Las Vegas 2012 Trip Report “Summer”

In Las Vegas for my thirteenth visit, unlucky for those that are superstitious. We flew on Thursday 14th June, Newcastle > Heathrow > Las Vegas arriving as scheduled 18:20PST. I was accepted on the flight in BA club world, but wanted to give Mark the opportunity to fly in this class so whilst boarding insisted on him swapping tickets and I had to kick it in economy. But it was fine once I had dropped some Alprozolam, I slept for almost eight hours ensuring I was fresh for arrival in Sin City. Interesting story after collecting our luggage from the carousel their was a huge queue, so I suggested to Mark we try and bluff this and skip half queue. This worked successfully but only after being challenged by professional footballer Aaron Lennon;

Aaron “Theirs a queue”
Me “I was at the front earlier”
Aaron “Go to the front then”
Me “I'd rather stay here, thanks”

This ended the conversation as he gave me a whatever kind of look, and we were only behind him another 5 minutes before going our separate ways.

Mark and I were staying over at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, I had reserved a Hollywood Hip Room with a strip view but this came with some difficulty. Upon arrival we were booked into Planet Hollywood for July 14th, not June 14th which was the dates and confirmation I had booked with our agent. Anyway after some delay we paid $200 to get a room for the evening, which was then refunded the following day after getting in touch with our agent and explaining the problem. We eventually got checked in and had an Eraser film themed room (all PH rooms are themed around a film), with the actual assault rifle prop used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie displayed in a cabinet.

After quickly freshening up we headed down to Heart Bar on the casino floor to meet a number of good friends in town including Dave Collins, Darren Knaggs, Peter Smithson, Erwin English, and Dave Sheldon. From here we had a brilliant night with awesome company and banter, check out the photo's below which I guess say it all.

Left to Right: Mark, Dave, Darren, & Dan
I ended up doing a graveyard cash session over at MGM Grand until around 10:30, before heading back to the room to freshen up and meet Darren Knaggs for the England (3) vs. Sweden (2) match. We took a taxi over to the Crown & Anchor on Tropicana Avenue, which is basically a traditional English bar really popular for football matches. Nice start to the day as we have a few pints whilst watching them get the points winning 3-2, before heading back to Planet Hollywood where I get some bad news from Mark. He was pick-pocket the evening before losing somewhere north of $1,500 which was in his wallet, this left him rather frustrated and coupled with a major hangover he decided to kick it in the room for the day/night. I spent the rest of the day with Darren and we joined Dave and Peter for lunch over at Palms, eating at Blue Agave. Check out a couple of photos from the day;

Then we all joined Peter & Karen (Mr. & Mrs. Stumpy) over the Aria, where I sat with Peter playing 300NL whilst the rest played the evening tournament. We both left losers after just not really getting going, but M'EH a nice evening spent in good company before finally retiring to bed around 01:00. Saturday 16th June was an early morning for us as I had booked us up with Las Vegas Rock Crawlers to drive a Jeep off road, following a tour guide around the Apex/Nellis Sand Dunes. We got a really good deal through groupon paying $180 (RRP $375), which was cool but meant we had to make our own way to Excalibur for our collection and drop off point. It's a short 20 minute drive from Las Vegas boulevard, then the dunes offer you miles of great trail runs and scenic views throughout your tour. Mark and I had a great morning, check out some photos below;

This finished around 11:00am, so after a refreshing drink in Excalibur I rang Dave to see his plans for this afternoon. He along with Peter “JuicyOranges” Smithson were playing the $230 Seniors Championship over at the Golden Nugget. Mark and I decided to join them and play the $125 side event running concurrently, we took a walk down to Bally's before all sharing a cab to Fremont Street.

Note: This report has two Peters featuring quite regularly, Peter “stumpy” Newton and Peter “JuicyOranges” Smithson. So for future reference in this report, I will refer to them by their NPF aliases Stumpy and Juicy to avoid confusion. 

This didn't work out to well for me as I was bust within the first orbit, it was limped 5 ways into my big blind and I checked my option with 86s. The flop came down 866 and to cut a long story short one of the villains had limped 88 from middle position, all the money goes in by the river which eventually read 86674. I wished the guys good luck, exiting the card room on route to Binions for the $160 Binions Poker Classic side event. My luck changed somewhat here as after a twelve hour grind I eventually bust in 4th for just north of $1,300, I did leave a little disappointed as at one point I had over half the chips in play with 6 left. Kind of felt like I could wrap things up but lost a few important flips, which is the variance we all have to live and die by I guess. Still delighted with how I played, and was great fun having both Mark and Dave on the rail sweating the action. Check out a few photo's of me at the final table, courtesy of Mark.

We then all took a cab to Caesars Palace, allowing Dave to pre-register for the $560 Super Senior event of their Mega Stack Series. It was around 03:00 now and we all decided to turn in for the evening, after a particularly long day for Mark and I being up first thing with the Jeep excursion. The following morning Mark and I headed over to Mon Ami Gabi in Paris Resort, this is a French restaurant recommended by Mark's boss and regular Las Vegas visitor Paul Ponton. Here we got a table on the balcony over looking the Cosmopolitan and beautiful Bellagio fountains, whilst enjoying a steak and champagne breakfast and finished with a traditional French crème brulee. This was a great recommendation, and one I would most certainly pass onto friends to check out whilst in town.

