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An Un-AC Trip Report

The trip to AC this Sunday was an interesting one. Wifey Kim and I really needed some time away from our everyday lives, and a trip to Atlantic City was definitely in order. That said, it was not going to be my usual AC trip, largely due to our itinerary and our one-night stay in my adopted second hometown.

Wifey Kim had brunch to celebrate her friends birthday, as I sat on the couch and let time pass me by. When she got home on Sunday at 2:30, we had about 30 minutes before the Enterprise Rent A Car around the corner from my apartment openned. I do not truly understand how a company like Enterprise could have only one location open in all of Manhattan on a Sunday, let alone why that one location is only open from 3pm to 7pm, but the branch has always been good to me, so I kept with what was easy.

The second thing I don't understand is why people would spend more money for a nicer rental car. For our money, wifey Kim and I would be styling in a compact Chevy Cobalt with roll-up windows and manual (i..e, not electronic) locks. Sure, it isn't the lap of luxury, but I needed it for one purpose, to get me from Point A to Point B. I will add, however, that I can see renting a different car if you need more space or you have to impress someone (such as when I upgraded to the Infinity when I was meeting a client for the first time...who wants an attorney who drives a jalopey).

The drive started off well enough. It was 3:15 or so when we hit the road, and aside from some traffic at the outbound Holland Tunnel (from NY into NJ) and a missed exit from the NJ Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway, the ride was uneventful. I did, however, find that wearing the diaper helped avoid bathroom stops (thanks NASA!).

One thing I did notice was that the trip was definitely going to be different from my usual trips with the guys. The thing that, well, annoyed me the most was that wifey Kim did not instantly know the passenger ettiquete naturally developed between me, Roose, the Holes and bro-in-law Marc. The passenger is always to have change ready for all tolls (assuming to EZ Pass), and should have the change in an easily accessible location, lest the passenger fall asleep or be otherwise occupied. When I asked wifey Kim to put the change out, she dumped it in a cup holder that already contained a cup. But I had to just relax. After all, we guys have made the trip into an art form and wifey Kim was still on casino travel finger paint. Other than that, we got along swimmingly.

By the time we were in AC, it was only a little after 6pm. The show was going to start at 7:30, so we decided to get dinner afterwards and grab something quickly before checking in, changing, and heading to the venue, the Boardwalk Hall located centrally on the Boardwalk attached to Trump Plaza. We hit Taco Bell, where wifey Kim and I shared a meal. That girl loves Taco Bell, even though she rarely eats it, something about being healthy or some other crap. All I know is that Taco Bell was my food of choice in college, and I'd eat it almost daily.

The check-in went smooth, although we were given a room with two Queen beds for the second time in a row, because no King sized single bed rooms were ready (at 6!? What were the past guests doing in those King sized beds...on second thought, don't tell me). Fine. Once we were in the room, wifey Kim marveled at how she loved the bathroom. I changed while she dolled up, and set up camp on the 2nd bed.

My first priority is always to get a King bed, but if we get 2 Queens, I sincerely believe that we each should get a bed. Don't get me wrong, people, I love sleeping with my wifey, but in her sleep, she actually grows from a 5'2" beauty to a 6'9" starfish that is set to always find the diagonal of any bed. Consequently, almost nightly I have to wake her to ask her to move over. I'm no mathemagician, but 2 beds with 2 people is pretty easy division. Wifey Kim didn't wholeheartedly agree, but that's a different story altogether.

We decided to walk to the Boardwalk Hall, mostly because I mis-remembered the distance. After arriving at 7:30 exactly, a 20 minute walk in total in the freezing cold, we found our seats. The set up was like any large stadium. The stage was in the pit of the stadium pushed to the far end, so there were no seats on one side, the back of the stage. There was an area for the band members and some stairs and raised platforms, but the major centerpiece was a dance floor. It reached short of 1/2 of the entire arena floor (where minor-league hockey is played) and then was surrounded by about three rows of cocktail tables for VIP guests.

The major problem with the layout was the fact that the rest of the arena floor was left empty. As a result, you have this relatively intimate dance floor surrounded by "courtside" tables, and then nothing for about 50 feet or more. Just plain grey floor. Then, surrounding the entire arena floor are the stadium seats. The people at the top of the horseshoe are a great distance from the "action" with a ton of dead space. The reason for all of this was relatively obvious to an onlooker. The stage was only so big, and if they filled the extra space with seats, none of the people sitting would see anything anyway, since the dancefloor was raised maybe 12 inches from the regular floor. Still, all that wasted space just felt wrong.

