Trip report: brad2002tj

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Yosemite Valley/Harvey's Lake Tahoe Trip Report - TL;DR

The GF and I went on a trip to Northen California last week. I really wanted to stop by Club One in Fresno but I just didn't have time to make it down there with other obligations. We did make a quick run through Yosmite National Park and I was very impressed once we got away from the crowds. A few highlights:

Yosemite:
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Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport, CA:
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Bodie, CA, a ghost town:

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click to enlarge the image

So, on to Harvey's Lake Tahoe. Harrahs' comped 2 nights but Saturday night was $400 because there was a KISS concert that night. I only go to play 4 donkaments because Harvey's only has 2 a day. On Thursday night the $80+15 field was all locals who seemed to know each other. I ended up shoving KJ into 66 and flop comes 66X. GG me. On Friday morning I won their turbo-esque $30+10 for $250 over a super weak field. On Friday night I chopped the $100+$20 for $600 in a 5-way even chop. The final table included two members of the rock band ZO2, who were opening for KISS on Saturday. I busted one of them 6 handed when he limped QQ on my 3 5 BB and the flop came 5 2 6 with two diamonds. He shoved his remaining 6 BB and I call and hit a 3 on the river to bust him, immediately after which we chop the remaining $3k prizepool. On Saturday morning I played another $30+$10 turbo with no success. Still pretty solid results for my small amount of playing time.

Harvey's seems to be full of hand-me-down Harrah's equipment. We had an "updated" upgrade room and it still had out of date furniture and even had a scary tube TV in the bathroom that was no less than 12" deep for a 10" screen. The room was still nice and I have no real complaints. The poker room is pretty standard and only the cash tables had auto shufflers. There are no poker comps of any kind and time is not tracked.

We walked across the street to the Mont Bleu on our last day, and it is by far the nicest/newest casino on the small Tahoe strip. The poker room is right at the entrance and seems to offer an identical tournament schedule/structure as Harvey's. If I return I'll play there as play is probably softer and Harvey's doesn't offer any poker comps.

Deja Vu at the Beau Rivage

It was my girlfriend and my third anniversary so we spent last weekend at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS. We flew into New Orleans and drove a rental car (~1.5 hour drive) to Biloxi. Checking in was a bit of a mess. At the front desk the clerk said they don't have any ocean view rooms (even though we booked one) and verified we want a non-smoking room. We make the trek up to the room and walk into what is clearly a smoking room. We go back down to the front desk and the manager gets us into a non-smoking room, and guess what now there is an ocean view available. So they set us up again and we go up to a really nice non-smoking ocean view room on the 15th floor. As I am going through the check-in documents I notice they have someone else's name on it. Back to the front desk for them to straighten it out, which only takes a few minutes.

The hotel and casino design seems to have borrowed from many of the Vegas casinos, and a lot of the design was similar to the Bellagio, albeit a slightly cheaper and more brightly colored version. One interesting tidbit of note, as we were walking by the front desk a security guy with earpiece in ear grabs me by the shoulder and says "you can't wear your hat backwards while on the property." Uh, OK. Never seen or heard of that in a Vegas casino, but whatever.

They only had one donkament going for the weekend, a $200 + 25 + $10 add on Saturday. The field of 125 was quite weak. I had 3 people totally hand me their stack, one when I had a set of 10's vs top pair no kicker and once with aces against AJ and another with AK v. A6 sooted AIPF. With the tables break down to 50 players the following hand takes place (cross posted from 2+2):

Hero has about 21k at 200/400 a50 and is probably around top 10/50 in chips and 2nd in chips at the table. Tables just consolidated and both villians in hand are new and unknown. Villian 1 is utg+1 and is CL at the table and covers by a few k. He opens to 1200 and hijack, a middle aged woman with a "WSOP Academy" visor on, shoves her 4k stack. Folds to Hero in the big blind who peels back AKo. Nothing else to do here but isolate, right?

