Wednesday, August 05, 2009

AC Day 1 - The Start of the Downward Slope

I was running a little bit behind. Every day of my life starts like that though, so it isn't really new.

I was well within both the range of time I'd agreed to meet N, and to make the flight, so I wasn't very worried. After the shortest ferry ride in the world (seriously - it's in the book), I was in line for the flight from YTZ-EWR. We were told we'd be moved up a flight. The 10:15 instead of the 11:15. Except that it was 10:05 at the time. When I asked why, we were informed of the fear of rain delays on the other side. Okay then.

I wasn't overly pleased though. I'd been looking forward to relaxing in the Porter lounge with a coffee and some snacks. An earlier departure also royally screwed us on the rental, because of the 24 hour days most companies measure in.

The 10:15 left around 10:40. We were in around noon. The 11:15? Cancelled with any remaining passengers shunted to 1:30. I was now quite happy with the 10:15.

Except for Hertz.

I get given the bill, and it's around $100 high. I asky why? "Extra hour on the last day". Take it off. Okay. We go to the prescribed spot, and what we got sure as hell wasn't a Mustang. It was a Pontiac G6. We returned to the desk. Manager-type is all apologetic and switches our contract to the right car. A few dings and scratches, and a cigarette burn in the driver's seat (and a couple filthy seats to boot) weren't a major concern, but got marked regardless. We were on our way.

And promptly got lost looking for the alley Google told me to go down for a camera store. Blackberry/Google/GPS combo to the rescue though, and the ghetto camera stores were found and quickly abandonded as possible places to find what I was looking for.

We got lost finding our way back on the highway. We had little desire to enter Manhattan, so found our way to turn around and head in the right direction. No worries from there on out until the next camera store stop. They had monopods, they had carbon fibre tripods, they did not have the models I was interested in. Ah well. Back on the road... after a quick Wendy's stop. The various detours and stops had managed to land us into some sort of rush hour. Another detour was taken to avoid traffic, the highway rejoined, and we were on the move.

Until the storm hit. A couple drops to a torrential downpour in seconds. Flashers on by everyone and a speed drop of 30 miles or more as we crawled through the storm. I opted not to stop, as we were already well behind schedule, and it was the right move. We pulled into the Slodge shortly after 6, checked in, and headed out for dinner with Dawn and Mary at Sea Blue. Then we got lost in the attempt to find the Borgata.

Oh, we could see it. But actually getting to it? That's a whole new challenge. It's on its little island of AC, that can only reached by asking the right questions of the guards, one of whom only tells the truth, and the other only lies. That, or you take the highway that promises a toll road, but doesn't mention that the toll comes FAR after the turn off to the Borgata.

We finally found our way to the Borg, the parking lot, and a powerwalked through the casino, a mere 20 minutes late for the reservation. An exasperated Dawn and Mary were already 3 sheets to the wind drunk and raging against the poor hostess until we stepped in and saved the staff. They rewarded us with oysters, except for Dawn, who got a dollop of Cheez Whiz on a Ritz cracker, because she told a racist joke.

At least, that's how I remember it. The video may show some other lie.

Dinner was great, but not quite up to the expectations I'd been lead to. It was all a touch... bland (excpet maybe the sea bass with miso glaze in a mushroom broth). Good, but perhaps too reliant on the flavours of the ingredients themselves without complimenting them with a touch of seasoning. N and I wanted the tasting menu, and N was busy talking the waiter into serving just the two of us instead of the whole table because Mary and Dawn wanted a la carte, when they both decided to be easy and go with the tasting. Now I must recreate the recipes for them in payment for their sacrifice.

Any shortcomings (and to be honest, the meal was excellent, just not super-excellent) were hidden by the riotous conversations being had by the four of us. Much of which is on Twitter @realdawnsummers. None of it from me, for I can't stir my coffee and tweet at the same time.

The time was about right to had to the Taj for the Midnight Madness. A not-terrible cheapo tourney that starts at 12:15 (obviously, that's why it's called the Midnight+15 minutes Madness). I have never been so card dead, and considering how quickly the thing turns to a pushfest (20 minutes after the break), that's saying something. I had pocket aces on the FIRST hand, won a decent-sized pot, and then saw nothing more playable than 77 the entire night. Ah well.

