Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gregg's Game I got sick

Poker players at Gregg's games.

Or perhaps it was something I ate earlier.
For the entire game, this migraine built a pot in my brain.
By the time I left, I was sweating and very, very uncomfortable.
Peter drove to his house.
I drove from there.
I got as far as Burden Lake road before my stomach decided to go all-in. I was happy not to have "pushed" earlier, say in heavy traffic.
I won $42 at poker and after I pay for the van to be detailed, I'll only be down about $100.  Not bad.

Elizabeth certainly enjoyed taking the hose to the van  interior, filling the washing machine with my clothes, fixing hot towels for my head.
She was very sweet about it.
It was the only bit of sweetness in my afternoon and evening.
I slept.
I still have a bit of a headache, but it is passing.
I haven't checked yet, but I'm betting that I lowered my blood sugar today.

The game was sparsely attended:   Charlie, Gregg, Dewey, Peter, Ezzy with only four of us in the last hour.
Charlie splashed the pot with pepper and basil plants.  Thanks, Charlie.  Charlie banked and brought music and was kind enough to give me a bit of quiet for my headache during the last half hour of the game.

I suggested that we extend the high hand award until 4:30 this week.  At the time I was the high hand with some weak jack high flush.  Peter hit a fine full house, but at 4:25 I hit Jacks full of sevens, calling Peter's bluff off bet and taking the $10 high hand award.  As a result, Peter ended down $4.

Gregg just gave away money all afternoon again and was a good sport about it. 
Ezzy did well, but I don't know if he showed a profit.
Charlie showed a profit and better yet his banking came out right to the quarter.

There was no new museum art up as promised   There were some arches of white flowing fabric.
"Are we going to have a dance?" Charlie asked.

Gregg is thinking of getting a pole dancer for the next game.

I had great cards, but I can't remember sh$$t .
Vomit I can remember, but not sh$$t

Except flopping broadway to Peter's flopped lower straight from the nine.

See more of you next week, I hope.  Just now I'm going back to bed.


I like this site for 1-2 and maybe 1-1 information.  Most poker books and information just don't stay with me, but some of the simplistic arguments here make sense.  They probably don't fit Gregg's game.  The most surprising was the advice not to play K-J  Q- 10 and I'm thinking about it.

Meanwhile kid Frank sent me for Father's Day a great book on poker.  I reviewed it here

Atlantic City (Revel) sent me two free nights in June, but it took me all this month to decide to book it for the end of June and they are all sold out.  It was through Mohegan Sun somehow.  Probably good for me just to hang by the water and fish, saving bankroll for the real trips.

After almost depleting MyVegas points when I bought the Station rooms, I am back to 188,000 which is more than enough for some free food or perhaps a show ticket if Elizabeth wants to see one in September or October.  I will stay in November at Excalibur for a week, so I can eat at Aria three times if I want.  To use the freebies at Mlife casinos, I have to be staying at one of them.
I only play for less than 20 minutes every week or so, starting at a point where a new game starts and ending at a point where I know they will begin to bleed away my playing chips.  However, everytime I'm on computer I collect chips and spin for chips once a day so that I can start my 20 minute sessions well bankrolled with a million or two playing chips.
My next trip I have 3 nights totally free at Palace Station and one at Exalibur and in November 2 nights at Red Rock and one at Excalibur.  Station casinos use a lot of chips, but cover the resort fees as well.  Excalibur was $22 for resort fee but it has gone up to $28.  ridiculous really.

Going just once a year, the chips that can be redeemed will build up nicely for me. 

Here is an interesting thread based on a guy who went to Vegas and was very disappointed.  The comments afterward give some good retorts to his sour experience.

The forum itself is great for Vegas discussion and information with the boards divided by topic for ease in skimming.  Folks who post generally know what they are talking about and interpersonal abuse is just not tolerated by the Board Moderator and so very rare and short lived

Monday, June 15, 2015



I came to this Groton Super 8 because it was the cheapest alternative for my one night Saturday stay. I had a few points and with under $35 I got a room when others were quite expensive.

My leaving home this weekend gave my wife and her best friend from Rochester some sister time without me in the space. It was a good time to go gambling.

