This will be a multi-part trip report, spread out over several posts, over several days. Don’t get all impatient when I get sidetracked by – Oh look, squirrel! – and it might take me a while to get back to it, but all the stories I remember will be told eventually. Let’s start at the beginning.
My flight sucked.
Let’s be really clear, here. My flight suuuuccccckkkkkeeeedddddd. I t was crowded, hot, bouncy, and I was uncomfortable for most of the four and a half hours. It’s times like that when I’m supremely jealous of friends like Special K, who get upgraded all the time. Then I think about how much time they have to spend in airplanes to get said upgrades, and I get less jealous. So I got there, and headed to the MGM to crash for a couple of hours before I kicked it into high gear in the evening.
And kick it into high gear I did. The IP is where they’ll stick the hose if they ever give Las Vegas an enema, but for some reason we all congregate there at the Geisha Bar every year to drink like college kids. Since our visits typically coincide with the National Finals Rodeo, there are pretty good drink specials going on around town. So I end up taking extreme advantage of said drink specials, and doing myself grievous bodily harm. Last year I started a tradition, a particularly unhealthy tradition, of drinking cheap beer out of buckets until I pass the blood alcohol content of an Irishman at a Dropkick Murphys concert. So I did.
Then I made my mistake – I decided to play poker. Now I’ve played a lot of cards at the IP over the years, a lot of it with bloggers. But little if any was played when I was as obliterated as I was Thursday night. I bought in for the table minimum ($60) for the first orbit, and blew that away pretty quickly. Then I reloaded for $300, the table max, and tried to play reasonably while also trying to remain upright in my chair. Neither of these things proved easy. But I managed for a little while, and after I’d bled through around a hundred bucks, I decided to get up and join the 8PM tournament as a late entrant.
This is my new strategy for tournaments in Vegas – never play the first level of blinds. Every tourney allows registration for at least two levels after the event begins, and some allow it for up to four levels. And the only saying about not being able to win a tournament in the first level, but being able to lose it then is certainly true. As long as I can come in with a reasonable stack relative to the blinds in level two or three, I’m going to skip the first couple of levels every time. This strategy has proved solid for me a couple of times at the Venetian, and also paid off last Friday at Aria. It didn’t really help at the IP, because although I doubled up on the first hand (of which I recall zero details as I was on pitcher #4 of 7 at that point), I ran into aces with ATo at the final table and resumed my drinking.
Somehow a couple of hours later I found myself back at the IP poker room, seated at a table that included CaityCaity and some other folks that I recognized and am sure were more than happy to relieve me of my money but whom I don’t remember. Apparently at some point there were a lot of people warned and/or tossed from the poker room, but I missed all of that. I may have taken a nap or two between hands. Really, that was napping. I swear it. I left that table because I fear CaityCaity’s poker drunk or sober, and went to sit next to PokerGnome. This was not my best move, because even though I had position on him, the Gnome can also outplay me when I’m sober, much less biblically inebriated. But somehow I managed to triple up at that table, I think at the expense of the civilians to my left, because I’m a drunken out-of-position ninja. Or because I was too drunk to fold. One of those.
I did find myself playing second pair a lot stronger when drunk than I have been sober, which was something I specifically wanted to work on this trip. The playing second pair thing, not the drunk thing. The drunk thing was a given. I’ve been playing second pair like a nutless wonder, folding to obvious c-bets, but after pitcher #6, that didn’t happen. Of course, after pitcher #7, I have no idea what happened. But I did manage to cash out a small profit (if my recollection of only buying in for a hundy is correct), and staggered off to bed around 4:30 in the morning. I made it back to the MGM and did something I haven’t done since college – not puke, but I fell asleep with my contacts in, which led to all sorts of festivities on Friday morning and a huge pile of grateful to the fact that I always travel with a spare set of contacts.
End of Day 1 – down around $200 in poker, probably another $200 in food, booze and cabs.
Still to come – my annual donation in mixed games, tournament silliness, bounties galore, and Full Tilt Food!