But at least we had a quasi-newbie at the table to entertain me. Woman who had "fish" written all over her and had obviously never played live poker before... or at least never raised.

When the blinds were 50-100, she started standard raising to 300. No big deal. Except for the time she tossed out a 500 chip without saying anything, and it was taken as a call. "But that's a 500 chip!" "If you don't indicate you're raising, then one big chip is just a call." "That's stupid." Everyone at the table: "That's the rule." "Oh." So a few hands later and the blinds at 100-200 she picks up her 500 chip and says, "FIVE. HUNDRED." and we all snicker a little because she's being funny and angry at the same time. Dealer grins and nods and play continues.

The blinds, going up every 20 minutes (or ONE orbit of play, what a slow table), get to 200-400, and there's a new dealer. The woman, who by this point has been pegged as a fish by everyone, not only because of her lack of raising etiquette, but the fact she was betting 300 into the pot on the flop no matter how many chips or players there were (2000 chips? 4 players behind? 300), and calling down the to the river with brilliant hands like KJo unimproved. If anyone had a pair, they were happy to pay against her. Anyway, 200-400, pre-flop, and she puts out the 500 chip and says "five hundred". Except, of course, 500 isn't a raise any more. Dealer says, "That's a call, minimum raise is to 800". "Oh, sorry, 800 then." "Too late." "WHAT?" Rest of the table : "You didn't say 'raise', so it's a call." "HUH?" Dealer: "Just say 'raise' when you want to raise honey, and you'll be fine." Me: "Just only say 'raise', no other words." Naturally, there are some more callers to her limp. Play continues. A little while later, at 300-600, play goes around to another guy, who tosses out a 1k chip and a 100 for 1100. Dealer points out blinds are now 300-600 and min is 1200. He apologizes and tops off the bet. Woman now starts to go a bit nuts - "How come THAT is a raise but mine wasn't??" "Because he bet more than half the big blind, and used two chips, so the raise was obvious." "This doesn't make any sense. This is dumb." Rest of the table : "No, YOU are dumb" (not really). Rest of table: "She's right, those are the rules." Woman fumes. But continues to play terrible poker until her final hand.

Rock in the corner limps, and so does she. Flop comes A29. Rock checks, she bets 2k into a 4.5k pot, rock checkraises to 5k, she thinks and calls. Turn comes A, rock puts her all in, she thinks and calls. Cards flip over, rock has AT, she has K9?? "I didn't believe you... ah well" river pairs the 2 for the Aces full boat, and she's done. As soon as she's gone from the room the table erupts - "Well, that wasn't unexpected" "How terrible was she?" "Pot's 3000? I bet 300." "I don't know how many times I had to call with my crap draws because she gave me odds." "I can't believe you won with 77 on that one hand against her... no wait, I can." Poor lady who sucks at poker.

Toss in a couple hundred in slot losses, and my first night in AC was not a promising start gambling-wise.


Dawn Summers said...

Too many lies, too little time! I was the *least* racist person at that table! LEAST! And while I still don't know how you did the coffee stirring/tweeting I KNOW IT WAS YOU, GOAT!!!

Riggstad said...

Getting to the Borgata isn't that hard!! Just ask either of the two guys; which way will he tell me to go? When he gives you the answer, go the opposite way.

The Taj is a dirty, nasty place, full of conspirators and axe rapists!

Wish I could have been there! Jeez, you come to AC once a year, and it's like the only weekend I'm not around. Coincidence???? I think NOT!!!

BWoP said...

Did you follow that woman to the cash tables??? That would have been the smarter play.

Astin said...

Dawn - Whatever. Lies, truth, who can tell the difference in a socialist America?

Riggs - I say blame your friend who got married. Very inconsiderate of him. Although I'll be back to reclaim the money that is rightfully mine. If I can swing a cheap flight direct to AC.

BWoP - Yah, that WOULD have been, but I think she stormed out of the casino. Then when I got KO'd, N was shortstacked, so starting cash seemed short-term.

BWoP said...

Also, I am sorry to hear that your tasting menu meal was not super super. I bet the cooks spit in your food because they knew Dawn Summers was anti-lobster.

BWoP said...

Also, I hope that you rid yourself of the nasty New Jersey casino germs soon. That blows.