Vegas September 2006

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It’s been a good year for jollys so far lol, starting with the Caribbean cruise in Jan, then, a long weekend’s blowout in Amsterdam, a jaunt to Vegas in April for a cpl of weeks, a family holiday in Portugal, a few weekends away in the lakes, and now another week in sin city, staying at the Sahara ( it’s a helluv a job but I spose sum1’s gotta do it :). There was originally gunna be quite a few of us going this time, but most dropped out one by one, and we ended up with just 4 of us, namely my missus Sue, her m8 Lynne and my m8 Paul (laddies alias ‘PowerToBurn’). After seeing all the sights on my last trip, I said to the wife that this time it’s gambling only for me, and I’m gunna do my own thing, which she was quite happy with, so we left Bradford at 4.30am (yawn) on Weds 13th Sept to make our way to Manchester for the 11hr direct flight to Vegas, and the next few pages are the story of our week.

Wednesday 13th September

The que's to check-in and get thru security at the airport were long and boring, more or less what I spose u would expect given the recent worldwide security scares, and although its for our own benefit, I couldn’t help thinking there was a bit of overkill, but at least we only had to do it once this time and we got airborne pretty much on time arriving Vegas just after midday local time, eventually arriving at the Sahara hotel & casino about 1.30pm, taking in a quick shower before hitting the blackjack tables for a little (a lot) of action and all the complimentary booze we could handle, retiring to our room around 2am tired and a few quid down, Paul lost about $50 after being $200 down at one stage, and I myself lost $40, but we had a good night for a few quid, looking forward to a bit of poker the next day when we were in a better frame of mind and less tired.

Thursday 14th September

We had breakfast in the Sahara buffet (adequate but not gr8) before signing up for the 11am MTT, which has a buy-in of $40 for 2000 chips with an optional rebuy of $20 for 1500 more. The structure of the MTT’s at the Sahara are probably as good as u will find anywhere for a cheap buy-in, with 20 min levels and starting blinds of 25/25, increasing to 25/50, and 50/100 before the hourly 10 min break, which aint as cut-throat as a lot of casino trnys and you can get a fair bit of play in. I had a rare stroke of luck after I open raised JJ, calling a preflop AI coz I overcommitted myself, and was disappointed to see pocket AA and a bullet appear on the flop, but I had a flush/str8 draw, and rivered the flush to my opponents dismay, giving me a playable stack that dwindled away with crap cards from then on, but I managed to scrape onto the FT with a desperate 3.5k in last place when blinds were 1k/2k and 5 paid. Paul was playing well and also got there in good shape. One of the guys suggested a deal that places 6-10 got $50 back which every1 agreed on so at least I knew I was getting my cash back and then managed a cpl of double thru’s before making the money for real when I eliminated places 5 & 6 in one swoop with K10 that stood up 3-way against callers with JQ and Q10 :) lmao, but I left in 4th place with Paul still there as chip leader, agreeing to a 3-way split and $402 each. my efforts netted me $212 for my $40, and with an additional 20% saver we had on each other, both showed a nice little profit, and after a few more beers and a small win at BJ we headed for the strip, wondering round Bally’s/Paris/Aladdin before taking in ‘Big Elvis’ at the Barbary coast (a ginormous fella with a gr8 voice that shudnt be missed). We held our own at blackjack here before taking in a snooze from 7.30-10.30, and once more into the casino till 3am, again leaving with a few more $$$ than we put down and a gut full of booze hehe.

