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2008 Vegas Convention Trip Report & Pics

Discussion in 'Poker Stories and Bad Beats' started by NanaBanana, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. NanaBanana

    NanaBanana Good Will Ambassador/Mod
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    Tenpercenter (Greg) and I attended the CC&GTCC Convention this year in Vegas. Following is the Trip Report for the convention, as promised.

    Warning: Very long report, covering six days....


    Day 1, June 17 - Tuesday

    Spent the night at Greg & Vera's (closer to the airport). Up at 6:00 AM and off to the airport by 6:30 for our 8:15 flight. Had a 3 hour layover in Denver, so spent part of that time at the Cantina Grill, having an early lunch. Very good Taco Salad. Did a little shopping at a luggage store to kill time.

    Arrived in Vegas at 1:00 PM, and went straight to the Car Rental to pick up car, and then to the Riviera for a CC&GTCC Board Meeting. We were a little late, but met the board members and introduced ourselves. Greg handed out a couple of his new Chiptalk ASM's to everyone and had a discussion with them about how Chiptalk and the CC&GTCC Club could help each other.

    Shortly after the meeting, we were going to stop by the Riviera Buffet and get something to eat, but someone highly recommended the Peppermill next door, so off we went. The Philly Cheesesteak & Hot Pastrami sandwiches were quite tasty. Now it's time that we check in to the hotel. Since we were using mileage for our hotel (also for the airfare), we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn. No Casino here - but a nice, quiet, lovely place. Across the highway from Mandalay Bay. Had a 2 bedroom suite, with a full kitchen, dining area, living room, 2 baths, 2 dressing areas, free breakfast every morning. I thought it was great, and would recommend it to anyone who wanted a larger, quiter place to stay in Vegas (which is not the norm), but Greg wasn't as happy, because there was no casino.

    By now, it's early evening, and we head over to the Palms for a Meetup with the club members at Garduno's (Mexican Restaurant). We receive some nice gifts and a couple of chips upon arriving.Greg Susong (owner of www.theChipBoard.com) was handing out his newly made ASM 44mm personal chips, and Greg (Ten) traded some of the ChipTalk chips and chatted with Greg S. Here, we also finally meet Jim (Gaming Ore) Follis and his family and son Casey. Along with a lot of other members. Jim is showing off his chunk of concrete with Bud Jones chips embedded in it, dug up from Pop's Oasis, a former casino near Nevada Landing. See Info Here. They were buried under the obsolete casino that had been torn down. Lots of members had been going out to the site and digging. Interesting pieces of history - not to mention some neat collectibles. Had a few drinks and some social time. Upon leaving, we played a few slots in the Palms casino and then back to the hotel. It's been a long day.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Gifts for attending & Greg & Jim (with Jim's Collectible), and gift oversize chip

    Day 2, June 18 - Wednesday

    Woke up at 7:30, went down for breakfast, and then drove out to Red Rock Casino & Resort. Picked up a rack of chips at the cashier. Greg took them out to the car, then we went to look for the Poker Room, and sat down to play some $1-2 NL Holdem. After about two hands, Greg realized that we were at a Limit table. Called the Pit Boss over (he apologized and showed us to the NL table). He had advised us not to buy in for more than $60-80, because the regulars would think we were "fresh meat". So, we bought in for $60, I think, and sat down to play. After moving, we bought in for $100-200 more since it was NL. Played for a few hours and was hanging in there. All the other players at the table seemed to be regulars who played together everyday. The waitresses knew them all by name and they all knew each other quite well. By the time we had been there awhile, we knew all their names, as well. It was a comfortable table, but after I was up a few dollars, I needed a break, so I cashed in and went to Starbucks. Greg continued to play.

    I spent a bit of time at Starbucks and started texting Greg that we needed to leave. Have to get back to the Riviera before 4:00 and get registered for all the events and the banquet. He texts back that he's up and will cash in shortly. Another 30 minutes goes by, and I text again. Greg, we need to go. Soon, he comes walking over (on a smoke break) but, hasn't cashed in yet. It's around 3:00, and we need to get all the way back to the Riviera I tell him, so he finally cashes in and we head back. (he cashed in up about $200)

