After the boys arrived we took a walk over Caesars Palace so I could exchange some cash at the cage before heading to Bally's to catch the complimentary shuttle to The Rio. Dave pre-registered for the $1,000 WSOP Seniors Championship Event #26 the following day and we then took a walk over Gold Coast to have dinner at T.G.I Fridays. This took us until around 22:00 and they were tired from the flight so headed off to bed, while I had a little energy left so spent a few hours playing cash at Aria until around 01:00 the following morning. I had the pleasure of playing with the beautiful, charming and interesting PokerNews reporter Kristy Arnett (Moreno).
The following morning the three of us had breakfast together at The Café at Monte Carlo before Dave headed to The Rio for the Seniors whilst Knaggsy and I were off to The Encore for the $400 Wynn Summer Classic event #5. We grabbed a strawberry smoothie from the bar and took our seats, neither of us had much success and were both bust relatively early before heading back towards centre strip.
Knaggsy suggested we visit the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo which I was down for as I'd never been before, whilst looking around we received a text from Dave who had bust the Seniors and was on his way back over to the strip. Meanwhile I'm a sucker for photo's and memories so paid $35 to get mine and Darren's photo taken with a few of the habitats parrots. #photosformemories
From here we met Dave next to the Flamingo poker room before heading to P.F. Chang's China Bistro at Planet Hollywood for an early dinner. This is a fan favorite of Dave's and represents good value for money. After dinner we all played the Aria $125 Nightly tournament with no success, I played 160,000 huge chip leader pot with open ended straight draw and flush draw vs. flopped straight and bricked out. So then Dave and I got on the rail of Knaggsy who was deep in the $60 Monte Carlo Classic, he managed to go all the way with a great rail and together we took the roof of the card room when he collected his $555.00 first place prize money. We had some awesome football style chants and songs going;
"Knaggsy what you won, Knaggsy Knaggsy what you won???"
"Knaggsy gives a wave, Knaggsy Knaggsy gives a wave!!!"
I had an early start the following morning as I had booked up with Flightlinez to do some zip-lining through the red mountains in Bootleg Canyon just outside Boulder City. This was a true adventure, I was exposed to the real thrill of flight. Over the course of the one and a half miles of zip-lines, I descend thousands of feet down the mountain and reached speeds of up to sixty five miles per hour. I beheld beautiful scenery, and breathed in fresh mountain air. Even got a little hike in to boot! It sure was an experience that will last me a lifetime. I'll let the pictures take over now, which as they say are worth a thousand words. #greatexperience
I paid $50 for the above photo's and after it was done the guys dropped us all off at Excalibur, when walking through I decided to get my photo taken with a couple of sexy girls dressed in medieval character. Again, because I'm sure I have MUG tattooed on my forehead I paid $65 for three different prints. So I managed to spend $150 on photo's in two days, pretty ridiculous in hindsight.
Upon getting back to Monte Carlo I rang Jimmy (another Newcastle lad who was in town) and joined him and his boys Jonny Stobbs and both Paul's around the swimming pool for an hour. I had a chicken sandwich for lunch by the pool before they headed over Planet Hollywood and I got freshened up in my room. I then took the deuce to Fremont Street to sweat Dave playing the $235 Seniors Championship of the Golden Nuggets Grand Poker Series and play some cash. He made it through the day with a little less than average and after chatting to James Browning and Lynne Beaumont (other poker friends from the UK) for an hour or so we took a taxi back to Monte Carlo around 01:30 to get some sleep. Dave and I were up early and off to the gym, leaving Knaggsy in the room alone to surf the internet and enjoy some private time with Tube Galore. We had a run and a light workout generally just taking the piss out each other but also offering each other motivation, before relaxing in the sauna for twenty minutes before heading back to the room.
