Thursday, May 12, 2005

Day 1 - As some of you are aware, I again pondered a trip to LV last week. It would appear I have more friends in other cities then I do in this one anymore – maybe I should quit puking in their apts -It was then pointed out that I could go visit FeliciaLee for a cheap room rate – the plan became to fly into Vegas, rent a car, and drive down.

I do my usual thing of asking for an exit row at the check-in counter before starting (extra leg room) – I get my seat and realize that the armrests don’t go up and because there are two exit windows on each side (I’m in the first one) that my seat doesn’t go back at all.

Hell no…ah hell no man.

I find an empty row two back, and proceed to crash on my back on them, while the two kids directly behind cry and kick the seat every few min…but I’ve been awake all night working, so I collapse and barely feel it after 5 min. and have a nice short trip into Vegas and we’re near the landing before I know it.

Rent the car – start the drive – directions are easy but the radio sucks – I understand that Nevada probably has a higher quotient of Latinos in the area, but do they need that nasty mariachi music on 12 stations? – ay carumba…- and power lines – everywhere power lines – I don’t have the heart to tell Felicia they cause cancer and she may have gotten it driving under 5000 of them between Laughlin and Vegas once a week.

Roll into River Palms, get a decent “buy one, get one free” hotel stay – (30 bucks for 2 nights….this definitely isn’t Vegas) - go down to ye ol’ poker room and start gambling – I get my first comparison to Russell Crowe and watch folks drop bloody Mary’s, but I get no cards, and well, these guys are rocks so after a couple hrs I decide to go take a nap (never got the sleep I needed) and come back for the tourney at 6:30

There’s Felicia at 6:30 pm with the dark hair now – Glenn asks if I can drive her home, but in agreeing to do so, I make a mental note to not drink whiskey during the tourney, thereby sealing my loss early on.

I slowplay AA and transform victory into defeat shortly after break and drop another $50 or so in a 2/6 spread limit game – Felicia has a neighbor that gives her a ride home, so now at this point, I have begun the ritual of loading up on whiskey like I usually do the first night in Vegas. – (no Jameson, but Tullamore Dew is decent) – I got a buzz surprisingly easy and fast and pondered whether I was weakening in my old age when I remembered I hadn’t eaten for oh, 18 hrs – whoops –

Lest I appear too drunk suddenly, the fates saved me by putting a pathetically plastered guy at our table who proceeds to hit on the tournament winner (a cute blonde dealer from Riverplace who’s boyfriend is 4 chairs over) – the management immediately focuses on him and anything that may suggest I’m slightly plastered is overlooked – nevertheless, I stop for awhile and let the head/stomach catch up. I know I won’t be sleeping for hrs and will be driving on cop central if I need another poker game, so I slow down.

Sure as hell, they say they can’t serve him anymore, and he says ok, grabs his chips and leaves – They naively assume he’s going home to sleep it off but as I inform Glenn (Felicia’s husband who deals there) – if a drunk poker player won’t play poker cause they won’ t serve him anymore, then he’s going somewhere else to drink – I also noticed when I left an hr. later a cop car outside the door to the hotel, so maybe he didn’t leave the casino and had to be asked to leave – I dunno.

2:30 comes, and I have to leave Palms because the last game shuts down – but Riverside place has a couple still, so they call ahead for me and I go there and lose more money – some terrible cards in Laughlin – just couldn’t catch a break the first day.

Left the second poker room still down at 5am – walked by a roulette wheel, and noticed an obscene preponderance of red and almost nothing in the middle section being hit so I decided to put $100 into some small bets on the 2/1 – 3/1 spots – I turned $100 into $240 and went back to Riverpalms where on the way to the hotel room, some BJ players informed me I had to sit in cause the dealer was spewing chips - it may have had something to do with the big high 5 I got from one guy for my Homer Simpson shirt, or the girl he was sitting next to - she was so tight I coulda bounced a quarter off her ass, but no matter – I decided to sit down and get blackjack the first hand – I think I got 3 in 6 shoes - I got another $40 at Blackjack on mini 5 buck bets before quitting near 6am and ending my night on a near even basis - with Roulette and BJ canceling out Poker - Caught the sunrise outside on the river bench, went into the café and got some French dip, then rolled my sorry ass into bed at 7am with a mental note and an alarm set to wake up at 10 for the 11am tourney.


