Saturday, June 09, 2007

Vegas: Trip-Report Part 3: MGM

Where to begin... where TO begin?

Well, since I only got three hours of sleep, I'll make it easy on myself and start from where I left off yesterday.

After some pool-lounging, I went inside and laid down on the comfy couches in front of the TV. Entrapment (with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery) was on the tube, and I couldn't resist a heist movie.

I promptly fell asleep. When I awoken, Zeta-Jones and Sean were onto their last big heist in Malaysia. The best part about that whole scene is when the "special forces" are called in--they are basically ninjas with guns, which I found quite comical.

Brandon and his lady friend arrived a few minutes before Entrapment ended. I think I was the only other person in the house, Lindsay might have been upstairs in her room, but I was pretty much the only person within ear-shot if Brandon wanted to try anything with Jen (?). So I moved outside and tried to get some Z's suspended between two lawn chairs. That didn't work out too well. The only thing this place is missing is a hammock.

I headed back inside and Brandon and Jen were heading off for dinner. The rest of the night pre-MGM basically involved watching many many episodes of Arrested Development, and drinking Strawberry Margaritas. I'm not sure if I've actually had a strawberry margarita before. When I think margarita, I think lime-aid and salt. But the ones Lindsay made were filled with all sorts of fruit, and then the glass was lined with sugar. A bit different, but it still definitely hit the spot. It looked like the house was settling in for a very fun night, and I was a bit sad to leave--but I had been in Vegas for over a day and had yet to play a single hand of poker.

It was time.

I rolled out of our gated community (lolz), and eventually made my way onto I-15 Northbound into Vegas. It was right around 8:45pm, and the mountains to the West looked amazing. I decided not to bring my camera, because I would already be lugging around a motorcycle helmet with me everywhere I went, and I didn't really want to have to keep track of two things, let alone one. Luck was smiling on me, and as I walked into one of the many MGM entrances, I basically fell in line with Iron Girl, the Penners, and a few other bloggers I can't quite remember.

We shuffled over to the poker room, and were a bit disappointed to see a full room, with no available tables to play a $2/$4 mixed game. A few people sat down to play $1/$2 NL, and a few of us went to the bar. I went to the bar. My throat was still feeling a bit scratchy, so I ordered a Gin and Tonic. $9. Sweet Jeesus! I grumbled to myself a little bit, but then I tasted the GnT. Easily the strongest GnT I've ever tasted. I'm not even sure if he added tonic. The drink lasted me over an hour, so the $9 was money well spent. Had to be at least 3 or 4 shots in there.

We sat at the bar by the sports book and chummed it up good for quite a while. I had great talks with Iron Girl about poker and various other things; Alan Penner about sports and poker and what not; Astin about poker; Hoyazo about life and poker; and Brian_MC about motorcycles, poker and life. Fallstaff was doing a marvelous job as bar captain, and he picked out his chair and stayed put. He let people come to him, much like a Godfather, or a kingpin. You want a picture with him? Well, you better saddle up right next to him at the bar, because he ain't movin!

I got to meet a ton of bloggers for the first time. Most I met just briefly, but what at first seemed like a monumental task of meeting everyone, turned out to be extremely easy and tons of fun. In no particular order, I met: Carmen, Love Elf, Smokkee, Astin, Leah, Miami Don, Crackin' Aces, Hoyazo, Columbo, Surly Poker Gnome, Gadzooks, and most likely a bunch of others I'm forgetting (feel free to drill me). At one point or another, I saw Otis and Waffles, but each time it was a very brief sighting, and it looked like they had places to go, people to see.

I was ready to play some poker, even if it had to be $1/$2 NL. I asked a few people if they were interested, and Brian_MC and Leah were all for it. Falstaff, on the other hand, held strong and said, "I refuse to play No Limit drunk." Iron Girl, Columbo, Fallstaff and a few others stayed at the bar.

The highlight of my night was heading to the poker room to finally get some cards in, and seeing three people on the poker reader-board under the "$3/$6 HORSE (Interest)" heading. Oh. My. God. I inquired, and added my name to the interest list. I said, "I think I might be able to fill out that interest list, hold on one second."

