This was going to be my last long weekend in AC in a while, so I wanted it to be good. I’ve been neglecting a lot of personal things to play poker. Friends, family, my own health, exercise, reading…uh, everything actually.
Darko and I took off Friday from work to make this happen so we left after work on Thursday to stay at the Tropicana. Traffic was virtually nil, which was pleasantly surprising. We hit the Trop, checked into the West tower and immediately headed off to the poker room. I decided to ease into the weekend with a ‘harmless’ 4/8 limit game. How bad could it be, right? Well, 5 hours later, into the wee hours of the night, I was 3 buyins in and getting my ass kicked. I went stone cold card dead for 3 hours straight and got so frustrated by seeing people take down huge pots with trash, that I started chasing trash myself. J5o looks like a good hand when the donkey to your left just won $110 with it! But, of course, that only works for other people. I’m not as blessed. So my frustrations mounted and my stack dwindled and I was down $330 when all was said and done.
I went to sleep angry, a recurring theme of the weekend, and shook it off. I had played badly, I know, but at least I recognized that. When we woke up, we went to the Mall next to Casesar’s for some breakfast/lunch. We went to a really nice place called Sonsie, where I feasted on really good Cream Cheese stuffed French Toast. I paid for Darko with my Amex card and we hit the Caesars poker room. The play there was weak, but I couldn’t string together enough hands for a winning session. I had been down a whole buyin but got most of it back and managed to leave near even. The worst was when I got 77 in the small blind and got a raise and a big re-raise in front of me. The book tells me that I’m facing an overpair (I was) and I wisely decided to fold. I flashed Darko the 7’s and complained that I hadn’t hit a set in ‘weeks’. Sure enough, a 7 flops. Oh wait, I’m sorry. It was two sevens! And the re-raiser, who had Kings, moved all in! I would have made a monster pot. I got up in obvious frustration, stalked over to the other side of the room and let out a mini-scream.
Darko was getting updates from Wendy, who was on her way down by bus, and we decided to head over to the Taj to wait for Dimples and Vivian, who were also separately on their way down. At the Taj, I sat down at an incredibly weak 5/10 game. It was so weak, they stacked me for two buyins within 3 hours! This time, I didn’t play badly. I was just cursed with bad players not folding bad cards. An example; I have AhQh UTG and I open the pot with a raise to 10. Two people call, including the button who is a confused middle aged woman who clearly doesn’t know what she’s doing, yet has a big stack in front of her (my favorite kind of player). The flop comes K-J-rag. I have nothing but two overs, but I come out firing anyway. The first two players fold, and the button calls. She’s been calling with middle pairs for a while so I naturally put her on a Jack. Even if she had the King, which I think she would have raised with, I still have some outs on the turn. Bright as a Sunday Morning, the Ace hits on the turn. I lead out again and she calls again. The river is a 7. One more time, I fire out. Now, she raises!!! WTF? Was she slow playing a monster this whole time? I call the bet to find out and she flips over her cards to show a Jack. I turn over my Ace and wait for the dealer to push me the pot. Uh uh. The button points to her second card, a 7! Offsuit! She called a preflop raise, a bet on the flop with an overcard and then another bet on the turn with 2 overcards!!! Well slit my throat and call me Sally. The entire session was like that. Donkeys hitting inside straight draws going heads up, etc… Very frustrating.
Wendy eventually joined us at the Taj and we stayed until 5AM. Paul was up big, but the rest of us were even or down with myself as the big big loser (Capital L). In the morning, we decided to go to Sonsie again for breakfast, not least because I had left my Amex card there! After more wonderful French Toast, which I shared with Vivian, we went to Bally’s to play. Bally’s used to be the ‘smoking’ poker room. The only one on the strip that still allowed it, it got all the guys who only went there for the smoking. So if you could stand the toxic fumes (It was like playing in Chernobyl), you could make a lot of money from the action. Well, due to the AC smoking laws passed a few months ago, smoking is no longer allowed in Bally’s. The poker room is much nicer to play in now but the action is still loose. In fact, this was my only winning session. It was still frustrating though to see a beautiful girl sit down with $60, have hardly an idea what she was doing, run her $60 to $350 and then leave with a smile on her face like she beat the table. Oh that smirk! That money was coming back to us, I swear it. We played at Bally’s for a few hours and then decided to head back to the hotel (Fairfield Resort for Friday and Saturday nights) for a well deserved nap. Wendy stayed behind, of course, but the rest of us retired to our quarters. A few hours later, we were raring to go and we picked up Wendy on our way to the Borgata.
