dealer had to set down the cards as he was laughing so hard.​

    12:30 PM - Unfortunately, my run ended when the blinds started increasing rapidly and flops started to fail me. I ended up in 25th place (99 total entries at $50/each). As I walk out, I see Pat still alive with 3 big blinds left. I barely find Scott before Pat is out. We find Pete playing a cash game, and learn that Phil got as far as the Venetian ("Could you guys come get me?"). I was generally fine with getting Phil, except that we waited to pick him up before determining our next move.

    1:20 PM - Phil has walked over to the Mirage (where it would be easier for me to get him), and while sitting in the circular drive we discuss our next move. Lots of options for poker tournaments on Saturday afternoons, but one kept kind of bubbling up... Club Fortune. It had a little of everything; a "new" place for so so that we could get a $1 chip, a reasonably low entry for those of us watching our wallets, and the fact that if the game doesn't get off the ground, there are plenty of other games that start shortly after that one.

    1:23 PM - Didja know that Club Fortune is on the south end of the Boulder Highway? (And not actually ON the Boulder Highway.) We were just in that direction at GVR, now I am doubling back. Good thing the van gets about 15 MPG.

    1:50 PM - We arrive to a parking lot that looked like it had about 20 cars in it. Worried about having no tournament, I mention that maybe all of the cars were people playing the poker tournament. We walk into the poker room and they had two tables of cash game going ($0.50/$1.00 NLHE!!!) Pete tried to buy in, but they said that everyone would be in the tournament, so Pete had to join in to play any poker. He hates tournaments, but he sucked it up and joined anyway.

    2:00 PM - It was actually a pretty nice turnout (36 players at $46/each) and it was by far the friendliest game we played, because everyone else knew each other.


    You had Val (a he-person) who plays every day as he has nothing else to do since his wife died. He said that he had won over $240K in slot jackpots last year. I asked how much it cost him to win that much, and the table laughed like it was a dumb question. Val replied that it cost him over $400K to win the $240K, and "If anyone ever suggests that big slot wins put them ahead for life, they're fucking liars".

    You also had Joanie, who was on the far side of middle-aged, but wearing wrap-around sunglasses and earbuds. Val called her "our local pro" and she acted the part. She wasn't a very good player, mind, but she was a good actress.

    There was also Mike, who was well over 400 pounds. Mike gets hundreds of dollars in food comps, and since it was the first day of the month, he bought the room about 60 candy bars (about two for each player) with his comps because "I'm a quarter-ton and I still can't eat all of my comps each month".

    3:15 PM - I've got a nice amount of chips until I flop a set, call someone's all-in top pair/top kicker who rivers a straight. The structure wasn't horrible, so even though I was short stacked, a couple of raked pots kept me alive. Finally, however, I drop out in 12th place.

    4:45 PM - I wander around this smallish casino waiting for Pat to finish playing, and I see a bank of $0.25 DDB progressives in the High Limit Room. After I get done chuckling about quarter VP in a High Limit Room, I settle in and get to work.

    4:50 PM -

    4:51 PM -
    The downside of progressives... hitting the same one twice in one minute. Netted me an extra two-bits on this hit.

    5:00 PM - Before I can lose too much of that, we all gather and talk about dinner. Scott sees a sign for their cafe specials, and we decide to Dine with the Locals at the Cafe.


    Intrigued, I ordered the Lobster Bisque.

    It was much larger than the photo indicated. I offered everyone tastes as there was no way I needed to eat that whole thing. It tasted pretty good for a coffee shop, though there were not a lot of lobster chunks.

    The Lobster Bisque was in addition to the Blackened Steak and Garlic Shrimp for $13.99. Scott and Phil had it, while I had the Chile Chicken, which was served with tortilla chips and refried beans.

    Though the chicken breast was a little overdone, the mild chiles and cheese on the chicken really added a delightful flavor. Meanwhile, Scott and Phil both agreed that the steak and shrimp were below coffee-shop grade. My meal was a homerun, though. I don't believe I'd cross the valley for it again, but it was lovely nonetheless.

    6:15 PM - At dinner, we discuss the next game. For some reason, we achieved Paralysis by Analysis. Just about every card room in Las Vegas had a 7:00 or 8:00 tournament, each with their pluses and minuses. Costs were generally higher on Saturday night, and some had structures that weren't favorable. One guy said that since we played a $100 tournament the previous night that we should keep it lower than that. Turns out the next tournament was an efforted consensus and not a unanimous vote.

