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Old 05-21-2005, 01:58 PM
Barry Barry is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Not at Foxwoods enough
Posts: 893
Default Golf Good; Poker Bad; As horrible Vegas Trip Report

Well I guess that it was bound to happen sooner or later. In all my previous trips to Vegas, I was a net winner at poker. In fact only once were my winnings less than the cost of the trip. But this time was different, after the 1st 2 days I was about even, then had 4 straight losing sessions and dug myself a hole that I was never able to get out of. Here goes

It had been a while since I had been in Vegas and was getting itchy to go back, so after talking to Angel Fish, I set up my trip with my standard schedule, out on a Tuesday, back the following Thursday. Angel Fish stays at home this trip. After hearing about the Wynn poker room, I decided to stay at the Mirage, since Wynn is walking distance from there and I play a fair amount at the Mirage anyway. I make I change in my normal routine and wire my roll to the Mirage cage rather than carry it with me.

A few of the Foxwoods guys are going to be in Vegas while Im there and I call JTG51, who is sorely missed in the forums, and he agrees to meet up with me for the weekend for a little golf and poker. JoeTall was heading out to SF the next week, so I talk him into coming out for a few days too.

Fun at the Mirage Cage

So the trip out is uneventful and I arrive at the Mirage, get checked in, then wander over to the cage to liberate my money. I show my ID to the teller and she heads into the bowels of the cage to check on it. Many minutes later she comes back and tells me that they have no such wire?? I call my bank and they give me the confirm number and assure me that it had arrived the day before. So back she goes and after another long while she comes back and says its here, but we need to talk to the supervisor. So we head over to another window and the supervisor tells me that the wire is here, but its marked as my entry into the WPT heads-up tournament?? I let her know that it is not for that and she asks me why its marked that way. Like I should know. I tell her that Ive booked my room through the poker room, so she decides to call the poker room.

After a while they finally figure out that Im not playing in the tourney and then agree that its my money. So in order to complete this transaction they have to set me up with my very own MGM/Mirage card. The terminals arent working right so that takes some more time. She finally completes this and looks at me like, its all done and I should leave. I tell her that I want my money. She tells me that I can take out markers as I need them. After going around a few times she decides to call the poker room so that they can vouch for me. Ive played a fair amount at the Mirage in the last couple of years, but I havent been there since December. I guess that a few of the brushes and shift managers would look at me and sort of remember me, but vouch for me, I dont know. So they insist on getting the poker room manager, who is currently unavailable and who doesnt have a clue who I am. So still some more time goes by and she finally comes out and confirms to the cage that Im unknown to her. I tell her the names of the folks in the room that I know, both the employees and regular players. She finally gives the nod to the cage supervisor who tells me that, I cant withdraw the whole amount and the amount that theyll give me is all in chips. I have now been turned back over to the clerk who gives me the requisite number of chips. I ask her when I can get some more and she tells me, ...when you lose that you can come back for more. Hows that for confidence?

About an hour and a half after getting to the cage, I can now head up to the room and get settled. Well I guess thats the last time Im going to do that. Sometime while Im waiting, Im on the phone with Babe and telling her about my tribulations at the cage. She offers me the use of her box. But since I know, Mr. Babe and I dont think that he would appreciate it, I decline her offer.

First Night Adventures

I call FWs friend (Mark) and we agree to meet down in the Poker room and get the trip off and running. They are just getting a 2nd 40/80 must move game going and both Mark and I get a seat. Hes in the 1 seat and Im in the 6. Sitting in the 4 seat is a guy with a floppy hat on and a few days of facial hair growth. Mark whispers to me Is that Paul Phillips? I look and look and decide that it is him. Were off and running and Paul is drinking and raising and drinking some more and generally having a good time.

1st Interesting hand

There are a few limpers and Paul pops it from the hijack seat, I look down and find JJ on the button and make it 3 bets. 1 of the blinds calls, limpers call and now Paul makes it 4 bets. Flop comes KQ6, a real good flop for my hand. Its checked to me and I bet, all but 1 call. Turn is another K and everybody checks to me again and I cant get up the courage to bet again and I check behind. The river is an A and it gets checked to Paul who thinks for a bit and then checks. I check too. The dealer calls for the showdown and everybody is staring sheepishly at their cards and the board and no one wants to go first. At that moment, I realize that I have the best hand and want to put the suffering to an end and I announce and show my hand. One by one everybody mucks and I get pushed the pot. A while later Paul tells me he had 75s and had 2 back door draws going on the flop.

