Friday, December 21, 2007

Trip Report, part 4 - Night of the Bloggerati

Friday morning was the last day of my wife’s conference and she wanted to do a bunch of things after she got out at Noon so day-time poker was not in the cards. First, we headed back to the Flamingo coffee shop for brunch. Guess what we had (again)? Yep. You guessed it – steak and eggs! Once again the place delivered an excellent meal perfectly cooked and with superb service. After our meal, we went to Excalibur and checked in. Since her business was complete, we now had to secure a room with our own funds. Yes, that’s right. I have been staying at Caesar’s Palace and living it up on someone else’s dime. Now that is what I call +EV. After checking in and successfully using the famous $20.00 Trick again, we went to our room with whirlpool bath built in. Sadly, after being totally spoiled at Caesar’s, the Excalibur Deluxe room did not quite measure up. I was fine with it but my wife was completely disappointed. We then headed over to see the new Planet Hollywood. It was OK but nothing that impressive. Some of it wasn’t even open yet. The poker room at PH was OK but not spectacular and was open to the rest of the casino. Their chairs looked more comfortable than the usual, though. From there, we went back to Ellis Island for their award winning Metro Pizza. The pizza was darn good. Not the best I have ever had but much better than any chain could produce. We washed it down with some microbrews, amber and hefeweizen for me and root beer for her. She wanted to see some celebrities so we went over to the MGM Grand. The MGM is huge. We walked all over the casino, checking out the lion habitat and then into the mall-type area with lots of overpriced restaurants. While in there, we volunteered to review a television show prospect and provide our opinions. This was actually sort of fun and the wife, being a TV addict, thought it was very cool.
After walking my wife back to our room at Excalibur, I headed back to the MGM for some poker. Upon arriving, I encountered a gathering of the Bloggerati. I have read some of these guys since I began playing poker about 2-3 years ago.
Jordan, Pauly, Iggy, Al, Falstaff, Waffles, and lots more were there. They were all very friendly and some even paused to take a photo with me. Pauly, the undisputed King of all Poker Bloggers, has been my window to the vast poker underworld for a couple of years and he really writes well. Jordan’s blog has also been a favorite because I really relate to his writing and situation of trying to balance poker with a healthy wife/family relationship. My wife claims to be a poker widow and that claim is not entirely in jest. They were playing mixed games and hanging out in the sportsbook drinking liberally. This really got my evening off to a roaring start and I had to focus on poker when I got my seat and not let all these celebrities distract me. I was seated in the 9 seat (which I do not like since it is really hard to see the 1 and 2 seats) and started getting a read on the table. The mix kept changing and did not really stabilize for about an hour as players left and others were seated. I was card dead for the first hour or so. Then I started getting a few decent hands. A Swede dressed like a cowboy limped his pocket Kings from middle position and after a few other limpers came in, I limped my Q-10s from the cutoff. The flop was Q-10-6 rainbow. The Swede led into me and I doubled his bet. He called and all others folded. The turn was a blank, he bet and I raised all in. He called and tabled his K-K. I tabled my Q-10 and when the river was another blank, I scooped my first big pot of the night. That got me going and I never looked back. Brett Jungblut (a friend of Dutch Boyd who was also at the MGM that night) was seated at my table and a guy from LA named Tom. These guys were pretty good so I did not try any moves on them and waited for a big hand. Then, the table complexion really changed when these 3 older British gents were seated at our table. These guys were ready to gamble and definitely had their “drink on”. Not long afterwards, I looked down at 2 beautiful black Aces. The first pair of pocket Aces I had been dealt my entire time in Vegas. I was in early position so I opened the pot for 5xBB. A guy in middle position raised to $35 all day and an old guy that had been playing fairly loose re-raised all in. I quickly re-raised all in and the middle position raiser called which put him all in. So, here it comes, three guys all in to the flop, original raiser had Q-Q, the old guy that first went all in had a red A-2s, and I tabled my A-A. My Aces held up and I scooped the biggest single pot I had won during my trip. I played about another hour until about 3:30am when the Brits left and the game dried up. I cashed out for the night with about $420 in chips. On my walk back to the castle, a lady of the evening offered me her company but I politely declined her offer and joined my wife in our cozy room.

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