One fellow at my poker table had priced a room at Mohegan Sun at the last minute. It was $900. I just don't understand that kind of pricing. Another told him that he might be about to arrange it for about $200 if the fellow was willing to buy out another guy's points. I don't get it. For $900 I can fly to Vegas.....Twice!!.

Since I usually go solo, just driving down the road for 20 mintues to Groton is a good choice for me.

For the Super 8 I read the mixed reviews at Trip Advisor. I read the last reports of bed bugs at the registry. That was in 2010. I think the word is out and most places are pretty good at monitoring infestations.

The reviews mentioned poor upkeep. I saw that in my room in the broken lights by the bed. I said something on the way out, but I did not want to have folks coming in to fix things for a one night stay.

I also see some burn holes in the bed covering. However, it was clean and I don't use the top covering anyway. The blanket was pretty flimsy. The mattress was not those in the upscale hotels. But I did not need a blanket and I slept very well.

The bed was easy to inspect for bed bugs; I could get right down to the mattress and check the ridge. Both of them were very clean of anything.

It was quiet. Out my window there is a parking lot, but from the second floor there is only the look of green trees. Very nice.

When I arrived the AC was off and the window was open so the room smelled fresh. I put the AC on, closed the window, and by the time I had unpacked the car, the room was very comfortable. It was a quiet AC. It went off when the set temperature was reached.

The refrigerator was cold and the little freezer area refroze my little ice bags for my cooler and a quart plastic milk carton fit there as well. I stocked it with seltzer and food. Too much really for just one night, but I can't depend on the free breakfasts because they are all carbs. This one did not have even one piece of fruit. They did have some English Breakfast tea and good coffee. I made good tea in the room. I carry my own tea cup and my own green tea.

There was very accessible electrical plugs for my computer and for my sleep apnea machine. The wifi was just grand, fast and with no passcodes to mistype.

A long desk table easily held my computer.

There was an elevator, one cart that no one else seemed to want, and so I got all my things up and back down without incident.

Folks were pleasant. Some guests were not quiet and I heard them in their rooms ranting as I walked the hall, but once in the room I heard nothing. There was no AC in the hallway or the rest of the hotel. That made it a muggy walk in.

The bathroom was very nice. It looked newly painted and there were no issues with plumbing. There was a tub, but I forgot my epsom salts. The shower head adjusted to two settings.

The television did not have Turner Classic Movies, but did have a number of good choices. I don't watch much television. It was an old style television.

The clothes hanger was mounted on the wall and convenient. The little coffee pot worked fine. For the tea I put hot tap water in the cup and ran the water through twice with the bags in the little pitcher on the second run. It worked great.

I was very comfortable just spending a quiet early morning in the room and I was rested enough that I played until 9 PM and drove 3 hours home that night.

The Super 8 was very easy to find from Mohegan Sun. No twisting and turning. It was right on a main road. Nearby are little diners that would entice me for breakfast if I had not brought a cooler of food with me.

Going solo, I like just hanging in the room and eating with the television or the computer and drinking all I want of coffee and tea as there is little to do in the poker room until about 10AM.

So, I get that there are some minor issues with this place, but I'd come again.


I had $4 off Saturday's buffet and $11 off Sunday's , so the food expense was very low. There were no Facebook or Twitter deals; those are only M to F.  In the poker room I earn a dollar an hour for 2-4 and 1-1 play.  Perhaps my $4 was left over from last November and the $11 accrued on this trip.  Compared with Vegas buffets, this one is a bit overpriced, but using the points brings it down to a pretty decent deal.
I was thinking of going to Springville to a restaurant I like there called the Student Prince, but I was just not in an adventurous traveling mood and I wanted to keep playing poker as long as it was good.

I enjoyed the food, but did not relish it as much as I usually do. That was disturbing because the food was as good as it usually is. There was still the no sugar cheesecake and one night there was a no sugar chocolate almond mousse. I wish they would bring back the little melting fluffy meringue cookies in no sugar format.

I am not avoiding meats lately, so the meatballs with marinara were my favorite and the sausage and peppers was good as well. I liked the baked pollock although the cajun spice needed a good bit of help from Frank's hot sauce.

