Mohegan Sun

I have not been very keen on driving to Connecticut. It is a long solo drive, and then the rooms are more than they are in Vegas. Staying at the casino is really priced out of my budget. So generally, I think that I can't have a day that will pay for the expenses of going.

However, when Elizabeth was going to meet up with three old friends in that area over two days, I tagged along to visit the casinos while she visited her old friends.
The driving down was pretty hectic. We left here at noon. I especially disliked all the Hartford twists and turns and lane jockeying. I just don't do well on busy highways anymore.


We stayed at the Norwich Holiday Inn. We got lucky because we actually had failed to book the room. Holiday Inn gave us the price we thought we had booked, and so we did fine.
The rooms were fine except that the plug for the sleep apnea machine was behind the bed. That would have been fine, but the box spring was needed to hold any plugs into the wall and the apnea plug popped back out in the middle of the night. I slept well in spite of that.
I forgot to bring an extension cord with me just for such issues. I could have gotten help, but not without waking Elizabeth.

No free breakfast, but a nice little restaurant with the meals charged to the room and generating a few hotel points for a later stay. We actually ended up splitting an omelet with fruit that Elizabeth ordered and could not finish. Coffee was good and they gave us a couple carafe's and cups to take some with us.
Great pool, perfectly heated and very clean. We had a good morning swim today. We had the pool to ourselves. Very nice.
Good mattresses. I slept well even without the sleep apnea machine.


Elizabeth had an hour before she had to go and she put $10 in a Bonus poker machine at the bar in the Earth Casino's Hall of Tribes. She cashed out $20. She was very lucky on the double up option, doing it just once after small wins.
I lost $20 on the same machine.
The machines are very confusing because max bet is 20 coins. However, they do pay right on the 5th line for the royal although this is a bit hard to verify.
I mistakenly played the max a couple times. In Vegas I am used to hitting the max bet button. I did not hit well on the big bet hands.
Poker was all 2-4. They did not start the 1-1 game until there were about 20 people on the list. I missed it as I was hungry and went to the buffet.
The first 2-4 session was the worst. There were the local rocks who play every day: The old long haired semi shaved old character I see every time, a grumpy guy in a wheel chair, and a few others. These old men live in the casino. It was like pulling teeth to get paid on any good cards. And the hands I won seemed to be split.

Also, there was very little friendly banter or interesting stories. Generally, these old local guys think of the game as their game and the rest of us as tourists who play loose and badly. How they carp about anyone who plays a hand against the odds.
They don't seem to get that if 2-4 is played by a table of such rocks and only those rocks in mathematically perfect patterns, no one can make any money. Small pots are raked and passed around.
They did seem to realize a bit of that when one guy kept betting regardless of the strength of his hand. He went through some money and brought out a $500 chip. The dealer broke it down, but the fellow made the mistake of playing one hand with it all on the table and then trying to put some of it in his pocket. Nope. It had to stay as his bankroll. The fellow already thought that rules were not enforced on others, but just on him. He did not, for example, understand the difference of going over the line with chips he must then bet as a raise and another fellow dropping one extra chip when calling a $2 bet and then able to retrieve it and not be forced to raise. Well, hearing he had to put up all the $500, be packed up and left, taking with him the best pot splasher at the table. They were sorry to see him go because we were just passing him around.

But you know, "Rules is Rules except of course when they ain't."

My second session was better. I played a long while and left down $10 at 11 PM. The way it worked out Elizabeth's friend had dropped her at the hotel, and she was snoring to a kitchen remodeling show when I sneaked in the door.
This first day I went to sleep down $120. I wasn't happy.


I played some DDB VP in the morning and hit three quads: kings, jacks, queens. But I gave most of that back. The 4 to a flush draws were the hardest. They drained me. Few full houses. Then the quads were hot the high paying kind.

I played a bit of 1-2NL, but that is always a mistake for me. I was in just one hand but that cost me $15 just to call one time.

They opened a 2-4, I played for a while and was very comfortable there just relaxing and making a dollar here and there, but when the 1-1 opened, I went there. That was a good move. In late position I could always raise $2 and see the turn and the river for free. So, if I then caught I could come out raising. It helped me save a good bit when I wanted to chase. Also they were having fun and they were friendly. Not like those old codgers for whom poker seems a daily form of masochism, like the religious fanatics who flailed themselves daily.

