Zombies in Vegas 2022 (1 Viewer)

Poker Zombie

Royal Flush
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Location
Nashville-ish
One of our players moved to Phoenix 2 years ago. She still flies into Nashville a couple times a year to make it to games, so when she decided to get married in Phoenix, flying out was the least we could so.

Flight (for two) from Nashville to Phoenix: $572. Flight from Nashville to Vegas $422. Add $33.33 a day to rent a car with a 5 hour drive, and suddenly it's an easy decision.
We're flying to Vegas, baby!

Day 1 of our travels starts off at 10am. It's typical airport delays, and getting routed through Chicago O'hare which means more delays. However, it allows us to get in a little time in the Aviation Club de Zombie poker room...
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It also means breakfast becomes a distant memory before we are wheels down at 6pm - which feels like 8pm if you adjust for time zones. Pick up the rental car (Dodge Charger, but we were too hungry/beat to take photos) and make a few stops. Bottle of Stoli vodka, a lemon, and a case of water. Gotta stay hydrated!

Now I know many may question buying a bottle of vodka in a town where there are bars every 30 feet. Problem is, it is now $18 for a martini, not including tip. Meanwhile, it is $25 for a 1.75L bottle of vodka. Sure, we have to buy our own lemon (99 cents), and pack our own vermouth, but we travel with both vermouth and a martini shaker (see the photo above), so he trip to total wine means 12 martinis for $26 - a savings of $190!

Look, I don't advocate for being cheap, but I'm not made out of money. If I were, with everyone is taking a handful out of me, Vegas would be a weight loss plan!

We check in to the Encore. Valet is now $35, but whatever, I have a lot of bags, one with a case of water, one with a large bottle of vodka. We're not lugging that around the casino to get to a room. We save money on booze so we can spend it elsewhere. Valet tips, Bellhop tips, Front desk tips... yeah, we're saving $150 going to Phoenix via Vegas. :rolleyes:

The front desk is super cool and we are upgraded to the Encore Tower suites. Bonus - Valet is covered by the hotel when you are a guest in the Tower. Now legally starving, we look for someplace to grab a quick bite, but no luck. Every place in both the Wynn and Encore has a 35-45 minute wait. I'm pretty sure that just a way to squeeze out some time on the gaming tables, but hangry :mad: is no way to gamble. So we get back to the room and make a couple martini's, and call the restaurant to put our name on the list...

"Oh, you don't need reservations, you can just walk in".
"That's not what you just said 10 minutes ago" (@Mrs Poker Zombie is not happy going 11 hours with just two bags of airplane snacks)

We get to the restaurant, and Mrs Zombie settles on a taco. A $21 Taco.

$21 gets you a big f*@#ing taco.
1664883507872.png


Vegas is indeed, not a weight loss plan.
 
Me and the wife have reservations at Lakeside Sunday night for our anniversary. Really excited. Seeing Sebastian Maniscalco following dinner.
 
Day 2
I wake at 3am Vegas time. Exactly 3 hours, 30 minutes of sleep. Of course it would be 5:30am in Nashville, so it's rise and shine for me. :cautious:

However, in Nashville I would be going to work. Instead I'm going to this...
1664936387421.png


In for $300, out for $379. Basically the same rate of pay per hour, but with free drinks.

Yes, I start drinking at 3am. Nobody else in the Encore Poker Room was drinking so I had to start something. While I will agree with @Highli99 and @PhilLaFond that the room is the best run room in Vegas, I felt like I was playing in a morgue. Only basic table chatter, everybody polite, nobody drinking. I was checking under the table for a corpse. We were planning 3 sessions at the Wynn/Encore, but...
1664937133498.png

Poker is supposed to be fun. @Anthony Martino doesn't even take it seriously, and his very survival depends on doing well!

Mrs Zombie finally gets up - she's a human bear. She doesn't sleep so much as she hibernates. Lucky her. But I'm up $79, plus another $20 from the Tournament on the Aviation Club de Zombie chips. I'm winning. You can sleep Mrs Zombie, but you can't beat me once the cards are in the air.

