Vegas Trip Report June 11th - June 17th (1 Viewer)


Full House
Jul 15, 2019
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Not going to have a crazy number of pictures.

Saturday June 11th

Wife and I took/are taking our first vacation without kids! She has also never been to Vegas. I haven't been since 2007, back when I was still young and people were much worse at poker. We live in GA, but were going to drive down to Winter Haven, FL to drop off the kids with my mom and step dad before leaving out of Tampa on the 11th. But some unfortunate family stuff transpired and we couldn't drive down to FL on Friday as planned. But my step dad, being the way too generous person he is, said he and my mom would drive up to watch the kids at our place. So we got our flight changed to 6am on Saturday out of Atlanta.

We touch down in Vegas around 7:45am. Airbnb check in isn't until 3pm. So we find a luggage storage service so we can walk around and get the necessary players cards. We have an Uber take us to this really shady area next to Paris. Nothing but weed and tattoo shops. The luggage service we used had a drop off with Smokey's Bar and Grille. Total dive. But the staff were great about handling our luggage and making sure we all took steps to ensure the luggage was safe and that we have evidence of the drop off and contents. The surrounding restaurant names were pretty epic too:

Chicks and Butts
Eat my Taco
Stuff my Turkey

Good stuff.

Off to the Paris we go. Turns out, i'm still in the system from Horseshoe Tunica. But wife get a card and $10 slot play. Which she still hasn't used. We then check out the Paris convention center.




Went full creepy pic on The Chainsaw Allen Kessler. If you don't follow or read his stuff on Twitter, you are missing out. Dude is unintentional comedy gold as the poker curmudgeon.

Then over to Bally's to check out the space and what was being played.



The Mothership room was toasty. Not super bad, but they have been having AC issues. And they have giant fans at the entrance to the Mothership room. But still too early, so nothing going on in the room yet.

So at this point we have walked through Paris and Bally's, and now we need to get to the Venetian as we were playing there on Sunday. And we walked to whole way, through Flamingo, Linq, Harrah's, Cromwell, and then along the strip to the people movers up past Madame Tussauds and into the Venetian Shops. At this point we have put in 9k steps in 105 degree weather. Sign up for cards, once again I'm in the system still from 2007. Turns out they won't let us sign up for the Sunday tourney ($1100 MSPT $1.5m GTD) this early in the day. So we just have to come back tomorrow.

So back the way we came. Stopping at a candy store and send pics to taunt my 6yo.


We stop at Bally's again. Wife gets a way too expensive whiskey at the bar. We lose some money at video poker. Then we head back to the Mothership. Didn't take any pics here but the $3k NLHE was at the FT. With Alex Foxen highlighting the table. On nearby tables the $25k PLO was getting back under way. Said hi to DNegs and Josh Arieh. Also saw Chance Kornuth, Ben Lamb, and a bunch of other high stakes crushers. Final 2 tables of the $1500 Triple Draw was also going, highlighted by Benny Glaser, a mixed game crusher especially at draw games.

Back to our luggage at 2:45pm. Uber to the Airbnb. Get confused by the electronic combo lock that involves a revolving exterior dead bolt thing. 19k steps down. We nearly pass out. But we still have to go to the grocery store. 5pm, we go to the store. Almost fall asleep in the Uber. Get our stuff. Go back. Heat up some frozen pizza. Try to stay awake as late as possible. Pass out around 8:30 local time. Which is 11:30 our time. And we normally go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 5am. Sooooooo.... yeah.

We wake up at 6:30am and are ready to start are Venetian tourney...

To be continued.
Somehow I've always pictured you as older and (to steal your description of Kessler) more curmudgeonly. ;):ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

I'm guessing the candy store is Sugar Shop? When I was there in August, I brought home a couple of fake cereal boxes filled with gummy bears and Lucky Charms-type marshmallows for my girls.

Nice day 1 report - thanks!
Somehow I've always pictured you as older and (to steal your description of Kessler) more curmudgeonly. ;):ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

I'm guessing the candy store is Sugar Shop? When I was there in August, I brought home a couple of fake cereal boxes filled with gummy bears and Lucky Charms-type marshmallows for my girls.