Friday 15th September

We again played the 11am MTT and after an hr of folding total BS cards hoped my AA would stand up against the JJ caller (déjà vu?) but he hit a J on the turn leaving me with 300 chips and shortly thereafter a place on the rail. Paul had no joy in this game either, busting out with AA to an A10 caller who rivered a str8 but wot can u do?. I decided to play the $2/$4 cash game. The rules were only one blind of $2 with a lot of preflop calling, and when I picked up JJ my 3rd hand in the blind 5-way, decided to check, and was delighted to see a rainbow flop of KJ9 instantly betting and getting raised. 3 of us saw a turn of anuther 9 giving me a boat, and 2 of us jammed the pot, both doing the same on an insignificant river, but I was totally gutted to lose a pot of over $100 when he flips pocked 9’s for quads – ouch. I decided to stick around, and 2hrs l8r got my losings back, before taking a couple of nice pots and eventually showing a profit of $60, so it could have been worse I spose. We had a steak for tea, a quick shower, an hrs rest, and then back in the casino around 9pm where I finished $70 up and Paul won $40, but when Sue joined us l8r with Lynne she had a beaming smile on her face after winning $460 on videopoker at the golden nugget. The story goes she was betting $1 a go, but must’ve pressed the ‘bet max’ button by mistake and hit quad 2’s at 80/1 for a $5 bet. She said ‘I wondered why the machine was beeping for ages’ and didn’t realise what she won until she cashed out, eventually putting the money towards anuther gold n diamond ‘Vegas ring’ from the same place she bought the last one. Both her and Lynne won at BJ as well, so we all went to bed happy, those 2 a tad earlier than Paul N Myself who retired at 5am, nodding off around 6am.

Saturday 16th September

The casino was busier than during the week, mainly due to an influx of Californians, and we just missed registration for the 11am trny, but got in as alternates, and were soon in action, where I busted out flopping an overpair with guess what? Bloody JJ that’s what !!! losing to pocket QQ. folding JJ every time for me would be a profitable move but I never learn lol. Paul played well but couldn’t get it going either, however I won $50 at BJ and Paul turned a profit as well, so at least we had some joy before heading down to the strip on the monorail, where we were early for a meal at the recommended Battistas Italian restaurant (at the back of the flamingo). I said to Paul ‘lets see if we can win a few bucks to pay for tea’ and after grafting for an hr at the Barbary coast was happy with $25 up and Paul with similar, so we had a really good feed with unlimited food and Chablis at a very nice place. We even had a cute little American Italian guy on an accordion come up to the table, and after ascertaining we were English sang ‘ive got a luvverly bunch of coconuts’ to us – FAF. Back at the ranch, sleep deprivation was catching up and we snoozed till 11am when we once more hit the blackjack tables, when I christened Paul with his new nickname of ‘Mr Blackjack’, (he couldn’t miss) and a Californian girl that was sat with us joined in and called him nowt else which was funny. When we left the table at 5.30am, Paul was $125 up (after being further ahead) and I spose I had to be happy showing $25, but weve been here quite a while now and both have more cash than we arrived with, which is nice – only in Vegas baby!!!

Sunday 17th September

Once again the 11am MTT beckoned, and I had a real rollercoaster ride, doubling up with KK 2nd hand to AK after a K flopped, then losing a chunk calling a small raise with 33, flopping a set and losing to QQ who also flopped a set, then getting a couple of outdraws, before getting back to 4.5k at the break, when 1st hand I open raised 1k with A9 sooted from the cutoff, getting called by the button, and on a 9 high flop pushed, but the button called with 88, and my joy turned to horror when the turn brought one of the 2 remaining 8’s, to leave me crippled and soon to exit. Paul did better, playing a solid game and making 6th winning $102, but I was so pee’d off after my bad beat couldn’t be assed to watch and sulked off to the BJ tables where at least I had a winning streak to give me some comfort lol. They have 3 MTT’s at the Sahara each day, 11am, 7pm, 11pm with between 40-90 or so runners, and with rebuys, alternates and re-entries, 1st place can pay 1k or more, making these good fun and value tourneys, but we only ever played the morning one, prob coz we were doing ok at BJ lol. At night Paul ‘Mr Blackjack’ had anuther successful night, but I had a bad run when almost every 12,13,14 seemed to draw a picture, my 20’s lost to 21, and after 3hrs of pain was ‘on tilt’, getting really pee’d off lol coz losing don’t suit me hehe, but I went to bet around 6am only losing $50 but still frustrated, I mean were in Vegas, everyone’s supposed to be a winner !!!