I liked the succotash and collard greens. Both were tasty. The steamship beef had good flavor. I had just a small bite because I could get an end piece.

One nice thing about this buffet is plenty of hot sauce: Frank's, Tabasco, Cholula, and one green.

The iced tea that was good as was the one cup of coffee before driving back the 3 hours to home. It worked to keep me awake.

I ate one buffet a day and filled it with food I brought along. I do like having breakfast in the room in the early morning, writing, watching the news, having coffee and tea.


I was up and down both on video poker and live poker. I played a 9-5 DDB and an 8-5 Bonus and ended $100 down with a few close possibilities but no royals or Aces and only one quad, Kings. The Bonus machine said it did not give points. I did not notice if the DDB gave points.  The poker room allows a dollar per hour. 
Points matter less to me at Mohegan Sun than in Vegas because I don't go enough, but I am curious to know more about it. Perhaps Momentum $ are different than points.

I played the 1-1 live poker which I love and some 2-4 when the 1-1- was unavailable or I did not like the table.

One interesting hand was my A-4 that flopped 4-4-7. Two players were all-in before me. I thought that no on else was in and turned my cards, but a fellow stopped me because there was a guy behind me who was still live.

The turn came another 7. I checked, thinking that I could not win since he had seen my hand and would only call with an 7.

He checked.

The river came and I checked again, but he went all in for $23. I was puzzled. I called and he had nothing much, perhaps a pair. He had not seen my cards, so he perceived my checking as weakness that he might exploit. So I took down two other players for a healthy pot.

I had pocket Aces in fairly early position. A fellow before me bet all in for ten dollars. I made it twenty-five. Everyone folded. No high hand, but I did win the pot.

I had one nice royal in clubs draw. I needed the queen on the turn or the river. The turn gave me a queen of spades and so I won the hand, but sadly no royal.

Generally, here the high hand awards went for straight flushes. They paid every three hours. However, today I think they pay every 15 minutes, as they do at Foxwoods today also. The crowds are just crazy in line for seats when they offer that promotion, so I expect it will continue. Of course, since I play that promotion in Ocala every Saturday with $500 going every half hour, and plenty of seats, I am not so attracted.

My worst table was a table full of young men who all were joking with each other and playing a strange and very aggressive game. This was late Saturday night. I lost the last of my $60 buy in when I called pocket kings all-in when I had A-9. It was not a good bet, but it was time to go home.

My best run was actually on a 2-4 table where I had a very lucky streak. Often the 2-4 games there are looser than those in Vegas, and a new table, opening late in the evening will bring the passive callers who pay off top hands. My K-K held up for a huge pot my last night. I like the 1-1, but in this case the 1-1 table was just dead rocks and I had not made a bet in a long, long while, so I moved to 2-4. I knew that were I to bet, I'd not get called. They called me on the 2-4. I was in a seat where seeing was hard and I held 3 jacks with a possible diamond flush on board. I kept betting into the flush because I did not think anyone had it. A guy with J-K folded because he thought I had the flush. When I showed my hand, it turned out that the river 8 had given me a full house. I had seen it as a 6. And yes, someone had called my river bet without either a flush or a jack.

At this same table I am nervous betting my Ace because I only have a 6 kicker. However, the guy who stays with me has a seven for a pair of sevens. The river gives him another seven, but he checks to me and is very disappointed that I don't bet out, but check as well.

The dealers for the most part are very good, but every once in a while there is a dud, and I got one at this table for a while. I explained that I could not see to know when the bets were over or sometimes to know the cards. It did not matter to her. When she was relieved, she heard me tell the fellow next to me that I was happy to be getting a new dealer because she would call the game. And she did. If I was in the hand, she read out the flop to me. That was very helpful.

I drank some wine called Copper Ridge. It was good. It sells for about $7 a bottle. This just proves that casinos can offer drinkable inexpensive red if they look for it. This was a cabernet.

It may have affected my play. It did on one hand, although I thought my healthy $30 bet would push off my opponent. On other plays, having a bit of wine and getting a bit talkative seems to encourage folks to call when they should not call.

