vegas trip feb 24-28/day 4I'm pretty happy about my trip so far. I'm well ahead and haven't lost a session in poker! No horrible beats to speak of at the poker table but I haven't really sucked out on anyone either. If I can just keep my self control and stay away from the -ev games. Didn't happen...
-I decide to play some Carribean Stud, which at the Palazzo had a jackpot at $122k for the Royal. They have the newer style bonus which has a computer screen at the table that shows payouts, randomly selects lucky player winners (pays 5:1 on the bonus bet), and picks a magic card every once in a while that pays 20:1 if you are lucky enough to be holding it that hand. You can even bet the bonus on the dealer in case his hand is selected or he deals himself a monster hand that pays a bonus. When I first played under the new format in a previous trip to Vegas I noticed that lucky player seemed to be selected early on in a buy in. I surmised this could be a hook programmed in so that those who play the bonus might be tempted to up the bonus bet (I think the max is $5) and those who don't bet it would be tempted to do so. When I felt that I knew this secret I started betting big on the bonus early on in the session. I played at the Palazzo and bet $5 bonus on myself and the dealer. I hit lucky player twice in the first few hands and subsequently cashed out. I then walked to the Venetian and did the same thing, bought in and right away bet the max bonus on my hand and the dealer's. 10 or so hands and nothing, so I was becoming skeptical of my "secret". Then I got dealt a hand with a 6 showing first. Slowly I peaked at another 6. Even more slowly another 6. 3 6's! Next card a blank. As I peaked at the final card I could just barely make out the proper suit. Then the hint of a curve which slowly turned into the last 6! Four 6's. Come on, open dealer! Damn, no such luck. Dealer has nothing, but at least I get the $500 bonus. Wait a minute though, the bonus pays 500:1 not $500! I won $2500! The floor manager was a bit perplexed that I bet the max on the bonus which few people do, but I get 5 pretty purple chips for my Carribean Stud savvy. Turns out I kept betting this system for awhile jumping to different tables but realized it was dumb luck, the bonus wasn't timed in any way. I quit playing that system, but was still way ahead from the 6's.
-Back to this trip. I buy in for $200 and the dealer is on fire. I finally get a pair of Aces with dealer upcard of an ace, so I'm in a real good spot. She turns over a wheel and that cinches it for me. Cashout $105 (-$95)
-I decide to try some $25 Pai Gow and buy in for $200. Early on I get a flush with two pair, 9s and 2s. I decide to break up my flush and put the 2s up top, as keeping the flush together gave me a very weak top. Of course I lose and would have pushed the other way. Few hands later I'm studying my hand and out of the corner of my eye I see the guy in first base throw down his hand on the table. I look over to see his club royal flush, no joker. He was betting about $175 and $5 on the bonus so he won a total of about $925 on that hand (the bonus pays 150:1 on a royal). I bet the bonus too but only a $1 which isn't the $5 to receive the envy bonus, therefore I get paid nothing. Everyone scolds me for not betting enough for the envy bonus, but I really don't feel too bad, I always bet $1. I look up to see the floor manager's name tag read "Loza" and tell myself I should have known better than to play there. Cashout $123 (-$77)
-I put $50 in a five handed deuces wild machine with a better paytable than I have been playing. (-$50)
-I decide to try craps for the first time this trip. The odds are 3 4 5 x odds like most of the strip which is a pain, and I buy in for $300. A few points are made but mostly seven outs. Then the shooter comes out with an eight and I back it up with full odds ($50). A few rolls into it I say to the shooter, "come on any 8 is good, 53!" He rolls and the 53 comes up. I turn to him and say, "there we go, that's what we needed." The dealer leans over and takes my chips. Quite alarmed I look back down the table and what looked like a 5 3 was a 5 2. I had enough. Cashout $145 (-155)
-I buy in to a 1-2 NLHE table at the mirage for $200. You might be asking, "Why wouldn't he just stick with the poker, he's been winning?" I asked myself that also. Here is some of the significant action at the table.
-Rather early I'm down to about $110 so I pull out another hundred so as not to be short stacked and priced out of draws. In late postion after a few limpers I look at a K8 of ds and raise to $10, 2 people call. The flop comes 10 J 6, two diamonds. It's checked around to me and I bet $15, they both call. Turn is a 10, it's checked around to me, but I check afraid of a check raise from a 10. River is an offsuit 7 and once again it's checked to me. Can't win unless I bet here and now they seem really weak. I bet $25 and they both fold.
