Here are a few comments I can make about the poker in Vegas.
1) I was extrememly surprised at how much softer the Vegas games are compared to Houston card rooms. The difference is night and day. I played over 36 hours of poker and can remember getting check-raised maybe 6 times.
2) Game selection: This is an aspect of poker I haven't had much experience with. When I'm in Houston and want to play, I have a choice of about 4 games, all about equal in skill level. Obviously much different in LV. Prime example: a) Wednesday night, 2/5 NL at Bellagio $600 profit b) Wednesday night, 1/2 NL at MGM $500 profit c) Thursday afternoon 1/2 NL at Binions $300 profit d) Thursday evening 2/5 NL at Mirage $88 profit e) Thurday Night 2/5 NL at Palms $1,200 LOSS f) Friday Morning $260 satelite, won a seat to the big dance. g) Friday afternoon, Bellagio Tournament, Busted early. h) Friday Midnight, $100 NL Tournament at Plaza, 5th place, $440 I) Saturday Night, 2/5 NL at Bellagio, $300 profit.
The moment I sat down at the Palms, I knew I was the worst player at the table. Furthermore, it was late, everyone at the table had several thousand in front of them and I was drunk. The thought occured as I was getting crushed at the game that there was no reason for me to be there. I knew with certainty that I could beat the game at the MGM. I also knew that I had a good chance at the Bellagio. However, I knew that to win in the Palms game it was going to be a function of how good my cards ran. I was simply outmatched. (*side note- Returned to Houston profitless after a 3 minute blackjack run that was unreal. Dealer hit 5 consecutive 21s, each time showing a 6 or lower for her up card. During this run, Harris and I were playing the whole table at $100 per hand. I was playing 3 spots and he was playing 4. You can imagine what the house took from us combined.)
3) Tournaments vs Ring games: Junell and I have discussed the observation that tournaments are exhausting. We agree that the reason for this is that every single hand has to be analyzed and thought through from multiple angles. ie how good are my cards, where am I in position, if I limp in will the rest of the field let me, can I steal the blinds from here, is that asshole stealing my blind, etc etc. How much more success could we have if we played that way in ordianary small stakes cash games?
4) Made a Royal Flush at the MGM, bet it, got a caller and then got raised. I simply smooth called the raise, because the pot was small and I wanted to be able to turn it over!
Good post. The first time I wandered into the Bellagio poker room back in April of 2001, I thought I was in heaven! The games were good even back then in pre-WPT days and are even better now that poker is more popular and there are more rooms and players to choose from.