There was only one high hand at any of my tables, and he did not get paid. His quad 9's were beat. There were a few full houses, but I don't really count them. They won't hold up over 3 hours.

In the end I lost $266 over the two days. This was not too bad for the hours of play. But it was not too good either.

Some of the people were interesting and funny. Some were boring. There were few story tellers. One woman named Merrill from NYC (with a strong accent) was just delightful and attractive. We had some good time. Her husband was there and he was the most grumpy unsociable guy. Such a contrast. She consoled me when I lost with trips twice within a few hands. I liked her. She left because she felt a migraine coming on. I could not remember the new medicine I take for those. Sumatriptan.

None of the players were very good at stories. The best I got was just good joking and humor, most of it centered on the cards and the game.

Some of the players I have seen before and I think they play every day. Two old cab drivers, Neil and George, did tell some stories but nothing really dramatic.

Vegas is much richer in players and variety.

Perhaps I am staying too quiet lately, but the noise of the casino and the crowds on Saturday night did not absorb my interest. And while I liked the poker room, I did not engage my aesthetic senses in the abstract lighting as I usually do.

I did enjoy one blues piece on my way out by a band I think is Nick Forte. It was a BB King tribute song. “The Thrill is gone” and very well done.

In general I was not up to music or shows this weekend. I would have bought a cheap scalped ticket to see Bette Midler, but she is not my favorite and there were none in the lobby anyway nor would they have been very cheap.

The ride home was a bit of a hassle. Just minutes out I got stuck in a half hour delay due to an accident. The rain made it hard to see. The glare bothered me more than usual. I would just get something interesting on the radio and the station would fade.

One of those was a show I did not know was on live radio. It is hosted by Dan Akroyd as Elwood Bluesbreaker. The show I heard featured this fellow. It is now your usual blues.

It was ironic because a Blues Brothers impersonation was at the Wolf lounge the night I was at Mohegan Sun. I regret not going to that.

Some shows are streamed, but I can listen live here on Sunday night : WPYX 106.5 8-9 PM  I managed to drive the 3 hours home without a break.  I'll need my nap today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gregg's game

Hmmm.  There was no real discussion of the newest rule consideration.
Well, the game today was well attended: Dewey, Peter, Ezzy, Gregg, Jim, Charlie.
Gregg and Charlie split the high hand with Aces full of Jacks.  it was an early catch and it held up. 
Both Ezzy and Dewey had pocket Aces, but both won the hands, so the Cracked Aces Bonus money went back to each player. 
Gregg brought some fine cookies, including those almond windmill cookies of our youth.
I can't eat cookies.  All I can do is drool.

Ezzy left with over double his buy-in, so he had a good day.
Charlie had the best day with a win of over $50.
Peter won $4.
I lost $52, a pretty steep hit for this game. 
I think Jim made some money.
Gregg lost again.  He has had tough luck this spring, but he is a good sport about it.
I can't remember too many dramatic hands, but that may be because I was never in many. 
I did win a good pot from Gregg when my Club flush draw caught on the river. 
I also remember losing three hands with trips to straights.
And I split about a half dozen pots.
no quads, no straight flushes.
Charlie made one good call against Peter's 40 chip river bluff.  Nice, Charlie.
It was a fine, long afternoon  of play, ending at 6 PM.  Nice. 

We had a good bit of trouble with cards.  So many are marked with black, even some that we took right out of the box, brand new.  Disappointing. 
The music was just great.  Peter was singing along to Blues Traveler.  Plenty of conversation around music history with Jim filling in the details.  Ezzy wants to play "Name that Tune" and he was pretty accurate on just a few notes.   Plenty Johnny Cash,  Erik Clapton, and some songs with lyrics that will go unrecorded here.  Jim is can be quite unique and unconventional.
This was the last day of the Chinese museum.  The walls will be newly decorated next time. 
Well, I wish my memory was better. 