Anyhow I don't see what else I can do but isolate the short stack so I shove and am suprised and a bit scared when the original raiser calls. Original raiser has QQ short stack has JJ and we are off to the races. The board completely blanks and I am out once again with AK vs. QQ. The almost same exact scenario happened 2 weeks ago at the Caesar's Megastack in Vegas - AK has not been good to me lately. Back to the online grind for a few months.

Winstar Casino - The best option in the DFW Area

I spent a day at Winstar casino this week and although it wasn't a terribly profitable trip I was really impressed by the poker room. First of all the poker room is absolutely huge and has a nice players' lounge for players to chill out while taking breaks or whatever, along with a grill and self service refreshment center. I have played live poker at a lot of places around the country but I must say the dealers at Winstar were among the best I have seen. They were extremely quick and accurate and seemed to do everything automatically. Combined with auto shufflers at the cash tables, the pace is pretty good.

I played $1/$2 NL for a few hours and hit a nice $600 pot when our table hit the "splash pot," where a randomly selected table gets $100 dropped into a hand. When the average stack is around $200, this obviously creates crazy play. Anyway I am UTG+1 and peel up A4o and jam my $180 stack in and get 3 callers. Only 2 of the callers showed, one with 44 and one with 45(???) so 44 is drawing dead when I flop an ace and collect the pot. I chip down to about $415 by the time the tournament starts, mainly with losing what I consider a cooler with a queen high flush where villian had an ace high flush. It could have been worse as villian didn't get full value from the hand.

The tournament is a $115 freezeout with a rapidly escalating blind structure typical of low buyin tourneys. You start with 3,000 chips at 25/50 and 20 minute levels. Around 80 played. I am pretty happy with my overall tournament play but got knocked out with a close decision. At the start of the third hour at 500/1000 I had 7500 chips in the big blind where shortstack for 2000 shoves, another shortstack for 2500 shoves, and SB reshoves, who covers. It's only 6500 for me to call for 20,000 so I need 32% equity in the pot. I look down at AQ and think for a minute before calling. Initial shortstack didn't show but first reshover had 55 and sb had KK. Damn. I don't suckout and am out. In the end I'm not sure about the call but at the time I felt I had a hand with 7.5 BB, 1BB already in the pot, and a lot of dead money. I havn't taken the time to crunch the numbers but I'm fairly sure this is a call 100% of the time.


Anyway, I finished up $100 for the day, which after my fuel driving up there left me with a whopping profit of $60.

Choctaw Durant OK Trip Report

I was staying with my parents in DFW so we decided to head up to the Choctaw casino in Durant. My parents play the slots but I would have at least a couple hours to try out the poker room.

The casino is very smoky inside, but the poker room is smoke-free. They have burgers that seem to be free that you can fix yourself laying on a table in the room, buffet-style. The poker room manager has a modern computer setup outside the poker room where you put your name on the interest list. I signed up for 1/2 NL and after about 15 minutes they started a new table for me and the others that had signed up. The poker room is pretty middle of the road but probably more upscale than a typical tribe casino. Not as nice as Vegas rooms or Harrah's in New Orleans, but solid. The tables have auto shufflers and the dealers seem competent, although a bit "country." There isn't much for a hundred miles on either side of Durant, so this should be expected. The action went along well and I had no dealer problems during my 3 hours of play. I ended up around $140: it would have been more but I had 2 cooler hands that cost me around $100 total.

Overall the room is better than expected for a tribal casino and I am very likely to return when visiting the DFW area. I will also try out the Winstar Casino when I am in DFW next as it has a much larger poker room.

Harrah's New Orleans Trip Report: Brags and Beats

Brag: Had a straight flush with 9 9 on a 810JQ5 board.

Beat: Lost the $500 pot (1/2NL) when villian turns over AK

Beat: No bad beat jackpot because only one of my cards played

Brag: They gave me a hat:
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Brag: Still made $300 profit for the night.

Brag: Over 500 profit in 2 nights. Definitely one of my favorite poker rooms.
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