Annual Trip to AC 2k6 version

Day 1 – Father’s Day

We get started early, early Sunday morning, 3am infact. We hit the dunkin’ donuts and are on Rt. 4 by 4am. The drive down is fairly uneventful. I think I missed one exit, but the GPS rerouted us and we only lost 5 minutes or so. The portable DVD is the greatest thing ever invented for kids on long trips. I prepped many DVDs for the trip. One of 10 hours of Blue’s Clues, 10 hours of Dora the Explorer, 10 hours of Miffy, one with all the Pixar movies on it. What does CJ watch? The Galaxy Express the whole way. For seven hours. Wife and child go to the beach and I make it just in time to register for the 11am Showboat tourney.

Showboat Tourney

I don’t make it past the first break. I was way up and down. I’d chip, chip, chip and build a big stack, then get into a coinflip with a shortstack and lose. This happened seven times in two hours. I got knocked on on the last hand before the break when UTG limped, two others limped. I tried to be like TJ and take the last pot before the break and pushed from the button with KK, UTG called (who had me barely outchipped) with AK. Of course an ace flops and I go to the beach.

We hang out on the beach for a bit. I get everyone lunch, pizza from the boardwalk, and then go inside to check in. There was a pretty long line, but my iPod kept me company. Directly behind me was a older woman with a beehive hairdo at least 16″ high. I swear. I get the keys, drop them off with Sunghee and I head over to the Taj.


I get on the list for the 5/10 and am instructed to get my chips. I get $250 in reds and wander around for a bit. A 1/2 NL table is short and the dealer begs me to play. “No, no. I’m a donk at NL.” I say. But I figure I’ll just play tight and sit and wait for my seat at 5/10 to open. First hand I have AQs and raise it up to $12 and get two callers. Flop comes A38. I over-bet the pot to try to take it down, one fold, BB calls. Turn is another 8. BB checks, I check. River is another A. BB goes all-in for $120 or so. I call and he shows 33. Thanks! BB leaves.

One orbit later I look down at JJ and raise to 15. I just want the blinds please. I get two callers again. Flop comes J84r. I run good. I bet 2/3 the pot and get two callers. Turn is a K. I bet pot and get one caller. River brings a 2 and I bet enough to put the last person all in $25 or so. He thinks for a long time and I finally say “There’s a lot in the pot, you should call.” He asks if I’ll show if he folds and I say “Sorry, no.” he finally calls and I show my set and he mucks, and leaves, as do the other two remaining people at the table. Well I’m up to like $600 now anyways and they call my name for the 5/10. Yay.

I played this game for about 8 hours and it was amazingly good. I have now developed the sense of what “should” be going on during the game and learned how to exploit it. I have also developed the dicipline to play correctly at the right people. I would check it down with calling stations when I had medium hands and would find the other person checking the nuts behind me. And I also pulled off a great bluff when I realized that the tight player at the other end was pulling the “check-raise turn, lead river” play and the river brought a ton of draws in so he couldn’t call my raise. The dealer looked at my hand because he wanted to know what the hell I was doing and let out a “Holy shit!” when he saw it. He, thankfully, added “Everything came in for you on the river didn’t it? Why didn’t you show?”, implying that I hit a royal when I actually just had duces. I killed the game really gooood, and headed back to the room for dinner.

I finally get a hold of my mother and sister and they’ve been stuck on the Expressway for three hours because of some accident. Just as soon as they clear it a white suburban runs a little black honda off the road and they stop for that one too. We agree to meet up in the morning for breakfast.

Sunghee and CJ had been snacking on brownsugar toast, but were still hungry. We were given comps for the buffet but not for the day we were there, and they wanted CJ to pay full price. Um, no thanks. We tried the House of Blues resturant and waited in line to get the beeper. We only waited for about 5 minutes in the HoB store before the beeper went off and we were seated. I had the batter dipped chicken breast with Margaritas and Sunghee had the chicken burger with some martini thing. Dessert brought me white choclate banana bread pudding and Sunghee a brownie with ice cream. Yummy. Sunghee and CJ then goto bed and I head upstairs for some donktastic drunken 1/2NL.

I goto the cage to get chips and give the girl a $100 that I got from the Taj earlier. She looks at it and says “I can’t take this, it’s not real.” I start to freak out. I say that I got it from here earlier and she’s like “Not from me you didn’t.” I’m speechless. Then she laughs and says she’s just fuckin with me. I don’t find it funny since I’m drunk. I only remember one hand where I had Aces, raised pf to 20 or so. Get two callers and a flop of KKJ. I bet 1/2 pot and they stick around. Turn is another J and I give up when BB goes all-in for like $80. I head to bed after a couple of hours when I’m having trouble reading the 4s, I keep thinking they’re aces.

