FOXWOODS WEDNESDAY






Half way to Foxwoods I usually stop at this CVS with a Bank America station to get some snacks and money.




I put some card in the machine, perhaps an old B of A card. It said, “No money being dispensed from this machine today.” and it ate the card. I thought is was my current card.


There was a phone number to call, but my phone was dead.


A fellow helped me call, but they needed a phone access code. Why, I can’t imagine.


I borrowed his phone and called my wife who assured me the account was fine.


Another fellow gave me directions to a place that was a bank, but he miscounted the turnarounds.


Still, I found it with the GPS helping.


And then I noticed that I still had my card.


What a jerk I felt.


So I grabbed my money and headed to Foxwoods which was still an hour and a half away.


It had taken me a long while to get out of the house and get money, I hit the Two Trees at just about 1 PM, a bit distraught.


Then my luck changed. They did have the suite I had agreed on line to buy for $5 a night. I thought this was some come on perhaps to put me in a category for the resort fee, but it was fine. For $11.50 I now had, for two nights, two rooms, one with a couch and a chair, and easy place to eat my snacks and pickup meals between buffets.


No microwave of course. But a refrigerator. So, some of the food I brought would be fine.


And just down the hall was the pool, open from 6 AM until 10 PM and uncrowded. I would swim each day and never have anyone else in the pool with me.


I unpacked and walked to the casino. 8 minutes.


There is a shuttle that comes every 20 minutes, but each time I went out, it was leaving.


The walk was very pleasant and the weather was good, so it was not a problem.


I ate the buffet, but it is not as good for my diabetes as the Mohegan Sun buffet. They did have the mussels. And they had a kale and chorizo soup which was very weak, but I put in collards from the BBQ section and some of the sausage called “braised bratwurst” which was not actual bratwurst, but spicier and good for the soup.


Carrots were good.


The dessert section had no decent sugar free, just that dried out blueberry pie which may be sugar free but there is a crust that converts to sugar when eaten.


I had one bite of beef. I’m not going off my diet for that beef! I left the rest.


The deep fried pollack was as good as ever. They do a very good job with that, but I can’t eat too much fried food.


They don’t have the choices of hot sauce that Mohegan has. They have Tabasco which I dislike and Sriracha which is the new “in” hot sauce, but again not my favorite. I like a good American made Louisiana hot sauce, or I’ll take Cholua.


I don’t trust what the Asian countries put in anything they make.





The poker was tough at first. I was at a very good table with a weak fish, but he was catching all the rivers and winning all the pots. He explained how he was imaging the cards he wanted. Of course, after a while he started to lose as fast as he had won. My up and down is perhaps $100, but his was $500.


I was not doing well there, but I knew it would turn around. But when it did, I did not do better.


One woman there was a bit annoying. She thought she knew everything. She talked about having been a dealer there once.


She was in the one seat and loose guy in the two seat.


He misfolded his cards, and they dropped to cover her unprotected hand.


The dealer was inexperienced and tried to sort out the cards, but what she set aside as the woman’s hand was not the right two cards.


So the woman took another.


She had now seen three cards, and still she expected to be allowed to finish the hand.


The dealer was going to passively allow it, when the third player in the hand asked for the floor. He was quiet and gentle about it, but he knew he did not want to just let her play.


The floor said both hands were mucked.


She was livid. She asked for the shift manager.


The shift manager came and said that both hands were mucked.


Well, we had to hear about that for a long while from her and from loose guy.


And she berated the third guy for not “being a gentleman” and returning her money.


He just said he wanted to play by the rules.


I stayed out of it. I was close to telling her that card protectors (like mine) were used just for the reason. I was close to telling her that had they been coluding this would be a great way to exchange cards.


But, instead I just moved tables when they opened a new game.




Usually playing at a new game is a way to encounter some poorer players before they have lost their money and left.


Not this time.


Here was a table full of excellent players who really wanted the 4-8 game that had not yet started.


