Trip Report: Vegas, Aug 5-9 2007


August 10, 2007

I just got back from Vegas last night after 5 profitable days of mid-stakes poker. I stayed at the MGM grand at a very reasonable price from travelocity. For the price, the room was excellent – clean, very comfortable bed, no evidence the room had ever been smoked in, and well cooled. The location was also reasonably good as the farthest north I intended to play was Caesar’s, although I did ended up walking up to the Mirage one night.

I played in the following rooms:

  • MGM: contrary to internet opinion, this was a not a particular mecca for mid-stakes NL They often had trouble getting the 2/5 game going until 1:00 or so, and never got 5/10 going. However, the 2/5 was softer than Bellagio’s, so that may be of interest to some players. Limit topped out at 4/8 and was predictably soft for the 10 hands or so I payed while waiting for a game. Room management was mediocre.
  • Bellagio: quite a bit of action. The high-stakes guys were out of town for some tournament, so the biggest games weren’t very big – I seem to recall 100/200 stud. However, 15/30 holdem and 30/60 holdem were consistent, as was 40/80 mixed and 20/40 stud. 8/16 holdem was sporadic, but soft. NL ran up to at least 10/20 or 10/25 (can’t remember which) and there were many tables of 5/10. Room management was very inconsistent.
  • Caesars: Far more action than I remember. This room is growing due to good management. The 1/3 and 2/5 NL were softer than anywhere else. There were a lot of games going, and more variety than anywhere but Bellagio. However, the limit games topped out at 4/8 & 6/12. But they did have HORSE, so if you want experience in the “other” games for cheap, this is probably a good place to get it.
  • Mirage: Nothing much good to say unless you’re specifically looking for 1-5 stud or 10-20 Omaha 8. Everything else they had going was better at other rooms.

As far as games, I stuck mostly 15/30 and below due to bankroll concerns. Here are my opinions of the various games I sat in:

  • MGM 1/2 NLH: very soft and touristy. Sucked in a lot of railbirds.
  • MGM 2/5 NL: somewhat tougher than 1/2, but soft in comparison to the analogous game at Bellagio.
  • Bellagio 8/16 LH: surprisingly soft, when it went. IMO a good quasi-beginner holdem game: big enough you can easily beat the rake, but not so big as to attract pros.
  • Bellagio 15/30 LH: Some soft spots, some tough ones.  A mix of pros, overly loose players, and one person who appeared to be mildly retarded (!!!). Most players were acceptable after the flop however. I ran a little cold and lost a half-buyin here.
  • Bellagio 20/40 Stud: So incredibly soft I’m going to write a separate article on it.
  • Bellagio 2/5 NLH: Pretty tough, at least my table. I didn’t see anyone make a “big mistake” all night. I was somewhat surprised by this and may have to revise my opinion of Bellagio NL.
  • Caesars 1/3 NLH: Played like 2/5. Probably the best combination of stakes and difficulty on the low end.
  • Caesars 2/5 NLH: Best of the 2/5 games. Again, an excellent combination of stakes and difficulty.

I Picked up quite a bit of material to write about as well, so I’ll have some nonsense to debunk, thoughts on room management and table construction, and a discussion of the 20/40 stud at Bellagio over the next few days.

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