Day 2 – My birthday

We head over to the Trop for breakfast at the little deli in the Quarter and we get IMAX tickets. The movie was pretty cool, with the snails eating the starfish and what-not. My mom and sister are apparently outside the Trop on the beach. We head out to meet them and as soon as we get outside, and are still trying to get used to the sun thing, I hear “Hey guys! Hey CJ!” Wait, those people know us. Ahh, it’s my neice and her boyfriend. They’re apparently waiting here for my sister and mother who went in 2 hours ago to get room keys and haven’t come back out yet. Everyone else is on the beach hanging out. Well I have no sunscreen on so I’ll burst into flames if I’m outside too much so we wait in the shade for a bit, and then go inside for the bathroom. I play a slot machine while I’m waiting and manage to win a large amount of money on my last three credits and cash it out. We finally meet up with my Mom and Sister and make dinner plans. I had wanted to go to the Borg, but the logisics of getting everyone there was too much to handle so we’re eating at the buffet at the Hilton in three hours. We have a room at the Hilton so we head over there to unpack. I have about three hours before dinner to kill so I stop by the Hilton’s new room and see a bunch of 2/4L and 1/2NL games going. The room looks nice, but I have visions of pink chips floating through my head so I head back to the Trop. Apparently the pink chip game broke 20 minutes before I got there so I put my name down to start another one, I also put my name down for 4/8 the next biggest game going. I watch my former intern and my niece’s friend’s boyfriend play he second ever B&M game. He has no patience for limit he says. I see that he has only bought in for $80 and there’s a guy with about $1500 directly to his left going over the top of him everytime he raises. Finally he calls and the big stack actually has KK to my intern’s 66. My intern is good though because he flops a six and doubles up. I wander off and find a 3/6 Omaha8 game in the corner with a few empty chairs. I sit down and then proceed the break that game too taking out three people in a little over an hour. Including winning the high half of a multi-way pot with a pair of 2s. Oops.

I go check on my intern but he appears to have busted out and left. My name is still the only one on the pink game list and I’m about seven down on the 4/8 list so I head back to my room to get ready for dinner.

We are of course late for dinner and find my sister waiting for us outside talking to some older woman about her cats. Apparently my sister just asked her what time it was and the woman talked to her for about 20 minutes straight about her life story. Yee-haw. The dinner was good and was highlighted by CJ’s dad calling to talk to him and, not realizing that he was on speakerphone with my family listening, telling CJ that his mother doesn’t love him. Sunghee of course flipped out and hung up the phone. We got a letter from his attorney when we got home about that too. Fun fun. Anyways. After dinner our servers came out to sing me happy birthday and I started singing along too, to CJ, who had been telling everyone that it was *his* birthday all day. The look of terror on his face, that he might not be five anymore, was priceless. After dinner Sunghee, CJ and I walked down to the miniture golf and played through. Sunghee and I bet ice cream and though she was two behind on the front nine, she fell apart on the back nine and I won by 12 strokes.

On the way back to the hotel CJ’s dad called again while he was in the stoller and everytime CJ’s dad tried talking I’d run CJ into a bunch of seagulls and he’d scream with delight into the phone and he finally hung up himself because the voice on the phone was distracting him from the birds. We didn’t get a letter about that though.

I get dropped off at the Trop and wife and baby go to bed. I find that the pink game had started up again, and broken, again, 20 minutes earlier. Gah! I do get into a 4/8 game and only remember one incident of note. The donater at the table, 5 seat, who has gone to find his wife hourly for more money, says something in a hushed tone to the six seat. I’m in seven and didn’t hear any of it, but the dealer did and says “Hey buddy, this isn’t a home game, keep it clean please.” Apparently refering to the 5s dropping the f-bomb. The 5s responds with “Fuck that Shit!” Dealer comes back with “Floor!” The floor is all like “10 minute penalty” and the 5s breaks out the “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” and throws his cards. And the floor is all like “Security!” The dealer apologizes and I can’t really blame him but I wish the guy was still there.

Day 3

We grab breakfast again at the Quarter and I want to grab lunch at White House Subs, but arrive at the incorrect time and I don’t really have 2 hours to stand in line to order so we take off for home. We run into some rain a few times that is the equivlent of driving through a lake, but it only lasts for about 30 seconds. The last time though was when we were on 87 and people were stopping in the middle of the highway. We somehow don’t die and make it though to the next 100 yards where it has stopped raining. And I can still see stopped cars in my rearview mirror. Crazy people. We end up arriving home at 6:45 after stopping at my mom’s house to pick up my birthday present that she forgot to pack.

