I moved rooms yesterday because they gave me a smoking one in mistake, the cigarette residue that covered the furniture stopping up my lungs. They gave me room 911, the number scrawled in black crayon not once, but twice on the wall outside because the number plate is missing.
I decided to eschew public transportation and the Strip on Thursday after my bad start on Wednesday. I just hung around downtown. I started with the 11 a.m. tournament at the Golden Nugget. After viewing the heads-up championship on NBC, one might believe that the Nugget would probably have a nice poker room considering the impressive show that they put on for that tournament. But in truth, they have a small, cramped poker room wedged in between slot machines. There are several plasma televisions on the walls, however, where several players and I were entertained by trick bowling on ESPN during the 11 a.m. tournament. As for my results, not much to speak of. I busted out shortly after the break.
I decided to walk a couple of blocks up to the El Cortez, past the pawn shops and liquor stores, since I had a coupon for a free funbook. (I am a freebie whore, let me tell you.) That proved a disaster after I sat down to use a blackjack matchplay. One Benjamin lighter, I headed to the other end of Freemont, to the Plaza, to check out their tournaments. Despite their rows and rows of poker tables, the tournaments are actually quite small. I was informed that there are usually only two tables in the 7 p.m. affair. I decided to sit down for a 1-2 NL game, however. It seems all the poker rooms spread this particular game these days. I lost a big pot early when I flopped a set of 5s and let a man with a 9-10 see the turn cheaply after a flop if J-5-8. He caught his straight and took most of my chips. I worked my way back up and then won a big pot with a Jc-Qc after a flop of 8c-9c-Jd. We got all in on the flop. My opponent turned over 10-Q for the flopped straight, I caught a J on the turn that gave me myriad more outs and then spiked the deuce of clubs on the river for the win. I left up $150, my only win so far this trip! Ouch.
I played the Horseshoe 8 p.m. tournament again without success, making it to the final 25 or so of 70 players.
Today, I plan to hop on the bus to the Strip (I figured out a better route, no more Key Largo bus stop waits) and hit the $10-$20 game at the MGM. I figure there should be plenty of young, dumb tourists in that game. We’ll see soon enough.