I return to the room and we change into our pickleball clothes. Pickleball in Vegas is really gaining traction - big enough that a tournament so large it fills our preferred location (24 courts), so we hit plan B, a couple miles away. I forgot to take photos, but I did not forget the score: 11-6, 11-5. Mrs Zombie can sleep, but she cant beat me once the balls are in the air.

***a pause, while 6 different people race to post that in the Out of Context thread***

We head back to the hotel to clean up before heading out to lunch. Today we go far off-strip to a place I discovered in a Twitter thread about the best Mexican restaurant in Vegas. After sorting through the chaff, Juan's Flaming Fajitas sounded to be the resounding favorite. Like any Mexican place they start you with chips and salsa.
1664967193959.png

...or chips and salsa and salsa and bean dip. All which tasted homemade.

The tortillas are also made in house, by a little Mexican lady that they keep in a prison cell making tortillas. Make sure your credit card is good, the penalty is hard (but tasty) labor.
1664967509662.png

Most jail cells have vertical bars. However, you cant slip stacks of tortillas out through vertical bars.

At a restaurant with "Flaming Fajitas" in the title, you just have to get the Fajitas. Doing so would be like going to the Waffle House and ordering pancakes. It's just wrong people!

"Flaming" is an apt description.

The food was spectacular. It was that kind of food where you eat, get full, and continue to eat... and keep eating. The bathroom at the Encore has a scale that I weighed myself on in the morning. 188.4 pounds - 85.5 kg for our international readers. It's going to read a lot higher after this.
When we get back to the room we are miserable-stuffed. If you skip gluttony, you are passing on the most delicious sin of sin city. Or the second most. I don't know what you do with your Lust sin.

So we climb into bed for a little siesta. Go team Sloth!

After a nap and a little walk around the pool and casino we head over to the Sahara. It could be a walk, but with the sidewalks closed in front of the Fontainebleu hotel disaster, driving seemed the better choice. Also more fun, because this Charger is fun to drive - though I still forgot to take photos of it.

For those unfamiliar with the Fontainebleu legacy, they began construction in 2007. It is still not done. They even renamed it to the Drew, after someone that died of a drug overdose. The name change did not help with construction. Four years later it was changed back to Fontainebleu. When if finally opens, it may be the oldest hotel in Vegas.

I really want to like the Sahara. They have a free valet, the kind with fine cars parked around the Porte-cochère. They have free charging stations if your phone needs a boost and you don't have a cable. The chairs in the poker room may be some of the most comfortable chairs in Vegas (and yes, I have played in the Wynn, Aria, and Venetian). They are really trying to be the Vegas everyone says they want. They even pitch Crazy Pineapple!

How do they survive, lost at the end of the strip, when everyone else wants to charge for everything?

The dealers aren't the best. Save money by hiring great, friendly people that barely know how to run a poker tournament, and absolutely no math skills.

For example: Starting stacks for the $70 Pineapple tournament were 20,000. Or 22,000. Or 40,000. This wan't by design, it was by an inability to count. Perhaps exacerbated by the T1000s and T5000s being white and yellow. I used a meeple to make sure I thought twice before picking up the wrong chip.
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Once that error was sorted, there was constant (at least once every other orbit) dealing 2 instead of 3 cards. Then the late entries that took it from a 1 table event to a 2 table event, thus requiring splitting one table, but not making sure we had enough T100s. Our table of 6 players (12 players in the tournament) had a grand total of 6 T100s, with blinds at 300-600 with a 600 ante.

And remember, the dealers cant do math. And they had zero T100s in the tray.

Then there was the infamous pot-pushing incident, where they determined the winner of an all-in pot was the player that was all-in. Then they awarded the stack to the big-stack anyway. when they tried to correct, they were going to felt the big stack. Mrs Zombie could tell you more details, as she was the one that lost/won/lost again the hand, leaving her with even fewer chips than she should. By her count, a couple hundred at a time when blinds were around 400-800 with a 800 big-blind ante, so she said WTF and took a rebuy. She said "No need to fight it", but it was sadly comical. Besides, almost 2 levels had expired as they tried to sort out the mess.

