Monday, May 07, 2007


Posted by Dr Fro 11:14 AM
Please can you tell me, so I can finally see, where you go when you're gone?

When I'm gone, I go to Vegas.

I just got back from three nights in Vegas. As expected, it was a completely wheels-off event with all the usual trimmings. The first night there, which was the only night that I participated in any significant amount of non-poker gambling, we played craps from all night long. At one point we were up a ton, but the combination of the effects of 20 scotch-on-the-rocks and the dice going cold meant that I woke up on Friday hungover, tired and down a bag of sand to start out the trip. CCM was also hungover, tired and down.

At this point, I start the poker part of the trip with the expectations that, if I do quite well, I can minimize my losses, but there is no thought that I might actually come out a winner. My bankroll would not allow me to go with my original plan: the $2-$5 NL game at Bellagio. Instead, I took my tiny bankroll to the $1-$2 game at Bally's. I played there all day while the rest of the bachelor party played golf.

I never was down. I was never all-in. I just slowly but surely won money. I was up as much as $400, but I cashed out $200 in profits. Shortly before I cashed out, CCM came by. I was telling him a story:

"So I river the nut flush and bet into Tyrone, but Tyrone folded to my bet. He had the King high flush and he folded."

Tyrone, a man I have never met before, looks at me and asks if we know each other. I reply:

"No. Wait, are you telling me that you really are named Tyrone? No way. That is too funny. No, I had no idea what your name was, but I was just throwing out a stereotypical name."

He is black.

The look on his face was priceless. This is the guy that was smart enough to fold the King high flush, but he wasn't smart enough to realize that his Player's Card (with his name on it) was sitting right in front of him.

I let him in on my secret eventually.

I never did let the rest of the table into my secret related to when I told them that I bet the over on the Seattle/Yankees game, but I missed it by 1 run. The total runs scored in their Saturday game was 26.

Yes, I am full of shit when I am at the poker table, particularly at the poker table with strangers.

That night we ate at Grotto in the Golden Nugget. I hadn't been to the GN in 13 years, and I have to say that it has either not aged well or my standards were too low when I was 21. Either way, it was a dump. But it was a dump with a poker room, so I played a little $1-$2 there with some strange individuals. One chick with alcoholic-face hit quads twice in 9 hands. Not only did she win big pots, she won two jackpots. I was ramming and jamming and jawing and drinking and knocking out players right and left. By the time CCM joined the table, we were short handed. I felted so many players that we were left with just 4 players: me, CCM and two others. We eventually decided that 4-handed sucked and we packed it up to go home. In the end, I won about $900. I also told an officer in the Navy that I didn't support the troops. I don't know how finely tuned his sarcasm meter was, but it was the second time that day that I could have died.

I went to the room and went to bed (about 4:30, I think) and CCM played roulette until sunrise.

The next day we woke up and went to the Wynn (or the Golden Nugget East, as I like to call it). Alcoholic-Face wasn't there. Neither were the other strange souls that were at the GN the night before. The waitresses were absolutely smoking and the clientele was not too bad either. I sat down at the $2-$5NL game and CCM played $1-$3NL. Half of my table were pros and the other half were grisly old retirees that were on a first name basis with the entire Wynn staff. Most people had bought in for about $2,000 and one guy had a roll that he claimed held $14,000. I bought in for $300 (and once topped up for another $100). This was the only table on the trip where I kept my mouth shut. The Alpha Male had already been elected, a pro that has been living in Vegas and playing at the Wynn for 243 straight days. He was the one with the big roll. He was very good and when he wasn't annoying, he was pretty funny. Example:

"I can look into your eyes and see your soul. I know everything about you. I know you have AJ and I know you are a closet homo. I knew you had AJ when you checked the turn, but I knew you were hiding your love for men the moment you sat down."

The table started laughing, but when his opponent folded and showed AJ, we were a little bit uncomfortable.

I cashed out $225 profit and we went back to change for dinner.

Dinner was at Red Square in the Mandalay Bay, and it was very good. We got out of dinner at about the same time that the fight ended. Consequently, about 10,000 (?) people who paid to watch the match on closed caption at Mandalay Bay were making their way through the casino. Half of them were black and half were Mexican. The Mexicans, draped in Mexican flags all had long faces. The brothers and sisters on the other hand were all high-fiving each other. I went to the sports book to cash in my winning ticket and noticed that the line, which wrapped around the sports book, was about 95% black. There were zero Mexicans. Isn't it interesting that in such an objective endeavour as gambling on boxing, it seems that people bet largely based on how closely the boxer's color of skin matches their own? I was wondering if somebody was observing Vegas on Saturday night if it looked like some ordered a pint of "black and tan", but drank all the tan at 10pm, leaving the half pint of Guinness.

Of the 14 guys that were on the bachelor party, 12 went to the strip club. Of the 2 that did not, one was gay, and the other one could not possibly go look at boobs when he could be playing poker instead.

I went to the poker room and asked to be on the list for $1-$2 and $2-$5. I had my name called for the small game first. When they called out my name for the big game, I decided not to move. I had no less than three reasons to stay: 1) I was winning, 2) there was a Swedish girl in a cocktail dress to my left, and 3) there was a cute 21-year old Korean to my right.

So I stayed. And I just kept winning. The BS started to flow. At one point I out did myself. And this is the one story I didn't tell CCM because I wanted him to read it on my blog. After telling people what their hand was immediately before making a big bluff and getting them to fold 4 different times, I found myself with the nut full house, heads-up against Ms. Sweden. I bet $100 to put her all in. She sweated it out for a while, and eventually said:

"I just don't know what to do. I am a terrible poker player. I should probably do the opposite of what my gut says. I am just such a terrible poker player."

I responded:

"There must be 200 guys in this room, of which 190 are straight. All 190 of them have been looking at you tonight. They have been looking at you in that dress. Of the 10 queers, I bet 5 of them checked out that girl in that dress. Anyway, and here is my point, that makes 195 guys, and not a damn one of them gives a shit if you are any good at poker."

So she called, and I won the last of her money. I cashed out with $730 in profits.

Then I had two Jager-bombs and made my way back to Bally's. It was soon going to be time to get on a plane after 24+ hours of a bender. I was looking forward to getting some sleep on the plane. I was also looking forward to telling my girls that Daddy won big in Vegas.

I won $1,995 in poker, lost $895 in non-poker, bringing the net winnings to $1,100 even. Room and flight were a combined $110 (love the points). I haven't looked at the credit card to figure out what I spent, but It was probably around$200.

Learnings on the trip: small wins during the day and big wins at night for poker. The low limit games seemed much more profitable than the big games. The non-poker gambling continues to be terribly non-profitable. Swedish girls in little cocktail dresses still aren't very good at poker. Only in Vegas could a bacon cheeseburger come with blue cheese and prosciutto ham, and there truly is no sleep for the wicked.



3 Comment(s):

Posted by Blogger Johnnymac, at 1:11 PM, May 08, 2007  

I will agree with you on the little games being more profitable, but it's even better at night because they are all drunk. MM talks about it's better to play in profitable games as opposed to seeking out a challenge in the big games... it took me forever to get over myself and realize that he was right.



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Posted by Anonymous ARH, at 9:27 PM, May 11, 2007  

Of the 14 guys that were on the bachelor party, 12 went to the strip club. Of the 2 that did not, one was gay, and the other one could not possibly go look at boobs when he could be playing poker instead.


So what did CCM do instead of look at boobs?



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Posted by Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:45 AM, May 12, 2007  

He went to see Sinbad.



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