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VPC Goes Vegas 2018.

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Deze ongein gaat weer beginnen. Voor de liefhebbers: 

That’s right! It’s THAT time again. The VPC is about to embark on its sixth Las Vegas journey. Fourth one to be documented on this lovely Las Vegas Lifestyle section. If you don’t know us click below to read our previous trip reports. 

VPC Went Vegas 2009 (Dutch); 
VPC Went Vegas 2010 (Dutch); 
VPC Went Vegas 2012 (English); 
VPC Went Vegas 2014 (English); 
VPC Went Vegas 2016 (English); 

All caught up? Good. Vamos! 

VPC Goes Vegas 2018; The Intro.

Sometimes I wonder why no one from our VPC fellowship ever amounted to anything when it comes to poker. The reason however is quite simple; ego’s. Why is it that poker that it brings out the ego’s in men like nothing else? Sure, there’s an unhealthy amount of testosterone floating around any VPC activity but poker brings out the absolute worst in us. I’m confident an argument about sleeping with each other’s better halves would be settled with less bloodshed than even suggesting someone misplayed a turn. 

Here’s an example. Bozzie and me playing a peanuts buy-in pub tourney few months ago. I’m not even in the goddamn hand. Bozzie 3-bets from his 25bb stack, C-over bets a flop that smashed villains range and tank folds to a shove leaving himself like 8 bigs. For some reason that makes me want to stand up and hit Bozzie in the face with a rusty shovel. Why? It’s not my money. It’s not my pot. I shouldn’t care less. Yet, it tilts me to no end that Bozzie is quite happy with the way he played his hand. I tell Bozzie that if he ever sells pieces to a tournament again to please be sure and NOT call me. The b*tch fight is on. 

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I’ve always put in the most work off the felt by a landslide. I forgot more about poker theory than any other VPC remember knows. Talent wise I probably wouldn’t make top three of our small group so it’s a shame none of the other members ever really gave it a go. With a different approach and mind-set who knows what could have happened. Ah well, f*ck it.

So, how has poker been over the past two years anyway? Mostly sh*t. As always poker sort of fades away from me after a Las Vegas trip to only grab my attention again when a new edition appears on the horizon. I was lucky enough to bink the hotel and flight money for the upcoming trip end of 2016 during a tournament in Belgium that we visit yearly for mostly piss-up reasons. About six months prior to this year’s Vegas trip I decided saving spending money would be boring so I might as well invest it in poker. Since I’m mostly a break even player I’d expected the winnings to be around the total amount of buy-ins somewhere around January. Well, not so much. We didn’t break even and with a roughly 40% ROI it looks like I’ll be running up a tab with our good old friend; the mutual savings account. 

Anyway, let’s have a look at our upcoming trip. I ended our 2016 trip report with some good advice for the future me:

Few changes are going to be made for the 2018 trip though. For starters; no more US lay-overs. Next trip is going to be Dusseldorf / Amsterdam to London and a direct flight to Vegas. We got shafted on both ways this time. That isn’t happing again. Second; no more budget hotels, Mirage and upwards from here on. Third; I like that I stayed on this part of the Strip but it’s back to the other side in 2018 for sure. Fourth; we added an extra day to this year’s trip but since I can’t handle Vegas more than five days anyway there is no point in doing that again. This trip took eight vacation days and that is too much. Fifth; sleeping pills that have full grow rhino on the ground in less than 30 seconds. 

Surprisingly enough I took most of my own advice to hearth. We indeed forked out some extra cash for decent flight’s. No more Air Canada shenanigans. We’ll be flying out of Germany’s Dusseldorf International midday on January the 26th. A small jump towards London lines us up for a direct flight towards Las Vegas. We’ll be staying at The Dirty Bird aka The Flamingo for seven nights. Sure, that could be considered a sh*thole but we took it over Treasure Island – which was cheaper – because of its perfect location and the poker room that has way more action than the single rake-back grinding table at TI. It will be a Friday till Friday trip once again so less vacation days go up in flames. 

To start off with some very bad news. Fratie will – once again – not be on the menu this year. Apparently some pink haired bird in Denmark swiped left on Tinder and our boy has followed her to the end of the world. Or Berlin in this case. Word on the street is our boy is still breathing and working hard on his new life goal: growing a full blown German old-skool porn moustache. 

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Six usual suspects are on board for the 2018 trip. Brother in law Hugo will obviously be part of the crew as is our forever 37 year old bar owner and degen Baars. Somehow we couldn’t get rid of VPC Diva Damvic while the Vegas Filthy Few miraculously keeps its three remaining members; Iebus, Bozzie & Hamid (me). If you’re familiar with our trip reports these gentlemen don’t need any further introduction. If you’re not familiar with our trip reports; WTF!?

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FLTR: Baars, Bozzie, Iebus, Hamid, Damvic & Hugo.

An introduction is in order for the new faces that accompany the VPC this year. Last trip’s newbies Jelzo & Verkus Wum were carefully reviewed and unanimously given the boot. However, the VPC is always on the look-out for new talent so we bring in two prospects for the 2018 trip. 

Mark ‘Oppie’ op het Veld.

