My, the months roll by so fast. Does anyone know if the Time Vault challenge is still going? Hasn't been an update in a while now. 

I have not been playing much poker, maybe once or twice a week; just don't seem to get into it. I played my Red vs Blue games for a bit of a profit, but haven't heard from two of the four people still so it's a bit of a waiting game

Two weeks ago I went up to Auckland for a week and stayed at SkyCity Hotel. I loved it! SkyCity I only one of two casinos in the country (I think?). It was like a mini Vegas, except without the all-pervasive smell of cigarette smoke (because smoking inside is illegal here). In fact, it smelled quite nice everywhere, even in the hotel corridors. I am told it was the carpet cleaner. I don't have a carpet, so I didn't realise haha.

I tried some of the roulette games (they're now kind of computerised and you don't need to put chips manually on the board, but the ball still spins for real). I also played a few slots. These were largely disappointing, honestly I don't know how people get addicted to them, they're so repetitive and boring and hardly pay. At least in Vegas, they had these really involved ones where you go into a bonus feature for half an hour and come back out with $90. Here, the biggest bonus feature was 10 free spins. Even though the games all had different styles and values, they were all the same 'spin five things and pay for x numbr of lines'; not enough variaiton for my liking.

I checked out cash poker. It was very expensive, $100 to sit down, and $4 BB, $2 SB. At first I was doing well, but turns out people were playing insanely. "All in blind", one guy kept shouting. "I like to get high on meth", a guy next to me was saying, holding over a thousand dollars in chips in front of him. Many seemed drunk and all of them knew each other and all the dealers by name. When I realised they were playing crazy, I loosened up. But of course got caught out when someone made a decent hand. Should have walked away when I was up to $175 (after one hand, mind you!).

On another day I tried a tournament. They have one tournament a day and usually the buy in is high, and also I was busy at 12:30 and 5pm when they started. But on Monday night they had a low stakes $20 buy in at 7.15 pm so I tried that. 

Surprising how fast the blinds seem to go when a person deals rather than the computer. Even though the levels were 15 min, we played maybe one or two hands between them. I got unlucky with AK when a guy made a pair with his 67 or some such. I busted out during the rebuy time, so rebought, and then added on. 

One guy on our table was getting so lucky, the table was leaning from all the chips he had in front of him. He raises with Q4 and makes full house. Ridiculous.

In the end I had to push all in with 77 because I was getting blinded out and made a set, thinking, "phew I made it". A guy with 88 shows his cards, and ... he drew an 8 on the river. Unlucky. It was fun though, chatting to people, having a drink. It was more of a social thing and felt very not serious at all. Once again, everyone there knew the dealers by name. Must be regulars.

All in all I really enjoyed being there, I felt like I didn't need to leave the hotel/casino/conference centre combo at all and, in fact, I could go between them without going outside. I did venture outside a couple of times though. I tried Carl Jr bourbon burger and visited the Bird Barn (a pet shop with a bird focus). 

Would be fun to go back again!

Here's a picture I took of the SkyTower reflecting in a nearby building.