Thursday, October 27, 2005

Vegas - Day Two

A couple of old-style Stacker 2’s and several vodka and Sobe’s is a recipe for zero sleep.  I was exhausted, but I think I woke up every 7 or 8 minutes after returning to the Palms.  Finally, at 9:00AM after eighty-four aborted attempts to sleep more than 30 minutes at a time, I showered and went down to the buffet.  I had a $1 coupon and ate a massive breakfast for about $6.  Others have mentioned that The Palms’ buffet isn’t so hot, but to me, it was more than adequate.

I had plenty of time to get to the Aladdin poker room, so I decided to walk.  The early morning Vegas weather was probably close to 65F and sunny – perfect weather to walk down Flamingo Blvd. towards the strip.  It took probably 40 minutes to get to the Aladdin; and when I finally arrived, I immediately sat down at the softest $1/$2 NL table to grace the face of the planet.

In June of this year, after I busted out of the Aladdin Classic, I was just a bit nervous sitting down at the $1/$2 game.  I did well, but it took some getting used to.  This time however, after 6 more months of higher stakes online and the previous day’s stint at the Palms’ $2/$5 game, it felt like I was sitting at a nickel and dime table.

I was calm, relaxed, and playing with 9 of the most amazing calling stations you’ll ever find.  One guy simply check-called his way through his entire buy-in.  Another guy reached for his wallet mid-way through a hand for more cash not realizing the rules about table stakes.  It was with a little sadness that I left the table to register for the noon tourney with Grubby.  After all, these ring games have been my bread and butter for the past year while tournaments have been the bane of my bankroll.

The tournament was a rollercoaster ride for me.  I had to take the re-buy when my pocket A’s were cracked by KQ when my opponent flopped two-pair.  I took the re-buy chips into the chip lead after busting three people, then managed to call off half my stack on a mis-read.  I exited not soon after coming over the top of one aggressive guy who finally had a hand.  Aces.  I lost my $20 last-longer bet with Grubby and went back to the ring games.

Unfortunately, the NL tables were full, and being the poker junkie I am, had to slum along at a $3/$6 limit table.  Ugh, limit poker.  Oddly, I stayed at that table from about 2pm until 1am.  I booked a small win, but the table was hugely +EV for entertainment value alone.  It was “one of those tables.”  Everyone was having a blast.  Especially when I taught everyone what a dial-a-shot was.

AlCantHang actually called me first thinking I was at my regular donk-fest Thursday night dealer’s choice game.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  The waitress told me that they were out of Southern Comfort.  Luckily Al wasn’t there or there’d have been hell to pay.  About 30 minutes later, the waitress did find some and brought me a shot.  I called G-Rob and the G-Vegas regulars partook in a cross-country dial-a-shot.  My table was a bit on the lame side; nobody would drink with me.  One guy’s wife who was watching him play stepped up to the plate since the guy claimed he didn’t drink.

Grubby finally got a seat after finishing ITM and joined me for some Vegas hold ‘em.  As mentioned on his site, Vegas hold ‘em is a variation on Texas hold ‘em.  It’s generally only played once it’s heads up, and it involves each player getting to flip over an opponent’s hole card of their choosing.  The dealers at the Aladdin were fine with this and we added some for spice to an already fun game.

Grubby had to run a few errands and pick up some free goodies elsewhere, and once he left, the fun-factor died down a bit.  Eventually he came back, but had to join the NL tables – which is where I should have gone but didn’t.  Sadly, 1 AM came faster than anticipated, and with my morning flight to San Jose the next day, I had to make my exit.


My Vegas trip was a success in every respect.  I played poker, drank with some good friends, and made it out alive with my bankroll intact.  Let me send a special thanks to Pauly and Grubby for being my hosts for a couple of days.  Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m married with kids, because the Vegas life is so compelling and intense that I’m not sure how long I could last out there.  And if I were single and without kids, I’m pretty sure I’d be giving it a try.  December is calling…

No comments: