Thursday, March 24, 2011

23 Hours in Vegas

A couple of factors influenced me to do a 23 hour trip to Vegas. First, the Ironman of Poker was happening and I thought it would be fun to witness some of the shenanigans. Second, for the first time ever Caesars gave me a free weekend room at Caesars Palace. I can usually only get IP and sometimes Flamingo, Harrah's, or Bally's comped on a weekend. I really wanted to check out the top line Caesars hotel. Finally, I had been to Vegas every month since November and I wanted to keep the streak alive. The reason it was a 23 hour trip is because airfare shot up a buy-in or two if I wanted to fly back Sunday morning instead of Saturday night. A rational being would have skipped flying across the country for 23 hours in a destination, but I did not.

After getting the full on TSA grope at Dulles (seriously, the guy checked my "junk" five times) it was off to LAX. Only one TV in the UA terminal at LAX was showing college basketball. Was anyone really watching the Clippers? Boo LAX. Just an all around crappy airport.

The plane touched down at McCarran just after 9pm. I was expecting a mob at the taxi line since a lot of hotels were sold out, but just breezed through. Ditto for checking in at Caesars Palace. I refrained from making any dorky Hangover jokes while the clerk hooked me up with a sweet room. The low quality picture was taken out the window with my phone. Through the magic of twitter I saw that Poker Grump and Grange95 were likely to be at Planet Hollywood so off I went.

The PHo poker room was hopping on a Friday night. In the ten minutes I waited for a new table to be opened I spotted the Grump. The new table was pretty soft and I was up a little bit when I noticed the seat to the left of Grange was open at another table. Got cleared by the floor to move and got seated between two IMOP participants (River Joe was on my left). I pretty quickly benefited from the tilt the IMOPers had put one guy on. My early position limp with AK became a re-raise all-in when it came back around to me with half my stack already in the pot. In the end my AK > A? for a double up in my first orbit. Sometimes poker is easy. I gradually added onto my stack but I don't recall any memorable hands. After Grange got bored and left in a blaze of chips I got a table change to Grump's table.

In order to be social I ended up with IMOPer Santa Claus and Poker Grump on my immediate left. I was fairly card dead for the time they were both at the table, and having two sharks behind me kept me from doing anything too crazy. At some point Grump left. This is around the time that I had been up for twenty hours straight save for a catnap on the flight. There was also Sam Adams and Jameson consumed so details get a little fuzzy. I do know that after Santa Claus left I moved into seat one and went on an incredible run. Some good play, some luck, some just being the drunk guy at the table that no one ever believed.

I do recall two lucky hands. In one case a short stack committed a large portion of his chips to my pre-flop raise with KK. Of course he hits his set and I get it all-in with him on the flop. Runner-runner flush and I'm stacking up chips (yes, I pulled off the same luckbox feat in Reno). Another "lucky" hand was flopping a 2 with 2-4 (the Grump). I bet it and the guy shoved his short-stack. It was almost free to call so I did. He flips over 77 and I start apologizing for "cracking" it before the dealer puts out the turn. Of course the turn is a 2 for trips, and another 2 on the river for quads. The guy took it well.

I set a personal record for a triangular number of red chip stacks with 15. I was trying to get to 21 when the wall hit me around two in the afternoon. I racked up much to the dismay of the table who had been salivating over my chips for hours at this point.

I wandered up to IP in a zombie like state. After getting on the list for the one table they had going I went over to the Penazzi oyster bar at Harrah's for my only meal of the trip. The large dish of scallops and pasta did not sit well after drinking for sixteen hours straight. When I went back to IP I sat for an orbit but left before I put a chip in the pot. At this point I went back to enjoy my beautiful room. By enjoy I mean I took a long shower so I wouldn't fall asleep before my flight. Packing was easy since I never unpacked or slept. Walked down to the Caesars taxi line and it seemed like there were a hundred people in line. On a hunch I walked by the line and there it was! An empty diamond member taxi line. Man that diamond card saves me so much time in Vegas. It was worth going up to AC on December 30 to get enough tier points for it.

Nothing too exciting at McCarran. It's not very busy on a Saturday night. It's also really easy to avoid the Nude-O-Scopes by walking between security lines. Next stop LAX.

Get to my gate at LAX and my worst non-fatal flying nightmare is there. Half the passengers waiting to board are middle school students hyped up about visiting the nation's capital. Besides catnaps on flights to and from LAS, I have not slept in 40 hours at this point. I am really worried that I will end up on CNN for losing it on a kid in flight. United must have sensed my fragile mental state and hooked me up with the penultimate first class upgrade. Sweet! No jail time tonight. Since there was a bulkhead behind me, I reclined as soon as the wheels left the ground. I instantly feel asleep and did not wake up until the deceleration/descent woke me up. That's the way to fly.

Hit Wegmans at 7:30am which really has to be the best time to go. Unfortunately I am almost never up at that hour.

All in all a fun 23 hours in Vegas. I'm glad my room was comped since I never used the bed. Sadly, my shortest Vegas trip ever was almost my most profitable Vegas trip ever. Hopefully the rungood streak continues when I come back the second weekend of April.