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AC for the Holidays - AC Trip Report Pt 1

Happy Holidays! Man, I almost want to skip the trip report. After 2 nights and three days in my own wonderland, Atlantic City, I almost don't want to do anything. But, for the sake of completeness, I'll do my best.

This was one of my best trips to AC. It had a wonderful balance of family, friends, gambling for pleasure and gambling for profit.

The trip started out on Saturday morning at around 11 am. An hour before, I woke my little brother, Clam David and his girlfriend, Clam Andrea, up. I was gitty with anticipation. Even though AC was 3 hrs and 200 miles away, I could hear the shuffle of chips and the ringing of slot machines. I must have been particularly overbearing (Clam Dave is a notoriously heavy sleeper), as Clam Andrea asked if I was a Dad. "What do you mean?" "Only a Dad could be that annoying." Mission accomplished. We hit the road and started down to AC.

The ride was uneventful. Along the way, I kept in cell phone contact with Dave Roose and his girlfriend Allison. I also spoke on and off with the parents High and parents Roose, who were driving down as well. On the way down, I entered my first prop bet between Clam Dave, Clam Andrea, Wifey Kim and I, to see who could predict our time of arrival. The prop bet was voided, however, when the parents and Dave Roose stopped by Smithville a "Ye Olde Shoppe" time of place near AC. I mean, every freaking store was "Shoppe". Old Fashioned Candy Shoppe. Wifey Kim's favorite Candle Shoppe. Ye Olde Fashion Internet Shoppe. It wasn't a bad place per se, but I could still hear the distant calls of nearby gambling.

When we finally got out of there, I drove like a bat out of hell to our hotel, Harrah's, one of the few casinos off of the Boardwalk. We stayed there because I had a free room at Showboat or Harrah's (same ownership) AND Harrah's was significantly cheaper for the night I had to pay for. As a result, prior to tax, the room would only cost $85. After taxes (on both nights) and a snack put on the room bill, it came out to about $120. Beautiful. The hotel was great. The buffet did its job well and the take-out style restaurant was convenient and reasonably priced. The table games were mostly $10 minimums for the first night, Xmas Eve. Late night, they had $5 craps. On the second day, the minimums moved to $15 for the most part. I like my table games cheap, and those rates didn't go down even well into the night. But at that point I had my fill of -EV games.

The poker room, which we will get to in depth later, was not small, but not large. There were probably 25 tables, with only 10-15 in play for the most part. The hotel was nicely decorated, lighted and clean, and the poker room was no exception. They didn't have a cage at the poker room and the drink girls took there sweet ass time, but aside from that, I liked the players , which were rumored to be solid, but were anything but. More on that later.

When I arrived at the check-in counter, I began my attempt at a room upgrade. At Tropicana in AC, a room upgrade at the front desk costs $50/night. I didn't know what to expect at Harrah's. I was happy to hear from the less-than-enthused desk girl that upgrades were not charged. I was unhappy when she told me that none were left. I was downright annoyed when, after getting my room, I listed to Roose, about 2 steps to my left, getting a room upgrade from HIS counter girl. Well fuck me! As soon as he was done, I moved over and smiled wide. "Any way you can get me an upgrade? I promise to lose a lot of money." "I'm going to get fired for this, but it is Christmas." I didn't see the need to point out that her Christmas spirit was used on a Jew. A couple of hours later, even Clam David was able to upgrade.

The rooms were nice. We were in a smoking jr. suite, but fortunately, the smell of cigarettes was near non-existent. The suite had a decent bathroom, but regular tub. Call me picky, but when I hear jr suite, I expect a jacuzzi tub. The living room area was a nice addition, especially when I stumbled into the room at 4AM on the last night, high on poker and in need of some time zoning out with the TV while wifey Kim slept in the nearby bedroom. Our view was of the water, and it was a beautiful sight. I don't really get the point of a "room with a view". I mean, how long are you going to be standing staring out the window. But, that said, this was a room with a view and it was fantastic.

It didn't take long before I was rushing to the tables. If I never played table games, I'd be a lot richer, but sometimes you have to enjoy yourself. I couldn't remember specifics if I tried, but I can tell you this. I played some Roulette with wifey Kim, and we both lost about 20$ each before quitting. I switched to craps and lost about $120 or so. I saw Roose over at 3-card poker and decided to watch him lose some money. Out of all of the games, I consider table poker games to be the worst, but somehow Dave was holding his own. I gave in and joined him. As a result, I won over $100, after hitting a straight and flush consecutively when good luck charm Papa High stopped by. After playing that game for the first (and hopefully last) time, I really felt like it was easy to win. We all know better though, don't we.

Odd as it is, I like when my father watches me gamble. It feels like having him at my little league games as a kid, except I'm not an embarrassment. Yep. I sucked at little league and I still throw like a girl. But when it comes to gambling, I like to think I can hold my own.

It was time to pack it up, so I went upstairs with wifey Kim and prepared for an annual tradition, dinner at Rafici's. Rafici's is a local Italian restaurant. There wasn't much poker at the restaurant, but there was a whole lot of food. Too much actually. When wifey Kim and I got back to the hotel, we decided to hang out in the room for a bit and relax. The sleep sniped must've been across the way, because wifey Kim was taken out at about 10:30. Roose, a couple of floors down, was experiencing the same thing with Allison. He and I remained in contact via text messages. When both of us were ready, we met at the elevator lobby...and off to poker...

