Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vegas: I miss it already

As usual, Vegas did not disappoint.

My trip got off to a rough start after I missed my plane flight out of Honolulu to Vegas. Even though I arrived at the Honolulu airport 50 minutes early, which is usually plenty of time, ATA airlines wouldn't let me on the freaking plane. They told me my only option was to try to fly standby on the same flight the next day, but that really wasn't much of a possibility in my mind. I had a tournament to catch.

After dealing with the idiots at ATA and getting some friendly advice from customer service at Hawaiian Airlines, I came up with a solution that involved a one-way ticket to L.A. followed by a commuter flight on Southwest Airlines to Vegas. It worked perfectly, but put me about $850 in the hole before I even arrived in the desert.

I got there about three hours before my WSOP event started, so it was all good.

After the WSOP event, I headed over to the Venetian to meet up with Fuel, Iakaris and Kuro to eat dinner at Tao. It was good, and I was ready to sleep afterward.

I won't go into every detail of the trip, but here are some highlights:

_ Mixed games with the bloggers were awesome! The first mixed game was 3/6 H.O.R.S.E. at the MGM, which was a lot of fun. Players in the game included Faltstaff, Metsfan, MeanHappyGuy, Gadzooks, Columbo and a few others that I'm a little vague on. I blame the alcohol.

Then we got an even crazier mixed game going Sunday night at the Imperial Palace. I have to give them a lot of credit -- they let us play any game we wanted. So we decided on razz, triple draw, stud8, five-card draw, badugi, Omaha8 and whatever else we could think of. We also used a rock (which plays as a mandatory live straddle UTG) and screwed around.

_ The cash games were OK, but not as juicy as I remembered. Maybe it was because of all the players in town for the WSOP, maybe it was an effect of the uncapped buy-ins at most 2/5 games, or maybe fish (god forbid) are learning how to play. That's not to say the games weren't good; it's just that it seemed like the proportion of fish was smaller than I remembered.

I was struck by how many of the live players seemed to personify the avatars I see at online sites. These are the real faces of the players I compete against nightly on the Internet.

There's the crazy European who doesn't play optimally but has a method to his madness. There's the fat L.A. asshole who thinks every pot is a dick-swinging contest. There's the old guy who limp-calls with JJ UTG and busts me when he flops a set. There's the sunglasses dude who thinks he can outplay anyone postflop after straddling from late position.

It's good to put faces with avatars.

_ Table games were fun. I learned how to play Pai Gow Poker, which isn't exactly a game of skill but it served its purpose as a way to drink, play and pass the time. I also won a little bit on roulette by doubling my bets every spin I lost until I came out ahead. I started at $25 and never had to bet more than $100. I bet on black every time, and I walked away a $100 winner after a few minutes.

House games are ridiculous, unprofitable entertainment. They're a silly way to spend money, but I guess that didn't stop me.

_ Live play is good for the soul. During these slower paced games, I got to thinking about where my profits come from, which is the topic for another day.

Vegas didn't let me down. It's always the same strange, dirty, exciting, neon-filled city I remember. And a big part of Vegas' charm comes from the old friends I got to hang out with and the new ones I met for the first time. I hope to see everyone there again in December!

Here are links to other bloggers I met who weren't previously mentioned in this post. Check them out:

Grubby and Grubette
Dr. Pauly
Iron Girl
Weak Player
Bad Blood


Anonymous said...

Nice to finally meet you Gnome. Look me up when you decide to come back.

StB said...

Were you playing the Dealers Choice game while I was there late Sunday? Guess I was on the drunk side.

Nice to meet you man. December can't come fast enough.

Craig Cunningham said...

Great to share a booth with you--you eat like a horse!