Foxwoods New Room

I took the drive to Foxwoods to check out their new World Poker Room and after visiting the L.A. cardrooms it just doesn’t seem that big. Now I confess that I hadn’t seen the old room, in fact I haven’t been to Foxwoods in about ten years. I must say that the players are just as bad as the L.A. ones, maybe more so. Examples:

In a mix of 20/40 and 40/80 games (yes, I was running very well) I had pocket aces six times, flopped a set four of those, and lost everytime to runner-runner. 52o? Straight. 79s? Flush. Pocket duces? Runner-runner quads. Live play is so rigged.

2/5NL I had a player basically tell me his hand whenever I was in a pot with him. He was being super aggressive and picking up dead money everywhere which is fine, but he couldn’t slow down when I was in a pot and I’m basically saying “I have the nuts”.

1. I have AKs in MP. EP raises to 20, I flat call. Aggro player is in the BB and also calls. Flop comes all my suit with no straight possible. Aggro player checks, EP raiser bets half pot, I call, Aggro player raises the pot, EP folds. I check my hand to make sure that I’m indeed holding the nuts and figure I’ll let him hang himself and just call. He says “You have a spade, huh?” I put him on two pair or a set and say “Maybe I have two.” The turn brings a red 9 and Aggro player over bets the pot, I push for about the size of the current pot and he insta-calls and flips up bottom two pair, I don’t flip. The river brings a fourth spade and he flips out and mucks his hand. Remember, I have not shown my hand yet but I have won the pot. I offer to let him see one for a dollar but he says he already knows that I got him on the river.

2. Same player, later on in the night. I’m in EP and limp with 88 a few other players limp as does Aggro player on the button. Flop comes AA8. I lead out with a 2/3 pot bet hoping to raised back by someone with an Ace. A couple of callers including the Aggro player. Turn brings my lovely case 8 and I overbet the pot to look like a steal. Aggro player seems to be my target again as he goes into the tank and finally says “How’s your kicker.” Kicker? What a donkey. So he does have an Ace, good. “I don’t have a kicker.” I say. “You don’t have a kicker? Really?”, “Yeah, I have a pocket pair.” “You really don’t have a kicker? Thanks for letting me know man!” he says and pushes about $1600 into a $200 pot. I call of course and his A5o is no good.

Vegas 2k5

Sunghee joined us for the annual trip to Vegas, along with her mom who was flying in from Korea for her first trip to the US.

Day 0 (12/24/05):
Sunghee and I drive to Albany to hit the Potterybarn and do the park, sleep, fly deal. At about 8pm we realized that we were hungry and that no place was open. We managed to find an Italian place about a mile down the road and I had an excellet Sinatra Chicken.

Day (12/25/05):
This is my first Christmas where I haven’t been at my mother’s house. We hop on our flight at 7am and the pilot had his foot to the floor so we arrived an hour early. We actually had to wait about 20 minutes on the ground for another plane to get out of our gate.

We grab a taxi and head over to The Rio and check in. Amazingly our room is ready. We grab some lunch at the American Grill, Chicken BLT for Sunghee and a Ceaser Wrap for me. I also make a bet with Sunghee that the waterfall in the backroom will change color from blue to orange. This is a safe bet as I watched it happen while she was at the bathroom. Later I play break even 4/8 for a couple of hours before we head back to the airport to pick up Sunghee’s Oh-ma.

She has a cell phone with an American SIM card or something so she’s been keeping Sunghee up to date on her travels so far. We get word that she has landed and is approaching the train to the baggage claim area so we wait and watch the escalator. One group comes down, nope don’t see her. Ten minutes later another group, nope, not there again. Ten more minutes. “Sunghee, maybe you should call her.” Oh, there she is! We head back to The Rio and the ladies go to bed. I go to play more poker.

I sit in the 2/5 NL game with $200 and go broke on the second hand. I’m in the CO with 89d. Four people limp, I limp. Flop comes 7d-6d-4c. Wow! Top end of a OE SF draw. It’s checked to me and I bet about 1/2 the pot. I get three callers. Turn comes Ts. Bingo! UTG+1 Bets out $25. MP folds, MP+1 calls. I move in. UTG+1 insta-calls, MP+1 folds. UTG flips over 74o for two pair, 7h comes on the river and I go broke to a rivered boat. I get up and walk around for a bit to keep my tilt under control and finally go back upstairs to get more money and by the time I get back my seat is gone and there’s a waiting list for the table. I hop onto the 4/8 and can’t get anything going and finally head to bed.

