Mohegan Sun – Day one
Chris and I got up at Bally’s in AC at about 10AM. After showering and getting dressed, we had a decision to make. Do we leave now, both of us up for the trip, or do we play a few more hours. I was gong to have to leave at 3:30pm latest, because I needed to make a 7PM bus to Mohegan Sun to check into my hotel room that night. The 7PM bus was my absolutely LAST option from Manhattan, so if I missed it I was out of luck. We flipped a coin to decide if we were going to stay or go and it came up heads. Stay. So we went to brunch at Bally’s bistro restaurant (really yummy) and hit the tables at the Taj (best action available). Chris went to the 2-5 NLHE table and I stuck with 5-10 Stud (just killing time). After two hours, Chris racked up a huge $550 profit after getting paid off on quad 5’s by two players who pushed all in ahead of her when she quadded up on the turn! I dropped $40 at the Stud table on my last hand, naturally, but it was a fun time with the old folks. And make no mistake, only elderly people play 5-10 Stud. And me. But they’re usually fun to talk to. Lots of stories. Except for one dealer who sat down and kept saying stuff like, “Remember XXXX? He has Cancer. Remember XXXX? He died last month”. It was like playing with the angel of death. Chris and I made it onto the 3:30 bus home and we hit HUGE traffic going into the Holland tunnel. I made it into the Port Authority at 6:30p, with just enough time to get a sandwhich, buy a ticket to Mohegan Sun and get onto the bus. The bus, which was 30 minutes late, was surprisingly fast to the casino. 2hrs and 30 minutes flat, and that includes a stop at 85th street to pick up more passengers. The cost of the bus ride from the Port Authority is $25 ($10 cheaper than Atlantic City) and they give you a $15 food/retail coupon when you get there PLUS $25 of coupons good for free bets on table games in a specific pit in one section of the casino.
I checked into my room, after walking aimlessly to find it. The casino is GARGANTUAN. Definitely the biggest casino I’ve been in that I can remember. The MGM Grand in Vegas is big too, but it’s laid out a little better. This casino is like an endless stream of different room and shops. After a while, I started to get the hang of it, but that first walk to the hotel lobby was tough. Anyhow, I checked in, dropped my luggage, and went to find Pit 8, which was where I had to use my coupons. There was a time limit, as the coupons were only good for that day and it was already 10:30p. I placed some free bets at the Pai-Gow table (the poker players table game!) and won every one. A good sign. I cashed out my free money immediately and went to find the poker room.
On the absolutely other end of the casino, nearly a 10 minute walk from where I was in Pit 8 (!) is the poker room. 40 tables in a wide open area with an incredible amount of noise seeping in from the casino floor. The room is beautiful, as is the rest of the casino, but the chaos can be overwhelming. The tables have the swipe system that’s supposed to let the brush desk know when a player has sat down or is leaving. This is supposed to make questions like, “Is there a seat available” superfluous but there were still people walking around with Walkie-Talkies letting the desk know when there were empty seats. Clearly the system isn’t working. I was able to get in on a new 1-2 NLHE table starting up and I sat in seat 7 with $200. I like new tables because no one has a big stack and the table roster tends to stay stable for a while, allowing me to get good reads that will stick. One read was spot on as an older player started making weird raises/bluffs, and showing them, which prompted me to move to his left when a player got up to leave. I sat tight for the session, making tight fold after tight fold. Two examples of good folds are:
JJ in MP. It folds to me and I raise to $12. It folds to the BB (the crazy older guy), who re-raises to $50. We hadn’t seen a raise/re-raise yet, so I put him on a monster. Even if he didn’t, there aren’t a lot of flops I’d be particularly happy with. If the flop comes with a Q, K or Ace, and he bets big, I have to fold. If the flop comes raggy and he bets big, I have to fold unless I get a stone read on him. Basically, with my little $200 stack, I have to shove or fold here. I elect to fold considering we’re not fighting a big pot and I table JJ. He tables QQ and gives me high compliments on my good fold. In fact, he goes on for a full minute about how great it was. I thought it wasn’t *that* great, but I’m happy to get the ego boost.
AQo in the BB. I see a raise to $16 (more than is normal at this table) and a call. When it gets to me I start considering that I’m out of position with what could easily be a dominated hand. So I muck. The flop is Q72 with two spades. The action gets heated between the two players before the winner is shown KdQd. Okay, I would have won, but I still think it’s the right fold. As a guy on my right said to me, “That hand in that position loses more than it wins”. Good point.
