This is part 1 in a series of posts detailing my trip to Las Vegas.
Day 1 Friday July 6th
4:01 am: Jody and I woke up after about 2-3 hours of crappy sleep.
4:45: We leave for the Philly airport.
6:10: We arrive just in time to grab a few bagels and board our flight.
7:50 am PST: Our flight into Vegas arrives 40 minutes early. We pick up a few delicious drinks from The Coffee Bean and take the shuttle over to pick up our rental car. The guy behind the the counter upgrades us to a Mustang convertible because the corolla that we had reserved wasn’t available or something.
Side note before I continue.. At this point in the trip we knew that our buddy Andy from Florida was in the hospital and not doing well. We met Andy 3-4 years ago and since that time we’ve shared a few houses with him on trips to Vegas and West Palm beach and we have hung out with him when we have gone to Tampa to visit my friends Jay and Ken. Jody and I figured we should do our best to live it up on this trip and often thought to ourselves on this first day “What would Andy do?”
9:00: We get to our hotel, the Wyndham Grand Desert, and check in but our room is not available.
Side note 2: On July 4th, just as our family was showing up I all of the sudden got a terrible fever and just felt absolutely awful. My throat began feeling awful as well. The next day it was still pretty crappy and when we got to Vegas it didn’t feel much better. I began feeling and seeing these weird bumps on my fingers also.
9:30: We decide to head over to the Grand Lux at the Venetian for breakfast. I order some OJ because it’s so delicious and take one sip and it hurts my throat so much that I can’t drink it. I get the chilaquiles, one of my favorite breakfast items anywhere, but can barely get down a quarter of the meal.
10:45: Our room is still not ready so we head over to CVS and spend about a half hour there getting various things we needed but didn’t pack.
11:30: We go back to the hotel and the room still isn’t ready. We debate our next move and decide to go to Planet Hollywood and walk around the Miracle Mile shops and get the huge fruity and very alcohol filled drinks and people watch.
2:30: Our room is somehow still not available. We decide to check out Club Tattoo in the mall area at PH. Jody and I have wanted to get tattoos together for a while. We had the artist draw something up and we loved it so we decided to get them done. Mine is on the inside of my right bicep and Jody’s is on the inside of her right ankle. It’s our wedding date (10/10) inside of an infinity symbol. We make another stop at CVS for some aquaphor for our tattoos.
4:00: We are finally able to get into our room and quickly fall asleep and take a much needed nap.
6:00: We wake up from our nap and take showers and relax for a bit.. I still felt pretty crappy and my feet began feeling like I was getting blisters on them.
9:00:We go to dinner at Border Grill in Mandalay Bay with our friends Jesse, Casey and Hank. The food wasn’t as delicious as I remember last year but it was still pretty decent. I had the Yucatan pork which came with soft tortilla wraps, a sweet potato mash and brussel sprouts. We had some awesome conversation as usual at dinner.
10:30: We finish up dinner and make our third drug store trip of the day.
11:20: We get back to the hotel and by this time the rash on my hands and feet has gotten bad. I begin looking things up online and at first think I may have strep throat. Jody further researched and finds that I 100% have hand, foot and mouth disease. It’s a virus that seems to be going around South Jersey that mostly affects kids and starts with a bad sudden fever and malaise and then turns to a bad sore throat with blisters and sores on the hands, feet and mouth. Sigh.
12:30: We call it a night and head to bed.
Day 2 Saturday July 7th
9:30: We wake up and I still feel pretty crappy.
10:30: We decide to head over to the best breakfast spot in Vegas, Rise and Shine on Southern Highlands Parkway. Jody and I order two huge breakfasts to split and we barely make a dent. We got the red velvet pancakes and the cinnamon toast crunch French toast. Sooooo good. We headed over to Target to grab a few things before going back to the hotel.
1:00: We head down to the pool at the hotel to get some sun and relax. Our friend AG comes over to hang out fresh off of chopping the $560 bracelet bounty tourney for 44k.
3:00: The three of us go over to Yard House for some lunch. I order a Rogue Dead Guy to drink but can only get 3 sips down because it hurts my throat. I get the tomato bisque and this incredibly delicious Cuban roast pork dip sandwich.
4:40: After lunch we ran over to old navy to grab a few things and then Whole Foods to get some groceries. We have a kitchen in our suite so we figured we would try to eat a few healthy meals here and there.
6:00: We get back to the hotel and instantly pass out for a nap. LOL, Vegas party animals here!
9:15: Wake up from our nap and take showers and get ready.
Midnight: We head over to the Rio, driving down the strip with the top down. It felt like it took forever to get there. We stand in line to register for the main event which also takes forever.
1:30 am: We go to Tropical Smoothie Cafe for smoothies to end the night.
2:30: We get home and head to bed.
Day 3 Sunday July 8th
9:30: It’s Main Event day! I wake up feeling a bit better than the previous few days. Jody and I go to the gym together, eat some breakfast, take a shower and then head over to the Rio for the start of day 1.
12:00: My table has 4 middle aged guys including Martin Stazsko who finished 2nd in last years Main Event and 5 young guys including myself. Its quickly apparent that everyone plays pretty well so it might be tough to accumulate a lot of chips. We started with 30,000 chips and the blinds at 50/100. Here are my important hands from each level:
1) I raise CO to 250 with Q10o, sb raises to 700, bb cold calls, I call. Flop Q82r. Sb bets 900, bb folds, I call. Turn J he quickly checks, I think a while and check. River 9, he quickly checks again I bet 1750 he calls quickly and mucks.
