Monday, May 13, 2019

May 2019 Vegas Birthday Trip - Day 1's been over a year since I posted here.  Like always I only post when I have something big to report on, so I'm constantly amazed by the people who post consistently and with overall great quality and interesting content.

I recently spent a week in Vegas celebrating my birthday with my brother-in-law.  We played some poker, saw a show, and ate a little too much.  Overall I had a pretty disappointing week of poker results.  I was card dead pretty much the entire time.  And because I was folding constantly I rarely got action when I did get a playble hand.

As usual I went for the more inexpensive lodging option to preserve as much of the bankroll as possible, so we were booked at Excalibur.  We arrived in town on Monday afternoon about 3:00 PM Vegas time and cabbed it from the airport.  I ionly took a cab because I was unsure where the rideshare pickup area was at the airport.  With tip that ride cost us $25, so that was the last time we would take a cab while in town and is likely the last time I will ever take a cab in Las Vegas.  On average even with a tip included Lyft and Uber seem to be about half as expensive as cabs and I never had to wait more than 2-3 minutes for them to arrive.

I booked the room through my Mlife account and had checked in ahead of time using the MGM Resorts app on my phone.  We took the first bad beat of the trip when the kiosks that were supposed to dispense our room key and help us avoid the check in lines were down.  The representative turning everyone away from the kiosks sent us to the VIP check in area, so our wait was much less than the standard check in line, but still much longer than iff the kiosks had been operational.

After we checked in we showered and headed out to find some food. We decided to make our way up to the Linq and grab some In n Out burgers.  I've never been there before, but knew enough to order my burger "animal style" to get it cooked with mustard and slathered in special sauce and sauteed onions.  I ordered the combo that included a double cheeseburger, fries, and a drink and was very confused when the cashier asked "Just the burger or the fries too?" I thought he was asking did I want fries or not, so I said, "Yeah fries too please."

Turns out he was asking did I want the french fries anmial style as well.  Oh well live and learn I guess. I have to say In n Out Burger didn't live up to the hype. The burger was okay and the fries were very underwhelming.  They were almost like shoestring potatoes and seemed very limp and lifeless under the little bit of thousand island dressing and sauteed onions they globbed on top.  I probably won't be making a special effort to return there.  I'm sure this will be blasphemy to any of my west coast friends, but I honestly thought the burger I had later in the week at Johnny Rockets was better.

After eating we decided to make our way back south to Bally's to get in a cash game.  It took us just 10-15 minutes to get seated at separate tables by vlogger balt999. I was in the 6 seat.  Early in the session I called a small raise preflop with 10-8 of clubs from a Japanese gentleman in seat 9   I flopped two clubs and called a small continuation bet of I think $12.  I caught my flush on the turn and just called a bet of $25.  On the river he bet $60 and I just called.  He showed pocket aces and seemed surprised when I revealed my 10 high flush.  That left him with about $50 or so in his stack.

A few hands later I got pocket Aces and the Japanese gentleman was the only caller.  We both had a good laugh when he caught a flush to crack my aces and in broken English he said, "I revenge you." Later in the session he got his aces cracked again by another player prompting me to declare that I was going to open fold them the next time I got them.

The rest of the session was a very card dead roller coaster of small wins and losses until the very last hand I played.  I raised to $12 preflop with pocket queens and got 3 callers.  I flopped a set of queens on a board that had two clubs.  I bet $25 on the flop and only had one call from a woman that had joined our table just 15-20 minutes before this hand occurred.  I bet $45 on the turn which was an inconsequential card and she called.

The third club appeared on the river and she she tossed out two chips.  I decided $10 wasn't enough for me to fold considering the size of the pot so I said "Call" and threw out two red chips.  The dealer gave me a confused look and said, "'s $50."  I said, "Oh, sorry, I'm color blind and those chips look the same as the $5 chips to me and nobody has had $25 chips in play for the last 6 hours I've been playing at this table. Another player at the table reiterated that everyone else at the table only had red $5 and white $1 chips.   I also commented that he hadn't announced the bet size either.  He just shrugged.  I paid the $50 and immediately racked up muttering angrily to myself. I went over to my brother-in-law's tournament table and explained my grievance loud enough for the dealer involved and the floor person standing nearby to hear. Neither reacted or otherwise pursued it further. I probably won't be back to Bally's poker room in the future.

All of this begs the question, why are two of the most commonly used chip denominations red and green which is the most common form of color blindness?  And why would a casino use shades of red and green that are that hard for color blind people to differentiate. I mean I literally couldn't tell them apart except by the denomination printed on them which is useless when they're at the other end of the table. I ran into the same thing later in the week at Westgate. My home casino here in Iowa uses a bright fire engine red and a very bright green that I can easily identify.  Bally's had dull brick red and a very dark shade of green...almost brown. I might have an ADA claim.

At this point it was about 2 in the morning Vegas time (so like 4 AM by my midwest body clock) and my brother-in-law had just flamed out of the 11 PM tournament. We decided to grab a bite to eat at Hash House a Go Go at the Linq and lick our wounds.  After gorging ourselves on their massively sized offerings we decided to call it a night.  We walked down to the skybridge from Bally's over to Bellagio to catch the tram from Bellagio down to Park MGM.  I thought I remembered where it was, but wandered all over the casino in Bellagio looking for a sign that directed to the tram.  We finally stopped and asked a security guard, but I think by the time we walked from the northeast entrance of Bellagio to the very farthest southwest corner to catch the tram and then from the very northwest end of Park MGM to the southeast exit to the strip we probably took more steps than if we just walked straight down the strip.  We finally made it back to the room about 4 AM Vegas time and basically collapsed into our respective beds.

I'll leave it there for now and pick up on Day 2 in another post. 


  1. Hmmmm ... myabe if Ron (balt) or someone else who frequents Bally's sees this ... it seems to me that green chips are rarely in play at Bally's. Almost always winning players have lots of stacks of redbirds.

    As for In-N-Out ... I still love the double double animal style, but the fries are average at best and, in the few times I have gone to the one at The LINQ, the burgers have been disappointingly bland. If you are looking to get a good burger on the Strip, try the Shake Shack at the northeast corner of NYNY. However, my wife claims that the best burger she's ever had was at Smashburger in the Rio.

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip.

  2. Glad to hear from you again. Looking forward to Day 2. Any pics?

    1. Sorry, Dave. I saw you previous comment pop up in my email, but forgot I turned on comment moderation to thwart the spammers. I'm working on Day 2 and on currently. I'm not as much of a photographer as you, so I only have a couple pictures, but they'll show up in the coming posts.