Saturday, September 24, 2016


I went up to Connecticut again for another solo outing.
It was good gambling and I saw a fine free show at Mohegan:  Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and Bobby Rydell.


I had a few reservations about the Super 8 after reading some poor reviews.  However the $142 price for two nights is much cheaper than anything I have found to book on weekend nights, and even finding that took a few tries.  Saturday is the expensive night and it is my favorite because it includes a good 1-1 NL game at Mohegan.
I slept in at home, and got a later start than I usually do, so I decided to head directly to the hotel in Groton and get settled rather than play a few hours of 4-8 at Foxwoods.  I arrived at 2PM and they assigned me to a newly cleaned handicap accessible room.  I had not asked for that, but when they have a single traveler and no handicap reservations, they assign it because it only has a double bed.
That was a lucky break.  It was in perfect shape and very clean as well as being larger than the other rooms.  Also it was on the first floor.  I'll have to remember that option.

The woman at the desk was very helpful.  She arranged to cancel housekeeping.  I could not communicate that to the Chinese maid, but  I did not want to be disturbed the next morning. 

There was a good sized refrigerator with a decent freezer.  It had a soda can caddy in the door.  I like that.  My drink of the trip was cans of Canada Dry seltzer and they packed easily.  I also could store my cheeses and fruit which I brought for snack and breakfast.
The bed was in great shape and very comfortable.  Electrical outlets were handy and there was a fine desk.  I had not brought my computer this trip, but another time I might.
The small flat screen television had a fine array of stations including Turner Classic movies.  Eating a breakfast of cheese and fruit and peanut butter crackers while watching a good movie with no commercials is much better than being solo in some local eatery.  And cheaper and more on my diet as well.
Super 8 provides a very skimpy breakfast with most of it much too full of carbs for me.  Also, as it turned out, I ate most of my indoor meals well beyond breakfast time.
There was a coffee pot that made a couple cups, but the coffee turned out weak.   Next time I'll make just one cup. 
It was clean, but I read about folks worrying that the coffee makers are not clean.  I think next road trip I'll bring a small bottle of vinegar and run that through a couple times, rinse a couple, and then make the coffee.  I'll also bring my own coffee filters and my own blend of ground coffee to this place.  The small maker would have accommodated that.
I've read some discussion on coffee makers.  Many people just could not understand not just going out for coffee in the morning, but I enjoy being lazy and having a bit of breakfast before my shower, lounging in sleeping clothes, not putting on sneakers.  If I get coffee from the provided breakfast area, I just use slippers and don't get all cleaned up for the day.
Sunday morning I had a bite of breakfast before bed because I played 1-1 poker until 3 AM and then had to play Video poker for a couple hours to get the Courvoisier out of my system before driving back.  It had been a grand party table and I'd had quite a few cognacs.  I love playing these games with lots of talk and drink.  It is like being around a friendly bar, and it helps me toss the bad hands and not get bored. 
So I arrived back  at the hotel at 6 AM and grabbed a bit of free breakfast on my way to bed.

I also love the drive from this hotel  to Mohegan and back.  I put the GPS on "no highways" and eliminate almost all the traffic, adding just a couple minutes to the trip.  To Foxwoods it is a bit more a wind through city streets, but Mohegan is a straight shot from the hotel for most of the trip.  Coming home in the dark, late at night there are no cars.  It is ideal.


The 1-1 NL can be a very different game, depending upon the other players, and there is rarely more than one table.  I often wait for a seat, join a table, and leave in a short while.   This one was full of people out for a good time and not the mixture of the boring taciturn or serious, arrogant grumps that often dominate the no limit games.
There was good banter and plenty of laughter.
I lost a bit at the beginning, but then started to get lucky and collected quite a few pots.  Some I should never have entered.
The most outrageous was when I held 9-6 of diamonds (son Peter's favorite hand)  and the flop came two diamonds and a six.  I made a small bet, had a couple callers, and then a fellow tossed over $50 all-in.  He held the A-K of diamonds, but I put him on trying to force us off the diamonds and decided to make that  bad call.  When one guy after me called, I thought I was certainly done.
However, as it turned out the caller was on a straight draw, no diamonds came, and my pair of sixes took the huge pot to the laughter of everyone.  The guy with A-K was still telling that story the next day.
It was a good hand to play because it set me up with a table image of playing bad cards and certainly captured callers when I bet good cards.  I got well into the talk and banter, so it was easy to toss cards.  Getting a bit drunk also helped my table image.  I actually played pretty tight, but that was a bit invisible in the confusion of talk and story and banter.
On one side of me was a fellow born in Poland and on the other a fellow born in Galway, Ireland, so I managed to pull out some of what they had experienced although no good tips for traveling. 
A young fellow directly across from me was astounded when I talked about recently buying a new boom box and beginning to recollect cassettes at a dollar for a bag of 16 in Florida.  It was all too laughably retro for him.  In fact, at first he did not believe me.
He wanted to know if I wanted a tube TV as he has one to get rid of, so I told him the story of getting two such televisions 40 years ago, both broken, and switching tubes so the kids could watch our first color television.  It wasn't perfect, as my son Peter reminds me. 
He grew up thinking Smurfs were green. 
However, in those days we had very little money and it seemed a great find and a fine alternative to a rather small black and white screen.
I told about the concert and no one really knew the music of the Golden Boys.  However, in music talk someone knew who Jack Teagarten was when I mentioned I had listened to him most of the way from home. That really surprised me.
A tall and gracefully attractive Black woman sat behind her man and eventually we managed to draw her in the conversation.  So it was a grand party. 
I so much enjoy the party, more than the poker, but leaving at 3 am with a few hundred profit was very nice as well.
The video poker took $150 away from me.  I can't seem to win lately.  It is JOB full pay.  But it sobered me up for the drive to the hotel. 


