Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Suite Life at the Aria

OK, before your regularly scheduled blog post begins, I just want to mention that the good folks over at have just published a list of their favorite poker blogs, and guess which blog was listed first?  Yes, Rob's Vegas & Poker Blog, the very blog you're reading right now, made the list.  Really appreciate that, guys!  Thanks for the nice shout out.  You can see the full list right here.  And now back to the blog post, already in progress...

Now this one takes place the night after the story I told in my previous post (here) occurred, It’s actually important that you keep that in mind.  The other thing you should know is that I already did a post from this session a couple of months back.  This was the session from the Aria that involved the bad floor ruling, preventing the guy on my right from check-raising (see here).

What I didn’t mention at the time was that the guy on my right—the guy who was not allowed to check-raise—looked awfully familiar when I sat down.  The more I sat next to him, the more I started thinking that I had played with him before, even recently.

But while I was still trying to figure it out, I had pocket 5’s and limped in.  Four of us saw a flop of 7-5-4, two diamonds.  I bet $10 and only the familiar looking guy on my right called.  I bet $20 on a blank turn and he called.  I bet $30 on a blank river and he folded, muttering something about a missed straight flush draw.

A bit later I had Ace-10 of clubs and the familiar looking guy raised to $15 (remember, the game at the Aria is 1/3, not 1/2).  I called as did one other.  The flop was King-high, one club, and not much else for me.  But when familiar looking guy bet out $22, I decided to call.  That’s an Ed Miller play.  We were heads up.  The turn was a Queen, non-club, giving me a gutshot.  We both checked.  When the river was a blank, he checked again.  OK, I thought, my Ace-high might not be so good, so let’s try to steal this sucker.  So I bet $40.  He tanked for a long time.  I’m guessing he had a pocket pair, 10’s or less.  He finally folded and I had indeed stolen the pot. 

Meanwhile, it was driving me crazy how familiar this guy looked.  Wait a minute, wait a minute….was this the guy from the night before at the MGM?  The guy who had felted me when he boated up on the turn after we both flopped trips (and I had the better kicker)?  No, no, it couldn’t be.  He would have said something.  Unless he had the same bad memory as I did.

But then he made a comment to the dealer that he was waiting for his player’s card.  He explained that he had given someone his driver’s license when he sat down in order to get a player’s card and he had not gotten one yet.  Then he mentioned that they had returned his license and promised the card was on its way.  The floor was called and he said that what the player said was virtually impossible.  There was no way they would return the license without bringing him a player’s card.  If he has his license, he must have the card.

He insisted that was not the case, and took out his wallet.  After confirming that he had his license, he said, “The only player’s card I have is this one here, that I got at the MGM last night.”  It was the familiar MGM “M Life” card that’s good at all MGM Resort properties (MGM, Aria, Bellagio, Monte Carlo, etc).  The floor person explained that that was the right card for the Aria too.  Not sure if he got a second card or what, but at least that issue was straightened out.

But when the guy said he had playing at the MGM the night before, I knew this had to be the guy who was on my left all last night—the guy who felted me with his turned boat.  You know, the guy I named “Zelig.” 

So I said to him, “Excuse me, but were we playing together last night at MGM?”  “Oh yeah, that was me.”  “I thought it might be you, but wasn’t sure until you told the guy you were there last night.”  “Oh yeah, I recognized you right away.”

Well that’s weird.  If he recognized me right away, why didn’t he say hi? This guy was obviously from out-of-town, and usually, visitors are pretty friendly at the poker table. 

But I didn’t ask him that.  Maybe he was a little uncomfortable because he had won such a big pot off of me—and because of the way he had won it.

Anyway, we rehashed that hand—and he gave me the typical poker player’s insincere apology—and then I expressed sympathy for that huge $900 pot he lost.  He again reiterated, as he had the night before, “I’m never folding there.”  Is that poker player speak for, “I screwed up, but I’m not going to admit it”?