Nice day 1 report - thanks!
We actually meet at Mark's right before Covid, but we hadn't interacted much on here prior to that. I am a curmudgeon. Just a younger looking 41yo curmudgeon.
We actually meet at Mark's right before Covid, but we hadn't interacted much on here prior to that. I am a curmudgeon. Just a younger looking 41yo curmudgeon.
Oh yeah, I hadn't forgotten. It was just a good-hearted needle on some of our discussions in Politics. :)

IIRC, I'm pretty sure we sat next to each other and chatted a couple times at SQM that year.
Sunday June 12th

We get to the Venetian about an hour before the tourney and grab some coffee and pastries from The Grand Lux Cafe. Which we had eaten at the prior day for lunch. Everything in Vegas is too expensive. But the $14 BLT I had there was awesome IMO. The morning's blueberry muffin was fine. The cold brew was good not great.


We get seated at opposite ends of the exterior tournament area by the sportsbook. The Venetian has always been nice. For those that haven't played a big tournament and been there on time, your in for some shorthanded play for a while as things fill up. We sold 40% of our action to friends and family. And we have a FB chat group going to keep them updated.

Good chips. Not brand new, but still crispy. I really don't like how they use the same edge spot colors on all the chips though. If it was all white spots like the Wynn, then okay. But silver and blue when you have a blue chip? Annnnnnyway...

I quickly identify who at the table is good and who I don't think is. Though, none of them were bad bad.

Win a small pot in a blind vs blind spot where we x/x a AK3 board, I have K4s. He fires turn AK32. He checks river AK32A, I make a thin value bet and get called by worse.

I squeezed KcQc vs HJ raise and B call. Get called by just HJ. Flop Q7Q x/b/c. x/b/f turn. Then I 3 bet Ac2c from the B vs HJ raise and win with cbet on KJx. Up to 30.2k end of lvl 1 from 25k.


I raise QQ from CO, B calls, solid pro 3 bets from BB, I 4 bet, he folds.

I hear from my wife and she is up to 39k. I'm at 35.5k.

UTG opens to 2.5x (one of two worst players at the table) 2 callers including the other worst player at the table. I didn't catch all the action but on the turn the board was QsTs5c8s and the two bad players got it in for over 50bb. UTG raiser has 2s4s, BB has T8o no spade. T8o no spade rebuys and makes day 2 of course.

Don't have good notes on this, but in another blind vs blind spot I got a 120% pot value bet on the river with what I believe was AQ when a bunch of stuff missed and I was the aggressor. Up to 46k at 200/300.

Wife's table is nutty. Chips flying around like crazy. She is up to 56.6k. We are subtlety fighting to maintain a chip lead over each other. Then she is up to 62.8k. I'm down to 40k. Wife up to 67.5k. Me down to 34.5k. We both whittle down for a bit to her at 48k and me at 33k.

I raise QQ from CO, SB calls. Flop 225r. I cbet small. Call. Turn 6. He leads for 2/3rds. I call. River comes a 4, so 22564. He leads for 1/2 pot. What the hell 3s does he have from the SB? Who plays a set or full house this way? Like... nobody. I call. He shows the KQo. I call a min raise from BB going 6 ways with Kc2c. Flop K23. Checks around. Turn brings a flush. Checks to button who fires, I call. Another player calls. River checks to button who first small. I call, other player folds. I win. Up to 52k.


Wife, "I just double up. 91k! Suck it!"

Wife gets a sort of pick on Pokernews. Wasn't about her, but she is in the picture.

I raise TT from MP, shorty on 13bb james from HJ, folds to me and I instacall. Win against A9o. Up to 60k. Wife now over 100k.

I get moved to a new table in front of the burger bar. Better table than my previous one. Older guy wearing a face shield and calling way too often. Young Indian kid that is berating people's play. Crypto guy that is kinda an average TAG, young kid to my right that seems happy to be there, English pro on 25bb stack to my left, 30s asian guy as 2nd in chips at the table, and Mr. T8o chip leading. I'm on about 45bb.