From here we headed over to Caesars Palace to catch up with Dave for 10 minutes before he took his seat at their Seniors, soon after we wished him luck and went on our separate ways. Mark was off back down-town to play the $135 GPS over at Golden Nugget, whilst I was taking a day away from the felt and headed for Vegas Indoor Skydiving. This was a great experience which basically simulates the free fall of skydiving without the use of a parachute or a plane, instead they use a vertical wind tunnel. After attending a brief training class, suiting up in all the necessary flight gear, I jumped in the tunnel and enjoyed three minutes of pure adrenaline. The whole experience took around an hour, and cost $80 with an optional $15 charge per photo. Check out my photo's below;

This is on Convention Centre Drive, just off north strip and a five minute walk to Riviera Hotel & Casino. It was around midday now so I headed their to kick it in the Queen Victoria Pub and watched Portugal (2) vs. Holland (1) match in Euro 2012, whilst enjoying a couple of ice cold bottles of Budweiser’s. Nice relaxing afternoon after a rather energetic morning of indoor skydiving, from here I spoke with Darren on the phone and arranged to meet him in Caesars Palace around 14:00 to sweat Dave in the Seniors. Here we met Juicy and both Darren and Juicy had lunch at Munchbar whilst I just had a coke, soon after Dave bust the Seniors and we decided to head down to Circus Circus for a round of crazy golf at their Pikes Pass indoor course. Whilst on route I got in touch with Stumpy & Karen, who arranged to join us and meet us at Circus Circus. We teed off around 17:30, this was a great laugh and for a really detailed report check out TEAMDOBBS blog;

The only thing the above report is lacking is photos, so check the photos out below which compliment the literature very well.

Pikes Pass Champions 2012: Dan Trett & Dave Collins

A great evening spent in fabulous company with everybody basically laughing and joking around, also on a side note I'm actually undefeated playing miniature golf in Las Vegas as back in March this year Moz and I took down the Putt Park 2012 Championship. You can find this reported in my Las Vegas 2012 Trip Report “March”, if you haven't checked it out already. From here Dave suggested P.F. Chang's China Bistro for dinner, which conveniently for me is located inside Planet Hollywood. So we all head our separate ways to our respective rooms to freshen up for a couple of hours, before all arranging to meet at the restaurant for 20:00. I was a little tired and a quick nap meant I slept through until 21:00, so by the time I arrived I had missed the starters but the main courses were just arriving. So after enjoying a really great meal we all pay $30 which was the bill split equally including gratuity, however Juicy kindly insists on picking it up so we make a group decision to gamble the $150 in the middle. This works out well as we split it between blackjack and roulette, which after all gambling was done we had doubled our money ($60) and also free-rolled a Chinese meal. After a successful assault on the pit games, we celebrated with a night cap in Extra Lounge whilst watching a live band. Around midnight everybody was pretty exhausted, so we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways to bed.

This morning we had originally scheduled a hot air balloon ride through Vegas Balloon Rides, which after calling the flight line the evening before we received a voice-mail saying the flight was cancelled due to high winds. I was left a little frustrated with the lack of customer service I've come to expect from American companies, and this was bought through groupon but they insisted on you using the groupon voucher ASAP so they could book you into a date. The result of means we can no longer approach groupon for a refund, and as far as groupon are aware we have went through with the activity. So I'm now left to rearrange for another date I'm in town, which will most likely be without Mark so he will miss out. I guess we kind of prepared as the T&C's did say they could cancel if weather conditions weren't right for flying, so for the time-being I'm given them the benefit of the doubt. Moving on this meant we had an extra couple of hours in bed, before calling everyone to find out their plans for this afternoon. We were all back down-town for the Golden Nugget $135 GPS event, we all (Mark, Dave, Darren, Karen, Stumpy, Juicy, and I) met at 11:00 for brunch at Carson Street Café. Then took our seats late and I was sharing a table with both Karen and Juicy, but not for long as I lasted no longer than orbit. I got all my chips in holding 44 vs. AKh on a 4xK flop, only for the turn and river to bring two hearts and flush me out of the tournament. So after wishing the guys good luck I was off back over Binions for the $200 6MAX, which again lasted around orbit as I get dealt KK vs. AA which doesn't improve and I'm out of two tournaments within half an hour. So rather frustrated I head back over Golden Nugget and chill in the International Beer Bar with a ice cold Budweiser, hit up the free wi-fi to see both Ivey and Hellmuth are on the final table of WSOP #32 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E so that sounds like fun and I taxi over Rio to sweat out that action.