I walked back to the sports book bar and said, "Falstaff, I think I solved your problem." He looked up at me with a big question mark on his face, most likely not remembering our conversation from two minutes prior. "You're playing HORSE with me, $3/$6 interest table is up."

Not only did Falstaff nearly jump out of his seat, Columbo, Alan, Poker Gnome and Bayne did as well!

"Sign me up!" I heard, in unison from Columbo and Falstaff. Alan, Poker Gnome and Bayne were actually excited enough to get off their asses and sign up themselves, but not the wiley veteran-duo of Falstaff and Columbo. I have much to learn from those two. They knew it would still be a good 15 minutes until the table got underway.

Since it was an "interest" table, that meant no game was currently going, but when they got 8 to 10 people, they'd start a game. The game would be 10-handed, with the first two to the left of the button getting dealt out for the two stud games each round. Columbo was the 11th person on the list, but luckily for him, one of the first three didn't show, so he got a seat from the beginning.

For most of the night, this is what the table looked like:

Summer Classic: MGM Mixed Game: Friday, June 8, 2007

Seat 1: BAYNE
Just when you thought he was only pushing the nuts, he gets BOTH Alan and the surly Poker Gnome to fold better hands in Stud. Probably the hand of the night, when Bayne flips over King-high after Alan folds his had on 7th street, with two 5's showing, and Poker Gnome claims to have folded a pair of 4s.

Seat 2: Columbo!
First time meeting him, and what a guy! He made the table great fun to be at, and didn't do so bad when it came to racking in my chips (along with just about everyone else at the table). He had some great one-liners, and when the mood was slowing down, he'd always be there to pick it right back up with a "STRADDLE?! WHAT'S THAT?!"

Seat 3: Zeem
Zeem got some roars of laughter from the table, and was the first to heckle any new "civilians" at our table. The most memorable belly-roar he induced was when his Razz or Stud hand bricked on multiple streets. I think he folded on 7th street... got up... cursed... and while he was walking away yelled, "That NEVER happens online!" The timing was perfect, and he said it loud enough so even though he was a table or two away by the time he yelled, we all roared--and quite a few of the other tables looked over towards us with smiles.

Seat 4: Alan Penner
Alan was ready and willing to gamble. He introduced "the rock", a stack of six-bound chips, that forced a straddle if you had it in your possession. It really wasn't a game-breaker, because we had a live-straddle going at every possible point, but amazingly, Alan held onto the rock almost the entire night (I think he lost it to Falstaff at about 3am). Alan was playing well, and had to be up for the night.

Seat 5: Falstaff
Ring-leader, Experienced one, Wiley Veteran... whatever you want to call him. First words out of his mouth as he sits down to the table: $500 blue! I guess he was carrying on a tradition from Drizz, because apparently Drizz bought in for $2000 to some limit game a while back. Falstaff made a remark to the tune of, "I've got to, because Drizz isn't here!" Falstaff ended up breaking the bank, and about an hour into our fiasco, the pit-boss came over and reluctantly requested Falstaff and a few others to color up some of their blues, because the poker room had run out of blue chips. We win! Falstaff was also dominating at the table. His big pyramid of blues turned into a big pyramid of reds (blue=$1, red=$5), I was not the least bit envious, nope, not in the least.

Seat 6: Mattazuma
Matt was having a good time... not doing so hot, but having a good time and lots of laughs. He was the first person to call it quits for the night, and eventually got replaced by some high-rolling blogger who ended up being the 2nd to last blogger to leave (I'll let you guess who stayed the longest!). I didn't catch the 2nd guys name, but I do remember him bricking a whole lot in razz and stud!

Seat 7: civilians
The seat was originally occupied by "Lurker Bono", an Asian guy who's name ended in Bono, but when Falstaff couldn't remember the first part of his name, just labeled him as Bono. He professed to be a lurker, not a blogger, hence the Lurker prefix. He eventually rode off into the sunset, to be replaced by "Civilian Gordon". Gordon liked to talk a lot, and I wasn't quite sure, but he might have gotten on a few people's nerves. I didn't mind him too much, but I could see why people would. He corrected the dealer 72 times while he sat and played (I counted), and 71 times Gordon was right (and the one time he was wrong he apologized prefusely). Still, a bit annoying.

