Thursday, July 20, 2006

Standing on it's Head

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Vegas Trip Report: Part 2

Since Chris is being a good employee and I’m not, he asked me to finish recapping Day 1 of the trip. I’ll try and make it as short as possible.

** First, I would like to go back to the part of the story that Chris forgot to mention when we were driving with my mom and her b/f to the hotel from the airport, he made a totally funny joke about him and I visiting the little white wedding chapel later and then the car went dead silent. I guess my mom can’t take a joke. I find it hilarious. **

So after winning an insane amount of money at Barbary Coast AND getting tipsy for free (I recommend the margaritas there), we met up with my mom and her b/f to walk down the strip a bit. We moseyed on down to TI to check out the “cool” pirate show, which turned out to be not at all the nice little family show my dad showed me on video tape from his trip to Vegas about 4 years ago. It was a bunch of trampy girls wearing next to nothing who couldn’t act or sing worth a crap (Editors Note: They weren’t singing – it was all taped. But they did suck at lip synching.) I was partly amused laughing at this ridiculous show and partly disappointed it wasn’t the cool fire/battleship/pirate thing I was expecting. But Chris had his digital camera out and was snapping away and videoing the entire thing so I guess it couldn’t be that bad.

It’s getting late now and we’re all hungry so we stop in to Margaritaville: Cheeseburger in Paradise, which happens to be connected to our hotel, for some eats. We immediately head to the bar for margaritas cause that’s the name of the restaurant so you have to get one and then shortly after we got seated at our table. Chris and I both get the Cheeseburger in Paradise because that’s the name of the restaurant so you have to, and half way through our meal my Aunt Judy and Uncle Bill show up (they just arrived into Vegas and got into their hotel – Caesar’s because they are way classier than us). We proceed to squish six people around a four person table and talk, laugh, watch a girl swim around in a neon green gigantic blender after climbing out of a volcano (No, it didn't make sense at the time either), and men walk around on stilts. Highly entertaining AND Chris didn’t make an ass out of himself all night, so that’s a plus!
After a while my mom started to complain that she was tired since it was “2 am” (KY time) and that she got up at “1 am” (Las Vegas time), so after we finished laughing and making fun of her for switching time zones like that, everyone decided to call it a night. I’ll spare everyone the details of the rest of the night. It consisted of us going back to our hotel room and getting in our separate queen beds and going to sleep.

- Amy

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gah, I need to think of another title?

"Wait, so professionals are allowed to play against us now?"
- Old lady sitting at the 1-3 spread limit game as TheGirlfriend and I sat down with our 3, yes 3, stacks of chips.

In case you were wondering, yes, she was serious. You could see the fear in her eyes.

And yes, she did win all my money.


I suppose that it's about time I get to a recap of the Vegas trip. As it's been a week and a half or so since I returned, it might look like I've just been lazy and unmotivated to try to capture the experience in words. However, I prefer to think that I was just letting the memories marinate a little bit before serving them up.


I really wish I was a talented writer and had some kind of interesting device so that I could present the trip report without just chronologically explaining what happened and then what happened next and then we did this and then this happened so then we went here and saw them do this but I don't. Honestly, I may have even just spent upwards of 5 minutes trying to think of one, yet failing. So if anyone has any suggestions, let me know and maybe the next trip I decide to document here can be less boring for my mom and girlfriend to read.

The preceeding paragraph serves absolutely no purpose. Feel free to skip it.

So TheGirlfriend and I were up and out the door on Thursday morning by 4:30 am. I'm dead serious when I say that the only thing that can get me up at that hour is the promise of neon flashing lights and the clanging of bells from slot machines. Unfortunately, the promised land of lights and bells was still a pair of 3 hour flights, broken up by an hour and half layover, away. Grrr.

We arrived at McCarran at 9:30 am which was really wierd cause I remember leaving DC at 6 and traveling for 6 hours but that's what time my phone said when I turned it back on, so I'll just go with it. This was where we began part one of the multi-part operation known as "Operation Meet TheGirlfriend's Extended Family in Vegas and Not Come Across as an Idiot".

See, here's the thing. You can put me in the most spartan Amish community in the armpit of Indiana, throw in some of TheGirlfriend's aunts and uncles, tell me not to say or do anything stupid, and I'm still liable to make some comment about the hot chick churning butter with the sexy bonnet on. Look at the way she pumps that handle.

