Thursday, October 10, 2013

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun October 2013

Foxwoods sent me two free nights at Two Trees Inn, a short shuttle ride  from the casino, so off I went.

The ride through this part of the country should have been stunningly beautiful in autumn with colors at peak, but rain and mist obscured most the beauty and a progressive diarrhea managed to grab my attention.  This is not an easy journey for finding bathrooms.  
At the same time in between the fall fund drives I found some very good NPR shows and I had my Jack Teagarden  on disc and my own thermos of fresh ground coffee, so the 3 hour drive was comfortable enough.

I headed to Mohegan Sun to play there in the afternoon until my Foxwoods room was ready.  I sure do like that poker room.  I could move with my small bankroll from 1-2 NL to 1-1 NL and then to a rare 3-6  limit game that was just a delight.  
I ate nothing.  All day I just drank water and had just a few probiotic bits of fruit and nuts and some Pepto Bismal.  The diarrhea gave it up after I arrived, but that wasted feeling staying with me, and I tired out easily in the evening.


This was the only show venue on my trip.  One night I saw a comedy Hypnosis and the next a standard show of three comics.  Each night a girl was outside giving discount coupons.  The first night was $15 and the second only $10.  There is a two drink minimum, but they had a special self serve section in the back,  and I did not have to buy a drink the first night or deal with a waitress.  It was a ways from the stage, but the chairs were high and the view and engagement were fine for me.  The second night they sat me right up front, and I just told the waitress I was not drinking and that was fine with her.  There was none of the  pressure I had experienced at Sin City Comedy in Vegas.  And had I wanted a couple beers, draught beers were just $3 as compared with the $8 beers at Sin City.

The hypnosis show was pretty raw.  Pretty girls did suggestive things on stage and seemed not to remember afterwards.  I have seen similar shows in Vegas.  This one was not as smooth, but it was funny and fun to watch.  

One comic opened who could be very good, but something in his timing was a bit off.  I liked some of this jokes.  They were witty.  Both nights I thought the comedians who were not the headliners were second rate and not like I experience in Vegas.  


The Two Trees Inn is a short ways from the casino.  It could be easily walked, but in the rain and with the wasted feeling ,I took the shuttle.  Every 10 minutes it makes its rounds.  It is faster than any in Vegas. I walked twice on other days and each time arrived just as the shuttle was unloading, so I’m guessing the walk was about 12-15 minutes.  There is nothing much to see, just parking lots.  Near the end there was some very colorful landscaping with those cabbage like plants I enjoy.  It is not a walk I would make in the late night, early morning hours.

The Inn itself is very nice:   a refrigerator, coffee pot in the room, bottled water.  There is a fine little bar and grill with a pretty extensive menu right in the hotel as well as a nice pool that is open from 6 AM until pretty late at night.  A small workout room is attached to the pool area.  The jacuzzi worked and there was a bathroom right there and a bottle  that dispensed water.   Outside the pool was a sun porch area for sitting in comfortable chairs and outside that sunporch was an inner courtyard with a gazebo and a fine large pool of water fed by a small waterfall and a small stream over rocks.  It was very pretty there and warm enough one day for me to sit in the sun.

At first my clerk said there were no non smoking rooms left, but when tI overheard he fellow in the line get one, I asked why. She checked with that clerk and there was some way to put me in a nonsmoking room.  Had I paid for a guarantee there was an upcharge, but not right there at the counter.
The wifi did not connect immediately and I called the desk. They gave me a central ATT wifi number and the girl who answered was really wonderful.  In no time after loading  I was connected and afterwards it just connected automatically until the last day when I had to load Comcast again.  
Parking was easy.  I could park very near the door that was very near my elevator.  The ice machine area also had a fine water fountain for a cool drink with no hassle.
I liked the lighting.  It is very handy and just right.  Plugs were handy. The flatscreen is small, but there were a number of stations and I watched Jeff Durham with his puppets the first night until I just needed to sleep.  I really like that guy.   He is very polished and funny.  How he manages to produce so many accents and sounds and all seeming to come from the puppets amazes me.  I think it is pretty gutsy to have a terrorist bomber as one character.


These are fairly large places, so it is good to plan a parking area near  our destination.  At Foxwoods parking in the Rainmaker lot gets us close to the poker and buffet.  At Mohegan Sun parking at the Riverview lot and using the Sky entrance gets us close to the poker room.  I generally call ahead to get on the list and then I ask where is the best place to park.


I was off my strict diet.  Not radically off, but treating myself.  The Foxwoods breakfast buffet was great with good omelets and a great gravy for biscuits and some smoked fish.   Their lunch buffet I like because they have mussels and I eat two large plates full.  Good vegetables as well including a nice mix called Bahama mix and brussel sprouts.  I had one small piece of fried chicken and it was delicious.
My real treat of a meal was on Monday night when David Burke Prime has lobster specials.  I started with a fine, rich lobster bisque served with a puffy roll that was all crust and air.  Very good.  Lobsters came steamed or roasted lobster, Kung Pao-style lobster, or lobster carbonara.  I had my lobster  baked with herbs and spices.  I never had lobster that way before; it was delicious.  It came with a few parmesan  roasted red potatoes and mixed vegetables.  Then for dessert I had vanilla cream brulee, and they seved a small bunch of cotton candy.  I never eat a sweet dessert, so this was really a treat.  The 3 course on special came to $38 with tax.  I paid all but $5 using up points.
At Mohegan Sun just before driving home I ate a patty melt that was free at Johnny Rockets.  It was fine, but not the treat I imagined.
I did like it that a point was a point at all of these places.  I hated trying to figure out how to spend my poker earned points at CET when some of the choices don’t give full value.