    7:00 PM - The Stratosphere is a long drive from Club Fortune (and if you're keeping track, we'd driven from the California, to GVR, to the Mirage, to Club Fortune, and now The STRAT ).


    This was a sickly little tournament (20 entries at $75/ea) which makes me wonder about its survival. The Stratosphere poker room is just four worn out tables behind a couple of banks of loud slot machines. When the cards hit the air, only 11 players were seated, though one more had bought in and was being blinded. Eventually we got to two full tables.

    8:00 PM - I am pretty card dead, but that is probably pretty good as I am quite distracted by the slot machines behind my back. Not that I wanted to be playing them, just that they were so loud and the bonus music so distinctive. Right before break, my AA hold on, though not without a Maalox Moment. There was both a straight draw and a flush draw on the board, so when the other player in the hand checked at me, I made a huge over bet. The fact that he didn't snap call (or shove) meant that I was good, but I didn't want to risk a river. Luckily he folded a pretty big pot. It would be the only big pot I scoop, the fact of which is important to the rest of the story.

    8:05 PM - One of the slots I'd been hearing was the Hee Haw Quick Hit machine. When the tournament took a break, I showed that machine who was boss and I cashed out with a $50ish profit in five minutes. A bonus with retrigger helped, though I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be back from break in time.

    9:00 PM - Hand to God and Scout's Honor, I don't recall playing a hand (other than in the blinds) for an hour. My stack took quite a hit, and I am barely alive when the tournament gets down to 10 players and the two tables combine.

    9:15 PM - This is when it gets fun. There are three huge stacks (one of which was Scott), a couple of mid-range stacks, and then there was me, Pat and one other lady with teeny-tiny stacks. Pat and I decide to bet $2 on the last man standing. He said "Its an easy $2, as I am about to get 10-J suited, then I'll triple up":

    9:19 PM - Pat shoves all-in and gets two callers. He shows 10-J suited. His two pair hold. He's got a shit-eating grin from ear-to-ear, then tells the table what he had predicted.

    9:20 PM - I am dealt J9 suited and I shove. I get two callers, and I flop a flush that holds. I knock out one guy and I am again close to Pat's chip stack. However, blinds are insanely high, so even with these hits, we've only bought a few trips around the table.

    9:40 PM - We are down to six people. The three large stacks (one of which is Scott) all remain. Scott has a huge chip lead as he is knocking almost everyone else out. The three small chip stacks are still Pat, me and that same other lady. Then the "What the Fuck Was He Thinking?" hand occurred.

    The two mid-stacks (who just had to coast to a cash) got involved in a pot and the shorter of the two shoved all-in after the turn. The board was Ad Ks 7d - Jd. The other large stack thought about it and called with 10Q. The shover had 44. The straight held, the shover eliminated, and now there were two almost identical, massive chip stacks, and three others that had (maybe) 10 big blinds combined. Even if the shover had just check-folded, he was still in easy position to cash. But that panic shove with 44 into a very wet board made absolutely no sense.

    9:42 PM - I am not proud "There is $1100 in the prize pool. How about giving these two guys $400 each, and us three small stacks take $100 each? The big guys get prize money above second place, the rest of us get our buy-in back".

    AND THEY BOUGHT IT!!!! I was the next big blind. I was shoving and probably losing anyway. I stole money!


    10:15 PM - While waiting for the valet, both Scott and Pat informed me that they both had wanted to play it out, Scott for the ego boost of being a champion and Pat as he wanted 3rd place money to himself (which was only about $160). Why they didn't speak up then? Their loss. We head downtown for a little gambling.

    11:00 PM - The four of us (less Pete) take over a Pai Gow table at the California. Its a fun table with an engaging dealer, however I am slowly bleeding chips. Pat (who just doesn't have the stomach for non-poker gaming) bails and goes to bed after losing $50. Scott decides soon after that he is done. I ask him to give me a few hands to try to catch up.

    11:10 PM - I am dealt a full house. I win the hand and $29 on the bonus. I count my chips... up $3. I satisfied the terms of the agreement (to catch up) so we head on to our next gamble.

    11:30 PM - Scott joins me at the Boar's Head Bar at Main Street Station for some pre-beditme video poker. Scott is a recovering alcoholic (16 years sober) but is comfortable at the bar. I love ending my night there with either a Double Down Hefeweizen or a Black Chip Porter. For some reason I am spooked about the correlation between Vegas drinking and migraines, so I choose to just have one Hefe. Before long, Lady Luck keeps smiling...

