Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Vegas Day 5: The Last Waltz

I woke up with a faint aroma of stripper's perfume lingering on my clothes from the previous night. I chuckled when I read a text message from Briana:
u should stay in vegas and marry a stripper so u can get free lap dances
I wrote for a bit, showered, watched Dawson's Creek (because I knew it bothers -EV), then grabbed a meatball sub at Quizno's before I hopped in a cab to the Aladdin. I should have walked but there was no wait at the taxi line. My driver was cool and had a withered right hand. A physical disability gets you at least an extra $2 tip from yours truly. We chatted about urban planning for most of the ride and Glyph got a random mentioning from me to a Vegas cabbie.

When I arrived at the Aladdin's poker room, I saw Edna. She remembered me from our brief meeting in December. I said hello and then signed up for the tournament. With about a 50 minute wait before the start time, I sat in the $1/2 NL game. I lost about $10 in blinds and limp bets. I did not win any pots and a few people at the table never played poker in a casino before. Straight out of a line from Iggy, one woman honestly said, "I only play on Yahoo, but I watch poker on the TV all the time."

You could see the words "Fresh Fish" stamped into her forehead if you looked closely enough. Plus, You know how I feel about people who refer to television as... "the TV." Anyway, 12:53pm, I left the NL game, cashed in my chips, took a leak, then found my tourney seat.... the dreaded seat 10.

The 1pm tourney at Aladdin is $60 plus an optional $40 rebuy which is good for the first hour. The levels are 20 minutes long and you get T1500 to start. The rebuy is good for T1000 more. My table only had 8 players and 74 total players signed up. Top 8 places paid and first prize would win over $1800. The last time I played in a tourney at Aladdin, Grubby made the money and won the "last longer bet" between himself, Derek, BG, Bob, and yours truly. -EV and his girlfriend also played that day back in December when I missed the final table by one seat.

Well, on Monday, I placed 17th out of 74 and missed the money by 9 spots. In the first level I limped in LP with K9s.The flop: K-8-8. I called a bet from a guy who looked like he was worried about the King. I put him on a small pair. A blank fell on the turn. He bet and I moved all in. He had only a few chips left and called. I flipped over my hand and he did not turn over his cards. He couldn't beat me and mucked his cards. I should have asked to see his cards since he never turned them over. I was dying to see what he had. He mumbled under his breath, "My two pair is no good." He quickly reached into his pocket for a rebuy. I nearly doubled up and had almost T3000 in chips.

Over the next three levels, I folded everything and lost about T1000 in blinds. One hand I limped in MP with AJo. I had the jack of Diamonds. The flop was all diamonds. The short stack moved all in UTG. The large stack called. If he folded, I would have called. The short stack flopped a baby flush. The big stack rivered a four flush and took down the pot with Q-10... and the 10 of diamonds. I blew a shot at T1000.

By the break I had T2000 left and went ahead with the rebuy. I now had T3000 and was fifth in chips at my table. I called Jerry and gave him a quick update. In Level 4 I was moved to a different table. Right away I pushed in with AQs. I doubled up against 66 from a young British guy when I pulled out an ace out of my arse on the river. I had T7300 and looked strong. In the BB, I called a short stack who moved all in with J9s. I had KJs and lost when he river'd a flush. A few hands later, I lost another bad hand when I had a small stack dominated... QTs to T9o. He flopped trips. Ouch. I had T5500 and never recovered.

By Level 7, I was chipped down. When I found AK in MP, I moved all in with T3800. The LB called with JTo and flopped trips. Yep, outflopped again. I finished 17th out of 74. I chatted with Edna for a few minutes before I left. I wandered across the street to the Mirage and decided to play $6/12.

I love the Mirage's poker room. I prefer it over the Bellagio. The last time I was there, Mel Judah sat on the table behind me playing pot limit Omaha. In the first orbit I found Big Slick suited. I flopped a flush and won a $200 pot. An hour later, after some very tight play from yours truly, I found AA UTG. I limped-raised and got two callers. I lost to JJ who caught a gutshot on the river. The next hand I found KK in the BB. This time there were four limpers and a button raise. I reraised and the betting was capped. I reraised on a ragged flop. I even check raised on the turn. And then an ace fell on the river... the one card I dreaded seeing. Of course one guy had AQ and the other two both had AT. Yeah it took the case ace to sink my ship. And yeah, I folded on the river, knowing I was beat and saved myself $48.