The staff really did try though. It just felt like a home game, not a casino. Players were either frustrated by the errors and on tilt, or they were just laughing it up, having a great time. You know the direction the Zombies took. Laugh... and then start drinking.

All-in-all it was a fantastic time. A lot of laughing, mild cussing, friendly jabs at each other. It was a blast. And not just because it was a 12 player tournament that paid 3. It was the "home game with friends" vibe.

Here's a shot of the final 2. Despite having just been eliminated, the player that finished 3rd wanted to be in the photo as well.
1664972319715.png


For those that have not met the Zombies, that's me with a 2-1 stack advantage over @Mrs Poker Zombie. For those that have followed my trip reports over the years, this marks the 4th time the Zombies have finished 1-2 in Vegas tournaments. Some people might ask if there is collusion, but no. Not even standard stuff, like when the 3rd player was all-in and Mrs Zombie and I called. Then there was a flop, and while it is standard tournament practice at this point to check it down, Mrs Zombie shoved. I snap called, and we showed down...
1664972770327.png


Maybe it's the dealer that was colluding.

The last 2 shots are out of order though. At the time we went heads-up I had a massive ~200,000 to 31,000 chip advantage. She dwindled it down to a 2-1 advantage, and then...
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Remember that stuff about Mrs Zombie cant beat me. Forget it. Don't tell her this thread exists either. :x

Zombie in: $160 (2 rebuys, plus add-on), out $259
Mrs Zombie in $130 (1 rebuy, 1 add-on), out $432

Despite the dealer flaws, I cannot say how much I like this room, and the dealers (personality wise at least). We each tipped the dealers $50. Hopefully the $100 will help pay the bills when they go to dealer's school.

Too jazzed to dive into a cash game we headed back to the Encore, and walked over to Resorts World for dinner. Mrs Zombie had an emoji waiting for me to remind me of her incredible comeback victory over me.
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We were still pretty full from lunch (next time we will get a single meal and an appetizer at Juan's), so we went to the food court and got a fried chicken from Marcus Samuelson's Streetbird.
1664974169737.png

It may not look like much, but we were stuffed. We could barely finish it.

I started the day at 188.4 lbs. I finished at 193.4 pounds. I gained 5.4 pounds (2.4 kg)!

VEGAS!
 
All the holdem tables at Wynn were full of crusty regs for sure. The PLO was more lively. Same at Aria. Going to Sahara was a smart move for fun crowds.
 
You two look like you are having a blast! SWA crews stay at the Sahara on overnights and I've played there a few times (cash, never a tournament) I've found it pretty pleasant! Ive always managed to play there while the hoards of Magic Mike attendees make their way past the poker room to see the show... PLENTY for people watching to be had at that time! Enjoy the rest of your trip!
(We took up pickleball a couple of years ago and absolutely love it! Our new home has a clubhouse with a lot of pickleball courts! Come out and play!)
 
Day 3

We start our day on the pickleball courts again. Still pumped from her victory in last night's poker game, Mrs Zombie proves to be a formidable match on the courts. The first set goes her way 12-10, and it was brutal. If we didn't have a house rule of unlimited water breaks we would both look like sun dried tomatoes holding a couple paddles. Second set goes my way, sending us to a 3rd set under the desert sun.

Remember this line?
make a few stops. Bottle of Stoli vodka, a lemon, and a case of water.
It's paying off in dividends now. The water I mean. Pickleball with vodka would be murder. Maybe fun, but probably not. I envision a lot of injuries.

1665064637763.png

Mrs Zombie before the match. I didn't get a pic after the match because my brain was barely working. I did get a shot of the $33/day rental car though...
1665064803527.png


We head back to the hotel for brunch at Jardin in the Wynn/Encore.
1665065049722.png

Again, absolutely massive. For the first time this trip, I chose to not finish the whole meal. This would have easily served 2, and I wanted to make sure I could eat dinner. We have reservations that I must keep.

Mrs Zombie and I part ways so she can go relax at the spa, while I go relax with poker chips.
1665065862513.png

Oversized T5000. The solid purple T500 is a bit tilting though. Sky blue/peach (colors approximated) edgespots throughout the entire set, but lavender/lavender spots on the lavender chip? Someone dropped the ball here. I can imagine the conversation that took place.