Seat 8: Surly Poker Gnome aka Marc
My prop-betting brother for the night. He rode the rollercoaster most of the night, playing tons of hands, getting sucked out on, sucking out himself (ew), and generally just having an amazing, fun night. We had a few prop bets going, which lasted until he left in the early morning. We had a color of the flop bet, he had black and I had red. If there were two black cards on the flop, I gave him $1, if two red, he gave me $1. If the entire flop was black or red, the bet jumped to $3. We also had a "pick a number" bet going, and if the winner's number came on the flop, the loser paid the winner $1 for every winner's number out there. He picked 4s and I picked 3s. We tried to get a few other people in on the action, but nobody was interested. We were pretty even after the first round of Holdem and Omaha, but from the second round on, I just walloped him in the prop-betting. I think the most I got off him was $3 at a time, but that had to have happened at least 10 times. And he only got $3 off me once, at most. The flop would come all red, or two red cards, but two 3s... I was on fire. I don't think saying I was up $25 in $1 prop-betting would be out of line. And thank goodness I cleaned house in prop-betting, because...

Seat 9: Your Hero, Meanhappyguy!
I sucked! I was the sucker. I played the roll of ATM for everyone at the table. In fact, I made a trip to the ATM (which luckily I only had to dip into for $10). I was the big loser at the table, but I had a blast. I wasn't playing well, and the cards weren't hitting. I took a stand against Bayne in Razz during about hour four at the table, only to get rivered, or 7th streeted. I was behind all the way on the shown cards, but I had a feeling he was bluffing, and my read was right on. It just was not my night. Proudly, I was the last blogger to leave at 4:30am.

Seat 10: Gadzooks!
The only female at the table for much of the night. I hadn't heard of the name Gadzooks before, but many of my poker-blogging friends had. She is part of the Poker Sluts duo (which I slightly remember recalling). I guess she puts on a tourney Sunday nights on Full Tilt, that I'll definitely be checking out in the future. It is a HORSE-style tournament, with each week being a different tourney. So one week it'll be a holdem tourney, then the next week an O/8 tourney. I think the next season begins in early July, so I'll try and get a few in before then, to see if the season is something I want to try and play.

All-in-All, it was an amazing night of drinking, prop-betting, and live-straddling. We capped it preflop, we capped it post-flop (well, maybe not post-flop). Civilians got to our table and ran. More than once, did an unsuspecting civilian come in, only to leave before the blinds got to them after seeing how much gamble this $3/$6 game had. It played like a $6/$12 (not that I know what that plays like, I just overheard Civilian Gordon claim this). Before the Mixed Game got going, I was a bit sad to have left the sure-fire fun at the mansion. I really came for the Mixed Game--not to win money, but just to have a great time all night long. The Mixed Game happened, and I had an amazing time.

I actually had a lot more fun at the bar than I thought I would, usually the bar isn't my most comfortable setting (especially with people I don't really know). But when people like Hoyazo and Brian_MC walk up and introduce themselves, it makes for a very enjoyable experience.

Eight hours, the strongest GnT ever made, and six hefeweizens later, I was ready to leave. The bike-ride back down to SW Vegas was chilly at 4:30am in just a t-shirt and shorts going 70mph on the freeway, but I got treated to an amazing view of the sunrise behind the mountains to the west. I snapped a few photos once I got back to the house, but the pictures did not do the sunrise justice from the house. Along the freeway it was just amazing. The sunrise reminded me of the New York skyline from Shea Stadium--it just grabs your attention when the mountains get back-lit like a skyline, stretching out across the horizon.

Heading into Vegas with a sunset, and leaving with a sunrise? Priceless.

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Blogger Schaubs said...

Sounds like an awesome time so far. Good luck the rest of the way. Your move or mine?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Gadzooks64 said...

Nice write up.

If you were the main ATM I was surely the backup ATM but it was worth every penny.

I had a great time and I will remind you when the Pokerslut Tour starts up again.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

And the tradition continues, glad you had a good time :)

10:54 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Keep em coming.

11:50 AM  

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