I went up this past Friday and stayed until Sunday around one PM. It was a fine trip. I recklessly lost $36 over the course of those three days, about one pot.
Here are the details:
It was a last minute trip. I took a look at Hotel Coupons , one of those green books at all the HIghway stops. It used to be called RoomSaver. When I go with my wife, she has a phone that can be used as a coupon. I am still using the paper kind.
My first pick was Comfort Suites in Norwich. These are kind of upscale for a frugal guy like me, but the coupon had a rate of only $59 for Friday and Saturday, less than most places. It had an indoor pool and the swimming tips me in that direction.
I called when I was about an hour out and asked if they thought I had a good chance at a room. These coupons are walk-in rates (no reservations), but most places tell us if they expect to have a room if we call on the road.
They also had no trouble giving me one with a noon arrival.
What I did not ask was if I could book for two nights.
When I got there, the clerk balked at the second night. She said they were all booked up. So, I agreed to just take the first night and figured I search another hotel for the second.
Then she said, “ Let me see what I can move around” and she took care of me for both nights. Note I had not done the $20 trick. I did tip her $10 after seeing the room.
I asked for quiet, so she put me on the 5th floor so no one would be above me.
No bed bugs, no dirt, comfort and a couch for watching TV. Wifi. Simple breakfast included. microwave. refrigerator. coffee maker.
Most of that worked out fine.
The wifi was pretty slow and I could not get a signal at the desk, so I overturned a desk drawer and made a makeshift table on the second bed. I only needed it to claim MyVegas chips anyway.
The pool was not heated. It was frigid. I am fairly tolerant, but this was beyond what I could endure except for once and only a few minutes.
There was a bathtub and I was sorry I did not bring soaking salts.
The ride to Mohegan Sun was 10 minutes. I picked GPS (12 minutes) with no highways and it brought me on a delightful little winding road through the countryside. If I missed a turn, the next street was right there, and I did not miss many because I could got at 25 MPH, the speed limit.
Foxwoods was farther. 10 miles. I still used no highways and liked the easy pace of that trip. It meandered through the town of Norwich and I saw there along the water a nice little park which might be good for a lunch and a drink.
I only went to Foxwoods the last day and from there to Springfield, Mass. to have a birthday dinner with one son and his girlfriend from Boston, meeting his mom and me there at the Student Prince, a delightful upscale restaurant.
Behind the hotel ran the Yantic River. There were a small set of RR tracks that allowed goods to be pulled out. No trains ran at all while I was there. To get down to the tracks I had to walk to a neighboring J and G trucking place and go through their parking area.
I have not walked a RR track in many decades, so it was delightful to walk in the morning and then go down on the seldom used trail along the river to a fallen log and sit and watch the water rush by and listen to the morning sounds of the birds.
I could see this river from my bedroom window, but not clearly because rees grew along the bank. If I wanted to fish bluegilll, I might try here, and there might even be some trout.
I can fish in my front yard., so I doubt I would try, but I might.
I liked the setting very much.
They told me to call next time if the cold pool is a deal breaker and ask for the manager who would know if the water was hot. I have experienced this so many places that I think it is a planned breakdown. They want to advertise the pool; they don’t want to actually heat it.
On my second night I was woken up about midnight by someone pounding on what I thought was my door and yelling the name of one of my grandchildren. In my sleepiness I thought it was my son. I tossed on my swimtrunks and went to the door. The pounders were poundin on the door next to me.
“No one was knocking on my door, right?”
“No, we are just trying to get in here. There is going to be a bachelor party here tonight.”
I went back to bed and the party lasted until I woke up around 5 AM. There was not music, I guess. There was loud talking, but I had to really listen to hear it. The walls must be much different than the hotels I am used to.
I was impressed.
I do sleep with a sleep apnea machine, but it won’t disguise loud noise.
The television was a bit disappointing. There were few stations with no commercials and not Turner Classic Movies. However, I did watch a good bit of an old Billy Joel concert in Russia that was really fun, and an episode with Wilbur the Talking horse, and assorted bits of news. It was plenty.
So I’d go back again.
I hope they keep the coupon alive.
I get better perks from Foxwoods, even some free room nights and all just for playing poker there, but Mohegan Sun is really much more pleasant. The entire casino is like walking through some artist’s gallery, a fellow playing with abstract shape and glass and color. In contrast, Foxwoods is decorated to look like a shopping mall.
The Mohegan Sun poker room is bright and full of lights and color and on the floor of the casino, but isolated in its own room.
The Foxwoods poker room is down a flight of stairs and feels like playing poker in a dungeon. Dark and isolated. It is fine, but not a delight.
The bad beat jackpot at Foxwoods was over $200,000. Quad 8’s have to be beat.
I played limit 2-4 almost the entire trip. I started at Mohegan Sun playing their 1-1 no limit game, but it was one of those games made up of people who played so tight there was little action and very small pots. It was hard to know just how to get $20 in the pot for the bad beat or for a high hand bonus when that is offered.
