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I went to Vegas for a Microsoft convention and all I won was this lousy head cold
Posted Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 by tangfoot

Santa Claus and I trekked out to The Vegas for a week of cavorting, conventions, and ca-gambling.

I realized very early in the week that I'm a fucking cheapskate, and can't afford to gamble anyhwere on the Strip.
$100 buy in for NL Hold Em.  That's rough for me, because I will probably not win.
$10 minimum for blackjack and most other table games.  I prefer $5, thankyou.
I lost $30 betting on hockey games.  Parlay bets are like crack to me, I just can't resist.  I was 1-of-2 for both bets.  Fucking Nordiques Avalanche and Canucks.  I blame Canada.

Obligatory poker story:  After deciding that I was too cheap to play, I fired up the laptop and entered a $.50/$1.00 NL table with $25.  It seemed about average for the table.  I got SHIT for cards for 3 circuits.  I didn't put anything into the pot except for my blinds.  That left me with about $20.  Finally, I get dealt QQ in the big blind.  Person two spots to my left raises to $3.  He gets 2 callers, and I limp in to finish the betting.  Flop comes 8-3-8, rainbow.  I like this, and figure being first to bet I can scare off anyone who doesn't have an 8.   I bet out $5 and immediately get raised all in by the person who initially raised preflop.  If anyone else at the table had made that all-in raise, I fold knowing that they've got Trip 8s and I'm beat.  From this guy, I see him betting out an overpair to the board, or trying to get too fancy with AK or AQ.  I've already seen him bust out once and reload with another $20.  I figure, what the hell, it's not that much money in the grand scheme of things, and I get to see how good my table reading skills are.  I call and the villain turns over a pair of Nines. EXCITED!  I completely read him right and I've got him smoked with my pair of Queens.  Turn comes - Nine of Spades.  River gives me nothing and now I'm really pissed off.  There's nothing worse than playing a situation perfectly and getting shit on anyway.  I should have reloaded for another $20 and kept playing because I had a pretty good read on several people at the table, but I was completely on tilt from the bad beat.  I slammed the rest of my beer, turned off the computer and steamed about it for about 30 minutes before falling asleep.  Good thing I didn't play for the $100 buy-in.

The purported reason for going to The Vegas was to attend the Microsoft Management Summit 2010 (:nerd:).  5 days of 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM classes, instructor-led labs, and hands-on demos of the latest and greatest tools that Bill Gates has prepared for managing your company's computers.  Fully 10% of the attendees were supporting 100,000 or more computers in their organization.  My company is about 2,500.  Needless to say, large swaths of the classes were designed for situations that I never have to deal with, thank jebus.  One organization sent 40 people to this conference.  40 people in their IT department that work directly with these products.  40 is almost double the entire IT department at my company. It was a little overwhelming.

Now I could rattle on and on about how much great stuff I learned, and tell you the exciting tips I learned, but instead I'll talk about the beer.  Or lack thereof.  The Vegas hasn't exactly embraced the craft beer revolution, yet.  I think they're inching towards it, but it's not quite there.  There was lots of Sam Adams, and you could even drink them for "free" whilst gambling.  Other than that, it was difficult to find even Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, although I did find a liquor store that sold them for $2.50/bottle (score!).

I never made it down to Mandalay Bay's Burger Bar, although I've heard good things about their beer menu.  However, I stayed at The Mirage, which has its own version (kinda).  BLT Burger at The Mirage had a really nice menu of burger choices, and about 12-15 taps.  The most exciting of which was Stone IPA.  Certainly not bad, but not stellar, either.