Friday, December 21, 2007

Las Vegas Trip Report, part 1

Houston was a foggy 68F on Tuesday, 12-4-07, at 10:20am (Texas time) when we headed West to Las Vegas. We arrived at approximately 10:30am VT (Vegas time) and proceeded to obtain our rental car. We then drove over to Ellis Island on Koval. That place is about the best “one stop” for inexpensive food ranging from award winning pizza, to ribs, microbrewed beer, to good cheap steaks. We enjoyed the first of many meals featuring steak as the primary entrĂ©e. Yum! I always like to eat heavy in Vegas since I know I will be consuming plenty of beer while I play cards later. From there we checked in early at Caesar’s Palace and that’s right, you guessed it, used the famous $20.00 Trick to upgrade our Classic room to a Deluxe in the Palace Tower. That $20.00 may have been the best value I have ever gotten from a single Andy Jackson. The Deluxe room had a whirlpool bath, separate glass upright shower stall, huge flat screen TV, sofa, King-sized bed, huge bathroom with privacy door for the toilet, four phones, fully stocked mini-bar with both all sorts of drinks and snacks. My wife was amazed. She had already told me if the check in clerk looked at me crazy for trying this she was going to act as if she was not with me. Ha! Boy, did her tune ever change! She wanted to see a real Vegas show with dancing and music so we got tickets to Jubilee at Bally’s. I am not really into that stuff but in the interest of balancing family time with poker time, it had to be done. I actually enjoyed the show as it was well done and the performances were crisp. Of course, the fact that it was a topless show did not hurt either. We also went by the Hooter’s casino and were thoroughly underwhelmed. Later in the evening, at approximately 11:00pm, I headed to Harrah’s for some poker. I really liked Harrah’s poker room since it is completely closed off from the rest of the casino. That means there is no second hand smoke, no yammering slot pullers or chiming and ringing slot machines, or any other distractions to take away from the pure poker experience. I bought in for $100.00 and took my seat without having to wait at all. They had 2 tables of 1-2NL going. I played fairly tight until I got a feel for the table. Soon, I was more comfortable and starting seeing more flops. I checked my option in the big blind with 6-8s and the flop was 5-7-9 rainbow giving me the nuts. I checked and a guy in late position opened the pot for $15. I smooth called and so did another player. The turn was a blank so I check raised the original bettor who re-raised all in. I called and tabled my straight which beat his flopped 2 pair. A little later, I limped Ad-6d and flopped a flush draw. I called a small bet on the flop to see what the turn would bring. It was another diamond so I check called not wanting to lose my customer when I had the nuts. The river paired the board and when I checked the other guy went all in. I had him covered but I was worried his set or two pair had become a boat. I re-played the hand in my head and decided he probably did not have a boat so I called and tabled my nut flush. He mucked without showing and I felted the guy. I played for about 3 hours and cashed out $400.00 in chips. A great beginning for my first foray into NL Hold’em cash games in Vegas.

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