-I'm down to about $130 in chips out of the starting $300 and get dealt 9 10 suited under the gun. I limp, another limper, late raise to $12, two callers behind him, I call, and other guy calls. Flop comes 4 9 8. I come out betting $30, next guy folds, preflop raiser raises to $80 and everyone folds around to me. I came out betting thinking this guy would be scared of a set and fold with a better hand for some reason. It was stupid and I fold, probably never should have limped in in the first place with such a short stack.
-I'm down to about $65 and limp in under the gun with 4 6 of Ds. I just never learn. 5 limpers in the pot and the flop comes 2 K 9 two diamonds. I feel timid with my short stack and check, and it gets checked around. Next card is a 3 offsuit, givng me a gut shot draw along with the flush draw. Now I bet $10 and get two callers. The river is a 10 of diamonds. I hit my flush but it's little so I just check to call a bet hoping i'm not beat. The last to act bets $25, a kind of loose player who has overestimated some hands to this point. I think about raising all in but have tightened way up with my short stack so just call. Other guy folds, bettor turns over QJ offsuit for a straight.
-Things start to get better from there. A guy sits down at the table who you may have heard of named Jason Holbrook (I think that's his name). He's blind and they did a special bit on him during the WSOP which I believe he ended up cashing in. I could tell he was a real good player, and he had a partner sitting behind him who would whisper the hole cards to him and give a play by play during the hands. He had been running over the table and in mid position he raises 2 limpers to $14. 2 people fold and I look down at QJ of spades, a pretty hand. At this point I have a nice size stack again, about $280, so I call. A few other callers and the flop comes 10 4 K with two spades. Open ended and a flush draw. It gets checked around to me and I bet $40 into about a $65 pot and everyone folds. Maybe I should have bet less or just checked, but I decided to try and win it then. You may be wondering which two on the flop were spades. Curiously I have to say I don't remember. I know I loved the flop but I don't recall getting that thrill a royal flush draw brings, so I'm thinking it was the 4 and 10 of spades. Also, there are high hand jackpots at the Mirage and I can't believe I would have been stupid enough to chase people away from my royal flush draw. At least I hope not.
-Near the end of the session I pick up AA on the button. The under the gun had straddled for $6, next to act calls $6 and folded around to me I raise to $25. The straddler calls (the guy who had the straight against my small flush earlier) and the other guy calls. Flop comes 4 J 8. Checked around to me and I decide to check, they both have about $100 stacks and I'm not afraid of trying to trap. Next card is a 10, gets checked around to me and I bet $50. The straddler reraises to around $100, the other guy reraises to a little more ($110?) and I call. I'm hoping a 4 comes for two pair which I think I need. Q comes on the river, pretty ugly, but no one turns over their cards. I turn over my AA and they both muck. Don't know what they had. After 4 and a half hrs I cashout for $381 (+81).
-Early in the morning (about 3:30) I buy in to another NLHE 1-2 table at the Venetian for $200. It's so late it quickly gets broken up so we have to find other seats. I see two tables with an open seat but one has a really beautiful girl playing so I choose that one. I should have chosen the other. A lot of aggressive young pros at this table but I stick around. After two limpers I raise to $15 with A 10 and the 2 limpers call. Flop doesn't hit me and I have to fold when I get bet into.
-About 2 hands later I'm in the hijack position and raise 2 or 3 limpers to $15 with JJ. The guy behind me in the cutoff raises to $45 and it gets folded around to me. I think about the player, I think about my image so far, and I raise all in for about $200. He doesn't call right away which is a relief, but finally calls. Without showing he asks, "You got AA?" and I knew I was sunk. I said, "no, you have KK?" and he affirmed. No luck with the board and I lose my buy in. Not too smooth.
-I buy in for another $200 and the table gets broken again, so I get moved to another table. I'm not really enjoying myself and next to me sits a grumpy old codger with some poisonous breath. This wasn't bad breath, this was something indescribable every time he whined about something. Luckily he busted and left. I could never make much of a comeback and cashed out after 2.5 hrs for $213 ($-187). My last session and the first poker loss of the trip. I went to bed on a low note but still ahead for the trip.
Video Poker- -50
Pai Gow- -77
Carr Stud- -95
Free Play +180
Video Poker -130
Pai Gow -58
Carr Stud -95
Total Gambling: +644
Is the Carribean Stud total right? You put the $2500 quad bonus back in + another $95? Ouch.
No, sorry for not being clear. The quad bonus was from a previous trip.
Thanks for the reports clarkacal! Very well written, and I really enjoyed them. Congratulations on your successful gaming.
I'm glad you liked them. Going to Pearl river resort in 2 weeks so maybe the winning will continue. 20x odds on craps so planning a lot more of that!