Tuesday, December 13, 2005

WPBT Imperial Palace: Day 1

Happy birthday to me!

My birthday couldn’t have started out better. I walked into the Lindbergh Terminal a few hours before the flight to Vegas and spotted a vacant Galaga game to see if I still had the chops. After level 43, I knew any challengers that may come about in Vegas would be crying in their own puddles of ineptitude to my greatness.

Ok, back to the journey to faux reality here.

Video games are fun, catching a blogger playing poker on his laptop when going to Vegas is better. Chad was busying rebuilding his online roll on a pretty slick laptop before our reaching our destination. I resisted the urge to ask to play myself, but that’s because I had more important things to think about… like getting some alcohol in my system. After seeing the overflow in the first bar, we settled down in a Spanish motif watering hole with significantly less patrons. A Tall Dos Equis and a Jag bomb to start things off while we discussed poker and how fuckin cold it has been outside.

After finishing the libations it was time to board to the Paradise City, where the grass is smoked, and girls are pretty (but mostly fake). The plane flight was pretty smooth, and I declined the option of buying a $3 pack of peanuts. Thanks to the ability to choose a seat, the coach seat right behind 1st class offer plenty of legroom and I was able to stretch my little legs out a bit.

McCarran airport was really changed for the better with all the restaurants and shop offered at the terminal. As we left the plane, I could have sworn I saw Lyle Berman, but as Chad pointed out, do you think a multi-millionaire would be flying coach on a crowded afternoon flight?

Perhaps not.

My luggage managed to only delay our cab ride by a few minutes as I found it rather quickly after the monorail ride to the main terminal. We were ready to stand in the cab line… but there was no line as we were directed towards an open cab and politely told the Arab-accented driver to take us to Imperial Palace. I tried to get him not to take the highway but since the flight plugged up my ears I couldn’t argue with his protesting (no tip for you sir). He tried to offer club tickets to lessen the blow, but these were turned down since 1) I still have the ones from the last time still in my wallet and 2) I’m not much of a “clubbing” type.

Once inside the hotel, we decided to check out the poker room for early arriving bloggers. Nada. Chad then suggested we check out Harrah’s for a little poker action while we waited impatiently for the blogger get-together to finally start. The buy-in was $100, the game… NLHE. Immediately after sitting down, I somehow get tangled up in the first three hands and watched $30 leave my stack rather quickly. One thing that took some adjusting to were the pre-flop raises at the table. On-line you’ll see a raise of 3-4BBs, here the raises were 2-6 CHIPS, since you’re given $100 in redbirds, that’s the raise of $10-$30 on a $1-$2 blind. It seemed very foreign to me and took a little bit to get used to. The table was definitely soft, especially with me sitting down, but I managed to snag a short-stack when he called my big slick $50 re-raise with AJo and didn’t catch his 3 outs. My first live play stack, I thought of celebrating with a Happy Gilmore bull dance but settled with a curt nod as the busted player had over $400 in his stack just four hands prior. Ouch.

Leaving Harrah’s without any clue as to where people were, led us to MGM Grand where we met up with several bloggers: I believe there was a Canuck, a hippy, and a BigMike (I'm HORRIBLE with remembering name, cards no problem, but names I suck with) so if you were there please let me know! After getting all giggly with the blogger folks after an hour or two, an announcement was made to storm the castle.

It was here’s where I got my first poker lesson of the weekend:

Top two pair isn’t very good versus two flopped sets and betting into them can make you look rather stupid.

The lineup at the table was rather soft compared to the rough table at Harrah’s. Rounding out this ego and nad-shrinking table… Otis, JoeSpeaker, BadBlood, Chad, DrChako (added!), TheMark, CJ, and TheATM (myself). Slowly, I managed to bleed away my profit, and a proper stacking when my top two didn't hold up against Blood's flopped set of deuces. Many more shots and Cap'n Cokes were consumed as I tried to defiled my ability to remain vertical, but it didn't work. Sadly, a Linda Blair impersonation never happened which was quite shocking to me since I can't remember the last time I drank so much.

After losing a buy-in and a half I heard some music to my ears… “let’s play PLO8” and no TheMark wasn’t kidding. I figured this was my only chance to skim some money off this lineup despite a quick $1 Roshambo win. Even though the game did not last very long, I managed to recoup about $80 from my weak-tight-stupidly-aggressive NLHE play.

It is possible that the amount of birthday shots consumed had something to do with my horrible play, but the main thing was… I was having fun despite losing, thus setting the tone for the remainder of the weekend.

Thanks for dropping by, tomorrow will bring stupidly tall chip stacks, O8 tourney at the Orleans, a cab ride with more raunch then a Sam Kinison routine, WSOP Champion sightings, and hot pretzels for dinner.

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