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If I had to make a list of people that would never join a VPC Goes Vegas trip Oppie would be on top of that list. Well, second place behind Fruithof obviously but you know what I mean. Oppie is a 44 year old family man and IT specialist that looks very much like a 44 year old family man and IT specialist. Some serious mid-life crisis action caused this Stu - The Hangover - lookalike to tag along. Oppie is no Vegas Virgin as he visited the promised land twice before. Once on his honeymoon. Once with his parents. You can see the fear growing in Oppie’s eyes as the trip gets closer but I have a feeling Oppie might surprise us all if that build up midlife frustration gets downloaded on to the Vegas nightlife. 

Tim ‘Hoebol’ Hoezen.

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Hoebol (35) was scheduled to join the 2016 trip but some unforeseen circumstances caused him to pull out last minute despite having us rearrange that trip about five times to fit his schedule. FFS. Hoebol is one of the many that is triggered by our Vegas stories and is actually buzzing to be on board for this one. He will be entering a commercial airplane for the first time in his life which has him running around town like a virgin on prom night. Hoebols relation to the VPC is being kindergarten friends with brother in law Hugo and a much appreciated donator in our monthly cash game. 

With our Vegas Bucket List nearly checked off not to many irregularities will be found in our usual Vegas routines. We’ll be up and running Friday around 9AM and I’ll probably show Hoebol around a bit before joining the regular first night poker / roulette / blackjack drinking binges. Saturday will be Aria’s $ 240,- tourney for most although you can expect Baars, Oppie and Damvic to show their faces at the AVN Expo in The Hard Rock Hotel. Baars had an amazing time at the 2014 Porn Expo and almost forced us to book the trip during this year’s AVN weekend. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc0XGgIVtBE
NSFW

Saturday night we’ll swing by Hakkasan to see our boy Tiёsto perform. I wanted to do the Omnia Nightclub in Caesars Palace but when Dutch DJ royalty takes the stage in Vegas you simply show up and overpay your respects. On Sunday I’ll try to cure my hangover and Hakkasan bar bill with mixed games in the Orleans. Some Omaha Hi / Lo cash games and the 7PM HORSE tourney are most definitely on the to-do list.

We’ll fit in a day to wonder around the Downtown area and probably do a Casino Crawl if we see fit. I plan on doing some TopGolf at MGM and have a cocktail in The Mandarin Bar. Food wise we’ll be on the lookout for some great Sushi (Naked Fish) and Rollin Smoke BBQ is on the wish list. 

Being a Trooper97 fanboy I’ll probably swing by the Westgate on Thursday night to say hi. We also have our minds set on ‘An Intimate Evening With Carlos Santana’. Baars and I visited that show in 2014 and it was pretty epic. Hugo missed the show back then when one of his specialties – needlessly busting tournaments – failed him that day and has made it one of his primary goals for this trip. 

So, we are off to Vegas this Friday. The report will be typed up afterwards as always. You can tag along following some updates on the good old Twitter. 


Enjoy!

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VPC Went Vegas Day 1: The Boys Are Back In Town.

As I leave the house this Friday morning to get our VPC Goes Vegas show on the road I’m basically officially homeless. I will not be returning to my house once we get back. As of February first I’m no longer the owner of property where I lived for over a decade. I’m hardly sentimental about the whole ordeal. At the end of the day it’s a pile of bricks. I got a good deal on the house and have bought a much better looking pile of bricks that I will start paying for as per April first. I’m not too excited about the two months in-between that I’ll spend partially at my in-laws and mothers place but it is what it is.

All the homeless worries are for another time because for the next eight days only one thing really matters; Viva Las Vegas! The best week of every two years is finally here so let’s get going. First stop of the trip is Belfeld. Residence of both Hugo and Hoebol who I’ll pick up for our short journey to Dusseldorf International. My mother temporarily lives with Hugo and my sister while her house is being remodelled so I left early to leave time for coffee. During that lovely cup of coffee we get entertained by Bozzie who is in a full blown tilt frenzy at Dusseldorf Airport already.

As per usual Bozzie booked the trip very last minute due to him being a pussy. We had already removed this Filty Few Member from the Vegas 2018 WhatsApp group when an act of god and a boatload of empty beer bottles caused Bozzie to join last minute. Expedia conveniently forgot to forward his booking to British Airways so when he tried to check in this morning they had never heard of him. 

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Expedia...

If you think Expedia steps up the service level when they co-ck up like this you’re very much wrong. Bozzie was told to book another flight and send them the bill. Best of luck to ya! First options were ~ € 2500,- flight packages which is a bit risky if you have to advance the money for a shady travel origination with tons of small letters and feck you clauses. Eventually he found a reasonable priced flight option but he had to make an 11 o’clock flight towards Londen City Airport and battle his way thought the entire London Subway System - carrying suitcases - to reach London’s main airport; Heathrow

While our trip towards Dusseldorf is a breeze Iebus is living on the other end of the spectrum. I had conveniently suggested to pick up Hugo & Hoebol so that Iebus could deal with VPC loose cannons Damvic and Baars. While we meet up with the 4.4 decade year old Oppie in Dusseldorf and quietly have some breakfast after check-in, Iebus is struggling in Venlo to get Baars into his car. As always I need to start my Vegas journey’s with a Run Good Tequila so I walked into Baars his bar on Thursday night after a lovely Sushi dinner with the misses. Upon hearing Baars his plans for the night – party till 7, clean the bar till 8 and then pack his suitcase – I knew Iebus was in for a treat. 

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Run Good Tequila with Baars.