"We'd like the 100 to be black, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. We'd also like the 1000 to be carrot-colored, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. For the 5000, we'd like it bigger, and grey. 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach."
"Did you want 500s?"
"Oh, right. I forgot about the 500s. Make them..." consults the color chart "Lilac. That's a nice color."
"Yes, it is a good color. 4 spots?"
"Sure. Glad you reminded me about the 500s. And I love that color. I even like saying it. Lilac. Li-lac. Liiii-laaac...", the buyer drones on amused with the word.
"Yep. Good choice. Colors for the spots?", the rep asks, just wanting to finish this order so he can go home for the day.
"The same. Liiiiiii-laaaac..."
o_O

Anyway, my tournament did not go well. I could have insulated a house with all the 8-3 cards I was dealt. Also, I was not a fan of the room. Well, the room was nice, the chips already discussed. The players and dealers were fine; but the cards were seriously bowed. Dealers did a great job not flipping them, but if you touched your card on the side nearest you, the card would rock far enough to flash the index across the table. Seriously, I stopped doing my normal lift-peak maneuver, and just touched the opposite side of the card to see what I had.

Which was 8-3.

After about an hour and a half, I was felted, and decided to hoof it back to the Wynn card room with flat cards - and perhaps fewer 8s and 3s. A walk I almost didn't make, as my legs started to lock up from the morning's pickleball battle. Hamstrings got super-tight in the Resorts world mall. The mall is the route from the strip to the poker-room with the giant emoji-sphere from yesterday. Air-conditioning + sitting for a while after tremendous exertion = large muscle revolt. I was going to take a moment look at Eon Musk's Vegas Loop, and underground 'subway' of self-driving Teslas that will take you from Resorts World to the convention center. However, with the hammys getting tighter with every second I needed to get some heat on them quickly and a stretch, so I bee-lined outside and back to my room.

After a few stretches I head down to the poker room. This time I'm playing degen-style. Buying in for $500 (my largest cash game bullet to date). I try my best to summon my inner @bergs.
1665069628223.png


The brush gives me a choice of tables to sit at, one seat open at each. 2 tables are large-stacked youngsters, and nobody it talking. 1 table is 7 old-man-coffee players (3 actually drinking coffee), and one very talkative "kid" (45 years old - yes he was that talkative). I sit with the OMCs, and play hard. I run up $500 to just shy of $800 in the first hour.

Then the OMC's start to leave. When the 4th one in less than an orbit gets up, I ask "Where's everyone going, is it dinner time", one of them responded "yes", and started racking up. I looked at my watch. It was 3:58. 2 minutes to OMC dinner. :rolleyes:

The replacements were all younger and far more aggressive. My $800 was depleted back down and while I feel my play was spot-on. I even discarded top set when a 3rd spade came on the turn and an opponent check-raised jammed, forcing me to surrender $200 in bets. The table gasped at the lay-down, then my opponent flipped suited K-7 for the flush. I thought "K-7 following a $30 preflop raise (2 callers) and then a $70 flop bet? Yep, I was playing poker for stacks, and now I know why the OMC's were actually leaving. My gray hair told me it was time to go, In $500, out $569.

Wrapping up came at a perfect time (well, one hand earlier would have been better) as Mrs Zombie was just leaving the spa. We met back up in the room and exchanged stories for a bit before heading off to our 6pm dinner reservations. We don't normally take dinner this early, but it was either 6 or 8:45 when I made the reservations a week ago. I really wanted to try this place, so at 6pm we were at...
1665070704089.png


Lotus of Siam is a Northern Thai style restaurant, featuring inland foods, unlike the typical Bangkok coconut-milk foods.
Unable to decide on just one dish, we went with stuff we were very unfamiliar with...
1665071292521.png

On the left Nam Prik Hed. Warm mushrooms with raw veggies. This was a lifesaver, because the raw veggies were the only thing nor spiced (the 'shrooms however had a medium kick). The right was the decidedly the best - Khao Soi. Short ribs in an authentic Thai hot style. Beef rib meat in curry noodles. It looked like something from a @toothpic post. I was sweating more eating this than I was playing pickleball. Make no mistake, anything this hot is going to have a second act tomorrow morning.