The guys in the 3 and 5 seats get moved to the main game so Mark moves to the 4 seat and I to the 5 with Paul in between us. Were all having a good time chatting, laughing and enjoying the party that hes throwing. A little while later they both get moved to the main game and I wait my turn. Finally Im called and the 1 and 3 seats are open. Mark is in the 2 seat and Paul in the 4. Pretty easy decision, I go for seat 1. Well before I get situated, Paul moves over to the 3 seat and I insta-lock up the 4 seat. Well, the party continues until the dealer mis-deals a hand. Paul starts tossing his cards in the middle and one of the grumpy old men, wants to just back up the cards and a few words are exchanged. Well the dealer does it again and Paul shoves the cards in the center and the grumpy old man starts making a much bigger stink this time. Paul jumps up out of his chair and says Im going to go somewhere where my action is appreciated. He then racks up and is about to leave. I say only half-jokingly to him that, Im following him wherever he goes. Anyway, the game quickly goes from good to bad and we pick up too.

Mark and I head over to Wynn, so I can check out the room. They have a couple of 15 games going with an open seat, and also a 40 with a list. So I sit down in the 15 game, which is quite good. The guy to my left is clueless and one a laggy lady that I know is 2 to my right. I pick up a few hands and do pretty well and bust the laggy lady. I get called to the 40 game. I change over my chips and head up to the game. There are 6 others in the game and I recognize 4 of them, none of them are on my buddy list. Anyway its an awful game; I steal the blinds, get my blind stolen, and chop blinds in my 3 orbits. I dont think that there was 1 showdown and not very many flops. This is about the worse game possible and I pick up. The 15 game is now full with a list. So, we head off to the Bellagio and get in the 30/60 game for a while. Its all pretty uneventful and I end up my 1st night in Vegas, up a little.

Golf Fun

The next day Mark and I head off to play a round of golf at Las Vegas National, which we booked through stand-by-golf. This is a tee time broker that has relationships with 35 courses in the area. At 5PM the day before you want to play, you call them and they can sell you tee times at about a 40% discount that the courses dont have filled. The guy that I spoke to was very knowledgeable about everything about the courses including their conditions. I highly recommend them if you want to play. They have a web site and are in the phonebook.

LVN used to be the site of the PGA tour stop in Vegas. As it plays only 6,800 yards from the back tees its not really suitable for them anymore. But its a very nice track and in great condition. You get to make some decisions off the tee and on your approach shots. The bunkers there are big and deep and are usually protecting a small sliver of the green where the pin is tucked. The greens are quick with lots of undulations and multiple levels. Its also just a short ride from the strip. I really enjoyed the course and played pretty well, except for a few real bad tee shots and some frustrating 3 putts.

I also played golf at the following places:

Stallion Mountain

This is the Babes home course and I played there with the Babe and Mr. Babe. Its a nice course and was in terrific shape, especially the greens which were very fast. I three putted a lot there.

Painted Desert

This course is about 20 minutes from the strip and is a pretty decent course that I played with Mr. Babe. The greens are Poa Anna which is different from the normal Bermuda grass found in Vegas. On 18 I hit two beautiful shots and reach this par 5 in 2. Of course I 3-putt to make par. Mr. Babe has a terrific short game. The theme of the day is that I reach the green in regulation, Mr. Babe misses, hits a great chip and then drains his putt. I 3-putt and lose the hole.

Lexington Course at the Revere Club in Anthem

This is an absolutely stunning course in the hills south of Vegas. I played with JTG51 and Mr. Babe. Most of the holes run through mini canyons with large elevation changes and great views. The good news is that most of the holes are downhill, after which you ride the cart back up the hill to play the next hole. One of the par 5s is 625 yards long. I was so inspired that I played real well driving the ball well all day and for the most part hitting good iron shots. My only disaster came at 10 which is another downhill par 4 with a blind tee shot and a short 2nd shot into a narrow green tucked up in a hill behind a desert waste area. I pushed my drive into a trap in the right side of the fairway. The ball was up against the edge of the trap and I got it out of the trap, but just barely. The next shot was shanked into the desert. I dropped another ball and hit it into the desert area short of the green. And of course I 3 putted way too many holes. And to think that putting used to be my strong suit.

I was happy with my play, except for my putting and hit the ball better each day.

Poker Fun?

