Friday, July 12, 2013


This trip to Atlantic City has been very satisfying in spite of some snafus.  The driving was particularly easy.  The ride down on Sunday missed traffic.  I left very early, having packed the night before and arrived around noon with plenty of time to enjoy my first day.

I did not check in until exactly 3 PM.  There was about a half hour line and a ten dollar early check in fee.  I asked when that was lifted and the clerk said at 2:55, so those just ahead of me in line must have paid it.  What a rip off.

The fellow gave me a nice quiet room at the end of the corridor.  It was very comfortable and I had no immediate neighbors so the TV at 3AM was not a bother to anyone.


Driving home was easy as well.  Instead of trying to have as much of the last day as possible and then worrying about rush hour, I played poker until 3 AM the night before, slept, woke up after seven and packed myself out on the road so that by the time I was tired, I was nearly home. 

I’ll do that again.

Also, I’ll stop in Paramus for gas and to get money at the bank.  That is a fine plan.  Were I hungry there was a nice bagel shop across from the gas station and away from the highway.  Also there was an A and P and I stopped and bought snacks for the trip.  That was a great idea because food prices in the casinos are high.  I only bought two meals while there and had the rest in my room.

I indulged myself with the Showboat seafood buffet.  Even with my $3 in points, it was a hefty price.  However, I was not disappointed.  I found the crab was very good. 

We are spoiled with the winter stone crab we get in Homosassa, and no king crab matches that wonderful taste.  Still, this was a good meal and most of the legs were done right so that just a twist and pull and the meat came out easily and firm.

They also had mussels.  I’ve become very fond of mussels.  And I had a small piece of catfish, but I could not tell if that was American or not. 


My second purchased meal was at the Irish Pub.  This is a wonderful place.  I went there early in the morning just to see the menu, and that allowed me to tour the wall hangings. The place is a small museum of articles, photos, and memorabilia.  Much of it is focused on baseball and some of that is very unique and rare.  Much of it would be valuable on eBay.  All was interesting. 

Even the ceiling is covered in old newspaper articles although that is too dim to be read. 

The food was affordable.  It was not exceptional, although the “pub salad” would make a fine meal by itself. It was good. I had a few chicken wings with that salad.  They were very good.  I also had a couple drafts of Great Lakes amber and those were very good, two draft mugs were just $5.50 for both, so they were priced right. 

I ate at the bar and listened to some folks tell a few stories and react to the baseball game on the flat screen.  I liked it all.

I had enough salad to take some back to the room for my early morning breakfast and that meant I did not need to stop for food on the way home.

Also working as good room food was a couple organic red peppers.  I sliced them up with humus.  It made a meal.

Showboat had free bagels and that was breakfast a couple times.   

Video poker.  Using VPFree I located 4 full pay video poker machines.  I played a bit of the JOB, but I better like the Double Bonus, so I switched to that. It was 9/7 but still a good pay table, just about equal to JOB, but perhaps a better play for me because I have the idiosyncrasies down in DB and don’t have all the penalty card plays down in JOB. 

At first I really got drained.  Then I hit quad Aces and got some back, and then I got drained again.  There just were not many quads hitting.  I had one frustrating hand where I was dealt 3 to the Royal as well as a pair of tens.  I drew for the Royal only to see the other two tens come.  Had I drawn for tens, I’d have hit quads.  Later, I had quad tend dealt to me.  And that was all the quads I saw over two days of play.

However, on day 2 I held A-K-Q of hearts and caught the 10-J for the Royal.  A nice $1000 and it all just went to the ticket with no hand pays needed.




Live poker did not increase my profit, but again luck played a huge part.  The limit games are too tight and too much is raked to give me much hope.

I should not have played at Showboat at all.  The Taj was a much better game.  They rake $1 less and they offered 1-4-6, a game much more likely to overcome the rake. 

I lost plenty on that game, however, getting no cards except a few second best, including a nice full house beat by quads.  My last hand was K-K cracked by trip 8’s.   A guy with J-J built the pot.

At the table was the most annoying player I have ever met.  He could not stop talking about anything and everything, not for two seconds.  On and on he talked and folks kept trying to change their seats to sit away from him.  For a while he gave so much information to the woman next to him, that I could tell her hand or his.  Once he just told her he had pocket 4’s, but when those caught another, she stayed with him anyway.  She was pretty dumb.