But that wasn't all. We also needed to try...
1665071806709.png

Larb. Because Larb. Just say it aloud - Larb. Laaaarb. Say it 3 times in a row. larb, larb, larb. Say it 3 times with a 5 year old in the room and you will hear it the rest of the day. "larb-larb-larb-larb-larb".

Then there was Thum Ka Noon.
1665072173188.png

Pork with Jack fruit. We've heard stories of how jack fruit smells sickly, so we had to try it. I didn't actually notice any smell, but my nose was running from the Khao Soi. It certainly didn't taste bad, but the Khao Soi was still the best (and the first dish that we completely dusted).

After all that heat we needed Sweet sticky rice with lychee sorbet
1665072732766.png


We head back to the room for... well, lets just say there won't be any photos, but it will involve a couple martinis and stuff that would make the out of context thread, in context.
 
Day 3

We start our day on the pickleball courts again. Still pumped from her victory in last night's poker game, Mrs Zombie proves to be a formidable match on the courts. The first set goes her way 12-10, and it was brutal. If we didn't have a house rule of unlimited water breaks we would both look like sun dried tomatoes holding a couple paddles. Second set goes my way, sending us to a 3rd set under the desert sun.

Remember this line?

It's paying off in dividends now. The water I mean. Pickleball with vodka would be murder. Maybe fun, but probably not. I envision a lot of injuries.

View attachment 1000742
Mrs Zombie before the match. I didn't get a pic after the match because my brain was barely working. I did get a shot of the $33/day rental car though...
View attachment 1000743

We head back to the hotel for brunch at Jardin in the Wynn/Encore.
View attachment 1000747
Again, absolutely massive. For the first time this trip, I chose to not finish the whole meal. This would have easily served 2, and I wanted to make sure I could eat dinner. We have reservations that I must keep.

Mrs Zombie and I part ways so she can go relax at the spa, while I go relax with poker chips.
View attachment 1000751
Oversized T5000. The solid purple T500 is a bit tilting though. Sky blue/peach (colors approximated) edgespots throughout the entire set, but lavender/lavender spots on the lavender chip? Someone dropped the ball here. I can imagine the conversation that took place.

"We'd like the 100 to be black, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. We'd also like the 1000 to be carrot-colored, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. For the 5000, we'd like it bigger, and grey. 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach."
"Did you want 500s?"
"Oh, right. I forgot about the 500s. Make them..." consults the color chart "Lilac. That's a nice color."
"Yes, it is a good color. 4 spots?"
"Sure. Glad you reminded me about the 500s. And I love that color. I even like saying it. Lilac. Li-lac. Liiii-laaac...", the buyer drones on amused with the word.
"Yep. Good choice. Colors for the spots?", the rep asks, just wanting to finish this order so he can go home for the day.
"The same. Liiiiiii-laaaac..."
o_O

Anyway, my tournament did not go well. I could have insulated a house with all the 8-3 cards I was dealt. Also, I was not a fan of the room. Well, the room was nice, the chips already discussed. The players and dealers were fine; but the cards were seriously bowed. Dealers did a great job not flipping them, but if you touched your card on the side nearest you, the card would rock far enough to flash the index across the table. Seriously, I stopped doing my normal lift-peak maneuver, and just touched the opposite side of the card to see what I had.

Which was 8-3.

After about an hour and a half, I was felted, and decided to hoof it back to the Wynn card room with flat cards - and perhaps fewer 8s and 3s. A walk I almost didn't make, as my legs started to lock up from the morning's pickleball battle. Hamstrings got super-tight in the Resorts world mall. The mall is the route from the strip to the poker-room with the giant emoji-sphere from yesterday. Air-conditioning + sitting for a while after tremendous exertion = large muscle revolt. I was going to take a moment look at Eon Musk's Vegas Loop, and underground 'subway' of self-driving Teslas that will take you from Resorts World to the convention center. However, with the hammys getting tighter with every second I needed to get some heat on them quickly and a stretch, so I bee-lined outside and back to my room.

