Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Vegas Part 5: Finish Where It All Began
Part 1 - The Ride In
Part 2 - Storming the Castle
Part 3 - Aladdin Classic and Toothless Donkeys
Part 4 - Poker at the Plaza and MGM
Monday, June 6, 2005
Final day in Vegas.
I had seriously debated requesting a late checkout at the Plaza so I could get a few extra zzz's, but decided against it. It ended up that my sneezing kept me up most of the night anyway - I should have just gone down to the casino! I woke up around 11am and packed up my stuff. I wasn't sure what I'd planned on doing… I was thinking I'd probably just play poker at the Plaza, since my bags would be there anyway. I had to leave for the airport by 5:30pm or so.
Just as I finished up packing, April H. called. Maura was in the mood to check out the poker lesson at Excalibur, and April wanted to play some cards. Works for me! I like playing at Excalibur. So, I checked out of the Plaza, wandered past the poker room to see if any bloggers were about (there were not), and headed to the pickup area to wait for April and Maura. While waiting, I saw Pauly, and expressed my gratitude for helping put together such an awesome event. It was then that I realized, the weekend was really ending. With heavy heart, I bid farewell to Pauly and headed outside.
Maura and April arrived a few minutes later, and I tossed my bags in the trunk. We hit up the local CVS so I could buy some drugs (cold medicine, you fools!) and we trucked it over to Excalibur. It was 1pm or so by the time we got to Excalibur, so we hit up the nearby café for some lunch. I'm not sure Mexican food was my wisest choice of the day, but I was craving it ever since Saturday. See, we'd intended to eat at La Salsa Cantina after the blogger tourney, but ended up at the cheeseburger place. Once I get a hankering in mind for Mexican food, it will not go away until satiated. So, I got enchiladas for lunch (breakfast?). Maura had a French dip and April had an omlette of some kind. The food was ok.
The best part of the meal was playing Keno, though. I totally didn't win anything, but got a kick out of picking numbers. Picking numbers is fun. I don't play the lottery, so picking numbers is a bit of a novelty for me! Since it was my last day in Vegas and I'd essentially broken even so far, I figured I could splurge on some -EV gambling. What I *really* should have done was go play craps. I didn't play craps once in Vegas. How sad.
Neither I nor Maura won any money on Keno, but since Maura was the big winner on the slots the day before, she graciously treated us to lunch. Thank you, Maura!
After we ate, it was time to head to the poker room. Maura headed over to the lesson table, and April and I headed to the $1/3 table. It was fishy, as expected. I was up, and down, and up, and down, between the monster pots and the bad beats.
The best hand of the day, though, was a hand that never was. April was dealt the Hammer, and folded. She muttered to me that she'd have played the hand at any other table but this one, and I said, "Hammer?" Just then, the flop came down 7-2-x. D'oh! Tons of action followed. Wouldn't ya know, the turn came another 7. Now, that's a hammer board if I've ever seen one! A sweet pot that woulda been.
A bit later, I saw my own Hammer. I raised preflop in late position with only a limper or two ahead of me, and got some callers - including the cool guy from Virginia that was sitting to my left. Uh oh. He was pretty tight, so it wasn't good news for him to be in the pot with me and my hammer. I caught a 2 on the flop and bet it max, and was called by Mr. Virginia. Shit. The turn brought and Ace, and I was hoping if I bet at it, I could scare him out. No such luck. I wasn't going to win this pot. I checked the river and he bet. I folded, but had to show April my goods. Mr. Virginia turned up his Hilton's and confessed that he almost laid them down when I bet the Ace. Dagnabbit! I'm glad he didn't though. He deserved the pot after not letting me bully him around with my junk hand. The best part of the hand, though, was the reaction of the uptight woman sitting three seats to my left. She pulled the "show one, show all" bit when I exposed my cards to April, so I laid it up on the table in all its hammer glory. The woman says (with great disgust), "You raised the pot with THAT?" as if to say, "Shame on you!" I laughed and told her it was a joke between April and I. She was PISSED!
The woman was already mad at me from an earlier incident, whereby I had pocket Jacks and bet them all the way. She hung with me to showdown, and after calling my final bet, she flipped her cards up boldly and said, "eights and nines!" Well, two pair sounded good and would have beaten my Jacks if in fact there was an eight on the board. But, there wasn't. She'd misread the board, and my Jacks won a hefty pot. She glared at me as if it were my fault that she misread the board, and shot me death glances every hand after that.
So, the Hammer pissed her off big time. She was so mad that she moved from her seat to a seat on the other side of the table, claiming she could see better from there. I think she just didn't want to look at me anymore. Later on, she cracked my Aces with pocket Kings when she hit a K on the flop, and took her money back from me. Good for her. Sourpuss.
Maura eventually busted out of her poker lesson table and went back to playing slots, which were somehow +EV for her. April and I played the rest of our time there at the Excalibur, until it came time to leave for the airport.
I ended the afternoon up $20 or so for the 3 ½ hours we played. Maura bought each of us a souvenir keychain, which was very cool of her. April and Maura then brought me to the airport, and I bid them farewell.
It was really over. I went inside the airport and caught myself a flight back to Chicago. For the record, the security people at LAS announced that "all shoes MUST go through the x-ray." This prevented any misunderstandings involving my footwear.
What a trip! It's now Thursday night as I finish up this report, and I'm still remembering random bits and pieces that need to be committed to memory. It was great fun, and I can't wait till the next WPBT live event.