Jan 23
by Don

One of the better Poker Rooms in Vegas is most certainly the one at the Venetian.  We try and play at least one tournament on most trips out.  This go around was no different, so we get up on Sunday and head over to the Venetian for the tournament @ noon that essentially costs $150 ($135+$15 and then a $5 staff bonus).


This is a well run tournament that had 136 people playing, which made for a nice payout structure of the top 18 paying out.   Throw in the fact that it was Championship Sunday and the sports book is right next to the Poker Room, there was a lot of activity for a Sunday afternoon.


Lori and I both are playing so it potentially could be a long day, but you never know. The first couple of hours go by without any incident.  Lori cannot get anything going and gets bumped out after the break on a terrible suck out.  Basically she was dominating this guy and he can only be saved by a 3 on the river.  Of course he gets it for his straight, and yes it was an inside draw, and it turns out the case 3 as well.  What a kick in the head.


I am having a little better luck as I have been slowly building my bank roll knocking off players at my table one by one.  I actually was doing really well at the 5 hour mark as I take out this guy with a 10-7 of diamonds.  I am two + the gun and I limp in, mainly because I just had won a big pot and people generally play loose after a big win, and I was hoping that people would assume that of me, because I have been showing monsters all tournament.  Everyone folds to the cutoff, he limps in, and the blinds both call.  The flop is 10-7-5.  It’s checked to me and I check it through and the cut off bets.  Fold, Fold, and I just call.  The next card is 7 of hearts and I just check and he checks right behind me.  The river comes and it’s a 6 clubs.  I make a mild bet at this pot that has some action in it, but not a whole lot and he raises me.  I am thinking for a second that he could have 10-10 in the hole.  I mean am I that unlucky?  Have I made a bad read or something?  I just don’t buy it and I put him all in.  He calls with a quickness and flips over 66 for a smaller boat than mine.  Just a punch in the gut.  I haven’t done someone that dirty in a long while.


I wasn't technically the Bubble Boy, but I sure felt like it!The tourney grinds on and in the sixth hour I go card dead.  This is unfortunate because the blinds are outrageous 1500/3000 with a 500 ante.  I get dwindled down to 10k in the Big Blind and I have to go all in to the raise on my left.  I have Q6 off and he flips over QQ.  Awesome.  You just want to have one over in this situation and he has me just dominated in every way.  So the flop comes out with 3 hearts and I look down to see the Q of hearts in my hand.  Man, wouldn’t be something to get that fourth heart and survive this?  Make this 6+ hours of play worth something and hang around for just one more rush.  Well no heart came and I got busted out at 20.  Did I mention that the payouts started at 18?

Jan 18
by Lori D.

So yesterday (Saturday) was a bit rough.  It was like a roller coaster ride that was only going down.  By lunch time I was down from my $1k start to only $400.  Blackjack wasn’t working, the wheel of fortune was being stingy, and basically things were just not clicking.  Thankfully Don was able to do a bit of pimping throughout the morning to keep us going.  After lunch we decided to head back to the room and start again later.  So I had a nap and a few JWBs, I was ready to try again. 


I decided I was going to make it happen were it all started about 6 years ago, Harrah’s.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out like I wanted.  There was this guy playing to my left who was basically a boob.  He thought he knew what he was doing, and of course he didn’t.  He was staying on 16 vs. a dealer 10.  He actually doubled down with a 12 against a dealer 10, because he had a “feeling”.  Moron.  I left Harrah’s down another $300 and was bumming.


I LOVED them as a kid and they still keep on giving!So we decided to go to the Venetian, where we are trying to stay in their good graces.  I only had one hundo left in my purse and it was an old Ben Franklin, you know back when he had a small head.  I was praying he could help me out, and he did.  I sat back down at the $1 Wheel of Fortune, the slot machine I had just sworn off a few hours ago. It was screaming at me with that familiar refrain, “Wheel… Of… Fortune!” I am just looking for a little play, not actually thinking that I could do much other than give them my last hundo.  I get some cherries, some bars, a couple of small spins.  As it is winding down and I have only about 10 spins left, I got to spin the wheel.  Donald said that he was not going to look as he was convinced of another big “30” or the like.  I said, “I am just looking for a couple of zeros”.  Wouldn’t you know it, I hit $400.  Yay! I finally won something.


