Leaving for Las Vegas Friday around 2pm. We were worried there would be a lot of traffic, but it was thankfully the roads were pretty empty.
A neat little hill.
It's hot out, though.
Most people go right around 80mph, but a few people go faster or slower. There were even a few people going fast who went into the slow truck lane on the right; naughty, naughty.
There were a ton of these trees on the way. They looked similar to Joshua Trees but I don't think they were quite the same.
There was also this huge thing with towers. Probably a bunch of solar panels?
We stayed at the Gold Coast, right next to the Rio and the Palms. It looks like the Palms built a much more modern looking tower.
We got my seat assignments for Saturday on Friday night. They said earlier in the day the lines had been over three hours wait time, but we were only there for ten minutes. Good timing.
A ton of people at the tournament. There were four starting flights: two on Friday and two on Saturday. These are Friday people still playing.
Someone opened this access panel to let people use all of the outlets inside.
The final table is televised from here. We were going to watch for a bit but they had just gone on dinner break for an hour, so we decided we didn't want to wait.
Rubbing the belly for luck.
A really cheap buffet in the morning at Gold Coast: only $8.
And time to start the tournament. I'm on the right in the red hat; Kendra is at the next table over, center-left in this picture.
Kat, on the right in the picture, also played, but Ogii didn't.
I was one of the only people I saw who really dressed up fun, but I saw pictures of a few others, including one woman who had clown face paint on.
I wrote down most of the hands that I played. The first one I played, I had AK, so I raised preflop. Two players called. The flop was 755, I continuation bet, one guy called, the other raised, so I folded and the other guy called. The turn was a 7. They both got it all-in; one guy showed a 7 for quad 7s and the other guy folded. I'm glad I didn't hit an A or a K.
The second hand I raised with AT and four players called. This was a weird part of this tournament; people tended to call a ton early on when they should fold instead. The flop was 88T with two diamonds, I bet, everyone called. The turn was a 2 of diamonds, so anyone with a diamond draw just made their flush, so I checked, as did everyone else. The river was an offsuit 5, everyone checked again, and I won with top pair top kicker as nobody had diamonds and the next best hand was JT. I had thought about betting to get worse Ts to pay a bit, but then if I get check-raised I have to fold and any 8 or flush is probably calling, so I think just checking it down was OK.
A third hand I had 67 suited, so I raised, someone called, someone else reraised, and I folded. This hand was maybe worth a call, but I'd rather play it against multiple people, not just one or two, and I was out of position.
A fourth hand I raised with 33, there was a reraise, two callers, and then I called. I didn't hit a set on the flop so I folded.
A fifth hand someone raised, and I called in position with AT. The flop was Q88, we both checked, the turn was a 2, the opponent bet and I folded. I really should have bet the flop and either won it there or get a better idea if I was beat.
A sixth hand I raised preflop with QQ and two players called. The flop was 228, I bet, and they both folded. I maybe should have just checked to hopefully let them catch something, but if an A or a K comes, it's really tough for me, or someone could make a set with any pair they had.
And I'm up to about double the starting stack, doing well. With my seventh hand came my toughest decision yet. I raised JJ, and a very tight opponent just to my right calls. He had played almost no hands so far, so I was pretty wary. The flop was T96, he checked, I bet, and he check-raised. That shows a lot of strength. I called to see what he would do on the turn, it was a 9, he bet, and I folded.
Considering how tight he was, I decided to wait for a better spot. What are his likely hands? He called my raise while he was out of position, so that narrows his hands down a bit, although he didn't reraise me. So likely hands I'm still beating is almost only AT. Possibly a JQ straight draw, atlhough he seemed too tight to check-raise that. Also possibly a 6 without a T or 9 that just got counterfeited, but I don't think he has too many 6s here, unless its 66, which I'm losing to. And JT is too weak to check-raise the flop and I have two of the Js.