    Got registered, and then rushed back to the hotel to get dressed for the banquet and back to the Riviera by 5:30 PM. Time is short.....but we make it. Had a hard time finding the elevator for The Top of the Riv, which is where the banquet was being held. A lovely room, with all around views of Vegas nightlife. We were seated at Jim Follis' table and met even more members. Nice banquet, lots of awards handed out, speeches, photos. Greg even won an award (second year in a row) for being one of the Top Ten Recruiters for CC&GTCC. Three huge cakes, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Club. A beautiful Las Vegas painting by Carlos Cartagena was being auctioned, and George Maloof (owner of the Palms, as I'm sure most of you know) was the top bidder for $3,500. He then, very graciously, donated it back to the Club - to be displayed in the Museum of Gaming History. Very nice gesture by Mr. Maloof. A colorful speech by guest speaker Ron Lurie, former Mayor of Las Vegas. He related some interesting facts and stories about his many years in Vegas - as both Mayor and later with Arizona Charlie's. More photos, and finally the banquet comes to an end. Prints of the painting, and commemorative chips are being sold to those who want them. I got one of the chips, but foolishly neglected to get it signed by the artist. When the banquet ended several ChipTalkers came up to us and introduced themselves.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    George Maloof in last pic, making acceptance speech for his award
    [​IMG]Back of the Commemorative chip that I bought, Vegas Showgirl on front[​IMG][​IMG]Traders (front & back).....this was fun

    Day 3, June 19 - Thursday

    Spent the day at the Convention Hall at the Riviera, browsing and picking thru thousands of chips and gaming memorabilia. I bought several chips from the first booth I stopped at - Spinneti's - and talked to the owner and his wife for a bit. Then on to many, many others - buying chips along the way. Mostly from the $1-2 chip bins. Hey, I haven't quite graduated yet to a 'high end' collector, but after this was all over - I'm definitely on my way! Greg bought 2 Grab Bags for $30 each, and we go thru all the goodies when we get back to the hotel. I bought a Mother-of Pearl European chip (my first) simply because I liked it. It has the initials "AC" on it and I just liked it. The color is beautiful. Will learn more of the history later (the seller told me but I've forgotten already). Yikes! So much information learned in one day - went in one ear and out the next. Went back the next day to this same seller, and he gave me a free book - Antique Gambling Chips by Dale Seymour. Nice people, I enjoyed talking with Stan & Betty Wilker.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Lots of goodies in the grab bag
    [​IMG]Some freebies[​IMG][​IMG]Front & Back of MOT chip[​IMG]more freebies

    Took a break around 1:00 and went to the casino and wound up entering a tournament that was beginning at 1:30. Figured we would get in a little pre-tournament practice for tonight. Two tables, $50 buyin. 2 hour tourney. I busted out in about three or four hands. Holding a J, J68 on the flop, I raise, another guy re-raises, I go all-in, the guy calls. He's holding 55, 5 comes on the turn - A on the river. Oh well.....dumb play on my part. Didn't get much practice in here. Tell Greg that I'm going to Kady's Coffee Shop, and that's where I'll be. I'm not there 20 minutes, till here comes Greg strollin' in. Hope this is not an indication of how tonight's Tournament at Binion's is going to go! Just as Greg orders, he gets a call from Jim Follis, and he and Casey join us at the coffee shop. We sit and talk for awhile, and then back to the convention hall. After a bit, we head back to the hotel for a short rest, and to get ready for the Tournament.

    The 10th Annual CC&GTCC Poker Tournament at Binions begins at 7:00 PM. 153 Players, 16-17 Tables. Though I am quite nervous, I actually last longer than I thought I would. We all get a short stack of oversize, commemorative chips as a gift. Nice chips to take home. Then the tourney begins. I was doing okay, but eventually got severely short-stacked. About that time, I was moved to another table (Greg's table), and was first to act after the BB, so just went all in. Only had about 400 in chips at that time, not enough to even cover the blinds. Think I had a J3, but had no choice.

    I was out in 65th place. Okay, that was fun. I go up to the rail where everyone else was watching, as they got knocked out. Greg & Jim are still in, I sit with Casey and watch. Greg is out in 21st place, and Jim is still in when it's down to two tables. Jim is knocked out in 11th place. He & Casey eventually leave, along with everyone else who is watching, but Greg & I stay 'till the very end. Time to go - excitement is over! By this time, it's after midnight and we're hungry. Stop at the long awaited In-and-Out Burger. We can't wait to try it - have heard so much about it!! It is packed with people, inside, outside, drive-thru - so we take our order back to the hotel. Ummm.....big disappointment! Not all it's hyped up to be. To me, it was just a burger - not nearly as good as some ordinary burgers I've had. Just my opinion though....
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Greg's table, my table, final three tables (Greg & Jim at middle table, Greg in black shirt, back to camera, Jim at left end, in turquoise shirt, and beautiful commemorative chips given