Bellagio 30/60

One night I was in a wild game with a couple well known LAGs, 1 male (S) the other female (Di), and another action player. Nearly 1/3 of the hands were played heads up between S and Di, with him raising and the her cold calling with hands like J7s that makes 2 pair on the river. S hits a 2 outer on me on the river to win a medium sized pot. A few hands later it 4 way action with multiple bets on the flop of KT9 all [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img] flop. The Q [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] hits the turn and its 3 bets on the turn with the fellow to the left of me in the SB left putting in the last bet. 4 to the river of J [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img]. The SB shrugs and says that he cant believe that he just lost this hand and checks. S bets, action player thinks and moans and thinks and moans and after a minute or so mucks his K8h face up. Di mucks and the SB tosses in his 6 chips and flips over the A6s. S turns over Q2 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img] for the rivered gutshot straight flush. A few hands later S was complaining about the bad beat he took from the action player that rivered a gutshot on him.

I got involved in 1 big hand. The other table broke and another well known LAG (D) joins our game. S open raises in EP, action player and Di call. D makes it 3 bets and I look down and see AK [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] and I make it 4 bets. S calls, coldcallers call and D makes it 5 bets. 5 to a capped flop of K [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]Q [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]J [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img].

Checked to D who bets, I raise, S makes it 3 bets, cold callers fold, D makes it 4 bets, I call, S now puts in the 5th bet. D and I call.

Turn is 7 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img], S bets, D and I call.

River is the 2 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] S bets, D calls, I shrug and figure that Im good 1 in 30 times and call.

S flips over QQ, D flips up his AA and my hand gets tossed in the muck.

Mirage 2/5 NL

One late afternoon Babe give me a call and says that shes nearby and is going to stop by to visit after running errands all day long. I wander down to the room and the 20 game is full so we get seats in the 2/5 NL game. This game has a $200 min and $500 max buy-in. Im not very good at NL, but apparently others are worse. Heres a couple of hands:

Theres a limper and I make it $20 to go with 55 from MP. I had just sat down so I had about the $500 that I bought in with. The next guy cold calls (he has about $150) as does a blind and the limper, who has about $250.

The flop is K53 rainbow. Its checked to me, I bet $40 into the $80 pot, the next guy raises to $100 and Im licking my chops. The blind folds and now the limper raises all-in! Now I raise all-in and the limper who seemed very excited, is now not so happy. The coldcaller thinks for a few seconds and calls his last $50. I show my set and they both turn over KQ suited. They dont hit their runner runner and both of them leave the game.

On my last day, I sat in another game. The button opens for $20, I look down and see red AA and raise to $50, I had a little over $400. He makes it $100 and has about $150 left so I push and he calls. He flips over 44, gets no help and leaves the game.

A few hands later I get TT and make it $20 to go. The guy behind me coldcalls and the 2 of us see a 345r flop. I bet something like $25 and he then raises to $100. I grab 2 stacks and make it $225 total and he then pushes in his last $300 and I call. He flips over 66, the turn and river bring no help and he too busts out. So in a couple of hours total in this game I have busted 4 players.

There is one of the miserable angry old men (AOM) in the game and hes talking to his neighbor about the fishy young girl at the other end of the table that called a raise with 75o and hit a gutshot on the river. Hes says that hes going to get all her money. She had also turned a 2 outer against me previously when she only had about $30 left. Anyway her standard raise is $10 and she opens for that from the CO. The next kid makes it $25. Now the AOM makes it $100 total. He only has about $35 left. She cant see his bet and says to the dealer that she calls anything that he bets. The button folds and a raggy flop is spread and he bets he last $35. She again says she calls whatever it is that he bet. He flips over 99 and she flips over AA. He gets no help on the turn and river. It takes all my willpower to not ask him What was that you said about getting all her money

Joe, JTG51and I at the Mandalay Bay 4/8

On Sunday after sitting in a horrible 15/30 at the Wynn JoeTall, JTG51 and I head over to the MB and all get in the same game right away. Joe is just to my left and JTG51 is a few more to our left on the other side of the dealer. Joe orders a beer, JTG water as hes driving back home later and I order water, as I dont drink much anyway. Jeff ran well in the 10/20 Mirage game, mostly against me, so hes ready to PLAY. He proceeds to play every hand for the 1st half hour and made about 5 full houses in that time and won several others as well. Of course most of the time its 6 or 7 to the flop. The three of us are about the only ones raising PF, which includes a few straddles thrown in here or there.