Turning Stone poker room apparently is under new management.  One change may be the opening of a 1-1 game.  Another will be the games being followed by Bravopoker, an app for your phone  that will let you know what they are playing and where there are seats before you go to the casino.  Currently, the app will show that information for Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun and really all the casinos within 1000 miles.  It is a very amazing tool.  I'll be trying mine out in Vegas this fall. The poker room told me Turning Stone would connect to Bravopoker sometime in June.
If you have the Turning Stone poker room mailing, you may have $20 for June that is good to offset the $85 poker rate for a nice room.  $65 is not too bad for Saturdays.   That is what it is all this month.  No longer can you get a better deal at the Inn. That used to be about $35 with the coupon.  Perhaps weekdays that would be possible.  The difference in price was just about $6 on Saturdays in June.
Then for the very adventurous there is The Landing
I've gone up there and slept in the van.  For $25 I got a site with electricity just steps from the hot showers.  In the morning I would have a bit of breakfast at the picnic table and use the wifi.  They did not mind me coming in at 1 AM, but I did try to be quiet.
Of course, if you are really frugal, you can sleep in your car at Foxwoods in the parking lot.  I tried it, but I can't use my apnea machine, the lights were on all night, and then workmen came to clean up in the very early morning.  For me, although it was free, it was not my favorite camping adventure.
When heading to Foxwoods and Mohegan, if you don't get a comped room, it is pretty expensive.  Foxwoods is pretty lose with weekday comped rooms and there is a pool that opens at 7AM.  However, I have not been playing there because I like Mohegan Sun and their 1-1 game better.
So, I've stayed a few places in Groton.  That seems to be where the cheaper rooms are.  If you can get the Groton Inn at a cheap price, the free breakfast is a sit down and order from the menu breakfast.  That is a good breakfast.  Most of the others I can't eat with my diabetes.
Scott and I once got a good deal on the Microhotel near Mohegan Sun (with shuttle) but I don't see those deals showing up so much.  Anyway, I like the weekend nights for the poker games.  More tourist-like players.  Better shows and music. 
At both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun I have gone and looked for ticket scalpers and gotten seats for less than half the price.  Generally, these are the good seats, comped for some of the higher rollers.  It is worth a try if you are not dedicated to going to a show, but would when the price is right. 
My last visit to Turning Stone, last Fall,  I just lucked into the Steven Wright comedy show, so it is worth looking to see what is offered.  There I did not find scalpers but paid the low entry rate, but I have seen some around the box office on other trips.
I got a two free night offers in the mail from Resorts in Atlantic City today.  Tempting.  I love riding my bike on the boardwalk.
I have not gone anywhere  recently.  My bankroll is low, and I'm saving for two month long trips to Vegas.
Speaking of Vegas, I had a huge hit on the MyVegas free slot game.  I hit for 6 million chips.  I ran them hard and actually finished the last challenge with only 80,000 chips left.  That gives me 2 million back to play with.  In the course of the play, I pushed my LP's from below 100,000 to above 170,000.  That is enough for quite a few free buffets, especially at the Red Rock and Palace Station casinos where I have 5 free MyVegas nights coming this fall.  I don't even have to pay resort fees at the Station Buffets, but their LP price is high.
If you decide you'd like to play, let me know and "friend" me on Facebook because there is a way to add chips to each other's bankroll.  Also, I have a few sites with free chips that are available.
I got hired to write the Resorts Fee article again for the 2016 American Casino Guide.
Here is an interesting note from John Grochowski, a professional gambling writer, on taxes:
Provided you keep adequate records, the IRS does allow you to deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings if you itemize deductions on your return. If you plan to itemize, you should keep a gambler's log, noting casino name and location, date, time, game played, amount of buy-ins, amount of cash-outs, and net win or loss on each game you play. Some casinos will provide you a record of your wins and losses for the year through their player rewards systems, but it's best if you have your own detailed records.
This is becoming more of an issue, since the IRS wants now to make casinos issue paperwork for every win over $600.  There is quite a bit of anger in the gambling community.  The paperwork expense alone would be a head ache for the casinos, and the projection of loss of income because of wasted time is huge.
It would change quarter VP games so that any royal and many 4 Aces payouts would require filling out a tax form and often having part of the winnings withheld.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gregg's game

It was another grand day at Gregg's poker room, photographic gallery, eclectic musical concert hall and tomato plant greenhouse.
Great attendance.  A full poker table:   Dewey, Peter, Gregg, Jim, Ann, John, Charlie, Bill, Ezzy.

