Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I did not win the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Well it wouldn't be the Series without the obligatory post-Vegas roundup.

The place:

Head asplode. Seriously what the hell is this place and who dreamt it up? Maybe nightmared it up. It's a huge, sinister, adult Disneyland with more neon, degeneracy and strippers than you can imagine. It's vile. Occasionally it was so weirdly, wildly surreal that it appealed to my sense of humour (enormous singing frog at the Wynn, canal complete with gondolas and men in stripey tops on the 2nd floor of the Venetian, etc).

From the drunken frat boys to the dozen mexicans per block soliciting prostitutes, though, it really wasn't me at all. It's a place that really brings out the worst in people, and for someone who pretty much only sees the worst in people anyway, it's not ideal.

Right! After that somber start here's the good stuff:

The poker:

Went 0 for 9 in tournaments, and lasted a disappointing 5 hours in the Main Event. Bleh. Every event I played was soft though with the exception of the $5k 6max, and I felt like I held my own, and the other events just blew my mind. Think $5 mtt on ipoker. This was definitely the most live poker I've played and I was fairly happy, but I do need to watch the occasional blowup hand. Basically I need to remember that everyone always has it.

Cash went great, winning about $19k mostly at 5/10. During the series there's loads of games going and very few of them were tough - I think I only requested two table changes the whole time. I ran well for sure, and was experimenting with an extremely laggy style which was a lot of fun, but it really felt like printing money. You can definitely play a hilarious number of hands in most live games, although perhaps a few less than I did, I indulged in a little spewing...

Everything else:

The quality of life I had here was incredible. Swishy hotels, lounging by various pools, icy cocktails.

Margaritas and blackjack in the pool!

Inside the hotels and casinos were pretty amazing too, lots of extravagance and luxury. Or ridiculousness.

And the food! Ah, the food. Best meals were Alize's at the top of the palms (amazing view, michelin star food), the Stratosphere (revolving restaurant approximately 27 miles in the sky) and Prime at Bellagio, excellent food with a view of the Bellagio fountains. Of course it all cost an absolute fortune, and with the trip afterwards (blog to come) I probably ended up breaking about even on the trip, but the things I spent money on were all things I like. I think I only ended up paying for about 4 meals in the end - sounds like I was lucky at credit card roulette given that we ate out at least once a night, but one of the meals I paid for was $2.2k (!) so I think I paid my share in the end... thanks to Dan for paying for most of my others though :)

Helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon was amazing, first time in a helicopter - definitely a fun way to travel!

Despite my moan at the beginning it was a really fun trip. If it weren't for the poker I doubt I'd go there again, but as it is I'll almost certainly be back next year. And to be honest, whilst there are definitely a lot of things I'm not looking forward to, a month of decadence and easy poker actually sounds pretty good.