Day 2 – ah hell, does my mouth taste like crap….get up – curse the day, and go back to bed after shutting off that stupid alarm at 10am – woke up finally about two, showered, and had to go right to riverplace because river palms only has a 2/4 game going – I think I only dropped about $100 or so before the tourney – Found out Felicia couldn’t make this tourney cause she was feeling bad – so I put $10 bucks into food, 10 into video slots waiting for the tourney to start, and then bang – $50 for a 3 table tourney.

The tourney - - ah yes – 3 tables – 6 players get paid – It’s sort of a shootout but the top 2 instead of the top one goes on to the final table, and chip count stays the same – I got one lucky suckout (AQ vs QQ) but manage to have the best hand vs. 3 other folks to get the coveted #2 seat in chip count (one girl had the #1 chip count from another table) – I also took a 20 buck rebuy at the final table because everyone was doing it who had the most chips (not the short stacks) - and it paid to the top 2, so I felt assured I was in.

Two dropped quickly - a bit of a LAG on the third, and then three of us. Myself, another Minnesota tourney player who was a bit of a pro, and the most over emotional, tight wound kid I’ve ever seen who was obscenely tight. (His name is Billy, for all you Laughlin regulars – most folks knew him, including people at the next casino I described him to) - He was tight enought that I was able to repop a couple reraises with 55 and get him to lay down AK. But eventually, if he keeps limping, staying steady, one of us has to hit the chip leader - and it was unfortunately, me

In that terrible way, I got pot committed with the chip leader and sure as hell, my A9 ran into JJ and that was that – no help and I took 3rd and $250 – putting my profit above the 40 dollar mark – made up my losses and then some of the poker money I dropped that day.

So I need to go dump my profit, of course, and since Felicia is gone, there’s only one poker room I still wanna visit that she is alas, not visiting anymore – COLORADO BELLE, BABY

It was closed the previous night for new carpet being laid in – I get in and of course, more 2/6 spread limit with a kill pot – I take a seat with $130 and proceed to lose it all and never win a single hand – But for my $130 bucks I got some nice entertainment.

You see, there are these obscenely big black bugs that come out during a wet spring in Laughlin – I spot one on a guy’s neck in the Belle, and it occurs to me that I should get it off him – we flick it far off and it lands 7 feet back on the carpet behind us and keeps crawling.

I see it head right for a table, and the honorable thing to do, of course, is to say something to the table. But I’m bored, so I say nothing and wait for the fun to start. I’m sure I’ve earned bonus points in hell -

3 min. later, a woman SCREAMS and jumps up from the table, causing half the table to jump – el buggo is up her leg going up a dress - they knock him off again and out of kindness, I chase it down and squash it into the Belle’s nice NEW carpet (whoops) – 10 min. later another guy has one coming up his shirt – we can’t find where that bastard went, but my smooshed one was still there. So of course, everyone is grabbing loose pantlegs, shirts, and feeling itches everywhere –

I go up to get a sandwich and watch a 30 something drunk guy hit on the 18 year old Subway worker who’s still in HS with a boyfriend… - that'll teach her to be friendly and smile at drunk customers

But all’s well that ends – and I end down $100 or so from when I first set foot in Laughlin – back to the hotel early and bed at 1am (sleeping off the remnants of the hangover and bad sleep from yesterday) and get ready for my drive back to Vegas the next day.


