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Used my day of rest to play a $240 tourney at Aria. 112 entries. Made final table. We stayed 10 handed forever, blinds got huge, most of the table tried to get an equity chop worked out that would have netted me $1,600. One guy said no so we played on, I ended up busting 9th for $590. Oh well.

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Here's a quick synopsis: ( provided a running commentary on twitter too with pictures)   Thursday 5:30 AM: Woke up the boy for hockey practice. He was tired and cranky LOL. Drove up the the airport

Another trip done. Stayed at Bellagio 3 nights during work, 5 nights at the suite at MGM for fun. Some highlights I thought some of you would appreciate:   - Noodles at Bellagio. 3 meals, which is

So my little drummer boy son is a big ACDC fan, and an even bigger beatles fan. So on the Thursday of Superbowl weekend, I'm going to tell him I'm going to drive him to school. Instead, I'm driving

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Final tabled the Aria $240 tournament again today. Came 5th for $1050

 

nicely done!

 

how good are you at poker? I know thats a silly question and kind of hard to answer, but im seriously beginning to wonder, because you do really well.

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Good question haha.

 

I think I'm pretty good but all I really get to play these days is 1/2 in Lethbridge occasionally and a very occasional game in Calgary. I'm making about $30/hour over a ~500 hour sample in the last couple years in those games. Keep in mind those games are super easy.

 

I think I excel in games where the other players are a bit nervous about the money because I play pretty fearlessly and am not afraid to put them to the test. I struggle a bit when other players are playing a similar/better strategy. I admit there were a few spots in the main event where I felt a bit overmatched, or at least not completely comfortable.

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That awareness alone puts you ahead of 30% of the field. Day 3 is where the rubber meets the road, and your tables start to have fewer average or bad players, and the added agony of aggressive large chip stacks becomes more evident. Sounds like you're doing just fine.

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That awareness alone puts you ahead of 30% of the field. Day 3 is where the rubber meets the road, and your tables start to have fewer average or bad players, and the added agony of aggressive large chip stacks becomes more evident. Sounds like you're doing just fine.

 

He lost on day 2. :(

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Well, it's all over but the crying. Finally made it back to Alberta after 5 nights at mirage, 4 at MGM Skylofts, 2 at Aria, and 1 at the Markham Hilton.

 

Had an absolute blast. Full report coming soon.

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Well, it's all over but the crying. Finally made it back to Alberta after 5 nights at mirage, 4 at MGM Skylofts, 2 at Aria, and 1 at the Markham Hilton.

 

Had an absolute blast. Full report coming soon.

 

Cant wait!

glad to see you're alive and not incarcerated.

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I'm going to slowly do this trip report over a few posts.

 

not going to fully recap the main event, but I had a blast. As far as the poker goes, I just couldn't really get anything going. I was really card dead in the last half of day 1, and none of my minor bluffs/cbets got through. Was just a slow and steady death over the last few levels of day 1.

 

1 annoying hand from early in the 5th level of day 1. I have a pretty snug, but probably losing image. I haven't gotten out of line at all. I have about 50k and I open to 950 (200/400) in MP with 8cTc. folds to SB (sticky pre and post but not a station and not a dummy) who calls. BB (good, smart LAG) also calls.

 

Flop comes AsKc7d. checks to me and I bet 2k into 3kish pot. Both call.

 

Turn is 9s (AK79ss). both check to me and I bet 6k. I decided to fire a second barrel because both opponents have really capped ranges here. neither can have a set unless it is 77. two pair is unlikely unless it is A9 or A7. Both guys are much more likely to have a Kx or Ax hand. My range is completely uncapped and it is going to be really hard for either of these smart players to call without a strong hand out of position with the threat of a third bullet on the river. Plus I picked up some equity with an open ended straight draw in case I do get called. my range is really strong here with a raise pre, a c-bet, then a double barrel into 2 opponents on an AK board. I doubt either would expect me to be firing 2 bullets on a zero equity bluff in this spot.

 

Anyway, SB calls after some deliberation, BB folds.

 

River is an offsuit 4. SB checks. I strongly consider firing a 3rd bullet here, but I figure there are very few draws in his range. pretty much just QJ spades and TJ spades, but even those are unlikely as I don't know for sure he peels the flop out of position with just a gutshot and backdoor spades. He definitely folds all the non-spade combos of QJ/TJ on the turn. I figured AQ/AJ/AT etc.. are going to make up the bulk of his range at this point, and I wasn't sure if he would call the turn with the intent of folding the river with those hands, so I wimped out and checked back.