Tally: -300

Day 2 (12/26/05):

I get up early to get over to Harrah’s to meet with the Fairfield people about our comped room. I forgot that the shuttle doesn’t start until 10 so I have an hour to kill. The 4/8 is running but looks like all local people who haven’t been up all night. I’ll pass, thanks. I sit down at a Hot-Hot-Pennies machine and hit the bonus game for 112 free spins on max credits for over $600. That’s nice. I get to Harrah’s finally and setup a tour of their condo thingy at 11am the next day and I hop back on the shuttle to The Rio. Mom and sis have arrived and I talk my sister into playing in the noon tourney about 10 minutes before it starts. I’m trying out the Kill Phil method for the tourney. About nine tables are going and I make it to the final two when my AJ get cracked by 66. Sis goes out in 4th for a $400 prize. I sit in on the 2/5 game again and realize that I am way out matched, but decide to try the Smash-a-roo strategy and manage to double through twice. Sunghee, Oh-ma and I hit the Korean Garden BBQ for dinner and walk around the strip watching the volcano at Mirage and the fountains at Bellagio.

-80 tourney
+600 slot machine
+380ish 2/5

Day 3 (12/27/05):

Sunghee and her mom head off to the Grand Cayon at 6am while I sleep. I get picked up at Rio at and shuttled over to the Desert Inn 10:30am to fight off timeshare pitches. I’m there for about 90 minutes including them leaving me sitting alone for 30 minutes. Good thing I brought my GBA. I decline the show tickets (I needed three) and take $120 cash instead. This is good because I left all my money in the safe at Rio. I get a shuttle to Harrah’s and head across the street to Ceaser’s to check out the new room. I get on the list for 1/2 and sit down with bunch of 20 somethings. This looks good. I’m a grizzled vetern with this crowd. An interesting hand comes up where I have QQ in one of the blinds, a EP player make it’s 15 to go, which was kind of large for the table. I call. Flop comes out all low rainbow. I check, EP bets 15, I raise to 45, he raises to 200. Well, I don’t really like my queens now, but can I lay them down? Since he has put me all-in I flip up my hand and I just see anger in his eyes, no fear, just anger and I fold. Shocked gasps from the table. He shows his Aces and I proceed to run the table down for the next two hours running my $120 up to $300.

Strawberry Julis rating: 8 (taste 10, texture 5)

Next stop, Mecca, er, Bellagio. I check with the floor to see what games were open “We have 15/30, 40/80, 100/200”. I must look like a higher roller than I actually am. I sheepishly ask for 4/8 and get a seat. The table has a bunch of interesting people including two LA type girls. One of which looks smart and the other is a major donator hanging with her friend. I play until they leave. I’m up to $450 now. The Big Game was going in Bobby’s room at the time. I saw Doyle, Gus and David Gray (I think) three other I didn’t recognize. Ming Ly was talking to the brush but not playing.

Strawberry Julis rating: 7 (taste 6 (too much syrup), texture 9)

Onto the MGM. I was thinking about hitting Luxor/Excalibur but they were too far once I got walking. MGM it is. I get on the 1/2NL list and wait for about 20 mintues before sitting down at a very fun table. “Doyle B.” sits next to me. Not THE Doyle, but another poker playing one. I’m in 4 and down the table in 7&8 is a father and son. The son is totally blitzed and made the following play: The board reads Kd-6d-x-8d on the turn. The father bets, the son raises, the father calls. As the river is being delt the father shows the son his hand and tables it. Everyone is like “uhhhh…” the father quickly picks up his hand and says he thought the hand was over and checks. The son, who had seen his opponents hand, looks back at his own hand shrugs, and goes all-in. The father calls and shows A3d for the nuts. I have no idea what was going on, but I like it. I manage to go through three buy-ins where I got my money in very good each time. At 8pm I’m down $300 and by 8:45 when I leave I’m up $100. That’s how the game was going.

Sunghee and her mom are late getting back from the Grand Canyon so I grab some sloppy joe at the American Grill thing at Rio with my mom.

Strawberry Julis rating: NA (only orange available. taste 7, texture 5).

Day 4 (12/28/05):

We pack up and move to Harrah’s, and head over to The Wynn.

What a lovely place! We all get Wynn cards and sis, Sunghee and I head over to the poker room. 4/8 is full and 8/16 is a bit too daunting right now so sis and I settle into 1/3NL. Sunghee is not ready to move up from 2/4 so she goes to play the machines. I don’t do much for 15 minutes at 1/3 before my 4/8 seat opens. AT one point a 4/8 the Dealer called for the floor after and hand and whispered something in a low tone. The floor nodded and the dealer got up and bolted. WTF? Oh, potty break. The floor then takes off his jacket and deals a few hands, two of which I win. I had to do a double take when I went to toke as I normally tip the floor $10 or $20 not $1, but whatever. Not much else happens at my 4/8 and I eaked out a small profit (+28) before we have to head downtown.