I never thought I had the bankroll to play no limit.  I’d lost $300 plus in one hand a few years back at Excalibur, and so I have stayed mostly on limit games.  However, the 2-4 is just very difficult because the rake eats up profit.  
In years past I always thought I wanted my buy in to be the top buy in so that I’d have plenty if I got the best hand.  I’ve changed my mind on that too.  I go in short chipped.  
I like to start with $60 in front of me.  If I double up, I continue to play, but if I get above $200 I take a walk, cash out, and start again at $60 a bit later.   In Vegas it is harder as there are few tables that let me start so low. 
Also, I don’t stay at any one table for very long.  I think after a time the players get a sense of how I play, and then I am working against those perceptions.  If I am new to a table and short chipped, I might even get more easily called when I have the best hand because my opponent wants to see how I pay.  
I first thought I would go all in often preflop with very good cards and try to steal early small opening bets.  I do that sometimes.  More often I am playing after  the flop. I like poker after the flop providing I can’t be bullied out.  Short chipped I can’t be bullied.
in fact, it simplifies the game and for some this would take away the fun of bluffing.
I also will get more calls on the river when I bet the best hand because my all in is very moderate.  People will call just to see. 
This worked just great over this trip.

I moved from 1-2 to 1-1 and then to 3-6 limit.
The cards did not go as well as I would have liked.  Most of my winning hands were based on good reads rather than overwhelmingly good cards.  The 3-6 limit was a great table with a couple aggressive guys and plenty of passive callers.  For a while one of the aggressive guys played to my left and that made it difficult.  I never really got strong enough cards to let him raise and then squeeze the table with a reraise.  I tried that once with pocket Aces and they were cracked.  Aces in general need to be raised, but at this table everyone was staying, and as it turned out my opponent flopped quad 5’s which he was kind enough to show me when I showed my folded Aces after his river bet.
I remember losing one hand with 9-10.  The aggressive guy to my left had 9-10.  We flopped a straight to the jack but on the river a fellow chasing caught a flush.  
Another pair of my pocket Aces were cracked.  
I think that I had two full houses all afternoon.  Those were the best of the hands.
Once my pocket jacks caught trips on the river and beat a fellow’s pocket 8’s.  That was nice.
It is very rare that Mohegan has this game.  They will take an interest list, but most of the limit players are content with 2-4.  What a mistake!


Again I moved from game to game.  I had a short run of good cards that took pots of six and seven dollars at a tight 2-4, moved to find another tight 2-4.  I moved to a new 1-2 NL and there was a maniac acting two people after me.  I was never in a hand with him, but  the last hand I saw there were three people all-in preflop.  Maniac  was the last to act and pushed about  $300.  He held pocket 6’s.  
“Come on Satan,” he said as he showed his cards.
And the flop came 6-2-2 which held up easily.

So, I went for a walk.
I came back and played a very fine 4-8 limit game and had some good hands.
Then I went for lobster and comedy.
When I tried a new 4-8 it was all good players and I lost almost $100.
But each day I came out a little more ahead.


I started at a 1-2 NL and it was a fine table.  My A-8 of hearts caught two hearts on the flop and another on the turn.  A fellow bet into me and when I raised on the river with the nut, he raised to all in.  That was profitable.  I made almost $161 profit on that table and then left and got in a 1-1 NL for my $60 buy in.
That was a fine table.  I liked the game there.  My J-Q flopped  Q-Q-J and I just checked waiting for someone to catch a straight.  A fellow had 6-6 and a  6 came on the river.  He bet $10, I raised to $35 and he went all-in.  My cards were a huge surprize to everyone.  That was my best slow played hand.
My worst folded hand was 10-Q with three before me all-in preflop.  The flop included two tens and the river added one more.
The hand that made my 1--1 opponent the maddest was when I called his $2 preflop raise with 10-7 of diamonds.  It was silly, but he did raise to $3 almost everytime he had cards to avoid the table limping in to the flop.   I just felt like playing some junk.  Once in a while it is a good idea to be unpredictable. 
He called my $15 on the river, but did not like my diamond flush and he grumbled and stopped being the friendly fellow he had been most of the time.
"He'd have been out if I'd have bet $6,"  he muttered to himself in reference to me like I'm invisible. 
And I thought, Oh nice, I've spoiled that automatic raise thing and unsettled his confidence.
He must have been particularly puzzled because I had  tossed most hands away and was not getting decent cards very often. 
So why toss a couple chips at this particular 7-10 of diamonds?  Who knows?  I don't?
I do know that anytime my play seems to follow no easy perceivable pattern, I'm happy.  Then if the guy also mutters away and reveals his own inner reasoning, I'm that much farther ahead as well.
I did miss the opportunity to explain that 7-10 was my favorite hand and tell him he'd be surprised how many times it wins, even if it not suited.  If I win on some junk, I often talk that sort of talk.  If I'm believed, after a flop say of 8-9-J I might get more respect when I raise my pocket Aces especially if I make some small comment that reminds the guy of what I said, even something like, "What an incredibly strange game this is!"
And it won't hurt my game because I'll never play those two cards a second time. 
After that hand, he stopped the automatic $3 bet.  So that was a good call on my part.  I knew he would not make it $6 every time.  Once I called his $7 raise with good cards, but the flop did not help me, so I did not win that one.
There again, had I set the stage, I might have said, "Well, I guess they can't win everytime." to make him think I had 7-10 again.  