Win some small ones. Dinner break in 5 minutes. Asian guy opens utg to 2bb, face shield calls, young indian kid calls, I have JJ in the CO and make it 9.6bb. Asian folds. Face shield hems and haws and calls. Indian kid sitting on only 24bb after the initial call gives it a look of "well I guess I have to call now" and calls. Flop 982hh. Checks to me. 38k in the middle, I have 42k, I jam. Face Shield counts it out, hems and haws again, looks at his cards, restacks his chips and folds. Kid snaps with 88. Wonderful play sir. Calling off 40% of your stack set mining. Chef's kiss to you.


We get dinner at the burger bar. Quite expensive. I just get a caesar and some chicken fingers. My sister who is on vacation with her husband and us are with us too. She gets the $18 chocolate churro shake. Thing looked delicious. The korean BBQ sauce with my chicken was delicious. Wife is now on 115k going into 1k/1.5k.

2 hand back from break, I jam 14bb with AQhh from UTG+2. Asian guy on button calls with AJo. J on flop. RIP.

Wife is starting to go card dead and the field is getting much tougher. She was playing with the Hye, the 6th place finisher in the Main Event last year. As well as some other smaller unknown pros. 180 total in her day 1a which ended up being only 25% of what day 1b and 1c each got. Playing 15 levels or down to 12% of the field. In level 13, with wife on 29bb at 2k/3k, AK runs into AA at another table and wife bags it up!

Head back to the Airbnb for some sleep.

I still have more in Hendon Mob than her at the moment though.
Monday June 13th

WSOP day!

My sister is now in town with us. We decide to head over to Resorts World to check it out and get breakfast.


I took some video as well, but I'm far too lazy to set up a YouTube account or anything to share any of it. Sorry. It's a video of the Konami Horse Racing video games with little miniature animatronic horses running under this glass dome. It's so superfluous to the what you are doing, but the animation on the animatronic mini horses is so good that when I first saw a video of it myself, I assumed it was some sort of video projected hologram or something. Second video is just of the giant video ball that I have a picture of above.

We go to a restaurant called Suns Out Buns Out. A brioche bun breakfast sandwich place. I get the sausage, egg, and cheese with honey mustard aioli. Very delicious and very close to being worth the $10 or $12 price tag. My wife gets some sort of coddled eggs with truffle and micro greens served in a glass jar with crispy bread. I'm a weirdo that doesn't like truffles, so I'm going to have to take her word for it that it was good.

We look around the shops for a bit even though we all know we ain't buying anything from any of these outlandishly expensive places. We find a Starbucks so my wife and fuel her Starbucks cup obsession. We seriously have like 15 tall Starbucks cups with straws. She NEEDED a Vegas one obviously. And she had points to spend.

Then we make our way to the poker room to check it out. My wife's tournament doesn't start until 2pm at Paris, and being only 11am, we have time to kill. We put our name on the list for the $4/$8 mix game festival. $4/max rake at 5% instead of 10%. We get on the first table after several no shows. In for $200 a piece. And my wife gets first choice of game. She chooses her favorite 2-7 Triple Draw. I win 4 pots that round and am off to a good start.


We then play Super Razzdugi, one of my favorites. And I win one nice pot in that one. We then move on to Archie where I proceed to play like an idiot and give a lot of it back. Then we play 5-card Double Board O8 Best/Best. I get ZERO hands with A2 or even A3 and fold every hand that orbit. My wife learns some painful lessons. O8 is already one of her worst and least favorite games. And I told her afterwards that in that variant just never play any hand that can't go both ways. And preferably just always have A2(wheel)XX in your hand. I honestly think given the double board nature of that game, you just can't really play almost any other type of hand.

Final game we are able to play is basic old Stud8. I win one small one, and my wife wins a couple. I would have had next choice and was going to call Badeucey. But we had to make sure we got to the Paris on time. I'm out for $220, wife out for $120.

