Friday, August 05, 2005

Some ramblings from Vegas

During the Orleans Open $200 NL Re-buy Event, the woman pictured below was in the big blind when the button made a blind stealing raise pre-flop.

It was readily apparent that her choice of clothing was purposeful in trying to use every tool at her disposal to win, including distraction. While the photo is blurry (sorry, used my camera phone) you can immediately recognize her largest assets in this psychological war of poker. She smiled often, batted her eyes and made sure everyone got an eyeful. I have to admit, it was definitely a DISTRACTION.

When the button raised, this woman re-raised with such authority that the button decided to fold instead of playing heads up. After scooping the pot, the woman says with a chuckle,

“You can’t have my chips. Nope - not my chips. You can have my body - but you can’t have my chips.”

There were a few chuckles from around the table and then right as the table was quietly viewing the next hand as it was dealt to them, a small player of Asian decent said quite calmly:

“You can have all of my chips if I can have your body.”

I nearly fell out of my chair as did the rest of the table. You just can’t find that kind of entertainment when playing on line.

While playing early one morning at the Bellagio, a fight broke out at the table behind ours. Apparently on player told the other player to “Go fuck yourself”. The offended player stood up. The offender (a regular in the Bellagio room – actually, he is regularly barred from the Bellagio poker room I was told) having seen the other player stand up, stood up quickly and rushed at him. They had locked horns when about 6 guys jumped up to separate them. A flurry of superlatives was echoed as we just sat and watched the show. Security showed up almost instantaneously (you have to love the eyes in the sky) and they separated the two players. In the end, both players were removed, their chips picked up. Our table kind of sat and reflected on the episode asking each other and the other table what had happened.

I was playing 15/30 in another session, when I checked raised my 10/10 from early position on a K10 4 flop. The better re-raised me to which I took a moment to think and then re-popped him. I then hear this 24-ish year old say to his buddy in the seat next to him, “Fucking tourists. They see the WPT on TV, read a couple of books, play a little on line, and think they are professionals.” He then folded and the pot was awarded to me. I wanted to tell him, “I was playing poker while 1000 feet under the world’s oceans when you were still wearing your Underoos, watching Sesame Street, and learning why the letter A and the number 4 are not the same even though they do both have points on top." But what came out was, “You got me.” This happy individual then proceeded to display his male dominance by over betting his hands or overcalling out of position. I think he re-bought twice and then stood up declaring that he was moving to another game. Too bad, I kind of liked playing with that guy.

Even with the recent insurgence of players into the world of poker, I still think it is a relatively small circle as I run into people I know or have played with over the years when ever I go to a casino. Aside from the Austin players I ran into, I sat down at a table with a guy who I immediately recognized, but couldn’t remember from where. We played for probably an hour before I finally confessed to him that I definitely remember playing with him but could not figure out where. Turns out, I knew him from when he used to be a dealer/player at The New Phoenix and The Last Frontier in La Center, Washington, nearly 10 years ago.

The Luxor
We stayed at the Luxor for a couple of nights. I won’t be staying there again. You would think being the world’s 4th largest Hotel (a distinction they like to ensure you are aware of) they would have a better idea of customer service. Here are some things that I disliked:

Valet parking.
If you are out of the hotel at another casino and get back late, forget about Valet parking. They only have 800 spots and regularly have 10,000 guests. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the problem here. Self parking is a hike, so you may want to hail a cab to get back to the hotel entrance.

Unless you are an “invited guest”, plan on camping out at the registration booth for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

If you want to go return to the Luxor from Excalibur, you must ride the Tram to Mandalay Bay first, then change trams to go back to Luxor.

Poker Room:
They spread 1/2, 2/4, and 4/8 Limt and a $50 buy-in NL game. I didn’t play here. In fact, I didn’t gamble a single dollar at this casino.

Food Court:
We bought a chicken wrap, a Philly cheese steak sandwich, with two orders of fries and an order of bite sized hot dogs, two soft drinks, total $29.00.
We ate at the Mexican Restaurant. The service was absolutely awful from our main waitress. However, the person who brings water was very good as she was far more attentive to our needs. You will find when you travel with a baby, you have a lot of needs!