Obviously Baars is nowhere near ready when Iebus pulls up 15 minutes after the agreed departure time. When they finally hit the freeway around 10:15 Baars realizes he left his astma inhaler at home and they have to make a U-turn. To top things off they catch a traffic jam and their parking company appears to have vanished when they pull up in Dusseldorf. Even Damvic is in a slight panic right about now sending out texts like ‘What’s the gate number. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS!!!’. About five seconds after Damvics text Baars sends out a message as well. It’s a video of golf cart crashing into a tree. God, I love that man. 

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Brokeback Clubbin’

With five minutes remaining the three Stooges storm into the gate. Baars is irritated that Iebus rushed him packing this morning which caused him to forget his shoes. He’s also unhappy about the parking situation that caused a four minute delay and now there is no more time left for coffee. My man. 

We have about 3,5 hours to kill in London Heathrow so we pick a decent restaurant for food and beers. I love the British but Jesus they just about cook the sh*t out of everything. The burgers and steaks at The Curator are piss poor to the point of uneatable. Luckily the beers taste like heaven so times flies while we make fun of Bozzie who now joins our direct flight towards Vegas instead of flying through Chicago. 

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We paid a decent amount to be able to fly these British Airways direct flights towards Las Vegas. A respectable airline I assumed. Well, not so much. BA had dug up their oldest bird. An absolute sh*t show of a plane. No USB. No leg space what so ever. Their ‘latest releases’ film section contained Jurassic Park and Die Hard 1. A horrible 10 hours and 13 minutes to endure. Baars and I share middle seats and look at each other every 10 minutes and without saying a word we exactly know what we mean; “Why do we put ourselves trough this misery to go and burn so much cash?”.

All things end. Also the terrible ones. After touchdown in Vegas we get separated a bit at customs and somehow Bozzie, Oppie, Baars & I are way ahead of the rest. We obviously don’t wait up and jump into the first taxi in sight. The driver doesn’t tunnel us as requested and drops us off at Flamingo in less than ten minutes. No lines at check in so I we are in room 12008 unpacking our bags in no time. A very quick shower and off to the casino floor wheels spinning as always. ATM -> Poker room. I put my name on the 1/2 list and get a seat rather quickly. 

I always think that the first hand I pick up in Vegas is an indication of how good the trip is going to be. It has always been way above par. I remember it being KQh and ATh from previous trips and this time we look down at the queen of hearts and the queen of diamonds. This gonna be good. UTG made it 12 dollars to from a short stack. Folds to me on the button and I make it 35. UTG sticks it in and we call. The flop brings a king and an ace so we aren’t to confident but villain shows unimproved nines and we scoop. 

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After ten minutes Bozzie shows up at the poker room and I walk over to tell him how much this city loves me. Felt a poor soul on the first hand. Good times. I sit back down in the SB and look at AKs. A new UTG opened to 12 again and it’s folded to me. I don’t 3-bet vs. UTG opens much especially from the SB and villain only has like 120 behind. I flat and the BB comes along. Flop comes 24K rainbow. BB leads for 20 and UTG makes it 60. Yuk. Don’t love the situation but can’t really see how we can get away here. I stick it in. BB folds. UTG calls and shows rockets. So much for the Vegas love.

After about an hours the entire VPC is up and running. Everyone but Baars, Damvic & Oppie are playing poker. Around 11 o’clock I see Hoebol on the rail having just dusted off his first Vegas dollars. I cash out a small profit and take Vegas virgin Hoebol for a spin trough the city. We make our way towards Planet Hollywood and roam around the Pleasure Pit for a while before crossing the road towards The Cosmopolitan. Hoebol been talking forever about a cocktail he saw Andrew Neeme drink in one of his first vlogs. You need to eat small fruit of some kind that numbs the senses before you drink the cocktail. Does Hoebol know the name of the bar? Nope. Does he know the name of the cocktail? Nope. Great. We grab a slice at Secret Pizza and I try to find the cocktail vlog but Cosmo doesn’t offer free WiFi. All bars in Cosmo are packed to the rafters so we have trouble finding a good spot. I ain’t standing in the middle of nowhere with some sort of girly cocktail so we give up on the plan rather quickly.

We get Hoebol an MLife card at Bellagio and make our way towards Caesars for some more poker. I sit down and see one of the favourite characters from The Trooper97 vlogs; masseuse Kelly. There's something sparkling about that girl. I hope Trooper lands her one day but let’s face it; our boy would be punching well above his weight if he closes that deal. Hope he does it though. The table at Caesars is full of drunks that give everyone but me some of their money.

Around two in the morning we make our way back to Flamingo were we are greeted by some sad faces. As mentioned in the introduction there is an unhealthy amount of testosterone floating around any VPC activity. That includes going to bed first on the opening night. Some of the boys were hoping we were sound asleep and they didn’t have to be the first one to call it a day. The eight of us play roulette till 04:30 when Oppie finally breaks and stumbles off drunk as a lord. When everyone is done I put my money on the 14 and obviously bink on the first spin putting Iebus on tilt. I run so good on the roulette wheel it’s borderline criminal at times. 

Head hits the pillow somewhere at five in the morning but I feel like it three in the afternoon. Sleep is needed though as we grind the Aria tourney in six hours and go see Tiesto in the evening. Good times ahead. The boys are back in town

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The Boys Are Back In Town

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Ben jij dat @Venlo met die middelvinger omhoog bovenaan de foto?