Wife gets registered for the $250 daily deepstack, which got over 600 runners. I register for my demise in the $1500 NL 2-7 Single Draw. I love that game. And there is basically no where else you get to play it. Especially with my group in my area.

Wife starts at 2pm. I start at 3pm. So I wander the Paris Ballroom looking at the other events. Catch Josh Arieh playing the $10k LHE.

And then also see the dealer meeting taking place for my event. "Remember everyone, 5 cards!" With a good sot of the floor I was too lazy to crop out.

3pm rolls around and off we go.



Having played and seen the chips in person. I'm actually a big fan. Weird edge spots and all. These chips have been in play for all of 2 weeks and already getting pretty gross. Though still sharp and a bit difficult to shuffle.

My starting table is a few guys I can tell are pros, though I don't know them. A foreign recreational from France I believe. An American rec that like me, loves 2-7. And Bernard Lee of 2006 WSOP ME airtime fame. I beat Bernard in a couple pots early with a pat 97 against his draw that makes a 98. And another with a draw to a 7 that I make 97 with and lead out with post draw for pot. He ends up having another 98. He gets down low and rally's, but then gets moved from my table.

At nearby table is Maria Ho. And not long after Greg Raymer comes walking by my table on his way to his. Camera crew immediately sets up shop at his table for a bit.

I'm cruising along. No major pots. Dwindle down a bit from my high point of 31k.


Then doom strikes as Brandon-Shack Harris sits down on my right. At least he's not on my left, correct?

Brandon is off to the races. Making an 86 early for a nice pot. Bluffing 2x pot post draw with a pair and getting picked off. Then this... He raises 4x and gets 3 bet by an older pro on my left. Brandon just 4 bet jams for like 70bb. The guy thinks for a second and calls. Brandon looks at his hand and pats. Guy groans and draw one. If I had to guess he had a Jack and maybe even a Ten and felt he was forced to break. Brandon tables 86532, Guy on my left, "Wow... that strong. At least I'm drawing live." He shows a 7642 draw. But he bricks and Brandon doubles up.

I lose some drawing one to a 9 and an 8, but missing and getting either bet into or check folding. I don't even make pairs that force me to bluff. Then I finally find my moment.

We are in level 4 at 200/400. I am down to 18.5k. I'm on the button with 97543. HJ raises to 1.6k, Brandon calls, I 3 bet to 6.5k. HJ folds. Brandon thinks for a bit, counts my stack, checks his, and calls. Brandon draws 1. I obviously stand pat. There is 15.8k in the pot. I have 12k behind. Brandon jams into me. I puke a bit because I know if he played this hand he was drawing to a 7 or 8. I call off hoping he's paired or has a worse 9 trying to get value from my pat Tens. But no... I'm out as he shows yet ANOTHER 86.

Whomp whomp. Brandon gives me the fist bump. The pros at the table including Brandon gave a wince when they saw my hand tabled. And were all basically all saying there was nothing I could do there.

Serious shout out to Brandon Shack-Harris. He is one of THE nicest guys I've ever met. He said hi to every new player. Was friendly with the floor. Asked every dealer how their day was going. Offered personal trainer advice to another pro (who was terrible at this game btw) who was recovering from back surgery. A real class act. He went on to be #2 in chips going into day 2.

I left questioning every decision I made... well... not really. But definitely wondering about a few hands in particular. And as luck would have it, the next day at the Aria I played with a pro that plays a mixed game that include NL 2-7, and he thought my play with the 97 was correct since it's so far ahead of any draw. I had questioned whether just jamming pre was correct given the pot represented 20% of my stack before I raised. And while we agreed it couldn't be "bad," it would be better OOP instead of IP. IP my range can look like a lot of Tens and convertible Jacks, IP Brandon would get to call and make better drawing decisions. OOP he has to make worse drawing AND betting decisions against a wider range.