We reserved a King, we received a room with Two Queens.
The rooms are somewhat run down, showing signs of age and abuse. This wasn’t just our room, I know this because we saw three different rooms, one in each tower and one in the pyramid.
The beds were very uncomfortable. They were lumpy and extra firm.
Cell phone reception is almost non-existent in this casino/hotel.
The room smelled moldy.
Don’t even think about asking for a late check out.
There is no refrigerator in the room, but you can request one for an extra daily charge. ($15/day) Traveler’s secret: Tell them you are diabetic or you need to store breast milk if you have a baby, they’ll waive the fee.
When our crib was delivered, the person delivering it made us feel we had put her through a huge inconvenience in the way she told us that this room had also requested a Fridge and she had to go get that now.
When our bags showed up, they weren’t our bags.
For our $400 we had a beautiful view of the North Valet Entrance.

Just so I am not totally one sided, they did do some things correctly.
When I was able to Valet, I did get the same car I left.
They waived the fee for our Fridge so we could store Milk for our baby.
They charged my credit card for the correct full price.
The A/C worked well.
During the day when you are sleeping, the curtains did a great job blocking out the Sun that couldn’t reach our windows because it was blocked by the other tower.
The separate shower with hand held shower head was nice.
You can do an express check out, but then you can do that at all of them.

The Rio

Our stay was complimentary, yet there are a few things that are worth pointing out.
All of the rooms at the Rio are Suites.

If you check-in after midnight, you have to use the main registration regardless of total rewards status. The front desk was manned by only one or two people.

It is difficult to reach a person by phone after midnight. The room service button on the phone and the extension to room service did not work. This required us to call the operator and after being on hold for 15+minutes, they were able to connect us.

Expect to be woken by the phone ringing at 11am so they can find out when you want your room cleaned, regardless of the “Do not disturb” sign. Especially on the day of check out.
They only supplied one wash cloth, lots of towels, but only one wash cloth.

Each room has at least one refrigerator. This worked out well for keeping baby Milk from spoiling.
The windows are large, so the curtains don’t totally block out all of the sun if you are sleeping during the day.

Poker Room
I didn’t play at this poker room. I did go by several times. There was zero to 2 tables going at any one time.

Most of the blackjack tables are single deck games and had minimum bets of $25 or more.

Seafood Buffet
We ate at the Village Seafood Buffet. If you like seafood, you might want to check out this buffet. At $35, it’s a little pricey, but worth it, especially if you have comp dollars available.

The Wynn
I didn’t stay here but wanted to let you know that I did check it out. To me it is the Bellagio plus. The d├ęcor and painstaking attention to detail is easily noted.

Poker room
The poker room has some pluses and minuses in my opinion.

Very comfortable chairs. They are using swivel, castered chairs, which are more comfortable than the ones at Bellagio.
Cramped. Like almost all of the rooms, they have put too many tables in too small of a space.
Rail. The room is located just outside of the Ferrari shop, which creates a lot of Rail Birds. It can be very distracting as there is a lot of noise from kids screaming, people walking/talking, etc.
Computer screen. They use a computer program to keep track of players waiting for various games. This is similar or the same as used in a few other places I have been to, namely the Borgata in Atlantic City and Harrah’s in Kansas City.
All tables have shuffle machines.
All in all, I’d say the room is very comparable to Bellagio.

Klingons and the Collective
The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton is worth doing. We enjoyed it. If you are a Trekie, you will probably enjoy it that much more, but you don't have to be to have a good time. The actors are very serious in their roles, so try and play along. I'll have a photo or two to post when I get them developed. (sorry, SLR, not a digital camera)

We attended a family wedding at the Hyatt in Lake Las Vegas. This is a beautiful hotel and the resort area is breathtaking. If you are interested in getting away from the strip and want a nice place to stay, check it out.

Elvis stopped by to wish the newlywed couple his best wishes and cronned some love songs for them. Hopefully the photos will come out. He looks great for his age!

Gold Coast Casino Poker Room
The Gold Coast Casino has a tiny 6 table room, but has one of the best action low limit games in town. They spread a 4/8 with 1/2 kill that may be worth checking out. Apparently, there is so much action, the pots are bigger than a 10/20 game. I went over to check it out, but couldn't get on the table as it was full. I sat down into a feeder game for about 25 minutes when it broke leaving me stuck for $40. The players at the main table had all pitched their tents for the night, so I didn't see any point in hanging around after that.

More to come.


Madroxxx said...

yeah but did you have fun?

Big said...

> I then hear this 24-ish year old say to his buddy in the seat next to him, “Fucking tourists. They see the WPT on TV, read a couple of books, play a little on line, and think they are professionals.”

I've found that these guys pay off more than the tourists.

Big said...

As a further aside, notice what is happening. 24ish has a guy at the table who he believes to be a fish, and he makes a comment within the fish's hearing. Brilliant!

Disregard my attempt to link my blog--doesn't work.