Strawberry Julis rating: 10 (taste 10, texture 10, waitress 10)

We arrive at about 4:30 and goto Binions (sans “Horseshoe”) to see if we can exchange some of Sunghee Oh-ma’s Korean money. They give us what seems like a insulting exchange rate so we run over to the Bank of America just before they close to exchange there. We find out that Binions was giving us the exchange rate for 1 Korean unit of money which does not really exist instead of the the exchange rate for the bill which is 10,000 units. That’s why it was so messed up. The rate at the bank is a couple of percent higher anyways. We head back to Fitzgeralds to find my mom and sister and on the way back past Four Queens we see a sign for Sushi and Noodle bar. That looks like a good place for dinner! We gather up my mom and sister and once outside the Fremont Street Experience starts up, and goes on for like 20 minutes. We were wondering what was going on as it shouldn’t be this long, then they start the new years countdown for 2006?! Have we been standing here that long? Oh, they’re just doing some testing. Well, at least we could see it without all the people crush. We head into Four Queens for some Noodle action and wander around for a bit with out finding anything so we ask a floor person and they say that the Noodle/Sushi place closed a year ago! Well the sign is still out front. “I’ll let marketing know.” Ok, thanks. We’re still hungry. They point us to the California. We end up in a Hawian place that actually has Kimchee so all is good. My mom and sister order a “small” soup that comes in a gallon sized bowl.

After dinner we were ready to play. On to Binions! I get on the 4/8 list (the highest game going!) and Sunghee and Sue get into the 2/4 game. I goto get chips and the cage girl won’t give me $200 in chips. She says $100 is enough for 4/8. Not the way I play I tell her. There’s an open seat at Sue and Sunghee’s table so I sit down and play two hands and my 4 seat on 4/8 opens up. 4/8 was pretty bad, and by bad I mean good for me. There was a local to my right who looked like the editor of Car and Driver but talked like he had a electronic voice box. He got really upset when the SB posted from the 1 seat, then asked if he could move to the newly opened up 7 seat. He actually called the floor, but play didn’t stop so all was good. He proceeded to bitch about it for 20 minutes to the 80 year old fossilized local to his right. The fossil proceeded to whine back about how much of an asshole he thought Bob Chiffone was, but at least he made some good house rules for poker. This went on for 15 more minutes. Then River Dan showed up and took the 1 seat. River Dan is another local and a is very animated unlike the other two so far. He listens to the whole SB moving story and then tells his own story about how he won’t play at the Orleans anymore because he watched the same floor person flip flop on a ruling within one hour depending on who the ruling was for. River Dan said that he let them know that it was bullshit and then he walked out. “With a escort?” I asked. “Well, they carried me kicking and screaming to the front door, but I walked out on my own and let them know that I would NOT be coming back ever again.” Ahh, River Dan. River Dan then goes into Super Donkey mode and wins me a huge pot when he caps pf with me and two other people when I have KK. Another K comes on the flop and it’s cappachino all the way around. I fill up on the river and a small part is wondering if River Dan has quads on me. Nope, I drag a HUGE pot. Sunghee’s mom comes over to tell me something about “mommy”. I check with Sunghee and I guess my mom is waiting out front, bored of playing the slots here. I rack up +220ish and we grab a cab back to the strip.

Strawberry Julis rating: NA (like I’m ordering one downtown. I’d get shot).

Once on the strip mom and sis head back to Rio, Sunghee’s Oh-ma heads to bed and Sunghee and I head to The Mirage. I get seat 3 on a 6/12 table (the highest going at one point when the 40/80 broke) and see the guy in the 2 seat is blitzed. “Diamonds!” he says as he taps the table. This is going to be fun. It’s mostly college kids. I run pretty good with Sunghee sweating me, which is a first. I trap one kid good when I have AJd in the BB and the flop comes A-A-x rainbow. I check call the flop. Check – raise the turn and am concerned when I am reraised. Fine, I’ll cap this. River brings my lovely J and it’s bet, raise, re-raised, call. I win. The game is pretty weak/tight even with the drunk kids. People come and go and we play SH for a bit. At around 11:30pm this total donkey who walks around like he’s god takes the seat to my left. He goes to get chips and someone at the table says “You want loose action? That’s your guy. I played with him at Rio a couple of days ago he was capping everything with middle pair.” Craporz. I’m the LAG around here, I can’t have that guy cutting in on my action, especially if he’s on my direct left. I hang around for an orbit and the game gets up to 7 handed so it won’t break when I leave. I wanted to get in on the juicy 1/2NL action at Bally’s anyways. I rack up (4 racks! holy crap!) and head to the cage. There’s some girl in front of me who knows enough english to ask the cashier for a phone, but doesn’t know enough to understand that he’s telling her that it’s “over there”. Once I hand over my chips, I look over my shoulder and donkeyboy is there with is chips. I look past him and the table has broken. Stupid fucker. “You left that game too?” I asked. “Yeah, I don’t like playing short handed.” Freaking donkey.

