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Steve's Home Poker Blog > Vegas Trip Report - Mirage, Caesars, & Venetian

It was less than a month since my last trip to Vegas, but I was back again from August 1st to 3rd!

This time I stayed at the Mirage, and I also checked out the poker rooms at Caesars and the Venetian, and returned to the Planet Hollywood and MGM Grand poker rooms.

The Mirage poker room was pretty big – they have at least 20 tables. Unfortunately there weren’t as many fish as I hoped for. Unlike my last visit to Vegas at Planet Hollywood, I noticed a lot of older locals who regularly played the 1/2 No Limit games. There were still fish though, and they’re always easy to spot. The coolest thing about this room was the 1-4 spread limit 7 card stud game! They had one table going each day and it was packed with same seniors! I wanted to sit down with them, but I knew they would have taken all my money…although it probably would have been worth it just to hear some of their stories.

The Caesars poker room was huge! They also had 20+ tables, and a separate room for tourneys. I played the 3PM, $65+$5 add on, 50 person max tourney. The structure wasn’t that great: 2500 starting chips, 25/50 starting blinds, and 30 minute levels. I didn’t cash in this one. I got sucked out early and was crippled. I ended up placing 15th and busting out when my 55 ran into KK. After the tourney they had at least three 1/2 no limit tables, and two 2/5 no limit tables going.

I think the Venetian is my favorite poker room on the strip. This room was massive and gorgeous! There were at least 30 tables. I arrived just before the noon tournament started hoping to catch some fish that would be busting out of the tourney early. There were four 1/2 no limit tables, one 2/5 no limit table, and a limit hold’em table. The 2/5 NL looked a little tough so I opted for the 1/2. The first table I sat down at was no good. There were 3 dealers playing there, and only 1 action table. I immediately asked for a table change and when my turn came up I sat down at a table that had 3 guys that were there to have fun. Two of the seats were empty too, but not for long. Two guys sat down with 500, 100, and 25 denominated chips, and started talking about how there were here to gamble! Needless to say it was the BEST table change I have ever made :) I played for an hour and a half and made 1.5 buy ins after one of the gambler guys doubled me up.

I returned to Planet Hollywood as a couple of my friends wanted to play a decent cheap tourney. As I mentioned in my last Vegas trip report, the cheap tourneys here are really good. I didn’t do well here. I was mostly card dead and ended up busting out 40th out of 53 players when my AQ ran into JJ.

Finally, I returned to the MGM Grand to take a shot at 2/5 no limit! This was like coming home in a way, as it was the first place I played live 1/2 no limit. I bought in with 80 BB’s, and I was lucky to have a great start. A couple of hands after I sat down the guy on my right was on tilt and I picked up QQ. I re-raised him, he put all his chips in with 55, I called, my QQ held up, and I was up about 35 BB’s. A while later I got involved in a hand with a big fish at the table. Here’s how the hand went down:

- Hero ($575) raises $20 UTG with JJ.
- Folds to Villain ($500) who makes it $200.

My information and read on the Villain:

- He's a gambler with an ego and money who initially sat down with $500, $1000, and $100 chips. He was upset when he found out that the largest denomination of chip you could use on the table was $25 (he wanted to use $100's).
- He raised his first hand PF and took down a pot after everyone folded.
- He bluffed off 150 by betting to the river and getting called down by A high.
- He bluffed again and folded.
- He semi bluffed the rest of his stack by pushing all in on a flush draw and missed.
- Left table for a while and returned with 500, and now he's betting $200 into a $20 pot.

I knew I had him beat and I had to shove, but the only thing going through my mind was “He’s NOT going to fold, he’s probably going to hit an Ace and I’m going to lose 500!” However, I did man up and shove. He called, the flop came Jack, 10 2, showed pocket 10’s and my jacks held! Moving up in limits still isn’t that easy though. Immediately after this hand, Dutch, a regular 2/5 player at the MGM, told me he was surprised I made that move with ONLY JJ. This got me thinking that I could have been coin flipping for $500 and ruined my game for the rest of the night. I missed out on about 60 to 80 BB’s because I was playing scared. I’ll have to work on that part of my game.

Another great trip, and once again I profit in Vegas!

- Vegas Trip #1 +900
- Vegas Trip #2 +900
- Vegas Trip #3 +1000
- Vegas Trip #4 +680
- Vegas Trip #5 ????

My 5th trip will be in September and now I’m REALLY worried – when is variance going to kick me in the ass? I thought it would this time but it didn’t. It feels like it’s right around the corner...

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