After a few stretches I head down to the poker room. This time I'm playing degen-style. Buying in for $500 (my largest cash game bullet to date). I try my best to summon my inner @bergs.
View attachment 1000781

The brush gives me a choice of tables to sit at, one seat open at each. 2 tables are large-stacked youngsters, and nobody it talking. 1 table is 7 old-man-coffee players (3 actually drinking coffee), and one very talkative "kid" (45 years old - yes he was that talkative). I sit with the OMCs, and play hard. I run up $500 to just shy of $800 in the first hour.

Then the OMC's start to leave. When the 4th one in less than an orbit gets up, I ask "Where's everyone going, is it dinner time", one of them responded "yes", and started racking up. I looked at my watch. It was 3:58. 2 minutes to OMC dinner. :rolleyes:

The replacements were all younger and far more aggressive. My $800 was depleted back down and while I feel my play was spot-on. I even discarded top set when a 3rd spade came on the turn and an opponent check-raised jammed, forcing me to surrender $200 in bets. The table gasped at the lay-down, then my opponent flipped suited K-7 for the flush. I thought "K-7 following a $30 preflop raise (2 callers) and then a $70 flop bet? Yep, I was playing poker for stacks, and now I know why the OMC's were actually leaving. My gray hair told me it was time to go, In $500, out $569.

Wrapping up came at a perfect time (well, one hand earlier would have been better) as Mrs Zombie was just leaving the spa. We met back up in the room and exchanged stories for a bit before heading off to our 6pm dinner reservations. We don't normally take dinner this early, but it was either 6 or 8:45 when I made the reservations a week ago. I really wanted to try this place, so at 6pm we were at...
View attachment 1000793

Lotus of Siam is a Northern Thai style restaurant, featuring inland foods, unlike the typical Bangkok coconut-milk foods.
Unable to decide on just one dish, we went with stuff we were very unfamiliar with...
View attachment 1000806
On the left Nam Prik Hed. Warm mushrooms with raw veggies. This was a lifesaver, because the raw veggies were the only thing nor spiced (the 'shrooms however had a medium kick). The right was the decidedly the best - Khao Soi. Short ribs in an authentic Thai hot style. Beef rib meat in curry noodles. It looked like something from a @toothpic post. I was sweating more eating this than I was playing pickleball. Make no mistake, anything this hot is going to have a second act tomorrow morning.

But that wasn't all. We also needed to try...
View attachment 1000819
Larb. Because Larb. Just say it aloud - Larb. Laaaarb. Say it 3 times in a row. larb, larb, larb. Say it 3 times with a 5 year old in the room and you will hear it the rest of the day. "larb-larb-larb-larb-larb".

Then there was Thum Ka Noon.
View attachment 1000823
Pork with Jack fruit. We've heard stories of how jack fruit smells sickly, so we had to try it. I didn't actually notice any smell, but my nose was running from the Khao Soi. It certainly didn't taste bad, but the Khao Soi was still the best (and the first dish that we completely dusted).

After all that heat we needed Sweet sticky rice with lychee sorbet
View attachment 1000832

We head back to the room for... well, lets just say there won't be any photos, but it will involve a couple martinis and stuff that would make the out of context thread, in context.
Lotus of Siam is awesome! Glad you guys made it out there! If you're up for some Korean food to to Hobak.

FA720966-0DC2-4B9D-A3E1-9B08272C5C37.jpeg


If you are a paella fan, try the seafood paella at Julian Serrano Tapas in Aria. Looked for a picture but I think I was still drunk and never took one.
 
Lotus of Siam is awesome! Glad you guys made it out there! If you're up for some Korean food to to Hobak.

View attachment 1000868

If you are a paella fan, try the seafood paella at Julian Serrano Tapas in Aria. Looked for a picture but I think I was still drunk and never took one.
I’m out here now. I may have to hit up Hobak. That looks fantastic.
 
Looks like your having a blast!

Lotus is still really good. We love the teas there. They are opening (or has opened) in Red Rock complex so anxious to give it a go. Here's the prawn from June's visit and if you've had them before, you can imagine our disappointment.