Even n vraagje wat ik me toch ns afvraag:

Je hebt best n bekende kop, voor mij en dan zoveel jaar later. Denk dat je nickname van je woonplaats is afgeleid....maar heb je als kind dan toevallig in het deel Blerick (wat tegenwoordig ook onder Venlo valt) gewoond? Begint je voornaam toevallig met een R. en achternaam met n J.? Uit privacy zal ik uiteraard niet de hele naam opschrijven. Zo ja, dan zou t zomaar kunnen dat je bij mij op de basisschool zat (of op de Maria Regina Mavo, maar is te lang geleden om nog precies te weten). Ik schat jou ook ergens in de 40 en wordt zelf dit jaar 44.

Zal toch niet waar zijn dat t wereldje zo klein is....

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VPC Went Vegas Day 2: Groundhog Day.

With all the Vegas vlogs these days it hardly feels like it’s been two years since I last woke up in this city. There is something oddly familiar about the walk to Earl of Sandwich this morning to prepare ourselves for Aria’s 11 PM tournament. Sure, we did the exact same thing last two trips but somehow it feels a bit more business as usual than expected. I’m not less excited to be here, don’t get me wrong. As I walk past the gorgeous Bellagio I can easily see myself making these Vegas trips for the foreseeable future. Next year it will a decade since our first trip. Will I be making these trips in 2028? Can’t see why not to be honest. Sure, it will most likely be a single trip by then but no chance that is going to stop me. 

Only Hugo & Hoebol showed their faces at the 10 o’clock rendezvous in front of the Flamingo poker room. Iebus was planning on joining us having chopped this tourney two years ago but he’s in no state to go anywhere just yet. I don’t feel too bad. I managed to sleep the usual three hours and the Ibuprofen I took right away seems to be doing his job headache wise. 

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Bozzie not doing to great

After an Italian sandwich and some chips we register the $ 240,- tourney shortly after the cards are in the air. There are only like 45 runners on the screen but that will increase although we can’t expect too many players since the Wynn is running a Special Weekend with a $ 600,- main event. I contemplated playing that event but figured they will bag & tag by the time we are already due at Hakassan. Despite having paid a fortune for VIP tickets they allow themselves to deny you entry it you show after midnight. Ridicule. 

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As mentioned in the preview poker hasn’t really been smooth sailings the last couple of months. I’m currently on a live tourney bricking streak that goes into 20+ tournaments. Confidence should be on the low side but it really isn’t. I’ve been working hard on my game the past couple of months – for someone who plays little poker, that is -  it just hasn’t found a way to pay me back just yet. I think I’m making the right decisions and my in game thought process is probably better than ever. It will pay off eventually and no reason why that couldn’t be today.

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First three 30 minute levels go very well. We make hands, we get value and we play well. Up to about 35k from 20k on first break. The next three levels go less smooth. An almost comical run of terrible cards combined with running into the tops of ranges has us back to the starting stack. It took Hugo about one level to bust when his aces got cracked but he re-entered the tourney as Hugo is not one to give up easily. Hoebol busted somewhere around level six and went over to the Bellagio. 

Around four o’clock we get to an open shoving stack but I can’t find any profitable spots to punt our stack. After a table change causes me to pay the just increased blinds and all the antes back to back I’m suddenly looking at five bigs. I ship my best hand for hours (A2h) but can’t bink – or hold – against KQ & KJ and it’s bedtime again. Since no-one replied to my hotel pre-party message I don’t bother dragging some 12-packs of Bud across the Strip and just return to 12008 right away after grabbing another slice at Secret Pizza. 

Baars entering the hotel room around 20:00 hours wakes me up. Baars is in the best mood I have ever seen him in Vegas or anywhere else for that matter. Sure, the fact that they made it to the AVN Expo about 30 minutes before it closed was upsetting but that was well compensated by the great spot he had when the cum buckets paraded on the red carpet. I have about 60 (!) pictures of porn stars on my phone. If I had to guess they were all competing for the Bud Ugly award. 

Baars is ecstatic about the pair of shoes he just bought at the Armani store in The Forum Shops. He forgot to pack his ‘Hakassan shoes’ – I’m reminded that is due to Iebus’s impatience – but these new boots have him over the moon. Also he has about $ 400,- of overall profit in his pocket. We’re not in Vegas for 24 hours just yet but indeed that is impressive for a money burning machine like Baars. He lays flat-out on the bed and – please keep this in mind for Day 3 – expresses his happiness about not having made any capital blunders just yet. What surprises me is that a guy who drinks about 200+ nights a year can still get so excited about going on the piss tonight.

I had my alarm set for 21:00 hours so I try to squeeze in another powernap but Baars keeps bouncing around the room like a toddler when suddenly he looks at me and says: “$400,- profit. WTF. The boys might even think I haven’t gambled yet!” and storms out of the room. Some people can’t handle gambling loses. Baars doesn’t seem to be able to handle gambling winnings. 

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Meanwhile Hugo is chip leading the final table of the Aria tourney. It looks like there is little interest in a hotel room pre-party but when I make my way to the Flamingo poker room I see Iebus and Bozzie buying crappy beers for set party which is moved to another room. I buy two humongous cans of Heineken and grab my bottle of local strong liquor at my hotel room. 

This one of those ‘must drink’ occasions. I’m basically just awake but we can’t enter Hakassan sober when expensive Vodka-Redbulls are on the menu. The atmosphere at the pre-party starts funeral like but after about half a can and serval shots I’m actually starting to get in the mood for this nonsense. Eventually everyone but Baars shows up at the pre-party. Hugo made a 6-way deal pocketing just shy of 3k at Aria and high-fives are exchanged everywhere.

