Sunday, May 11, 2008

Atlantic City Poker Trip Report

Wow... first of all, it's been a while. Almost a month actually. Things have been pretty crazy, and I actually hadn't even had time to play since my last post until this weekend... when I took off for Atlantic City for my good friend's bachelor party. It wasn't a poker-related trip per say, but I did manage to squeeze in some action and dip my virgin feet into live casino poker.

After grabbing dinner with the group and perusing the boardwalk for a bit we ducked into Caesars (stayed at the Trump Plaza - no poker room) to check out the Casino. Most of the guys went for blackjack, but I went to find the poker room, and one particularly drunk college buddy of my friend decided to come along. We only had an hour or so to look around and then we were going to head elsewhere, so I decided it wouldn't be the best spot to play given the timing and the simple fact that I didn't want this poor drunk sap throwing his money away or vomiting all over the table. As tempting as it was, and not knowing what the rest of the night was going to bring, I just decided to hold off for the time being.

Later that night we wandered down to the Tropicana, where it seemed all the Villanova greek kids were having their graduation shenanigans or something. Basically it was a rampage of frat tools and sorostitute clones that were seemingly taking over the joint. I managed to make it to the poker room around midnight, where I got a quick seat at a new $1/2 NL table, picked up $200 from the cashier nearby, and sat down in my first ever casino poker game. I found myself surprisingly comfortable, though I kept quiet and just observed as much as I could while throwing away a bunch of early crap.

The table turned out to be wild as anything, and even the apparent regulars in my corner seemed in shock over how a number of players that came and went at the table were playing. My personal favorite was the guy that had his head down on the table as if sleeping, then when tapped by the dealer, woke up real quick, looked at his hand without observing the action before him, and pushed all-in. An early position player had opened for $10, and he came over the top with about $110 more. THEN... (yes there's more) the original raiser thinks about it a little, and makes a relatively quick call with AJ-suited. The drowsy all-in player had pocket 7's, the AJ LAG hit a Jack on the river and took it down. Myself and the few decent players that seemed to be down near my end of the table just kept getting more and more wide-eyed as the night went on, as we saw other players making big calls on the flop with hands like Queen-high (QTo on a 7-3-4 flop), 3rd pair (49o, on a flop of J-K-4), and all sorts of other crap going to showdown. Of course, as my luck would have it, I could barely catch a playable hand in a position I wanted it in all night to rake in some of these crazy pots that were being played. I think I took down one medium pot over the course of 2-3 hours or so, made one bad call on an obvious rivered flush that caught my flopped top-two, and finished the session down $30. There was one hand I would have likely made a killing on, and it went a little something like this...

Complete donk in early position grabs a random stack of whites and throws them in, not even knowing or seemingly caring how much it was (he'd done this at least 2-3 times before). I think the raise was somewhere in the range of $12-15. Cutoff player to my right reraises to $36. I'm on the button with KQo, and I had checked my cards right before the cutoff reraised and was planning on making a call, as I definitely wanted to play a hand with the original raiser, and in position to boot. Once the reraise is thrown in by the relatively solid cutoff, I decide to just wait for a better spot and muck my mediocre hand. So everyone else folds, the original raiser calls, and wouldn't ya know the flop comes K-K-Q (#&$%@#&@!!!!!!!). And of course wouldn't you know that the action only builds, with the cutoff putting in big bet after big bet only to be called by the donk. Believe it or not the hand goes to showdown, and on a board of K-K-Q-8-x, the cutoff player turns over Q4-suited!!! And the original raiser turns over 87-offsuit!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! If I could've just sat in the middle of those two and put some calls in that would've easily been a $250-300 pot, though I realize it probably would've played out differently.

Anyways, that was Saturday... err... Sunday morning. Then after I managed to track down all elements of the drunken bachelor party group, we headed back to the Trump Plaza, got to bed around 5, and woke up around 8:30 thanks to the beautiful Atlantic City sunlight coming through our window. I had been awoken a few times during the night by some loud-ass snoring, someone's cell phone going off, and my good friend (the groom actually) going back and forth to the toilet. Still I felt relatively awake for having gotten such shoddy sleep, and decided to shower and head out since no one else was anywhere near looking awake.

This time I hit up Caesars right nextdoor, which was pretty much vacant compared to Saturday. At 9:30 AM on a Sunday morning there were a few, maybe 4-5, tables going in the poker room, and I sat down at the $1/2 NL again. I only sat there for about an hour or so, but managed to take down a few nice pots with a set of 7's, a big AKs re-raised from the BB hand, and I think there might have been another small one or two, but that was about it. I had to get back to the hotel though for checkout, so I cashed out $257 and took my small profit on home.

All-in-all a fun trip for both poker and bachelor party shenanigans, though I'm not sure how much time I could spend in Atlantic City before I start to feel like I'm developing some sort of salty film all over my skin and showing signs of lung cancer just from watching so many people chain smoke all over the place. Still, I would like to go back sometime and try some of the other casinos and get some longer sessions in. The worst part of it all was sitting at that juicy Tropicana table and getting jack squat to work with, but that... after all... is poker, whether it's at a casino or online. For the time being though I'm just looking forward to getting back into the online action once again, and not having to worry about throwing in an extra buck or two for tip every time you win a pot.

More updates coming soon... I promise. Until then, best of luck.

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