2) CO raises to 250, Btn calls, I call Sb with KhJh, bb calls. Flop Jc 8c 4h, I lead 700, bb calls others fold. Turn 5c I check he checks. River 5x I check he bets 1100. I think for a very long time and almost make it 4500 but then decide to call and lose to his AJ.
I kept getting a ton of playable hands in good positions and just not hitting any flops. End level 1 with 26,475.
3) Open CO with AJo to 450, loose button calls and active euro bb makes it 1700. My gut kinda folded me to just fold here even though it’s like the best squeeze spot in the world. I ended up 4 betting anyway to 3700, button folded and the bb made it 8500. I had no idea if he had it in him to 5b fold here but I certainly considered jamming for a while but ultimately decided against it and folded.
4) Open 66 utg to 450, guy in mp makes it 1150, I call. Flop AK2dd and it goes check-check. Turn 5, I bet 1500 and he calls pretty quickly. River King, I bet 3600 and he thinks a really long time and reluctantly folds.
5) I open 810hh in co to 450, both blinds call. Flop 732ssh they check to me, I bet 800, sb folds, bb calls. Turn Jx and he check folds to my 2100 chip bet.
6) I get my first real hand of the day and raise to 450 with KK in the hijack, button calls and big blind calls. Flop Ks7s7x, be checks I bet 650, button calls, bb folds. Turn offsuit 4, I lead 1800 and he makes it 4k with 8k or so behind. I really didn’t feel like he had a 7, felt more like spades or a flop float so I decided to just call. River 9s, I checked and he thought 10 seconds or so and checked it back, never got to see his hand. Go to level 3 with 28,550.
7) Active guy in mp opens to 700, next to act flats, I 3b button with KK to 2200, opener tank folds and caller snap flats. Flop KcQc5x, he checks and I bet 2400. I think given his range pre I should prob just check this flop back.
8) Tightish kid raises to 700 in ep I flat AJss. Heads up flop comes Ks10s9s and he leads 1k. It didn’t feel like he had a super strong hand and I figured he’d just fold if I raised so I just called. Turn 6x he bet 2500 and I called. River 7s, he thought a while and bet 3k with 8k behind.. Wasn’t sure what size to go here but ultimately jammed and he folded pretty quick.
9) I raise utg to 700 with JJ, guy next to me quickly makes it 2400. He has flatted in same spot before with JJ so he probably has a really strong hand. I call. Flop comes 1096r, I check and he quickly bets 3k. I think a bit and call. Turn Qs bringing back door spades and I decide to lead 4300. He thinks a bit and doesn’t seem sure of what to do and raise to 10k with 15k behind. I decide to shove and make him decide if he wants to risk being knocked out to which he says call very quickly because he has QQ. River is a 9 giving him a full house and the 60k pot and leaving me with 8k.
10) I fold a few hands and then Stazsko raises utg to 700, I decide to flat AA next to act with 7k total. The blinds call and the flop comes A98cc and they check to me, I bet 1600 and they snap fold. 3 top sets so far and not many chippies 🙁
11) Pay the blinds a few more times, then raise 1010 in the CO to 600 with 8k or so and Btn 3bets to 2400.. I decide to fold and he had kings so that was good.
12) Very next hand raise to 600 with JJ, same guy calls and bb calls. Flop Q105r, bb checks, I look at guy next to me and he seems really interested so I check and fold when he bets 1500 and he shows AQ.
Go to dinner break with 7625.
Jody brought me food she had made at home, a veggie burger and a salad and we ate it in the car. She passed along the news that she had found out from Jay a few hours earlier, that Andy was in really bad shape and would be taken off the transplant list. It was an emotional dinner break for sure as Jody and I sat in the car outside the Rio simultaneously sobbing and laughing as we retold Andy stories. She wrote an awesome blog about Andy earlier in the day which you can find here: http://raisingthenutsinafamilypot.blogspot.com/2012/07/one-of-kind.html. Jay said it best about Andy when he said “He truly and genuinely appreciated living and filled his 28 years of living with 100 years’ worth of experiences.
13) I raise to 600 in MP with 6k and JJ. The button raises to 1500 and snap folds when I shove.
14) Utg raises to 600 with 6k stack, MP flats with 17k, I call sb with 8k and 66 and the bb calls. Flop Ah10h6h and everyone quickly checks. Turn 3c, I check, bb checks, utg bets 600, mp calls and I shove for 7400. Utg folds, mp gets a count and then calls with 1010. I don’t hit my one out and I’m eliminated from the Main Event.
I always have pretty high expectations for myself when I play, regardless of what it is I’m playing. Overall I would say that I felt super comfortable and confident but I think I probably ended up playing my C game. I play on instincts and using my gut a lot more than others and occasionally I’m wrong and believe me it drives me crazy when that happens. I treat everything as a learning experience though and will try to use it the next time I sit down to play.
9:00 pm: We came back to the hotel and watched 5 episodes of Everybody loves Raymond. During this time we learned that Andy had passed away. I feel incredibly fortunate to have met Andy had to have had the opportunity to spend the time with him that I did. I’ll never forget his ever present smile and his Tennessee accent that I loved so much. His soul will live on through the countless Andy stories told by Jay and Ken.
11:30: We were starving so we decided to go over to this little diner place at Aria. I got a grilled cheese and French fries. We needed more Tylenol so we made yet another CVS stop.
2:00 am: We got home and called it a night. I have no idea what the plans are for the rest of this trip but there are tons of options. We will see where the road or the plane (?) takes us.
I want to add many more pictures to this but I can’t from my iPad 🙁 I’m going to see if I can get access to a computer so I can edit and add pictures in a little bit.