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Atlantic City - Taj,Trop

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  • Atlantic City - Taj,Trop

    WARNING This is a long post.. aprox 8 min. reading time

    This past week my girlfriend, the slot queen, took me to Atlantic City for a few days in honor of my birthday. We call it New Years day <g>. The 24th being the first day of my 54th year. In the past blackjack was my game and I have been pretty darn good at it. In recent years the tables at Atlantic City have been going up in price, hard to find a decent seat at and the game had become so mechanical for me that I gradually lost interest.
    As you may notice from my number of posts and when I joined I am a newcomer to the online poker community. I have played many kitchen table poker nights and even belonged to a poker club of sorts in the 80s. This past July I became involved with PSO and have learned alot about "what I didn't know I didn't know" about poker and have fallen in love with this great past time.
    However, this post is not about me so much as it is about my first trip to a live casino.
    So... we arrive on Monday afternoon do the "lets hang out together" thing, dinner, the usuall stuff. We are staying at the Showboat which has really nice rooms, ours is a comp courtesy of the slot queen, but, no poker room. Around 9pm I'm hanging in the room watching my favorite Olympic event, beach volley ball, and the girl says "lets go gamble". I let her know I need just a few more minutes rest till I'm ready to go<g>. We head down to the casino and I just have to find a real poker room. I ask around and they point me to the Taj next door. I go to the Taj and after about 20 minutes of walking around and following signs in a circle I find it. Wow, this place is huge. Tables and people everywhere. I get my name on the waiting list for a 2/4 HE table and within about ten minutes my initials are called. "WRF 2/4 Holdem",I raise my hand and hear "Lockem in". The floor manager sees I don't have a rack of chips and politely points me towards the chip cashier cage. I buy-in for $100 and go looking for my table. A young oriental kid points me to a chair and my heart sinks. "you want me to sit there?" . "There" is a seat to the immediate left of the dealer and there is no room to sit. So I try to muscle in to the table next to this guy who is twice my size and half my age. I can reach the table but only by leaning over to it. I ask him if he could give me some room and he moves over about 1 inch. I look around the table and the problem is obvious. Sitting three seats to my left is this guy with his girlfriend sitting next to him, not behind him, as a spectator. I'm new so I try to deal with it. I post and the fun begins. Second hand in I get JJ in the small blind. Flop comes 5,9,5. I raise when the bet comes to me and I have 5 callers. Turn is a 10, I bet, everyone calls me. River comes a J. I check, it's like blood in a shark tank. By the time the bet comes to me my raise caps the betting. I win. Several groans around the table. Nobody shows down after I show my full. The player to my left quits the table. Yippe I'm ahead about $150. This is great! Damn I'm good! Well.... I played about 2.5 hours and that was the only hand I won all night. I passed about 20 hands in a row after that which gave me a chance to observe the table for a while and stop shshaking like a leaf. I quickly realized this was a bad table and a bad seat. The player to my left was a loose aggressive player playing almost evrey flop, to his left was a very good solid player (and his girl) with a huge stack (his chips not her). This guy didn't play alot of hands but he won almost every hand he played and he didn't always have a big hand, just the winning hand. To his left was a young guy who was getting some good cards but wasn't very aggressive, called alot and he made several mistakes that I caught but he was lucky as hell drawing out on some really weak hands and winning. Next was another loose aggressive almost a maniac. This guy played almost every flop, bluffed often and had a chip stack that changed faster than the weather. Next was the table calling station, a middle aged woman who just sat there putting out her money and not winning much. The next guy in line is the star of our show. This guy let everyone know at every opportunity that he had been up for 40 hrs. straight and as he pounded one rum and coke after another lost about $150 in the first 45 minutes I'm at the table. We'll get back to this guy later. The next two were a weak tight player, female hispanic, and a young guy, a rock who I didn't even know was there for the first 2 hrs. So I'm suffering through a long succession of rags and bad beats. Got a pair of rockets, lost to a set of 4s on the river. Floped a full, lost to four jacks on the river. Got a pair of queens in the BB, lost to a river A. You get the idea. About 1.5 hours into the session the drunk gets up to take a break. A couple of minutes later