The Borgata was magical. I sat a ridiculously soft table with only one good player at it and I even managed to scrape together a good winning session. Or at least it was good until I gave all my profit back. I had been up $240 but had to leave the session up only $60. I watched donkey after donkey rebuy and reload only to watch their chips go to other less deserving players. We stayed at the Borgata until 5:30AM, again, and then drove Dimples home to his parents place at the south end of the strip. We were at the North end and when we finally pulled into the Valet, it was 6:30AM. Bleary eyed, Darko left the car for the Valet while Wendy and I tried to convince the front desk to give us a late checkout. It worked. When we got up in the morning, ready and primed for the famous Hellman family Sunday brunch, we jumped in the shower and packed to check out. I was ready first so I called for an elevator (there were numerous elevator problems at the Fairfield) and went to go pick up Darko’s car. John, still very tired since we only slept about 3.5 hours, reached into his pocket absentmindedly and pulled out his car keys. “Here, you’re going to need these”. I stared at the keys. Something was off but I couldn’t place it. Finally, I pieced it together in my hazy, woozy state. “John, didn’t you Valet the car last night?”. Sure enough, John had pulled in, hadn’t seen any valets on duty and then left the car in the driveway, taking the keys with him. We rushed downstairs, but of course the car had been towed. We were barely running on time for the brunch and it wasn’t boding well. Knowing the Hellman family, they were politely waiting for us, not eating. Our guilt overwhelemed us. Wendy and John pleaded with the front desk to get us our car, and quick. It turns out, luckily, that the car had only been towed two blocks away into a hotel lot, not a police impound. Wendy, instead of waiting for the manager to come and open the lot, rushed outside, found the car and proceeded to convince John that he could jump the flower bed in his 4X4 and drive us to the church on time! But logic prevailed (oh, and there were two cars blocking their way) and the manager came over and dutifuly let us out. But we still had to get to brunch. Darko peeled out, went north to Atlantic Avenue, turned left…and hit a wall of traffic. Bypassing that, we passed by a flower shop and screeched to a halt. Wendy and Vivian jumped out, but the shop was closed. Our plans to buy a make-up bouquet would be foiled (cue dissapointment music). But the shop’s door was open since they were loading a van for a delivery (presumably a wedding). Wendy strode in and demanded they sell her a bouquet, regardless of the fact that they were closed! Was there any doubt whose will was stronger? Wendy and Viv left with a bouquet and we were only 20 minutes late to brunch.
On a side note, Paul’s father was very grumpy from not having eaten, but was polite nonetheless. We are very thankful and grateful to the Hellman family for being so kind and generous. Plus, brunch was delicious.
After brunch, we decided to meet up with Abbie and Michael at the Showboat. They had come down for the day and were going to play in the 2PM tourney. Stephane had also arrived and was playing at the Hilton. I left her messages but we couldn’t hook up for the weekend. The tourney turned out to be awful for everyone. Out of 80 players, of which Wall Street Poker represented nearly 10% of the field, we only got one final table entrant (Vivian) and she bubbled. My only good hand was doubling through Darko, of all people, with AA vs. his KK. I was short stacked and all the money went in pre-flop. A King flopped and my heart sank, but an Ace turned to save me. I didn’t mean it Darko!
We played 1-2 NL at the Showboat until about 7, had dinner and hit the road to go home. Other than a monster rain storm, which Paulie drove through admirably, it was a nice ride home. Good times…Good times.