Everyone was very tired of him.  He cursed too, and then apologized.  Over and over he was warned by the floor, apologized and just did it all again. 


All the players were pretty good.  Regulars for the most part.  I liked the game, just not my cards.


The Showboat bad beat was hit the first night I was there, well… at about 2:30 in the morning.  I had not played at night, but had played the video poker.  I was in bed by midnight anyway.  So the next day, the bad beat required 4 kings be beaten, and they were still taking $2 per pot. 

Their high hand awards were very hard to understand.  The dealers did not know the rules, and often did not listen to the questions.  Sometimes their answers did not agree with the floor.  They seemed to know the rules, but once I had to ask a floor guy to stay three times, so I could finish all my questions.

$20 in the pot is too high for limit games.  And to have to have the hand be a “called hand” is just stupid.


There too the line on the table means nothing.  If your chips are in front of your cards, then it is a bet.  This was explained to one fellow, but not enforced as it was with me at Foxwoods.  He had $12 out on the river, threatening a raise as he watched his opponent, but ended up folding.  It was not called as a bet.


The Taj had a high hand award, but it went away at midnight.


I played a bit of no limit while waiting for the limit the second morning at Showboat, and saw that I could beat a few of the players if I had the bankroll to take a risk when a couple of them tried a bluff. 

I bought in for the minimum, $100 and was dealt A-K of diamonds my first hand.  There was one decent raise and when it went around, a fellow went all-in and another called that bet.  I guess I should have figured them for Aces and Kings and folded, but I put my $100 in.  The diamonds came, in fact I almost hit a royal flush, needing just the ten on the river.  After my win, I had $300 in front of me, and I did not want to lose all that in one hand.  I called a couple hands in late position, then folded after the flop missed me.  I called a decent after flop bet while holding A-K of clubs with two on the flop.  There was no more betting.  No club came and I lost to trips. 

After a long, tight time I held 9-10 in the big blind and the flop came 10-8-6 rainbow.  I bet $30 trying to represent “tight guy” who finally initiates a bet when he catches a straight, and everyone folded.

Then I went to play limit and gradually lost a bit of money.  I quit with a profit of over $100.

When I hit the royal on the VP that day, I was $703 up for the trip but when I went home I was up exactly $500.




I liked the beach, but it was not what I expected.  It was icy cold.  That amazes me because we have had such hot weather in the Northeast that I thought the temperature would have warmed the ocean.

They are still working on the beach, but I found a fine place right in front of Revel.  I could even sit in the shade, wade, come back, sit with the tide coming in and cooling my feet.  A fine cool breeze blew off the ocean. After all these days of high heat and high humidity, just sitting there was a treat.

On Sunday the beach was busy but not crowded and I enjoyed watching all the people.  Many were friendly and started conversations with me.  Here was Black and White and Asian and Latino all romping together in the cold waves or playing in the sand.  One Black lesbian couple stood right at the water’s edge and were very close and looked lovingly in each other eyes while they talked, hugging occasionally.  They drew no attention.  So nice to have us all blended together.

I was asked and watched a young woman’s glasses and jewelry while she went into the water.  She had lost $1800 that day, got back $1000 and then lost that. She was not delighted.  It was more than she intended.

Sadly, she chose an area to swim where there is some rebar out beyond the first little bit of shallows and the life guard came and called her out.  He did it in one adjacent area too.  I said that it could save him a lot of time if there were some signs.  A hundred people must have said that because he was clearly tired of hearing it.  “I’m your sign” he said.

On Monday there were no life guards when I went late in the afternoon. We could go in anywhere we wanted and there was no warning sign of rebar out a ways.   

Sunday five of these life guards all gathered around the life guard wooden seat and joked around.  Once in a while they patrolled and when they did there was always something to blow the whistle about.  No signs warned of anything.  It all had to be explained when folks came back on shore.

At one point one fellow took the long wooden boat out and rowed it in the high waves.  It was a joy to watch. 

There was plenty of activity.  Motor boats were out and sail boats and some sorts of working boats.  A strange shaped old plane carried banners advertising banks or deals or food.  A heliocopter gave rides from the end of the pier.  At that end there is the sling shot, a round cage with two seats that drops and rises on bungy like cables on both sides. 