Now it’s not that unusual for me to run into folks I’ve played with at more than one room in Vegas.  But less so with a tourist.  And back-to-back nights in two different rooms?  And sitting next to him both nights?  That would be like flopping trips and losing to a three-outer twice within a few orbits.  Oh wait.

As it turns out, my session was cut short because my friends LM and Woody had arrived in town earlier that day and were staying at the Aria.  They came by to say hello and we decided to sit and talk somewhere.  So I cashed out a whole $10 ahead. 

We decided to that the best place for us to chat was in their room, which they were raving about.  I’d never seen a hotel room at the Aria and until they had checked in earlier that day, neither had they.

LM & Woody like to go mid-week and can usually get pretty good deals at places like the Venetian and Bellagio. But if those places are too expensive, they’re fine staying at The Orleans too.

For this trip, they got a great offer from the Aria and they asked me what I thought about the Aria.  Not only had they never stayed there, they’d never set foot inside the Aria.  I told them I’d never been inside the rooms but based on what the casino looks like, and the clientele they’re obviously going for (and the price of the food), I was sure that it would be really nice—at least comparable to Bellagio and Venetian.

They were a little hesitant, but I convinced them that it would meet their needs.  After making the reservation, they got an offer to upgrade to a corner suite for just a few bucks more, and they did the upgrade.

They were sold on the place the minute they saw their room, and when I saw it, I could see why.  Wow.  I mean, just wow.  Now I had once been in a room at the Venetian that was reserved for their whales (I was visiting a whale, not staying there myself).  It was really nice but it looked like a room at Circus Circus compared to this room at the Aria.

Seriously….wow  First off, the Aria is really, really big.  I had no idea just how big it was until we walked from the elevator to their corner suite.  I think it took us almost as long as it does to drive to L.A. from Vegas.  I know that when I left the room to head back to the elevator, I wanted to call a cab rather than do that walk.

The suite was freaking gorgeous.  It was huge and both exterior walls were replaced with floor to ceiling windows offering a panoramic view of Vegas.  You could see the Strip and the Rio from their room. Pretty much all of Vegas, really. Stunning view.

There was a living room and a huge bedroom.  And two bathrooms.  At least one of them had a hot tub and at least one of them had a bidet.  I believe they both had heated toilet seats.  OK, that’s not a big deal in June but it might be nice in December.  There was a huge walk-in shower.  The drapers were electriconically-controlled.  TV’s everywhere, including the bathroom. You could control the A/C, the drapes and the lights from the TV. There was a refrigerator with an ice-maker. Robes and slippers were provided.  And yes, they had turn down service with chocolates.  All the furnishings were top-notch.  It was definitely the most incredible hotel room I’ve ever been in.  I said to my friends, “Why would you ever want to leave this place?”  They agreed.  If not for the fact that they had to return home for their dogs, I think they’d still be there.

The only issue was the A/C. It wasn’t working quite well enough, and they complained a few times. Well I guess one of the A/C units wasn’t up to snuff, there were a total of three units in the room.  The A/C was improved, but it never was totally satisfactory. As a result, they got a huge discount off the bill, which made the room cost an incredible deal.

I didn’t think to take any pictures of their room or of their view.  Wish I had.  So instead, here’s some Aria waitresses.  They’re pretty impressive too.


  1. Congrats on the shout-out from PokerVIP -- very deserving.

  2. In before Lightning- Didn't realize all the other poker blogs were that weak. lol.
    On the other hand, Congrats, really

    Big L

  3. Congratulations on your selection! Were your friends ataying in Aria Sky Suite? It has separate elevators from regular rooms. Fabulous accommodations.

    1. As I told you yesterday at Aria, they weren't in a Sky Suite. They were told the accommodations were very similar with the main difference being that the Sky Suite have private elevators.

  4. Congrats, Rob. You have put a lot of time and effort into the blog. Most likely, however, the PokerVIP people fell asleep reading your lengthy posts and just thought the blog was good .. he he.

    1. Sorry, what did you say? Your comment was so boring I fell asleep after six words.