 

he says "You're good, I can't win" and shows TsJs. I tell him to always believe in himself, and don't be so negative, and flip my T high into the muck. Even knowing the results, I still think a check on the river was the right play, but had I spazzed a bit and found a third bullet there, I would have had a healthy stack and who knows how everything would have turned out.

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quick recap of day 2:

 

started on the button, very first hand UTG raises to 1500 and I call with 99. In another circumstance I probably would have been ok to get it in with 99, but if I reraise an unknown UTG raise on the first hand, I'm just guessing, and probably turning my hand into a bluff.

 

flop comes KJ4 and I fold to a c-bet.

 

 

3rd hand, I raise HJ to 1500 with TsJs. button calls. flop comes 5s6s7h. I c-bet 1800, button raises to 4800. I decide to ship 19k. button hums and haws for a few minutes before making the call with Kh8h. board runs out 6h, 4c and I do the walk of shame past people who are still walking in to find their seats for the day.

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played 4 aria tournaments:

 

$240 - 112 entries, came 9th for $590

$240 - 74 entries, came 5th for $1000

$240 - 200+ entries. busted mid-way

$125 - 174 entries, came 12th for $300

 

ran well and played well in the early middle stages, but couldn't get a rush at the final table to take one down. All had pretty significant money up top. (5k+), would have been nice to win one of those, oh well.

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Long story short, ended up meeting Jason Zucker outside the T mobile arena before the UFC fight to borrow 10k from him.

 

 

 

longer story long:

 

So, trip got off to an interesting start. Didn't want to carry over 10k across the border, and Devan's financial guy assured us he could just wire money to the rio for me, so I went to Vegas with like $100 in USD and $1000 in Canadian cash in my wallet, and just got Dev to wire the whole amount of my buy-in plus some spending/gambling money ~13k or so in total to the WSOP cage.

 

I head to the rio after checking in at the mirage on Friday night, and sure enough, they have no record of a wire. I show them a picture of the confirmation page that shows the wire in my name, with their account number. He says it must be stuck in accounting. Problem is, they work bank hours, so come back tomorrow at 9 AM, I'm sure it will get sorted out.

 

luckily I had the Canadian cash, so I converted it at the cage at a really terrible exchange rate and headed over to the Wynn/Encore to check out their new poker room. Ended up playing till 5 AM at a fun/drinking table. Won $1000. This would be the last cash game success for quite awhile on this trip.

 

 

Anyway, fast forward next day, I'm back at the Rio. They have my wire transfer now, but they cannot release the money to me unless I am a signer on the account it came from. F me. I had a bad feeling about this whole thing, but I went with it anyway because Dev's financial guy assured us it would be no problem. Called Dev, him and his guy started making phone calls. Can't be that hard to get some money to Las Vegas, can it? Turns it the answer is yes. Devan was really close to hopping on a plane to hand deliver the money to me when he remembered that jason Zucker lives in Vegas. Apparently he basically pulled a U turn as soon as Dev called him and headed into his bank like 2 minutes before it closed and got the cash for me.

 

He was going to the UFC fight that night at the brand new T Mobile Arena, so I texted him and we arranged to meet up before outside the arena. I got there a bit early, and as I was standing there, I kept getting approached asking if I wanted to buy tickets. Hmm, now that I'm here, I kinda do want a ticket. Guys were asking $500+ per ticket, but the fights were starting soon, so I figured somebody would get desperate with a single ticket. I kept telling people I would pay no more than $100, come see me when they couldn't sell the ticket. I ende dup chatting with a guy who was there with his son, says him and his son go to UFC fights all the time without tickets, and always get in super cheap or free once the fights start. Cool. I wished him luck. half an hour passes with no luck. Zucker and his wife show up and we complete what must have appeared to be a shady transaction involving a thick envelope full of cash (the bank only had 50 100s, so half of the 10k was in 20s and 50s).

 

I spend a few more minutes standing outside, and 2 absolutely gorgeous girls dressed to the nines approach me. "hey, you looking for tickets?". I could barely get out my speel about looking for a cheap single ticket when the girl hands me two tickets and says "enjoy the fight, my brother fought in a prelim and lost and we aren't staying around" She blows me a kiss and points at the guy and his son from earlier, says they sent her my way. Holy shit, I guess I'm going to the UFC fight for free. This is awesome. I get through security, feeling like I am breaking the law or something. She scans the first ticket. Red X on the screen. Second ticket, same thing. I see the guy and his son walking into the arena. Success for them at least. Ticket lady says "did you leave and come back". Me, "uhh yeah, my wife was sick so I had to walk her back to the hotel". "I'm sorry sir, there is no re-entry". Me: "are you kidding me? nobody stopped me from leaving, blah blah blah fake outrage." Manager comes over, I give my sob story, no luck, I'm turned away. Damn. I decide not to press my luck, and head out of there ticketless, but with a main event buy in in my pocket.

