8:30 AM Tuesday. We are at the Red Rock Casino, a nice local joint on the far Western outskirts of Las Vegas. There are two tables of 1/2 already going. The desk clerk tells me the 2/5 game should be up and running by 11AM--on a Tuesday morning. Not bad for a local spot.
It's a 7 hour drive from Reno to Las Vegas. Most of that is done over a two lane undivided secondary road that rather ambitiously calls itself Highway 95. The speed limit is 70 mph (117 kph). I find 80 mph to be the perfect rate for me given the conditions; however, my vision has become problematic of late.
I picked up an eye infection or something a few weeks ago, and up until recently I had been spending nights waking up in pain, my eyes red and watering and my lids swollen and drooping down. My health insurance only covers for emergencies when I'm out of state. I've wasted a lot of time recently in pondering exactly what qualifies as a health emergency and what doesn't. Meanwhile, the night time pain has gone, but a daytime blurriness has come and gone over the past week.
Yesterday my vision was a bit shot for the drive down. Still, I didn't feel that I could stomach driving any less than 80 mph, and that meant having to pass some people on a road built with only one lane going in each direction. I ended up passing 26 cars and trucks over the course of 7 hours, and I was passed one time.
I had made this trip once before, in the opposite direction, 15 years ago. Back then, I'd done it while carrying a bag of high grade speed in my pocket, as well as a generous chunk of the same up my nose. And back then I'd said to myself, holy **** I must have passed 50 cars on this run. So this time around, driving sober albeit slightly visually impaired, I counted the passes, and came up with 26.
It is harrowing swinging out into the wrong lane at 90-100 mph. And you have to be going at least that fast. Creeping by at 80 mph past someone doing 78 is not an option. You don't have the time. The oncoming car could be doing 100 for all you know. Two cars 1/4 mile apart averaging 90 mph each towards each other will collide in 5 seconds. Did I mention that it was raining for a good part of the trip?
I made it down unscathed, checked into the Circus Circus ($31.00/night Mon-Thurs), bought a paper at the gift shop, and hoofed it over to Peppermill Restaurant for some comfort food. On the front page of the Review Journal was an article about an accident on the road I'd just come down: one car tried to pass a pickup truck and instead ran head on into an oncoming car. Both cars smashed into the pickup truck being passed and 5 people lost their lives out of it.
5:00 PM Tuesday. I'm off for a walk down the Strip to play some poker.
Edit: I forgot to mention the rumble strip they installed on the center line of the highway. That's a continuous serrated strip of asphalt designed to shake you around a bit and make a very loud noise when your tires run over it; in essence, it's there to say WAKE UP DUMBASS, YOU DONE SCREWED THE POOCH.
So you get that sort of treatment every time you swing out into the wrong lane, and every time you swing back. It's not a comfortable spot.
Last edited by suitedjustice; 05-22-2018 at 08:00 PM.
Today marks my first attempt to get in 8 hours of live cash poker and see what that looks like.
10:30 AM-12:30 PM Thursday: We are at the MGM grand playing 1/2. The rest of the table are day drinkers, something I didn't encounter in Reno. It's a good sign.
An Australian kid on my right bears a passing resemblance to Jungleman, and he pounds on limpers for the first two hands that I see. Given that early information, I slot him into the "possibly good" category. Next hand he jeopardizes that by open limping for $2. I raise it up to $12 with AK. Folds around and he calls. Flop is KQ9. He checks, then raises my $17 bet to $85. I hear him make a speech. I don't know what he says but it definitely falls into the speech category. I decide to fold for metagame reasons--he's on my right and I'd like to encourage him to try to push me around later, in a better spot for me. Also, I don't like stacking off 150bb with top pair within the first 3 minutes of sitting down. It's not a good look if I get shown JT, which is a fine limp/calling hand, if you're the limp/calling type.
The next spot with Stralia Dan finds me opening 66 UTG. He calls in the big blind. Flop 6KK. I'm not going to slowplay here. This looks like a flop I could easily whiff if I don't have AK. I bet nearly pot on the flop, nearly pot on the brick turn, and call his donk shove on the river, getting all of my chips back from before, along with all of his. He mumbles that he had garbage and doesn't show.
