Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ahh, Vegas

Had much fun in Vegas, as always, and it was an interesting trip in many ways. I think the thing I always find most interesting about the Vegas phenomenon isn't so much the experience while there (which is usually pretty dang uniform and consistent) but more my reaction to it, especially afterwards.

I'm a weird monkey in that I usually come home from Vegas more jazzed and energized than I was before going. And the reason is pretty simple; I'm a greedy, capitalitsic pig at heart. Seeing the Vegas money machine in action always gives me a nudge to get serious about my own little wee business endeavors, not to mention the reinforcement of seeing "successful" types who obviously have made enough scratch in the world to not even begin to sweat the fairly large sums of money they're throwing around.

This trip, though, not so much, as far as coming back motivated. But in a good way, as it's the first time where I got home, immediately got back to work, after looking around a bit and confirming that, yeah, I was busting ass pretty hard before going to Vegas and will continue the same pace of busting ass.

Unlike past trips, the burning desire to play poker just wasn't there. I probably played a total of 7-8 hours the whole trip, mostly playing $2-$5 NL at the Mirage, with a few SnGs thrown in here and there when I didn't feel like wading through the waiting list. I didn't even make it over to the Rio. Most of my gambling was at silly -EV games like blackjack and video poker. And, honestly, I had a hell of a lot more fun playing those games than poker, largely because I was playing with wife and, gasp, it was actually fun to just straight up gamble.

I'll never quit playing poker, so I don't mean to sound too down on it, as it's an intriguing, complicated game that can be fun as hell. But man, it also tends to sometimes bring the absolute worst out of people. And short of simply getting up and leaving the table, you can't escape it, if they're determined enough to give you their absolute worst.

And yeah, it totally depends on the table and situation, yada yada yada, but still. So much posturing and misplaced arrogance and pissedoffedness, and so little tangible enjoyment and enthusiasm for what's going on.

Was pretty much break-even pokerwise, but donated a goodly bit at the blackjack tables. The last night we played blackjack was pretty wacky, as one guy kept doubling down on hard 12 (like nine or ten times) and, every single damn time, won. While that wackiness was going on a guy wandered up to the table (which was one of the cheaper $10 minimum bet tables) and bought in for $10,000. Entirely in twenty dollar bills. Which took the dealer about fifteen minutes to spread, count out, and give him chips for. The guy kept saying that he never got to gamble, so he'd been "saving up".

The pit boss immediately started giving him the stinkeye, and it didn't get better when they asked for the guy's ID and it was a Nevada license. But they let him play and he donked off $2,000-$3,000 betting $100-$200/hand, then wandered off.

Also saw a pretty sick hand at $2-$5 NL when the two big stacks at the table got it all in on the turn, on a board of 3 8 9 9. Big Stack #1 had 89, Big Stack #2 had 1010. Big Stack #2 drags a +$4,000 pot when the dealer deals the case 10 on the river (assuming another player who claimed to fold a 10 pre-flop wasn't lying). Big Stack #1 claimed to work for a hedge fund, though, and immediately reloaded for $500 more and whipped out his ginormous roll of Benjamins and left them on the table, so he didn't appear to be hurting for the cash.

We stayed at the Mirage this time, and I have to say I was kind of surprised at how dinky the room was. Wasn't expecting that much, and we're far from the pickiest monkeys when it comes to room accomodations, but no coffee maker, saggy tiny beds, and having to pay $12/day for Internet access kinda sucks.

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