Reno on the Spur of the Moment

I had a very good trip to Reno on the spur of the moment.  I was eating dinner with the wife when we discuss what to do for the weekend.  A quick call to my host and I am in the upgraded suites at the Grand Sierra Resort for the weekend.  I took a couple grand for the weekend and was able to return home with a little over $2500 so it was a good trip.

The blackjack was a little scary as I blew through my first $500 buy-in and had to add another hundred to my second $500 buy-in for a double down hand.  I had bet $200 and was dealt 11 against a five and had to double.  The dealer of course hit to 20 making me sick.  A queen was my card safely tucked under and I had $800 in front of me not to look back.  I caught a sweet blackjack on a plus seven count with all aces remaining and all fives gone.  I had bet $250 which is pretty strong action on a $50 base bet.  Of course the dealer has an ace up;  I was considering the insurance thinking a true count of plus five was all I needed until I saw my Ace Face, her Ace, and the other players two Faces hand.  Plus two and about half the deck gone leaves true count of plus four.  I decided I needed to sack up and go with the hand.  She doesn’t have it and I take down the $375.  I had another hand of $275 where I was dealt 15 against an eight.  I hit it perfect with a six.  I went from being in the trap down $700 to up $400 in about ten minutes.  I ran to the cage.  What an evil game.

In addition to the free room the casino gives me $50 of free play for showing up and I ran that through the machines and cashed out with $90 after some quick hits on video poker.  The Grand Sierra has very strong video poker.  I was up $490 on Friday night and could coast for the rest of the trip.

I wandered into the poker room late and put my name down for a $1-$2 NL seat.  I played some light quarter video poker and listened for my name to be called.  I had to wait about an hour which really sucks.  The game was mostly locals and it looked a little tight.  I was here to play poker and I would make the best of it.  I am in the one seat.  The two seat is a young mid-twenties white guy that probably deals in another room in Reno and he plays pretty snug.  The three seat is a sixties or seventies retiree local sour puss with a crappy attitude and a tight game; I sensed that he was out past his bed time.  The four seat is a wealthy fifty year old early retiree semi-pro poker player with an inflated ego a C+ game.  The five seat is a late forties possible tourist with some real gamble.  The six seat provides us with our very first hint of diversity and a forty year old black man with a penchant to over bet most hands and most pots; last time I played in Reno with him I thought he was better.  The seven seat is an early thirties local with a few chips in front of him and a tight game; definitely a regular.  The eight seat is a young well dressed early to mid twenties tourist that is giving some serious action; he loves to play poker and he is stalling a friend that wants him to go bang a couple chicks.  The nine seat is a quiet Asian man that seems to play a passive game; I have the worst view of him because he is well hidden behind the over-sized dealer.

I pick up JJ the second time I am in the blind and raise it to $15 because there are five limpers.  The five and the six both call it and we see a flop three handed.  I bet $25 and they both fold.  I peak at the board after they fold and see A 8 4.  The only hand I show over is my small blind on the next orbit when my QJ requires only a buck to see the flop and a queen comes on the flop.  The hand checks around on the flop and I bet the turn and the river and the nine seat calls it.  I played an hour and won $100 and never lost a hand that I bet.  The poker room gives $2 per hour comps to the poker players and provides free food every night at 9:30.  Definitely a good room when you factor in the $3 rake and a dollar for the jackpot.  The games could be a little stronger but the casino is doing all that it can for the players.  I called it an early night Friday at about 2 AM.

Of course Saturday brought a chance to go to dinner with my wife at the new Charlie Palmer Italian restaurant.  We had loved the former place and were sad to see it go.  I have to say the new place is excellent.  Antipasti platter for a starter was just awesome.  The caprese salad was next and it was different and yet excellent.  The pasta dish I had was chiarte with really good seafood.  One of the better pasta dishes I have ever eaten.  The main course was a veal porterhouse that was very good and very tender but just a notch below, I will try something else next visit.  The dessert was a lemoncello cheesecake that was superb.  The second dessert was chocolate mousse cake that was excellent with the huckleberry reduction.  Plenty of left-over food and the bill was $110 and I threw the girl $160.  I am happy to say GSR has reduced food prices and the quality is very good.

The poker tournament I will write up under separate cover to give it a more detailed analysis.  I took a shot early in the morning at a satellite to win a seat in the tournament and did not win the seat due to my own recklessness.  I had raised to $1500 when the player to my left moved all-in and said $4200 total, I called only to find out it was $8200.  Because the dealer ran the board out before anyone realized the error, I lost an extra $6700 with my J 5 against AA.  I know better.  I was bummed.  The next hand I got I got involved with was my KK against AJ and I lost.  Out in fifth when it paid three seats.  Stupid!

I was just cruising and taking it easy playing video poker with my wife and wasting away the day on Sunday.  I happened to get a little face time with a playboy bunny that Miss June 2008. I snagged an autograph and picture of her.  This may not be the best thing for a married guy to do.  Super cool girl and very young.  I might say that she liked attention and definitely wanted me to have her picture and autograph.

As the day wore on the wife told me to go play the tournament if I felt up to it.  I heard the call saying still seats available and made my mind up to wander over to the poker room.  They had already positioned the button when I jumped into an empty seat.  I played the next four hours pretty well.  I was a little shorter than I wanted to be but I never let myself get down to ten big blinds.  I ended up winning the tournament.  The tournament ran late and I wasn’t able to feed the wife so we had a very late meal in the coffee shop.  Winning the tournament was something I needed to do.

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