We were seated on the right of the stage (facing it) diagonal from the stage. We were in the 4th row or so, so we were pretty much on ground level and the cameras (set up to display the show on a big screen behind the stage and two side screens) was somewhat in our way. The rest of our view was obscured by the VIP tables. We could still see some of the action, but the best way to see details was to watch the screens.

Now, keep in mind that the seats face forward onto the empty portion of the arena floor, so we had to turn our bodies as much as possible and use our necks for the rest. I didn't have a problem, but after a while wifey Kim did. All that said, when the show started, wifey Kim lit up. It was really worth the price of admission just to see her so happy. It wasn't a terrible show either. The "stars", Joey Lawrence, Joey McIntyre, Drew Lachey, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, were actually very personable as they talked to the audience, and the dances were decent, although not up to the televised shows' standards (which I have watched with wifey Kim, therefore negating the gayness of watching Dancing with the Stars). Then Joey McIntyre sang two songs from his new CD of American Standards (totally stealing Mr. Rod Stewart's thing) and flat out sucked. He also made stupid jokes about, Oh hey, they are on sale here tonight. What a coincidence. Wakka wakka! During the intermission, wifey Kim and I chilled and chatted. With about 4 minutes left to go, though, she turns to me and asks, "Is it weird if we left?"

Hmm...I have a general rule not to stand on ceremony. I don't care where I am at, how much it cost me, or what other people would do. If I'm not enjoying something, I leave, plain and simple. At the same time, however, I wasn't miserable at the show and I didn't want wifey Kim to regret leaving, so I largely left the decision up to her besides telling her that I'm cool either way, and who cares what anyone else thinks. We decided to get up and move, and then the show restarted. We stopped near the exit and found two empty seats at a higher, but better viewpoint. After the second song though, we were ready to roll. Wifey Kim found it too commercial (Joey McIntyre's obvious desperation the key to that comment) and otherwise that the show didn't translate well to a live show. I found it, well, convenient, since it was in AC, and satisfactory because we left early.

Evo, an chic Italian restaurant in Trump Plaza was closing, so we hit the 24 Central Cafe, the Plaza's diner-like establishment. After, we returned back to our hotel via the Harrah's shuttles and went up to our room.

In our room, we watched the end of the Grammy's. Wifey Kim didn't feel like gambling and told me that if I wanted, I could go play poker. I didn't actually feel like it, as I was very tired and this trip was more about spending time with wifey Kim than playing. When she fell asleep, I reconsidered, but ultimately opted to set my alarm on my cell phone for 6am for an early session. I then went to the other bed to sleep.

As I lay there, I actually saw wifey Kim's point about the two beds. I could use her company, so I joined her. About an hour later, she hit the diagonal on the bed, and rather than wake her, I retreated to the other bed. A few hours later, wifey Kim joined me in the other bed. I remember her joining me, but when I woke up, she was back on the other bed. She saw my point, as I had been hogging my previously empty bed. Score one for the guys.

6 am rolled around, and I shut off my alarm. I was too tired to play, so I went back to sleep. We awoke together a little after 9 and had breakfast in Showboat's diner-like restaurant, the Mansion Cafe. After, wifey Kim went upstairs to shower and pack. I went to play poker for the 1 1/2 hours we had until checkout.

Ah, poker. How do I love thee? A lot.

I should mention that I was wearing my poker cargo pants and Superman (blue) t-shirt, along with my sunglasses and had my two identical but different colored Buddha card caps with me and my iPod too. There was only one 1/2 NL game going (and maybe one 2/4 Limit) in the casino due to the early hour on a Monday. The table seemed interesting enough and the players were fairly friendly and a bit loose. I decided to play tight because of the looseness...after I semi-bluffed and then river-bluffed a straight draw/mid pair. K2 called me all the way down, ignoring the obvious flush draw, straight draw and the fact that he had TPNK. Mind you, though, I am not complaining. I planned on making my money back from him later.