    I am doing alright with getting quad 3s and 4s, but no bloody kicker.

    Sunday, September 2 at 12:20 AM - After boring of video poker, Scott and I decide to cycle some money through slots. He chooses a game, I sit next to him, we play for awhile, then I pick a game and he sits next to me. Then I see Heidi (that cockteasing whore) and her Bierhaus. I don't get a bonus, but I get three columns of beer that transfer to the Colossal reel, which fills in with a big, long lederhosen guy. I didn't think to take a picture, but I thank Heidi for getting me off for a change. It was a long time coming.

    1:00 AM
    - With another early day scheduled, I head to my room and count my bankroll. It occurred to me that I profited in every casino that played, and was ahead almost $200 that day (though still down a few hundred overall). Very happy with my day....

    Evening came and morning followed, the third day.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 7
  8. charlestfuller

    charlestfuller Low-Roller

    Jan 9, 2018
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Lol at the old guy, I never pondered how interesting legalizing marijuana would be for that generation
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sunday, September 2 at 7:15 AM - Six hours of sleep in Las Vegas is enough. I drag my ass out of bed, shower, shave, dress and face the world

    7:30 AM - I've got a half hour to meet the boys, so I head to Lappert's for some really, really good coffee (and donut, of course) and I decide to lose myself - by myself - in the little video poker nook in the mezzanine. I realize that I am off hours, but really surprised that I've got my pick of about 100 slot machines all to myself.

    7:45 AM - I may have found the right one.


    8:00 AM - We meet at the Cal valet. "Where's Phil?" I ask. "Its just better this way" was Pat's response.

    8:30 AM - Stung by an accident in the construction zone the previous day, I take the city streets to BabyStacks Cafe on Flamingo and Buffalo.

    From left, Scott, Pete, Pat, MJ. Very far right (still in bed at the Cal) is Phil.

    This was another cafe that I visited with my lovely wife this past June. That day I had the Red Velvet pancakes, and as great as they were, there are soooo many others that I had wanted to try.


    9:00 AM - Though very tempted by both the S'Mores and the Cinnabun, I decide to go outside my comfort zone.

    The Orange Dreamsicle pancakes. They were very orangey. But they added the cream cheese to the top and they used way, way too much. I am glad that I ordered the Portuguese sausages on the side, though my pancreas was jonesing for a hit of insulin. I still really like this place because of the variety, but I'll be trying a different flavor next time.

    9:30 AM - We pull into South Point for the first poker tournament of the day. As we do, Pete mentions the marquee.

    He's obsessed with the Senior Home offerings coming up this fall. I admit that I thought Crystal Gayle was dead, and that Ambrosia wasn't even a thing when they were a thing.

    9:40 AM - The Cal sports book wasn't yet open when we left, so I put a bet in on the Milwaukee Brewers for this day. Yeah, they won, but if I hadn't made this bet, Monday afternoon doesn't happen (another teaser!)

    9:45 AM - As we're walking towards the poker room, Pete notices that he left his glasses in the van. I run out to try to catch the valet, but it has already been parked. I mentally note the $2 that Pete owes me for a tip for them to bring the van around, and somehow I am the one digging through the van on a 100 degree day for someone else's glasses.

    9:55 AM - Which were not in the van.

    10:00 AM - From the roof tops, shout it out... Ready I'm-a ready to go!


    10:30 AM - We really enjoy the poker room and the tournaments at South Point. But it's a little disappointing as they didn't have enough dealers in the morning. So even though 26 people were there to start the game, they only had two tables of 10 to begin. By the time registration ends, there are 31 entries at $60/each.

    12:00 PM - I am playing fine, but I get cute with 66 and run into a short stack with 77. At the same time, the other table loses a player and we combine to a final table.

    12:15 PM - It didn't take long for my piddly set of chips to get shipped (at least my cards were sooted). Pat fell out just after I did. This is just too many games played with none of our guys cashing.

    12:20 PM - I figure out where the glasses are. I make a phone call and we all load into the van.

    12:40 PM - We drive 20 minutes out of our way to arrive at BabyStacks to retrieve Pete's glasses.

    12:45 PM - We won't have enough gas to make it to the rest of the trip, so I put $40 in the tank. We have driven 220 miles and have used close to 12 gallons of gas. I make another note to myself to not buy a Chrysler Pacifica.