Still fun to play in the 2-7 tournament. I call my wife, who busted earlier than I did, and she tells me she is at Ghost Donkey. A hidden bar in Block 16 of the Cosmopolitan. You walk through the Block 16 food court to the back where there is a door marked EXIT that has a picture of a donkey on it. That's the bar. They specialize in only one thing... Mezcal. I'm not a big drinker. And especially not a $20 mix drink drinker. Plus i'm trying to keep my mind as fresh as possible for all the tournaments we are playing this week. So I decline.

My wife, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I leave and go our separate ways for the night. My sis and BIL go to catch the dinner show at Excalibur. My wife and I go into Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile and get some food from Earl of Sandwich. I highly recommend. Not overpriced, and quite tasty.

We head back home and call it a night. Aria $400 at 11am the next day. My morning picture the next day says everything about how the poker on this trip is going for me thus far.
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We have an Uber take us to this really shady area next to Paris.
On first reading, I thought you were referring to a spot under the trees to get out of the 105° heat. I'm thinking, "WTF? Are you having a picnic with your wife in Vegas?!"

It was not until I read the next sentence that I got what you meant.

you should try drinking it - also much better
I think I’d heath was a major concern for not trying it an inhaler, edible, or drink would be best. Smoking or vaping is better imo bc you can’t really regulate with an edibles if you smoke you can just smoke a little and smoke more later. An edible can send you to Mars and then tell you to buckle up because you’re heading to Pluto as well. But this is all theoretical since I’d only do it in a legal state or country ;)
I think I’d heath was a major concern for not trying it an inhaler, edible, or drink would be best. Smoking or vaping is better imo bc you can’t really regulate with an edibles if you smoke you can just smoke a little and smoke more later. An edible can send you to Mars and then tell you to buckle up because you’re heading to Pluto as well. But this is all theoretical since I’d only do it in a legal state or country ;)
Let's not turn this thread into a debate on how to best use weed please.
Let's not turn this thread into a debate on how to best use weed please.
All good man. I wasn’t gonna comment more on it since you said you don’t have any interest in it and I respect that. Glad you’re enjoying yourself in Vegas hopefully you run better in the tourneys soon!
Probably won't be until Saturday night or Sunday night when I get up there. But I'll get it all done.
Not a problem. As a trip reporter myself, I know that there is a lot more work in writing one than reading it. If it wasn't for @Mrs Poker Zombie 's photos, my trip reports would be limited to 3 sentence blurbs.

Free alcohol, "off" hours (I'm also a 9pm bedtime person), and real world demands don't help.
Tuesday June 14th

After some sleep, I'm feeling much less "depressed" about the 2-7. Wife and I are both playing the in Aria $400 50k gtd today. I'm having trouble adjusting to the time change, and keep waking up at 3:30am. I was at least able to get back to sleep for a bit today.

We decide to eat breakfast for the most part in the Airbnb. Bagels w/ garlic and herb cream cheese and some breakfast sausage. But we are out of coffee!!! So I look up good coffee on the strip relatively near the Aria and we decide to go to Palio at Bellagio. In addition to my mocha I get a chocolate filled brioche cigar. Though, I've been a bit congested and due to the amount of Flonase and Afrin i've been using, I don't get to enjoy the taste quite as much as I'd like. (No, it wasn't COVID. Though it definitely was going around the WSOP.)

We make out way over to the Aria to get our MGM player's cards. Somehow I WAS NOT in the system this time. Which is weird because I played at the Gold Strike in Tunica many times, and my wife played there once and she WAS in the system. Whatever. The Aria poker room seemed nice. I did not end up playing cash there, or even playing in the room proper. When we register, we end up getting put at the same table. The cage recommends we speak to the TD when he gets there to fix that issue.

We roam around for a bit just to look at everything. Definitely a nice property. My wife gets some juices and juice shots because reasons. Then we head back down to the tournament area and speak to the TD. I make it clear that we don't want to make things awkward for people early in the tourney, just at the FT. ;)



Aria starts you off with a lot of chips compared to most places. I guess they really want to avoid making change as much as possible. I've only played with BJ S2s one other time. And now that I've played with them again, I can say I'm actually a fan. Maybe it's years of playing with ACTUAL slippery chips in my early days, but I don't find S2s slickness to be nearly as bad as people make it out to be. They are also light and shuffle very easily. I do find it weird that they use a light blue 500 and dark blue 5k. They are pretty easy to tell apart, but more than once people mistook one for the other since they are both blue.