    Day 4, June 20 - Friday

    Early morning, Greg wanted to check out a couple of stores in Vegas - so first we go to Gamblers General Store near downtown. Wow, largest gambling store that I've been in (of course, haven't been in any) and it had the most gambling books that I've ever seen in any one place! Walls & walls of them! And all we bought were some $5 flip cases. After that, went over to Spinneti's - a short way across the parking lot. Walked in the door, and Greg was so excited! There just inside the door was a large display case - full of all denoms of the Pharoahs! We were going to take a picture, but I had left the camera in the car. Sales clerk didn't know what all the excitement was about - till Greg explained to him that he was the one who helped design the Pharaohs. He still looked a little lost. Oh well, it was a proud moment. Didn't buy anything here. (but spent a bit at Spinetti's booth at the convention)

    On to the convention, and more looking and buying. I bought my first "illegal" this afternoon - a Crest & Seal design (later told to me by Jim Follis). It had the initials 'PAC' on it - and I had to have it. Got it for $35. Of course, my initals are PAC, so there the attraction. Great reason to buy a collectible poker chip, huh? I really liked it though!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] My PAC "illegal", some chips that I bought, and a bag to put it all in
    [​IMG]Greg (Ten) & Greg Susong

    At 3:00 PM, went to an Educational Seminar , given by Gene Trimble. The seminar just happened to be on "Illegals Collections." Very informative. We all got to pick free from a variety of "illegals", along with stories and a question and answer session on collecting them.
    [​IMG]My 2nd "illegal"

    At 4:00 PM, we went to a Chiptalk Meeting, where there were only 5 people attending - including Jim's son, Casey. Me, Greg, Jim, Casey and Chiptalk's Dan Ferris (dsferris). We had met Dan a couple of days earlier. Very nice to meet Dan!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Hadn't eaten since breakfast, so went to Kady's Coffee Shop to grab a quick bite. Next up - back to the convention hall and to a Chip Auction. I enjoyed this. Greg wound up bidding and winning either 1 or 2 auctions, and I bid on several, but only won 2. It was fun.

    [​IMG]Don't have pics of the ones that Greg bought, mine are the two on the top

    After the auction - back to the hotel. It's been a long, hot, busy, active four days, and I was ready for a evening of REST! Sent Greg over to MGM (without me), to meet up with friends who had just arrived in Vegas from Dallas. After all - they deserved some "guy" time! And I knew that it would be a late, late night. Early to bed for me, for some needed sleep and revitalization!

    Day 5, June 21 - Saturday

    Got a late start today. Greg got in at 5:00 AM and slept in. I could not wake him (just like when he was a teenager). Finally, at 11:00 AM, I was able to get him up. He and Daniel (danGa88 at CT) had played poker all night. Headed over to MGM to meet the guys - Daniel, Richard, Kevin and Richard 2. Daniel, Greg and I went to Studio Grill for lunch, and then left to go to Rio, and look in on the WSOP happenings. The other guys stayed at MGM to gamble. Made one last stop in at the convention to pay for auctions and on to the Rio. On the way, as we were passing Caesar's Palace, we saw them filming "The View" out front. The ladies were just sitting down. Circled the block and came back around (took awhile in heavy traffic) and they were already tearing down the set. Guess we just saw the final moments.

    On to the Rio. We watched for a little while. Daniel said that he saw several pros, but Greg & I only saw Mike Matasou (at green table #13) and Barry Greenstein (at blue table #29). Greg and Daniel considered buying in on a satellite that was being offered there....for a seat in the WSOP, but finally decided not to....because of time restraints. Okaay.....that was exciting.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Couldn't get a good pic of Matasou or Greenstein (no flash)
    [​IMG]Greg & Daniel

    Back to the MGM to drop Daniel off and then to our hotel to get ready for dinner. Met the guys at Caesar's Palace and had a great dinner at Mesa Grill. (no Bobby Flay this week-end, probably still in New York, the waitress said). The waitress told Daniel that he looked exactly like Brad Pitt. So I called Daniel "Brad" for the rest of the evening. After spending 2 1/2 hours at dinner, the guys all went back to MGM to play some more poker, and I went back to our hotel. Time to pack up and get ready for an early morning flight.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Richard & Kevin

    Day 6, June 22 - Sunday

    Greg got in around 4:15 AM this time. I had left a wake up call for 6:00 AM, so it was a little easier to get him up this time - since he knew that we had to get to the airport. Said he actually was ahead around $300 from playing last night. Ate a quick breakfast, returned the rental car and made it to the airport on time for our 9:20 departure. Had sooo many chips that one bag was 10 lbs. overweight, so we had to step aside and shift some weight around. Thank goodness for the CC&GTCC bag that Greg had bought - we were able to put 10 lbs worth of stuff in it and carry it on.