    1:00 PM - We're early for the 3:00 tournament at Bally's. We chose this game, not for the game itself, but because we've planned dinner there. With a couple of hours to kill, we all kind of scatter, though Scott sits with me at the center bar and play video poker while watching the end of the Brewers game. One $50 Titos and seltzer later, I talk Scott (and Pat, who has found us) into letting me teach them how to play High Card Flush.

    1:45 PM and too much money later - High Card Flush is one of those slot-machine carny games. It is boring as hell unless you play the two side bets, but those red chips bleed quickly... unless you get a big hand. I get a five-card flush and Scott gets a three-card straight flush, but those winnings get flushed (Get it? Flushed? Playing High Card Flush?) quickly. We color up and I go on my way to play some slots.

    3:00 PM - It seems like we've been at Bally's all day, but it is finally time for pokering.


    3:10 PM - This game should be mine. The players are so bad that I can't see a way to not win. Second hand in... blinds are 100/100. Everyone folds to the small blind... who folds. Two hands later. Same scenario. We haven't completed an orbit, and two guys have folded instead of seeing a free flop. Shortly after that, a true, bona fide poker superstar joins our table. He's not sporting the hoodie, Beats and sunglasses, but he's leaned back in his chair like this game is a formality, and he's bragging to everybody (nobody?) about the long run he made in the previous day's Venetian $340 tournament.

    3:30 PM - I've got the pro's number. In the big blind, I call his preflop raise with KQ spades. Flop is 10s-9s-brick. I check, he bets big. I've got a straight flush draw, so I'm not going anywhere. I hit my flush on the turn, check, and he again bets into me. I call. Ditto river. I show the flush and he mucks while grumbling about how ridiculous I played that hand.

    3:35 PM -Two hands later on the button, I have AK suited and flop the straight. The same betting pattern ensues (though there is a third player, a very short stack, whose call of the flop puts him all in), and the pro finally goes all-in after the river. Its an easy call as he shows QQ. I show the AK for the winning straight and the third guy mucks. The pro - who, mind you, has just busted out - goes ballistic that the third guy didn't show his hand. That third player didn't know the rule about having to show, and the dealer absent-mindedly scooped it into the muck. When called out, both immediately apologized. The third guy said that he had a 10, and our pro had busted out anyway. But he carries on while the clock ticks. Finally the pro calls the floor over, and everyone has to replay what happened.

    Floor "That guy lost, right?"

    Our pro "Yes"

    Floor "You lost, too?"

    Our pro "Yes"

    Floor (to the dealer) "Get those cards in the air"
    4:00 PM - I've bled off a few too many chips, as these lousy players start actually getting cards. Finally one guy (the second guy who folded instead if checking the 100/100 blind) got me. I had AJ and there is J-brick-brick on the flop. I bet, he calls (just like the poker pro did to me). Repeat, repeat. He had JJ and took a ton of my chips. Not to sound like a poker pro, but if he were a better player, he might have raised me (and then tipped off his set, to which I could have folded). Then again, an even better poker player would have let me keep betting into him so that his hand strength is disguised. But he wasn't a better poker player. He was just a moke that woke up with pocket jacks and miracled a set on the flop.

    5:00 PM - I manage to hold on for awhile, but I can never get into a hand with a big pot and finally drop out just before combining to the final table (out of 31 entries at $60/ea). A disappointing end to what should have been an easy score. I just didn't respect that a lousy player might actually wind up with a decent hand. I go back to the slot floor and continue paying for my Diamond status.

    5:15 PM - OMG! Puppies! A bonus on the very first spin.

    Too bad the bonus - nor the rest of the fiddy - netted my anything decent. But I feel bad for Coco... looks like he knows he going back to the shelter soon because he can't stop piddling on the rug.

    5:45 PM - Phil is the last one out of the tournament (without cashing), and just in time to get to dinner at BLT Steak.

    6:00 PM - Time to strap on the feedbag (at a discount, thanks to the Travelzoo certificate)

    As discussed in this thread, BLT Steak took $420 off the top. Unfortunately, we went overboard in thinking "This will be a great, cheap dinner".

    All diners get an amuse bouche.
    Tonight was a Duck Liver Mousse with toast.

    Then our waitress mentioned that because of my Diamond status, we also received two more dishes to share.