the woman to his left, whom he had been chatting with all night also took a break and went for a cigarette. They change dealers and about ten minutes later here comes our star who sits down in the wrong seat and starts playing the woman's stack. Nobody says a word. After he posts both blinds and folds he realizes he is in the wrong seat and moves over. The dealer notices this and in broken english, all the dealers and staff here are orientals who speak english as a second language, tells the guy he cannot play two positions and he has to move back over. The drunk tries to explain to the dealer what has happened but the dealer understands english about as well as he speaks it and is totally confused. He calls the floor manager who understands english and after several players chimed in with a little help they decide to make this guy put three dollars in her stack to replace what he had played. The manager asked if anyone objected to him remaining at the table. No one objected because he was a source of income/enterainment for many of the players being down about $200 at this point. When the woman returned she laughed it off and didn't seem to mind at all. As for me, more rags, more playable hands out of position, a few bad beats. Finally I get a AKs in 8th position. I lose to a pair of rockets but my raise gets the eventual winner to check to me on the river which saves me a bet. It almost feels like a win at this point. Then the player to my left notices that one of his cards, which he was about to throw into the muck has a red smudge on it, it's an A. He shows me, I look at my cards and my ace also has a red smudge on it. We show the dealer who does not seem very concerned and starts to rake in the cards for the next deal. This is'nt happening. The guy to my left and I both stop him and let everyone at the table know what's happening. We have to call the floor guy again, who also doesn't seem very concerned, trys to clean the smudges off which he does and gives the deck back to the dealer. The whole table erupts, we all want a new deck. The manager takes the old deck, spreads it out and finds four more cards with the red smudges, another A and three K. We all decide that the marks are lipstick and now everyone is glareing at the two women at the table. The hispanic woman immediately shows her hands to the dealer which are clean and the other woman gets up and leaves. Hmmmm......I play another ten minutes or so and realize I'm now down $90 and with only $10 on the table I have to buy more chips if I want to continue playing. Not in this place, I'm outta here.
    The Taj is a place I will probaly never play in again. The room is all chrome and glass with tan walls and a 30ft ceiling. The tables are very close together and feel small. The staff is predominately oriental, especially the dealers, they don't speak clear english and many didn't understand english very well which led to alot of confusion on several hands.
    On Tuesday we checked out and drove a few miles down to the Tropicana. I had heard that they run a limit holdem tournement every wend and I wanted to collect some information and check out the poker room. What a contrast. The poker room at the Trop is smaller but not alot smaller. Alot of beautiful woodwork, more space between tables, and the ceiling is about 10ft. Well lit and easy to walk around in. They have more stringent rules on spectators and all the dealers and staff speak english as a first language. I put my name on the list and within 5 minutes I was playing poker. The dealers called the hands as they dealt them in a clear, concise and very friendly way. Another contrast was the attitude of the dealers. At the Taj the dealers pressed the players to play fast. I had one hand raked by the Taj dealer because I didn't look at them fast enough I guess and I didn't have them protected (lesson learned). At the Trop they let us take our time and the dealers asked before they raked cards to make sure the player was folding, real nice. At the Taj we were playing about 55 hands an hour. At the Trop is was more like 45. The rake was the same 4% up to $4. Hey I won $61 in 2 hrs. of play.
    Although I was a net loser for the trip the $29 was well worth the lessons learned. I learned alot about the differences between online and live poker, the diversity of the poker playing community and last but not least how far I have to go to reach my goal of being a good poker player.
    Hey! the girl hit a dollar machine at the Trop for $300 on the way to the parking garage. We both went home with smiles on our faces.

    Bill F "Durham"

  • #2
    Durham
    I figure this post was well worth the 8 minute investment. Heck, it takes almost that long to make 7 minute frosting!

    The whole post makes me wonder one thing: HOW COME YOU DON"T POST MORE!!

    Excellent read...it brough back some funny and good memories poker games past. Limit sucks LOL

    Thanks for the trip report, see you at the tables.

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