Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 2)

Wow, *I* even got a mention on Card Club in the PokerProf segment, as a Canadian blogger down in Vegas. Of course, they forgot to mention that JP from Vancouver was also there. And he finished higher than I did. He went out 25th, if I recall correctly. And just to set the record straight, I went out in 37th and was actually knocked out by the Prof himself. At least, I think it was the Prof. And I left my bounty for him, so I better be correct. Of course, I went straight to the SoCo after the tournament, so things got slightly blurry. I will try to piece it all together when I get to that post.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was just going up to introduce myself to Pauly. Of course, I couldn’t have picked a better person. Pauly greeted me like an old friend and introduced me to a few of the other bloggers that were standing around. After a bit of chatting he explained that the bloggers had a private table upstairs and the game we were witnessing on the floor was just overflow. Well, a crazy straddling, blind raising overflow. helixx was heading upstairs, so I tagged along with him.

Now, half the people reading this were actually up in that room at some point, but for the rest of you, I will try to describe it. It was up the stairs from the poker room and sat overlooking the sportsbook. This gave us a great view of the casino – including the wall of television screens showing sporting events – while no one could really see our game. It also made us “cool”. I’m not sure who managed to secure such a nice spot for a private 2/4 mixed game, but it was a coup. I don’t imagine I’ll get many chances to sit at such a well situated table.

As I walk in the door, the first thing I see is a blond haired lady lecturing the table on the finer points of poker. This must be the infamous Felicia. I wait for her to finish her rant and walk up to introduce myself. I get the initial blank look that would become all too familar over the weekend, but as soon as the name clicks she gets up and greets me warmly. And yes, who would have expected warmth from Felicia. ;) She is kind enough to introduce me to Bill Rini who was sitting beside her and whose belly I had observed at work earlier in the day. But I’m still so nervous that I’m almost shaking (god I hope it was almost). I decide to watch the game a little bit and just try to calm myself.

Of course, Felica will have none of that and she tells me to get in the game and perhaps sensing my reticence, she introduces me to the table. I order a beer, in the hopes taking a little bit of the edge. I take a few sips and start feeling appreciably better. In fact, I’m thinking that it might be time for me to sit down and play a little poker.

Now, at this point I am going to have to make a confession. I have never hidden the fact that I was a Vegas virgin going into this trip. But I was also essentially a casino poker newbie. I played four hours last year at the temporary casino at the CNE and had got a bit of live game exposure at the Red Hot Poker Tour in early May, but, beyond that, all my poker experience came from home games and online. So I was expecting to be quick outclassed at the Vegas tables. Particularly with all the veteran bloggers playing.

I end up sitting down between Pablo – a friend of Gracie’s (she-verb) – and PokerProf. A quick round of introductions at the table reveals Steve (Beer City Poker), Gracie, Mrs. Can Hang, the afore-mentioned Mr. Rini and Felicia, and someone in the nine seat that I can’t recall…

This will probably be a common occurrence in my posts. Please don’t be offended if I’ve forgotten you were at the table. I tried to take notes, but I didn’t get a chance to do so until I got back to my room at night. So it was inevitable that I would miss some names. My apologies for that. If you remember that you were supposed to be in the report, please drop me a line and I’ll add you right in. In fact, through reading other people’s posts, I’ve recalled that the forgotten player was pokernerd.

Names weren’t the only thing I forgot. I can’t remember how much of the action went. I do know that I was there for rounds of Omaha 8, Stud and Stud 8. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to play Razz, which I’ve grown quite found of, in a perverse sense. I know I played pretty tight.

I do remember taking my first live casino hand (though I forget what my cards were or if I even went to showdown).
I do recall bluffing Pablo off a hand with a re-raise, which gave me some confidence that I wasn’t playing too far over my head.
I remember chatting with PokerProf about Vegas and his Lord Admiral Radio reports. I tried to convince him he was becoming a cult figure in Canada, but he would have none of it. He was in pretty rough shape and I could tell it had already been a rough night.
I remember talking with a barely concious Beer City.
I remember Pauly coming by and playing Rini’s chips. I remember the great Al himself joining the game. He was a drunken maniac and was all over the place.
And I remember voices yelling up at us from the sportsbook below. Turns out some bloggers at the bar there were giving us a piece of their minds.

But like all good things, the table eventually came to an end. Players were reaching the end of their stamina and pulling out. And unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone to fill their seats. I had only been there for a couple hours but could see that people had been partying hard for some time. We thank the dealer and head down to cash out. I meet CJ in passing and thank him for organizing everything. I’m walking with Felicia and Al, trying to find everyone else. It looks like they’ve already left. Felicia says that Glenn should be arriving soon and he’ll be able to drive us back to the plaza. But Al is determined to find his wife, so we begin the search.

We end up outside the back entrance of the casino, at the opposite end from the taxi stand. Felicia is trying to explain to Al that we could get a ride when Glenn arrives, but Al is on a mission. We acquiesce and agree to take a cab back to the Plaza. Felicia decides to leave a message with the poker room to have Glenn join us there. So, we begin the walk around the casino, but Al insists on trying to wave every cab down, insisting that his wife is in one of them. Felicia and I try to tell him that they are long gone and attempty to ensure that he doesn’t wander out into traffic. But he seems content to wave his arms and scream from the curb. Eventually we make it around to the cab stand and catch a lift back downtown.

Now, it turns out that some people in his wife’s cab did see him stumbling along the sidewalk, but as their cab was full, saw no reason to stop. I guess Al was still more aware than I gave him credit for.

Next: the smell of downtown, negative EV, why is it light out?

O, Canada
I’ll go with a simple one this time. Canada has ten provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland) and three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). Provinces are largely equivalent to states while territories are controlled mostly by the federal government.
Another bit of advice. If you are arguing over the number of provinces with a Canadian (*cough*, John – April‘s friend, not the other John), it is probably a good idea to concede the point to the Canadian. It’s entirely possible he is more familar with the issue.

The Las Vegas series:
Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 1)
Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 2)
Day 1 – Sunrise at The Plaza
Day 2 – I … See … Famous People
Day 2 – Storming the Castle
Day 3 – The Main Event
Day 3 – A Bucket of Nickels and the Shrimp Sundae
Day 3 – Nugget Poker
Day 4 – Finally, A Win!
Day 4 – Komol O
Day 4 – A Night in ‘The Suite’
Day 5 – Goodbye Las Vegas

8 Responses to “Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 2)”

  1. Cinci Sean says:

    A fantastic read TP – felt like I was there…and I do really wish I was.

    I wonder why Prof doesn’t realize his status here in the GWN?

  2. iggy says:

    was great meeting and playing with you, tp.

  3. John says:


  4. gracie says:

    Oh the nickles! I had such a blast meeting you, TP. I’m looking forward to your take on the rest of the trip!

  5. pokerprof says:

    I’ll treasure my Moose Droppings! Awesome to meet and play, hope to do it again!

  6. Felicia says:

    Maybe I’m warm to you because you are my “real” brother Travis (that is a compliment), and also because you have me all figured out, whereas no one else really cares enough to try (and I don’t blame them).

    Besides, you have really bad hair, like me!

  7. tp says:

    Hey, that’s not very nice. Ok, maybe I was due for a haircut before coming to Vegas.

  8. BSN says:

    One good thing about all these trip reports is that I’m getting to find a bunch of blogs that are new to me! I’m enjoying the write-ups.

    I get to Toronto a couple times a year on business, maybe you can tell me where I can get a decent steak. I’m convinced there’s no good steak in all of Canada!