Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seven Hours of Fun

The alarm made strange noises (no reception on the 4th floor of the MGM apparently) and we were up. As usual, it took a couple hours to get together and since the Blogger tourney started in about 90 minutes, I made the call that the MGM Buffet would suffice. That's kind of like winning the minimum on a straight flush over quads... it's not a bad beat, but it could have been much, much better.

By the time we were in and I'd finished, I had about 20 minutes to grab stuff from the room and get to the Venetian. I rushed upstairs, grabbed the bounty options and Full Tilt jersey, and made it back down in about 5 minutes. I first opted to take a cab, but the line was ridiculous, so I hurried to the monorail instead. It had been sitting there long enough to fill up with unhappy people. A couple minutes later it left, but I was pulling into Harrah's at 3... dammit! I powerwalked through Harrah's to the V and got to the desk about 3:10. Luckily, there were still seats available and I was seated between Penner42 and GMoney (later moved, then replaced by OhCountess, then replaced by The Wife), along with Zeem, YestBay, Mrs. Spaceman, Carmen's Dad, and a couple others I didn't recognize (and I'm notoriously terrible with introducing myself or others... really, just stick out your hand say hi, it'll snap me out of it).

I'd love to give a hand-by-hand recap, but I don't actually recall that much. I had QQ a bunch of times, and generally pushed people off with them. I was playing a very conservative style for the most part, which likely cost me a fair bit of potential chips... but with this crowd, I figured I didn't want to find myself facing a stupid decision on the river after runner-runner something hits for my opponent. Case in point, the ONLY rockets I saw all game went down to Penner's ATd after a runner-runner flush hit. I re-raised him pre, he came along, I slowplayed a paired (but not scary) flop, bet a bit at the turn, not particularly worried about the second diamond, and lost the minimum on the river. I won it all back a few hands later when my Q8d tripled up after turning a flush (I bluffed, got caught, and was committed after the re-raiser was called). Probably my only real suckout of the game.

I was doing pretty well heading into the break before the levels went nuts. 36k was a decent stack at 600/1200/100 ante, but sucked ass when we came back to 1000/2000/300. The levels climbed insanely from this point and it was a struggle to stay ahead of the blinds, as everybody was all-in or fold. I raised up TT after I'd rebuilt my stack to something decent and Bayne called with his 5 or 6 remaining chips with Q9... and caught two pair. It wasn't a big hit, but every little bit helped at this point. This is where I said to Kearns and anyone else listening that my new goal was to bubble and be very disappointed. I was able to double through Dawn Summers with AQ vs her pocket pair (55? 99?) to help me out a ton and see the final table.

Then, on his 3rd raise in about 5 hands, I re-popped Smokkee with KQo. I'd folded QJc in the BB to his raise about 2 hands earlier, and thought, "so what the hell WILL I go in with? I'm so going to lose with KQ". Smokkee made the easy call with TT for about 15k more and it held up. The most frustrating part was the AJx flop, which gave be the straight draw as well as two over, but it needed a TEN, which Smokkee had 2 of. Just like that, I bubbled out in 10th with great disappointment and no animosity. Smokkee chose the hammer lighter keychain as his bounty, and Love_Elf was very disappointed I didn't have kitchen utensils. I guess I know what I'm bringing next time!

So, bubbling after over 7 hours is disappointing. But it was loads of fun. I got to chat with Penner and Zeem a bunch, got to know OhCountess, Kearns, Garth, and Pablo a bit, picked up a bunch of bounties (OhCountess's Twins hat, a pick of Penner's pictures, Mana energy drink & a bottle of SoCo, and an extra bounty swap with Kearns - a hammer keychain for his GAME Joker), and generally had a blast. It's been over a month since I've played ANY blogger games, so it was like putting on that really comfortable pair of slippers again.

Post-tourney, bag full of stuff in hand, I wandered over to the slots to win back my buy-in. That took about a minute as I hit some 7's on the ol' Blazing 7's machine. It seems the previous night's slot tilt at Caesars was a temporary thing. I wandered back to watch the final table a bit more, then grabbed some grub, then returned, then headed over to the IP as Maigrey and Obie were heads-up. Somewhere in there I chatted with Al and Kat and others for a bit.

On the way, X, E and I went through Harrah's, and I discovered my slots nirvana. They have a pit full of $1 Blazing 7 machines! I couldn't resist and scoped out the one I wanted. There it was - while all the others hovered around $1002 or there abouts for their progressive, this one solitary one was $1022, by far the furthest from its base jackpot amount. In went the card and the $100. Away went the $100. Out came another Benjamin to "even up" the credits (only 2 left, can't have a non-3 multiple)... I turn to E and say "shhh.. I'm fooling the machine." Max bet, max bet... etc... $28 left in the machine, and I say, "What the hell? It's not hitting ANY sevens!" Max bet... blazing 7, blazing 7, blazing 7... JACKPOT! This was a silent machine, but the payline said all I needed. The attendant came over and I got me my second $1000+ win of the last 18 hours ($5 to $1250 at craps at 6am). I was definitely up on the trip now.

We continued to the IP, where Maigrey was already celebrating her victory as queen of the bloggers (an upgrade from princess to be sure) and generally being as beligerent as I would have been had I won. Good on ya! Turns out there was some discussion about me getting my buy-in back for bubbling, but that was shot down. Personally, I've got no problem with that - the structure was set, and I bubbled. Someone has to. Plus, I took down 3rd place money or something anyway from slot wins :). Although that didn't stop Maigrey from sticking $100 in my pants... which I politely returned.

