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The Build Up (AC Trip Report Pt. 1)

Here we go again. Thursday 5:30, and I'm out of the office, already in my civilian gear. Atlantic City is an interesting place, and its gotten to the point where I know all of the ins and outs of a great trip. In #1, get there as soon as possible. This involved leaving work a bit early and getting picked up near bro-in-law Marc's apartment. In #2, dress comfortably. So, basically I left the office looking like a bum. So far, so good.

Once at Marc's Robbie Hole was short behind. We all hopped in the car and away we went. The drive was going well when Rob got a call from Dave Roose himself. Roose is moving this weekend, and felt a tad off that he wasn't going to be joining us. On my end, if felt weird too. Degenerate gambling, Roose, Hole and I are like four suits in a deck. Without the Roose of Spades, it'd feel like a weird weekend, but one that a degenerate like myself could deal with.

But then again, peer pressure is a bitch. It took all of 60 seconds to get Dave, fresh off of work, to turn his car around and start making his way to AC. Packing could wait, and I had convinced him that we could get to AC by 9pm, gamble until 4am, hit the sack, and he could hit the road and be home to pack by noon on Friday. Didn't take much convincing. Not much convincing at all.

We ended up meeting Roose halfway at a rest stop. A little while later and we were pulling into my own personal paradise, Atlantic City. The first stop was the Showboat, where I got a free room. I shmoozed with the check-in clerk, but no upgraded rooms were to be had. "Then give me the best room you can." "Okay, I got a nice King-sized bed with all new formica and a plasma TV." "Wait, one bed?" "Yes." "I'll take a room with 2 Queens." "But it won't have a plasma TV." "Buddy, I don't plan on watching much TV."

Once we were in our two-bed room, the beers came out. Marc had packed some with him, so we all started the evening with a quick chug, and then off to the poker room.

On the way, we passed by a slew of machines and table games. Robbie Hole was tempted to play some Roulette, his table game of choice, but I kept charging ahead. I had one rule on this trip, and I was going to stay on it: I was not going to gamble, I was going to play poker.

At the poker room, I was able to immediately sit down at a 1/2 NL table. The interesting thing is, I don't remember the table at all. Roose and Marc eventually were seated at my table. Hole, lagging due to table games, eventually decided to go to the second table, which looked like a who's who of white males. Call me what you will, but if I see a table of diverse ethnicities and genders vs an all white male table, I'm going for the diverse table. It has a lot to do with profitability, and even more to do with having fun. All white males can tend to be over aggressive (personality wise) and can, at times, be too serious to have fun.

I don't remember much of the game. I was up for the most part. Roose busted on some less than optimal flops for his high pocket pairs. I just sat tight watching the players and making moves when they seemed right. One player at the table, dubbed Daryl for the robot boy in the self-titled movie, was playing the role of the poker sage at the table. He was my only real competition, so I made some nice chit chat and proceeded to keep my eye on the bub. Aside from him, the rest of the table was a forgetable crowd. A rotating case of players in the 2s (I was in the 1s) became my friends as they sat down. It was either that or the two foreigners with leather jackets in the 3s and 4s. I have to say, those guys were pretty horrible, and while I don't remember many hands, I do remember this gem. I raised from 2 to 12 with 6h7h, trying to deceive players with my preflop raise. One of the foreigners decides to push all in for 30 or so more (somewhere in that range). It folded to me, and I decided to call, mostly because I was confident that I wasn't that far behind. As it turned out, he had KTo, and I hit my 6 to take his stack. I knew the table as looking at me sidelong after that. Darryl had to pipe up though while I was soothing the foreigner ATM. As I said to ATM, "Hey man, sorry, I knew I was behind, but I felt like gambling." Darryl: "You weren't that far behind." All I could do was shoot him an evil glare.

In the end, I left that table up $44. It wasn't much, but the guys were done playing there and the table wasn't the most exciting. The foreigners left too, and I was left with relatively good players. So, off we Pai Gow Poker. Must...Not...Play...Table Games! I was able to check myself before I wrecked myself, but I can't say the same for Roose and Marc. They sat down with a combined bankroll and proceeded to enjoy the merriment of Pai Gow. I railbirded, while bouncing between the Pai Gow and a Mini-Baccarat table where Hole was learning the ins and outs as a railbird. It was an interesting thing to watch, but it never really grabbed me. Mini-baccarat seemed like a coin toss game to me. Without all of the game rules, you bet on the "banker" or the "player" (there is only one "player" per table, but bettors can each choose to bet on banker or player). The players had these cute scorecards, probably for keeping track of cards in the eight-deck shoe, but no matter what, there was nothing particularly exciting about it.

Pai Gow was a net loser (big surprise) so we headed upstairs for some brews and food. We ordered every appetizer from the room service menu, planning to pay with the $20 comps of Marc and Roose from Pai Gow (Marc can sell a ketchup icicle to an eskimo with white gloves, so getting a comp after an hour was no hard task). As we waited for our 3am buffet, we played a 4-person tournament. This was the plan as soon as we left Pai Gow, and since we had cards but no chips, I came up with an idea. Go to the cashier's cage and get 100 $1 chips. I handed the money to Marc, with a prop bet that they'd say no. After all, there were no $1 games that took chips, and it was an odd request. I knew he'd win, but it was more just letting him do the heavy lifting. When he returned to me, he had a wad of bills. Apparently, he thought I wanted $1 bills. Those $1 bills and $20 per player made up our chips. Playing a tourney with cash as chips was a weird experience. I was overly aggressive since we didn't have much chips and the dollar bills caused play to be more conservative. In the end, the food came before any of us busted out, a good 45 minutes into our private hotel room tourney. We gorged on fried foods at 3am and wrapped up the game. I took 3rd/4, but was happy to chill out and watch some late night TV. When we finally hit the sack, visions of poker chips danced in my head. The plan was to hit the Hilton tournament ($40+10) at 2pm. But we would never get there...

posted by Jordan @ 11:35 AM,


At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But we would never get there..."

Ok you got my interest.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what happened to your follow up post on blogs?

and, you have my interest since you said you made $800 on this trip.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I made a nice profit, but not $800, since I started in a hole, but that is coming up. The follow up post...well, that is being worked on. The thing is, I don't want to keep the thread of posts going. I wrote a post about blogs on a macro level, BG disagreed, we got into a posting battle, so to speak, and then we pretty much called a cease fire. It isn't about flaming each other. It's about writing and poker. So, to keep things simple and to stem any more animosity between BG and I and amongst fellow bloggers who are getting in on the fun, I decided to remove the follow-up post. Sorry Tom.

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's ok, Jordan. I wasn't sure if you regretted posting it or if someone commented and led you to delete it. I can see how this could spiral out of control. The blogging community seems pretty close-knit and a lot of serious discussions turn pretty intense.


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