After I had a decent profit, I took a walk and played some VP and came back 2 hours later to another 1-1 game, but that one was full of very good players, and soon I decided it was time to head home with my profit.


I have always thought that it was no contest comparing the ambiance of the two casinos.  Foxwoods is rather like a shopping mall.  It has so little to look at that is of any value artistically.
Above the poker room is an  area that includes blown glass flowers by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly who also did those flowers in the Bellagio lobby.  However, these seemed so much less interesting, almost faded where those at Bellagio were bright and delicate.  I especially dislike the large leaves that seemed very artificial.  
The area itself was interestingly filled with some great stained glass windows.  
However, this whole area if basically unoccupied space.  This sort of display might be interesting to break up the long passages in other sections, but here it is seldom seen unless someone searches it out.
There are a few very interesting sculptures places along the hallways, some by Alan Hauser.  I like all of them.  There just are not enough.
In one hotel lobby there are a few display cases with small art work sculpture.  There is plenty of room for more, however, and  I wondered why it does not get used.

Contrast this to the explosion of color and shape and light and Native American depictions at Mohegan Sun.  It is aesthetically delightful just to walk around the place.  So many different pieces.  Here is wood and stone and glass and rock formations with light in and around these bits.  Even the back of the chairs at table games are loaded with tye dye like color.  
For blown glass there is Riverview, a very nice piece.  It is right there on one of the main walkways.

The poker room too is much brighter and more cheerful than the dungeon where we play at Foxwoods.

For my taste the games are better.  I really like the 1-1  NL game.  Sometimes I have to wait for it to start, but it is a game that I can keep playing for a while.  I wish that their old signature 3-6 game was up and running.  They used to even have $3 chips for this game, but now it only happens on request and only very rarely.   I don’t quite get the lack of interest because it is not that more expensive than 2-4 and cheaper in the long run as the pots make it possible to overcome the rake.
Yankee Trails always took us to Foxwoods, but now the trips are limited.  If I am going to drive, then I’m going to spend most of my time at Mohegan Sun.
One other advantage is that they still have decent poker pay tables.  8-5 Bonus is there as is 9-7 Double Bonus.  The games earn no points, but play in monitored and might generate room offers.  I like being able to shift from live poker to video poker and back again.
I can’t compare the rooms, but I have gotten good deals at the Microhotel a mile from Mohegan Sun and there is a free shuttle most times to the casino and back.  Since I don’t drink much anymore, I drive it.  And sometimes I stay more downscale at the Gronton Inn, about 15 minutes away.  They have cheap rooms with Roomsaver coupons and will estimate whether they will have openings if you call ahead.  The breakfast included with the room is sit down and order off the menu.  I like that .  I can get poached eggs and whatever else I want.


Poker at either casino is so much better than Turning Stone poker.  The rake is more gradual.  I don’t have to pay $2 a day to play.  The games have more variety and so table selection is much easier.   


VPfree gave me some full pay machine locations a long walk from the poker room in the Casino of the Earth by the Hall of Lost Tribes bar.  I was happy to find 8-5 Bonus and played it until I was down about $20 before I looked over the machine and found 9-7 DB.  I switched and in a few hands hit the 4 Aces.  I played a while and hit them again.  Then 3’s.  And in between the full houses and other good hits kept me just about even.  Then I took a slump and was literally going to cash out for $400 profit when the last hand gave me 4 Jacks, so I played a while longer and cashed out for $450 profit.  I went back just before going home and lost $20 almost without a blink.


I came home with $907 profit.
I had $53 worth of free food
The tolls along the Mass Pike were still lifted.  They come back  On October 15, so the expense of driving was about equal to what it costs to go to Turning Stone, about $40.

The rooms were totally free.  Foxwoods does have resort fees, $6.72  at Two Trees and $14 at all other hotel properties.  However, these are not charged on comped rooms.

The ride home was very easy.  I left about 7PM and encountered no traffic the entire route.  Rush hour can be a bit frustrating around Hartford where there are some interestingly confusing road changes, but  at this later time , that area was very easy.  With a few stops I was home a bit after 10PM.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good time Dewey....keep rockin!