Monday 18th September

I talked Paul into coming down to the Aladdin which was a happy hunting ground for me on my last visit, but the $50 MTT there seemed like such a crapshoot after the steady structure of the Sahara, and neither of us had any luck. Paul split one of his rare good hands with AQ to a limper caller with Q9 on a board of KQQJJ to share the blinds, and although I took a small pot early, went out to a button raise just after the hr break calling when pot committed in the BB with QK, losing to AQ. While wondering around the Aladdin just before the start, I was approached by a guy who recognised my red Laddies Poker cruise 2006 polo shirt, and it turned out to be 'cfcman', a regular in some of the online mtt's i play in. He struggled on like Paul and myself, only to have his AK busted when hitting top pair and losing to rnr rnr Q's (they make u feel right at home in Vegas lol). We Then moved on to the Bellagio for a little sightseeing where they were filming oceans 13, then a tour round Caesars palace before a few drinks to lose a few dollars at the Barbary coast (about $40 I think). Lack of sleep was catching up on us, and we slept in till midnight after our afternoon snooze, but still managed to crawl down to the casino till 4am where we met Sue n Lynne, who both were on a roll, with Lynne winning over $100 and Sue did the same. Paul finished about $50 up again, but I finished up losing $50 after being $50 up at one stage. Earlier this evening Sue n Lynn went to see ‘Jubilee’ at Bally’s and delighted me in telling me how the show kicked off with 20 topless dancing girls lol, Ahhh well next time mebbe.

Tuesday 19th September

Once again we played the 11am trny and I struggled all the way but made FT and finished 7th, one out of the money :( when I moved in UTG with 88 getting called by 2 similar small stacks with A10 and 66, then after a flop of A10x a 6 hit the turn to rail me, ahhh well at least I got em in in front, but I did have a little luck earlier when I was forced in with 55 getting called by 1010 and flopping a 5, but I didn’t have a choice really as the blinds were getting huge, but 2 hands l8r I set the BB AI from the SB with AJ and he instantly calls with K10, and hit a K with me hitting a J, to a shout of ‘Nice hand’ from the guy who’s 10’s I busted (pleb), once more leaving me crippled, but I think any player worth there salt would have done the same, so I spose that’s poker lol. Paul just missed FT in this game finishing about 12th I think, which was another steady performance. In the afternoon we went on ‘Speed the ride’ rollercoaster that runs outside the Sahara, and the initial acceleration is amazing, worth the $10 alone, but as ever it all seemed over in a flash. For a change we played more blackjack in the afternoon as well, with Paul showing he’s human and taking a $100 hit with myself breaking even. After the obligatory early evening shut eye, I awoke first around 1am lol, and couldn’t be assed to go down to the casino or wake Paul up so got some quality sleep.

Wednesday 20th September

Our shuttle was booked back to the airport at 10am so we had a coffee and bun in the Sahara around 8am before Paul put $1 in a machine hitting 3x7’s and taking $50 out (nice) and on the free spin on the ‘players club’ bandit I won $96 worth of tickets to see a show, lmao – why couldn’t I do it earlier in the week?, but the guy assured me I could use them within the next year so that’s an excuse to come back I spose. We spent an hr on the blackjack both winning a few bucks before boarding the bus, and having a no-hassle checkin at McCarran, perching ourselves at the airport bar to watch the baseball game. The plane wasn’t delayed and even got off a tad early, but I was enjoying myself in bar so much I wouldn’t have cared if it was delayed lol. The flight home ‘only’ took 9 1/5 hrs, which was a bonus, and we eventually arrived home around 10.30am on Thurs 21st. So what did we reckon to our trip this time? In a word fantastic of course and all-up including food/gambling/souvenirs etc it cost me around $300, and it cost Paul less. The missus took $1100 and brought back money and a $800 ring, and I don’t think Lynne spent too much either, so what more do ya want from a holiday? We spent hours and hours at the tables but at $5/$10 blackjack and $40/$60 poker trnys u aint gunna get burned too much anyway, and ive enough spends left for another trip back hehe, so if ur up for it, look me up at the tables or on MSN, all offers considered lol.



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