It was a good day with good friends at the 8th Golden Nugget $25,000 Gauranteed Prize pool poker tournament Saturday. And it got even better when I finished 21st overall, doubling my buy-in for the event.
Overall, the tournament generated a prize pool of more than $28,000 and paid 27 spots.
A gaggle of Henderson- and Boulder City-area poker players headed to downtown Las Vegas to play in the event. The Henderson mob included JP Delay, Jerry Flannery, Rocky Graham, Brad Miller, Mike Ross, Ed Dimpel, Aaron Wrightsman, John Kaposta, Grady Prestwood and others.
I played steady throughout the tournament. Starting with 12,000 chips I improved to 16,000 at the first break and 42,000 by break two.
At the dinner break I was at 43,500 chips with 40 players left. A double up with J-J vs K-Qo earned my enough chips to make a run at the money bubble. With 28 players left I folded a pair of sixes from the big blind facing two calls and an all-in raise.
After the money bubble burst I struggled to find a hand in which to push all-in. Desperately needing a double up to make it down to two tables (and get a needed seat change), I woke up with Ah-10h facing an all-in from a stack slightly bigger than mine and a call. I decided to make the call and hope for the best. I was up against As-Ks and A-8o. I flopped two hearts but bricked out the rest of the way to finish 21st.
It was a great capper to a successful week of poker.
The Golden Nugget was going to need approximately 250 players to meet its goal of a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool Saturday afternoon in downtown Las Vegas. That wasn’t a problem, as 449 players showed up to boost the prize pool to almost $45,000!
Club Fortune was well-represented as the tournament, as at least 18 Club Fortune poker room patrons made the trip downtown. The list included: Chris Nedrud, Ryan Gordon, Rusty Schaeffer, Shari Flanzer, David Stanley, Rocky Graham, Budd Moyer, Jerry Flannery, Dave Antunes, Jose Reyes, JP Delay, Lisa Peppe, Paul Koslucher, Jose Gonzales, Jon Shiohira and Al Felski and this writer.
In addition, poker pros and aficionados such as Chip Jett, Karina Jett, Susie Isaacs, The Duke of Fremont, Debbie Burkhead (Poker Player Newspaper), Paul ‘Eskimo’ Clark and Tom McEvoy were in attendance.
The tournament began at Noon, and Club Fortune represented well in the event.
Poker dealer Jerry Flannery busted out just before the money bubble of 45, losing a flip for most of his stack A-K vs 8-8.
After making the money, Jose Gonzales finished in 44th place, taking home $218. He was followed one spot later by JP Delay, who finished 43rd. It was JP’s second cash of the week, as he took second in the Aria Tourney earlier in the week.
Jose Reyes moved up two pay levels before busting out in 23rd and grabbing $305 in the process.
Shari Flanzer finished in the top 20, while Dave Antunes had the best finish of any Club Fortune Casino customer. He ended in 11th place.
Black Friday is just a shopping day to a lot of people. A day to stand in long lines, get in a fight with a soccer mom over a $12 toy and spend way to much money on too many people.
But Black Friday for us in the poker world is the day the Federal Government shut down online poker.
Due to the fact that online poker is still illegal in America (that George Bush presidency just keeps looking better and better), poker players are always scouring the live poker landscape for a the kind of good value/large prize pool tournaments we used to be able to play daily on the Internet.
Today is one of those days. The Golden Nugget is throwing open The Grand for a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool poker tournament at Noon. The cost is $125 for 10,000 chips, and $10 more for an additional 2,000 chips. Assuming the Nugget is whacking $25 off the top of the entry fee, they will need around 250 players to meet the guarantee.
I am predicting closer to 400.
I know of around 12 people just from my group of players around Henderson who are heading downtown to partake.
If you have followed by Facebook or Twitter for any length of time you probably know I am always prattling on about the Neon Museum. It is simply one of the coolest places in Las Vegas. Every Friday at Noon I serve as a volunteer tour guide at the museum. And, every Friday I love it!
The Neon Museum Boneyard Park stores more than 170 signs from Vegas days gone by. The hour-long walking tour takes people from old downtown Las Vegas, thru U.S. Highway 91 — now called the Las Vegas Strip — and into the newer properties of Las Vegas.
The tour is nothing but “Wow!” You get to see up close and personal the large neon signs that reshaped Las Vegas: the Golden Nugget, the Moulin Rouge, the La Concha, Stardust, Showboat, Desert Inn and more.
Every tour comes with a history lesson — from the mob ties to the properties on the Strip to Howard Hughes purchase of the Desert Inn to the intricate neon tube bending of the Yucca Motel to the great changes people like Binny Binion made in how Las Vegas does business.
I don’t want to give away too much of the tour in his blog, because you really need to go on the tour to truly appreciate it.
I will show you a couple of my favorite signs.
The Green Shack restaurant is the oldest sign in Boneyard Park. This sign dates back to the 1930s. A woman named Mattie Jones came to Las Vegas from Colorado and opened a restaurant called “Colorado” on Christmas Eve 1929. When the restaurant expanded in 1932 it was renamed “The Green Shack.”
This restaurant was located downtown where Boulder Highway meets Fremont Street and was famous for its fried chicken.
Can you imagine how many Hoover Dam workers came downtown in the early 1930s, got a great meal at The Green Shack, then stayed for all the fun an frivolity of Vegas’ famous Block 16 of gambling and prostitution?
The Green Shack was on the National Registry of Historic Places from 1994 to 1999, when it was finally closed and demolished.
My other favorite sign is that of the Moulin Rouge, a truly giant sign inside the park.
The Moulin Rouge was only open from May-November 1955, but it has a huge historical significance on the history of Las Vegas.
When it opened it was the first integrated hotel in the United States. Performers like Pearl Bailey, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Armstrong all performed there.
Unfortunately the combination of skimming and threats from the white casino owners led to a quick demise of the Moulin Rouge. However, five years after it closed, the Moulin Rouge hosted a meeting between the governor of Nevada, local city leaders and leaders of the NAACP. The meeting was to head off a planned march by the city’s African American residents down Las Vegas Boulevard. From the meeting, all Las Vegas hotels and casinos became integrated.
Here is how the sign would have looked on the Moulin Rouge building when the building still existed.
The Moulin Rouge Corporation still owns the sign in Boneyard Park. However, most of the buildings at 900 Bonanza Road have been destroyed during a series of fires, including at least one arson.
The Neon Museum is a great secret to tourists and local alike. If you want to go on a tour, please plan ahead. Tours are usually sold out 2-3 weeks in advance.
Of all the gambles you will take when you come to Las Vegas, the $15 spent on a tour of Boneyard Park is a sure thing!