We needn't have bothered with the exercise as no less than an hour later we went to New York-New York for chicken, fish, fries and a large Pepsi at Fulton Fish Market, which I'm sure had considerably more calories than we had just burned off at the gym. Dave then took a taxi downtown for day two of the Seniors at Golden Nugget whilst Knaggsy and I took a slow walk over to Bellagio for the weekly Sunday $300 tournament. We arrived a little early so used the spare half an hour to meander around the famous Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. See photo below;
We had only just took our seats when Dave walked in the card room after busting the Seniors and he too bought in, with the small field we all ended up on the same starting table. Shortly after the first break our table broke and not long after that I went broke after getting 7,500 in at 150/300 with KK vs. 99 on a 49T flop and receiving no help. I played cash for a few hours while both the boys made a charge for the final table, with Dave busting in fifth for a $500 bubble prize and Knaggsy splitting it three ways for $3,500 each. Peter and Karen Newton (more commonly known as Mr. & Mrs. Stumpy for all my NPF readers) also flew in that afternoon and came over for a couple of beers and to rail the final table, so it was great to catch up with those guys again. With a bit of peer pressure from Dave and I, we convinced Knaggsy to get us a late supper from Snacks using his winnings before taking the tram back to Monte Carlo to bed. The following morning (Monday 17th June) we were all playing the $1,000 main event of the Binions Poker Classic. So we all met in Monte Carlo reception and took a taxi down to Fremont Street, first enjoying breakfast at Carson Street Café in Golden Nugget before walking over the road to Binions. We were joined by David Vamplew and Chris Moneymaker, amongst a good mix of talented and inexperienced players in the field. We got some photo's together with David and Chris holding a "THIS TIME NEXT YEAR JAMIE!" sign, while we all wore our "JAMIE RUTHERFORD NPF LEGEND: LAS VEGAS INVASION 2013: PAID IN FULL" yellow signature t-shirts.
Dave and Peter were showered early while Knaggsy and I made relatively deep runs, but neither of us made it out of the first day. I bust around 20:00 and played some cash over at Golden Nugget until around midnight receiving a brutal beat for a $3,000 pot, so eventually threw in the towel and took the deuce back to Monte Carlo and headed to bed around 01:00. The next morning we headed down to the casino floor to have brunch at The Café at Monte Carlo, before walking next door to play event #3 of the 2013 Aria Classic a $340 no limit hold'em tournament. Lots of familiar faces in the field including Marc Foggin, Steve Heron, James Browning and Lynne Beaumont. Celia Liu and her new boyfriend also stopped by to say hi, it was great to see her after so long so I gave her a big cuddle and had a good chat for ten minutes before she headed off. In the tournament I was short after losing AA vs. QQ all in pre-flop so squeezed ATo and ran into QQ which held. As I bust I caught up with Peter and Karen on the rail who were off to Jean Philippe Patisserie for high tea, I decided to join them and enjoyed a beautiful roasted chicken panini, double chocolate cheesecake and extra thick hot chocolate. Peter and Karen very kindly picked up the bill too so I freerolled, although a little expensive this tasted very good and worth checking out.
I then registered for the next event #4 of the Aria Classic which was a $150 freezeout at 19:00 the same evening, before heading back to my room to catch up with Dave and Darren. Taking to the felt again I made a deep run as I had my stack to around 60,000 then I turned two pair vs. villain who had top set T8 vs. KK K8xT and couldn't get away. It was around midnight when I bust and I considered playing cash, but the list was pretty long and I expected it would be a minimum of half an hour before I got a seat so instead just went back to sleep for the night. The next day we all (Dave, Darren, Peter, Karen and I) took a day off from the felt as we headed to the North Las Vegas Premium Outlet for some shopping, we had lunch at the food court before going our separate ways to get some new clothes. I personally bought a faux leather jacket ($40) and a checkered baby blue blazer ($240) which I love and you'll see later in this trip report, with two designer jackets for under $300 I was pretty pleased with my work. Then Knaggsy and I had to wait almost an hour while Dave inspect every corner of the Adidas outlet, we later joked how we watched a movie and had a round of golf whilst waiting.
Couple of hours later and we all met back up with poor Peter carrying over five bags thanks to Karen and her assault on the outlets. Then took a taxi back to the strip and we all headed back to our rooms to relax for a couple of hours, I got freshened up and changed into my evening attire before heading out to meet Peter and Karen. I had reserved us a table for three at Fix at Bellagio at 17:00, which is a fine steak house restaurant with good views of the casino floor. This lead us nicely until our 19:30 showing of "O" by Cirque du Soleil.
The show was aquatic tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance in the timeless production, "O™." It had an international cast of world-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience in a magnificent theatre reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House which I'm all too familiar with. We all agreed it was a brilliant show and I would thoroughly recommended this to anybody, simply breathtaking. From here we took the tram back to Aria to sweat Knaggsy in event #6 the $150 evening event and have a few beers on the rail with Dave. I was tired and didn't hang around long, deciding to go to bed for early night around 23:00. The next morning we all had brunch again at The Café at Monte Carlo before heading next door to Aria for $340 Event #7 of the Aria Classic. This turned out to be a very frustrating day on the felt as I ended up spending $1,130 on buy-ins and re-entries, playing the $340 #7 twice and the $150 #8 three times. I eventually bust my final buy-in of #8 around 23:00 and decided to cut-off my losses and head to bed for the evening. For those interested, all my exit hands can be found on post #77 of my staking thread over the NPF.
