Sunday, June 8, 2014

SENECA NIAGARA CASINO


One night in Niagara Falls was reasonable for me on a road trip to accommodate a good friend and my wife on their separate travels to Rochester and then back home to Albany.  

I have gone there to play limit poker a number of times in the past.  At one time they spread a 3-6 game.   That is my favorite, but it is hard to find.  

I also looked forward to a night with my Cheektowaga nephew Chris who would meet me at the casino for the buffet and then play a while along with me.   He is always a delight to see, and I seldom see, only a few times a year at best.  He is fun at a poker table too.
I found a room using booking.com at my favorite cheap motel,  
and the one night cost was just $47 tax and all.
This little place is an old fashioned frugal motel, but meticulously cared for by the husband and wife managers.  There is nothing fancy.  They don’t even offer little bottles of shampoo.  However, they do have a refrigerator and a microwave and Turner Classic Movies on the old fashioned television.
The place is sometimes somewhat worn, but always very clean.  This time my room seemed to have improvements.  The shower area looked very new.  The rug might be new.  It certainly was clean.
Still, it is a bare bones place.  The in-window AC for example seemed to have two settings, on and off.
None of this bothers me.  And this trip I was only going to be there to sleep, leaving early the next morning.
I was disappointed that the pool was not full water.  Perhaps they wait until summer weather.
Otherwise I was comfortable and happy for the inexpensive price.
The casino, however, was a great disappointment.  
They never spread the 3-6 limit anymore, but now they can’t even get enough together for the 2-4 game.  So, for me it is a place I probably won’t go again.
I played a 1-2 (60 to 100 buy in) no limit game.  It was the tightest game I have ever played, at least for the first few hours.
I played very well.
I got very bad cards.
I had to fold some very good cards, like pocket kings when the Ace hit and was bet.
There was very little bluffing.
And after playing a while, my table image was as a tight fellow, so if I bet, most often folded, leaving me with perhaps one opponent.  
Once I called a $22 all in after the flop with Q-5 two pair ( I had been the blind)  only to see the fellow get runner-runner for a straight.
Once I slow played pocket kings when the third flopped and a 2 paired on the turn.  A fellow bet in to me and I was able to go all-in without scarring him off.
But over the 3-4 hours I played, I lost $47.
More importantly, there was none of the interesting talk I like in a 2-4 game.  Most of the players were quietly friendly, but they kept their comments aimed at the poker.  There was a bit of speculation as to whether the coming NY casinos would hurt their business.  Otherwise, it was a bit dull.
However, there were no players with no limit macho attitude.  Only one tried to rattle me a bit.  He was a younger fellow and not really as obnoxious as some, but when I bet $6 after flop (a common amount as a first bet into a preflop limp pot,) he looked at me a bit scornfully:
“Why did you bet six.  You don’t even have six.”   
By this he meant all my chips were red, so I would need change.  
“Why not just five?”  he added.  
And it was not delivered in a tone of easy banter.  It was one of those no limit probes some players like to make.  
“I could not bet $5.50 because we don’t have 50 cent chips.”  I countered.  
It was a lame response.
Then I noticed his tiny card protector was a little metal frog.
“Perhaps next time I’ll bet $5 and a frog.”  I suggested in a friendly banter.
Well, to my left was a young Black fellow who just thought this was the funniest retort he had ever heard, and he repeated it and laughed for about ten minutes.  I thought he was going to fall on the floor he had so much fun with it.  
He thought it was much funnier than I did, but then I had been very silent for a long while so none of them perhaps expected that I  was an old guy with a tongue.
The rude young fellow trying to rattle me had nothing more to say;  he  just stayed very quiet, making it more of a put down than I had intended.  
I suspect he did not feel very friendly toward me.  After a short while he left.
The odd thing was that it was the Black fellow next to me who had gotten caught in my slow played kings.  He had reason to be annoyed with me, but he held no grudge.  For him my slow play trap was just part of the game.  I liked him.  

I really did not dislike the young fellow who made the remark.  

A few new players sat down and the game changed.  One just bet $10 preflop with whatever and generally followed it up with $20 after the flop.  What he had did not seem to change his pattern of betting.  So he was a pot builder, hoping to push folks out and get lucky. 
I could not play much against him because I had bad cards.

