and is glad he finally did. The flight out from Tampa to Phoenix where we changed planes was pretty good though I was ready to get off the plane when we did land. We were on an Airbus A320 which is a pretty comfortable plane all in all, much better than the 737 we took last time. Phoenix was a mess of course, not surprising as everytime I go through Phoenix it seems there are problems. This time though I didn't want to fly through cities like Denver, Detroit, Chicago or even St Louis as the opportunity to be weather delayed in February is always there when you go through those cities.
We were delayed over an hour in Phoenix. The flight from Phoenix to LV was totally packed but we were in an Airbus A321 which was even nicer than the 320. Needless to say however we were ready to get off the plane an hour later when we landed. Baggage claim was ok and the shuttle to Ballys was a piece of cake. Check in had a little line but after we got there it got packed. We got there and the gal at check in was great. She upgraded us to a North Tower room without us even asking. For Free. This room is nice! Huge king bed, nice desk where I am typing this missive, roomy, etc. Only thing the room needs is a coffee maker and a fridge. Anyway we got in and settled and tried to take a nap but though we were tired, we couldn't get to sleep. So the Poker Queen, PQ for short - alias my wife, decided she wanted to play some Video Poker. Down we went down to the casino and played some for awhile. We were able to make some cash, well she did anyway, but nothing to write home about.
After a while we got hungry so we started walking around looking at different food places. There is a connecting corridor between Ballys and Paris and she wanted to check out the places there so we headed that way. We were a little way up the corridor lookiing at the Frenchy burger place when a guy asks us what we are doing that night. Before I can say anything my wife says nothing. I immediately chimed in that we were planning on playing a poker tourney but the guy asks us if we want to go to that night's Barry Manilow concert. He had 2 tix for free as comps and wasn't going and saw us walking holding hands and figured we were both old enough to remember Barry's hits and wouldn't be fighting in 3 hours when the concert started. And he just gave us the tickets. PQ was thrilled. Barry was the one show she wanted to see but it didn't look like we would be able to as he only was playing Saturday and Sunday night.
With some time to kill we end up eating at this Southwestern/Mexican place in Ballys. Nothing special but it was a decent meal and not too expensive. After dinner PQ decides whe wants to play more Video Poker but I was wanting to play some regular poker so I pointed out these machines that she might like as I played on them a little bit and did well and then headed over to the Ballys poker room. We're only going to play for a little over an hour because we have to head over to Paris for the show I get on the list to play 1-2 no limit and in a short time I'm in seat 5 with $150 in chips in front of me. I watched for a bit before sitting down and I had no hands to speak of for a while so I took stock of the players around me. The guy directly to my right was young and pretty loose aggressive. I watched him raise one pot in early position and when everyone folded get this disgusted look and fold like he had a monster pair. When he folded he flashed his cards up and I could see he was playing J-10 off so I put him down as a guy who would push preflop with near anything and if I had a decent hand, I was gonna push back hard. His buddy was few more seats to the right in seat 1. He was just crazy. He was willing to push and call on hands with less than premium holdings, like 3rd pair, even going so far as to call reraises with this crap. I guess he felt he was not gonna be bluffed. There was also one older guy in seat 10 who I thought had a big tell and I kept watching him. I have been reading a book of tells from Joe Navarro and he mentioned how people move their mouths and tongues when their weak. Now I'm not the most observant guy but I could see this exact thing in this guy. And everytime his mouth told me he was weak he ended up folding to bets. Unfortunately I never got to put this into use as we never got into hands together.
I played for about an hour and was doing well taking my chip stack from 150 to a little over 200. No major hands or anything but I was feeling good and the table was pretty loose so that even though I didn't have great hands, I was making people respect my raises. I don't think I showed down one hand. Then came my slight downfall. I called from the button with a 4-6 suited along with 2 other guys and the blinds. Flop is J64 rainbow. Checked around to the guy in seat 1 who puts out a pot sized bet of $10. It comes to me and I reraise him to $25. I am maybe putting him on air, maybe on a jack or draw. He calls. Turn is a 5 and he checks so I put him all in for his last 50 bucks or so and he calls and flips over a 75 for an open end straight and a pair of 5s. Of course a 3 rivers and I lose my profits plus about $25. I maybe played it wrong by not raising the flop bigger but seeing the way he played, I think he calls a bigger raise to like $40 so maybe this was one of those hands I was fated to lose. I didn't feel too bad as I got it in good as a pretty big favorite, it was just one of those poker breaks. But I hated losing that hand because winning it puts me up to about $300 and I would have liked that.
PQ comes by a few minutes later and I have to leave to see Barry Manilow with her. Now many of you are probably laughing hysterically but those of you who are a bit older can probably remember that in the late 70s there were really 3 singers/bands that dominated pop music - Billy Joel, the Bee Gees, and Barry. So even though I am not a huge fan of his, I remember all of his big hits and many of them I still like. My wife really likes to hear him sing as well. Yes we are old apparently but I'll take Barry Manilow over Lady Goo Goo all day long. When PQ walks up she is holding 3 tickets from the Video Poker machines totalling about $500 in winnings. DAMN. She is no longer the Poker Queen, she is the Video Poker Queen. And it gets better later.
Anyway the concert was really nice. Barry Manilow is a good entertainer and VPQ had a great time. I enjoyed it myself. After the concert we wanted to stay up a bit later and get into the western time zone way of life so we decided to sit down and play some 3 card poker for a while. VPQ really likes this game but outside of the first time she played it (she hit a straight flush on her 2nd hand) the game has not been kind to her so we usually avoid it. But it was a good way to kill some time so we sat a while and played. She started off badly but I did ok and then she got hot and we both made some cash while we killed some time. The dealer was nice too so we had some fun and placed some bets for her as well.
By the time we went to bed after that we were pretty beat. It was a long day but a very full one and we had a lot we wanted to do the next day so we headed up to bed a little before 11. Though I was down a couple of hundred for the day, VPQ was up well over that so we felt pretty good. A lot happened the next day but this post is long enough as it is so I'll leave off here. Stay lucky you nuts, luckier than me at least.