Jeff leaves after making a nice score and Joe and I hang out for a little while longer. I raise a couple of limpers with QQ, Joe makes it 3 bets, at least 1 calls 3 cold and the limpers call. I make it 4 bets, Joe now makes it 5 bets. At least 5 to the flop of rags. Checked to me, I bet, Joe raises and I think we get 2 to call 2 cold. Turn is another rag, Joe bets and gets 1 other caller besides me. River is a J and the other player in the hand fires out a bet. OK, OK I know hes got JJ, but I call and so does Joe. He shows his 2 Js and my Qs and Joes Ks hit the muck.

A little while later, I get 87 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] somewhere in MP and limp as does Joe. The flop is 775 w/ 2 [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]. Probably a bunch to the flop. Guy leads out, I call, Joe raises, guy calls, I make it 3 bets and Joe makes it 4, both of us call. Turn is a 4, Joe bets, we both call. River is the A [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img], guy fires out, I fold, Joe raises, guy calls. Joes A7o crushes the other guys flush.

Getting Ready to Fold AA Preflop

To the best of my recollection I got AA 9 times during the trip. Once in the BB and chopped, one time, I open raise in the CO and won the blinds, the hand in the 2/5 NL game above and the following 6 hands:

10/20 Mirage

JTG open raises UTG folded to me in the SB and I 3-bet. Flop is QQJ. I bet JTG raises, I 3-bet. Turn is a blank and I bet JTG raises and I muck. He had JJ.

Guy open raises UTG or UTG+1 I make it 3 bets, fishy BB calls. Flop is Axx, two [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]'s. UTG and I go 5 bets on the flop, with the BB calling all the way. I bet a blank on the turn they call. River is a 3rd [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img] and the BB checks?? I'm stunned how can he call all those bets and not bet when he makes his hand. He's got to figure that I'm going to check behind. I look back at the board and see that there was also a str8 draw that didn't get there and maybe he's got A's up. So I make a very questionable bet, of course he checkraises me and I still pay off his flush. Ugh!

4/8 MB

I raise somewhere in LP, JTG calls in the BB. Flop is Qxx, Checked to me, JTG raises and clears out the rest of the field, I 3 bet, JTG calls. Turn is a J and JTG checkraises me, I call. River is a Q, I call his bet, he has QJo

Mirage 20/40

I raise UTG and LAG S (from the Bellagio 30/60) game coldcalls next as does one other. Flop is K high. Bet, raise, fold, I 3 bet, S calls. Turn is a K, I bet and fold to Ss raise. He flashes me KQd.

I limper, Lady raises from CO and I 3 bet from the SB. Flop is Q high. Bet, call, raise, 3-bet, fold, 4 bet, I 5 bet, call. Turn is a blank. I bet, Lady raises, I muck, she flashes QQ.

Overnight 30/60 Bellagio

Were now playing 5 handed. 3 Guys are stuck big time, I guy that was down to $120, has run it up to over $3K and Im up a small amount. I get AA and open raise on the button. Stuck SB and Stuck BB call. Flop is J62, checked to me, I bet, both call. Turn is a 6, I bet, SB calls. River a 2, SB checkraises me and I call. He shows T2s.

Other Stuff

Dynasty came by the Mirage a few times to sweat me for a while as well as to join JTG, Joe and I for lunch on Sunday. Dynasty gets some extra bread so he can feed the baby ducks in the Mirage pond. He gives all of us pieces so we can help out. Joe takes a couple of big hunks and tosses them at the ducks. Dynasty balls him out as he wants to bring them closer so he can feed them out of his hand, but theyll be working on Joes chunks for a while.

The poker room at the Wynn is very nice, but the games were not very good, so Im not sure that Ill be spending much time there in the future. Besides, the chips are new so you cant shuffle them too easily.

At the Bellagio they were spreading a 40/80 mixed game. HE, OE, 2-7 Triple draw, Stud H/L and 1 or 2 others. I saw the same 2 guys in the game every night I was at the Bellagio.

One night on my way to bed, I stop at a 3 card poker table to play a few hands. My 1st hand I get dealt a flush. After the hand was over, the dealer takes my chips and I wonder what happened. I look back up and realize it's a Let It Ride table. Oops...

Im looking forward to my return trip in July so that I can avenge my loss, but I may go for golf and poker, rather than poker and golf.
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