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Up All Night in Downtown

January 4, 2009

It wasn’t a profitable trip, but it sure was fun.

I joined JDN and Miah for a night of tournament hopping in downtown – a part of the city I haven’t visited in quite awhile. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of an evening in “the heart” of Vegas, it’s hard to explain. It’s a heady combination of desperation, sleaze, addicts, hookers, pimps, grinders and tourists. Everything you’ve ever heard or thought about Vegas can be found in or around the canopy on Fremont Street.

Me? I was looking for poker and lots of it. We started with the 7PM tourney at the Golden Nugget, which was a three table, $100 affair. The play was loose and, often, stupid. I held on for nearly an hour before getting donked out. No worries though, because the 8PM tourney at Binion’s was just a minute walk away. $75 for an entry and I joined the field in this somewhat stronger field. I played well, doubling up early after making an Ace-high hero call against a loose, aggressive player who tried to buy every pot he entered. Two hours later, I was at the final table where I bubbled the money after shoving with K-J and short stack and running into pocket 7s.

With time to kill before the 1AM tourney at the Nugget, I hit the blackjack tables and won back most of my tournament buy-ins for the night. After refreshing my roll a little, I wandered back to the Nugget for another shot at their $100 tourney and, amazingly, the field was even worse than earlier in the night. I again played pretty tight poker, but couldn’t dodge all of the minefields hidden among the 17-year olds with fake IDs and the newbie players who literally played any two cards against a raise only to hit their miracles on the flop. So be it.

After my third and final bust out of the night, I wandered back to Binion’s where JDN somehow drunkenly donked his way to his third final table of the night in their 2AM event. Sweating his event proved humorous if for no other reason that he was the only one having any fun at the table. He was also the only drunk at the table, but still, I’ve never seen a quieter bunch of guys playing in a $55 tournament. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were competing for a bracelet with how seriously they were concentrating on the cards while various drunks and stumblebums wandered through the Binion’s lobby.

After finally busting, it was back to the blackjack tables for some more early morning donkery. I dropped a couple of hundred while JDN went on his usual roller coaster ride, dropping a fast $500 before going on a ridonkulous run and amassing a tower of $25 chips worth at least $800. Of course, being JDN – and drunk – he couldn’t hold onto his winnings, and we finally walked away when he gave back all of his winnings and about $100 of his original buy-in.

The night ended long before we got back to Summerlin, and stumbling out of the Porchlight after an early-morning breakfast, I finally crashed as the sun made it’s way through my window at 7AM.

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