A kid on my left was showing me his cards a lot. He was annoyed by the K2 guy and said stuff like, "His chips are mine." I do this too, but I follow it up. He, instead, felt like K2 was pushing him around and pushed all-in with two-pair on a board that screamed flush. K2 had the flush and the kid rebought. All the while I was making mental notes of the kid's hands and his play, not to mention his tiltability.

My stack dwindled, after the loose player left (not K2 guy, another one). I played UTG blind to a limp and then someone raised to 12. There were a few callers when it got back to me and I called after checking my cards, A8c. I didn't hit and folded. I won a hand with the hammer when I checked in the BB (against 5 limpers) and then made a pot-sized bet on the 442 flop. I forgot to show. Doh! I don't remember when or how, but I actually began playing loose and poorly, dropping down to about $125 out of my initial $300 stack. I was thinking that I didn't have enough time to make it all back, but that if I had enough time, I could do it. I also realized that I was card dead once again, continuing what had started two weeks ago at Salami (where I chopped 1st and 2nd in a tournament, without any good hands), and continued last week at Salami (where I chopped 1st through 3rd in a tournament, without any good hands). The best hand I had seen in probably 4+ sessions and in total probably 12+ hours was TT. Once again, I am not complaining, since I think complaining about luck or donkeys is for players who don't have enough confidence in their own game or enough skill (you decide on that one). I'm just stating facts. So, it's almost my last hand and I finally am dealt JJ. Prelop, in EP I raise from $2 to $10, which, at the time, felt too small of a bet. A bald 40-something guy who had a friendly, joking attitude (What do you call a female turtle? A Clitortoise!) raised to $30-40. It folded around to me and I only had about $100 left, total. I thought I may be behind, but I was weighing the possibilities, along with the fact that I had to leave soon. I pushed for $55 or so more and he called. The flop was all unders. I asked him if he had QQ, KK or AA. "No." "Good because I have Jacks," I flipped them up prematurely. "I don't care if you see." I didn't. "I believed you. I have 9s." No nine on the turn or the river (Note to dealers: Don't take your sweet fucking time with the river, pulling it out and then looking at it, oohing and ahing before tabling it, dickwad). I doubled up and had over $200 for the first time in nearly an hour.

A new player joined the table about 45 minutes into my hour and a half run. He looked vaguely familiar, a skinny, goateed 20 something year old red-head. When I raised to $12 preflop and got four callers, I said, "Man, no one respects my raises." (In hindsight, this is when I began to get loosey goosey...not good poker). The new kid looked to me and said, "I've played with you before." He did look familiar. "I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing." I am still not sure. We never tussled. However, this is probably a side effect of the poker uniform. Remembering me is a lot easier if I'm always wearing a Superman shirt. Thoughts?

Final hand, I'm ready to leave, UTG at 11:53am. The hand before, me, the new kid and the showing kid were chatting about how we make the most money on low suited gap connectors, like 35s or 46s. I was dealt 46o, and I had about $207, so I decided to call and fold if there were any raises. About 5 people saw the flop, all limpers. The flop was K35. We checked around. The turn was a 7, for my straight. One of the blinds bet out $10 into the $10 pot. I raised to $20. Everyone folded, but the blind called. The river was a blank. He checked and I bet $20 again. He folded and I showed my hand. I then walked off. Everyone was friendly and it was a fun time. Overall, I lost $51 (so my numbers are off somewhere in that hand). I didn't get to play much, and I didn't play particularly well, but I wasn't annoyed or upset. The idea of one long session has really sunk in.

I met wifey Kim in the room and we hit the road. The rest was smooth sailing.

posted by Jordan @ 5:42 PM,


At 11:21 PM, Blogger C.L. Russo said...

King sized beds are essential for a lasting marriage.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I should mention that I was wearing my poker cargo pants and Superman (blue) t-shirt, along with my sunglasses and had my two identical but different colored Buddha card caps with me and my iPod too.

Is this in your Microsoft Word Autotext yet? =)

You don't want to be remembered by what you're wearing. It's time to change things up.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AC is a good weekend or last second trip, especially if you want to make some cash (there are a lot of novice players in their casinos). I had good runs twice in jan., twice in feb., and once in March. That's five good runs out of six (New Years weekend being the only negative trip). Try when you find out you have the weekend free. They will hook you up, a lot on information on the site. by the way...muck those pair of fives.


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