Jul 22
by Lori D.

Well for those of you that have been to Vegas with us or have read some of our other posts, you undoubtedly know that “The Wheel of Fortune” is my favorite slot machine.   This was my first and everlasting mechanical crush.  I think this is mainly the case because it was the first machine that I ever played and on the about the 3 spin I had hit a crazy jackpot and won over $450.  It would also mark one of the last times that we ever went to the Luxor and certainly one of the last times we ever won anything from there.  But that’s another story.

While on our last trip to Vegas a few weeks ago I did something that I never thought I would do, I turned my back on “The Wheel of Fortune” just for a minute. Don and I had about 15 minutes to spare before playing in one of our poker tournaments and I decided I wanted to play the slots for a bit.  If you have been to Harrah’s before you know that the $1 “Wheel of Fortune” can be found on the back wall by the poker room. As Don and I headed towards the wheel I decide I wanted to try a new slot.  I told Don I wanted to try a new slot and ask him to find me one with good odds. Of course he looked at me puzzled; I think he was more shocked than anything, but after a few moments he did find me a machine. It was $1 Red, White, and Blue machine with a 10x multiplier, so I sat down with $100.  After the first $50 I starting wondering if this was a good idea, it was kind of boring because there was no wheel bonus spin to look forward to spinning. I continued to play through the last $50. I get down to my last few spins and I hit a ridiculous 10x payout. It was craziness, I had already written that hundo off as a lost cause, but instead I ended up winning $400.  I do have to admit that “Wheel of Fortune” is still my favorite; I mean nothing beats the bonus “Spin”.  However trying a new machine every once in a while is fun and can pay off.  The payout from the slot was just the beginning of me pimping Harrah’s that day.  Read about that poker tournament and you will see what I am talking about.


This is what you want to see on the old Red, White, and Blue!



Jul 13
by Lori D.

Finally, I won a poker tourney.

That seems like such a small thing (and it is in the big scheme of things), but it’s something that I needed to do to know that this all has some meaning.  What I mean to say is I love poker.  I love the mental aspect of the game, the nuance, the possibilities.  I love the fact that guys always think that girls can’t play or that I am going to do this or that because of what they think that girls are capable of doing.  I could go on about this, but I think that I can best sum it up by saying yes; I finally won a poker tourney.

The tourney itself was a small one (about 80 people) with $60 buy-in with an additional add-on of $40 for a total of 4500 chips. The beginning started out like most tourneys for me, fairly slow, no real opportunities to do much and basically just trying to steal blinds when the opportunity arose. For the most part of the tourney I was fairly short handed. After the first hour I had the same amount of chips that I had started with, uggh. So not much excitement in the beginning. 

After the second hour Don and I ended up at the same table.  Now this would normally not be a good situation, however there are some advantages.   It would have been nice to of had a hand against each other, that way one of us doubles up, but no such luck. Both of us needed to make something happen at this point since we were both short stacked and struggling.  After some time Don decided to make a move all in with AQ, but ended up getting busted out when someone looked him up with Kings in the hole.  Not so good for him, but what can you do?  He looked across the table at me and headed of to the BJ tables.

In all honestly I was thinking I would be meeting him at those tables in short order.  Fortunately for me, things started to turn around the minute he left (coincidence? Haha).  I was able to go all-in a few times, survived and kept doubling up. It was great because I actually had a little breathing room for once. Plus this was a bounty tourney meaning for every person you knocked out you received $10 in casino chips. So now having some chips to play with I was able to take out a few small stacks. When the final table started I was doing ok; not great but ok. The payout started at 6th place, so I still had to survive a little longer for the money. Thankfully I was able to win some hands and before you knew it I was the chip leader!  It was a weird feeling in that I can’t ever remember a time before in a tourney when I had so many more chips then the next guy. Once the table got to about 8 players, people started talking about chopping. They wanted to just split the prize money amongst all of us. Seeing how I was the chip leader by a considerable amount I was not really liking this idea too much. Thankfully there were other players that didn’t like that either. Once we got to the money, conversation about chopping came up again. A few people really wanted to chop and not play it out. At one point someone even suggested that they just declare me the winner because I had so many more chips and the remaining prize pool be split among the remaining players. Craziness. Of course I am not going to say no to that, but that didn’t happen so we played it out. Only about 3 of them were willing to chop so basically no deal.  Since everyone needed to agree, we played on.  Finally we get down to heads up between me and this other guy (I was not a big fan as he thought he was the shit and caused so many problems during the tourney). He did ask if I wanted to chop, but at this point I wanted to play it out and just kick his butt. I don’t have very much experience at playing heads up, but I have seen Don do it and we have talked about it at great length. I am sure that it was obvious that neither of us knew what we were doing because it took a lot longer to finish then it should have. Chips were moving back and forth between us and I got lucky a few times where I had laid down my hand and he showed me some monsters.  While heads up he had AA and QQ along with some other killer hands.  As Phil Helmuth said, “I can dodge bullets baby!”

You can't tell, but I am actually pretty pumped.  This is immediately after the final hand.

We finally get to the last hand where he goes all in with Q6 off suit and I call with 87 off suit.  The flop comes out with a bunch of blanks and then a 7 hits on the turn.  That pairs me and the river gives him nothing.  Winner Winner!  I am definitely glad to have finally won one, but I have a few more to win to catch up to the Donald.  I think that I made him proud, actually I know I did. 

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?

Aug 1
by Lori D.

So Donald is forcing me to write about the Ladies Event in this year’s World Series of Poker.  I say forced because I am still pissed.  But since I have to here we go.  The best thing about the tournament was that it was easy to register.  Went to the window plunked down $1000, showed a picture ID, signed a waiver and I got my seat card.  Easy enough.


Playing in the ladies tournament is certainly different then playing in a regular tournament.  The atmosphere is different, the play is different, heck even the table chatter is different.  In this year’s tournament I started off at a table with Clonie, who is a very friendly professional poker player, and 8 other mom’s.  The table chatter was way too friendly for a poker table.  The ladies were pulling pictures of their children out of their purses and sharing with the table.  They were passing their phones around the table showing off their children (which is illegal in tournament play).  It was just strange.  I would much rather sit there with my head phones on and concentrate on the game at hand, but that is just me.


Plus the tournament itself is poorly structured.  You pay $1000 to enter the tournament and only get 2k in chips to play with.  Yes, the blind levels are longer then normal but it still doesn’t give you much ability to make moves.  Even if you try and make a move it doesn’t mean you will be rewarded.  There is far less aggressive play so trapping is hard to do.  Ladies just will not throw away Jack’s or better no matter what the board or preflop action says. 


In fact, my last hand I had KK and she had JJ and even with an A on the board and my aggressive betting after the flop, she would not let go of her JJ and called my all in.  The river brought a J and I was out.  As I am leaving she is apologizing to me saying, “I never throw away a painted pair”.  I just smile and head for the door thinking to myself how in the world could she call me down?


With how people play, blind structure and the number of chips we start with all being crap, I have sworn off this tournament from here on out.  I would rather just play men who think that I can’t and will inevitably dump their chips to me.


I need a JWB and coke!!!