I slept a few hours, but not really long enough to be rested. 
I had brunch in the room and watched a movie, but did not feel sleepy.  I had a dilemma because at 7 PM I was to see a free concert of old singers.  I get so tired lately, and I knew that I would not be chipper at 7 and I did not relish a nap.
As it turned out I was in my seat a full forty minutes before the show and had a bit of a nap there.
I went in and played a bit more poker.  It was not memorable.
I stood in the longest line I ever remember since the military to get the free tickets I had reserved.  However, they processed everyone quickly. 
I took my $10 in comps and ate at the buffet. 


I was hesitant at eating there because on my last visit I found the food dry and unimaginative.  However, this Sunday meal was very tasty, and now I'd go again. 
I ate sliced turkey, meatballs in sauce, shrimp, fruit, shrimp, lobster bisque and the sugar free cheesecake.  I did not have room for the chicken and biscuits.  It was all good, except the cod.  Foxwoods has such great codfish, but what they called "loin of cod" here at Mohegas was overcooked and dry.


On Monday I ate at the Foxwoods buffet around 4 PM.  I could really tell the difference.  A most decadent bit there was the pork belly with that crispy coating.  It is much too fatty.  I loved it.
I liked the pulled pork in the BBQ section, so much of my meal was pork. 
And the cod was crisp on the outside and perfect on the inside.  It is one of my favorites there.
There too were a selection of sugarfree desserts.

My old neighbor and poker buddy, Ron,  happened to hit Foxwoods at noon on Monday just as I arrived.  We went to supper at the buffet and caught up on our lives.  It had been a while since I'd seen him.  Some fine stories.
It was just luck to see Ron.  I had not intended to play but planned rather to take a tour of Weathersfield which I had missed on my last trip due to rain.  This Monday when I woke up refreshed, it was pouring again, so I went for some 4-8 limit action before heading home.  I'm liking that game more and more. 
I remember getting pocket kings and having a king flop.  I checked.  On the river the flopped five paired.  I checked again, hoping that the case King might come on the river for $500.  No luck.  I bet after the river, a guy raised, I reraised and took the pot with the larger full house.

If this 4-8 limit is this good on a Monday, perhaps I had better play more at Foxwoods than Mohegan. 
Poker players earn free rooms. 
I used to get offers and buddy Ron gets offers for just poker.  It would make sense for me to stay and play there.  The room is big and there were 2-4 games as well and a fine high hand promotion of $500 and $1000 every 15 minutes.  This promotion is not everyday, but if it is other Mondays, it makes for a full and easy room.  I made $155 profit there and combined with the 1-1 play ended my trip $376 ahead in spite of a rather poor showing on the video poker.
I'm not sure how often I'll go to Connecticut in the future.  By next spring we will have a casino with poker room right in Schenectady with no need to rent a room.  That might change my gaming.


I enjoyed this concert, enjoyed seeing these old guys.  Only Fabian was changed so much that no one would recognize him.  Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydel were simply an aged version of their younger selves.
Rydell has a new kidney and new liver.  He made a pitch for organ doners.
They put on a good show with plenty of music and talk and old clips.  Their Rat Pack like stage banter was pretty corny, but I enjoyed the corn.
They did a selection of their most famous hits.  They did other period music.  They added in tributes to Elvis and Rickie Nelson, Bill Haley and Bobby Darin.  They thanked Dean Martin but said nothing of Sinatra, or Buddy Holly.
The band that backed them up demonstrated how easily early rock and roll evolved out the big band sound.  Frankie's son played drums. Don Everly's son played guitar, and so he and Frankie did a few Everly Brothers songs.  Edan has a very similar voice as his dad.
I first started listening to this music in 1958 an 59 and much of what was played as introduction and by the Golden Boys was of those early years. 
It is ironic that in telling my friends I was going to see these Golden Boys I could not seem to remember all three, but I could remember all the words to all the songs.  Some were very easy like
"Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing, bang"
but others required some metal acuity.

No wonder I want to go back to boom boxes and cassettes.
And yes, I still have some 45's and a machine to play them on.