I was sitting on a very small $35 profit when the table broke up because some players busted and never returned. I was sat at a different table where the action was much heavier that the last table. After getting re-raised by the same guy twice on hands I really wanted to see flops with, I finally decided to take a stand in late position with 6d8d. Yes, this isn’t the best hand in the world, or even close to it, but I was in position on the aggressor and there was another caller. The aggressor had raised PF to $12 and I called along with the one other. Flop was KhJd4d. Okay, a flush draw. The Agressor bets $17 and I call, with the other guy folding. The turn was the 8c. This gave me a pair to go along with my flush draw. The Agressor bet $17 again! This was a REALLY weak bet on a turn card that isn’t threatening. So I popped him to $50. He called. I was hoping to take down the pot on the semi-bluff, but he clearly has *something*, though I don’t think it’s that strong. The river is the perfect Ad. He checks and I bet $40, which he calls pretty quickly. He tables KJo (!) and I show him the flush. He steams and I don’t give him the chance to crack me, getting up a few hands later. In my defense, I was going to play in the tourney the next day and it *was* 2AM. In addition, I had sold ½ of my interest in the tourney to Matty Ebs, which lowered my buyin cost to $150 and I happened to be up…$154 for the session. Perfect time to get up, if you ask me.
One more note about the Mohegan sun casino. It’s a beautiful complex, with lots to do for everyone in the family, but I had the displeasure of having one of the worst poker dealers EVER at my table. This guy, whom we’ll call Mike, sits down and starts dealing. His skills were fine and he was fast, but he wasn’t paying attention. When the guy to my right called a $14 bet by putting in a redbird and 4 whites, I told the Mike the pot was short. Mike said, “No he put in the right amount”. I argued and Mike argued back until we forced him to count the pot back and we found it was indeed $5 short. There was another situation where a player went all in and the guy on my right asked for a count. Mike didn’t respond. He asked again. Mike again didn’t respond. Then he actually YELLED at Mike to count it out and Mike snapped out of his daydream and said, “Oh, right”. But that didn’t bother me. What bothered me was Mike’s really awful trolling for tips. I hit a set of 8’s on a pot that didn’t go to showdown, but had about $85 or so in it and Mike pushed the pot to me saying, “Big pot. Nice hand sir”. This is an egregiously poor choice of words. Not only does it imply that it’s a nice pot so I should tip him, it also disrespects the other players who LOST THE POT!!! Under no circumstances should any dealer EVER comment on the size of the pot or congratulate a player for winning a pot. It’s not right in any situation. Plus, and this is even worse, I caught him lying to three players, myself included in order to get more tips. After I pulled in another pot, I took two loose white chips and flipped them to Mike. He pulled them in and the hand went on. As I was thinking about the next hand, I momentarily forgot whether I had toked Mike. This happens a lot to me, where my extreme short term memory just disappears. In this case, I will always ask the dealer if I had toked them. In every casino I’ve ever been in, with every single dealer, the answer has always been either, “Yes, thank you” OR “I don’t remember”. Mike, on the other hand, shook his head and said, “No”. I didn’t remember if I had so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and flipped him two more, thought I clearly remembered later having already toked him. Then, three other players asked if THEY had toked him for previous hands and he said no to ALL of the them! Clearly lying. And then the worst offense of all, he pointed to a player who hadn’t asked about it and said, “And this guy didn’t tip me either!”. Wow, I was stunned. The player, out of embarrassment maybe, flipped a white to Mike but I vowed never to tip him again. This sort of unprofessionalism should not go unpunished.
Mike ALMOST made it worth it though by giving us the line of the night. One of the players had a little Leprechaun statue they were using as a card cover and Mike asked if they had ever been to Ireland. The player, in fact, hadn’t been and Mike started going on about how his trip wasn’t that great. He mentioned how it’s like the U.S., but very different. Me and some of the other players chuckled at the comment. Of course, it’s different than the U.S., it’s ANOTHER COUNTRY. The guy on my right cracked wise, “Yeah, and they have a different accent and everything”. Mike mentioned how he wouldn’t want to live in Ireland, of all the countries he’s been to. I wanted to find out a little more about Mike and his travels so I asked, “So which of the foreign countries you’ve been to would you LIKE to live in?”. He said, with a straight face, “If money was no object? I’d like to live in Miami.”
We laughed so hard, there were tears rolling down our cheeks. It all made sense now.