Lots to report. I'd like to say I played as much as I wanted, but I didn't - I was there to meet up with my friends Joe and Colby, so a lot of time was spent with them, but I did get in three sessions, and continued my 7 year streak of leaving Vegas up.
Without giving any strategy away, I made some promises to myself about things I would ALWAYS do, and some things I would NEVER do - kind of like a mission for myself on this trip. In some cases, it worked out great, not so good in others, but overall I feel like this trip will really help my game for the future. So, the tally.
I got into the MGM around 5 on Thursday - long lines, but checked in, and then met up with Colby and Joe at the Hard Rock to eat dinner. I stupidly thought walkng there from the MGM would be 'fun' - let's never, ever do that again. We ate at this place called Culinary Dropout - pretty good, and felt like a NYC-type bar, so we were right at home there. We stopped by Planet Hollywood to potentially play some blackjack, but Colby's place was out by Green Valley Ranch, so we stopped by MGM to get my car, and we headed there for lower BJ and craps bets. Sure enough, $5 tables, so while they played blakjack, I naturally headed to the lower house advantage game, craps. Aaaand....
$-50. So, down so far, but I had planned to drive separately so I could see what they had to offer in the way of poker. So, we parted ways and I headed to the room. Only two tables going, so I sat at the 1/2 NL table with just $100. So, in brief, my very basic promises were to NEVER limp unless in the SB with odds, and ALWAYS bet out if I had a decent holding in position. I had lots of other promises I made, but I don't want all of you to become poker geniuses. Like I said, this didn't always weather variance, but in this session, it worked fairly well, as this table was as tight as a newborn virgin babe.
Right away, quad 4's, which I got $20 for via some promotion that I didnt quite understand, but I wasn't complaining. I then raise to $11 with 99, get once caller and bink a 9 on the flop with an AQ next to it. A mini-war breaks out and I stack someone with AQ, who couldnt quite believe that he lost the pot. I guesss two pair is always good in the Green Valley! I was now up $100 but technically $50 from the craps debacle, and I hovered around there for a while when just as quickly as I got there, the table broke. So, I went home.
I was pretty tired the next day, so I basically did nothing for the first part. Made a $50 bet on Clemson and won that, then went to meet Colby and Joe on Frmeont at this cool little place called Commonwealth. Great bar, great cocktails, a fun time was had - but I wanted to get a long session in so I ducked out early-ish. On to the MGM.....
Now, I will say right off the bat that I STILL don't approve of the MGM's move of the poker room to this weird alcove - so I can say with some confidence that next time I come to Vegas, it wont be my room of choice. But I was pretty happy wth how the session went, from 11-4, tidily doubling up from $200 to $400 without a whole lot of effort, utilizing some of my new strategums. I can't remember much of my hands ( I did a bad job of taking notes this trip) , but a significant pot came when I raised the pot with 7d8d and flopped a straight flush. Luckily the ace high flush was also at the table, so he got stacked.
-50+100 +200 = up $250
The next morning was my checkout day - so it was basically up to me to decide when I would go home. I thought about registering for the 1pm Aria $125, but since I'll be doing the Mega Millions at the Bike next Saturday I figured I could wait on tourney action. So, back to the MGM I went.
Much, much tougher table. I went up and down from $380 all the way to $47 at one point. This is where table selection should have come into play. I knew there were 3 tough players at my table. I sat back for about 15 minutes and observed the action - and saw that I'd be better off elsewhere - but I stayed. Evne though I marked off who I would avoid, I made a foolish error against one of those people. I woke up with KK and raised to $14 after three limpers. He called me. The flop comes JJ8. Not the best flop for me, but I make it $23, and he calls. The turn is a brick and he leads out for $50. Now, my analyitcal mind is telling me he has to bet this as a bluff because if he has nothing it is the only way he can take the pot by representing a J, but my other risk-averse mind won and I folded, at which point he tabled a4 offsuit. Totally bluffed, and I knew right away I had made a crucial error there. The other strong player almost always had two pair when I had top pair, but I will say I learned a lot in my hands with him, and with my new ideas in tow, I rose to a higher level. I had a lot of great play against some of the other players, and stacked a few guys, but despite my efforts I was down $50 from my original stack when this happened.
So, I've never won a bad beat jackpot or anything like that, but this promotion at MGM kept me there till 6pm - every four hours they draw a name from these tickets - you get a ticket in your name when you take to showdown any flush or better, win or lose. you sign the ticket and it goes in the bucket. Well, from 2pm to 6pm I had four tickets in there by 4, so I figured I should wait for the drawing. A little morose that I was down this session but commited to leaving after the drawing, I waited anxiously for 6pm to see if I could get lucky. The ticket was drawn - not me. But - this person had left! So - they drew again.....Table 3.....Jeff.....my name mispronounced (as usual)! I won! What you win is a chance at $3000.....you reach into a thing filled with envelopes, and each envelope has a dollar amount - most are $100, but some are $500 and even $3000. Well, I drew a $100, but hey - I won! I like winning.
And with that I went home. 250 -52 + 100 bucks free = +$298. Not my best Vegas trip, but respectable for the 9 hours I played total.
I'll be reporting next week on the Mega Millions at the Bike.