I decided to play out the orbit then I left... down $5. I returned to the Excalibur, called Derek to tell him about my tourney results, wrote for a few minutes, then grabbed a quick bite (two Krispy Kreme donuts). Afterwards, I headed for the poker room for 4 hours of NL. Grubby joined me by 7pm and sat down just as I did my first (and only) rebuy. My AK lost to AJo. We both flopped and ace but he caught a Jack on the turn. Ouch. The next three hours I'd fight back to break even until some chick who looked like Ani DiFranco caught a runner runner straight on me and I doubled her up. I flopped top pair and had an open ended straight draw on the turn which I also caught on the river. Man, it irks me when I catch the card that gives me my draw but that same card gives my opponent a bigger hand.

Grubby doubled up with aces against the Hilton Sisters. He also braved the buffet in the back of the poker room at the Excalibur. He ate both a hotdog and hamburger. He's a courageous man indeed. He had a good day at the Excalibur and almost tripled up. Oh, I saw the dealer who was at my table when the infamous brawl broke out. She gave me a nod and I winked.

Grubby and I considered playing some Pai Gow Poker but decided against it. He wanted me to stay a few extra days. I would have but you know whatever money I won playing poker would be pissed away at the numerous local strip clubs. Yeah, Grubby and I hit four in three days and there were a half a dozen more on our list that we never had the chance to hit up. We'll wait for June and take Bad Blood. Grubby also told me abou the curse of the $50 bill. I never heard of that before, but supposedly it's superstitious for gamblers to carry around $50 bills in your wallet.

I met up with the Poker Prof and Flip Chip. They were going to hook me up with a ride to the airport and we agreed to have a quick bite to eat before I left. We talked a little business. I'll go into more detail about the actual gist of our conversation in a few days. Suffice to say, I have a pretty cool announcement to make very soon. Stay tuned.

Closing Thoughts

Someday I'm going to write a novel about Las Vegas because it's a place that inspires me to no end. It's the perfect city for an insomniac degenerate gambler. It's also been several years since Senor and I took one of our epic misadventures together. The last huge one was Japan almost five years ago. We were in Vegas together two years ago with Derek and that was tons of fun. This time we also had a kick ass time. Senor just finished his MBA and got a new job with an asset management company. This was his time to celebrate before he had to start his new job. We'll have amazing memories of those insane games from Saturday, when both games went into over time and we won big bucks using the George Costanza Method to picking our teams.

The weirdest thing was my cell phone. Senor and I both have the same company, Verizon, and the clock on our cell phones would jump back and forth between local time (PCT) and MST. One minute it would be 4am then next 3am. It was always very confusing and after a while, I stopped looking at the time.

Now that I know people in Vegas, it's cool to hang out with locals like Grubby, Flip Chip, and the Poker Prof. I got an email from Mr. Subliminal who lives in Vegas. I have like 4 different email accounts and only checked one until Monday. Too bad I didn't get in touch with him sooner. It would have been cool to meet a fellow blogger. Next time... in June!
Final Numbers:
Mandalay Bay & Excalibur's Sports Book: -350
Ceaser's Pai Gow Poker: +100
Aladdin (Tourney and $1/2 NL): -110
Mandalay Bay Poker Room ($4/8 with a half kill): -55
Mirage ($6/12): -5
Excalibur ($2/6 spread and $1/2 NL): EVEN!
Combinded Poker Loses: -170
Overall Gambling Losses: -420
Air fare + Hotel: -500
Krispy Kreme Donuts Consumed: 8
Cocktail Waitresses I called "Sweetie": 17

Anyway, I have a ton of work to do. I have a couple of freelance articles to write so I'll check y'all later. Stay tuned for my Stripper Stories and the "big announcement." I'll see everyone at the tables on Poker Stars on Wednesday for the next leg on the WPBT. Until then, thanks for reading and checking in to read about my Vegas hijinks. Man, 64 days until I arrive back in Sin City for the blogger event!

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