I braved the bus system and the riffraff reeking of body odor Friday to explore the Strip fully for the first time on this trip, collecting freebies along the way. I started the excursion at Circus Circus and spent the afternoon walking south, stopping in occasionally at various casinos. The ice cream cone I got at McDonald’s melted in my hand by the time I ate half of it in the 102 degree heat.
I arrived at MGM Grand around 2:30 p.m. to check out the casino’s new poker room, in a nice central location where there used to be a stage and musical acts. I was disappointed to find no higher limit games. The highest one was $3-$6 and there were numerous $1-$2 NL games running so I sat down in one of those. No limit appears to be taking over, for better or worse.
It was a fun table, with a nice group of friendly people, both young and old. Amazingly, there were four Southerners among us – North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama (twice) were represented. The guy to my right was from Selma, home of the country’s most famous civil rights march, but has lived in Vegas for several years, doing some sort of stock trading. When I told him I was from Tuscaloosa, he responded with a cry of “War Eagle.” Ugh.
I won several chips off of a young woman when I flopped a set of 4s and she flopped top pair queen with an ace kicker. When I raised her $50 bet on the turn to $100 she folded. It was a great fold from her that saved her money.
She told us later that she is celebrating the one year of her re-birth on this trip from Missouri. She suffered from a brain tumor that was removed last year. The Ken lookalike on the other end of the table (of Barbie’s Ken I speak) hit her up for clubbing on the town later.
I won the brunt of my chips from the guy from N.C., who everyone simply called “North Carolina.” He had downed numerous beers when the following hand occurred. I limped with K-Q suited and he made a sizable raise from the small blind. Figuring him for a medium pocket pair or something of that ilk and having position on him the rest of the hand, I decided to call the additional $20, putting $50 and change in the pot. The flop was K-8-9, with two clubs. He bet $25 and I raised to $60 to figure out where he was. He thought for a long time and called. The turn was the 5 of spades. He checked and I bet $60 again. Again, he thought for a long time and finally called. The river was the 10 of clubs. He went all in for his last $100 and change. Hmmmm…didn’t know what to think of that. If he had fewer Budweisers in him I would have been less apt to call, but I also thought about it mathematically and I was getting about 4-1 odds on the call. He didn’t have to be bluffing very often for this to be a correct call mathematically. So I called and he turned over the A-Q, only one club. I got lucky on the flop and then N.C. pissed the rest of his chips to me with nothing but a draw to the ace.
So I left MGM with $320 more dollars in my pocket and hit the bus again for the ride back. For some reason I was totally drained when I got back to my hotel room at 9:30 p.m. so rather than go out for dinner or another quick card game I hit the bed.
Today I’m going back to the Rio to check out the WSOP action. Hopefully, I’ll run into Andy Bloch so I can show him the article I wrote about Tom Sims and his Andy Bloch Project for Bluff magazine. Still haven’t heard from Bluff if they are going to run it.