(TheGirlfriend: You're such an ass.)

You say the same thing, and put me in Vegas and I'm on the verge of being broken up with everytime my mouth opens. (Not to mention what happened the first time I met her mom)

Anyway, amish chicks aside, we met Debbie (GFMom) and Jim (GFMomBF) and carpooled to our hotel - The Flamingo. Cause nothing says Vegas High Roller like pink birds.

After checking into our room, which included a cool, tinted, floor to ceiling window (and obviously 2 queen beds, mom, geez) it was time to hit the pool. This was a new experience for me. In all the times I've been to Vegas, not a single minute had been spent by any pool - let alone drinking Daquiris, Pina Coladas, Miami Vices and watching a scantily clad "promotion girl" use a stripper pole. Perhaps I've been missing out.

And I still have no idea what she was promoting.

However, stripper pole or no - it was 116 freaking degrees and no amount of mist sprayer things were able to keep me in the sun for too long. Plus I was itching to do some -EV gambling.

CanIRebuy: Hey GF, you wanna go next door and play blackjack while drinking free* drinks?
TheGirlfriend: Psh, does a player split 9's against a dealer's 3?
CanIRebuy: um, well, I have no idea - I don't know basic strategy...
TheGirlfriend: Idiot - let's go!

*Free, of course, is relative since you're forced to be playing a game with a house edge. Those tricky casinos!

So it was off to Barbary Coast for our first gambling of the trip. Thankfully, they had a $5 minimum at a few tables because we needed to warm up our luckboxes. The only open table had just seen a group of dejected tourists leave empty handed, so I was determined to stay clear of that bad aura, however TheGirlfriend had other ideas. Throwing all proper gambling caution to the wind she plopped down and dared the dealer to bust her. Not one to leave her alone while her back is against the proverbial gambling wall, I quickly took the 1 seat, while 5 middle aged women filled in 3-7 seats.

We were off to an auspicious start as the dealer picked up right where he left off. He couldn't miss - every ace he seemed to have a face card to go with it. Our aces all seemed to have 5's with them. We both were nearly felted when thankfully he was switched out.

It was like relieving Mariano Rivera with Jose Canseco.

Every player at the table instantly went on a run. Our face cards were pairing with aces, our double downs would hit a big card, the dealer started busting every other time. It was beautiful. We were in the zone. Coincidently, I had cut the deck so all the good karma was partially due to my awesome cut - or at least wasn't ruined by it - and the drunk old chicks felt that because of this I needed a string of Mardi Gras beads for every blackjack that we hit.

When we left, I looked like one of those african women that use all the hoops to stretch out their necks.

ok, not really - I had like 4 strings, but it was still fun.

TheGirlfriend and I ended our first gambling extravaganza with a profit of $40 each, 4 beads, and a ton of laughs. If that doesn't epitomize the Vegas experience, I don't know what does.

Next up - Dinner, Volcano girl and more aunts and uncles.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

$50k HORSE Results

Chip Reese has won the arguably most prestigious event in this year's WSOP and claiming $1.7 million and his third bracelet.

And most importantly, clinches me the fantasy win against TheGirlfriend. Good Game.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

H.O.R.S.E. Event Fantasy Picks

Updated at 11:25 am EST on day 2 (3?):

Team TheGirlfriend:
Howard Lederer - $0
Phil Ivey - T570,000
Jen Harman - $0
Chris Ferguson - $0
Greg Raymer - $0
Total: T570,000

Team CanIRebuy:
Chip Reese - T1,250,000
Daniel Negreanu - $0
Barry Greenstein - $205,920
Todd Brunson - $0
David Williams - $0
Total: $205,920+

Whichever team has the highest total combined cashout amount wins.

Ivey has his work cut out for him. But if there's anyone who can pull it off....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What Time Zone is This?

There will likely be a rather detailed trip report forth coming, but in the meantime I hope these (poorly taken) pictures can begin to paint some semblance of a few hundred word story.

Things NOT shown:

- 2 for 1 drink specials at the Flamingo pool, complete with Stripper Pole and Hot Body Contests. (How could I NOT get any pictures of that?!?)

- Busting out the lucksack at Barbary Coast blackjack, and walking away with 100% return on investment AND a string of Mardi Gras beads.