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So, I think I mentioned that I was flying solo in Vegas for the first 5 nights that I was there. I actually really enjoyed being in Vegas by myself.

 

alas, being solo in Vegas and just playing poker for 14 hours a day does not translate to a good trip report. my first 5 days were fairly uneventful. I covered the WSOP, the Aria tournaments, and the money exchange above. I just played a lot of poker, tried to eat healthy and not drink too much, so my body would be in decent shape for the latter half of the trip.

 

My friends showed up on Wednesday the 13th, and it took about 2 hours for me to be more drunk than I had been in the previous 5 days combined. We went to Top Golf on the first night. Had a lot of fun but the "cimate controlled" booths were still really, really hot. The food was incredible, the atmosphere was really cool, and the golf itself was a lot of fun. Also, I can say without hyperbole that our waitress was one of the most attractive human beings I have ever seen in person in my life. I think our whole group of 7 guys was in love with her. After that, we all went and emptied our wallets at the Shmearment Shmino (Name changed to protect the innocent). Had a great time there of course, but I will say I think the novelty might be wearing off for me. They've made some changes that are terrible IMO, and it's jut nearly impossible to go there and not be separated from all the money in your wallet. I don't know if it's the slow economy, but everything about it felt way more aggressive than usual. Might not go back next time (probably a lie)

 

 

Day 2, we decided to hit the lunch buffet at MGM after dragging ourselves out of bed at around noon. This might seem like an over exaggeration, but this lunch buffet would turn out to possibly be the most degenerate thing I have ever done in Vegas. We rolled in, paid for the buffet, and were just about to go in when the front desk lady said the fateful words:

 

"Would you like to purchase an all-you-can-drink wrist band for $15.99?"

 

A wordless look was exchanged between the group as we all simultaneously reached for our wallets.

 

We get in, get our food, each order a double-screwdriver (the options were limited on the all-you-can-drink pass), I can honestly say we didn't plan on spending a long time at the buffet, but the way our group is, we just started shooting the shit and laughing amongst ourselves, and we kept going back for more double screwdrivers. The Bartender was hilarious. We were sitting about 20 feet from the bar, and the second one of us stood up, he had the glass and ice out and was pouring a drink. By the time we got to the counter, the drink was ready to go. The servers were steering clear of our table, and before we knew it, 2 hours had passed and our entire table was filled with empty glasses. Guys, did we just essentially get bottle service at a family Buffet? At this time I realized that I was hungry again, and I was about to inadvertently perform the ultimate Vegas lowlife move of staying at a buffet so long you eat 2 meals. Also, they had just brought out a huge pot of steamed crab legs, so we all loaded up a plate and grabbed another double screwdriver and dove right in. at some point after that, the bartender informed as that there was actually a rule about staying longer than 2 hours, and that he was very sorry but these 7 double screwdrivers would have to be our last order.

 

I left that buffet feeling equal mixes of pride for beating the system, and shame for being such a degenerate. Actually screw it, it was all pride.

 

After that it was back to the skyloft for beer pong and music for several hours.

 

That night we had planned to wander down to O'sheas for some drinking and more Beer pong. We decided to go for dinner at MGM first, and ended up going to CraftSteak. Ended up getting some kind of Domestic Wagyu steak 3-course meal where they just keep bringing out appetizers, and then different types of steak all cut into 7 portions, and then what felt like a hundred desserts. It was incredibly good, really expensive, and an obnoxious amount of food. Ended up being there for like 3 hours, and by the end it was midnight, and we were all so full/tired that we just headed back to the room to chill out for a bit and go to bed.

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Day 3 we went for Sushi lunch at the Grand Wok. It was delicious.

 

this was Friday night, and we had arranged for a booth with bottle service at Hakkasan. The CHainsmokers were playing that night, which is probably the hottest act in EDM right now, plus Hakkasan is already the most popular night spot in Vegas, so this wasn't going to be cheap. We were able to get a "special deal" for one of the better booths in the place for a $3,000 minimum tab. puke. luckily this was heavily subsidized by our high roller.