One decent group photo is a must so before we get a taxi to Hakassan we get that out of the way. We get into the club rather quickly and assemble on the second floor bar area. Baars and I get one Corona out the way before we start knocking back ~ $ 30,- Vodka-Redbulls. Hakassan is crowded as balls tonight. By the time Tiesto starts spitting his tunes we try to get near the dance floor but it’s undoable. 

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Now, things get blurry fast. All I ate today was an Earl sandwich and a slice of pizza. That’s a problem when – like me – you only have one drinking gear; Full Throttle Ahead. Next thing I remember is I’m lying on the floor and two bouncers pick me up. One of them says “Maybe it’s time to go home!”. Usually I would argue that point fiercely with all sorts of valid points but seeing how I hardly remember ending up on the floor I give the bouncers the ol’ ‘Yeah, you’re probably right’ nudge and have them throw me out.

Funny thing is I remember every step from my ‘walk of shame’ with the bouncers who accompany me on all floors all the way to the casino floor. That’s where the night ends for me. Honest to god I don’t remember a thing after that. No clue as to how made my way back to Flamingo. Reading back the WhatsApp group chat will shed a bit of light on that tomorrow.  

The night is far from over for the VPC Crew. In fact, it will be one to remember a lifetime for most.

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To be continued...

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19 uur geleden zei gokdiva:

Ben jij dat @Venlo met die middelvinger omhoog bovenaan de foto?

Even n vraagje wat ik me toch ns afvraag:

Je hebt best n bekende kop, voor mij en dan zoveel jaar later. Denk dat je nickname van je woonplaats is afgeleid....maar heb je als kind dan toevallig in het deel Blerick (wat tegenwoordig ook onder Venlo valt) gewoond? Begint je voornaam toevallig met een R. en achternaam met n J.? Uit privacy zal ik uiteraard niet de hele naam opschrijven. Zo ja, dan zou t zomaar kunnen dat je bij mij op de basisschool zat (of op de Maria Regina Mavo, maar is te lang geleden om nog precies te weten). Ik schat jou ook ergens in de 40 en wordt zelf dit jaar 44.

Zal toch niet waar zijn dat t wereldje zo klein is....

Dat ben ik niet. Dat is Peter Leijsten aka Bozzie. Idd 40 en lang in Blerick gewoond. 

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4 uur geleden zei Venlo:

Dat ben ik niet. Dat is Peter Leijsten aka Bozzie. Idd 40 en lang in Blerick gewoond. 

Ok, dankje, nee die naam zegt me niet veel, alleen zn gezicht wel. Ik heb zelf tot ergens halverwege de 90er jaren in Blerick gewoond, vlakbij de kazerne/ station NS Blerick. Verhuizen naar een andere stad voor mn studie toen, is de beste keus die ik ooit gemaakt heb.... :)Achteraf gezien viel er ook niks te gokken in omgeving, alleen HC Venlo en twee halletjes in Tegelen, waar zelfs bagwans lopen met een tulband om hun hoofd... Venray dat gaat ook nog wel qua hal.

 

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Vallen, wat blijven je reports toch fantastisch! Kan niet wachten op het vervolg! Heb vorig jaar in aanloop naar mijn eigen trip al je verslagen opnieuw zitten lezen, en blijft gewoon zo mooi.

Ga je deze huidige ook nog op je eigen blog toevoegen?

LangeRuud (verwachtingsvol) ;)

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Ohhhh dat ik dit gemist heb!

Ik heb Venlo en een deel van de VPC in november nog gezien in Namur, en een ding is zeker: Deze mannen kunnen voor geen meter pokeren ;)  maar zuipen als een malle! Straks even alles bijlezen.

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yeahhhh I love Venlo, de VPC maar bovenal de verslagen!! Ik keek er al weer weken naar uit, zo blij dat jullie onderhand weer eens gingen. En hoera Vallen, ze zijn weer onovertroffen! Ik heb al jouw reisverslagen van alle afgelopen jaren al meerdere keren weer opnieuw gelezen. Gewoon omdat ze zo enorm grappig en leuk zijn. Ik moet ze eens ergens opslaan voor het geval de websites ophouden te bestaan. Wanneer breng je eens een boek uit? Echt schitterend!

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VPC Went Vegas Day 3: War Stories.

I wake up at 10:30 hours. Since I don’t have a clue as to how late I went to bed I can’t really figure out whether this is good or bad. It feels like I’ve put in some hours though. I also feel right away the night was rough. My left hip feels broken as does my right tail bone. I turn around and see Baars his bed is empty. And unslept. Oh, boy.

Baars not being home at this hour can mean one of two things:

1.         Our boy is broke.

2.         Our boy is FEKKING broke.

 I prepare myself for what is about to come while I stumble across the hallway in my boxers willing to pay a $ 100,- for a bottle of water. About 10 minutes later the hotel room door opens and in comes Baars. Exactly as expected. Baars walks in like an abused dog. Shoulders dropped, head bent way down and dragging his feet like a tired hobo. It ain’t pretty.  

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Me: ‘And?’

Baars: ‘Boy, did I f*ck things up again’

Me: ‘How much?’

Baars: ‘xK’

Me: *throws up a little*

I listen to Baars sorrows for a while before I hit the shower and make my way down for breakfast. I actually don’t feel too bad until the elevator doors open and Vegas hits me like a freight train. I need to sit down and compose myself in one of the chairs in the corridor that are meant of printing airplane boarding passes. FFS. As I walk through the corridor it all feels like an outer body experience. It’s like I’m walking under water on a matrass.