1:30 PM-2:30 PM: We are at Mandalay Bay playing 1/2. I have an aggro American kid on my right. He looks nothing like Jungleman. I have seen him turn a weak made hand without much equity into a checkraise bluff on the turn (and have it called by a slightly worse made hand ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
On my big hand with him, we get three limps, including the aggro kid on the button, and I raise to $16 in the small blind with A8. One fold and two calls (including the kid). Flop AKJ I bet $30, MP folds and the kid calls. Turn 8 I bet $50 and the kid raises to $120. I am never folding here. And if I just call, I'm never folding river for the small stack I'd have left. In his range, I count enough worse two pairs, pairs and draws, draws, and even a weak underpair or three if he's fooling around again.
I shove and he snaps with QT: a flopped straight. River is a brick. He covers. I get up and go for a tilt walk. (-$300)
3:30 PM-6:30 PM: We are at Excalibur. There's a fish on my left, an older gentleman with an Eastern European accent. Every time he catches a piece of a 5-way limped dry flop, he jams in a 3x-5x pot bet and chases everyone out. I don't know if he will shut down on the turn if challenged, because no one has stood up to him yet. He takes a phone call from someone--ostensibly his wife--and promises him or her that he will be done playing in just a few minutes. After that phone call, he gets to be UTG, and he straddles for $4. He gets a couple calls and I raise it to $25 in the big blind with JJ. He shoves over that for $105, it folds to me and I snap call. This is the advantage of live play. I know that he's itching to go, and that this is likely his last hand. Add to that my observation that he's impulsive to begin with, and I've been pounding on limpers a lot. His pocket 5s pick up a 5 on the turn and I'm out $100. Nice hand, sir. I wave to my chips as he picks up and leaves. "Bye, chips." I say.
Over the next couple hours, I do some more limp pounding and pick up a few chips here and there. A typical hand goes like this: Limp, limp, I raise to $14 in MP with 65. One fold, one call. Flop comes nice, dry, and king high, say K94 Check to me, I bet $20 and take it down a lot more than half the time. If it's called, the turn bricks, and it's checked to me, I bet $45-$55 and take it down a lot more than half the time. Occasionally, I get played back at, but at the right table, it doesn't happen nearly enough to keep the play from being profitable.
But this table at Excalibur today has gradually grown tougher. Better players have rotated in. I wanted a 3 hour session here, but with an hour to go, I'm looking at 4 reasonably good players, 3 meh regs and only 1 fish. From my limited experience, this is now a terrible 1/2 table, one far worse than any I've seen so far. There are less limps, and when they happen, someone else pounds on them before I can, or I get played back at when I try to isolate.
I should go, but I don't want to. My tilt walk from Mandalay has put me behind schedule. Fortunately, I'm not punished for my lapse in table selection. I open to $10 from MP with red KK and get 3-bet to $45 by an aggro Asian-American kid on the button. I 4-bet to $110 and he ships it with AK. I call and hold.
I'm off to either Treasure Island or Mirage for the last 2 hour session.
Excellent thread. Where are you going to live? Desert Manor by Golden Nugget is reasonable but your roll could afford you a higher standard if you are a winning player.
Thanks Stormtrooper97! I'm up for reasonable or cheaper in order to keep my roll preserved while I'm learning the business. I'm apartment hunting today and I'm taking suggestions. I'll check out Desert Manor for sure.
Friday of Memorial Day Weekend: the Child-on-a-Leash count currently stands at 2, here at the Circus Circus.
If you can't find one of these things at the store, do you approach the clerk and say, "Excuse me, I'm looking for a leash, for a child." I guess it ought to be easier to buy them on the Internet. So then you'll have that in your search history.
Last night I finished my 8 hour poker day at the Mirage. Early on I made the nuts or close to the nuts twice and got paid both times. After that, I think I may have picked up some winner's tilt, as I proceeded to give away a couple of medium-largish pots that should have been smallish-medium pots.
Actually, it wasn't just winners tilt. To celebrate my last session of the day, and the 8 hour milestone, I ordered 3 drinks at the table.
So yeah, there's a reason why this thread is not titled Suitedjustice's Ongoing Smooth Passage Through Mid-life: A Good Job, a Nice House, a Wife and Two Kids in Peoria, IL.
Friday 1:45-2:30 PM: We are at the Aria, and there's a lot of poker going on. I sign up for 1/3 and get put 13th on the list. They're not opening more tables because there are no more empty tables. After 45 minutes I'm 8th on the list. I bail.
When the time comes that I'm experienced enough to be playing 3/5 every day, I'll be back. But for now, there's plenty of more accessible 1/2 and 1/3 games outside the Aria.
Friday 3:00 PM: The Cosmopolitan. There is no poker at the Cosmopolitan.
