For those of you who don’t know, I have lived in Vegas in 2008 and 2018 for a short period of time. The first time I was there, I just began playing poker as my primary source of income. I lived in the Summerlin area and I didn’t play much live poker at the time. In the 6 months I lived there, I may have played once at a casino.
The second time I lived there in 2018, it wasn’t planned. I took a West Coast trip and ended up staying for 6 months. It is a fun city to visit, but in my opinion it’s mot a place to live full time. I would not want to raise a family there.
Vegas can be a tough place to grind if you don’t have discipline and some common sense, the city will eat you alive. It can be depressing seeing how the city destroys lives. I didn’t really enjoy my time in 2018 mainly because I lost about 10K over a 500 hour stretch. A few things played a factor in this. I ran bad. Running bad led to playing bad and not focusing on studying and my physical and health. It was an eye opening experience and definitely contributed to me focusing more now on my mental game, health, as well as studying more frequently. I always try to do something fun when I visit, nonpoker related. This trip was no different. In the past, I have gone to Cirque du Soleil shows, magic shows, concerts, clubs, etc. Due to COVID, all this was unavailable so the only thing I really did was visit Lake Las Vegas. It’s a cool little city 20 mins away from the strip. Their are definitely some things I would like to do that I have yet to experience such as the Ferris wheel, minus5 ice bar, Grand Canyon and a few day clubs.
The plan for this trip was to play mostly tourneys at the Venetian and not play much cash. I had a $2,700 package that I sold a little over half of.
The first day I arrived I went to register for 6 events and I was unable to do so because they only allowed registration the day of when the poker room opened. This and the fact you could not register before put a damper on the trip.
I was only able to play a few 4 events which was very disappointing. I waited 1 day for an hour just to be told I would be alternate #210. I arrived 30 mins after registration opened and there was literally a line wrapped around the corner into the streets on Vegas Blvd . I extended my stay to play in this event and I was unable to register.
I played well in 3/4 events and cashed in ¼. We took a small loss -$280.
Congratulations to my boy Caleb. He actually won the main tourney I came in for and walked away with 74K.
I felt like the series was ran poorly. They were concerned about the long lines and social distancing but failed to sell seats ahead of time or online.
The tourney field had a lot of recreational players. There were about 1-3 competent players on each table I sat at. Although the event was ran poorly, I would definitely come back again.
The cash games were as I remember them when I was there in 2018. The games are beatable especially if you game select well. One of my frequent mistakes I make when I visit a new room is that I expect people to respect me as they do in my home room. I’m surprised how little respect I get. Once making the correct adjustments things always turn out much better. This trip was no different.
What I have always noticed is the caliber of regs are much more fundamentally sound then let’s say in South Florida where I play. Some of these kids eat, breath, and sleep poker. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a good game just means you will have to put in a little more effort. I personally take a more exploitative approach in most games I play as I recognize most of the guys and know their tendencies. You will need to brush up on GTO strategy if you are just going to sit down in a 2-5 or higher game at Aria or 5-10 game at the Bellagio.
With that being said, I would prepare for more variance. You are going to sometimes find yourself in unavoidable situations where you are in reg battles.
Some of the line ups are simply tough. If you are considering playing in Vegas, I would recommend playing in 1-2 rooms frequently so you get a feel for the regs. I also suggest moving tables as frequently as you can when in bad games. I would also recommend playing around the tournament series the games are much much softer during these times. The Venetian games were the best games I played in.
From past experience I also would focus on putting your hours in late nights and during large events like March Madness, EDM festival, and etc.
I personally would not move to Vegas to grind full time cash. If tournament and low stakes cash is your thing it may be worth consideration but I would still recommend somewhere like Jacksonville or Texas where the cost of living is low and games are much better.
Overall, Vegas is great for poker if you are willing to put the time and effort into finding the best games and you can check your ego. There are a lot of players here that are crushers. You need to be able to swallow your pride and ego and leave the game. There are some players who beat the 2-5 game for $50-$85/hour. If there are several players in the game with this win rate you can’t sustain that if they all are playing on the same table.
Overall, my trip was ok. During my trip I finished down $81 in cash games.
My expenses for the trip including food, travel, hotel and Airbnb were about $500.
So overall we finished down about $1,000 over 10 days.
I didn’t put that much volume in, I took a few days to relax and other to catch up with friends.
I played a total of 95 hours for the month of September & finished up $7,417.
I am happy with my monthly results.
My plan as of now is to return to vegas in Dec.