December 8th, 2005

Posted by in Vegas

Alright, let’s see if I can do this trip some justice.

I flew out of Austin Thursday evening, checking in with Heather along the way. She had called me prior to my leaving the house to inform me that her flight was delayed and I’d likely get to Vegas before she would. I checked in with her again as I stood in line for my plane.

“Oh. You answered. That can’t be good.”

Sure enough, she was still trapped on a plane where they wouldn’t even serve drinks. I told her I’d call when I arrived and wished her a speedy departure.

I arrived in Vegas, made the requisite phone calls (mom, Heather, Prof) and then found the shortest cab line I’ve ever seen. This had to be a good sign. Chatted with the cab driver, but got nothing nowhere near as interesting as some people. Arrived at the IP and gathered my things, including my purse that had managed to fall over on the ride there. I noticed the cabby pick up a pen that I knew had been in my purse. I didn’t say anything, because really, it’s a freakin pen – they make others. I checked to make sure the most important content of my purse (the money) was still there and then headed into the maze that is the IP.

I could rant about the hotel. Truthfully, it wasn’t that bad. Oh sure, the entrance doors being closed off except for a weird configuration was a little annoying. That ramp right next to the doors that’s not available for the paying public is a tad bit inconvenient. The various secret elevators scattered around the hotel are also a wee bit frustrating. But, it’s a hotel on the strip, with a monorail station attached, and it was cheap. Can’t complain too much.

At any rate, once I successfully found our hotel room (guess who took the wrong elevator?) I dropped off my stuff and began the task of locating people. Rumor had it that they were at the MGM playing poker, and of course, you need not ask me twice to show up there. Heather called to say that she had finally arrived and would be at the hotel shortly. I decided to wait for her and then we could hit the MGM together. I tried watching TV a bit while waiting, only to discover that the TV didn’t work. I thought about posting some sort of “I’m here and you aren’t!” gloat post, but discovered the wireless access cost approximately the same as a big bet, and since we all know a bet saved is a bet earned, I sratched that idea. Time to kill, I decided to go through my purse and pull out random crap I need not take to a casino. It was here that I made what would be a frequent discovery on this trip – that I had lost my card protector, likely in the cab. Not the Texas one that guarantees a conversation, but the one I use during home games – a $5 MGM chip Joseph gave me in June. So before I even check into my hotel, I manage to lose $5, without ever sitting down at a table or in front of a slot machine? This can’t be a good sign.

Fortunately I didn’t have to wait at the hotel long. Heather arrived and we quickly headed out to the MGM, taking the monorail that I had become familar with during my last trip out.

While waiting for the monorail to arrive, we struck up a conversation with a nice-looking man who was also headed to the MGM, but wasn’t really sure he was going the right way. Truthfully, we weren’t 100% either, since the map above the monorail entrance showed it heading in the opposite direction of where we knew the MGM Grand to be. But, this was a monorail – it had to come back around sometime. Plus, there was no other entrance for the southbound…right?

We all boarded the first car that opened up and took seats near each other. At this point our new friend says something about the MGM. A guy to our left points out that if we want to go to the MGM, we should get off the car right now. Heather questions him as to where we should go. He points out the southbound monorail on the other side. But the doors there all said no entry! They’re there, he assures us.

We scamper out of the car and head over to the southbound side and find that yes, if you go down far enough, there are doors you can enter. Opps. Our cover is blown to our new friend, who Heather had assured that when it came to getting to the MGM Grand, I knew where I was going. Our new friend asks us where we’re from. We tell him, and since we’re from completely different states, the natural question for most people to ask is “How do you know each other?”. I faltered for a moment, not sure what the story should be, since we hadn’t rehearsed anything before hand. Heather to the rescue. “She’s my father’s sister’s cousin’s brother’s kid”, or something to that affect. “Actually, we met during the WSOP. I busted her out of the final table.” At this point we’re giggling like drunk little school girls, and I think we might have worried our new friend a bit, as when we finally boarded the correct monorail, he sat on the other end of the car from us. No matter, as it gave us an opportunity to evaluate his pluses and minuses.

One big plus he had was an apparent room at the MGM Grand. As we split off, us headed to the casino and he to the elevators, we got the always nice turn-back-look and a little wave good-bye. Heather told me that I should go after him, given that he had a room at the MGM. Not quite that desperate, plus excited to hit the poker room, I resisted.

Now here’s where things start to get a little fuzzy. Obviously we were at the MGM. I know I found my way to the poker room, because while I may occasionally get lost getting to the MGM, once I’m there I can instinctvely find my way to the poker room. However, if I sat down at a poker table there that night, I honestly don’t remember it. I’m thinking instead I chatted with the gang there, then joined the walk over for the Storming of the Castle 1.5.

Prior to taking a seat at a table at the Excal, I joined Mike, Heather, and April for a little dinner at the Sherwood Forest. Not having gambled on anything yet, I attempted to play a little Keno, making everyone pick a number. The waiter informed us that in order to play Keno that night we would actually have to get up and turn in the ticket ourselves, which in my opinion ruins the beauty that is Keno. It’s like an action IV drip, ensuring that no matter how far away you get from a table, you can still gamble on something. And just to up the action factor, it’s the worst bet in the house. The least they can do is save me the steps to losing.

Dinner over, we joined the gang in the poker room, and I took a seat at a $2-$6 spread limit table, which I loathe. However, given my dismal attempt at playing NL in June, I wasn’t quite ready to jump into those waters yet. Plus, I wanted to play where the bloggers were, and that was it.

I was seated at the table on the rail with Heather, Marty, and (I’m pretty sure) Chilly. We had chips with inspirational smilies, and yelled “Paigow!!” whenever the flop didn’t contain a pair. A dealer warned us that the floor would soon be over to shut us up. Oh lady…if you think this is bad, wait till we all get here. Marty swipes my card protector as he always does. I let him keep it for a while in the hopes that it will bring him good luck. Down $50, it’s decided to hit the PaiGow tables. After having heard how much fun it was to play, I’m up for a little lesson. Drinks are flowing and we’re having a blast. Otis keeps yelling “We’re having more fun than you!!” to the nearby roulette table that for some reason is not as somber as it should be. I attempt to get a picture of us, but realize that I’ve left the camera in video mode, so instead I have a nice little video of us staring at the camera. Luckily Bill got a good shot.

Drop $100 at the PaiGow tables and decide to call it a night. It’s now about 6 in the morning and we’ve all been up for nearly 24 hours. We head to the cab stand for a ride back to the IP, losing Otis in the process. All I know is he had a slot ticket buring a hole in his pocket… We catch a cab back to the IP and run into a familar sight as we hit the floor – bloggers playing blackjack. Heather joins the Full Tilt feature table and gets a quick lesson on how to play. She does well, taking on the role of Blackjack Princess too. I stick around for a while, chatting with everyone and watching her stack up chips, and then decide to head off to sleep. I make plans to hit the Sportsbook for some horsie action with BG the next morning around noon.

7 am I head up to the room, followed shortly thereafter by Heather. We talk girly stuff for a while (I’m not telling!!) and then drift off to sleep, ready to wake up and do it all again.