    A charcuterie including (from left) some vinegared beef, prosciutto, a salami and another type of salami. The one on the right was the best.

    Last was a flatbread with smoked gouda and bacon. This was good.

    I had never had any liver-type product (other than liverwurst on rye with yellow mustard and onions), but I gotta say, the Duck Liver Mousse was far and away the best of the three plates that were offered.

    Unfortunately, we had ordered apps/salads before they brought these out. Kinda wish we had known because I wouldn't have ordered...

    The double-cut smoked bacon that I almost forgot to photograph. I had thought we were going to split one or two apps, but after I ordered this, others each ordered a salad "We've got that credit" everyone said!

    In regards to the dinner entrees, Pete and Pat were smart.

    They each got the 6 oz American Wagyu Filet with a side of Mac and Cheese.

    Scott, Phil and I all ordered the same thing...

    The picture doesn't do justice to that simply gorgeous 22 oz Cowboy Rib Eye with bone marrow and the lobster meat adder.

    Scott and I each had a scalloped potatoes side.


    The meal was brilliant, save for one thing. Phil and I had the lobster adder and Scott the crabmeat ("We've got that huge credit!") but all of the seafood was horribly overcooked. We mentioned it to the waitress who just kind of brushed it off, but the overall event of the meal was so wonderful that we didn't press the issue (Side note; I have since engaged the restaurant manager who is handling it). I didn't get a dessert.

    I didn't finish my dinner.

    Three espressos were ordered to finish the meal, though they (and two sodas) didn't appear on the bill, which is another reason we didn't press them on the poor quality seafood.

    "We've got a huge credit" still costs us $75 per person with tip.

    7:45 PM - We discuss our options, which includes going downtown to gamble instead of playing poker, finding a 9:00 tournament somewhere, or playing Bally's 8:00 PM tournament for $65. We choose to stay at Bally's, in part because of the soft game. However, we're moving slowly as we've all overeaten.

    8:00 PM - We arrive at the poker room right at 8:00, and with Pat first in line, the tournament director asks for $105. Pat pays, and Phil pays. Scott walks away to take a long walk to walk off dinner. I think it through, but I bail, in part in principal. In preparing for the trip, I compared PokerAtlas.com to each card room's website. The 8:00 Bally's tournament is $75 on their website, yet Poker Atlas shows it as $105. I had contacted Bally's and they said that their website was up to date. In the grand scheme, it was only $30, but I was on the edge about playing anyway and getting bum info soured me. I texted Scott and asked him to wait up so I could join him on a walk.

    8:20 PM - We walk over to the Bellagio just to wander around. We go to their poker room and see over 30 tables in use, some at quite high stakes. We make our way over to the sports book, then head back past the buffet to do more wandering, when we saw the Fortune Cup game and decide to buy in for a minute or two.


    8:30 PM - This game bores me as much as Sigma Derby. But Fortune Cup is tougher. There are 8 horses instead of 5, and you can bet to Win and Place, as well as the Quinella. But that is a LOT more potential bets than in Signa Derby, so if you take the time to actually look at all of the potential combinations, you miss the start of the race. I tried to jam in a buck each on a win, place, and then box those ($3 total per race) and I did get a hit for about $18. I played back to my original $20 and am happy to say that I retire undefeated from Fortune Cup.

    8:45 PM - When my wife and I spent the day in Vegas this past June, we wanted to get to the conservatory, but it was closed to set-up the summer display. I suggested to Scott that we walk through it so I could take some photos for my wife.










    9:00 PM - Scott and I wander over to the Cosmo to look at the Beautiful People.

    9:30 PM - They certainly were.

    9:45 PM - We make our way across Las Vegas Blvd and we realize we're thirsty. We'd be walking for well over an hour and it was kinda hot outside. We slip into the Miracle Mile shops and I suggest finding the ABC Store. Scott can't wait so we buy our water from the Nestle Toll House Store... $5 for a 20 oz bottle. I consider it an Idiot Tourist Fee, so I pay it and slug it down.

    10:15 PM - We get back to Bally's and find Pat making a great run into the tournament. However, watching a tournament without hole cards is dull, so we get some slotting in while we wait.


    11:30 PM - The tournament is winding down, and none of the players want to chop the game. Pat finishes second for $680, and he is razzing us pretty bad about being cheap. I can handle the ball breaking, I don't know if I could have sit still and concentrated with a bowling ball in my gut. We find Pete (who had wandered to the Flamingo to play poker) and head back downtown.