Now I got something going.  We go to the tables and I am able to get my bankroll up to about $600.  Awesome.  Back on the train!  We go to the Wynn and have dinner and had back through the Venetian and I decided to play a little more blackjack before calling it a night.  I sat down with $300 and was able to go on an unbelievable run and cashed out with $1495!  It was all about the Hedge Economics.  I was able to get my starting bet of $30 up to $350 as I won 12 hands in a row.  Unreal.  It wasn’t even an entire shoe, but it was hot and I was hotter.  What a great ending to our first day. 


So Day 2 will start off with some Poker, so let’s hope for more of the same!  Did I mention that I love this town?

Jan 17
by Don

So the day finally came for Lori and I to get on the big bird and head to Vegas.  Seeing how it’s only a couple of days after the US Airways successful “ditching”, everyone on the flight was very subdued.  The flight was uneventful, which was good, and we got into Vegas about 11 pm. 


As we walk off the plane and go to the baggage claim area I noticed something strange.  Where the Prickly Pear once stood there is now a California Pizza Kitchen.  The PP was basically a crappy airport bar with some food options.  We have had to have many a meal there and well let’s just say that it was never a memorable experience.  I guess people finally got fed up with the crappy food and slow service.  Ahh the memories.


We get our bags and head to what will most certainly be a long snaking cab line.  Typically this is about an hour wait and then you can get to your hotel.  Friday late night is by far the busiest time of the week to fly in.  So imagine our surprise when we get outside and there is no line.  In fact there are only about 10 people waiting in total.  We look at each other in disbelief.  I wonder what this says about the city.  We will see.


We get to Harrah’s and check into one of their newly remodeled rooms in the Mardi Gras Tower.  Here are some pros and cons:




-The room has a good layout in that there is a new built in wall unit that saves a bunch of space.  This is huge in that the room is small but spacious enough for two.


-There are two flat screen TV’s and a great new bed.  It could be that I was dead ass tired, but I slept like a baby.


-The bathroom is all new, with granite counter tops and a shower with great water pressure.


-The AC sensor has been moved so you basically have comfort throughout the night, unless you sleep like a corpse and never move.




-There are no HD channels.  Why have flat screens with no HD channels?  Of course the analog channels look weird, but hey it’s cool.


-The toilet flushes forcefully, but doesn’t actually go flush fully.  Good to know.


-The view is of the pool and not the strip.  I really don’t care about that, but some might.


So that’s the skinny for now.  More later as we try and get our act together and get there.

Jan 9
by Don

The holidays are over, the Florida Gators just won the BCS National Championship, and wouldn’t you know it we are going to Vegas!


Lori and I went to Vegas last year during the MLK holiday and had a blast, so we are going to run it back as they say.  We will do several posts while out there, but for now we will just cover the basics.  Flights.


US Airways has cut their overnight service to Vegas from Atlanta at some point last year and that really put a cramp in our style.  We flew that leg all the time mainly because we can work a full day on a Friday and still get out to Vegas around 11 pm Vegas time.  So we have to fly Delta out this time, but will take US Airways back.  Should be fine, but basically it just means that we have to park on the other side of Hartsfield-Jackson on the way out.


A New Look for a New Year?  Should be sweet.With that settled we now need some lodging.  The preference would be the Venetian or the Palazzo.  Just love that property and they normally love us as well.  However when we called we were told in no certain terms that there was no room in the inn.  Mild sadness ensues.


No worries, Harrah’s to the rescue!  Now Goldie refuses to stay at Harrah’s, and frankly I can’t blame her.  It’s an older property with smaller rooms and a weird central heating and air situation where you need to have consistent movement or the sensor thinks that no one is in the room and turns off the air.  Uggh.  However this time it will be a little different.  Apparently there has been a renovation of sorts in the new rooms are supposedly very nice.  We will see, but the flat screen TV’s and new beds should be nice.


So now we are all set.  We should have a great time and when we get there we will cash in the winning ticket on a bet that 44 placed for us in November, Florida to win it all!