20220607_211513.jpg
 
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Day 3

We start our day on the pickleball courts again. Still pumped from her victory in last night's poker game, Mrs Zombie proves to be a formidable match on the courts. The first set goes her way 12-10, and it was brutal. If we didn't have a house rule of unlimited water breaks we would both look like sun dried tomatoes holding a couple paddles. Second set goes my way, sending us to a 3rd set under the desert sun.

Remember this line?

It's paying off in dividends now. The water I mean. Pickleball with vodka would be murder. Maybe fun, but probably not. I envision a lot of injuries.

View attachment 1000742
Mrs Zombie before the match. I didn't get a pic after the match because my brain was barely working. I did get a shot of the $33/day rental car though...
View attachment 1000743

We head back to the hotel for brunch at Jardin in the Wynn/Encore.
View attachment 1000747
Again, absolutely massive. For the first time this trip, I chose to not finish the whole meal. This would have easily served 2, and I wanted to make sure I could eat dinner. We have reservations that I must keep.

Mrs Zombie and I part ways so she can go relax at the spa, while I go relax with poker chips.
View attachment 1000751
Oversized T5000. The solid purple T500 is a bit tilting though. Sky blue/peach (colors approximated) edgespots throughout the entire set, but lavender/lavender spots on the lavender chip? Someone dropped the ball here. I can imagine the conversation that took place.

"We'd like the 100 to be black, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. We'd also like the 1000 to be carrot-colored, with 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach. For the 5000, we'd like it bigger, and grey. 4 spots"
"What color spots?"
"Sky blue and peach."
"Did you want 500s?"
"Oh, right. I forgot about the 500s. Make them..." consults the color chart "Lilac. That's a nice color."
"Yes, it is a good color. 4 spots?"
"Sure. Glad you reminded me about the 500s. And I love that color. I even like saying it. Lilac. Li-lac. Liiii-laaac...", the buyer drones on amused with the word.
"Yep. Good choice. Colors for the spots?", the rep asks, just wanting to finish this order so he can go home for the day.
"The same. Liiiiiii-laaaac..."
o_O

Anyway, my tournament did not go well. I could have insulated a house with all the 8-3 cards I was dealt. Also, I was not a fan of the room. Well, the room was nice, the chips already discussed. The players and dealers were fine; but the cards were seriously bowed. Dealers did a great job not flipping them, but if you touched your card on the side nearest you, the card would rock far enough to flash the index across the table. Seriously, I stopped doing my normal lift-peak maneuver, and just touched the opposite side of the card to see what I had.

Which was 8-3.

After about an hour and a half, I was felted, and decided to hoof it back to the Wynn card room with flat cards - and perhaps fewer 8s and 3s. A walk I almost didn't make, as my legs started to lock up from the morning's pickleball battle. Hamstrings got super-tight in the Resorts world mall. The mall is the route from the strip to the poker-room with the giant emoji-sphere from yesterday. Air-conditioning + sitting for a while after tremendous exertion = large muscle revolt. I was going to take a moment look at Eon Musk's Vegas Loop, and underground 'subway' of self-driving Teslas that will take you from Resorts World to the convention center. However, with the hammys getting tighter with every second I needed to get some heat on them quickly and a stretch, so I bee-lined outside and back to my room.

After a few stretches I head down to the poker room. This time I'm playing degen-style. Buying in for $500 (my largest cash game bullet to date). I try my best to summon my inner @bergs.
View attachment 1000781

The brush gives me a choice of tables to sit at, one seat open at each. 2 tables are large-stacked youngsters, and nobody it talking. 1 table is 7 old-man-coffee players (3 actually drinking coffee), and one very talkative "kid" (45 years old - yes he was that talkative). I sit with the OMCs, and play hard. I run up $500 to just shy of $800 in the first hour.