    Monday, September 3 at 12:05 AM - I had soft plans for a mini meet-up at the Boar's Head Bar. I tried to make it sound as boring as possible (so that my poker guys don't tag along) but Scott mentions wanting to play craps. We get to the bar and meet Tim Lawson from The Bettor Life podcast, the multi-podcatial Eric Rosenthal, and with them was Bogan Painter. They were all in town for Vegas Vacation 7, and though it was a coincidence that we were there at the same time, I didn't want to miss my chance to meet them and thank them for some great content. However, with Scott at my side with his eyes on the craps table, our meet-up was more like a "Hi, nice to meet you. Bye." than I had hoped for. They understood, and as Tim said "I'd rather be playing craps, too".

    12:45 AM - After blowing a fast $200 on the craps table and another $100 in slots, I actually have to borrow some money from Scott. I can only get $500 from the ATM each day, and I had been there earlier. But this was the last late-night gamble and I had to keep going.

    1:30 AM - I make his hundy last for a little while, but ultimately I end up with my largest one-day Nevada loss... a number that I would be embarrassed to let my parents see. I schlump off to bed one big, bald, defeated man.

    Evening came and morning followed, the fourth day.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 2
  10. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

    Sep 20, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    a great TR!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Only another 49 or so pages and I will have caught up to @notfromconcentrate.
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 2
  12. justchuck

    justchuck Low-Roller

    Oct 4, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Always enjoy your trip reports!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Monday, September 3 at 7:30 AM - I would have thought I would have slept longer, as we aren't meeting until 10:00 AM. But, Vegas...

    8:00 AM - With the changes to the BConnected program, I knew that I would have some work to do if I wanted any chance to continue at the Sapphire level, and if I didn't make it, at least the 11X multiplier they were offering might get me an ice cream at Lappert's or something. Speaking of Lappert's, I get my morning coffee (and donut, of course) and head over to Main Street Station. I love the California hotel rooms, but I feel far more comfortable gambling at MSS.

    8:30 AM - I've started with a $100 bill and play the alien invasion game ("More mooo... More mooo.... BONUS!!!") for about 20 minutes and I'm up $20-$30, and when the machine starts to cool, I play one of the Aristocrat 4-games... Buffalo, Miss Kitty, Pelican Pete and something else. I hit two Pelican bonuses, and though the don't pay much, I add a few more bucks to the uppage. I play some anonymous game and in about an hour's play, I am up about $70.

    9:00 AM - I wander to the far back of the casino... past the Treasure Chest VP coin droppers. I see an old 5-reel nickel machine with the firey bonus guy who gives you a respin of you hit two BONUS symbols. In about $50, I don't get two bonus symbols once, and nothing close to a win. I pull my ticket and move to a 5-reel $1.50 Quick Hit and play for awhile. 17 times (yes, I count so that I know how pissed off to get) I get the first two bonus symbols before getting the third one for the stupid bonus game. I have played many a-Quick Hit over the years, and I know that when you pick your tiles to determine your bonus, if you get 7 spins, you may has well have gotten up and let someone else play the game. As goes, I get about $4.00 for that bonus and I angrily pull that TITO out with about $40 left on it.

    9:10 AM - Frustrated but knowing (hoping?) that continuing Sapphire will be my reward, I tell myself that at least its going for a good cause. I put it in a Tiki Fire Lightning Link machine, and when I am down to my last $8, get to play the locking reels feature. On the first or second spin, I got two spaces of Mini Bonus, and when the feature was complete, I had won about $80. "Back to even" was close at hand.

    9:20 AM - I had said to meet at 10:00 and I hadn't packed, yet, so I had just a few minutes to get my dozen bucks back. I walk back up towards the skywalk stairs but a little to the right and I find some Hot Hot Penny machine, and I very quickly get a bonus that pays a few bucks, and on the very next spin I get a bonus again, and when complete, I have a TITO worth $198. You'd think I'd take my win and run back to pack, wouldn't you.

    9:35 AM - You'd be wrong.

    I play that down to $300 (for a cool $200 win in an hour-fourty-five of slotting) and whistle Dixie back to pack and get the guys. I check my Tier level, and drat, I am 48 points short of Sapphire. But I just don't have the time to play anymore at Boyd this trip.