I need some fresh air but that is a big ask on the Las Vegas Strip where perfume or sewer seem to be the only scents at hand at all times. I manage to stumble towards Subway in Casino Royale and need all my strength to keep this turkey sandwich in my stomach. I’m not starving which suggest I ate last night but nothing comes to mind. While staring into nothingness at Subway for a while I get the bright idea to read back the group chat on WhatsApp. I never felt more close to the movie Hangover in my life.

It all starts with Oppie asking where everyone is around five in the morning. Hoebol replies a minute later with the exact same question. Iebus replies he’s outside the club but has no idea how he got there and he wants everyone to come out. Hugo says he can’t do that as he has just received a new Barcardi cocktail. From out of nowhere I shim in with some random letters. The question mark suggests I want to know something but I can’t make anything of it.

Three people confirm they are on their way to the strip club when around 05:30 in the morning I answer ‘poker room’ to Hoebol when he asks where I am. God’s honest truth I don’t know what poker room. I suspect it to be Flamingo’s as a handful of 1 $ Flamingo chips fell from my pocket this morning while trying to get dressed. Someone replies they want to join me in the poker roombut keep stumbling over the entertainment industry ladies that won’t let him leave. At six in the morning I ask where everyone is one last time before the conversations starts up again at 07:15 but in order to protect the not so innocent we can’t go in to much detail. Yet.

Back in Flamingo Bozzie is playing poker. Bozzie left the club somewhere around five went straight back to Flamingo. Most the others didn’t return till way after sun up so we can’t expect anyone else very soon. I join Bozzie at the poker table and tell him the Baars story when a text from one of the boys roll’s in; I’m f*cked. Hmm. Not good.

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We’re done with Flamingo and make our way over to Venetian as they have some great promo’s going on. Every half hour there are two $ 100,- splash pots and there is also a high-hand bonus. The plan was to play Omaha Hi/Lo in the Orleans but Iebus is passed-out. Around five we make our way back to Flamingo and go to the room on the ‘I’m f*cked’ message sender. To sum up a long story: he was right. I hate it when the boys ask me to not put a story in these trip reports but this one didn’t even had to ask… 

A while later five of us are in a hotel room. When X tells his story the five of us completely piss ourselves. I have to hold on to the curtains while someone crawls over the floor, one falls out of the bed when another falls in it. Absolute scenes. I can’t give away too much but let’s just say that it’s not a good sign if the bank calls you to see if everything is alright... I tell X the story is even worse as Baars told me this morning he had lent X a few c-notes last night. X is completely convinced he didn’t even see Baars last night. Good stuff.

All of last night’s war stories are shared. Essentially the boys all went to the same – as the credit card statement will show – ‘restaurant’ without knowing the rest was there. They randomly bumped into each other at the bar, ATM, private or VIP section of set restaurant. Listening to all the stories I can’t help but think those Vodka-Redbulls saved me from a much heftier restaurant bill later on. One of the guys literally was the last man standing in the restaurant. Even the waitresses had left by the time he was ready to depart not knowing how to be able to pay the taxi driver.

We gather in the Flamingo’s food court later to make our way to Orleans. Bozzie, Iebus & I are playing the HORSE tournament. I sort of know the rules to the ORSE part of the game but I don’t have any strategic knowledge at all. Playing all these games is a ton of fun though. I roller-coaster between 10 and 20k for a while when a Razz hand hurts me pretty bad. We cap pre with A23 but I catch JJJ on forth till sixth street. Really?

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I survive the Stud levels one more time but can’t get away from Top Top in Holdem when we are down to five bigs. Bozzie busts a bit later and we spend an hour watching Iebus play between one and three big blinds. The man just won’t bust. Bozzie and I take a taxi back to Flamingo. In the taxi we do the math of the VPC butchers bill from last night. Collectively the group blew just south of 1,5 WSOP Main Event buy-ins. Holy. Sh*t. Back in Flamingo I track down Hugo for some sleeping pills and rush to my room.

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Back in the room Baars is still in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating his sins. He has only been down for a quick bite to eat and retracted back to the safety of his bed ASAP. On the night stand are few crispy C-notes. Apparently X’s memory cleared up later on the day… Only in Vegas.

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VPC Went Vegas Day 4: Blue Monday.

My day starts out pretty decent. It took four sleeping pills but we put in about eight hours of sleep last night. I see Iebus made a deal in the HORSE tourney pocketing me some $ and Baars seems to be past most of his post blow-up depression. Baars gives some pristine advise this morning that translates poorly but I have to type it here for the local boys: “Ja, luuster. De petat mot verwerk waere asse werrum is’. Tegeltje.

We agreed to play the Wynn Daily this Monday. Normally we do a casino crawl on Monday but no one even dared to suggest it yesterday. Baars and I head over to Uncle Earl in Caesars but the joint doesn’t open until elven. Fantastic business plan for a breakfast joint imo. I’m not waiting 30 minutes for no Earl so we head towards the Forum Shops on our way to Encore. We obviously take the wrong street at The Fountain of The Gods and by the time we make it back it’s basically 11 o’clock so Earl it is anyways.