And then my nephew showed up and we left for supper.  

The Thunder Falls buffet was a treat (and it did not raise my blood sugar. )  It was a $20 day without any fancy crab legs or a price to go with them.

We would get  $2 off for getting a Player’s Card, so we went back to get that, and were able to be in a free slot tournament.
I see now on their site that they had a promotion, and with our buffet receipt we could have had $15 of freeplay each.  Ah….missed opportunity.
It was a great tournament because it was very short.  Along with hitting the button all the while, small balloons popped up and gave us just 3 seconds to pop them with the other hand.  It also showed if we were first, second, or third place as we played.  I was in second place for a bit, but did not win, so I was not invited back for a run off round.
At the buffet I asked for the end cuts of the beef and got nice pieces full of the spices.  I like a rare steak, but the beef in buffets is not that great, so I get the ends if I can.
We had very good service and I found plenty of vegetables, salads, and soups that satisfied me.  We had a fine talk.
My nephew can’t play no limit, and I did not want to play it, so we just wandered and looked at video poker.  In a bank of Bonus machines was one 8/5.  That was the best I was likely to find at Seneca Niagara so I played that.  My nephew wandered a bit, found nothing like it, and decided he would play the 7/5 nearby.  He did better than I did, hitting some fine quads over the next couple hours.  He lost about $20.  I lost  $250 and quit.  So this day had been the worst single day loss for me in a long while.
Chris and I took a walk outside and had more visiting and story telling.  
I am afraid I was not the best of company because I had started the day at 5 AM and by almost midnight I was very tired.
Somehow, my pants zipper broke.
 

I wanted to see the Falls and went the next morning early.
When getting in the car, I popped a button on the white shirt.  It seems I had gotten my wife’s white shirt by mistake.  
They are exactly alike except in size.  Now I’ll have that sewing job to do.
 It was raining, but I had a good raincoat and umbrella.  I looked forward to a good walk in the park along the rapids as well as a view of the Falls.  The American side is not as dramatic as the Canadian side, but I did not have time to go over the bridge and get to Rochester to pick up my buddy by 12:30.


Well, it seems that all of the American side is one huge construction project.  I could not take the walk I wanted or see much easily and it was all accompanied by the noise of heavy machinery. I was especially sad to see that the antique railings along where I used to walk were gone and certainly would be replaced with something more modern and perhaps more “safe” and so not as aesthetically pleasing.  
It saddened me.


So, the losses kept adding up:  $47 at Hold em, $250 at VP, lost freeplay opportunity, busted  zipper, popped shirt button, the park at the Falls in chaos.    
Sometimes it is like that in gambling.  
Sometimes in life as well.
However, from then on I had some success.
I did not take the fast highways to Rochester, but took back roads to Pendleton where I found the barbecue joint that makes a sauce/marinade  I think is the best I have tried, and one without added sugar.
Chiavetta’s
After buying a few jugs of sauce, I took a look at the city hall and two Erie Canal locks in Lockport.


 Above shows the quiet side of the locks
 


I liked the look of the City Hall and the feel of the whole little town early on a quiet, rainy morning.
 






Being too early, I did not visit the winery located inside the City Hall, but it looks interesting as well.

Finally, I picked up my buddy, met my wife and with her Rochester friend, we all had a very good breakfast at a fine and comfortable place just off the last exit of 490 as it reaches the Thruway.  It is the Victor exit.  Bakery products looked delicious.  I had a fancy egg creation and a really fine salad.  I drank cucumber water and I think I’ll try making some at home.

I highly recommend this place.  It had a comfortable  living room feel, good art d├ęcor
and fine service.
 I did not have to drive back.  Chuck and my wife took turns.  I napped in the back of the van and nursed my gambling wounds.
I don't know when I'll get to go again, but Mohegan Sun is a much better poker room for me than Seneca Niagara and only half the distance.

I'm not sure were I to be in Buffalo I'd choose Niagara again anyway.
 
I think I need to explore this Canadian place which has been on my list for a long while
 
 
Still, I'd hate to get there and find they did not have the limit game either.

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