Day 1: Aces Cracked and a Pai Gow Straight Flush I woke up late Friday and had a number of things to do before I got on the plane. This trip meant late nights at work all week, so I was behind on my usual Vegas preparation. I paid bills, stopped by work to tie up loose ends, got travelers checks at the bank, picked up cigars at the smoke shop, then packed. I was on the road by 2:45pm and headed for the Pasco airport. Checking in and the flight were smooth. My in-flight movie was DÃ©jÃ vu, the latest Bruckheimer/Scott production which sounded promising. It was just average. Too hard to explain all the paradoxes in time travel in a few minutes allotted in the movie. I arrive in Vegas on time and pick up my car at the new McCarran car facility at 9:00pm and roll for the Orleans. Iâ€™m not sure if I like the new facility, but Dollar Express made things smooth and I had a small Dodge Caliber in minutes. For $15 a day, I would have driven a Chinese rickshaw. I raced down LVB to Russell Road and cut over at Arville to avoid the freeway traffic at the Trop interchange. Check in at the Orleans was fast and I was given room 1115 with a moderate view of the pool. The rooms at the Orleans are roomy with a nice couch and chair in the corner. Live Jazz Friday nights at the pool and it was busy and loud. Itâ€™s a good thing I didnâ€™t need any sleep, but this was Vegas, and it was still early. I picked up a fifth of Crown at the liquor store and poured myself a small one on the rocks. Gotta drive tonightâ€¦.soâ€¦.mustâ€¦takeâ€¦.itâ€¦.easyâ€¦..soâ€¦.hardâ€¦.toâ€¦..do. Mmmmmmâ€¦the warm glow of alcohol on an empty stomach feels so good. I had a 1/3 lb burger and fries at Terrible Mikeâ€™s, the Orleans burger bar. I ordered medium, and it was pink throughâ€¦.just right. They have a nice condiment bar with just about everything you would want on a burger. I must have been hungry because I literally inhaled the burger. It was 9:30pm by the time I finished so it was off to Caesars to catch the last of womenâ€™s poker school tourney Sticky is playing in. In case you didnâ€™t know, there is a poker school hosted by Annie Duke, and if you place top 10 in the school tourney, they pay entry to the womenâ€™s championship event. Sticky decided to attend to help get her tuned up for the main event. I parked the car and proceeded to wander around Caesars looking for the poker room. The line for Pure was broken into ladies and guys and was several hundred deep. For a guy who couldnâ€™t dance if his life depended on itâ€¦.I just donâ€™t see the fascination with dropping hundreds in a club. But after seeing the line of smoking hot women all dressed to the 9â€™s, I think I have an idea why the guys were there. Incredible, long legs and short dresses. I make another circle around the casino and finally spot the Poker Room. It was right behind the line of ladies waiting in line for Pure. I have no idea how I missed it the first time. Distracted somehow I guess. I walk into the poker room and inquire where the ladies tourney is located and the young kid behind the counter said it was at noon and already over. Bah, I donâ€™t believe it. I decided to wander back to the tournament room and there were 3 tables of women left in the back. Never trust the young and uneducated products of our public school system. I spot Sticky at the nearest table and she is short stacked with about $4500 in chips. I say a quick â€œhiâ€ and stand back to watch the game unfold. She is forced to fold a couple hands then folds the blinds. At this point she is the smallest stack at the table. Ante is $100 and I think blinds were $400/$800. The button passes her by and next hand she goes all in for about $2200. I notice a small tremble in her hand and think â€œuh ohâ€. The button and small blind fold. The big blind mouths â€œsh!tâ€ as she looks at her cards. Good news I suspect, but what do I know about poker. I am still learning. Big blinds stack has about $12000, thinking hard. She reluctantly calls and they flip them over. A 9 Sticky versus 2 4 Big Blind, both off suit. An ace comes on the flop and Sticky rakes a nice pot to stay in the game on a weak hand. Next hand is dealt, one bet behind her, and Sticky goes quickly all in again. This time there is no tremble in her hand so I suspect she is bluffing, trying the push people out and steal some blinds. There are 2 callers all in and they flip them over. Holy crap Sticky has AA! Sweet! Next best hand is K J off suit (the â€œMartyâ€). Flop comes mostly junk and things look good. Hopes are dashed when runner-runner K J comes on the turn and river. Bah. One of the instructors is watching and says quietly â€œthat was sick, that was just sickâ€. No kidding buddy. She finished 21st out of 100. Anyway, from the 10 or so hands I saw Sticky played well and set herself up to triple up and be the biggest stacks at the table, but it was not to be. She took it all well knowing she was one hand from making the final table in all likelihood. Good to know these things donâ€™t just happen on PokerStars, but still hard to watch. Over MMIV, Sticky, JoeVegas, and I went in search of a Pai Gow game after the IP suite party. We never did find a table at MMIV, so it was game on tonight, at least for a while since she needed to get up in the morning for school. Sticky makes a call home and it sounds like everyone is well. I grabbed a quick cup of coffee at Charbucks. We played some Pai Gow at TI and I was up most of the time. I got whittled back to the original $100 and I am done. Sticky says â€œplay one more hand, youâ€™ll winâ€. So I play against my better judgment, and proceed to win the next hand. I give $5 to the dealer and put $5 on Stickyâ€™s bonus hand. Next three Sticky hands are trips ($15), straight ($15), and holy crap a straight flush ($250!!!). I stacked the profits for the first 2 on the flat bet, but all 3 were pushes because the dealerâ€™s top hands were strong. I dropped Sticky a black chip for her awesome hand and it was time to go. Silly girl didnâ€™t want to take it, but I explained that I always have to share when I play someone elseâ€™s hand like that. It is good luck for me. We part ways and I rolled for the Orleans. Still wide awake, I played my Dam LumberJack Beavers game for an hour or so, broke even, then went to bed. It was 4:30am, asleep by 5.