I love 1-1. I can afford it. It has so many opportunities for variation in betting to fit different situations. I bet just a dollar on my flopped four queens and was called by most of the table until I bet $3 on the river and everyone folded, but at least I made $10 while I gave folks time to catch something.
The high hand awarded every three hours was already taken by a 5 high straight, but had it been open, I'd have done the same thing to get the needed $10 in the pot to qualify.
Because of the affordable stakes of 1-1 , I was able to call an "all-in" when I flopped A-6 that matched my A-6. It was my largest bet of the day, over $50. Two callers. Then on the turn I bet $25 and created a side pot. I checked the river, but won.
I had other good hands. I played well. Once I went all-in with just Aces and a low kicker. I stole the pot.
Helpful is that everyone talks about what they did and why and argues strategy and justifies bad calls. For example, the guy who went all-in on that big hand had earlier made it clear that he "pumped" when he had A-K, so it made it easier for me to call as I put him on A-K.

And it certainly helps that I play this game all winter at Ocala Jai Alai poker room.

I bluffed "all-in" just once with an Ace and low kicker. I was in last position and read weakness in the checks that came easily before me.
It worked.
I had played tight enough to get respect and it was a good pot.

So I ended the day up a good bit. I took home $167 profit for the trip. I also had $31 in comped food and got a free gift
valued at $40 on Amazon.


I ate the buffet the first night, but I was disappointed in most of it. I can always get enough to eat, but most things did not seem as good as they had last year. Some things were over cooked and some were cold. I also don't eat to eat a lot when I gamble. So, perhaps I won't eat there again.
Their deal based on saying "Facebook" or "Twitter" for a few dollars off now requires us to go on line and "like" the buffet, after which they send a password and we bring that to the casino.
I did like the meatballs with alfredo on top. The fruit was good. The lobster bisque was good too.
One funny thing happened. Since my hand has not been working quite right, I started bringing a plastic bib so I don't have to buy so many shirts or search for stain free formulas. A fellow came up and asked where I got it, and I explained I carry one with me all the time. He wanted on to protect a grand daughter's fancy dress. Both he and his wife thought I a great idea. Generally, I get a hard time from my grown children who are embarrassed if I bring it out as others have been too. So strange. Would they be that way if I came in with a wheel chair because my legs were not working right? But once over the social stigma, I like the practicality of the bibs especially when traveling and stuck with the same shirt for that day whether it is stained or not.
Friday I took some freeze dried strawberries and some multicolored bit sized tomatoes and that made an easy lunch at the table.
Then I met Elizabeth and we went to the Fish Grill, but I was disappointed that they did not have the grilled oysters from the night before. We left and ate at Tuscany. I liked it. It is very pricey, but we were not very hungry, so I got a small order of a seafood medley with spaghetti that Elizabeth ate and she had a lobster bisque. They brought out bread and some olive and humus dip that was grand. We got away cheap and had a fine time.

We took a scenic route for part of the drive home and enjoyed all the flowering trees and the less hectic roads. It was raining. There was no traffic except for an occasional tail gaiter. North of the Hartford highway squiggle, we joined major highways and drove the rest of the way.
We hit fog on our country roads near home. Hard driving. I worry too driving through deer country, especially with a tailgailer. But we got home. 3 hours total with a couple bathroom stops. Not bad.

Most of the ride home we listened to Elizabeth's Sirius radio. She got an introductory offer and is trying it out. We heard a good stretch of really old country. "Classic" they called it on "Willie's Roadhouse". It reflected what country music was before rock and roll fused in and created what we hear often today, yet another genre where drums and shouting voices are pushed down out eardrums. This was some interesting old pieces until 9PM when The Grand Ole Opry show came on and things were more modern and harsh so we shut it off.
The themes on "Willie's Roadhouse"repeated themselves. They were all about: broken hearts and drinking and cheating and remorse and revenge, and dear ofe Daddy and Momma and heaven.

One I remember:

"With the blood from my body
I could start my own still
And if drinking don't kill me
Her memory will."
GEORGE JONES LYRICS - If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)

Or this old Jim Reeves with Dottie West:

It kept me well entertained during the trip.

At Mohegan Sun both Elizabeth and I had stopped to hear some bits of the band one night. It was Strawb.
I don't remember them, but they are pretty popular. They seemed fine as a rock group, but again if listeners did not know the words to the songs, they would not get a clue from listening between the banging drums and the unfamiliar accents.

Well, I'm getting old I guess. The older I get the farther back in time I go to find music with lyrics I can understand up front, lyrics that are not just sledge hammer driven into my skull with drums and guitar. Bands that include horns, or violin, or a piano and perhaps a sax and percussion other than beat up drums.
I sure am loving the Jonathon Schwartz WNYC on radio. It is a great station to have playing while falling asleep. Jonathon's voice is soft and easy. Such a contrast with most DJ's and his old stories from the Sinatra era are interesting.
The Jonathan Channel | WNYC
Also, twice a week he features Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey

Oh, and while writing about drinking, Mohegan Sun gave me Maker's Mark at the bar and again in the poker room. I had heard that they were not giving anything good, but they were generous portions as was the cognac, and quite tasty.