X, E, and I played some craps, and the table got ice cold... until X rolled 3 points to make us all profitable. E chilled it right down and I got about 2 rolls in to seven out. I coloured up right then and walked... to the Let it Ride table. I couldn't very well let VinNay do all the winning there now, could I? I played, was up a bit, came close to even... and around then my brain melted.

I was falling asleep when I blinked, and my head suddenly started hurting... I could barely process any thoughts... so I called it a night at 5am. I swung by the roulette table to bet for some coworkers, doubled up, and was done.

I made a point of saying goodbye to those who were still around and made it back to the room without passing out... having a driver helped with that.   We almost had an extra room occupant with us though.

As we headed down the hall to our room, coming the other way was a tall ebony vision. Dressed in a rather nice little black dress and heels that wouldn't be out of place in any club, I still knew she was a pro from 50ft, certainly many levels above what you find trolling the Geisha bar. Nobody's walking OUT of the MGM at 5am dressed that way... certainly not alone. She glanced over and gave a nod and smile, which I returned with a half-hearted nod and a look that said "yah, I know, not interested, thanks" that I perfected with street vendors in China (but that is applicable globally with anybody selling anything I find). She continued on her way as I unlocked my door. She then turned and said "hey guys, having fun?" Which the Vegas virgin responded to innocently enough with "Yah, you?" She started towards us as I continued into the room, mumbling "don't encourage her, I'm too tired for this shit."

"What are you up to now?"

To which E jumped in quickly, panicked, unsure how to react now that he'd clued in as well (but X still hadn't), "Sleep... that's all!" and practically dragged X in with him. Oddly, I found it a bit rude.. after all, she was just doing her job.

I chuckled as the door closed and asked if perhaps we should let X's gf know that he almost accidentally picked up a working girl on his last night in Vegas. He seemed to think that might not be the best story to tell. Luckily, she doesn't read here. Don't know if he's found this corner of the web yet though...

Next day, we were up, checked out, and swung through Caesars for a bit of souvenir shopping and last minute money-tossing. I donated once again to the slots, but only around $220, which was a small bit of my overall profit. Sadly, X became a slots victim as he couldn't leave the burger girl alone... $20 after $20 into the quarter machine. I finally had to snap him out of it before he couldn't afford a sandwich. He has vowed he's done with slots... we'll see.

During all this, we neglected to eat. Burger King was the more appealing option in Terminal 2 of McCarran (easily the most pathetic terminal I've ever been in, and I've been in a lot). A Texas double Whopper... man do you regret it as you sit around digesting. I was back home around 11:30pm after sleeping from takeoff to landing. My most awesome friend had been house and cat sitting for me while I was away and had decorated, cleaned, and reorganized my place while I was gone... how amazing is that?? I go away, have a blast in Vegas, win money, and come home to find the disaster I left behind is now neat and tidy and Christmasy.

Then, there on my table is my new 27" Dell Ultrasharp monitor waiting to be set up. Set it up I did! I drove my friend home, came back, and checked out the ol' account balance, because it was bonus day. Lo and behold, when bonuses are down 20% across the board, I was up 2/3rds over last year!

SO - I leave Vegas up $1200 (which is around $1500 Canadian), come home to a clean place (oh, and I forgot the fresh butterscotch cookies and banana cupcakes too), new monitor, and a bigger bonus than I could have possibly expected. Let's just say that bubbling the blogger game pretty much vanished from my mind, because it was looong weekend that started awesome and ended fantastically. Talk about running good. Now I'll worry about what the downside will be...

But for now - the gathering was awesome as always. It was great to see the ol' familiar faces along with meeting a bunch of new ones. I found more things in Vegas I intend to do regularly (ziplining, and buying strange-coloured M&Ms), introduced another friend to the joys and agonies that Sin City brings, and generally had a blast. I apologize to all those I didn't spend nearly enough time with. As usual, it's tough to split time between two groups. I'll be back in the summer though, and don't forget Eh-Vegas, WaM, Okie, and The Bash - I'll be sure to make at least some of them.

Oh, and I'll get some of those zipline pics and videos on as soon as I'm able.


smokkee said...

i would've done the same in your spot with that hand. as you said i was pretty active once we got to the final table. but, that was after the first few hands i noticed everyone playing so tight on the bubble. you just happened to jam with a hand i could call your shove with. i continued my aggressiveness and that's what cost me the tournament. Maigrey was not afraid to get tangled up with me. I was pretty sure she'd take it down after i hit the rail.

btw, i don't remember any discussion about paying the bubble spot. maybe that was after i got knocked out. i do remember Dawn proposing a "10 way chop" which i was having no part of. not sure if she was joking or not.

vg trip reports

Astin said...

Yah, I was wishing for more chips so I could up the aggression too, but just didn't have the stack to intimidate. GG sir.

Well, that was according to Maigrey, who was drunk (at least on her win if not other substances) when she told me. I got the impression it was later in the final table that the discussion took place, possibly heads-up.

Ignatious said...

too damn funny. wish i had witnessed this.


I bubbled. Someone has to. Plus, I took down 3rd place money or something anyway from slot wins :). Although that didn't stop Maigrey from sticking $100 in my pants... which I politely returned.