Friday, April 18, 2008


Overheard in the surreal Grand Canal indoor shopping mall on the second floor of the Venetian (where there is a full-fledged canal complete with singing gondoliers): "Guy! Come on! You and me. Gondola."

Today's activities:
  • A modest breakfast at Starbucks.
  • Poker tournament. Noel lasted about 40 minutes; me, about 15 minutes longer. Full details below for the poker nerds.
  • Buzzing with poker excitement, we went over to New York New York to scope out the Big Apple theming, and had some outstanding fries at Nathan's.
  • Finally figured out the proper fruity-drink strategy: stroll over to the frozen-drink place in the shopping court before heading poolside.
  • Beach time ... sun ... wave pool ... more sun ... lazy river round and round and round ... more sun.
  • Our big expensive dinner at Trattoria Lupo's, the Wolfgang Puck Italian eatery in the hotel. Delicious.
  • A serious hike to the other end of a very crowded Strip, through a nearly continuous gauntlet of men handing out cards for escort services. Their methodology was to snap the cards with their fingers then extend them toward you -- snap, snap, snap, handoff. Passing the Eiffel tower at the Paris, the illusion was somewhat compromised because the ground was littered with tiny pictures of naked women.
  • "Gondola."
  • Back up the other side of the Strip, now in the dark, on the slightly more classy side with the Mirage and Caesar's Palace. We stopped at the Bellagio to see the fountains, which were just as spectacular as advertised.
  • I ruminated on the oddly-constituted groups one sees roaming Vegas: chick cliques, braces of vaguely thuggish lads, frat boy packs, slicks in collared shirts and sport coats, hipsters in sharkskin suits. And of course, the fanny-packed elderly, who are the only ones who don't seem to be fond of carrying yard-long daiquiris.
  • Back to the hotel room where we nursed our aching feet.
Tomorrow: Games of chance and skill!

(So, the poker. I got only four playable hands during my brief tourney foray.
  1. Pocket fives. I bet 3x the big blind, didn't hit the flop which was all overcards, folded (correctly).
  2. KQ offsuit. Limped in, didn't hit the flop which had an ace, folded (again correctly -- winning hand paired the ace).
  3. Pocket aces. Bet 3x the big blind, didn't hit the flop which had two hearts. Called a 2x minimum bet. Turn came another heart. Folded (correctly -- winning hand was a flush.)
  4. Pocket tens. Down to 300 in chips, went all in, got sucked out by KJ when a king came on the river.
I had fun, I didn't embarrass myself, I plan to play again tomorrow if I can get a seat.)


Scott Tobias said...

On #3: Shoulda raised on the flop. You've got pocket aces, you're in the lead, and you might have shaken your opponent off his draw. Just sayin'.

I'm so jealous. So very, very jealous. Have you all wandered into Paris yet? We thought that and Bellagio were the handsomest casinos.

Donna B. said...

You're absolutely right. I only got the "tight" part of "tight-aggressive" right. Making a mental note for today.

Just for the record, there were three other people in on that hand, and I think one folded on the flop.

Doc Thelma said...

Sounds like all you and Noel need to do is see Wayne Newton and renew your vows in front of a costumed Elvis to have the full Vegas experience! Glad you're having fun. How'd you manage to escape this close to finals?