It looked very scary.

Another rided has four seats on the end of a very long shaft that spins.  The seats also spin. 

That also looked scary.

Also there is a ferris wheel and a Crazy Mouse. This is a really old ride that I liked at Crystal Beach.  It is a small roller coaster, tiny really, and once I rode it with Kathy Duzen and loved being close with her as our bodies bounced together around the turns.  I imagine that was in the summer of 1967.


I liked walking along the pier and seeing all the rides and games and such.  There was a place where on another trip I could bring a tuna fish sandwich and sit and have a table.


The humidity has slowed my desire to explore much here.  I did walk the boardwalk this morning, starting at 6 AM and already it was very humid.  I was going to ride my bike, but the back tire is flat. I filled those tires before I left so I expect it needs replacing of the tube.

I walked up to that gyro spot which is decorated with one dollar bills all across the ceiling and over the backs of the chairs.  I used to love eating there, but nothing now was really on my diet. 

I best like the boardwalk at night, although it was still brutally humid.  I could not ride my bike due to a flat tire, but I’d have tired quickly in that heat and humidity.  Hours to ride were 6-10 and the morning I was ready at 6.  I walked in the humidity.  Men were cleaning up everything on the beach and it looked like the sand was being raked.

Up closer to Showboat there was a machine spewing sand to make more beach.  That section was closed.

I found some of that NJ/NY attitude in people, but very little.  None of it was on the beach.  There folks were all friendly and easy and many engaged me in conversation.  It is not what I remember from years ago, but a milder, gentler community.


I liked sleeping here.  The AC at home is just not doing the full job.  Elizabeth sleeps upstairs, but I hate to move all my equipment.  Still, it was a treat to be in the quiet room that I could make as cool as I wanted.  I napped a couple times.  The water and the salt air tired me out as did all the walking.



The elevator needs a room key to operate. This may make things more secure, although one room key lets up a dozen people. It is annoying, especially when a key loses magnetic ability. Mine did.


There was a fine table in the room, but no plug for the computer.  I packed an extention cord but it is not three prong, so I just used the  computer on its battery and plugged it in during the day near the bed.

I forgot extra batteries for the camera and some other things.  It is not easy to buy such things here.

I did come home with two souvenirs, a nice big hat for my big head that was from the Negro Baseball Museum.  And a cup with my heart royal on it.  The dollar stores are still operating there on the boardwalk.

The poker was okay, but

I miss Ocala where the rake is easy, I can play no limit on a small bankroll and the rules are consistent and simple to understand.

The AC limit games are often regulars, all who know each other, all who check down one on one poker play to avoid adding to the rake.  I don’t like such play.  It is boring.

They are tight.  Each day there has been just one fish at the table.  So, if we are all good players and there are no tricks to play, the rake just eats us up.


There were not many shows.  I had my car, but did want to replay for parking and drive anywhere else.  I miss the Vegas buses.


I walked through Revel and it was something to see, but mostly it was sadly empty.  There are plenty of folks signing up for player’s cards.  The rebate deal gets them in.  I got one, but there is nothing for me to play there and the large and beautiful poker room was very hard to find, located way upstairs and in the back.  One no limit game was going. All young players. 

There are some spots for great views of the ocean. They did take advantage of that instead of closing us off and away from that natural wonder.

While walking to the poker room I went through the empty conference section and it reminded me of a very frightening nightmare in the movies where you walk down an odd corridor and there are doors and perhaps people come out of them.  I did not like them.  But then I am not modern and minimal in my taste in architecture.

It did have a new and fresh and clean feeling.  Perhaps that will be enough to draw in people.  The location is not very good.


I won’t be tempted to drive out there much.  I wanted the cool of the waves and to sit by the ocean.  Things have been upsetting me lately and this was therapy.  It worked.

I like it better than Turning Stone, but not as well as Foxwoods.  Sadly, the bus deals to Foxwoods have dried up except on weekends.   I may decide to drive there before going back to Atlantic City.  I went because they gave me free rooms.  And it was fine to have the full pay video poker available.  Still it is a good bit farther with more threats of traffic and about $12 in tolls and much more aggressive, obnoxious drivers.

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