Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WPBT '10

The highlights of the annual blogger trip to Vegas were a victory in the Last Longer Challenge, a 10th-place finish in the tourney, showing my wife the town for the first time, and of course hanging out with distant friends that I don't get to see often enough.

It was a blast as always, and I miss it as soon as I leave.

I'll start with the WPBT group itself. Everyone is fantastic, welcoming and fun. There's always someone who wants to drink, talk, play table games or even play poker. I'm thankful to be a part of a group originally bound together by poker blogging that has since evolved into stronger friendships. While many people don't blog as much anymore (I'm guilty), the group remains solid.

Team Roach took down the Last Longer Challenge for the second straight year when Bayne and I made the final two tables. Along with new team member Garth, we split the prop bet money and the added online cash. Thanks PokerStars!

The Aria poker room and its staff impressed me. They were accommodating, ran a good tourney and kept everyone happy by doing the little things right, like keeping steady drink service and allowing me to charge my cell phone at their desk. Aria provides a comfortable gambling environment, which makes the experience more fun.

My poker room rankings for WPBT tourneys are:
1. Aria
2. Caesars
3. Venetian
4. Orleans (aka The Dump)

During the tourney, Avoque was seated to my right for a few hours before he busted and I won a cool bounty of clear red dice labeled "I busted Avoque. WPBT 12/2010." As he prepared to leave and dusted off a drink, he put five $1 chips in front of me, saying he'd bet me that I would break CK. So I would win the bet if she lost to anyone else, and he would win if she went out to me. At the time, I was rolling along and accumulating chips.

Sure enough, I had top pair on a Qxy twotone flop, and CK shoved. I called and she showed a flush draw, which didn't get there on the turn or river. Hours later, I surprised Avoque by returning his chips for his win of the side bet. I didn't remember until later that I should have paid him an additional $5 for the bet. I owe him next year.

I won't attempt a lengthy summary of the good times I had hanging out at the Geisha Bar, shooting craps and seeing shows like "Blue Man Group" and "Ka" with my wife. Mixed games at the MGM looked like fun, but I just hung out at the bar. I misread a board badly during a 1/2 game at the IP, leading to me losing some chips and quitting the game early. I won money at Bellagio and Caesars.

When you combine gambling with cool people from across the world, it's always a good time. Thanks, and I'm looking forward to next year.

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