After a lovely Caesar Salad Wrap I have to convince Baars to take a taxi to Encore. Baars slipped into an every penny counts modus - which I know won’t last an hour -  and wants to walk. F that. On our way to the taxi’s we see a shirt that we simply have to buy for mister X. When someone from the VPC loses big time we say ‘the bear was hungry’ from the Big Lebowski scene ‘sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes well he eats you’. With that in mind this shirt is a clear necessity.

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Beer = Bear in Dutch.

We all gather in front of the Wynn Poker room. Boy, are the VPC a sad bunch this Monday morning. For some it’s the reality of the money spend this weekend, for others it’s being away from the family for the first time and for others it’s the lack of sleep. For most it’s a combination of all of the above, though.

Mister X looks like the doctor just diagnosed him with stage Z cancer. Oppie looks like he’s undergoing a permanent cavity search while Hoebol looks like he’s about to start crying. I make myself scares and register for the Daily asap.

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About 25 souls accompany VPC’s Hugo, Hoebol, Baars, Iebus and me in this Daily event which starts us off with a 10k stack. I splash around bit when the following hand occurs and makes me want to quit playing poker forever. MP limps 50 and we make it 200 in the cut-off with T4c. Because that is what we do with T4c. Deal with it. BB calls and MP calls as well. We try to use our range advantage on AK8r and bet 350. SB takes about 30 seconds to call. Limper folds. Turn is an off suit 5. Alright, we put villain on a weak ace, semi-strong king or a TJ/QJ combo, right? Slow played QQ-JJ that he’s not willing to give up just yet maybe, but that’s about it. Surely we can push him off all that. RIGHT? We bet 1k and villain tanks a good minute before calling. River 9. Villain checks and we load up the spitfire and drop an 80% bomb the river; 2.8k. Villain tanks forever and eventually calls. With…….. wait for it……… K3o.

Sure, we are polarised here but come on. That doesn’t even beat hands we could potentially turn into a bluff here. I check how Baars – holding a hand ranking chart - is doing and he obviously has heaps. This calls for alcohol and I order a Budweiser right away. I actually battle my way back to like 15k when we get it in on a standard flip are left with 2,5 BB when re-entry closes.

We can't spin the 2.5 BB and I hang around to catch my next 1 $ Budweiser before I make my way over to the Venetian where the rest is supposed to be. Bricking these tournaments all day long is expensive so I need to have a chat with an ATM. I walk past the Venetian towards Casino Royale because they have the lowest ATM fees. Funny how that works. Taking a ten minute detour to save seven bucks while spending tons of money on all sorts of crap all day long. In Vegas you basically reach for your wallet somewhere between 15 and 25 times a day if I had to guess.

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I can’t find anyone at Venetian and just sit down in a 1/2 game and grind beers for a while. Eventually Hugo and Bozzie show up. The session goes well and I rack up around 18:30 to take a shower. Baars ends up bubbling the Wynn daily but is very happy with the fact that $ 140,- lasted him some good six hours. We agreed to have group dinner at Mandalay Bay at eight and go to MGM’s TopGolf afterwards. When I come out of the shower I see plans have changed. Apparently. Damvic, Baars, Hoebol & Oppie couldn’t wait till eight. Since we didn’t reconfirm the 8 o’clock meetup within seven minutes the boys ate elsewhere.

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The good thing about this nonsense is that Iebus, Bozzie, Hugo and me now can go to The Naked Fish for Sushi. The dinner is fantastic apart from the fact that we have to listen to Bozzie rave on about his passion for spinach for about 45 minutes. The meal leaves us stuffed but I’m still in the mood for TopGolf. Unfortunately I’m the only one and we head back to Flamingo where the other three return to their rooms right away. 

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Godlike.

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Bozzie.

I felt like shit before dinner but I’m doing oke now. Not tired yet so I walk over to the Bellagio for some poker. The 1/3 game is pretty good. One dude is on a 36 hour session and seems extremely proud of the fact he hasn’t showered in two days. There is a couple from Sweden at the table. As per usual with women from Sweden she is breathtakingly gorgeous.

It’s clear the Swedish couple haven’t played poker in a casino before. At one point the dude bets $ 20,- out of turn. When the action gets back to him the bet is $ 30,- and the dealer makes him put in his original $ 20,- bet. I tell the dealer he’s wrong. Dealer doesn’t respond. It tell him again and he looks at me annoyed. I request a floor who makes the correct ruling. The dealer then proceed to complain about most 1/3 players hardly know the rules to the game. I tell him he’s probably right but since it’s kind of his job it would be nice he knew the rules to the game and put him on the no-tip list which now contains one name.

I’m seated about one table away from a heated mixed game. Just about every hand on that table leads to a massive brawl. There is one dude not playing and telling a story to one of the active players. During the 10 minute – probably bad beat -  story the player tells this dude to ‘f*ck off because nobody cares’ at least 15 times yet the dude just stands there and keeps telling his story. Fascinating.

Can’t quite remember but I think the session was pretty much break-even. I do remember seeing dealer Fred at the cage. Fred dealt a game I was in two years ago and never in my life had I seen anyone as annoyed at with his job as dealer Fred. It was golden and immediately puts a smile on my face. I head back to Flamingo around 02:30 hours where find Baars staring at the ceiling. That tells me all I need to know about how his evening went. The boys planned a trip towards the piano bar in NYNY but eventually everyone backed out due a serious case of the Vegas Monday Blues.

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VPC Went Vegas Day 5: Downtown.