Hands that beat me include TT, any 9 (likely 99, possibly 9T, unlikely 98; even though the more 9s that show up on the board, the less likely he has one, it's not that impossible), a made straight with 78 (again, seems rather unlikely since he called my preflop raise and it wouldn't make sense to check-raise the flop when he has the nuts there, but possible), and QQ, KK, or AA, although I'd assume he'd reraise those preflop.
Going on how tight he was, no reraise preflop, the flop check raise, and another bet on the turn, I'd assume AT (16 combinations) or TT, 99, 66 (6 combinations of each for 18 total), T9 (16 combinations), or less likely a slow-played QQ, KK, or AA (6 combinations of each for 18 total). Later on he did check-raise with AK on a flop he didn't hit, so he could check-raise non-made hands, but on that one he didn't bet again on the turn, which he did here, so that makes AK less likely. Also, when he bluffed with the AK later, I caught a big tell from him; he was breathing very heavily, which he wasn't doing this hand, and he seemed fairly relaxed this hand, which points even more to me being beaten. After I folded he also said he really liked the board, and he seemed pretty trustworthy, although he could have been lying. So overall, I'm losing to almost everything he has that makes sense, and even AT can get lucky and hit another A; I think my decision to fold is good. I wish I would have asked him later on what exactly he had, though.
My eight hand I raised with KQ suited, three players call, the flop is 852 rainbow, I check, someone bets very small, I call, two others call, and one folds. The turn is an A and everyone checks. The river is a K, one guys bets half pot, I called, the other two fold, and he had 53, so I won. Who knows; it could have made me a lot of chips or I could have been out of the tournament.
My ninth hand I raised AK, three callers (one was all-in for almost nothing), the flop was Kxx rainbow, I bet, they folded. Again, possibly one I should have checked so they could maybe hit a second-best hand.
My tenth hand I raised with AK, one guy calls. The flop was T83 with two diamonds (I had no diamonds), I bet, he called. The turn was a T, I checked, he bet, I folded. Maybe should have floated to the river.
My eleventh hand an guy went all in for about a fifth of my stack, I called with QQ, he had AT and didn't hit.
My twelth hand some raised, I reraised wtih JJ, and he called. The flop was K83, he checked, I bet, and he folded.
My thirteenth hand I had KQ of clubs and spades, I raised and got two callers. The flop was K85, all hearts, one guy checked, I bet, one folded and the other called. The turn was a 2 of hearts (so if he had a signle heart, he had a flush), we both checked, the river was a blank non-heart, he bets 3/4 pot, and I folded. After the hand he claimed he didn't have a heart, but since he was new to the table, I wasn't sure how he played. Later on he bluffed a lot, though, so I probably should have be the turn or raised the river; he most likely would have folded, even if he had a small heart, although if he happened to have a big heart or called with a small one, my stack would have been really hurt. This pot knocked me down to about 8,000 from my high of around 10,000 (we started at 5000).
A bit after that we all bagged up our chips and moved to different tables, so all my notes and reads on players from that table were worthless; just when I was figuring out how everyone played. I was right behind a huge stack at the new table, which was a bit intimidating, but thankfully he had to act before I did, so I wasn't too scared.
My first hand at the new table I played, I raised with 44 and the big stack in front of me reraised. To set mine, you and your opponent have to have around 10 times the amount you put in, and I was right around there, so I called. The flop was KJ8 rainbow, he checked, I bet, and he folded. The nice part about set mining is sometimes you don't even need to hit your set to win.
My fifteenth hand was A9 offsuit when I was the small blind. Someone raised and I called. Being out of positiont with such a crappy hand, though, I should have folded or reraised, even though I was getting a decent price, and you have to defend your blinds at times just so people don't run over you. The flop was 774 with two diamonds. I checked, he bet, and I called. Again, bad decision by me, unless I plan on stealing the pot on the turn. The turn was an 8, I bet to try to steal, and he folded. Even though it worked, I think it was a pretty bad card for me to bluff with; any overpair isn't going anywhere and I'm not representing too many 8s when I call the flop. Oh well, go delayed aggressiveness.
