Poker Blog

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 WPBT Holiday Classic at Venetian

Seriously, the only poker I played this trip was the WPBT Holiday Classic at the Venetian which was the main reason we came to Vegas. 82 Bloggers or friends/family of bloggers (FOB)'s put down $135 for a shot at blogger immortality. Levels were 30 minutes and we all started with 10K.

My starting table included:

Falstaff did a great job organizing the tournament, he came by our table and called us “The Asian and those with an Asian Fetish Table.” He was right on. CK would say about every other hand..."Looks like an Asian is gonna win this pot."

Soon, Iggy and John Kitkan joined us. It was alot of fun playing with all these folks. I played slow and tight. I doubled up with flush over flush and picked up a bounty of some nice copag cards and a green Las Vegas visor I was sporting. By the 2nd break had about 23k.

I was moved to new table and ran into AA twice in the first orbit. First, I lost with KJ to Aces, then a few hands later I lost with KQ to Dawn Summers Aces. Somehow I managed to keep most of my chips despite loosing to AA twice.

Eventually we got down to 2 tables with only 11 players left by the 4th break. I managed to double up with KK to 56K.

In reaching the final table and in the money I was pretty relived. I have played in 4 of these live WPBT events and this is my 3rd final table. I finished 6th twice before (Aladdin & Imperial Palace).

Down to six left and I am pretty short. I had about 30K left and knew I would not survive another round. Blinds were 6K and 12K with 2K ante. Under the gun I pushed pre-flop with 34 off-suit hoping to just steal the blind but got 2 callers. The board came all low cards and when the 5 hit on the river…it was a beautiful thing. I rivered a straight and tripled up to over 90K and that was enough to keep me in til the end.

Maigrey eliminated several players and eventually found myself heads-up against her for the title. She had a 3:1 chip advantage when we started heads-up play, but I started getting good hands and was able to double up and make us pretty even. The all-in fest was short lived and we started seeing some flops and some post flop play. We each would bet just enough to make the other think hard about the call. Lots of folds. I went on a mini heater with AK, JJ, and AQ in back to back to back hands to take the chip lead. She came back with some good post flop raises forcing me to fold an open ended straight draw. We went back and forth for about an hour. I called a raise with AK and when she bet out on the J high flop I pushed and she called with 10 10. Turn was a Q but no help on the river and she won the tourney. A well deserved victory. Second place was $1660.

2008 WPBT Holiday Classic Final Table Results
1 Maigrey
2 Obie
3 Shai (Karols fiancee)
4 Katkin
5 Oh Captain
6 Pokerpeaker
7 Dawn Summers
8 $mokkee
9 BuddyDank
10 Astin

Thanks to CaApril for tweeting the final table, so I was able to recall some of the hands.

It's A Nice Day for a White Wedding

Saturday morning rise and shine. I like the early morning craps tables, mostly full of folks who don’t know its morning yet. Ling and I played at the same table in the Luxor from the other day and won $100. So far I’m up $125 for the trip. After craps we headed out to catch the deuce up to the Sahara. I have some football wins from my last trip in October I needed to cash in. In and out pretty quick, this is the first time since I have been playing poker that I didn’t play in any Sahara tournaments.

We walked over to the Stratosphere for lunch and then took the deuce to downtown and Freemont St. We played at Binions, got out picture taken with a million dollars, and won $125 at craps in a half hour. Now up $250 for the trip.

Around 1pm, we walked down to the Clark County Marriage License Office to meet up with Gracie, Sweet Sweet Pablo and about 30 other bloggers to attend their wedding. Afterwards we rode the party bus down the strip and to the Venetian.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Shopping Vegas Style

Headed over to Mandalay Bay to check our the action and passed the ice lounge Minus 5 on the way in from Luxor. From their website: “Minus5 means minus five degrees Celsius (23-degrees Fahrenheit), and is an ice lounge where you can touch, feel, and explore intricately handcrafted ice sculptures and ice architecture made from 100% pure Canadian ice. Enter an icy wonderland where everything that surrounds you is pure, crystal-clear, glacial ice from the seats you sit on to the glasses you sip your unique premium vodka-based cocktails from. You and your guests will be treated to the coolest experience in all of Las Vegas.”