It was fine to see John and Ann back in the poker game again.  They seemed to enjoy the day.  We certainly enjoyed having them.

Once again Peter proved the master of the river and before the end of the day, on just two buy-ins, he had assembled a vast majority of the chips in play. 

 Check the differences in our chip stacks.
He collected $152 in profit.  Dewey lost $30 and all to Peter.  Gregg lost enough to quit before the game ended.  Most folks lost this week. 

Ezzy had the high hand, quad eights until just ten minutes before the competition ended, when Jim ruthlessly popped up four queens to capture the $16 award.  There were more quads in this game than I have ever seen before.
NO one seemed to have pocket Aces, however, either  as winning cards or as busted Aces.

We gave back that busted Aces award dough. (Ezzy, remember I owe you a dollar)

Along with the poker was some good conversation on the coming of casinos, on the new high hand awards at Mohegan on certain days when such a promotion attracted long  lines of people waiting for seats, (I felt really pleased to have all winter to play such 1-1 games at Ocala, Florida and always able to get a seat,) There were  on building inspections and smoke alarms.  Rumors also said that Turning Stone was considering a 1-1 NL game.   That might attract me back.
There was talk of the horses once again and some stories including Jim's story of being there when a fan ran on the field and started punching a horse and jockey.

Although folks want a run down of hands, as usual  I left without much of that detail.  I do know that deuces were often on the flop and sevens were a constant card coming in trips.  I remember taking one hand against the odds when my Ace of diamonds made runner-runner flush.  Multiple times two pair were on the board.  Once Charlie took me out with the higher full house with two pair on the board.  Once I took Ann out with an eight when she had a seven with eights and sevens on the board.
Peter beat Bill from way behind when he pulled a Jack on the river to make a flush in an all-in hand. 
Peter took me way down on a hand where I held two pair and the river gave him a flush.
I remember Ann lost a pot to me when she chased a straight flush and did not catch.  That would have taught Jim a lesson. 
No royals like mine from last week. 
There were plenty of split hands due to identical hold cards.  Peter and I had at least three. 

Perhaps others can remember some of the hands that made them winners or hands lost by small bits or unlucky rivers that turned the odds.

Charlie brought a trunk load of tomato plants and just gave them away.  Perfect for me, as I had space in my planter.  Gregg took a bunch. 
Gregg gave a tour of his Chinese photos.  Our museum. 

Jim did another wonderful collage of sounds with a focus on blues, but a spattering of Donna Summers and other odd bits. He had the information as always to answer any questions and tell stories of the performers.

Gregg brought some tinned cookies.  Fancy stuff.

I shared that Southwest has a flight sale right now.  It may end tomorrow.  Elizabeth and I rebooked our upcoming flights and saved about $200 this morning.  That was a very good game of plane "poker"
for us. 
I brought along a dozen new card protectors and played with different ones at different times and lent some around.  I guess the table favorite was my wine glass base topped with an old rapella fishing lure.  We boys have to play toys sometimes.

The mirage in Vegas is up and running, but reports are not too ecstatic.  Basically, they made it into a smaller space.   There are some photos in this thread.

Folks did not seem too disappointed, but to me it just seemed part of the trend to downsize poker or eliminate it altogether.
By the way, the most frugal poker is on electronic machines at the Plaza.  They are still running cheap tournaments there.  You can't win much, but you can have the fun of playing for a couple hours on just $15.  Any time spent in Vegas beyond the in and out visit threatens the bankroll, so it is a grand game for stretching gambling dollars.

We quit at five thirty and I'd like to thank Gregg for letting us play that long.  For one thing, after Peter and I had our supper at the Dragon Buffet, the rush hour traffic was over and the ride across the construction on the bridge was much easier. 

See many of you next week.

PS from Ezzy
Don't forget the one in a million chance of a card attached to my body! Ann is dealing and my card flies off the table and the card sticks in my belt buckle face down! Jim looks down and cracks up as he plucks the card out. I say I wish I took a picture of that and Bill replies," you are always taking pictures down there!" LOL