Las Vegas 2013 Staking #77
Dave, Knaggsy and I all had a long over due lie-in this morning, after several nights of broken sleep which we all blamed on each other saying Knaggsy kept us up with his snoring, Dave and his endless time spent on the NPF and finally I took some of the blame due to my Facebook addiction. All good craic really, but we were all pleased to get a good ten hours sleep. We took a stroll up the strip to Bally's and had lunch at Nosh where I enjoyed a sandwich and a fruit yogurt, they then headed to the Fashion Show Mall to get some gifts but I couldn't be bothered with more shopping so instead went to camp in Bellagio poker room for a few hours. I left a small loser at 16:30 heading back to Monte Carlo to get freshened up and changed for the night. The evening had come of the NPF Las Vegas Night Out, which I had organised and was pretty stoked about. Unfortunately a couple of people didn't show up, but I understand in Las Vegas people can get carried away and lose track of time so it's all good. Me and all the guys that did come all agreed we had an amazing evening, starting off in The Chandelier at Cosmopolitan before walking over Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas for our dinner reservations. Then watching the Fountains of Bellagio before having a couple more drinks in Club Prive at Bellagio and finally finishing off at The Deuce Lounge in Aria. This for me was the highlight of the holiday, and I would like to extended my thanks to all that made it such a special and memorable evening. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as me, check out all the photo's below of a very special night. #goodtimes #goodpeople #goodmemories #deliciousfood #signaturecocktails #excellentambience #onlyinlasvegas
I woke up the following morning with a little headache from the alcohol, but nothing a morning trip to the swimming pool with my surrogate dad Davey couldn't fix. After an hour by the pool split between sunbathing, the jacuzzi and swimming I was feeling a lot better. Peter and Karen were over The Rio already as Peter was playing the $1,500 WSOP Event #40, so Dave, Knaggsy, Paul, Karen and I took a taxi over to join them and get on the rail. We had lunch in the poker kitchen before registering for the $240 15:00 daily deepstack. This got 1,200+ runners and I finally had a bit of run good making a deep run eventually busting in 14th for $2,070. As much as I was stoked with the deep run I was pretty disappointed to go so deep in a huge field and at one point hold the chip lead with sixteen remaining to bomb out in 14th. That was the nature and structure of the tournament though and I put myself in a position to win when I could easily have folded down to 6th/7th for $10,000ish. Anything other than first would have been a failure so I'm pleased with my approach and my for the win attitude, $45,000 would have been nice but that's the variance I have come to accept as part of the wonderful game and move on. This run lasted over twelve hours as I eventually bust around 3:00am after starting 15:00 the afternoon before, we were all pretty exhausted and took a taxi back to the strip heading to bed. Big thanks to Dave, Darren, Peter and Karen who despite all busting pretty early hung around all night to show me support on the rail. As you can see it all got a bit much for Dave in his old age.
Early morning again so Dave and I headed back down the swimming pool, leaving Knaggsy alone to enjoy some more private time with Tube Galore. We all packed up and checked out for noon, leaving our bags at the bell desk and heading to P.F. Chang's China Bistro again for a farewell lunch with Peter, Paul and both Karen's. Then a little bit of shopping and Dave and Darren had to leave to catch their flight around 14:30, I however had a couple more hours so headed to Aria swimming pool to catch a few rays with Peter, Paul and the girls. I left around 17:30 and got to the airport in good time for my 20:00 flight to Los Angeles. I had another enormous journey home to Sydney to endure, but as I'm very lucky to have good friends in the right places I enjoyed the luxuries of BusinessElite.
My journey home was of course very relaxing and I just hit the Cristal Champagne and enjoyed the fine gourmet meals throughout the flight. That just about brings a close to my fifteenth visit to this magical city and I can say confidently that was one of my best trips yet. The company made it a laugh a minute, it speaks volumes when you can lose $3,000 playing cash and the lads can still get you smiling and not caring the next day. I absolute loved this entire trip from start to finish and would like to pass on my thanks to all the guys who made it extra special, you all know who you are and I love you all. Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed guys.