It’s Monday the 6th of June and I wake up at 05:15 and know it’s that time again, Vegas baby! My girlfriend brings me to the airport after picking up my best buddy, Robbertjan(RJ). A 15min delay and we only have 2 hours, hmmm let’s just wait and see but that doesn’t look to good. The plane is half empty and we both have 2 seats for ourselves, not bad at all for this 11 hour flight to Houston. The Captain tells us that we will arrive early on schedule despite the 15 minute delay, maybe we are not running that bad after all. Too bad we don’t have the normal 200+ movies to pick from, we probably ended up in one of the older planes of the Continental fleet, instead of watching movies I’m reading a book, now that’s something new!
The landing is pretty bumpy but we arrive early on schedule so it should be no problem to make our connecting flight but first we have to go through customs. You never know how long the row is at customs and this time we have to wait over an hour till we finally can get our fingerprints and photo taken. Luckily there is still plenty of time left and we know for sure we are not going to miss the flight so everything looks good to make it early to Las Vegas! Suddenly it starts raining really hard, the whole runway is flooded and we’ve already boarded the plane and have to wait a bit before we can take off. With a 30min delay we finally take off and Vegas is getting really close now. Monday, the 6th of June at 17:30 we land at McCarran International Airport. We are back, back in Vegas the town we both love so much!
It’s my 9th trip to Las Vegas and I will never forget any one of them. The Bellagio is the hotel we love the most and that’s where we are staying again this year. I won’t say it’s the best hotel there is, it’s a matter of taste but for me the Bellagio has everything I need. The hotel rooms are okay (I’ve seen better), the pool is really relaxed, the casino is just how I like it, buzzing and crowded with people during the evening. Most people don’t like the poker pit since it’s really messy and noisy but I just love it. I’ll have to love it anyways, because it’s the only place in Vegas where they still have decent Limit Hold’em Cashgame action 🙁
After we land I find my bag already going round on the baggage carousel, RJ’s bag is nowhere to be found. We hear his naming getting called by the speaker and unfortunately his bag didn’t make the flight (strange cause mine did). Oh well, they’ll bring it to the Bellagio a couple of hours later, nothing we can do really. We check-in and take a shower, we have diner at Cafe Bellagio and we decide to go over to see the Cosmopolitan and Aria, two of the newest casinos in Las Vegas. We are really just killing time since we try to go to bed as late as possible to beat the jetlag. So far that’s what worked every year and it seems to be working fine this year as well. It’s 21:30 and we are both really tired, time to go to bed. RJ promises not to wake me up before 07:00, yeah right, RJ always wakes up early.
Tuesday, the 7th of June and at after waking up several times already I really can’t sleep any longer at 06:30. RJ is already behind the laptop, watching the stock market as always. Downstairs we pick up his bag, since it didn’t arrive before we went to bed the day before. After putting on some short pants we can go for some breakfast. The closest Subway is a 10min walk to the always lovely O’Sheas Casino. O’Sheas smells like beer 24/7 and has 6 tables of beer pong! Tummies are filled and we go over to the Forum Shops to buy an adapter for my Laptop. It’s 09:00 and I walk thru the front door of the Forum Shops and see 15 girls all dressed up on the escalator waiving to the camera. They have to do it over and over again, they go up and down the escalator and keep waving and smiling to the camera, I didn’t mind of course 😉 Girls in dresses and high heels, I really can’t get enough of it. I do know that’s not nice to say since I have a girlfriend but I just can’t lie about it. Vegas is the best spot on earth to enjoy the view of beautiful women. Too bad for all your readers that I didn’t have my phone with me to take some pictures 🙁
It’s 10:00 and we are back at the Bellagio. It’s pool time! I actually didn’t think we could enjoy the pool this year, since in June it can be really hot already. Vegas still is a city in the middle of the desert so during summer it’s often way too hot to be in the open sun. Luckily at the moment it’s not too hot to enjoy the pool. I get my book and go downstairs, the pool is as lovely as always. We don’t want to stay to long in the sun for the first day, just to be sure not to get sunburned. Every 20 minutes or so I jump into to water to cool my body, I read some and then repeat the same thing till 12:30. Now that’s how I want to start my day, every day!
13:00 and we go downstairs again and hit the poker tables. They’ve changed the buy-in structures since the beginning of this year. They normally offered 8/16, 15/30, 30/60 but nowadays they offer 10/20, 20/40, 40/80. I normally played 15/30 but was already considering playing 30/60 this year so 20/40 it is. We both put our names on the list and we are lucky, a new table will start. We prefer to play on the same table since it’s more fun but also because we can comment on each other’s game (of course not during the session, but after). We always try to sit on opposite sides to minimize the amount of times we are in the same hand but if it happens RJ knows that he always beats me Heads-Up anyway 😉 The second hand that is dealt I get KK, 5 bets (cap) go in pre-flop. On a Kxx board I play my kings pretty fast, 3-betting them. On the Q river I can tell by my opponents face (a she) that she has trips. I of course bet as planned anyway, she raises and I happily 3-bet the nuts, a nice start of the day! I’ve missed the interaction in live games, seeing people’s faces, watching how some people take beats or just chatting to people you don’t know which sometimes turn out to be pretty good conversations.
After winning that hand I lose about every hand I play. To RJ basically the same happens and I think after 1,5/2 hours we are both down about $800-$1.000. The game isn’t that soft actually, plenty of okay/good regulars which you can already notice by the fact that they don’t chop the blinds. Luckily I win some back and we get some fresh blood at the table. I get my groove going and without premiums I manage to flop decent, play aggressive and just crush the table for a couple of hours. I’m already happy that I’m back to break-even but I’m not finished yet. Poker is easy when you are winning but I’m playing some decent poker by isolating the fish and try to go for the easy money. Of course I just always have it when they go to showdown and I’m 2/3 barreling as aggressor with nothing every time they fold. I love variance coming my way and around 17:30 I’m up about $1k. RJ is still doing pretty bad but the table got even worse. We both win some (more) money and at 19:30 I decide to quit for the day. Up $1.350, playing 6,5 hours of live poker without missing a single hand. RJ manages to get back from -$1.600 to break-even, so he is pretty happy with the end result as well.
It was a good idea to play some hands today already, just so we are used to playing live again. It’s something we’ve both always did so it’s nothing new but you have to adjust your game a bit since it just plays different compared to online. The last 3/4 hours I really crushed the table and I had a really good image something that really helps my style of play, I can only hope I do as good tomorrow! We decide to try out Musashi for some great Teppanyaki, the place was pretty empty (which normally isn’t the case) but as we got seated next to two other poker players we had plenty conversation during our diner. It’s now time to go to bed since it’s 01:00 and we are both getting pretty tired. Waking up around 09:00 would be nice but I could always take an afternoon nap if needed. Our tournament starts at 17:00 and we are both really looking forward to it. After reading many people’s tweets I can say I do not feel tired, I do not feel jetlagged, I don’t feel sick and I don’t have a cold. I’ll just have to crush “Mount Variance” the coming 3 days so I can take that bracelet home, no excuses!