Strawberry Julis rating: 9 (taste 9, texture 9)

Off to Bally’s we go. We walked up LVB to Ceasers, crossed over to Barbury Coast, then over to Bally’s. In front of us the whole way were two guys and a girl sharing a joint. One of the guys was really paranoid and kept looking over his shoulder. He didn’t slow down taking hits or anything mind you, just looked around a lot. Bally’s 1/2NL was really soft, too soft actually. I ran through five $50 buy-ins getting my money in good on the turn each time only to be nailed by a 2 or 4 outter on the river. “Well played, sir!”. Sunghee did ok on her 2/4 table and after two hours or so we headed back to the room.

Strawberry Julis rating: NA (“We don’t have that”)

Day 5 (12/29/05):

We slept in until 2pm or so after the late night the day before. Once everyone was up and ready we headed over to the Venetian shops for shopping. First though we had our picture taken with a wax Whoopie Goldberg and Micheal Jordan. Brookstone was our first shop and Sunghee’s Oh-ma got to relax in one of those massaging chairs. Next we hit up Banana Republic and I got a couple of shirts and some pants. Then we hit Burburry as Sunghee needed a new wallet. She settled on a pink tartan one that came with a fleece bag that was perfect for her camera. We were due to meet my mom and sister at Excalibur for some play and dinner but Sunghee wanted to keep shopping so I let them know where to meet us and I hiked back to Harrah’s to get a cab to Excalibur.

Excalibur is really bizzare and there’s too many kids running around. Sue and I sat down at the biggest poker game they had going 2-6 spread. Whew! I played most of my hands blind including one where the board was A-4-6-K on the turn and I got in a raising war with Sue and some other guy. I was pretending I was on an Ace but I started to think someone had one for real. The river brought a 3 and I figured that I’d better look before betting anymore and I was quite happy to find 5-2o for my rivered wheel+1. My sister had AK and the other guy had a set of sixes. Ouch! I ended up donating about $40 mostly to my sister and it was time for The Tournament of Kings to start. Now I have been to a Medievil Times before and this was pretty much the same thing. We were seated in the heel section again and I think we won the cheering contest. Everything is a little hazy as Sunghee and I were drinking the very strong, authentic, Strawberry Margaritias. After dinner we somehow found our way to Luxor and I sat down in the 1-2-2NL game with it’s $50 (no more, no less) buy-in. I donked through my first buy-in playing the total fish (“This is no limit! Like they play on TV!”), but I think my value betting and pot manipulation gave me away a little into the second hour as I had build my second $50 buyin into about $250. It was a little hard to count because I just kept everything in a big pile. When I would raise pf, I just grabbed a handful and said “I raise, *toss* however much that is”. This and Excalibur was some of the most fun I’ve had playing live poker. I played a few hands blind including one where I put some guy who just sat down all in. I was surprised when he called me, and I was even more surprised when I looked at my cards and found out that I had flopped top set with Jacks and he had flopped a set of Tens.

Strawberry Julis rating: NA (I was drinking beer)

The ride back to Harrah’s was insane as we ended up with a drunk cab driver who claimed to be part of the roll-out for New Years Eve, therefor wasn’t driving his own car. We jumped over speedbumps, layed on the horn to “jack-off’s”, ran stop signs then drove 2mph though the intersection infront of the people we cut off. If I wasn’t buzzed it would’ve been terrifing, but I had a grand old time. The guy even ran the meter at 1/2 fare for us.

Day 6 (12/30/05):

We got up at 5:30am to drive Sunghee’s Oh-ma to the airport and say our goodbyes. We got back to the hotel and Sunghee went back to bed and I headed across the street to The Mirage to get one last session in. They only had 3/6 and 40/80 running so I started up a 6/12 list and hopped into the 3/6 game. There were a few people still there from the night before and I picked up on a huge tell on an older gentleman and stole every pot we were in together from him. Finally the 6/12 got started and I was surprised that three people from my 3/6 table came along including the old guy. I was up 200 or so when it was time to check out. So I waited for a fresh dealer, ran across the street to wake up Sunghee, pack, then we ran back. In the 30 minutes I was gone that table had changed quite a bit. To my left and right were a husband and a wife, and two minutes after I got back a 45ish guy sat down at the other end of the table. The husband and wife said that they knew the new guy, but didn’t know from where. They finally figured out that he was dealer from Tunica, and they remembered his name, and he remembered them. Uh oh. What have I gotten myself into? Ok I seem to be at a table of locals and semi-pros now. The drunk kids are gone and so are the old rocks. Oh well, I’m up for the trip so I can spew some chips for some lessons. And what expensive lessons they were! I ended up giving back the $200 I was up plus $150 more in the next four hours before I called it quits and headed to the airport to fly back home.

