Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vegas Memories

I have been stuck on how to write about my Vegas experience. How can properly convey how amazing it was to meet and party with my blogger pals? I have been enjoying the write-ups of a few of my friends starting with Al, Iggy, Waffles, Pauly, Garth, Kat, and Derek. Their stories put a smile on my face as I remembered what is sure to be one of my most memorable life experiences.

Pauly said it best and even though you have already re-read his comments on PokerWorks, it is worth repeating:

You have to believe me when I tell you the trip was extraordinary…not because of the poker…
not because of the partying…
not because of the poker pros…
not because of Vegas…

the trip was amazing because of the people involved.

There is no way that I can say it better. I know I'm not one of the best writers of the group. So I'm just gonna list a few highlights:

First, Mr. Bracelet was kind enough to mention me in his post:

If Veneno isn't the luckiest blogger there is, then I don't know what to think anymore. Maybe it's because she's the most positive blogger you'll find, but whatever it is, she just can't lose. She hits trifectas, plays just shy of basic strategy and crushes blackjack, 2nd in the blogger tourney, and the list probably goes on. She even, well...I'll let her tell that story if she wants to. She should open up one of those 900 lines selling picks.

It was absolutely a lucky trip for me! By the end of the trip, I paid for my room, bought lots of drinks for myself and others, paid for meals, shopped and still left Vegas with 1k more than I had when I arrived.

It was a blast playing Blackjack with Bobby, BG, and Speaker. My apologizes to BG for failing to do a good job on third base and costing him money twice. Bobby tried to help me with the whole hog nutt thing, but I just couldn't get it right. So I guess I just had to get lucky. And that is what I did. Once I hit a $350 profit on that session I bailed on the guys to head for Three Card Poker.

The list does go on. In addition to the things Bobby mentioned, I had the following:

Craps -

I knew hitting the Crap tables with Newbie Garth was bound to be good. Craps is my absolute favorite casino game. Yes, I love it even more than poker. No other game do you get the same energy and excitement. Garth was INCREDIBLE with the dice. (I still love ya today Garth!) A couple of the sucker bets I like to make are HORN bets on the COME out roll and hard ways. He hit my HORN at least 3 times. He made his point repeatedly. He rolled Hard ways. On the last two hard 8 hits, I had already increased my bet to over $10 (so one hit alone paid $90). By the time he finished, I looked down at my chips. He had helped me recover some losses from this session. And I was more than $300 ahead. Next move..I slid my chips to the dealer and said...cashout!

I was also highly impressed with the Princess who discovered a way to touch Garth's perfect chest during the Crap session. Anytime he did good (which was often) she would rub his chest and say "It feels like VICTORYYYYY". Garth was enjoying every minute and looking quite groovey with his Elton glasses and black Aussie T-shirt. I also enjoyed watching him sing and move to the music throughout the trip.

When it comes to craps, I do have one weakness. Being the uncoordinated person that I am, it is a challenge for me to throw the dice and hit the other side of the table. On one session, with Ftrain watching, I decide to throw the dice. Before releasing, I warn the dealer, "Please watchout". First roll. I hit the dealer with both dice. I swear it was not on purpose! He was very gracious about the whole thing. And Ftrain got to laugh at me. So I guess it was all worth it.


* Slots are not my favorite, but I decided to invest a few bucks to see if I could hit it big.
* With $20 investment in the Big Spin, I hit the spin and won $100. I cashed out with $107.
* Then I put $60 into the Blazing 7s, hit for $300, played that down to $300 and cashed out.


Tommy was kind enough to make a $10 donation to the Veneno bankroll when he lost in a rematch of Roshambo. It was close this time, but I remained victorious. Our life time matches 2 and 0. See you next year!

I did lose in a match to Vinny. This new blogger is pretty sharp!

Heads Up on the computer

Pablo wanted to play me heads up. So of course I could not say no. First I had to beat Sox. Not a problem. I made $20 from each of them. Then Joaquin played me for "fun" and beat me. Finally, Falstaff took $20 when he beat me.

The Blogger Tournament

I cannot tell you how honored I was to make the final table at this event. This felt sooooo goood! And although I'm sure there are many who assume that I got to the final by sheer luck, I think others saw that sometimes Veneno can play a solid game of poker.

As for the luck factor in the game, I was fortunate to sit next to the Irish reader Jim. Something about an Irish man in green just feels lucky. So I decided that I would rub his arm for luck on every break. Incidently, we both made it to the final table.

My starting table included MiamiDon, Otis, Chilly, CC, Irish Jim (or is it Tim), TexasApril, Waffles, and Leigh from The Poker Atlas. Unlike some other tables with incredible players, I felt I could hold my own with this group.