My initial table isn't too difficult. Only 2 people I feel like had a real grip on strategy. I win several pots early with the most interesting being one where I open 5d6d in the CO and get called by the BB, a solid but boring player. Flop is T66cc and I go for a 60% pot bet thinking this isn't a flop i'm going to bet 100% of the time, so sizing up seems pretty good. Plus I actually have a monster given the situation. BB calls. Turn is an offsuit K. Great for my range and as a bluff card, so when he checks I size up and bet about 75% on the turn. He calls again. River comes a total brick. He checks again and I go for the polarizing pot sized bet. He tanks for about 2 minutes before folding. I later look him in the eyes and flash 10 fingers to him and he nods. So close to getting that hero call.

My wife goes out early and heads off to have fun and drink my sister and brother-in law.


Most hands from here on out weren't that interesting until we get a player moved to the table on a super short stack. He goes all in for less than a BB from UTG. I raise AcTc from UTG+1 hoping to just isolate, but I get a caller from the BB. A very weird player. He has cold called with QQ and AQs that i've seen. And has made weird spaz bluffs that make no sense. We get a TXXcc board. BB checks to me and since the side pot is bigger than the main, I bet for value. He calls, then leads a straightening cards on the turn for about 70% pot. I still have the flush draw, but if I call on the river I will only have about 45% pot left. But given this line is weird and what I saw from him perviously, I call. River bricks out the flush and he checks. I feel like he is giving up and I really contemplate going for the value shove with just TP. But I decide to chicken out since he has me covered and just in case he actually has it. He shows AK with no relevant suits.... um.... okay buddy.

I finally get moved and to a table of actual players. Luckily i'm on their left. But that doesn't stop anyone from 3 betting my first 3 opens at the table. I lose all those pots and get lower on chips.

Both pros on my left get short after a loose call from one and a cooler for the other. I just bide my time and pick good spots and chip up some.


Final entries were 333 with 43(?) getting paid. We are nearing the bubble and a nice guy that is a good rec like me that I met at the beginning of the tourney gets move to my left with a monster stack. He said he had AAx2 and KK and busted 4 players. He chips up some, but then actually loses a decent size hand. I'm down to 14bb when UTG opens and I jam AA from MP. Another good older rec in the blinds iso jams and ends up have QQ. So we get up to over 33bb.


But now the bubble has arrived. And we go hand for hand for 12 hands. So long that we even have to go on break when we exhaust the time in the current level and have to return to more hand for hand. Bubble finally breaks, but i'm now down to 14bb again. While one of the pros got knocked out, the other is still in and on 13bb. He james from the HJ and I look down at 77 and iso jam for 14bb. He has KJ and we lose the flip to put us at just under 1bb. Luckily I have several hands before the blinds, but I NEED to jam before then because Aria is BB Ante first, so if I end up all in in the BB, all I'll be able to win is my ante back. When i'm UTG+2 a player at another table is all in and we are at 28 players with a jump at 27. He survives. Grrrrrrrrr. Next hand, UTG opens and I have KQo, so I stick it in. A older guy behind calls the open leaving himself with only about 8bb behind, then BB who covers us all jams. UTG folds and old guy calls.

BB has AA
I have KQo
Old Guy has JTo

Board runs out AQT I point at the board and say "JACK!!! JACK!!!" Turn... J!!!! YES!!!! River.... J!?!? :mad::cry:

Old guy thinks he wins too. :LOL: :laugh:

So out in 28th for $714.

While we were on hand for hand break, I called my wife. She was sloshed after multiple picklebacks and a giant daiquiri. Luckily she says she is in bed. The next morning she remembers nothing about this conversation.

Finally on the board! Wednesday is wife's day 2 for the $1100. And after deciding to cancel our Friday tournaments, I decide I'm going to play the MGM $600 75k Gtd the next day.

To be continued...

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