Atlantic City 2005 (#2)

So I get a call that The Showboat is opening a poker room in the New House of Blues section of the casino, but they’d like to give the dealers some experience before the official launch. Would I like to come down and play for a couple of days and give them some feedback? “Well, are you going to stake me?”, I asked. “No. But we’ll give you some rooms.” “Alright then.”

We headed down on Friday night and stayed at Harrah’s on the Marina. The hotel rooms there are quite nice and very modern with dark wood floors. The new room is nice and the dealers are capable. Now onto the Showboat. First off, the tables: They’re red felt. $5 chips are red. The backs of one of the decks is red. Red is not a good color for the table. There’s also some logos for the WSOP on there with four aces on it (Including a BLACK Ace of Diamonds) which I would keep including in the board cards (“Oh! I flopped a ace! oh wait, that’s the logo”). They also have those deck shufflers which I was told cost $11,000 each. I was there within five hours of the room opening and they would break down once an hour or so. The dealers are very very green. Very nervous and some of them don’t even know how to make proper change let along control the table. I actually had to take in a couple of sessions at the Trop to make sure I didn’t end up killing one of the dealers.

The play was very soft though. Normally there was one fixed game (3/6, 4/8, 5/10) going on and one NL game (1/2). I stuck to the limit game. I’m assuming that these people also got called in, but some of them could’ve just wandered off the street, either way, I want to thank the Showboat for putting them on my table and letting me take their money.

And then onto the rest of the trip. Sunghee ended up with a nasty sunburn on her back on Sunday while I was splashing around in the ocean. We actually went to the hospital for some burn cream on Monday before we headed home.

On Sunday night we also ate at Carmine’s at the Trop. So so good. The Chicken Parm was amazing.

Annual Trip to Atlantic City

The trip started off well enough. Sunghee and I left pretty much right after work on Thursday to meet my mom and sister. We followed them down and traffic was moderate. Once we were on the AC Express way I saw a deer on the side of the road. I woke up Sunghee for her to see. Then I saw another, then another, then 27 more before I stopped counting. I figured that they were decoys installed by the NJ highway department or something to keep drivers awake, but my sister said she saw them actually moving. The most deer I’ve ever seen in one day was 8 or 9. I must’ve seen 40-50 on that drive alone. We arrived at the Trop at around 1am and were sound asleep in our room (North Tower) by 2am. My mom and sister had gone down to play for a bit. I set the alarm for 5:30 so I could take advantage of the people still playing from the night before, but I would be (somewhat) rested. 5:30 came and I shut the alarm off and went back to sleep. Oh well. I did wake myself back up at 7:15 and got dressed and went down to play at 7:30. My sister was still there! She’d been up since 4am the previous morning. I played some 4-8 until 9am and cashed out +$48. I went back upstairs to wakeup my mom and Sunghee for breakfast and we finally got all going by 10:30 to pull my sister away from the poker table and to the buffet. The food was alright, but the service was pretty bad. It was raining pretty bad out so we stayed inside with my mom showing Sunghee the lures of the penny slots. After wandering around for a bit my mom and sister had gotten a new room and we moved their stuff to the South Tower. I layed down for a 90 minute nap and then we all piled into the WRX and drove to the Borgata.

The signs to the Borgata are very confusing. I kid you not the following three signs are right in a row “Borgata – Keep Left�, “Left Lane Ends� “Borgata – Next Right�. Then as we were driving towards it I was shooting for the center lane that said “Self Park Garage� but everyone else in the car was saying “Left lane! Borgata! Left Lane! Left! Turn Left!� so I turned left as I’m reading the sign “Left turn – Deliveries Only�. Well. We’re not making a delivery. After driving around for 10 minutes we got back to the right place. We went and got on the waiting list for 2/4 as this was Sunghee’s first time playing in a real game. Our wait was about an hour as they only had two 2/4 tables going due to a tournament. My sister got seated first then Sunghee then me at Sunghee’s table. The room is fantastic there and the chips do stick to each other, but aren’t magnetic. Pretty cool. Sunghee went broke in about and hour and I was +$16. My sister was up probably $60 at this point. They had given us a stack of red chips ($5) and my sister still had all her reds in two 10-high stacks and quite a few white stacks around them. It was time for dinner anyways so Sunghee and I hit the Mixx for sushi. I actually had the free range chicken and stir fried squash. It was very good. And we had a cute little booth. After dinner I gave Sunghee some odds lessons as to why she shouldn’t stay in with a pair of sixes with two over cards on the flop. The only way you can do that is if everyone was staying in with it capped pre-flop and on the flop. We hung out for a bit longer then headed back to the Trop. After having a drink at the Top of the Trop Sunghee played on some more penny machines and I headed back to the poker room, and man, was it packed. I decided to play some 6/12 and after two hours was +$400 but then the really drunk guy at the table went on a tear. He was getting mad at me because I was talking to another guy on my right about what hands he was holding. I was doing pretty good too. I guessed three in row at one point (A5, KT, JJ), so what happened next might have been him trying to “get me� or whatever. These two hands happened within the same orbit.