 

Now, I'm not a huge "club guy" at this stage of my life, and while I do enjoy EDM music, I'm also not a "go to EDM/DJ shows" kind of guy. but, I gotta say, the Chainsmokers show was a friggin blast. The whole place was absolutely buzzing. I do like a few chainsmokers songs a lot, but they didn't really play too much of their own stuff, and their mix was amazing. I'm probably not going to properly convey how awesome it was, but I do know this night was unequivocally the highlight of the entire trip for every one of the guys is our group, and I'll leave it at that.

 

Hakkasan itself was a cool place. not much different appearance wise than other clubs in vegas that I have been to, but it had a really good vibe to it that is hard to explain. And good god, the clientele is "special". Let's just say I would have an amazing time at this place if I was single and much better looking. Even married and ugly, it was amazing.

 

woke up Saturday with one of the worst hangovers of my life. Definitely my worst vegas hangover ever. I usually don't get bad hangovers in Vegas for some reason, but this was a bad one. went for lunch at Wolfgang Pucks. could barely eat anything. went to the outlet Mall so all the boys could "pay the vegas tax" as I like to call it at the Coach and Michael Kors outlet stores so our wives would allow us to come back next year. got back to the room and had a 3 hour nap.

 

Went out for dinner that night to the Italian restaurant at MGM, the name escapes me. I've been there before and it is really good. We decided to go to the David Copperfield show that night as a bit of a lowkey activity since we were all feeling a little under the weather. Show was pretty good. Entertaining, but not nearly as good as any of the Cirque shows I've seen. Would have rather gone to see Love again. after the show and a little gambling, our age was starting to show again, as on our last night, we were back in the room and winding down by midnight.

 

The boys were gone the next day, and I was off to the Aria for the final stage of my trip. Hopped in the $240 tournament, but couldn't get anything going, and was eliminated a few hours in. Played some cash after that, and managed to build up my stack a bit before a 3-way all-in for a $900 pot with me holding AQ on a TJK board. I couldn't hold against KJ unfortunately. Didn't see the other guy's hand but I assume it was a flush draw.

 

Final day saw me back in an Aria tournament, this time a $125 and I made another deep run. finishing 12th out of 174. shoved 80k at 4k/8k with TJ and got called by 99. couldn't win a flip and I was out for $300. Finished off the trip with a +$270 1/3 session and was in bed by 2 AM.

 

next day I got in a few sports future bets for friends on the way out of the casino, and was off to the airport for my 12:40 flight to Toronto, where I had a Mazda meeting the next day.'

 

 

 

financially, it was a pretty good trip, because I never had to dip into the 3k that I had budgeted for the trip. I worked the original $600 that I cashed in from Canadian on the first day of the trip and still had a bit left over by the end of the trip. just had to pay my hotel bills when I got home. could have been so much better if I shipped one of those Aria tournaments (or cashed the main of course :)) also I didn't mention about 5 other cash sessions which were all small to medium losers over the course of the trip.

 

 

I'm happy to be home and see my wife and kid, but also sad that it's all over. I looked forward to this trip for so long, that I am definitely feeling a sense of loss now that I don't have it to look forward to anymore. I did have an amazing time though, and I hope to be able to do it all again someday, including playing the main again.

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I looked forward to this trip for so long, that I am definitely feeling a sense of loss now that I don't have it to look forward to anymore.

 

I know this feeling well. Every year.

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I have been thinking of going to Vegas by myself. Wife has always said to go and just play poker.

 

One of the main things holding me back was that no one would take my girls to their activities. That all changes since Otto has his G2 now.

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Amazing read Dubes, thanks for getting it all done. Really interesting for me to read your reports especially, since I find we are very similar in thinking/values, and yet so dissimilar in other ways too. I mean, when I meet professional athletes outside prizefights to exchange drug-mule piles of money, I usually find a place to sit instead of stand, and I'm too nervous to make conversations with strangers.

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That was a fun read, I would recommend seeing anthony cools next time you're there with a bunch of friends. Alberta native, very funny!

 

You don't play any table games?

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Yeah I didn't mention it in my report, but I played a decent amount of Free bet Blackjack (my favourite), ultimate holdem, and craps when the guys were there. Did ok. Probably down about $500 at the tables for the trip.

 

I decided to sit out one craps session and my brother won $7k on a single roll that lasted like 25 minutes, was happy for my brother but pretty pissed about missing out because I usually always play craps with my brother. The "system" I play, I would have won about $1500 on that roll

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