The 2-4 for the most part was a mix of players. My first game I had some really bad players. For example, a fellow raised me on his river flush with a jack. I reraised with my Ace. The Queen was still out. So he gave me $8 more than he should have.
Plenty of times folks bet with third best hand. I did well that night.
Another night it was mostly locals and I was tired and not at my best.
Foxwoods was all locals who knew each other at my first table. I switched tables and it was much better.
Using a Referlocal coupon, I paid $25 for the Mohegan Sun buffet and got a free $25 of slot play. I used it on Saturday and could not find a video poker game that was empty so I just played a 7-7-7 slot. I cashed out at $73 after counting the promotion and running it through just one time.
Gone are the old fashioned VP machines with the decent pay tables. I made good money on them. I did play a 9-5 DDB and lost $60 and quit. Once I was dealt four to the royal. On these bad pay tables, I play to see if I can hit a quad, and I quit on any quad. No quads this trip.
The buffet was absolutely spectacular for an old diabetic. Too often foods contain added sugar, but I had three plates of food and a plate of sugar free dessert. Two hours later my sugar was 92. I worried that the wonderful tasting carrots with cilantro had added sugar. But most things must have been without added sugar. Most of my plates were full of mussels. Those don’t seem to bother me.
Deserts included a sugar free cheese cake that tasted grand.
I walked the casino floor one night and heard a fine clarinet at the bar playing old classic lounge songs in a jazzy manner with canned back up. I listened a long while. I also went to the Wolf Den and stood to watch a band called Jani with a fine female singer. This was mostly new rock and roll, but it had the sound of old rock and roll. The singer did not whine the lyrics through her nose. The music was not deafening. The drummer was great!
I was there for the Kentucky Derby but I did not bet. The betting room was by invitation only and full. I would have lost anyway; I’d have picked a horse to show that came in 4th. I just could not get into the excitement. But I was at the table with a fellow who had bet $200 on California Chrome. He was happy.
I liked the after race talk, especially I liked it that one old trainer finally had a victory.
Now, one thing that urked me at Mohegan Sun was that those little bottles of Perrier could only be had for free if I was a regular and had a special VIP card. Next trip I’ll just bring in my own. I can get a large bottle of seltzer for a dollar and not have to tip. Only club soda was free there for me. Perhaps some alcohol, but I was not drinking much alcohol and free wine is almost always a great disappointment.
This is another fine thing about the Golden Nugget in Vegas. Large Perrier bottles free all night long.
I only spent Sunday morning at Foxwoods, but they gave me $10 free play for showing up. Again I played a 7-7-7 and hit. I cashed out for $48. Nice to have free money.
I needed it.
Foxwoods was full of losses where I was a very, very close second best.
It was very funny.
There I sat next to my kind of guy. His name was George and he was funny and full of good humor. He and I woke the table up teasing each other and others who had good humor. 2-4 poker should not be a serious thing. And I hate to play when it is. That is why Vegas is so much fun because tables usually have folks who are playing and having a good time. This was one of those tables.
I showed George the card protectors I make using old Silver Strike rings (with the silver removed and sold for scrap) and Kennedy half dollars. He liked the one I lent him and ended buying it for $5. He’ll think of me every time he uses it. I like that.
So, it was a great trip. I’ll do it again.
I could not stay up very late.
That is just the way it is.
I am awake at 5 AM, and so I am too tired to play well long before by 9PM.
In Vegas I go to bed at 5 or 6 or 7 and then wake up at midnight - 1 -or 2 and play the late night games, the tired players, the drunks, and often at the Golden Nugget for the double high hand bonus awards.
This weekend, I did not want to drive back for a nap.
I was planning to see the live comedy at Mohegan Sun on Saturday night, and perhaps I should have gone. I just got too tired.
The game there at that time was all good players. I did not want to play longer. I was tired. I thought I could not rise to enjoy the game and just went back to bed.
Stopping half way home for a good meal was a good break from the driving.
That Student Prince restaurant was just superb.
It is good to have a few places to go in Springfield as they have plans to have a casino right in the heart of town. It is half the distance from my house compared to Mohegan Sun. Of course, there is no guarantee they will have a live poker room. Perhaps they will have free Perrrier.
Hopefully, the competition will turn out some promotions. I have long ago stopped hoping that full pay VP might come back, but other freebies make for a good trip.
The Student Prince would get my business. They treated us just fine and we had to wait for the kid to be half an hour late too.
They had all sorts of good German beer and food . It was pricey, but I ate a pepper steak and that was just wonderful, and sauerkraut, and a salad so the diabetes was kept happy.
For wine I had Main Street Cabernet and it was delicious. The glasses were double what some places serve. The wine sells for cheap, but it is very good and blended with the steak just fine. I generally find Napa Valley wine is delightful.
The salad came with a special roquefort dressing that they make at the table. It was very tasty. Elizabeth had three German sausages. I had a taste of that too. And it was good to see one son and his girlfriend and to hear their plans for a trip to Ireland. They are moving in together soon. They have been dating for a couple years. Perhaps we will have a wedding soon.