Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Son Peter and I took the Yankee Trails bus to Foxwoods today. I have a voucher, so the trip was free; Peter had a $5 coupon. The benefits are just fine: $20 in keno bets and a free $15 buffet for a $27 fare ($2 less if you book online)

However, it is a long ride, and we had not planned well this time. We had not noted that it was a combined trip, half Foxwoods folks and half Mohegan Sun overnight folks, so on the way out we had to stop at Mohegan Sun first. This would not be much of a time waster if the casino host was there on time and if they would just let the folks off the bus before they explain to them every detail of their two day Mohegan Sun staym warn them about every possible danger, and even be open to questions. Instead the Foxwoods folks must wait for the Mohegan Sun casino host to lecture the overnight folks. She ends by saying if they have any questions they might meet her at her desk in the lobby. I felt that in the lobby is where they should al have met be for the entire lecture.

On the way home one of the passengers brought a fine Johnny Carson comedy tape, so we were entertained. I always forget to bring a few so that the three hour journey back goes a bit easier. some drivers provide a movie. I guess Fred doesn't. This one was a very fine choice, but no one seemed to know how to play the second selection so we had just a one hour break in a three hour trip. And the piped in music was annoying. The quality of the sound is poor. I love Mamas and Papas, but did not recognize them when they sang or enjoy them. It sounded like some teenager had earphones turned up just loud enough to annoy the rest of us and not loud enough so that we could actually catch the melody.

On the way up Peter and I had some fine conversation and that works just great.
The bus driver Fred was very personable. He went over all the details, especially the one about making sure we made the return bus and did not get stuck overnight. Then he also had details for the Mohegan Sun people. He was perfect except he kept saying he was dropping them off tomorrow instead of picking them up and this confused some. He told some jokes so they could not always tell if he was just kidding or not. But in the end it all worked out.

The poker was fine, but both Peter and I lost. I won in the morning on a 2-4 table in spite of the fact that great cards after great cards lost. I lost with A-K three times in a half dozen hands. In the afternoon it went worse and I really lost. I ended $229 down which is a substantial loss for me even if it is only a variation of 1 or 2 hands at the 4-8 game.

Our opponents were not too hard to play. No maniacs capped the betting. Folks were believable and predictable. When I folded my predictions came true, but they were sad predictions. But in the afternoon too my A-K and pocket Kings lost enough to make the table feel sorry for me.

I had to show some and showed others, so that I might get some respect on raises, but that did not work either. It was not a mistake because I really was never in the position to bluff a raise without good cards and very few dropped out when I did make those raises. I tried to bluff with A-K one time againt a guy I knew was weak but he called my bets all the way with his simple pair of Queens and low kicker. I could see him thinking about throwing it in, but he just kept calling.

My best afternoon hand was 4-6 in a blind that caught 3-5 on the flop and a 7 on the river. I had someone betting in to me on the turn, who I check raised after two other people had called him. He called me on the river also. It was unthinkable that I might play a 4-6, I suppose. Maybe showing the A-K helped me after all.

Peter too lost most of his budgeted $70 at 2-4 tables. The morning table was also good for him, but the afternoon caught him. I played with him in the morning, and his play was very good.

The Keno paid us $5 each.

People were friendly at the tables, but not as interesting as Vegas.

I think I like these bus trips better in colder weather when I have been inside and bored for a week. It is just too long a ride even with good company.

I checked again, or tried to, on the poker rate at Foxwoods. As I understand it now, I might get a rate of $69 if I play a while and then ask for it, or I might not. Well, this is of no use to me if I want to sandwich some days between two bus trips.

Yankee Trails will get me there and back, but I would not have a certain place to stay, so I guess if I want to make an overnight trip, I'll book some of the mailed promos (still at $69) and then try for the bus. Even though the bus would cost me $52, it is a good deal as I get coupons for both days, so I eat two $15 buffets and have $40 in free keno bets. All that for about what it would cost me in gas/tolls to drive there and back. But if I drove I could find a cheap $40 motel.

Still, when I can stay in Nevada for under $12 a night, I have trouble swallowing the $69 Foxwoods rate as a "cheap promotion." I guess I need to get over that except that my mathematics of 11 nights of saving $50 a night in hotel expense by going to Nevada more than pays my airfare to fly to Vegas even if the airfare goes up another 50%. Add that to the fact that the first and only time I have tried to book Foxwoods at the $69 rate, they were out of promotional rooms. I suppose sometimes folks hear that hotels in Vegas are out of promotional rooms, but I have never personally been told that in the over ten years of booking promos.

Now if only Laughlin would have bus deals like Yankee Trails. The only promo bus rides I find are one day trips and no luggage can be taken along on the bus. The shuttle is currently $110. So in Nevada a shorter bus trip is 50% more, while the rooms are 60% less. If I were marketing Laughlin, I'd find a way to set up promo bus trips from Vegas in which folks paid for transportation and housing for three or four days.

Day bus rides to Tampa Hard Rock from Crystal River up North where we stay in winter area about the same price as our Yankee Trails, but stay a much shorter time, probably due to rush hour traffic. A short time at a casino is of no use to a poker player.


Erica Jacobson said...

Hey Dewey,
I really like your section on the economics of driving versus taking the bus to play poker at Foxwoods. I’m the reporter for the Norwich, Conn., Bulletin who covers both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun and I’m looking to speak with poker players about poker coming back to Mohegan Sun.
Any chance I could get in touch with you? Here’s my e-mail, ejacobson@norwichbulletin.com

Chuck_Monk said...

Hi Dewey,

Good report, nice detail on the bus and room situation. We are heading over the 22nd tues. I will look for that layover at Mohegan and let the crew know. I might try some pm 2/4 as I dont want to pass up some half price craps. I am rusty at the cards as I have been laying low since returning from the beautiful bospherus. good luck in Vegas and the borderlands too!

Dewey said...

Wow. And I thought no one read these. Three comments (one by phone)

Erica I emailed you.

Chuck, I've missed you. My emails bounce back. There are lots of local games happening. Call me.