I ventured back to Las Vegas last week for the first time since I moved to Los Angeles.I can't really explain why it took me so long, except that I've gotten very tired of travelling, and I didn't have any particular occasion to go. Last week, though, Joe was home, meaning I'd have a nice house to stay in instead of paying for a hotel or sleeping on someone's couch. Also, this meant I'd have someone to play with most of the time.
Being back in Las Vegas made me realize that there is still such a thing as a mediocre player willing to play above the smallest limits at a casino. Such a person has become very rare in Los Angeles. Also, I was not just imagining that the LA casino's have a much more dour atmosphere. Frankly, I was shocked to realize how much fun it was to play poker again. I think the main difference is the fact that players in Las Vegas are mostly there on vacation. They're excited to be there, and the excitement permeates the room in the same way that despair seems to preside over places like the Commerce and Hollywood Park. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but the contrast was really quite remarkable. Until last week, I had convinced myself that I had judged the LA casinos too harshly when I first moved out here, and that they are actually almost as good as the ones in Las Vegas. They aren't.
One positive development is that I was able to profitably play in the 5-10 and even briefly 10-20 NL games in Las Vegas. Having become accustomed to these stakes I think I will be more comfortable playing in games bigger than the $400 buyin 5-10 NL at Hollywood Park.