November 4 ½ day POKER trip report:

We had the late Saturday (24th) flight out of SFD into LAS - nice uneventful flight; this was a poker trip with my brother, and another brother and Wife came along to see the NASCAR gang on Fremont St, Wednesday. So it was the 4 of us, they stayed at the D and we stayed at the Plaza. The new rooms at the Plaza - excellent; And they said, the renovations at the D were nice as well. Flight landed at 9:20 pm so we cab it downtown - $23+tip, so we get settled into our new rooms and meet for some gambling.

Approximate time 11:00 pm, we meet up and first thing on the agenda, find a warm crap table. . . Golden Gate was the first stop, and after some time there, I was up some and so were the boys. The table gets a little icy, so were ready to move on after 2 rotations. Then we wander around a little checking out the 2 poker rooms downtown, Binion's and the Nugget. After a few more failed attempts to warm up other crap tables, we decide to call it a night (3am). The plan for the next day, (Sun) is to check out the Nugget $100 buy-in tourney at 9:00 am, which we decided was NOT for us this time. Although the structure and setup looked very, very, good. We just didn't want to pay that kind of cash the 1st day for a poker tourney that's going to have 70 - 100 players at it.

So we decided to hit the Stratophere 11:00 am $45 buy-in, $20 add for 10,500 in chips. They had 30 runners a great structure and we had a great time. We both made the final table three to four hours later, yet neither of us cashed. We had a pretty good feeling about the Stratosphere Poker Room, . . . we liked it, and we would be back.

Next, we head up to the Bill's 3:30 poker tourney, and they have 2 tables, terrible structure, and $30 entry - 15 min blinds. I start cold, but gradually start catching some cards, or enough to hang on, anyway, and I end up discussing a chop, 3 ways, and I am a little short on chips, but one guy won't go, so we keep playing, and I finish second for $150. This structure leaves a lot to luck and position.

After Bill's, it was time for some site seeing. We went and checked out the Flamingo, Harrah's, IP, TI, and Mirage poker room, and decided we have to play one tournament at the Mirage. Nice room and structure on the 7 pm tournament is decent. 8000 chips for $65 with 20 min blinds. It was getting late, so we pulled into Gilley's at the TI for some diner and they were getting ready for the Bikini Bull Riding. We had a great time for the next 3 hours, . . . Very entertaining and Hilarious ! !

Monday morning, we were off to Sam's Town for their 11 am tournament. 30 runners with a $35 but-in, nice group of players and dealers. 3 hours later, I hit 3rd for a little cash, and we catch the Sam's Town water and lights/lazer show - this is NOT a must see, yet interesting none the less and it assisted in burning some time while waiting for the FREE bus to the strip. So we catch the bus back to the strip to play some cash game or catch another Bill's tournament, by the time we get to the strip it's past 3:30 so we sit down at the Flamingo for a few hours of cash play.

Our next move was toward the Strat for the 7 pm Monday Night Football tournament. Back to the Strat the 7 pm tournament was same as the morning tournament except 8 tables. We both had a good run and we are out at the merge to 3 tables. They draw for a team jersey every Monday night after the 1st break, and the guy to my right has his number called. Nice perk a . . . a team jersey.

We decide to go tour the Aria, so we head that way, via the DUECE, and what an amazing casino. You definitely know, you're not in Kansas any more, very, very, very nice casino. My game, probably, don't fit here very well, but it would be really fun to play on of the tournaments here. But, it was getting late and we had plans for the next day, so back to the DUECE to head downtown.

Tuesday, we were going to switch things around a little; Morning tournament at the Strat and evening tournament at Sam's Town. Worked out well, I caught 4th in the morning and bubbled in +the evening. By this time, we know the locals as well as our fellow vacationing players. And we are seeing some of the same guys in the other poker rooms, too. After the Strat tournament we head back downtown for dinner. The pick of the day 777 Pub at the Mainstreet Station Casino, excellent food, service, and atmosphere. You just can't lose at the 777 Pub.

Wednesday the Strat has Bounty tournaments all day. $85 for 12,000 in chips, and everyone is worth $20 if you knock them out of the tournament. Half way through the 1st hour, I'm down half my stack, and at the end of the 1st hour I have 6,000 in chips. I hang on and still have the small stack all the way through the final table, which I cash out 3rd place with 1 knock out. My brother knocks 2 guys out, but crashes before the final table.

Next, we head back down to Fremont Street to see the NASCAR drivers, which I missed all of it. So we hit the Nugget for a little cash game/lunch, and the plan is to play Sam's Town 7:00 pm tournament. We get on the free bus to Sam's Town at 6:15 and we are there at 6:40 . . . the bus is free. The problem is the last bus leaves at 10 and we are not done till 11:30 because I hit 1st place tonight. I tried to chop it with the guy because I was short stacked, but he wanted to take me out . . . and he should have, but luck was on my side tonight. So, with this bus situation, they call a cab for us and $24 + tip (ouch) and we are back downtown.

One night we did venture out and called one of the limo's for a gentelemans club, SR are the initials. The limo came and picked us up at the Strat, we asked a ton of question, because we didn't want any hidden costs or suprises. And there wasn't any, they explained the program, the girls were great, and our waitress kept us from getting kicked out and from going to jail - we believed was her job and she did it well. We had a great time there and they made sure we were safely in our cab when we were ready to go. Cab ride from there to the Plaza, $10 plus tip.

Our food choices this trip was mostly for survival with the exception of 777 Pub, and we ate chinese food at Sam's Town. Our drinking choices, will affect us for months to come. And I will say, we did a professional job of consumption, from 11 am, until 2 am . . . . DAILY. When we were playing cards, we like our free drinks, and when we are not playing cards, we still like our drinks. We had the greatest time meeting a ton of people and new friends from all over the US and Canada and we met some of the best/funny/entertaining dealers around.

Thursday was moving day. We needed to catch a cab at 1:30 pm for the airport. The plan was to meet out front of the Nugget and grab one there. We sit down at the cash game at the Nugget and play for 2 hours and I get up with the same amount I sat down with, but my brother makes alittle.

In front of the Nugget, we plan on catching a cab and the Bell man says, I got a limo for $35 flat rate to the airport. We say, bring it on, what a great deal for a smooth ride home/airport.

The Stratosphere, Mirage, TI, and Sam's Town have great tournaments. I like a structure that will give me a chance at 3 hours of play for my money, and these casinos do it. I don't like throwing down $75 or more for a 2% shot at the money with out a stucture that gives me a chance to play, . . . ALOT. That's just me and everyone is different.

Next trip goal; find a strip hotel DEAL, like the Strat because we are going to play in thier morning tournament most days anyway, that will limit our transportation costs/time, which were less than $50 a person, but we did spend some time on the Deuce. . . . more than we wanted. We do really enjoy Downtown and the hotel deals are outstanding and hard to beat in that area. We all had a great time, although some ran out of fun (cash) after 4 days. We will be back, maybe in the spring, but for sure next fall.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.