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Card Dead on Arrival (AC Trip Report Pt. 1)

"Victory shifts from man to man."
Homer, Illiad

If my recent trip to Genoa was any sign, I was going to struggle at Atlantic City. At Genoa, I was not only card dead, but running into some inevitable situations. I still had a bad taste from my $180 loss at Genoa, but my last trip to AC was a rousing success, so I was not going to let something as silly as feeling unlucky mess with my game.

Wifey Kim and I headed to AC in my parent's Jeep Cherokee. The ride down was smooth, and we pulled into the Showboat parking garage at about 3pm. As per usual, I chatted up the counter clerk in search of the ever-elusive room upgrade. I didn't get it, but I did get some great advice. The last time I was in AC, I tried to get a room upgrade, and all I could get was one of the newly renovated rooms, complete with HDTV. Unfortunately, the room only had a king sized bed, and since I was sharing with three other guys, we had to nix that idea. This time, however, it was just wifey Kim and I, so I asked for the newly renovated room. "Are you planning on getting up early?" the counter lady asked. "Um, no, quite the opposite." "Then you don't want the newly renovated room. There's construction every morning at 8am." God bless her heart.

Wifey Kim isn't a poker player. The trip was about her, and not poker, so the plan was to play only when it was appropriate (i.e., when she's sleeping). At first, we sat at roullette. I have a general rule of thumb now that I am serious about my poker: No more table games. Table games are the devil. But wifey Kim can be a tempting demon, and she is the one exception to my anti-table game rule.

As it turned out, we won $80 at roulette, before dumping $40 at the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. We love that Wheel of Fortune, mostly because its fun when you get to SPIN THAT WHEEL! Of course, according to Grubby, it is one of the tightest machines around, but hell, I don't expect to win anyway.

As per usual, after one of these trips, spitting out a trip report is usually a difficult thing. The alcohol that wifey Kim and I consumed didn't help matters. Since it wasn't a poker-centric trip, I'm going to give you a Cliff's Notes version.

So, we win back $40 doing a drive-by at another Monopoly machine. We also grab an early dinner at the Mansion Cafe. I, of course, order a grilled cheese, the official gambling food of High on Poker. Wifey Kim, perhaps in the spirit of AC, get's the same.

After our juvenile dinner, wifey Kim and I met up with the 80 and over crowd at the Family Feud show at the Showboat. Tickets cost $25 each, but after some wheeling and dealing, I was able to get the two tickets for free, in exchange for $1 in comps per ticket.

The show was hosted by Roger Lodge of Blind Date fame. It was actually really entertaining too. Wifey Kim and I love Family Feud, although we tend to only watch it when we stumble upon it. The audience has an opportunity to get called up to be a member of the "families" competing or play the lightning round. In either event, the winner gets cash, so it ain't too shabby of a show/concept. Before each round, the audience has to answer questions. Whoever answers the most questions correctly (and quickest) gets called up.

I stunk. In the first go, I missed all of the three questions. In the second go, I used a clever technique, ignoring whatever decision I thought was right. Sure enough, the first question was, "Which room in their house do people wish was larger?" I thought Bedroom, so I immediately ignored that option. I went with Family Room, since I figured I was missing because of Christian middle America, and they have family time in family rooms, right? The answer: Bedroom. SONUVABITCH! I then went on to get the next two right by sticking WITH my instinct. I essentially screwed myself.

Fortunately, at the end of the show, there is a random drawing, and I won 2,500 comp points, the equivalent of $25. Works for me!

When wifey Kim was finally asleep, I snuck out of the room and down to the House of Blues poker room in the Showboat. There were two 1/2 NL games running, as well as the third ring of hell known as 2/4 Limit. As I was being walked to a 1/2 game of white males, I heard a voice, "Hey man." I looked over and saw Pat, a player I previously had a good time playing with at the Showboat. I had my table changed immediately. Not only was Pat there, but the table had a nice mix of races and gender. For no reason in particular, I always prefer that type of table.

I played fairly well. I made friends with the table over time. I even got the button bonus game going. Basically, when I'm the dealer, I set the button up on its side and announce to the dealer that if he/she can deal a card underneath the button without knocking it over, they get a $2 tip. By the 4th dealer, several other players were jumping into the fray, offering as much as $5 individually to the dealer. The game helps loosen up the players and game, and quite frankly, is just fun. One dealer, Carolyn, was the closest. In truth, she was slightly off, more touching than underneath. But, to show some good humor, I paid her out.

Unfortunately, I was card dead upon arrival. Over the course of 5+ hours, I saw two pocket pairs, 3s and Ts. I got AK once. I got AQ once and AJ twice. That was all.

I also stunk. I don't even remember what I did wrong. I just wasn't on my game. I reference this quote from Zen and the Art of Poker:

"It has been observed that players actually play worse when their cards (and luck) are running badly."

That's what happened, I suppose. I just never felt the rhythm. I was up about $100 at the most, but eventually lost it all. I wish I remembered specific hands. I don't. Maybe I've just blocked it out because of the traumatic experience. Whatever the case, its sad to say that the highlight of 5+ hours of poker was seeing Pauly's article in Poker Player magazine.

I crawled into bed next to wifey Kim, she lightly woke up and asked how I did. "I lost my buy-in, $300." "Aw, sorry." "No, honey, I'm the one that is sorry." I guess this is one of the other reasons why going to AC with the boys is easier on my poker game. I don't have to face my financial partner with my failure immediately. I drifted off to sleep with anxious dreams about the next day.

Part 2, where I go to the Tropicana, the scene of my last trip's perfect table, is coming up. Will my luck change or will I dig a deeper hole? There is only one way to find out...

posted by Jordan @ 6:15 PM,


At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great report. You sound alot like us, when we are in Vegas we love to go get grilled cheese sandwiches from Sahara before we play the tourney there.

Mrs. Mookie loves the Wheel of Fortune slots as well. So if those are the tight ones, which ones are supposed to be loose ?

Looking forward to part 2...

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Own the Flop said...

That freakin' wheel is the devil. Gets me all amped each time I hit it and then the fucking ten comes EVERY time.

WHEEL... OF... eh, F off.

But I digress. I enjoyed reading that even though there wasn't a happy ending, and I don't mean the ones you can get in Chinatown.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Alceste said...

When did you get to Showboat? Dawn, Karol and I were there Friday from 10 until about 3 or so in the morning...

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I was at the Showboat on Thursday night. I was at the Trop on Friday night. Oh well! I think Dawn might have my phone number. It's a shame we all didn't meet up. But we'll work on a better system for the future.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Karol said...

Dawn didn't have your number so we figured the best way to find you was to say out loud 'Jordan, where are you?' every few hours as we bounced from hotel to hotel.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Alceste said...

Indeed, at the Showboat table, I suggested to Dawn that you were exactly what the table needed to liven it up - i got so bored I entered into a poker stupour, which is never a good state of mind...


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