    10:30 AM - We arrive at Red Rock for the only tournament of the day (and the last of the trip). We had considered leaving really early to try to get two games in (beginning with a 9:00 AM at Excalibur or Harrahs) but fear that the five of us would be the entire tournament, then we'd be stranded with our thumbs up our asses in a lerch for somewhere to go. Instead, we took a sure thing with the Nooner at Red Rock, and it gave us all a chance to get some sleep and get ready for a big run. For brunch, we end up at the Red Rock coffee shop, where most of us get the cheeseburger special for about $6.99.


    11:00 AM - While waiting for the food, I grab a Keno ticket and start marking. I am a very Keno novice, as I believe it only exists to satisfy a degenerate gambler who can't stay out of action for 45 minutes to eat. They have so many special games and ways to mark the ticket, so I take the first one that I can understand. Mark 4 spots for $2 a game, and it pays on 3 or 4 hits, including $400 for 4 hits. For as many meals as we've had as a group in casinos, I am amazed that none of the others have ever played Keno while waiting for food. I do my best to explain Keno, but only Pete tries to play (that's right, the same Pete who only plays poker and dismisses us when we can't walk past a slot machine without grabbing for a $20). Pete decides to play the 3-spot game, costing 2 games for a buck. He gives the runner $3 bucks and uses his birthday.

    11:10 AM - I had played for five games, and never hit more than one number. But in Pete's fifth game, his numbers come up and he wins a cool $25.

    12:05 PM - I saddle up for one last shot at fame and fortune (or, well, to at least save face).


    12:30 PM - I am playing great (this tournament had 51 entries at $70/ea). People are folding to my bets, and the one hand I did go to showdown with won with top two pair. Everything is coming up Milhouse.

    12:55 PM - In the Big Blind (Level 3 is 200/400), I am dealt AJ of diamonds. A couple of limpers in front of me, I raise to 1000. Two callers, including the tattooed kid to my left who has been calling everything, but with enough suckouts to have almost a starting stack.

    Flop is 5d 6s 10d. With one card from the nut flush and a premium hand, I bet 1200. Tattoo calls, the other folds.

    The turn is a 6d. I've hit my flush. I bet 1200, Tattoo raises to 2400. I think for a moment (worried a bit by a full boat, but even though he is a calling station, I don't think he would have called the 1000 preflop with 5-6 or 10-6) so I call.

    The river is a 6. I can almost hear (in his best Teddy KGB voice) this kid say "You can't be-lieve what just fell. All your hopes and dreams, pfft." I don't see any way out of this hand if he has the 6 or a pocket pair, but he calls everything, so I have no idea what he had. I shove. He shoves and shows A6. My A-high flush donked by runner-runner quads. I've got about 4000 left, which is only 10 big blinds at this level (with blinds going up in a few hands).

    12:59 PM
    - The last hand before break, I am dealt AK suited. I shove with two callers. The first showed KK, the other AA. My only hope is a straight, and though a Q and J drop on the flop, I don't see a 10 and I am out. It was just that quick.

    1:10 PM - I head to the sports book (just outside the poker room) and find a table with a power outlet and private TV and turn on the Brewers game. If they have any intention of winning the division (and avoiding that asinine one-game Wild Card disaster) they've got to beat the Cubs.


    2:00 PM - The Cubs have hit a HR to take the lead and the sports book erupts. Stupid Cubs fans. Scott comes around and tells me his exit story. I had told him mine, and he said that his is even worse.

    Scott has 99, makes a big raise. The guy to his left didn't realize it was a raise and threw in a 1000 chip. The dealer says that he has to complete the call or fold. He thinks about it and makes the call. (You see where this is going).

    Flop is A-9-brick. Scott flopped a set, so he shoved all-in. The guy called and showed A7.

    The turn is an A. Scott has 999AA boat, the other guy has trip-Aces.

    The river is an 7. The other guy miracles AAA77 to knock Scott out. I agree his is a worse beat than mine. By only about 4%, though.

    3:00 PM - The Brewers win the game in the bottom of the 9th with a walk, HBP, HBP and fielder's choice and the sports book erupts. OK, maybe not the sports book, but definitely the four guys who were waiting for me. Remember Sunday's recap? I had bet the Brewers on Sunday at South Point because the Cal sports book hadn't yet opened? For that reason, I suggest that instead of staying at Red Rock before heading home, we go to South Point so I can cash my ticket. They have a zillion restaurants there so we can still eat before heading to the airport. I talk them into it.