However, I caught a string of cards and because they had not played with me long, I got paid. I especially got paid after catching so many in a row that it did not seem right to them that I could be playing very well.


I flopped straights twice, once with a 5-8 in the blind. Talk about an inside straight draw!


I caught the river spade for an Ace high flush.


I played a 2-3 of hearts in fourth position. Really stupid, but I just got cocky. 2-3 flopped and I was called by a couple people, one who turned a club flush. The 3 on the river gave me a full house.


I was hoping playing the 2-3 would change my table image, but they had called and seen all the other hands I played, so when I bet in early position, everyone folded.


Time to go.


I picked up my chips and left.


I had recouped my losses to loose guy and grandiose dealer lady, except for $11.


It was about 9:30 and I was tired. I watched some of the music in the lounge. It was fine band of older guys playing older rock and roll. In the band was every horn you could imagine. I like horns. I rather have heard some good swing, but this was fine too. Some long haired sexy woman danced a bit with her other women friends.


I passed the comedian show and wished I had gone, but it would have cost me $100 as I would not have played the second table.


I watched some Asians playing SicBo. I love to watch that game. I wish I had one in my house for the poker boys to play. There is just something about it that satisfies me. The Asian women were arranged by age, four of them. It looked to me like four generations. They did not bet every hand or bet much. I think they had some superstitious way of figuring when the board was due.





I played off my $10 freeplay in a slot for just $4 and then put $40 in a poor paytables video poker machine and hit zilch.


So, I went back to the room and went to bed.


The television was pretty full of stations, but no Turner Classic movies and the HBO was some fighting, car chasing, blood letting, over dramatized crook type show. I did watch a bit of Duck Dynasty and have some popcorn and nuts and laughed, but the commercials annoyed me and soon I was in bed.


Put wine in water bottle and carried it in to poker. Good idea. Whole bottle cost me $4. This was a third of it and good.


Back for some TV and turkey and popcorn and nuts.


To bed but not to sleep.




FOXWOODS/MOHEGAN SUN THURSDAY




I played the morning at Foxwoods, but it was a mistake. All old regulars. I recognize most of them. Al is there ordering green tea and honey in a way that makes the waitress think he is ordering green tea and calling her honey. He will do the same thing later in the day at Mohegan, and so I tipped him off there as by then I knew him better.


I head back and try for a nap but I’m unsuccessful.


Finally, I decide to head to Mohegan Sun.


I was to find out that while Mohegan Sun won’t give me a Perrier without some VIP card, I can get good red wine.


I called ahead to put myself on the list, but that was not really necessary because there are plenty of seats.


Andy sits down next to me. He remembers me from my last visit, and we start to talk about Florida and Vegas and he jokes about living with his mother.


Andy must be nearly my age.


Two marriages did not work out.


He seems a gentle sort with a fine sense of humor. HIs living-with-mom comments could be on a sitcom. Today he tells about how she managed the below zero winter, keeping the woodstove stoked.


Across from me is a rather quiet fellow who plays excellent poker. When he bets I fold. unless I have the nuts, and even then I am nervous.


Doris joins us to my left. She lives in Lake George and has a very pleasant way about her. Recently widowed, she jokes that her next husband must be young or rich. Doris is a very big woman, so I love it that she is so feisty.


The quiet fellow loosens up a bit, and he tells us he has just bought a place in North Vegas, so he can winter in Florida. So we talk Vegas a while. I don’t know anything about Aliante or Santa Fe, the two casinos around his house. But I’m certain this fellow will find a niche in some regular poker game and be quite happy.


I ask about wine, and Andy tells me to order Summer Cloud. I’m not too fussy, but I hate sour, overly tannic tastes. This trip I’ve been carrying in a cheap red in a water bottle, that was on sale for $4 at my local wine store. Tisdale Pinot Noir. Having finished that, I try the Summer Cloud Andy recommends, and I am instantly delighted.


I have a few, and I’m a bit drunk.