My sixteenth hand was A5 with two diamonds. Someone raised to 500 (I think the big blind was 200, so a standard raise), I called, then someone behind us went all in for 3000, then there was another all-in for 5000. The initial raiser folded and I folded as well. They had KK vs TT, and the board ended up being Q853A. If I would have called, I would have tripled up, but I think I still made the right decision preflop. However, I almost raised preflop instead of just calling, and if I would have, I would have been priced in to call. A5 suited is also a good hand to bluff all-in with because you have a lot of outs. Normally that would be too big of a raise from my position, but maybe in this tournament it would have been good to be overly aggressive. Ah, what might have been.
My seventeenth hand was KJ, both spades. I raised and the big blind called. The flop was AJ6 with two spades, pretty great flop for me, pair plus nut flush draw, so I was ready to get it all in this hand, but he checked, I bet, and he folded.
MY eighteenth hand was K2, both hearts, in the small blind. There was a raise, a call, and I called. My hand is probably too weak to call here even though I'm getting great odds, so I think I should have folded or three-bet bluffed. The flop was T99 with one heart. I checked, the next player went all in for a bit over pot, the other player called, and I folded. They have 55 and 87, the turn and river were KQ. Again, I would have won, but again, a good fold at the time.
My nineteenth hand was 77 when I had around 20 big blinds, which is getting pretty short. I raised and two players called. The flop was 998, I bet, one player folded, and another, the big stack right in front of me, raised. I took quite a while and called. The turn was an 8, we both checked, the river was a 5, I bet almost all-in, and he called with A4 and won. After that I had only 5 big blinds left, almost nothing. A better play might have been to go all-in preflop or on the flop; instead, by betting normally preflop and only calling on the flop, I allowed the other player to get two pair on the board better than mine. Also, I took too long to make a decision on the flop, which indicates I probably had a draw, which let him more easily call my river bet. Had I acted faster on the flop, he might have folded the river, although probably not. The turn was a horrible card for me because I went from having two pair to having 7 high with two pair on the board. This was the last hand before a second break.
I sat with my tiny stack for a while and then we all got moved to other tables pretty soon after that.
My twentieth hand, my second hand at my new table, I shoved all-in with AT with 6 big blinds, a player with 22 called, and he won, so I was out of the tournament around 3pm. Overall, I think I played fairly well. However, there were a couple of times I probably should have been more aggressive, especially hands 13, 16, and 19. Also, I had bought in for two starting flights, this one and a later one, and my plan was to play the first flight very aggressively to try to build up a big chip lead or bust out, and if the latter happened, to play more conservatively in the second flight. If I would have been more aggressive on a few of those hands, I might have been building towards a good enough stack to make it into the money. Since I had failed to follow my more-aggressive plan for the first flight, though, I decided to skip the second flight, get a refund on it, and go out with Ogii, Kat, Kendra, and Kat's sister that night instead. Maybe I would have done really well in the second flight if I could have convinced myself to play more aggressively, but maybe not. We'll never know.
It was really hot outside, so we decided to go hang out by the pool for a bit.
Ogii thought it was a bit too hot.
I'm getting old. I'd rather hang out with a couple of older guys drinking beers, one wearing a Married with Children Al Bundy high school football shirt, than at one of the dayclubs packed with 20-somethings downing mixed drinks.
Ogii talking to a bird that hopped over to her.
A couple of other birds hanging out.
They liked to hop up branch to branch in the palm trees.
That evening we went to the Erotic Heritage Museum.
Molds of breasts.
Larry Flint items.
We went there to see Puppetry of the Penis, which was two guys who twisted their penises and testicles into various shapes. It was pretty entertaining, and certainly worth the $25 ticket price.
Dinner afterwards at the Planet Hollywood buffet.
I'm going to hang on to this one.
Back at our hotel there was a vending machine with many different candies.
This section of the carpet looked like an octopus arm.
Playing some penny slots.
What's this thing taped to the garbage bin? A security guard saw me taking a picture and said they're flashing lights. That was nice of him.
We ate breakfast the next morning, although instead of the $7 we paid on Saturday, on Sunday it was $18.
I guess it's beause they had steak...
... and crab legs.