Since we flew in trough London we had a lot of British lads on the plane that were only going to Vegas for the weekend. Seems like a long *ss flight for a weekend away but with every day that passes you kind of get to appreciate their point of view. The slogan of the Aria casino is ‘this is how we Vegas’, if you translate that to the VPC it basically come down to blowing away 80% of your energy in the first 48 hours and then hanging on to dear life for the rest of the week.

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Since I only had a few beers yesterday this morning isn’t too rough. Still stuffed from last night’s Sushi I’m not in the mood for Uncle Earl so I stop at the Starbucks in front of Ballys and grab a Vanilla Latte and slow roasted Ham, Swiss and Egg sandwich. It’s my first coffee of the trip. I’ve been really careful with stuff that usually upsets my stomach / wellbeing like coffee, spicy food, huge meals and also smoking. Two years ago I really felt horrible the last three days and last Sunday I thought we were on that path again since I was dizzy all day but luckily yesterday wasn’t half bad.

We have a noon meet-up in front of the Flamingo poker room to make our way to our beloved Binions Casino. Everyone is on board for this day of running around Fremont street. We have about half an hour to waste before the Binions 1 PM tourney starts and that is carefully spend at black-jack tables in the front where the dealers are all but naked. I don’t think the boys win a single hand of black-jack at these tables. It’s brutal. Oppie almost gets physically sick when he watches Baars burn trough a couple of hundred dollars in less than no-time.

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I show Hoebol around Fremont and the Nugget for a minute before we register the 1PM tourney at Binions. It’s hurts to see this sorry excuse for a poker room when back in the day I thought Binions had one of nicest rooms in Town. Since poker director Paul Campbell left for Aria they might as well have rolled over and died at Binions. Absolute mismanagement when The Nugget has a booming room about 100 feet away. No excuses.

No less than seven VPC members enter the daily making the total field twelve (yes, 12) players. Only mister X doesn’t register and that kind of annoys me. Sure, he fucked up a bit in the weekend. Alright, he fucked up big time in the weekend. Okay, okay, he fucked up HUMONGOUSLY in the weekend but there are three days left so at least try to make something of the remainder instead of counting down the hours till we leave Sodom and Gomorrah. We have a chat about it later in the day and I’m glad to report Mister X’s mood improved from suicidal to heavily depressed for the rest of the trip.

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The tournament has a $ 60,- buy-in which gets you 10K but one can add-on 10k for $ 20,- right away and add another 10k for $ 20,- after six levels. After a few Budweiser’s I switch to double rum and cokes so I can’t quite remember everything from this tourney. I remember getting frustrated about a pot where I have to bet the river because I lose showdown value due to a double board pair and Hugo eventually calls with un underset on 4QTQT. I accuse Hugo of a bad call when in reality it isn’t.

Not being able to get anything going in these tournaments is tilting me. Hands like this. I open AK and Baars calls on the button. I fire two bullets on QJ8J and give up on the river. Baars bets, I fold and Baars shows 22. You might think Baars wants to needle here but let me assure that is not the case. I’m sure he doesn’t have a clue as to why he bet the river but there has been a bit too much randomness like this when it comes to poker this week.

Eventually Damvic & Baars chop the tourney four way. I truly enjoy Baars being so happy with winning like ~ $ 250,-. He dropped that amount times three in about 90 seconds before the tourney started but winning even the smallest amount sends Baars straight into the clouds.

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No idea why we get separated but at one point I end up in the Container Park with Bozzie, Oppie & Damvic. The Container Park looks nice in the Trooper video’s but it ain’t all that in real time. We sit down in an completely empty Asian joint where the two employees don’t even look at us for about five minutes. Alright, next stop is the Irish Pub on the corner of Fremont and LV Blvd.

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After some chicken wing appetizers the main courses are served. The level of disappointment in Damvic’s eyes when he gets his order is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Damvic always scans the menu for 15 seconds until he finds the word ‘steak’ and pulls the hand break. In this case the ‘Ahi Steak’ was the first one on the menu. Little did Damvic know Ahi means Tuna. So instead of a hot juicy steak he’s looking at a platter of raw fish. He looks at the plate and asks the waitress whether this is the salad that comes with the steak. I’m in need of mouth to mouth resuscitation by now. Damvic looks at the plate, than plants both hands flat on top the meal to confirm his nightmare; not only is it a platter of raw fish it’s an ice-cold platter of raw fish.

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We can’t intervene quick enough when the waitresses offers to take the meal back and let him reorder. ‘That’s quite alright miss, it is what he ordered. Look at that table, those people look very thirsty. SEE YA!’ We enjoy some fine ribs while Damvic picks things of his plate that he considers eatable as if he’s playing John Spinello ‘operation’ game. Lovely dinner.

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The other four went for Red Sushi in The Nugget and just got their table so I put myself on the list for some 1/2. It takes a while to get a seat so I’m just getting started when the boys are in front of the poker room ready to move on. I scan the group for a second and know enough. This bunch is going nowhere. It’s the biggest collective after dinner dip you’ve ever seen and I decide to continue the game.

As expected about 30 minutes later Iebus sends me a text; they are leaving. These boys don’t prepare for a Vegas trip so even the simplest mission – finding Atomic Liquor in this case – is a bridge to far. They walked past the Container Park and still managed to not find the joint. Pretty impressive. Iebus, Bozzie & Oppie are done with walking around pointlessly and I join them in the taxi towards Flamingo where I sit down in the poker room for a little while before calling it a day.

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