I love playing 2-4 drunk, but I don’t get to do it much anymore because the diabetes doesn’t need $40 of Myers Rum a day. In Vegas I drink a good bit of Perrier, especially at the Golden Nugget where they serve the large bottles. But Mohegan has some special VIP status for Perrier and players need a special card to get one. It is annoying and ridiculous since other drinks are easy to get.


Andy has to head home, and I move to a more central seat where I can see the cards better.


At that end of the table is a regular named Moses and a younger Black man who works for him making documentaries. The younger fellow and I hit it off immediately and we talk a bit of old music. I tell him it is Gladys Knight’s birthday and I had found a great old clip of her singing, “Heard It From the Grapevine.” He is sure Creedence did this first in 1961 and he knows the place where they first sang it, but I’m sure she was earlier than that because I’m getting my clip from Jute in the Back and Matt the Cat, a station that focuses on, “the soul that came before rock and roll” and Gladys is very young in the clip and the Dick Clark like dancehall seems early 50’s to me.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWvwP72FuVg

Turns out we are both wrong.


First recorded by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in 1966 (written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong).


The third version was recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips, in 1967.


Marvin Gaye recorded it earlier than Gladys Knight and the Pips but didn't release it until 1968, though it didn't become a major hit until the following year. There was also a cover by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1970.


We talk a bit about the music scene in Chicago. I am more blues and he is more jazz so we don’t share much there.


So how often in my life am I going to get in this sort of conversation?


The fellow tells me his name is Jonathon, but folks call him John Henry, and asks if I know that historical character, and I sing a bit of the old folk song.


The poker goes nowhere. Early on I lost $100 playing sober, and even with the advantage of playing drunk, I just go up and down, getting some of it back, and losing it again.


But it is a fine game just the same.





The ambiance of Mohegan Sun also supports very well a happy drunk. The whole casino is like an abstract art gallery of color and shape, much of it glass and it is delightful.


In contrast, Foxwoods is a basement poker room and that entire casino is so dull it might just be shopping mall with long corridors of nothing aesthetically pleasing.


And nothing is dull. The buffet is full of color and shape and glass and now it has a video border with various shows, one is wolves running in a snowy forest. Just really great!




It is nearly 8 PM and time for me to get my prepaid buffet before the Four Seasons closes. John Henry wants to go along with me, but he can’t quite leave the game.


So, I’m off for a meal of my dreams. Once again I delight in some fine dishes, all on my diet, even dessert and once again three hours later my reading is 115, not bad since I am controlling only with diet. No meds.


I also play off my $25 slot play from the Referlocal voucher on a little old fashioned slot and reap $10.


And then I decide to play just a short while on a 9/5 DDB machine. Low pay table. I don’t know the strategy. But lately it is a long while between Vegas visits, so I want some entertainment.


For a while I just amuse myself winning even money and then playing it on the double up feature.


Then I cancel that and just play VP.


I’m almost ready to quit, down about $50, when three dealt Aces catch the fourth and a 4. This is a famous first for me. I have never hit 4 Aces with a kicker before.


I cash out and head back to the poker room, now ahead for the trip.


When I get back, John Henry is standing. His bankroll is gone, and he is just waiting for Moses to call it a day.


He says he wishes he had gone to the buffet with me.


I can’t get on that same table again.


The table I join is short players because they have let 4 people go to supper and leave chips. There is the rule of “third man walking,” which means that third person only gets 10 minutes, but they’ve let it slip unenforced, and they can’t even remember who went first.





I’m a little irked.





Afterall, I’ve just gone to supper and when I went, I cashed out, freed up my seat ,and put my name on the dinner list. This means if I come back within two hours, I get to be put second on the current list. That seems a much more responsible thing to do than to cramp a table for 45 minutes.


I gently leverage the issue with the brush to get a small rake reduction. They normally don’t do that for 6 players, but they know they have screwed up, and I like it that they act responsibly given it was their error.


So, I don’t go home yet. I am thinking about it.