Us with some chocolate-covered strawberries.
Walls of glass.
A sculpture of kayaks.
A balloon way up on the roof of Planet Hollywood.
We decided to play one of the smaller daily tournaments on Sunday afternoon. However, they had almost all been cancelled because the casinos make much more money off of cash games. We called around, and Planet Hollywood said they were having theirs at 1pm, so we went there, but when we arrived, they had just cancelled it. So we called around some more and Treasure Island said they were still having theirs at 2pm, but they were filling up fast, so get there early. So we drove over there and registered. It was a really small room, not even 10 tables, so we could see how it would get full.
We played some penny slots until the tournament started.
Lots of fingerprints on this one.
I liked this one because you won 1 penny if it landed on all blanks.
Although it's an older machine; this wheel is taped together.
It would have been a jackpot. Although only for $24.
If you get any of one color you win two credits. Although I guess they didn't have room to fit them all on one row, so they broke it up into any reds and any white + any blue.
Time to start this one. It was a $65 buy-in, pretty average for the short daily tournaments that usually last a few hours. Kendra, Kat, and her sister showed up, but it was already full and there were 20 people on the waiting list, so they decided to go somewhere else and play cash. In fact, they delayed our tournament a few minutes while they waited to open a table because the previous tournament was still going on. They only had one table of cash because they were using all the others for tournaments.
This hand the board was AAA. One guy bet and two others called. The turn and river were blanks, the first guy bet again, the other guy folded, the last guy went all in, and the first guy called. The first guy had 99; the other guy had the other A for flopped four aces. The guy who made the four aces didn't play any hands forever after this; he was super tight.
During the first break, we walked all the way around the casino to the left looking for the bathrooms; they were ten feet to the right of the poker room.
About halfway through the tournament almost everyone was down to about 10 big blinds, which is when you start shoving all-in preflop or folding. A few players had more and a few had less, but everyone was right around there. I got lucky a few times and doubled up then doubled up again and made it to the final table. I and another guy were the two big stacks and everyone else was below us.
I kept getting huge hands. I got AA and AK like 4-6 times each and either stole the blinds or knocked people out. The other big stack would often have very good hands when I raised but he'd play very tightly and fold, including one time when I had AA and he had AK. I guess he was happy to sit until we got into the money.
When it was down to seven players we all agreed to pay $20 to the seventh player. Until then everyone had been pretty quiet; afterwards everyone became much lighter because we all knew we were making money. When it was down to four players, I was the big stack, and the second biggest stack, still the same guy, shoved all in. I had 66 and, if he was shoving with an ace and any other card, it would be a call, but if he's only shoving with pairs, it would be a fold. I called, he had 88, he won, and then he said he wasn't shoving with only an ace. Good to know for later, although it wouldn't matter because we'd be done before then. Thankfully I was far enough ahead that while he became the new big stack, I was still very close. The fourth player was really low in chips, shoved, got called, got knocked out, and then there were only three of us. We instantly agreed to a chop.
All three of us were very close. I was slightly the lower stack, so I paid the big stack $40 and the second stack $20 to even out the chop a bit, then tipped the dealers $20. We chopped for $987 each, so I ended up with around $900. They paid me in chips, and I joked I should go and put it all on 13 at the roulette table; the guy paying me in chips advised against it.
Me with my winnings. I would have preferred to chop the Colossus top three for $453,581, but $900 is better than nothing.
Back at the Rio to get my refund for the second unplayed entry to the Colossus. They had tables out in the hallways for people to play at.
More jammed in this hallway, too.
They had electronic blackjack tables; all of the dealers had huge breasts.
We decided to do the VooDoo Zip Line. On the way up we saw Penn and Teller; apparently they had just gotten done filming a show up there.
The zip line is at a rooftop lounge which gives a really nice view.
Us with the mountains in the back.
And with the strip behind us.
A video of us on the zip line.
And a picture.
After that, we packed up and headed out. We grabbed dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the hotel. Even though I didn't win any money in the Colossus, at least I won a little at Treasure Island, and it was a fun trip overall.