May 27, 2011
OK I have got back from Vegas today, just said ‘oh hai!’ to my girlfriend. She’s gone to the gym now and I feel it’s poifect time for me to update my blog to tell you guys how my week in Las Vegas went.
My friend oli has been keeping up a blog all week, on a daily basis, whereas my blog will be what I can remember now i’m back home. In hindsight doing it Oli’s way is far more +ev as surely you recall more memories daily, and what with all the drinking/playing/sleep deprivation we have crammed in, I fear I will miss out a few key details. But here goes. Is it wrong to feel excited as I type this? Yuh, thought so..
On a side note, I thought it would be interesting to link Oli’s blog to this entry, so you can see the trip from his perspective too. I say it’s interesting because you can see two sides of the story.
Link to oli's blog is at the end guys. Please take the time to read (after mine of course!)
He does not post on DC forums or have a subscription though (nobody’s perfect). While I am on the subject, a little intro about Oli. We have been close friends I guess for like 14 years approx since our early teenage years. Oli is predominantly an online tournament player and has been playing poker for a year or two longer than me. I have learned a ton from him strategy wise. An avid Arsenal fan though.. yikes...
Right so on to trip report...
1) So how much did I lose?
OK to risk boring you with my huuuge blog post, I will cut to the chase. I won substantially this week. I didn’t expect to.
I basically took with me $300 dollars, and spun it over $2k without using an ATM once. I had 1 losing session all week the rest victories from +$13 to like +$820. It got to the stage that I told Oli not to use any more of his own money with 3ish days to go. I covered everything. Oli got beat up on occasions while by all accounts he was playing solid. Me on the other hand never lost a flip, hit every big draw/flopped sets/disguised flush/turned straight you name it. I could not miss. I treated us both to a meal at aria (details below). I played solid in parts, poorly in others, it just didn’t seem to matter though. Run good was with me all week. I felt sorry for Oli who couldn’t catch a break, but I wanted to share my victory with him by treating him to basically what he wanted (within reason!)
2 )Our hotel
OK so where we were staying - the MGM grand. Massive massive huuuge hotel. The lobby is ridiculous. Me and Oli paid the cab driver and kind of looked at a huge line of people by the desk not knowing which line to get in with our suitcases. We may as well have had ‘noob tourist’ tattoo’d on our foreheads. Oli and I had read on 2+2 that there is a $20 trick – where you casually ask if there are ‘complimentary upgrades’ available and you slip the 20 bucks in with yr passport/credit card. Meh. Insta-denied! She told me that there were no upgrades at all. So I removed the $20 out my passport slightly embarrassed.
We got to the room, nice, two big beds. A wonderful view of the strip. I was happy. Throughout our stay we’d sit by that window, chilling listening to music and drinking some beers and basically laughing out asses off at the shit we were coming out with. Good times.
Facilities I was impressed with. Nice restaurants, huge pool/lazy rivers, solid bars, huge sports betting area, concierge service was amazing, cool lion pit. I liked.
Location could have been better. MGM is right at the bottom of the strip. Even though most of the hotels appear close together, its a right mission walking up to the likes of aria, Bellagio and beyond.
3) Poker Rooms
Basically the main reason we wanted to go to Vegas was to play poker. We didn’t go for the world series, but we just wanted to go and play either way. Here’s my low down on the ones I played
MGM Grand Poker Room
As this was where we were staying it made sense to play the most here. The poker room is comfortable. I only played $1/2NL here. The standard was on the whole terrible and the same can be said at all the other card rooms I discuss. I had a massage at the MGM one night and that was FEROCIOUS. I always thought it looked douchy when you saw pros on TV getting a massage at the tables. But you know what. I loved it. Maybe I am a douche after all. Apart from that, great welcoming floor staff and waitresses. The one thing I didn’t like about this card room was the fact that after about 3am you get drunken idiots turn up. Now you may be thinking ‘wtf, thats GREAT if drunk players turn up as they are giving money away’. You’d probably be right, however, I had my fair share of obnoxious idiots ruin the experience for me.
So much so one night when i’d run $200 up to $1200 this guy is being absolutely insulting towards me so I shop him to the floor who observes then gives him a verbal warning to cut out the swearing. I was on holiday primarily to have fun, a close second to play poker. He seemed hell bent on ruining both these, and I had done nothing to get him to behave in this way.
Classic conversation I had with an Aussie.
Aussie guy: “Thinking about it, I cannot remember the last time you [British]beat us at anything.”
Me (pausing for 0.001 seconds) “Er........... the Ashes..... this year.......?!?!?”
Worst attempt at a needle for some time.
My favourite room of the week. Not just cos I won there, it was so comfortable, everything about this room was immense. Had good fun at the table that day. Was cool to see the likes of Greenstein and Galfond grinding in Ivey Room behind us too. Staff were brilliant. Would go there again in a heart beat
Shit hole. Easily the worst room I played in all week. Another grade A douche drunk guy at our table. This time he didn’t give me a hard time, but he did everyone else. I met a cool guy from Canada in there though and we both left for the Venetian together (Oli left after 1 hour ish). The place had really loud dance music blasting out, and the dealers seemed to make a lot of mistakes and seemed unclear as to what the correct ruling is. Hated it.
A very close 2nd to the Aria for me. Could be because I got to the Venetian very late and my table was full of passive nits trying to stay awake. Facilities wise it was pretty special. I hear the tournaments here are by far the best. I can see why, its a massive room which is extremely special. The Aria just had something else that I can describe for me!
Sage at the Aria
I treated us to a 4 course ‘signature menu’ at Sage. I had heard about this place as Jimmy Fricke discussed it on Twitter. I have been fine dining a couple of times in UK at Michellin starred restaurants (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Restaurant Sat Baines). This place had very very good food. We were pretty amazed. It was like $270 for food + wine. We then took the night downhill by going to the fair at New York New York then went to hooters afterwards...! Wtf?! I think we got too tired (well I did anyway) plus hooters is such a fricken dump! The fair bit at new York new York was fun though.
Smith And Woolensky
Amazing steak house on the strip, i had a burger that was so huge i only ate half though!
Summary and buddies blog (which I think is better than mine)
Pls read this: http://koalainvegas.blogspot.com/
It is true what they say, you do not sleep much in vegas. You also have no track of time. It saps you of energy but the lure of the card rooms keeps you going. I have had a great time simply chatting to people in card rooms from all over the planet for the majority of the week. I cannot wait to go back, hopefully next time staying at the Aria. I will also consider going during the WSOP or at least grinding some low/mid stakes tourneys mixed in with cash sessions.
Hope this isn’t too long and boring?! Feedback/questions appreciated as this took an age to type.