Friday, February 18, 2011

First Trip to Reno

A couple of months ago I booked a weekend trip to Reno, taking advantage of low airfare and a comped room at Harrah's Reno. I intended to ski for the first time in a decade, and to play some poker. Unfortunately, I somehow injured my shoulder and decided skiing was not the best idea for recovery. Oh well, more time for poker.

I got into town at eight o'clock Friday night. The first order of business was getting dinner. recommended Lucky Noodle Bar, and after wandering around a bit and asking a security guard I found it. Harrah's Reno is a bit confusing because it is really two casinos across the street from each other. I was staying on the east side, the smaller of the two casinos. The noodle shop was quick, filling, and cheap. Plus, you get to watch a master woksman if you sit at the bar. I also realized I was back in Nevada when I got asked for ID to use my credit card to pay. I cannot recall the last time I had to provide ID for a credit transaction in Virginia, or even Atlantic City.

After eating I got seated right away at the one 1-2 game Harrah's was running at nine on a Friday night. Within an hour we were playing five-handed, but the table filled up later. These were some bad players. Example: My pot-sized all-in reraise was called by a naked inside straight draw. I'm not sure I have ever seen that before. Of course the poker gods were not kind to me and I suffered a few suckouts to finish down for the session. The room went dark sometime between three and four am. By this point I had a few Sam Adams and Jamesons in me and was not ready for bed. The bikini clad sirens lured me to the blackjack pit where I played 6:5 BJ. Bad Tarpie! Luckily Harrah's was looking out for me and closed that pit within 30 minutes. I headed over to the non-bikini blackjack tables and managed to make up for my poker losses plus a few hundred. Send a SASE and money and I'll send you my BJ system. It involves betting and randomly betting a little more and then getting lucky :) It was off to bed around 5am.

My body was on east coast time, so I woke up threeish hours later. The Harrah's buffet on Saturday morning is not a bad value. $13.99 included rotgut champagne. As long as you have an omelet station, I'm happy. Since it was brunch, prime rib, sushi, and crab legs were also set out. I just stuck with an omelet, breakfast meats, and a mimosa.

Late Saturday morning was a bad time to be looking for a cash game. Harrah's was running a tournament, so I decided to explore downtown a bit. I skipped right pass El Dorado and went into Silver Legacy. Their poker room does not open until noon and it is all electronic tables. Lame. Circus Circus had no cash games and had just started a tournament. I tried to enter just to kill time until cash games opened up, but there was no late entry. On my way back to Harrah's I hit El Dorado and found a cash game. Had to re-buy a couple of times because flush draws always seem to get there for other people, but then the fun started.

My favorite hand was limping with KK. With my usual luck, non of the LAGs behind me re-popped it (or even limped), so it was just me, BB, and Button. Flop is a beautiful K93 rainbow. Check-check-check. Let's see if I can give one of these guys some rope. Turn 3. I got up from the table and did a little dance, but these guys weren't paying attention. Check-check-check. River 8. BB bets ridiculously big, something like $65. I had $165 and decide to re-shove. I didn't think there was much chance of the Button having a hand he could call with, so I was just going for the BBs chips. Now the Button starts bitching and moaning about being caught on the river. It takes him five minutes to talk himself into a call. Yay! The BB calls instantly. Button had A3 for trips, A kicker. Button was correct, BB had 8-3 for suckout rivered boat. But KKK33 is best! I can't remember the last time a hand worked out so well for me. It took me minutes to stack all of those chips.

Another favorite was raising pre-flop with KK (again!) and having a guy call half his stack. Flop is T93 and I put him all-in. Of course he called half his stack with 99. I didn't even see the board, but I runner runnered a flush as I was counting the chips to pay off the set. Whoops. I ended up stacking the guy a couple more times. It was fun since he didn't tip dealers and was generally unpleasant.

The rest of the afternoon I hit a few more sets, and even after showing down monsters no one was giving me credit for hands. I ended up cashing out four racks. I think this is my biggest score ever. Last year I built up a four rack stack but then pissed it away before cashing out. I need to remember it is possible for me to pull this off next time I'm stuck folding J2off and having AA cracked for hours on end.

Went back to Lucky Noodle for dinner. The Harrah's poker room had a wait and again, just one table so I went back to El Dorado. Made a small profit before lack of sleep hit me.

When packing for my early, early morning flight, I had to take my winnings out of my wallet since it would not close. I hope to have that problem again in the future. Got back to DC in time for my six o'clock dart match and my good fortune carried over to my dart game. All in all a fun weekend.

Hopefully I will make it back to Reno/Tahoe for skiing in the next couple of months. It's mostly up to United Airlines.