I thought some of my best moves were the hands I laid down. After chip building up to a decent stack, I lost a big chunk of chips vs MiamiDon. I ended up folding my AQ which gave me top pair. I'm certain he had me beat. Another versus the Irish guy when I had TT and the flop was QQx. When he pushed in I turned to him and said, "I think I have you beat". I watched for any sign of weakness. He was solid. My read. He had me. I folded.

Waffles managed to escape my plans at trapping him. Once with a full boat. Unfortunately, he respected my betting and folded. Another time, he folded to my late position all-in with KK when he was in the big blind. Thank goodness I raised or he might have beat me with his A rag. I took a few limping bets along with the blinds on that hand.

Chilly made the mistake of facing me and gave me my first bounty. I got four packets of hot sauce as my price. Not sure what to do with it yet. Perhaps I should ask Daddy. He seems to know what to do with hot stuff.

TexasApril finally decided to make a move with pocket 8s. I called her raise pre-flop and ended up hitting 2 pair with my 67. I checked to her and when she bet I moved all in. My hand held up and she was left with almost nothing.

Falstaff joined the table later and ended up doubling me up when I sucked out with 44 vs his 55. I was short at the time and felt it was time to move with my pair.

From that point, I was pretty much just patient. Took down a few hands uncontested. And waited as the blinds continued to rise.

By the time it was down to 2 tables, I was just hanging on. Me and Biggestron were ridding the bubble for a long time. The big stacks were using their chip power well. My blinds were constantly under attack. But I waited. Finally, I had a break when Michael Friedman called my all-in raise with A8 suited vs my AQ.

Once on the final, I laid down 77 when Sox pushed preflop with AK I think. The next time he made the same move, I called him with TT. My pair held. And Sox was out. Instead of a bounty, he gave me some kinda fisted gesture. Thanks alot Soxy!

When it got down to 5 players, we decided to make a deal. Everyone would be guaranteed $750. At that point Daddy and I were the chip leaders. Jim was not far behind. Micheal and -EV had less than half of the chips compared to us.

During the break I went to talk to Iggy. Told him I was still in it with 5 players remaining. He told me, "Just don't bust Mattie". Shortly after getting my instructions from the blogfather, I did just what he told me not to do. I hit my set of 5s. Let Daddy bet into me. By the river we were all-in. That's how I busted Daddy. Despite this win, I was a little disappointed. If there was anyone at that table that I wanted to face Heads Up it was Daddy. It was fantastic to play with him and watch him in action. I'm totally a fan of this big teddy bear!

Once it was down to the Heads Up game the blinds were so big that with any raise you had 25% of your stack in. -EV played a great game. He was aggressive to the end. And I could not out play him. Congratulations Kevin. Job Well Done!!!

As a consolation, -EV gave me his bounty..A smoking!

Other highlights

* Biggestron gave me a nice welcoming hug without hesitation. Big deal for the non-huggy guy.
* To make-up for my overdue debt with Weakplayer, I bought him a big Chocolate chip cookie.
* Gcox was a sweetheart. I was sooo happy to finally meet him. But still NO CD!!!!!
* Dinner with Joaquin. He kept hinting all weekend to work me into a sweat. But it turns out he is all talk..haha
* The blogger conversation at the Bar on Sunday was sooo enlightening and entertaining. I will never forget the tips.
* I rarely eat meat, but after that conversation I joined Maudie for a hamburger. It tasted really goooooooooood.
* Getting a thumbs up from Joanna.
* One blogger made me feel extra special with compliments and a few wonderful kisses...too bad he waited until I was leaving Vegas!
* Brunch with Waffles, Don, and another blogger.

I still have pictures to post....


SirFWALGMan said...

glad you had fun. cya next time. You are the ultimate luckbox!

cc said...

"My starting table included MiamiDon, Otis, Chilly, CC, Irish Jim (or is it Tim), TexasApril, Waffles, and Leigh from The Poker Atlas. Unlike some other tables with incredible players, I felt I could hold my own with this group."

Well, putting aside the scathing critique of me et al (translation of your post: "I looked at CC, Otis, Don, and Waffles and thought; these guys suck, how juicy could my table get?"), it was great meeting you. I'm ready to take my heads-up beat-down whenever you're ready...

Anonymous said...

You're right, it's Jim, and it was a pleasure to sit beside you at the first table. Our luck circle held nicely, and your company was superb. Thank you!

maudie said...

It was great to spend some (too little) time with you - i need a little of you luck to rub off on me !!


leigh said...

sorry i was so tired at that starting table - how you even learned my name i don't know!!!! (thx for the link)