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Poker Tourneys, a Side Quest for a Royal Flush, and an Accompanying Vegas Virgin on #20! 6/8-6/15

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MiamiDave, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    My Trip Report

    I'm sometimes long-winded, but hopefully not boring. If you prefer TRs with only pictures and one-liners, you may want to quit while you're still ahead (although I'm sure many of the posts will be those, too!). You can also skip this intro and get to the meat and potatoes if you like your TRs uncomplicated. Don't worry, I won't be offended!

    Much of my 20th trip will be dedicated to a profitable trip of poker tournaments and cash poker play, however, I have some other plans in play to give the trip some extra flavor:

    I am still searching for my first VP Royal Flush. I've come to really enjoy playing DDB (especially STP!) and DW44 Deuces Wild my last few trips. Speaking of this point, I had a slight panic yesterday when I was searching for my index strategy cards and couldn't find them anywhere, as I like to keep them in front of me when I play to utilize perfect strategy. After wracking my brain for a few hours, I received a random phone call from my sister about something unrelated and thankfully it helped me remember that I let her borrow them for a trip three months ago. I'll get them from her today. Oh man, that was a close one!

    I have a good friend accompanying me on the trip who is a Vegas virgin. He's a recently turned cash poker pro. He's 23 and he's off to a great start his first 9 months or so. He's been an avid student of the game for a few years. Our age gap of 14 years (I'm 37, not 9) isn't really much of an issue because he's pretty chill. He doesn't party or act like a college frat boy. We'll get some drinks going and I'll show him some of the great places of the great mecca of gambling and poker, but for the most part we'll share a few meals, play on separate cash and/or tournament tables, and basically just be a friend nearby to each other as we leave our families behind. My amazing and loving wife and my 3 children, ages 13, 8, and 5 will not be joining me on this trip, and it's the longest one I've made since before any of them were in my life. Having a friend along will definitely help. I'm absolutely in love with my wife and children and there will be a lot of texting and FaceTime happening in between my activites. I will miss them tremendously.

    Things usually come full circle. In my young 20s circa 2002/2003, my trips to Vegas were poker-centric. I have vivid memories of limit poker at the Mirage, 1-2NL at the MGM, and poker tourneys at the still-magical Binions Horseshoe downtown, the historical center of the poker universe at the time (it's since been relegated to an area dedicated to selling t-shirts). The game itself has changed drastically since that time, with the average player being significantly better, making it more difficult than ever to make it a profitable endeavor. My game has changed drastically as well. Most of my tournament earnings occurred in those early-mid 2000s, before I had a family. Over the last 10 years, I've specialized strictly in the cash game setting. I've begun to get into tournaments a bit more over the last 9 months or so, and this trip will be primarily focused on them. I'll be focusing on a mixture of events: $200-400 buy-ins with total prize pools of $20,000 up to $200,000, one or two $600 buy-in events with prize pools of $500,000-$1m+, and a $1000 buy-in event at Binions (yes, I'm making it a specific point to play a large event at the place in Vegas that is most disappointing to me. I hate what they did with Binions so this will probably be an event I play just for personal closure) with a prize pool that will likely be in the $300,000-$400,000 range. What do players win in these events? Generally, finishing in the last 10-15% of the tournament will net you a starting point of about 1.5x your buy-in, and it will ladder up from there, with the first place finisher usually getting about 20% of the total prize pool. Just getting a minimum cash of 1.5x your buy-in is a successful tournament. Getting into the top 9 is usually a more significant accomplishment (and you can make some great money). Winning or even finishing in the top 3 is often a substantial windfall. My goal for the trip is to come home with at least $5,000 more than I came with.

    I'll probably toss in some other side activites, such as blackjack at El Cortez and a trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame. A few VMB poker players plan to get together for a bite on Monday, too. I might even renew my search for the best broccoli/broccolini (for those who might vaguely remember this from my last trip in January)!

    Anyhow, we leave tomorrow on Southwest out of Fort Lauderdale at 10:55am, non-stop to Vegas. My wife leaves at 6:30am, so I'll wake up to say my goodbyes to her and I'll get the kids ready to take them to my sister's house, preparing myself for the hugs and kisses and tears that will surely follow from my little girls (the 8 and 5 year olds).

    The tradition for the last few years has been to get them a new set of Vegas pajamas. This trip, they wanted to break tradition. My 13-year-old boy wants me to bring him back another candy slot machine. It's on my list of things to do. My daughters made me get them their Vegas gifts already. My 8-year-old daughter wanted a 13-inch Pua stuffed animal (from the Moana movie):

    pua.jpeg

    My 5-year-old wanted an LOL Confetti Pop Surprise Doll:

    lol doll.jpg

    What is this, you wonder? Basically, when you perform some sort of opening action and out pops a bunch of confetti all over (which the adult has to clean up, of course) the place, and hidden inside is a doll. It's like opening a pack of baseball cards, except it's 2018 and it's for small children and it gets its own stable of YouTube videos where children watch other children opening these things up. Speaking of which, when in history did it become interesting to watch OTHER children play with toys? You think I wanted to watch another kid build a lego set when I was 7 years old? Hell no! I wanted to do it myself. Did I want to watch my friend play a video game? Hell no! Give me that controller man, it's MY turn.