I am sitting next to a rather taciturn older Asian woman who is not much amused by my light banter. But her younger Asian friend watches, having long lost her $160 bankroll before I joined, sits behind her just to watch. She moves around closer to me, and we have a fine time smiling and joking about my various card protectors.


She is not classically beautiful, but I find her very sensual with long black curly hair, and I very much enjoy her looks and her company. And the taciturn older woman finally warms up, laughs, jokes with me a bit, and so I’m having again a fine and friendly time.


I bring out this card protector fellow









and explain how he talks to me and tells me just how to bet.


“Did you hear him that time?” I ask just before I raise some good cards.


When I win what is a very good pot, I give the card protector the credit and have them enjoying this slip into surreal reality.


I am very sorry when they leave, with the smiling sweet younger woman waving back across the room to my card protector and me as she goes to get her rest so she can work in the morning.


There is one fellow at the other end of the table who is an annoyance.


He talks constantly, verbally challenges us as he bets, and warns us. He gets the dealer upset because he tries to have other players show cards or he shows his before the end. And when he is called, he shows just one card.


He tells grandiose stories.


He is slightly manic.


I am sobering now, all the interestingly delicious people are gone, and I want to go back to my room, but this fellow is such a bad player, and so often builds nice pots with unjustified raises. that I stay as long as I can just for the money.


I am winning. In the end I win $99 in that session.


The strangest hand is A-K offsuit. I just call with this preflop, but when the $2 limps get around to loud guy, he raises, so I make it $6 hoping to push a few folks off the junk that might beat me. Another fellow caps.


I’m now thinking that they have my Aces and Kings, maybe a pair of them.


The flop gives me an Ace with two 4’s. Loud guy bets and a few of us call.


The turn is a king.


I bet and I’m raised.


So now I’m thinking maybe someone played A-4 or has trips. The river is not much.


I don’t know how to figure this one, so I check as do all.


Loud guy has an Ace, low kicker. It beats the other guy, and I don’t see what he was betting.

I win.


So I guess I missed a bet.


Had I had the exact same cards in the morning with the tight old regulars at Foxwoods, I’d have won a very small pot, probably right after my $6 reraise preflop.




MOHEGAN SUN FRIDAY




Although I rolled in slightly hung over after midnight, I still only slept until 5 AM.


I rest a while longer, but it is no good.


I take a swim and have the last of the cold turkey I brought along and some peaches in a bit of key lime yogurt. I listen while I eat and pack to Juke in the Back. In the quiet of these suites I don’t even need my extra speakers. I love it that my computer makes a fine radio.


I get a fast seat at the Mohegan, but it is the early group of old guy locals, and my cards don’t do well. More than that, I don’t do well. I get into raising wars with a low straight against a high straight, and with king’s full of fours against quad 4’s. I reraise too easily. In the first case, I really should have just tossed in my cards when a good player made it three bets. What was I thinking? In the second case the guy was a loose and poor player so reraising seemed right.

I had won about $100, but the poor play took it away and I I lose about $12 of my buy-in as well and so I just decide to quit.


It is 2 PM.


I’m tired. Maybe I can’t play again.


In Vegas I’d just go and take a long nap and wake up in the middle of the night to a Golden Nugget game.


Here I can’t.


I think about going home early. I have to go before rush hour or after 7PM to avoid real confusion at Hartford.


I go up for the “Facebook Offer” I saw on the Mohegan website and just for asking I get $6 off the lunch price and can pay that $15 with points, so my lunch is free.


The buffet has not changed much. So I do just fine.


The lunch refreshes me, especially because it is free.


So, I decide to give it one more try.


I get there just in time to get the last seat at a new table. I’m very happy. New tables are great.

There is always some easy money.


To my left is Paul who comes every day and plays really poorly. I like this guy. He is very easy and friendly. We talk a bit.


To might right is a beautiful young black woman dressed to the nines. Amazing face. So, if the poker is bad, at least the ambiance is going to be good.


