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Steve's Home Poker Blog > Vegas Trip Report!

Myself & Nadine, Dano & Jeanette, and Glen & Shannon went to Vegas over the Easter long weekend, and boy did I ever do well!

I sat down at the MGM Grand tables 3 times:

- $65 buy in, 80 person No Limit Hold'em tourney.
- 2/4 Limit Hold'em cash game.
- 1/2 No Limit Hold'em cash game.

Here are the details.

$65 buy in, 80 person No Limit Hold'em tourney:

The structure tourney was: $1200 in chips, 25/25 starting blinds, and 20 minute levels, top 6 paid. The tourney started with 6 tables, but they also allowed 20 "alternates" to re-buy $1200 chips for the same amount as people busted out.

Like the Boulevard tourney, this is a fast blind, short starting stack structure I don't really like (all cheap tourneys seem to be like this). I didn't really like the re-buys. It was pretty frustrating to see people sit down with more chips than me half way through the tourney, but it did add a lot more money to the prize pool :)

I ended up placing 4th out of 80, and took $600 in prize money! Here are the highlights:

- A short stack moves all in, another short stack calls, and I move all in with TT. 1 short stack shows garbage, other short stack shows A8 suited, and he rivers a straight with his 8.

- 2 limpers, I limp with K8 off. Flop comes 852 with a flush draw on board. I bet the pot, and get a short stack calling me. Turn is a Q (no flush) and I put the short stack all in and he calls and turns over A8. His kicker holds up.

- 2 limpers, I check A8 off in the BB. Flop Q86 rainbow, everyone checks (I should have bet here). Turn 4, short stack SB pushes all in (the one who showed garbage), other limper folds, I call, and my 8's hold up.

- I raise with JJ, short stack goes all in, I call. Short stack has KJ and catches a K on the flop.

- Final table, UTG+1 raises, I'm short stacked and push all in with AJ suited. UTG+1 calls and shows QQ, I hit an Ace on the flop. I didn't feel too good about this...but in tourneys you have to get lucky at some point, and I hadn't been lucky until this hand.

When we got down to 5 players, 3 players had roughly equal medium sized stacks, and myself and another guy were short stacking. Everyone agreed to chop the prize pool. Myself and the other short stack got $600 each (I should have asked for more because he only had a little more than 1/2 the chips I had), and the other 3 players got about 900 each.

2/4 Limit Hold'em cash game:

I bought in with $100 for this game. This game was lots of fun as you never have to worry about losing your whole stack.

I played for about 5 hours and didn't get very good cards. Most of the hands I played I was drawing because of the great pot odds. Only two of my draws hit - a straight and a flush, and the majority of them didn't pay off. This was a little frustrating, but it will pay off in the long run. The only decent hand I had was QQ and these ladies held up all the way to the river!

I made a couple of mistakes:

- I called a re-raise when I had top pair after the board paired with fours on the turn. I had a tough time putting this guy on a 4 as he was in early position, he called my pre-flop raise, and he called my flop bet with J84 rainbow on the board. He was playing 43 off suit and won with trips. This cost me $8.

- I was drawing an open ended straight and a flush draw until the river, my opponent bet the flop, bet the turn, and he checked the river. My draw didn't hit, and I tried to make a move for the pot. He only called (I would have folded if he raised), but he had a full house. Nice play on his part to check the river. This cost me $4.

My stack size fluctuated from $135 to $35 during the time I played, and I cashed out with $60.

1/2 No Limit Hold'em cash game:

It was the Thursday night before the Easter weekend, and the casino was PACKED! I planned to start playing late-night when all the drunk fish were out - I sat down at about midnight with $120 in chips.

What a gong show! My table had the following people:

- Two older guys that I thought may have been Vegas pro's. They were playing a tight game and neither of them were drinking. I had one on each side of me.
- 2 tourists that were drinking and talking a lot. FISH!!
- A guy with an IPod. He was pretty serious, wasn't drinking, and had at least 300 in chips. May have been a pro...
- A hot blonde with a HUGE rack, and about 150 in chips.
- A SMOKING hot brunette with about 400 in chips.
- A high-roller who was bank-rolling the two chicks. This guy is my hero ;) He said he was in town on business, smiled, pointed to the hotties on his left and right and said: "And these ladies are my business, big business." They were all drinking and touchy-feely with each other, kissing and massaging each other. At first I thought they were strippers, but at this point I'm thinking high-priced ho's.

Here's how it went down:

- I play for about an hour, limped when I had the odds, caught no cards, and folded everything.
- Finally I get a hand - AK suited UTG. I end up tripling up after hitting a A on the turn, and King on the river. This was a weird hand with the two old guys - they were both in the hand with me until the river, and one of them had me beat with 2 pair until I hit the King on the river.
- I play for another couple hours, get no cards, and limp when I can. I had been playing really tight so I tried to make a couple moves at pots. It worked once, but I had to fold twice when I ran into people with hands.
- The guy with the IPod cashes out about $600 in chips (donated by the high roller and the hotties), the high-roller bank-rolls another hot blonde who's friends with the brunette, the old guy to my right busts out, and a younger drunk guy replaces him...FISH!!
- I play for another hour, getting no cards but enjoying the high-roller/ho gong show at the other end of the table. They did not care about money...sometimes they were raising and calling pre flop without looking at their cards.
- Dano comes up to my table and says: "Hey Steve we're going to find some chicks with dicks, are you in?" He doesn't whisper this in my ear either (nice one Dano). I turn around to see him with the wives, explain to them I've had very few good cards, and only played about 4 hands all night. They tell me it's four in the morning.
- I sit down to play my last hand. I get COWBOYS!!! UTG raises to 10, UTG+1 re-raises to 40. UTG+1 only has about $50 left, and I re-raise to $100. Everyone else folds, and UTG+1 calls with pocket 4's. My cowboys hold up, and I cash out $385.

Overall I was very happy with my play, solid tight-aggressive poker.

I didn't make any money from the high-roller and party girls...if only I had got some cards when they were involved in the pot :(


I gambled a total of $328 CDN, cashed out $1202 CDN, and made a profit of $874 - a 266% return on investment!

I saw a couple of WPT champs too: Gus Hansen and Martin De knijff at the Bellagio. I asked both of them if they wanted to play heads up, but they declined, trembling with fear.

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