Still Having Fun

I played in the noon Hold’em tournament at Caesar’s Palace. It’s a great tournament because of the blind structure. You start with a lot of chips and can wait a while before committing to a pot.

I didn’t do all that well… in other words, I didn’t cash. I’m still ahead, though not by much.

While waiting for the tournament, I was hungry. I went to a place that looked casual… coffee shoppish, if you will – Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.

I sat at the counter and had the 16 Season Chicken Salad. It was really tasty and I especially liked the goat cheese.

I have taken way too many photos. It’s come to the point, when I see tourists taking a photo, but one of the is not in the picture, because he’s taking it, I offer to take it for them! I’ve done that at least a half dozen times so far – maybe more.

Tonight we see Roseanne Barr, across the street at New York New York.

The Sky Is Blue

Yes, I know Nevada can be excruciatingly hot during the summer, but right now, it’s heaven. Temperatures have been in the 70s during the day with zero cloudiness!

What’s not to like?

My poker playing continues my head’s still above water. I decided to try the afternoon tournament at Caesars Palace.

When I first came to Las Vegas in 1975, Caesars is where I stayed. The original buildings are still there somewhere, but not in a form recognizable by me.

Back then a parking lot sat between the hotel and Las Vegas Blvd. Over the years, more and more has been built in that space and every other space.

The poker room at Caesars is new, spacious and nicely furnished. More important for me, the structure of the poker tournament is excellent. You get a lot of chips and the blinds increase slowly. That benefits a more conservative player, like me.

I still lost my $130 buy-in, placing well back in the pack.

I headed back to the Mirage to nap. A ‘wrong number’ to my home phone, which is begin forwarded to my cell phone, woke me after 30 minutes. Nap over.

I called Helaine and found she had walked dow the block to the Bellagio. I headed out to meet her. In our opinion, Bellagio’s buffet is the best on the Strip. We decided we’d have a buffet dinner there.

Meanwhile, it was early for dinner, so I sat down in Bellagio’s poker room. It was jammed. Actually, it was too jammed!

The poker tables and seats are much too close together for my liking. The room is pretty with a beautiful ceiling, but I’m not on the ceiling. It just wasn’t a particularly comfortable place to play.

I won back around $40. That was Bellagio’s saving grace.

Our nighttime plans took us to the Flamingo Hotel for Second City. Second City is an improv comedy troupe. It is named for, and has its base in, Chicago.

The show was very good… very funny. The theater is fairly small, so even though we sat in the back, the sight lines and sound were good.

I know Second City claims to be improv, and maybe these routines were originally improvised, but there seemed to be very little improvising going on last night. I’m not disappointed, just puzzled.

Before bed, I decided to play some more poker. I found a table at the Mirage which was a miniature United Nations. There was a Chinese man, Laotian woman, and at least two other accents I didn’t recognize. This at a table of nine players.

For the first time on this trip, I thought I played poorly and quickly dug a hole for myself. I was too interested in playing hands – that’s bad. By the time I righted myself, a stack and a half of the chips in front of me had been distributed to other players.

I bore down and scraped back. I was getting closer to even, when I was dealt two Aces. This table was so aggressive, I was able to bet strongly at each stage of the game without scaring everyone away.

The Aces held against another player’s Jacks, and I walked away up $29.

I continue to be ahead at the poker tables on this trip. I’m not up a lot. More importantly, I’m not down.

The Tournament Ends

It took nearly six hours, but the tournament is over. I was one of the last 17 standing of the 609 who started, so I did get an entry into Sunday’s tournament which I’ve already converted back to cash&#185.

It didn’t have to take that long but there was one player at my table who was obviously trying to slow us down. I believe it was a strategic move – hoping for less exposure to lose.

Any time he had a hand he didn’t want to play, he would do nothing – forcing the system to ‘time him out.’ As soon as his hand was folded, he reestablished his presence to Pokerstars allowing the charade to continue.

This is ridiculous. I complained to support, but I would guess it is allowed under their rules.

Toward the end, I thought I was a goner. I lost a lot of chips when I went in with Ace-King against Ace-Queen. Another Queen came on the flop. I was 20th of 20 and way behind in chips!

I won a few hands in all-in desperation play, including Ace-7 – pairing my 7s against two other players. By that time, there were six or seven ‘wounded’ players who could easily have gone out with one bad call.

I felt bad watching the 20th and 19th players go out. All that time for nothing.

When it was all over, it was almost 6:00 AM. Much too late. Much too long.

&#185 – Actually, when I ‘unregistered’ from the Sunday tournament, I got back $530 tournament dollars – which can only be used in tournaments. I’ll have to actually win again to see this as real money.