I hang around here until around 17:00, drinking a couple more Budweiser's and enjoying the electric atmosphere. A combination of drinking and the action wets my appetite to get involved, so after a quick search online decided to taxi to Caesars Palace for the $130 NLH Ante Only tournament of their Mega Stack Series. This fortunately works out better than the previous two tournaments I had played today, after making a couple of small strategy adjustments to account for the ante only structure I ran pretty well managing to final table as chip leader. Unfortunately as with Binions a couple of nights earlier I couldn't close off the tournament, as I bust in 5th for $866 playing a 850,000 (2/3 of the chips in play) chip pot with TT vs. AA and not improving. I again left with mixed emotions, but overall delighted with how I played. Special thanks to Darren who headed back from Fremont street to sweat my action as I was down to the final two tables, always nice to have support on the rail. By now it was around 01:00 and we had news that Dave was on the final table down at Golden Nugget, who eventually finished 2nd for $3,287 so nice work mate. Darren and I decided to head back to our respective hotels, and retire for the night.

The following afternoon we all (except for Karen, who chose to shop instead) arranged to meet in The Pub at Monte Carlo, to watch the Euro 2012 England (1) vs. Ukraine (0) match with a few beers and some lunch. From here Dave and I decided to pick up some new clothes from the designer retailer, where Dave bought a shirt and I got a pair of shoes. This took us up until around 15:00 in the afternoon, then we headed off to do our own thing before arranging to hook back up for the evening.

Mark & Dan

As arranged we all (except Juicy, who didn't have a reservation) met in Extra Lounge, Planet Hollywood for our shuttle collection to Lake Mead. I had a arranged a Lake Mead dinner cruise a couple of months earlier, to serve as a nice way to bring a close to the trip away from the boulevard which at times can wear you out. This was a $100 and offered exceptional value in my opinion, as it included transfers to/from Lake Mead, then once aboard the Desert Princess there is complimentary champagne (although this was limited, their was more for sale), three course meal, and of course picturesque scenery of the beautiful blue waters and Hoover Dam. I think we all agreed this was a great evening, check out some photos below;

Left to Right: Darren Knaggs, Peter & Karen Newton, Dan Trett

We headed back to the boulevard via the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas sign for a photo opportunity, and arrived a little before midnight. We said our goodbyes to Stumpy and Karen, who were flying home the following morning. Mark and Darren both still had some energy left so decided to kick it at Bills Gambling Saloon playing some 100NL with a few drinks, whilst Dave and I were pretty tired so turned in for the evening. By now it was Wednesday 20th June and we were nearing the end of our visit, so hoping to head back across the Atlantic with a little colour I headed down to the swimming pool for a couple of hours in morning. In the afternoon we were back down Fremont street for the final time of our trip, again playing the $135 GPS event over the Golden Nugget. Joined again by Dave and Darren, where the four of us had lunch at Carson Street Café again before taking our seats late. Juicy also joined us a little later but unfortunately none of us had any success, with Dave and I making the deepest runs into the final thirty but still some way out of the money. This took us too around 22:00 in the night, then Dave and I caught a taxi to Aria Resort & Casino where Darren and Juicy were playing their evening $125 tournament. I couldn't be arsed to grind out another tournament, so after having a bit crack with the lads and wishing Juicy a safe flight home I took a slow walk back over Planet Hollywood and enjoyed the nice night and bright lights. Mark and I kicked it in Heart Bar for a couple of drinks, closing off the holiday as we started I guess until around 01:00 before finally retiring to our room for some much needed sleep. Our final morning and after packing my stuff and freshening up, I headed back for the swimming pool to work on my tan for a couple more hours. This took me up until around 12:30 which was half an hour late checking out our room, the cleaner was cool with it though and after leaving our luggage at the bell desk we went and sat at the 200NL inside Planet Hollywood’s card room. We chilled here until around 14:00 before deciding to check out the Spice Market Buffet (also located inside Planet Hollywood), which was fine I guess but by no means amongst Las Vegas best buffets. Suitably fed we arranged to meet Dave and Darren over at Bills Gambling Saloon who were grinding the 100NL, however I had just about had enough of the green felt for this trip so suggested we head over Imperial Palace to check out The Auto Collections. This is the worlds largest classic car museum with a showroom of over 250 top quality automobiles displayed, with the large majority for sale. Just some of the cars on display were Johnny Carson's 1939 Chrysler Royal Sedan which he drove to his high school senior prom and the 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback "Eleanor". The actual car from the Touchstone picture "Gone in Sixty Seconds" that was driven in the movie by Nicholas Cage. Check out a few photos below;

This brought a nice relaxing end to our visit, as we headed over to Bally's Resort & Casino where the four of us shared a cab to McCarran International Airport. The banter in the airport was top quality with all of us just taking the piss out of each other, predominately me for not getting a seat in club world and Darren for managing to go the full week without picking up a single cab fare. I swapped seats with Mark for the flight home, so although not in club world I got a seat in WTP (just like three seats away from Dave and Darren) and after taking my Alprozolam I slept like a baby for the majority of the flight. Much of the same as we landed as a small delay on our Heathrow > Newcastle flight meant the piss taking continued, this time Dave and Mark got it worse as Dave was hit for his inability to play heads up whilst Mark got continuously laughed at for flying in economy on the way home. So I guess that just about wraps things up for this report, thanks as always for reading.

Be Lucky Guys

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