Friday 3:30 PM-5:30 PM: Planet Hollywood. At 1/2 I lose $75 immediately by opening then calling a min-3bet with KT then chasing an AQ86 board.
I was card dead after that, staying even or slightly ahead. Towards the end of the run, I pick up QQ UTG. I open for $10 and get 6 callers.
Flop 986 Blinds check to me and I bet $50 into the $70 pot. I get a call from a decent player in MP and the good player in the big blind shoves for $240 effective.
Now, in the moment, I thought about this problem the wrong way; the 2006 way, which asked me, now that I'd given 6 other people a chance to make a better hand than an overpair, if I thought that maybe my hand might be best; and if not, did it have decent equity to improve?
What I should have done was to calculate the SPR of the hand at the beginning of the flop. That was about 3.5. With that SPR and my big overpair, it's a snap call. I folded.
Harrahs is classic for being regs Playing super tight watching iPads and waiting for KK+. Just a bore fest unless a random 2/5 pops up
I saw an early morning game when we were there, 2/3 which was built around a very drunk and very lucky tourist who had been playing for 24+ hours. I remember when I left I was more or less the only stack below 1k$, and two or three people sitting over 2k$. A bit uncomfortable at the time
3:30 PM Tuesday: We are at Bally's, having just finished up a 3 hour session. This is my last last day in Las Vegas until I come back for good in early July. I find out too late that Bally's is running a great comp deal: play 1/2 for 3 hours (within a 12 hour period) and get a free buffet at Paris. I haven't been to the Paris buffet in 12 years, but it was excellent then and I have every reason to believe that it's excellent now.
There's a chance that they'll still have it in July when I get back, but I'm not holding out much hope. They'll probably have enough WSOP traffic in to dispense with it. Speaking of which, Bally's is also doing a 50 seat freeroll tourney to the WSOP Main Event, open to everyone who put in 30 hours of play time in May. Timing and research are everything in this world.
In the last few days I've given up minor losses adding up to around (-$247). Standard spots, nothing of note. I paid off Old Man Coffee on the river for $25 once when I shouldn't have, otherwise I'm playing okay for someone who still has heaps to learn (like never pay OMC, not even once.)
On the walk back to Hooters (good rates during the week and nice rooms), it occurred to me that there's been a transition on the Strip. I am now smelling pot smoke more often than I smell cigarette smoke. I wonder what the old mob guys would think about that. A two mile walk on the Strip is not quite a long enough jaunt to pick up a contact high, but it's close.
I quit smoking cigarettes in '13 after almost 30 years of pack-a-day consumption. I bought a bag of pot earlier this year, and I regretted it after I started coughing again in the morning. So out here in Nevada I picked up gummies from Blüm, a nice high-end dispensary. The locals can probably tell me 4-5 places that are better, and that's fine--I'm listening.
The only issue I'm running into is that my tolerance seems to be increasing with these edibles, whereas it never seemed to do that with smoking.
Speaking of issues with drugs: when I got back, the maid was just knocking on my door to clean the room, so I had a half hour to kill in a casino that doesn't have anything I want to play. So I drank martinis down in the bar.
To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, good martinis are like nice titties: partaking of two is perfect, but having three is an abomination. I would add to that with the caution that if you want four, you're going to be paying more than you originally expected to.
I had two. They were nice.
So that's my last day in Las Vegas. I'm driving up to Reno tomorrow then picking up a flight back to New England the day after. If everything goes right, I'll be back here in LV in July.
I was able to get hold of my old landlord and secure a room here in LV for a very reasonable price, for as long as as I want it. You can find more info about my landlord in the old nit-tastic tales thread in BBV. Cliffs: he was a fellow tweaker and a big fan of Jesus. He is still a big fan of Jesus, and he's sort of set his sights on converting me.
There are pros and cons to every arrangement--I'll have to be putting up with some witnessing on my behalf. I'll say this, though, if my old awesome girlfriend from back in the day couldn't make a Mormon out of me, no one's going to turn me into an Evangelical.
Last edited by suitedjustice; 05-29-2018 at 09:44 PM.
tolerance is real, you can keep pushing or take tolerance breaks periodically.
If the flower hurts your chest try vaping concentrates. Also, once you get situated it is WAY cheaper to make your own edibles
I'm back in New England now to wrap up my affairs over the next few weeks. On the return drive from Las Vegas to Reno, I passed 47 cars and trucks on the long two lane section of 95. About a half dozen of those passes involved close calls with oncoming cars in the other lane. If I ever go back to Reno, it will be by plane only. That stretch of road is not for me.