My girlfriend and I (along with JohnnyX, vuelta and some other TMF people) are back from the long weekend in Las Vegas. Much fun was had by all, I believe, though each of us have pretty different approaches to it.I played 16 hours of poker, all 3/6 hold 'em at the Mirage, which got me the casino rate for the three nights I was there. It was a nice place to play and a welcome break from online play. Results were disappointing, with few playable cards and no doubt some poor play on my part. It's tough to get into much trouble or lose much cash when you're seeing what seems like an endless stream of trash; blinds and tips for the waitress were my biggest drain for much of the trip. There may have been more than my fair share of times when the cards I did get failed to hold up. I saw aces once the whole trip, when they were cracked by a straight on the river. Kings once the whole trip, and laid them down when a suited ace flopped and there was a bet and a raise to me. Queens once the whole trip, laid down when flop came AK6 and there was three way action to me. Small pairs flopped trips twice, once as bottom set which lost to second-from-bottom-set and once when pocket 2's saw a flop of A27, turn was an A, river a blank and my boat lost to A2o's bigger boat. I'm sure people with more hours in will tell me that as dry spells go, the above isn't significant, but when you're on one of your two annual trips to Vegas, it seems worse than it is.By the same token, I caught a couple of lucky flops when limping in from the big blind with utter garbage. All told, I was down $350 after the first 13 hours and down $330 for the trip, with things in the last 3 hours being a little more normal (more playable cards and my usual levels of solid play, rookie/sloppy mistakes, and luck).It's definitely a lot more fun to play live, but when I hit Paradise tonight, I won't miss listening to retirees who must have 20,000 hours in still act unthinkably wronged when a good starting hand fails to hold up. If I didn't understand that you can play right and still lose a pot to someone who also played right (or someone who played like a fool), I wouldn't play. My biggest losing session, which was in the heart of the card drought, was the most fun. Played from 7am to 11 am at a table where half the players were going from the night before, mostly from LA. Wild and crazy action; pots capped five or six ways pre flop, with three still there at the showdown and 46 offsuit or the like seeming to win as often as not. Needless to say, no pissy retirees in that game. One would sit down, look outraged in one orbit or less and leave. As one of the LA guys put it, “Welcome to Hollywood Park East.” Big swings, but a lot of fun, maybe because I was mostly watching from the sidelines rather than getting snapped by drunks playing trash. One or two big hands that held up in that session could have squared me for the trip. The guy next to me said the biggest pot had been about $350, which is an unthinkable 3/6 pot to me.One brief blackjack session, up $50. No craps at all. Poker losses had me feeling less inclined to gamble. Taking up poker really has tuned me in to the difference in how it feels to be a favorite getting even money or better or an underdog getting odds better than the odds against, versus being an underdog and at very best getting true odds on some of your money. I was too cautious to enjoy the latter for most of this trip, not wanting to waste any more of my poker bankroll. I'll definitely set aside separate craps money for the next trip. Staying at the Mirage is great, especially at a rate below my usual and much less nice Flamingo digs, but they have to do something about the music they pipe in. It is beyond terrible; it's like the stuff they play on the am station in every city that the old people listen too for the old person morning show; WJN in Detroit, WCCO in Mpls./St. Paul, etc. It was so bad that we're considering staying somewhere else next time even though we love everything else about the Mirage.A couple of good meals; Rum Jungle one night, the Japanese place at the Mirage another, and Voodoo Café (top of the Rio)the third. Highly recommend the Voodoo Cafe, where the food is great and the view is unbelievable.Well, this was longer than I intended. Sign-off time if anyone's still reading.Mark
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