It's taken a while to find the time to write a blog on my recent trip to Vegas to play in the WSOP, but I have a few minutes and thought I'd get something out.
We caught a Southwest flight out of Dallas Love Field and enjoyed a smooth ride to McCarron. Our bags came quickly and there wasn't a line at the rent-a-car counter, so we were on our way to South Point a lot faster than I expected.
Once we checked in and did a little unpacking (we were only staying one night), we opted for the steak special at Ellis Island. I noticed the thermometer in the car was registering 114 degrees during the drive. Ouch!
After our steak special dinner (with a freshly brewed glass of root beer) we drove to a nearby Walmart to buy supplies for our week stay. It was getting late by the time we got back to our room, so we decided to retire for the evening and save our gambling for the next day.
The next morning, Ms. Duck picked up a cinnamon roll at the coffee shop in South Point and had it for breakfast as we pounded buttons on a video poker machine. I lost a little, but Ms. Duck won more than I lost, so we'll call it a winning session.
I wanted to beat the rush and get registered for the WSOP (Event 63), so we drove to the Rio and got that chore done. After an hour or so of Deuces Wild, we had a quick lunch at Smashburger before heading to the Encore to check in.
Ms. Duck didn't want to drag our bags through the lobby and insisted we valet the car and use a bellhop. Encore is one of the few strip properties that offers free parking, but it's $13 to valet your car for four hours and $18 for 24 hours. Geez. Add in the tip to the bellhop and I was down almost $30 before I stepped into the casino.
We had a nice room on the 12th floor and after unpacking, we walked thru the casino and over to the Wynn, then to the Venetian for some more video poker action. After a few hours of casino fun and shopping (not fun) we grabbed a couple sandwiches at Subway and made the trek back to the Encore.
We were up early Monday morning and drove to the McDonald's on Tropicana to pick up a couple sausage biscuits before driving to the Rio for my WSOP tournament. We arrived a little early, which gave me time to locate my table and seat, then we walked around the area and ended up watching a few minutes of the televised table in another room.
I won the first hand in which I was involved. I was the big blind and the action folded to the small blind who completed. I checked my J-5 offsuit and we saw a flop of J-J-K. My opponent bet 1/3 pot and I smooth called. He bet 1/3 once again on the turn and I called. He checked the river and I bet 1/2 the pot and won when he called and showed a king for top pair.
I got a nice rush of cards about four hours in, knocking out two players, but getting beat by two-outers twice. Although my stack had some wild swings during this blind level, by the break I was about where I started.
On my final hand I pushed over an early position raiser with A-K. The raiser called with pocket jacks. I got no help on the flop, but the turn gave me a wheel draw, plus any ace or king. Alas, the river was a jack, giving the villain a set and knocking me out of the tourney.
"I think you were just showing off hitting that set on the river!" I smiled and said as I shook his hand and wished the table good luck.
I located Ms. Duck playing video slots and we decided to head to the Orleans for some dinner and gambling. We ate at the little cafe (forgot the name) by the sportsbook. I had a bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo which was much better than I expected. It was almost as if I were in New Orleans!
After dinner we strolled through the casino and finally parked ourselves in front of a couple poker machines and waited for a waitress so we could order adult beverages.
That's when a phone call brought our trip to a sudden and shocking end.
Ms. Duck's mother called and told us that Ms. Duck's brother-in-law had died. We took the escalator upstairs to the conference rooms so we could hear better. It seems a previously diagnosed case of pneumonia had not been totally cleared by antibiotics the previous month and it came back with a vengeance and took his life.
He was a great man, one whom you could always count on and a lot of fun to be around. He was a recently retired DEA officer, who was well respected by his peers as evidenced by over 40 officers from different departments attending his funeral.
We made a quite drive back to the Encore and began making phone calls to cancel reservations and try to get a flight back to Texas. The Encore charged us for an extra night, but credited the rest of our stay. Dollar charged us a fee for returning our car early, which doesn't seem like the most customer-friendly way to handle the situation, but what do I know.
Southwest Airlines computer system was down, so we had to wait until the next morning to get out flight changed. I made a call and the change was done efficiently and with no penalty or charges. Another reason I love Southwest.
We arrived in Dallas Tuesday evening and made the two hour drive home. Being July 4th, we were entertained most of the way by various firework displays.
We made the five hour drive the next morning and spent a couple days with family as we laid one of our own to rest.
What was to be a week of vacation fun in Vegas turned out to be anything but.
Till next time, win the flips.