Hand 1.
Hero delt AcKc
Capped PF with crazy drunk guy and one other
Flop: 9cQcAs
I have TP/TK and nut flush draw (and back door Royal draw). Betting is capped three ways.
Turn: Jc
Hit my flush, one closer to the royal. Capped three ways (Yeah!).
River: 8c
Hmm. I bet, drunk guy raises. Third guy folds (set? JT?). I raise. Drunk guy raises. I call.
Hero: (AcKc) Flush, A-high
CDG: (Tc2d) Straight flush to the Q

Guy hit runner runner straight flush on me. A few hands later this beauty comes up:

Hand 2.
Hero delt KcKs
Hero raises. Drunk guy raises. 2 other callers. Hero caps, every one calls.
Flop: Kd3s3h
Hey, I flopped a boat! And I don’t slow play. Betting is capped four ways. The only thing that can beat me is pocket 3s
Turn: 3d
Nobody has pocket threes. I bet. Drunk guy raises. Everyone folds to me. I re-raise. He calls (?). Could he be betting crazy like this with a 3 in his hand?
River: 3c
Sweet. I now have four of a kind! I bet Drunk guy raises. I call.
Hero: (KcKs) Four of a kind 3’s (K kicker)
CDG: (A6) Four of a kind 3’s (A kicker)

Runner runner perfect again. At that point I was now down $80 or so from my initial buy-in (-480 from my high point) and was on major tilt so I picked up my chips and went to bed. I hope that guy made it home alive if he laid any more beats like that on other people.

The next day was actually sunny so we walked around on the board walk for a bit before moving to the Showboat. Then it was back to the Hilton to pick up our tickets for that night’s show, 38 Special. Hey, it’s comped. Then we hit the BBQ Buffet at the Hilton and it was as awesome as last year. I played video poker and everyone else played slots a bit then we headed over to the theater to await the southern rock of a band that’s been around longer then I’ve been alive, and I don’t know any of their songs. The non-comp seats were filled with bikers and people who were bikers 20 years ago, but now were clean cut and could still fit in their ratty jean jackets. Finally 38 Special took the stage, and, in a million years I’d never dreamed I would write this, but, 38 Special rocked. They really did. Awesome show. I figure if they’ve been around for 30 years, they must be doing something right. More power to them. After the show Sunghee and I headed back to the Showboat and played slots and video poker for a couple of hours before going back to the room (Orleans Tower). I took a bath in the fantastic bath tub. The bottom is all molded to your back and arms and it’s long and deep. Just great.

Sunday morning we packed up, checked out and hit the boardwalk for some breakfast / lunch. I got a cheese steak and Sunghee had a white pizza slice. I figured that I could go play poker at the Taj for a hour or two before we headed off to home, but as soon as we walked into the casino a man in a suit asked if we were married. “Um, no.� “Do you live together� “Yeah…?� “Oh great! We’re having an open house would you like a free cash gift and a three-day two-night vacation in Florida, Las Vegas or California for touring one of our rooms and taking a survey?� “Uh, ok�. We filled out some paper work and were directed upstairs to an office. Once in the office we found 5-6 other couples and were presented with more paper work and the alarm bell question of “Do you currently own vacation property?� I tell Sunghee that they must be trying to get us to buy a timeshare. And sure enough, about 10 minutes later “Randy� takes us off to another room telling us about Fairfield Resorts and points and stuff for 90 minutes. Truthfully it sounded like a nice plan, but we’re not giving you $27,000 without thinking about it for a few months, let alone three minutes. They did give $50 and a coupon for the promised vacation. After that we considered our vacation complete and hopped in the car and headed back to VT.

Oh wait, there’s more. It took us 2 1/2 hours to drive the first 100 miles and get on the Parkway due to traffic backed up from the tolls. I’m pretty sure that the SEMA show in town had something to do with it. Traffic was very heavy until we got onto 87 where it was stopped for about an hour due to an accident. We finally got home after driving for 10 hours.