    After a very, very bumpy flight, we arrived in Denver and had a 3 1/2 hour layover. So, spent some time hanging out at Wofgang Puck and eating pizza. (looked good, but was very dry and tasteless) Finally, we were able to board for the final flight to Dallas. We both slept all the way. Good to be home, but what an awesome time we had in Vegas this trip! Looking forward to the next CC&GTCC Convention in 2009. May even make it back to Vegas in January, for the Super Collectibles Show!
     
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  2. Irish Se7en

    Irish Se7en Insane Irish
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    Thanks for the trip report with pictures Nana. :) I always enjoy putting names to faces. Glad you had a good time even though you had to bring your kid along. :wink:
     
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  3. deputyfl

    deputyfl Creativity Alliance

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    Great report AND nice chips and pictures!! I hope to meet yall at next years convention that im planning on going to!!!!
     
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  4. m_farrar84

    m_farrar84 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for a great thread
     
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  5. Gaming Ore

    Gaming Ore Super Moderator
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    Nana...

    Great report! It was wonderful to finally meet both you and Ten. You have some really nice finds there and MOP and Crest & Seals moves a collector into a whole different arena.

    Not sure why you took the time sleep, as it really cuts into the fun! :)

    I'm glad you had such a good time.

    Jim (Gaming Ore) Follis

    [​IMG]

    ChipTalk 1000 is orange with yellow tiny inserts. The non-black inserts of the 5000 are the same color of yellow.
    Inserts of black ChipBoard is more of a rose color.
    (I hate my scanner!)
     
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  6. imperial10

    imperial10 Creativity Alliance

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    Wow....awesome report Nana. (I waited all week for it) Very Detailed!!!

    Great find on some chips too. I still need to get my hand on that Isle of Capri chip, the color combo are sweet.

    I definitely will try my best to make it next year so that the chiptalk meeting will go from 5 to 6:)

    I'm sorry that the In N out burger was a disappointment, Usually after a hard night of drinking I usually go for some In N out. Next time you should try Jack in the Box(if you haven't already)
     
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  7. NanaBanana

    NanaBanana Good Will Ambassador/Mod
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    Thank you, imperial10! Hope that it wasn't overly detailed(and boring).

    Great! It would be super to have more of a Chiptalk turnout there. Makes me wonder just how many CT members are actually CC&GTCC club members also.
    Jim (Gamin Ore) do you know?

    Oh, I've definitely eaten at Jack in the Box! Been going there since the 60's - when we first moved to Dallas. Can't believe JITB has been around that long! Had never seen JITB in Vegas before....is it new there? We were really surprised at the very limited menu at In-and-Out Burger. Sure makes it easier to order. I'll probably give it a try again if ever given the opportunity. :) There are none in this area (at least not that I know about).
     
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  8. imperial10

    imperial10 Creativity Alliance

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    The report Definitely was NOT BORING. I throughly enjoyed reading it. I felt like I relived the journey as Nana. I've been to Vegas many times so I can see clearly the atmosphere that you described. Like I said it was an awesome read.

    You probably won't try In N out again. But if you do, there are many ways of extending the menu. People who love In N out like I do, play around with the menu. Like animal style fries. Basically it's fries with cheese and dressing on it. Or you can order Multiple patties on your burger.

    This is an extreme case( but you get my point)
    [​IMG]


    Anyway to get back on topic(sorry)

    The story was great. Thanks for it and thank you so much for posting pictures.
     
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  9. NanaBanana

    NanaBanana Good Will Ambassador/Mod
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    Wow! Now that's a burger!!!:wink:

    Thanks a bunch, imperial10......you're a gem!
     
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  10. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    Great report, Nana. Definitely not boring or too long, and I enjoyed the pictures. Now I'm really sorry that I had to miss the convention. Darned job.
     
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  11. AlbinoDragon

    AlbinoDragon Well-Known Member
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    Nana,

    Thanks for the great report. It gives all of us who didn't go a taste of what we missed. The only reason I dislike my job is that I don't get much of a opportunity to leave town, except for the month of August.

    Overall, I think you did some really great collecting while there. The MOP and the "personal" chip are probably the winners! :wink:

    P.S. and FYI, I can understand why you didn't care for In-N-Out. It really is one of those things you either really like or don't at all. There seems to be little in-between. That said... the one mistake was getting it to go and having it (even a little bit) later. So much better right away, especially the fries.

    Thanks again for the great trip report!!
     
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  12. dsferris

    dsferris Creativity Alliance

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    Nana, that report was awesome!!!! It was great meeting you and Greg, i look forward to meeting you again.
     
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