    That's all I have for today, though. I'll head off to the bank later to pick up my cash, and my bags are already packed. After a day at the business, I'm looking forward to a few hours of family time this evening with my loved ones, a good night of sleep tonight and the start of a very busy week of fun/profit tomorrow!
     
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  2. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Safe travels!
     
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  3. nickle

    nickle Low-Roller

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    Ready to follow. Have a great trip!
     
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  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good luck!
     
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  5. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

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    Good Luck , bring lots of money back
     
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  6. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Have a great hunt! :D
    Happy travels, @MiamiDave!

    WisconsinRICHARD
     
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  7. acccrow

    acccrow Low-Roller

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    You mean.....you don't watch poker on TV? :poker:

    Looking forward to hearing about some Tales of Rungood.
     
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  8. eri_manga

    eri_manga Tourist

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    Good luck! Will be following your trip! I will be playing similar tournaments of $200-$400 buying when I get to Vegas later this month, so I’m curious to hear your take on which tourneys would have softer fields/better value.
     
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  9. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    I actually don't really watch poker on TV. Rarely, if ever. Every once in a while I'll watch an interesting hand online, but for the most part my poker review is using PioSolver and other technology to study.

    I can identify the better value for the most part (using S-Points, rake analysis, average field sizes and structure sheets), but the softness of the fields is unknown for me at this point. For instance, I'll probably play the nightly $240 at Aria tomorrow night as a warm-up to the week. I have no idea what to expect at Aria. I expect it to be soft, but I also don't know how it will translate to the daytime fields for their $400 events.

    Thanks to all for the warm wishes!
     
  10. MarkMcC87

    MarkMcC87 Tourist

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    Best of luck on your trip and hopefully you make a final table or two .

    It made me smile seeing the LOL as I’ve just bought my daughter two of the confetti pop ones today, my daughter is obsessed with them.

    Looking forward to following along Sir
     
    Two weeks in Vegas!
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  11. Robdude

    Robdude Tourist

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    My six year is obsessed with those toy opening videos. Her birthday consisted of opening LOL surprise balls and hatchimals. The toys inside are no better than the ones we would get out of the machines at the grocery store, the one where you put in a quarter and turn the knob.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2018
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  12. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Haha, I think all kids in that age range with access to a tablet are obsessed with those toy opening videos. You're not alone! We should make a support group.

    I agree about the quality of the toys inside, although the one my daughter got had the ability to have water fed to it through a drinking jug and it would come out of her eyelids or some such. Clearly worth the $12 or whatever they cost! :rolleyes2:
     
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  13. Big dan

    Big dan Low-Roller

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    Yeah we can't go to the store without our daughter hounding for those lol dolls. I think we have dropped at least a day's budget in Vegas on those things.
     
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  14. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Went to the bank.

    Here's some starting bankroll porn:

    cash.JPG

    Sorry, I have to keep it family friendly. No nip slips in this thread.
     
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  15. sdguy26

    sdguy26 Tourist

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    Good luck. Always enjoy a report with poker. I will be there Sunday for a lot of VP and cash games.
    What is your game of choice?
     
  16. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    It'll be 2/5NL, maybe a bit of 1/3NL. I don't know how much 5/10NL I'll play, it probably depends on how well I'm running for the week. I might play some 1/2 PLO or Big O, 20/40L Omaha 8B here and there or a HORSE game. Same thing with my tourneys: mostly NL, although considering a PLO and/or HORSE or 8-game mix tourney. I'm pretty specialized in all games, although I have far less hours invested in Badugi/Baducey/Badacey/2-7 Triple Draw than I do in most of the more common variants.

    As far as other games, I enjoy craps but I just haven't been in the mood for it lately. I'll probably break up my poker with BJ at El Cortez or DW44 & DDB $.25 VP here and there (probably at MSS).
     
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  17. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Good luck, and get that Royal!
     
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  18. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    Thanks RF!

    Flight about to take off from sunny Ft Lauderdale. Flight time is 4hr36m so we may actually arrive early. We were able to get a row with nobody in the middle seat. First win of the trip!
     
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  19. theghost

    theghost Stuck at work, but should find a poker table

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    Best of luck MiamiDave, looking forward to following along. I was pleasantly surprised with the Aria daily tournaments (Structure, relative field skill level, and overall tournament flow) and will be looking forward to your experience with them.
     
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  20. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

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    The plan at this point is for us to get our bags and race over to the Venetian and late register the $600/$400k guaranteed event. It starts at Noon, we should be there around the end of level 3. Level 4 is still 100 bigs and when the ante starts.

    If I end up bagging day 1 then we won’t even get to Luxor until close to 1am tonight. It’s a good problem to have, though. Looking forward to a day of rungood.
     
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