American Digest Volume 02

Lying in bed at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel a little after 3:00 for my 23rd night here in the USA split between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, whilst I'm definitely not complaining I'm optimistic my passport will arrive later this morning and if it does I'll be flying to Sydney this evening. Following straight on where I left ADV01. On Monday 29th April after finishing up at Caesars Palace I met Paul Richmond, the way his flights fell meant he was staying an extra night so we shared a room at Hooters Casino Hotel. We had a slow walk up the boulevard and caught The Fountains at Bellagio, which as always was very pretty and impressive. Then had a couple of drinks around New York-New York Hotel & Casino before going to bed around 01:00.

Paul left around 10:00 and I checked out of Hooters Casino Hotel and into Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower which was to be my fourth hotel of the trip. I chose Stratosphere as I had a free suite there available to me for my previous play credited to my acePLAY rewards card. So it was pretty cool to get early check-in via the VIP desk and complimentary mini-bar, local and international calls, free in-room movies, hi speed wi-fi, room service and gym/spa access all week. I won't tell you how much I lost to receive these benefits, but it's fair to say after accommodating me for the week they're still well ahead.

I spoke with the British Consulate General in Los Angeles and arranged an appointment on Thursday (2nd April) morning to sort my passport out. It was a really hot day so I just relaxed by the newly renovated swimming pool at Stratosphere until the Sun went down, then took The Deuce Bus ($8 for 24 hour pass) down to MGM Grand to play some 500NL for the night. I got beat up pretty badly and decided to leave around 03:00 to bed and accept my losses. I woke up pretty refreshed and decided to head over Orleans Hotel & Casino, who had there Tournament Of Champions festival running and today was #2 $500 PLO. In eleven years and a few final tables I've never managed to close out a PLO tournament, but I mean I haven't got a huge sample size and still think I represent reasonable value so I play them anyway. Again I battled through a field of 58 which I thought was pretty big for a $500 PLO tournament to finish in fourth for $5,500, although disappointing not to finish I was still stoked to run deep.

The following day I was back over Orleans playing #3 $500 NLH, unfortunately no luck this time as I 3BET 9Td from the BTN and emptied the clip after flopping a flush draw, gut shot and two overs (267dd). I missed the run out of course and shoved the river, the guy tanked for a while before eventually calling with JJ to bust me pretty early. No complaints and I'm happy with how I played the hand. So I headed back to Stratosphere to catch a few hours by the swimming pool working on my tan and then ventured out for the evening. I wasn't in the mood to play poker so opted to watch a show and I had my heart set on "O" at Bellagio, but by the time I arrived at the box office it was sold out so I instead went to see "KA" at MGM Grand. Both are Cirque du Soliel acts and I really loved "KA", so I will for sure in future visits make a big effort to see all other Cirque du Soliel performances up and down the boulevard.

I had an early night after the show as I was conscious I had to be up early to make my flight to Los Angeles, I had 6:45 flight for a 9:00 appointment at The British Consulate General. This took around an hour and after filling out all the relevant paper work, I was back at Los Angeles Airport for an 11:30 flight back into Las Vegas.

Then caught a cab straight from McCarran International Airport to The Orleans Hotel and Casino to late register for the 12:00 #4 $500 PLO8 in the Tournament of Champions. Another unsuccessful but yet rewarding final table appearance as I bust in fourth for $2,500. I felt I got unlucky here, which I kinda did but after speaking with one of my friends and experienced players in split games. I think my biggest mistake was playing A5TJds, the board read TT346 so I ended up with TTTA6 for the high and a A3456 low. I was scooped by A235ds who played 23456 for a high straight and A2346 for the nut low. He explained reasons exactly why I shouldn't enter with bad low hands, which was demonstrated in the very hand that bust me. I'm okay with how I played in general and still very much a beginner in mixed games especially split variations.

Not to be deterred and pretty much because I'm just an out and out degenerate I was back over the following day for the $2,000 main event. I felt I played pretty good as I bagged up around 250,000 to take into day two, just a week after taking down the Mirage Poker Showdown main event I felt full of confidence and a strong sense of déjà vu. Things unfortunately didn't work out this time as I went back on Saturday and had a major blow up to bust in sixth for $5,000. Blake Bohn (nice guy and very good player) opened up the BTN to 16,000 (blinds 4,000/8,000/500) and I 3BET defended my BB to 36,500 with 83h, he made it 85,000 after a while in the tank I almost folded, but decided I couldn't get away from it so 5BET piled it for around 220,000 and he snapped with AA of course.

I didn't mind so much though as it was around 16:00 in the afternoon and I had ringside seats booked over at MGM Grand Garden Arena for Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero, the card started at 18:00 so it was perfect timing for me to get to MGM Grand, have some dinner and take my seat for the under-card fights. The atmosphere was absolute electric, unlike anything I have experienced before and for sure worth every penny. This was Mayweather's first fight since being released from prison. After the first couple rounds, Mayweather was in complete control, catching Guerrero with right hand leads, counters and hooks. As widely expected Mayweather won by unanimous decision. #mayday #themoneyteam

After the fight I sat at the MGM Grand 500NL for a rather unrewarding few hours until around 05:00, losing two buy-in's before quitting. Then headed back to Stratosphere to get some sleep after being on the go for almost twenty hours. I woke up around 11:00 (Sunday 5th May) and headed to McCarran airport bound for Los Angeles, as I sweated out what I thought would be the last couple of days before my passport arrived. As it turned out, I was to be in Los Angeles longer than expected which I will detail more in ADV03.


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