Day 3 - I have three goals for the day. – First is to get to the Aladdin for the 1pm tourney – I miss the turn from the road just East of the strip and revise my plan to hit the Imperial Palace tourney at 1pm - it actually starts at 7pm on Tuesdays – bad way to start the day so far

Second is to go to the Mirage and get a bootleg from someone I know who is playing the tourney at the Mirage – I walk in and see no Stud tourney starting and am about to leave when I ask and they say, go up the steps to where the Sports book is – oh, there’s the tourney, but it’s not Stud – it’s the goddamn PPT – Professional Poker Tour

Yes, I have to walk thru tables populated by Paul Phillips, Jennifer Harmen, Ted Forrest, Clonie Gowen, Andy Bloch and every friggen WSOP/WPT winner (except Gavin, who apparently skipped it - and Daniel N. who busted out early - LOL) - I'm standing in line trying to ask where the guy I know is and son of a bitch, Carlos Mortenson is behind me trying to find out where his seat is located – but I chicken out and stare from the rail for 10 min. for fear Security will boot me if I go thru the floor staring at pros playing poker and 10 min. from another side before I see the guy I’m looking for – I walk over, grab the disk, talk chat for a min, and I’m gone.

I’ll tell you something – I’d like to think that I’ll be in that tourney someday – maybe in a year or two, but until I am, I don’t wanna set foot in that crowd – too many goddamn pros and I'm the third stringer - I have not received the – I could throw a brick and kill 4 of them with one throw as it bounced from head to head – so I hightail it back to the IP parking garage and onto goal 3 – the WYNN poker room.

Let me give some advice – when going to the Wynn – only take LV Bvld – and do NOT TAKE the first exit you see that says self parking – that leads to the hotel front gate and thank god it only took me 10 min. to get out and into the 2nd turn to the parking garage – once down the elevator, the poker room is 15 feet away –

Sit down at a 4/8 table and I recognize most of the floor from Canterbury, and I proceed to drop about $180 – again – I’m just not getting anything – I’m loosening up trying to do to other players what they do to me, but it’s not happening – so with $120 left, I get up and go to the ½ NL game for a change of pace.

A LOT more tourists here – and I make a few big hands – (including one where I flopped trip Q’s and had two all in’s) - and blow a big one where the guy played 10/7 for a st8 – I didn’t think he’d draw to a gutshot, but it turns out he had an open ended with the 10 – so I’m down to 220 and fight back up to $260 when this hand occurs –

Again QQ – raise to 20 bucks and one guy (who bought in for $1000 – no cap at the Wynn) calls – he’s fairly tight/aggressive – but he’s not afraid to bully with that stack.

Flop comes Q35 rainbow – He checks and I joke “Do you have a set of Q’s” and check the flop. Turn comes with a 2nd spade – the 6 and in the largest bet I saw all day, the guy comes right in saying “150” – a MASSIVE over bet that I think he intended to use to knock me of AA or KK – I can’t imagine he made a st8 and called a 20 buck bet preflop with this stuff, so of course, I reraised and then he’s pot committed and calls –

He doesn’t show his cards (cause he doesn’t have to apparently thought I could have forced him to) – and I drop my QQ up on the table before the last card and it’s good for a $550 pot, probably the biggest I’ve ever won in one hand in my LL slumming. Because he said he was on a flush draw, I can only presume he had AK of spades – that’s the only way I can imagine him making an overbet that big trying to get me off the hand.

With that, and only an hr. to go, my profits were assured – I played in a couple more hands but couldn’t shake that $550 line – meanwhile, a player who gave his name only as the Duke of East Fremont came to the table with about $20000 in 100 dollar bills – JESUS – dropped them right on the table though he later moved most of them – let me tell you, THAT attracted a rail crowd – LOL

I leave at 9:30 with assurances from a dealer that within a month the Wynn will be so overcrowded you won’t be able to get a game in there w/o a 2 hr wait – I liked it a LOT and it’s probably the best room in Vegas now for vibe and tourist feeding – but alas, it wasn’t meant to be for 3 days –

But hey, always next Sun-Wed at the Poker room rate – LOL

So that is that – I have put a Wynn analysis at 2+2 for the Wynn which gets into a bit more detail on the room specifics like game/rail settings and so forth – but all I’m gonna remember is having top set and hearing $150 and shoving my whole stack of $250 in the pot and praying – what a rush – good times, and I hope to be back…..

And I hope Felicia comes to visit me in Vegas, cause I ain’t going back to Laughlin with it’s tight ass players and 2 foot bugs – LOL – j/k of course, but jesus, that was a big black bug –



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