Pure Canadian ice, not that crappy ice like we have here.

Posed for pictures with the headless statue of Lenin, then we took the Mandalay tram up to Excalibur, then walked over to MGM Grand sports book to make some football bets. I never do well with the spread, or straight up for that matter, but I have won some money in years past on the over/under. I took Titans/Texans and Ravens/Steelers for the under and took Skins/Bengals and Cowboys/Giants for the over.

On to Bellagio to check out their winter display in the conservatory. Caught our reflection in the huge mirror wrapped presents. The display featured a huge Christmas tree and arching water sprouts you can walk under. The place was really busy, and although the weather was not dreadful, there was a feeling of Christmas in the air. Something really wrong though about listening to Christmas carols in the casino.

My ling has been in the USA a little over a year. We got married in Vegas last year. Many people asked me where did we meet, or how did I trick her into marrying me. Our story is chronicled over at my other blog: Made in China.

After Bellagio, we went Christmas shopping at The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wheels Down in Vegas

Landed in Vegas on Thursday afternoon, just Ling and I, and about a 100 poker bloggers from all over North America for a weekend of gambling, entertainment, and oh yeah…a wedding. We got our luggage and took a taxi to the Luxor, where I have 2 nights comped, and 1 night at the casino rate of $48. We came down on Continental frequent flyer miles, so this will be a very cheap 4-day getaway.

Luxor Las Vegas.

Can’t really say I like the new interior. I guess it appeals to some people, I think it’s a little monotone in color, everything is grey now. They have abandoned the Egyptian theme inside to go with LA hipster. I guess to draw in more people to their LAX nightclub. It doesn’t work; I mean your hotel is a pyramid…go with the theme.

Fortunately, I am able to overlook the dreary design since its free. We hit the craps table and played for about an hour…left up $25. We then headed over to the MGM Grand for lunch, worked our way up the strip to the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood. Spent a long time shopping and wondering around the re-vamped property.

Unlike the Luxor….they got this makeover right. The Aladdin was plastic and plaster and cavernous. The casino ceiling was 3 stories tall and you felt like the decorations were taken off an old Disney ride from the 50’s.

The new Planet Ho is hip and modern. Light fixtures rotate through colors and hang from the ceiling to give the illusion you are in a room instead of a cave. Listen to Steve Friess interview Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl on The Strip Podcast and talk about the new design and if they purposely left the marquee as Planet Ho for a few days during construction.

Outside, we took a few shots of the CityCenter construction site. CityCenter is a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Dubai World, and according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Aria will serve as the core of CityCenter, which has 18 million square feet of public space and is considered the largest privately financed development in the United States. Aria will have CityCenter's only gaming space."

"The three nongaming hotels are the Mandarin Oriental, Harmon Hotel and Vdara. Veer Towers is CityCenter's only strictly residential building. The Crystals is a 500,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment district. Aria will also house a Cirque du Soleil theater that will host a production show based on the music of Elvis Presley. The hotel will also display portions of CityCenter's planned $40 million public arts program."

"MGM Mirage officials are extending Harmon Avenue from its yet-to-open Interstate 15 overpass through the development, creating Harmon Circle, a raised roadway with off-ramps into Vdara and Aria. Harmon will continue underneath as an east-west connector. An aboveground people mover system will connect Aria with Bellagio and Monte Carlo."

We had planned on meeting up with the other bloggers at the Imperial Palace Geisha Bar, but we were tired and hungry, and the IP culinary options weren't very appealing so we hopped on the deuce, and headed back to Luxor for dinner and an early crash.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pokerstars Blogger Event

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 430680