Friday, July 03, 2009

Monday in Vegas

So, forced against my will to stay in Las Vegas on Monday in order to pick up my check from the Venetian on Monday afternoon, I realized I had the opportunity to stay an entire extra day in Sin City, having just won almost $51,000 in a poker tournament, and with absolutely nothing planned on the schedule due to my not having expected to even be there on Monday. What would I do to celebrate the occasion?

First thing: sleep. Eventually. To be honest, we chopped out the Venetian tournament at around 3am Sunday night / Monday morning, and by the time I got back to my suite at the MGM, regardless of the late hour, I was about as far from being able to sleep as one could be. I was absolutely wired, as you can probably imagine. I mean, after getting back to the MGM I basically went straight to my room, where I proceeded to just sit, smiling, in my bed like Andy Dufresne when he managed to get the beers for all his cellmate co-workers, for literally five hours before finally settling down to close my eyes shortly after 8am on Monday. In between those hours I just sat and thought, taking in everything that had happened over the last 48 hours, in addition to chatting on the girly with anyone who would listen, and eventually towards the later part of that time, calling all of my east coast family and friends who I could fathom waking at that hour.

So eventually I fell asleep, somewhere after 8am, and I didn't budge until the alarm I had set went off around 1pm. I then headed out to do some shopping, in the Studio Walk at the MGM, then to the Bellagio, and then eventually back to the scene of the crime at the Venetian, where I then went and picked up my check. Around a normal person's dinnertime, I returned back to my room at the MGM and watched some baseball, ordered room service (the Grand breakfast really hits the spot, at any hour), and chatted with friends for a while while I prepared to make one final run at the casino for an hour or two before taking a quick catnap ahead of leaving for my 7am flight out of McCarran Airport. My thinking was, after winning 50 large over the weekend at the Venetian, I was going to do something I hadn't done in years, and just head to to play some craps or blackjack at fairly low stakes, with no real need to win and without even caring if I lost as much as, say, 2 grand. Those of you who play craps will understand fully what I mean, but it's just so easy to lose your money quickly if you play it aggressively like I like to -- pass line, max odds, and come bet on every roll, plus max odds on those as well -- that to be able to go down with the intention basically of dropping 2 large and not giving a crap is a really fun plan for sure.

So, at around midnight, I made my first stop at the first open $10 craps table I found, and within an hour or so I had turned my original $300 buyin into a quick $1200 profit, betting the pass line and my come bets, and getting out on all the numbers like four separate times. I just happened to get in at the beginning of a good roll from two separate shooters, where they both made a bunch of numbers and several points along the way, which is just gold for the come bettors out there. At one point a guy muscled his way in to my side of the table and started betting the "Don't Pass" line, which infuriated everyone else around us, and prompted one anti-semitic asshole to proclaim that the guy should just "go get himself a matzoh ball soup and get out of here", which everyone around the table laughed at, including even the dealers and the pit bosses. I was appalled but was in such a good mood that I really didn't feel like doing anything about the idiocy. Eventually the roll got to me, I sevened out pretty quickly and I cashed in for my $1200 profit. On my way to the cashier, I just happened to see an opening at one more $10 craps table, and I decided to take that as a sign from above, where I ended up having another good run where I won another $500 over maybe another hour or so, again leaving for the cashier only when I sevened out myself after another not-great roll from me. Then another funny thing happened on my way to the cashier to get bills and head to bed -- I sat down at a $25 blackjack table that looked not so much lucky as fun, with lots of young people drinking and joking around with the dealer and with each other. There was a spot open in the 2 seat, so I sneaked in there and just used the chips I had left craps with just earlier and started betting a quarter a hand. Well, within an hour or so I was up again, and found myself playing $50 apiece on each of two hands, and as I continued pressing those bets I continued my great winning run. Finally, before I knew it, it was around 4am, I still hadn't slept, and I had won another $1500 at the blackjack table. In all, I just could not lose early on Tuesday morning, and even though I was left severely depleted in the sleep department, I knew I could sleep all the way across the country in the plush first-class seat I had purchased earlier that day for my rescheduled flight. I headed upstairs, took a last jacuzzi and smoked about 45 cigarettes while I sat in there, trying my hardest to remember as best as I could the feeling of winning almost 55 grand over a weekend of poker, then craps and blackjack. It's not often enough that you leave Las Vegas a winner anyways, but to win this kind of money, go through this kind of stress and tension, and to come out on top to this degree is very special, and this is a guy who's taken gambling trips to Vegas maybe 40 or 50 times in his life talking here. From there I changed, downed a beer to help ease the transition to sleep on the plane, and headed to the airport to wait out my 7am flight. That was where I wrote most of my first post this week, sitting in the US Airways terminal, in an absolute fog induced by a total of maybe 15 hours of sleep over 4 days, plenty of beers, smoking and you name it, I did it.

And that pretty much sums up my summer 2009 trip to Las Vegas.

I'll be back on Monday or over the weekend with a number of lasting thoughts I have on Las Vegas -- which has changed noticeably in my view over the past ten years, and even really over the past year or two since I've been going out in the summertime to play poker -- as well as specifically on the incredible tournament run I went on this weekend on my way to the my largest ever poker cash. That post is mostly written already, but I plan to take some time to add in some answers and responses to the most common comments and questions I have received from bloggers, friends and family alike regarding what happened this past weekend at the Venetian.

Have a wonderful 4th of July everyone. I know I will!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Chad C said...

Don't ever forget though, tournaments are for donkeys :)

2:12 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Dude if you are going to max odds come bets why not place $130/$135 across to get paid the 1st time the number hits?

4:49 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

1. Only idiots play craps seriously.
2. I like to let the shooter prove they can hit some numbers before I get it all out there.

8:10 PM  
Blogger tiltdad said...

I hope you meant it that way but #2 above after #1 made me laugh very hard.

Nice trip report too.

I live in NYC and play a little poker too, maybe we can have a drink sometime and talk poker

1:21 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

Ugh, wish I'd known about this, probably would have come down to rail a bit.

6:28 AM  

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