Then the OMC's start to leave. When the 4th one in less than an orbit gets up, I ask "Where's everyone going, is it dinner time", one of them responded "yes", and started racking up. I looked at my watch. It was 3:58. 2 minutes to OMC dinner. :rolleyes:

The replacements were all younger and far more aggressive. My $800 was depleted back down and while I feel my play was spot-on. I even discarded top set when a 3rd spade came on the turn and an opponent check-raised jammed, forcing me to surrender $200 in bets. The table gasped at the lay-down, then my opponent flipped suited K-7 for the flush. I thought "K-7 following a $30 preflop raise (2 callers) and then a $70 flop bet? Yep, I was playing poker for stacks, and now I know why the OMC's were actually leaving. My gray hair told me it was time to go, In $500, out $569.

Wrapping up came at a perfect time (well, one hand earlier would have been better) as Mrs Zombie was just leaving the spa. We met back up in the room and exchanged stories for a bit before heading off to our 6pm dinner reservations. We don't normally take dinner this early, but it was either 6 or 8:45 when I made the reservations a week ago. I really wanted to try this place, so at 6pm we were at...
View attachment 1000793

Lotus of Siam is a Northern Thai style restaurant, featuring inland foods, unlike the typical Bangkok coconut-milk foods.
Unable to decide on just one dish, we went with stuff we were very unfamiliar with...
View attachment 1000806
On the left Nam Prik Hed. Warm mushrooms with raw veggies. This was a lifesaver, because the raw veggies were the only thing nor spiced (the 'shrooms however had a medium kick). The right was the decidedly the best - Khao Soi. Short ribs in an authentic Thai hot style. Beef rib meat in curry noodles. It looked like something from a @toothpic post. I was sweating more eating this than I was playing pickleball. Make no mistake, anything this hot is going to have a second act tomorrow morning.

But that wasn't all. We also needed to try...
View attachment 1000819
Larb. Because Larb. Just say it aloud - Larb. Laaaarb. Say it 3 times in a row. larb, larb, larb. Say it 3 times with a 5 year old in the room and you will hear it the rest of the day. "larb-larb-larb-larb-larb".

Then there was Thum Ka Noon.
View attachment 1000823
Pork with Jack fruit. We've heard stories of how jack fruit smells sickly, so we had to try it. I didn't actually notice any smell, but my nose was running from the Khao Soi. It certainly didn't taste bad, but the Khao Soi was still the best (and the first dish that we completely dusted).

After all that heat we needed Sweet sticky rice with lychee sorbet
View attachment 1000832

We head back to the room for... well, lets just say there won't be any photos, but it will involve a couple martinis and stuff that would make the out of context thread, in context.
ResortsWorld replaced the original T500 which was dark purple and had the same spots as all the other chips. It was super hard to distinguish from the T100. As ugly as the solid lilac is, at least it works.

Jealous of your trip!
 
Hoping you guys are ok after the incident today in Vegas
I was literally on a run on the strip today at the same time, but was south of it. Found out about it when a segment of the strip was shut down and had to detour through malls and around Treasure Island. Crazy.
 
I didn't know about the multiple stabbing incident until Mark had mentioned it. We left Vegas for Phoenix around 11:00am. We were remaining vigilant any time we were outside though, as the anniversary of the shooting was earlier in the week. It was also easy to see how (at least on the north end of the strip where we stayed) that the sidewalks had barriers to prevent another motor vehicle mass casualty incident.

When you see something so out of place, it just reminds you to look around and be aware of where your cover is. Have fun, but always have a plan.
 
Hobak is now pinned on Google maps for the next (as of yet unplanned) Vegas trip where we have a car. In the Chinatown area we have already gone to Kung Fu Thai & Chinese (because it is allegedly the oldest Asian food restaurant in the area, Fukuburger (twice, it was so good) and another place for Dim Sum (I'd have to check records back home to remember the name), and Kabuto-edomae sushi. That whole area is a culinary dream that is so unknown to most Vegas visitors.

Looks like your having a blast!

Lotus is still really good. We love the teas there. They are opening (or has opened) in Red Rock complex so anxious to give it a go. Here's the prawn from June's visit and if you've had them before, you can imagine our disappointment.

View attachment 1001015
This is one of the reasons we try to hit up great places before they land at a casino. We have fond memories or Hash House a go-go before they opened strip locations. Prices are much more reasonable when they don't pay prime real estate rent.
 

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