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World Series of Poker in Vegas

Click to view World Series of Poker in Vegas photo album

Las Vegas, NV
Friday, July 1, 2005 - Wednesday, July 6, 2005
World Series of Poker in Vegas photos

Purpose: To visit Vegas during the WSOP and to play lots of poker.

More details:
The poker group has been talking about going to Vegas during WSOP for a while. We decided that July 4th would be a good time to visit, though most of us were a few days short of being there for the main event.

We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into the hotel, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed to the poker tables at MGM. We managed to get a great deal at MGM, and it was convenient to stay there this time. We ended up playing poker there for most of our trip.

We played until late Friday night, and then got up "early" on Saturday to head over to the Rio and check out some of the World Series action. Jon Turner, who had moved to Vegas from Raleigh about a month ago, was playing in Day 2 of Event #33. We went to watch most of Day 2 until he was knocked out at 18th place for $19,515! It was exciting to watch and cheer for someone we knew in a major event.

Brad, Brian, and Kerry tried some single table satellites before leaving the Rio. We all got our free Full Tilt WSOP goodie bag. We also bought some WSOP souvenirs in the gift shop.

Saturday night and Sunday were mostly spent playing cards at the MGM poker room. We are starting to be recognized by the dealers after our many hours this weekend! We encountered many people who were great players, some of whom were planning to play in the main event of the WSOP. Most of us agreed that we learned quite a bit on this trip, and we played with some of the best competition that we have encountered so far.

Monday (July 4th), we spent a good portion of the day being tourists including the obligatory visit to the Bellagio for the buffet and a photo opportunity at the conservatory. We got the whole poker group together for the buffet meal. Melissa and Jason were also able to join us as well as our new friends Lori and Gaines from Austin, TX. We were continuously amazed with the similarities and shared hobbies between our group and our new pals. We're already trying to arrange future trips for members of the poker group to rendezvous with Lori and Gaines in various casinos around the country.

After our adventures at the Bellagio, we went to check out the Wynn since it has opened since our last group visit. I really like the Wynn since it is quite similar to Bellagio (but with more color). We even found a loophole in the pool security and walked around the pool area, which has neat cabanas and a European style sunbathing area. I accidentally took a photo of this area before I realized that photos were not allowed (and several women were topless!). Ooops! We took a peek at the Wynn poker room and the Ferrari dealership.

Brad, Brian, Gaines, Jason, Lori, Kerry, and Paul all entered the Sahara 7pm tournament that evening. I believe that we all did fairly well, surviving over half the field, but only Lori made the money at 4th place. Well, at least one of us represented!

After the tournament, Brad, Paul, and Kerry went to the Stratosphere. Brad and Paul had never been to the top to see the view, so we waited in the line. We had put this experience off on other trips as the line is usually too long. The view from the top was excellent, and we got to ride my favorite thrill ride - The Big Shot. We had a view of the strip, which was very cool.

After our very long day, we decided that it was time to play some more poker and rode the monorail back to the MGM to again meet up with other poker group people as well as Lori and Gaines.

We pretty much played as much poker as we could the rest of the trip until leaving for our flight on Tuesday. Brad, Doug, and I had one of the best experiences that we've had to date with a hilarious player from England. Brad and I were so tired but couldn't bring ourselves to leave the table until he left at 11am. I don't think that I've ever laughed so hard at the poker table. Shortly before the English guy arrived, we were entertained by a stand up comic who deals circuit games for WSOP and the WPO. We had actually met him in Tunica (and he remembered me) in January.

Overall, we learned a lot, met some new friends, and most of us either broke even or turned a profit.