    3:20 PM - We arrive and I cash my ticket. We've had quite the discussion about what time to leave. Our flight is at 6:55 and we're 10 minutes from the airport. I suggest leaving at 5:30, they talk me into 5:00. I protest, they are worried about big Labor Day delays (which I've never heard of, but....) I concede to 5:00 - I mean, that is two hours early - and try to make that comeback. I plug $20 into a VP machine. Nothing. Another $20, another VP. Zilch. A third also comes up empty.

    3:28 PM - The text from Pat says "Michael, I think we should be leaving the casino at 4:30. We need to stop for gas, drop the car, catch the shuttle and security (though it may be OK) could be slow."

    3:29 PM - Fuming, I respond only with "I am outvoted. so..." On Super Bowl Sunday it doesn't take 2-1/2 hours to get from South Point to on a plane. But I firmly believe that God has plans. Maybe a lowercase god, but some power was going to reward me with my patience with these other men, and that time was instantly. I find a completely different bank of VP and slide in a $20.

    Remember when I opened this trip report with this tease...


    Those are the times that my digital phone recorded this sequence of events...

    3:31:18 PM -


    3:31:43 PM (the very next hand) -


    3:33:34 PM -


    The virgin broke his cherry!

    3:34 PM - I send the photo to Pat with the text "We can go now". He finds me, congratulates me and tells me to go eat dinner before we leave.

    Not bad for 10 minutes of work.

    4:00 PM - My Royal has been spread all over Facebook and Twitter (and to my lovely wife), and I offer to buy dinner at the Big Sur Oyster Bar. I've always wanted to eat there, and now I have no excuse. And I've always known what I've wanted to eat there.


    The Lobster Pan Roast. I don't care if it is $32, I was having it. Only Scott and Phil joined me (remember, Pat and Pete don't like seafood... or food for that matter) so it only cost me $100 for three pan roasts. The happiest $100 dinner I've ever bought. And don't let the endorphin-fueled giddiness fool you, this dish was as decadent and smooth as could be imagined, with lobster so big they needed to be cut with a knife and fork.

    5:15 PM - We've cleared TSA with 100 minutes before our flight. Pat admits I was right. Scott admits that we can gamble anywhere.

    5:30 PM - We're at the gate playing slot machines. Scott's is paying off like its broken, meanwhile my bennie is holding its own, making me think how many points I'd be earning if I had an Airport Player's Card.

    6:15 PM - I get the amount down to $40 and find a video poker machine. Can I keep the magic alive?

    6:18 PM - Nope.

    6:45 PM - We're on our way from 98 degrees and arid to 72 with a 72 dew point. But at this point, I don't care!


    Tuesday, September 4 at 12:15 AM CDT - We get off the plane and when we get to the jetway, the humidity takes our breath away. We get through the airport and walk outside, and we gasp. Outside just clings to us and we instantly feel slimy and gross. I miss Vegas.

    And so goes another trip. With either God or the gambling gods help, I made a disaster of a trip into an almost-winning one. If you remove the cost of poker tournaments, in terms of straight gambling I was even +/- $20 or so (with some futures bets on the Green Bay Packers pending). Even if you consider poker to be gambling, then I am still only out $400 on the trip... A miraculous comeback by any measure.

    And maybe, just maybe, I'll have enough bankroll for a Super Bowl trip to Vegas in February (if I don't lose it all at the Blue Chip in Michigan City, IN while trying to save Sapphire!)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 11
  14. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Feb 18, 2008
    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report and congrats on the Royal!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Low-Roller

    Jun 10, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    "Evening came, and morning followed....."

    I see what you did there.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Jul 22, 2015
    The Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Excellent report, @mjames1229!

    Congrats on the Royal--and all of the other good times! :D

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  17. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

    Oct 30, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Really enjoyed the report and congrats on them refilling your wallet before you left. That lobster pan roast looks tasty.

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  18. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

    Sep 19, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sweet hits at the end! I keep telling myself if I ever eat at Big Sur I am going to get the lobster grilled cheese, but that pan roast looks just as good.
    Hanging with Pete
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  19. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    The Lobster Pan Roast might have been the best thing I've had in Vegas in a long time. Loved the steak at BLT, you can get a great steak in many places.

    I may just have to stay at Palace Station when we go back in the spring to try it at their Oyster Bar.
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
  20. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Aug 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    What a great way to end your trip; congratulations!!
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