It’s that time a year again where the indigenous poker population of Britain migrate in their masses to Las Vegas in the hope of finding fame or fortune.
I set off early this year with the intention of surviving the entire season, hoping to avoid the predators and instead intending to be one.
During my time here I intend to do a daily Blog however, please bare in mind after a night of heavy losses, rushing back to my lair and typing up the details is unlikely to be the top of my priority list. So if there is a day or two missing don’t panic you will be able to hear my pain in the next instalment.
This year, in a futile hope of avoided the temptations Vegas has to offer, I am not stopping in a hotel but decided instead a condo, at least for the first 6 weeks until Kila arrives. She’s not very good without room service and maids, bless her! I am sharing with my good mate Nick Gibson who is convinced he can convince me to get into all that keep fit and healthy eating nonsense. I wouldn’t be taking any bets on that one guys!
Having finally got the internet up and running today I am already a few days behind with the blog, so I will bring you up to date with things thus far…………….
Thursday 26th May
Fly out from Manchester and as tempting as paying 1600 quid for an upgrade to business class was (about as much as wasp sandwich) I decided to just pay the 350 for premium economy. The flight was chocca. I doubt the stress of a busy flight sat between two fat old ladies would have been a good start to the trip. After an hour delay, I was in a rush to make it to the real estate company’s office before they closed at 5pm. I just made it and got back to the condo before 6pm. Having unpacked I was unsure of what to do. I decided to go to the MGM where a friend had transferred some money to my account in order to have a bankroll to play. I was devastated when I was informed I could only withdraw the money to play on the tables, and was not allowed cash. This is mainly to do with the money laundering laws in the US, however the casinos use these laws to their full advantage to get you to gamble as much as possible. I called my host and had quite a heated conversation. I explained that he knew my intentions for this money before I came out, and although I would be moving to the MGM in July, and no doubt gambling, unless I can have some money now to play poker I wont have any way of earning any more. I warned him that unless he gave me the money I would not be gambling on MGM premises ever again. This didn’t seem to deter him too much. I decided to re-raise all in. OR KEV! I was bluffing of course, Kev has fallen in love with the Skylofts at MGM and would probably just say “tough break” to me. But the host didn’t know that. He agreed to give me $2500 and would call me tomorrow.
With quite a meagre bankroll and the realistic possibility of me having no more, I had no choice but to try and spin it up in a cash game. With my first WSOP event being only days away and with a 5k buy in, I need to do something quick.
I went to the Bellagio and sat in the 5/10 game.I was quite excited by the prospect of what I was about to do. I was gonna start with a mere 2500 bucks and have enough to cover my entire WSOP without a reload. This was to be my greatest trip here ever!
About 2 hours later I was driving back to the condo wondering what food I could buy with my last 120 dollars.
Friday 27th May
I awoke early and rang around in a panic to try and sort out a back up plan for some funds, it. Nick was flying out Saturday but was under funded himself for the first week. Kila was flying to her mums in Spain for 3 weeks so she couldn’t transfer me any. Luckily a few friends were happy (well they said happy, I’m sure they meant nervous) to lend me some till I sorted things out. Unfortunately none of those people would arrive till weds at the earliest.
I still had £1750 sterling and went to the Venetian to exchange it to dollars. They gave me a rate of $1.53 to the pound. (Spot rate $1.65 that day, I checked) Despite this being daylight robbery I was in no mood to shop around. I sat in the $350 deepstack event and despite amassing some 70k in chips at one point is was not to be my day.
I sent my Host a text and decided to up the antes on my money predicament. I had been told I couldn’t transfer the money to another casino but decided to call their bluff.
“Have you sorted anything out with my money, or shall I just transfer it to the Rio”.
He called back almost immediately. “Don’t worry mate, I explained who you are and what you need the money for, you can draw it all now.” Needless to say this felt like I’d just won a huge pot and my confidence for the trip was now on the up.
Saturday 28th May
Nick was arriving today and I was picking him up at the airport. I left the house early and headed to the MGM to get some money. It’s amazing how the staff at the cages can make you feel like your doing something wrong when asking for your own money.
The champion’s league final was on in the sports book and it was Chaos. I couldn’t find a seat anywhere, I wandered over to New York New York to watch it in the Irish or sports bar, again way too busy.
Now I am not a Man United fan, and I won’t divulge in this blog my opinions about them. However one thing I will say about the scum is they do seem win far more matches than they lose (Including sending my beloved Blackpool down this year). That is unless I have backed them. I don’t ever recall winning a penny on them. In fact I had already backed them 3 times this year.
Carling Cup. West Ham 4-Man U 0
Prem League Wolves 2-Man U 1
Champions League Marseille 0-Man U 0
I tried to get a bet on at the sports book but missed the start by two minutes, I did manage to phone a UK bookie and get some on. A cynical man would say I had done this to bok them. However I did genuinely what them to win. Maybe it was the ‘us vs them’ feeling I was getting from seeing loadsa yanks and Europeans cheering on Barca. A little British pride may have kicked in. That being said, I did get over the final result very quickly.
After the match I still had about 4 or 5 hours to kill before Nick landed. I sat in the 2/5 game at the MGM. Maybe it was the confidence of a replenished bankroll but managed to come away $1400 to the good to put a dent in the damage from the first night.
Sunday 29th May
Still trying to get into the new time zone Nick was awake early and stamping around the flat in the hope that I would join him. Leaving my pit at the ungodly hr of 8.30am (unheard of for me in Vegas, 8.30pm yes, but never AM!) we went shopping for supplies.
Now shopping is not a favourite pastime for you average northerner. Nick being from the south revels in this kind of thing and insisted we got a trolley each. He then proceeded to buy everything from cloths horses to toothpaste. And was bitterly disappointed to find they had run out of clothes pegs. (You never know when you might need these when stopping in a condo, eh!)
After this we went for a round of golf at the little par 3 course just down the strip. The wind was ridiculous; changing directions every few seconds, hitting the green was more fluke than skill. Well that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. Nick still managed to come home in 29 relieving me of some of my hard earned dollars!
(To be fair it nearly rained and we had to buy some jumper type things to keep warm. In VEGAS! Its nearly June ffs.)
That night it was of to the Venetian to play some cash. I sat in the 5/10 game and things didn’t start well. I was on a must move table. I hate being on these tables, I always run bad and then get moved with little or no chance of being able to get my money back from the villain who’s took it.
Having called a raise with 66 in a 3way pot I saw a flop of K33. It was checked to me and I bet out $230. The initial raiser threw out $130 to call and the dealer explained it wasn’t enough. He reluctantly put in the extra $100. I figured he may not have called the bet had he known the correct amount. The turn was a 7 and he played with his chips almost as if he was going to make a bet and then checked. This is often a move by naive players to try and slow the action down. Certain he had an under pair to the king, jacks or queens maybe, I bet out 500. He raises, obviously! Not the hardest fold I will have to make this week I’m sure.
I was moved soon after, sigh!
On my new table I won a nice pot with a set of tens and was now about $1000 up on the night over all. However the table dynamic was not good. Some very strong players around I didn’t feel comfortable and was unable to impose myself on the game. I asked for a move and immediately changed gears on the new table. It worked! I played infinitely better and to help things along I ran as well as I ever remember doing. I flopped 3 full houses and got paid with 2 of them, and finished the evening $8k and am now nicely ahead for the trip. I’ll let you know if my run of cards continues and more importantly if my golf gets any better (its not often I’d back running well at cards over anything else!)