- Recognizing Dr. Pauly at the Excalibur, and completely cementing my pseudo-poker-blogging-and-complete-loser status with a "Oh man, I'm a big fan - I love your blog".

- Having Joe Speaker offer me a kiss when I great him with "I can't believe I'm doing this - this is SO gay...." And I'm only 80% sure he was joking ;-)

- Being hit on at the Irish Pub in New York, New York...and being pretty sure that she WASN'T a hooker. And pretty sure that she was a she.

- Plenty more to come...

On to the pictures!

Here are the gentlemen: Bill, Jim, Ollie and Me. How could any group of women resist our charms?

Speaking of the women: TheGirlfriend, Jane, Debbie (GF's Mom), and Judy.

Funny story, while we were all walking through MGM a really short guy in a uniform ran up to them and claimed he was the manager of the nightclub and a few showgirls all got sick and he wondered if they could fill in for one night. Alas, we were running late for the $19.99 steak buffet so they couldn't do it.

True story.

Did someone say showgirl? Unfortunately, the quality of this picture caused TheGirlfriend to lose all picture taking privileges for the rest of the trip. I think she may have done it on purpose.

And just some random pics of TheGirlfriend and me at Caesar's palace. Good times.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Vegas Poker Prep Work

In order to make sure that I'm not totally donktastic in Vegas this weekend, I played a little $25 NLHE on Party. Since 95% of my pokering has been limit, my NL game is definitely in need of a tune up. Playing these limits probably isn't going to be a quick fix, but it helps a little I'm sure.

So this hand came up and I wasn't sure how I handled it and thought I should run the numbers and see if my play was justifiable or completely fishy.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $ BB (9 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

BB ($15.69)

UTG ($21.14)

UTG+1 ($0)

MP1 ($33.09)

MP2 ($3.20)

MP3 ($4.75)

CanIRebuy ($23.65)

Button ($10.45)

SB ($24.75)

Preflop: CanIRebuy is CO with Kc, Ts. SB posts a blind of $0.10.

1 fold, MP1 calls $0.25, 2 folds, CO raises to $1, 1 fold, SB (poster) calls $0.90, 1 fold, MP1 calls $0.75.

Ok, so potentially a fold here, but I'm in position and trying to practice my post-flop play right? So I raise it up.

Flop: ($3.25) 4h, Js, Qc (4 players)

SB bets $2, MP1 folds, CanIRebuy calls $2.

Here's the first interesting decision for me. I flop open-ended so I have 8 outs, or estimated to a 16% chance to hit my straight (at the time I used the simplification of doubling my outs to convert to percentage, so 8 outs *2 is 16%. The actual percentage is 17%) This 16% chance is about 7 to 1.

It's $2 to call in a $5.25 pot, so I'm getting pot odds of ~2.6 to 1. So how much implied odds do I need to make this call? Since it's $2 to me, I'd need to get back $14 to break even on a 7 to 1 chance. So I only need an additional $8.25 in implied money to break even. Since I have position and the SB has a full stack, this is certainly reasonable. My call is likely correct.

Turn: ($7.25) 6c (3 players)

SB bets $5, CanIRebuy calls $5.

I missed my straight, so the same 7 to 1 odds apply. The pot is $12.25 and it's $5 for me to call, so pot odds of ~2.5 to 1. If we include implied odds though (let's assume that if I hit I get my whole stack in, if I miss then I simply fold) I'm looking at a ($12.25 + $15.65=) $28 pot for a $5 call or 5.5 to 1 odds.

Based on this I should've folded since 5.5 to 1 is less than the 7 to 1 required.

River: ($17.25) 9h (3 players)

SB bets $11, CanIRebuy raises $4.65 (all-in), SB calls $4.65.

I hit my hand, raise all in and of course I win.

Final Pot: $32.90

Based on this, my NL game can use some work. Where's Sklansky's book??

Yup. These are my friends.

mhensch607: i totally tried to hook up with a high school graduate last night
mhensch607: the dad cock blocked me
mhensch607: i was at a wedding
mhensch607: and was dancing with her and giving her drinks :-)
mhensch607: and the dad came in and goes, "you belong over there"

Fireworks and Vegas.

With the 4th of July festivities in full swing here in the Nation's capital, and a 4 day trip to Vegas starting Thursday you'd think that I'd have plenty to write about.

You'd be right, but I'm not gonna. So there.