So I'm finally getting round to writing about 'the big trip'. Here's hoping I haven't left it so long that I've forgotten all the juicy bits.
For those who need a little refresher. I won two seats on PokerStars playing the Step SNG tournaments. I spent about $4,500 in the process and could have stayed at home walking away with $20,000 profit. I decided to screw that idea. Take $8,000 profit and an almighty gambool at the chance of a big score. There were other considerations, like the kickback offered by PokerStars (about $3500 in the end) for wearing their merchandise, and selling bits of my action.
So on to the trip,
I'd been working like a bitch in the weeks running up to leaving. So much so that I'd barely had the chance to play any poker and I'd especially wanted to play a couple of live tournaments to warm up. I'd been cramming extra work on my days off as I was in the middle of applying for a new position. I then went into the beginning of a series of night shifts immediately before flying for 10 hours and landing in a time zone 8 hours apart from that in which I started. So I was feeling pretty goofy. For some reason best known to myself, despite having the prospect of two weeks away from London craziness to switch off from all things work related, I decided to watch Pride and Glory on the plane. It's an incredible film, but probably not the best ‘switch off from work holiday viewing’.
The record London temperatures that we left behind us (I think it reached 93 the day before we flew) served as a fairly useful warm up for Vegas as it must have been well over 100 when we stepped off the plane. We got through immigration, bag collection and customs in super fast time and must have been in the taxi on the way to our hotel within 30 minutes of touching down.
Thanks to sneaking up to SuperNova level on PokerStars just before the trip, we managed to get an upgrade to a suite over at the Palms Place, as apposed to a bog standard double room at the Palms. The Palms Place fitted the bill perfectly. The receptionist either didn't see the $100 dangling under her nose or simply wasn't lying when she said there wasn't any further availability for upgrades, but it worked out just fine as we ended up with an awesome 38th floor view of the Strip in any case.
The plan for the first weekend was for me to play a warm up tournament at the Venetian before playing day 1c of the main event. That would also leave us at least a day and a half of chilling out and acclimatising.
I'm not going to bang on about the mayhem that Citibank caused because it already ruined half of the trip and going over it just puts me in a fowl mood. The short version of the story is that the cheques I'd cashed out from Stars had cleared into my bank account, then Citibank decided that they'd lost the cheques so they debited the money back out for the account last think on a Friday afternoon, thus leaving me with no funds for the whole of the holiday weekend until I could finally speak to someone the following Monday that wasn't based in a Rajapooristani call centre. This meant too that the cashier's cheque that I'd had made out for my buy-in wasn't valid. So I spent another day rushing around trying to raise $10,000. The irony of frantically trying to load my PokerStars account back up with $10,000 to do player transfers after I'd spent the best part of the previous month trying to get the money out of PokerStars didn't escape me.
Maybe there was a message in all of this somewhere: "Save yourself the $10,000, you fish!"
It's only in Vegas that it would be possible to raise $10,000 in 12 hours from people you've never met before and who don't even know your real name! Massive thanks to those who helped out.
Let’s leave funding and registration issues aside and get back to the poker....
Friday 3rd of July had me playing the $560 Deepstack event at the Venetian. It got somewhere in the region of 500 runners and my starting table was juicy to say the least. Unfortunately I never got above my 15k starting stack. I seem to remember loosing a chunk with AQ* and dropping down to about 10k fairly early. This didn't worry me too much as the table was that good, but much to my dismay we broke soon after and my next table was nothing like as good. I was also beginning to get short stacked, which limited my options somewhat. I think the blinds were 400/800 when I got my stack in with 99 against a cut-off opener who had AK and the big blind who woke up with QQ. I managed to spike a 9 on the flop, but the cut-off ended up making a straight when the Queen on his suit fell on the river.
Saturday was mostly spent running around chasing Citibank and trying to raise $10,000. I wasn't sure if I was going to have it all in time to play day 1c and thought I might end up having to play day 1d. In the end I managed to scrape the last $2k together at 1145 on the Sunday morning, leaving me just enough time to join the registration queue and find my table in time to hear the words, "shuffle up and deal".
To be continued...
* You may begin to notice a theme emerge when ever I get dealt AQ.