The Insanity Week 1 - Las Vegas

I'm over a week removed from the first trip - sorry about that. I'll try and be better about posting. The first trip, as mentioned was to Las Vegas to play some poker. Really, this trip had two purposes for me:

  1. Play poker for a sustained duration, and see how my game is. I wanted to get a realistic idea of how my game rates.
  2. Hopefully do well, and see if I couldn't pay for the cost of these upcoming trips!

The fun thing about this trip was that  didn't bother with a hotel. I flew down Saturday afternoon, and back Sunday evening. I figured I could handle playing straight through without any sleep. It was only 30 hours after all... 

And it worked out, for the most part. One lesson learned will be to get a hotel room - the 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. stretch just wasn't very profitable, so I might as well sleep.    :-)

When I arrived in Vegas, it was about 4:30... and it was snowing. OK, not really snowing, but there were little flakes in the air, and it was damn cold. Not what I had signed up for! I hopped in a cab, and headed straight to Caesar's Palace. I like the poker room there - it's big and there's lots of different games to chose from. I played the 1-2 NL game for a few hours (until about 11:00), and left up - about where I wanted to be. It could have been more, but I was pleased with my play. After grabbing something to eat, I went back and played the 2-5 NL game. I would have played 1-2 again, but there was a wait list for 1-2, and seats were available on 2-5. This ended up being an exercise in frustration, as I played until about 8:00 in the morning, but didn't get any cards. I ended up leaving a little bit down for that session, but up overall still. There were a couple of lessons learned - leave the game when the cards run dry; and sleep is a good thing.

I decide to go for a walk, clear my head an get some breakfast. After doing all three things, I ended up at the Venetian. Initially I sat down at the 1-2 table, but frankly the level of play was pretty sad. So i switched t o the 2-5 table, and had one of my best sessions ever! I played from about 9:00 until about 3:30, and built a very big stack. Again, towards the end the cards were not playing to my favor, and frankly the competition got a lot better. I had built my stack taking advantage of the weaker players at the table, but towards the end it became clear that I was now one of the weaker players. So it was time to go. I went to the sports book and watched some of the football game and had some dinner.

A walk sounded like a good plan, so I headed down the strip to the MGM. It's close to the airport, and I figured it would be a fine place to spend the rest of the evening. My flight was at 10:00, so that gave me a few hours to play. I sat down at a 2-5 table again, and pretty much immediately doubled up. At that point I was feeling pretty good - a little too good perhaps, and started to play poorly. So I decided to stop, and head to the airport. I also played some blackjack for the first time. My philosophy has generally been to avoid the table games - I figure if you're playing against the house, it just isn't going to go well in the long run. I've been watching blackjack a bit on TV, and I think I have a bit of a better understanding of the strategy. So I played for about 20 minutes and turned $100 into $150, and ran away.  :-)   

Overall, I think it was a successful weekend. I was quite profitable on the trip, and can easily cover my expenses for the next few weeks. Overall, my play was pretty solid. I moved up a level from what I normally play at, and was able to hold my own. I definitely wasn't the weakest player at any table, but I also know that my game needs some work. There were a number of players that were much better than I.