The room was pretty dead. It was Xmas Eve, and there was only about 4 tables going. The list for 1/2 NL was fairly long, so I put my name on it, as well as 3/6 limit and 1-5 spread Stud. Fortunately, a new table was started. I took the 1s. When possible, I like to be next to the dealer so that I can raise my cards a little higher without fear of flashing them to a player. I also find that it provides a decent view of most players, except for the 2 guys on the other side of the dealer. I told Roose beforehand that I didn't want to sit next to him. It's fine chatting, but truth be told, you play most of your hands against the guys to your left and right AND I wanted to pretend like we didn't know eachother.

The table was almost full when a fat bald guy with arm tattoos and a long goatee sat down. "So, are we all Jews at this table or what?" A guy with a yamika replied, "I'm not." The rest of the table chuckled. One player read my mind. "We need an Asian over here." I added, "preferably with glasses." The Asian dealer looked unimpressed.

That was how the table went. It was a fun group. A bunch of Jewish white males (for the most part) playing poker on a Christian holiday. Halfway through the game, a large woman sat at the far end of the table. She made some god-aweful plays and some of the guys were quietly critiquing her. One of the more boisterous (read: drunk) guys at our side remained quiet. Finally he said, guys, that's my mom. We all laughed for about .5 seconds, until we realized he was serious. At least it started a new round of jokes. "Dude, you are going to bluff your mom?" "I'm folding, because I don't like to get in the middle of family issues."

But let's get to some hands. I always like to play the first hand. I don't know why. I guess if they see me play a shitty hand, then that'll loosen them up. If I take it down without showing, I look powerful. If I limp and fold, there is no real loss.

I started off with 88. I raised it up from 2 to 7. I was in MP and the little guy to my left called. I believe we had one other caller. The flop wasn't pretty. QT3. I could do better. I thought for a moment and bet 15. The guy on my left called. The turn was a Ace. I was probably in trouble. BUT, this was the first hand. Let's flex some muscle. I bet 20. He looked at the board. He was clearly upset at the Ace and finally folded. A loudmouth who thought he was a poker genius said, "He pushed you off the hand with nothing." I grinned large but didn't say a word. Yeah, he was right, but I wasn't concerned. When the next hand was dealt I whispered to my dimunitive neighbor, "IF you were ahead before the turn, you were behind after it," thereby implying AT. Let the games begin.

In general, I just kept on folding. I did a lot of talking and a little bit of limping. I got my stack up a small amount through grinding, maybe 30$, but then had it drop back down. Roose, meanwhile, was getting screwed. His AJ hit a J high flop only to go against JJ. There was another crappy situation that I can't recall. Long story short, Roose eventually busted, and was sent to the rail. He returned 10-15 minutes later. I was down about 40 or 50$ (from an initial max buy-in of $200). I was tired, and Roose was hanging around looking bored, but I had to lay it out for him. "Dude," I whispered behind my hand, "I can break this table. I just know it." I agreed to one or two more orbits and that was it. As soon as I was done talking I looked down to KK. Now, I was card dead for a long while. I didn't even think I remembered how to play KK at this point. I was UTG+1 and decided to bump it up big to try to keep one or two players in, at most. I raised to 20, if memory serves correct. The table folded around. Now, even though I had been card dead, I remained chatty at the table, so I don't think people saw me as tight. Fortunately, the player UTG, who limped in before me, called. I had been watching him and he was recklessly aggressive post-flop. The flop was all undercards, with two cards to a diamond flush. BB bet out $40. I thought for a moment and raised $50 on top. He almost instantaneously pushed all-in. I knew what was happening. He was trying to be uber-aggressive and win the pot right away. I called. He showed AdJd for a nut-flush draw. The turn and river did nothing to help him and I doubled up. BOOYA!!!!

Not two hands later, I get AQo UTG. I raised it to $12. I got two callers, a nerdy looking Jew and a player who was relatively new to the table and seemed overall outclassed and uncomfortable at a real casino. He was anxious to play, and anxious to put on a play. The flop was JK3. It was hardly what I had hoped for. I checked, and the nerdy guy bet 10. Anxious called. I wanted to fold, but I had odds so I called. The turn was a Queen. I checked. Nerd checked too. Anxious bet 10. I had to call. Nerdy called as well. The river was a T. I rivered a straight. Even better, the turn had made a flush draw, which didn't hit. I had the nuts. Now, let's see who I am splitting it with. I bet $25. Nerd folded. Anxious called. He had J3, for two pair on the flop. He slow-played himself to death. The river bet was a bit low by me, but I figured I was chopping anyway. I got mine and immediately stood up. The Nerd looked shocked. "You are leaving after that?" "Yep. I promised my bud that this was my last orbit." I didn't look back. I was up $272...but I wouldn't be up that much for long.

That's it for tonight. Keep an eye out for part 2, which will include my 2nd round of morning poker. Good night!

posted by Jordan @ 7:29 PM,


At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all. Now that you are done reading part 1, go onto PokerStars and register early for the Donkeys Always Draw Invitational, on Wed at 9pm. We have 5 players already signed up, and I expect at least another 5. Check out previous posts for details and bounty info.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice writeup. Looking forward to part deux.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice hit and run at the end there. Very nice.

Good to see you signed up for the tourney. I hope once people get back to work and start reading again we can get more players...

I'll repost the invite now...

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice Christmas! Welcome back.

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I registered. Its gonna be hard for me to make it at the start. Let's see if I survive by not

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, nice write-up J. I love to read your accounts of live poker, very entertaining. I'm waiting anxiously for part two.



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