The first hundred drains and then Chip and Wanda join the table. The dealer rolls his eyes because he knows what is coming. “ Well, at least we’ll get some action.” he says.


It turns out this older couple (Chip is 85) fight all the while they play. He is particularly insulting to her and shakes his head and makes comments on her play. She moves over right next to me and as she moves, she takes two stacks of chips, one apparently was Chip’s.


Well, he gives her a hard time and they argue a bit about whose chips belong to who, but when she wants to give them back, he takes an opposite attitude and insists she keep them.

It is very bizarre.


He moved across from me and next to a fellow who is a coin collector and he has a long and detailed discussion about coins. with a young dealer who just inherited a bunch of old coins from his grandfather,





Chip takes a shine to young coin dealer fellow.


He likes him.


He fawns over him.

He pats him on the back.


He offers to buy him a drink, but the young guy does the buying.


It is all very entertaining.

Here is this old guy who is just mean to his wife, but he can suck up to this young fellow at the table just fine.


To my right is a fellow who has just started playing 2-4 this week after usually playing NL 1-1. He loves the change. He does some things that would work at 1-1, but don’t work here. But he is pretty good.

He is wonderfully friendly, but we don’t get into much conversation because the coin talk and Chip’s verbal abuse takes up most of the air space.


Slowly I recoup my losses, a bit at a time. I’m river lucky a couple times. A guy at the other end loses most of his bankroll and leaves in an unfriendly huff. My rivers are all calls into large pots when I have good outs. I just get lucky.


Chip doesn’t like me now because I’m taking down pots. I even check raised Wanda when she was in a betting flow.


He gives me a steely look and says, “I’m going to get you.”


Incredible.


He can’t catch cards, but at one point he has something. I fold and he takes a very tiny pot. I can see he is disappointed.


“Well, you got me!” I say.


Now he really hates me. I’m a winner and a wise guy.


The table has a long discussion about the new casinos coming to Massachusetts and New York and what they will do to an already shaky financial situation. Foxwoods in particular is hurting now, and I have heard it from the dealers and the waitresses and seen it in the closed Rainmaker section that is now only open on weekends.

I think it won't be good. Too many venues and not enough dollars.




I’m drinking only coffee because I’m going to drive at some point. I figure at 7 PM.


But here is what holds me.


There is a promotion that the high hand in the room gets $900 between 6 and 9. Almost all day we’ve seen straight flushes come rather early in the 3 hour high hand sessions, but for this section, quad Aces is the current high hand and stays that way.


I decide I’ll stay until the Aces are beat or 9 PM.


Three times I get a one card draw for a royal or a king or queen high flush and none of them develop. In fact, I don’t even make flushes on two of them. On the third I raise early to get the pot up to $20 for qualifying. I have jack-nine of diamonds and am straight flush open ended. I’m called by three people.


No straight flush maker on the river, but a diamond drops gives me a nice pot.


I play right up until 9 PM.


And it is exciting to think that pretty much any straight flush during that play will take the money.


We are in our last hand with less than a minute left when someone hits a “steel wheel” (as the straight flush A-5 is called) and knocks out the poor guy who was waited for two hours with Aces.


So I head home.


For the day I’ve lost just $2 which puts me $141 ahead for the trip. well over my expenses.


I find I am not tired any more.


I also find that all the spots I dread on this journey are very easy because the traffic is light this late at night. I drive straight through without even stopping for the bathroom(a minor miracle really) and I’m in my driveway by midnight and in bed directly and asleep.


THINGS I’D LIKE TO REMEMBER FOR NEXT TIME



PARKING


Drive to the Two Trees area, but take the turn toward the the casino. It looks like a back entrance with shuttle stops in front. On the way I pass a couple lots where I could park and walk a bit in the outside to the entrance that is very close to the poker room. Were it to rain there is a shuttle to the parking areas as well. I’ll choose them over all that garage traffic and parking.


FACEBOOK


Check Facebook for food offers before going. And look for a buffet/freeplay offer on Referlocal. That was a good deal for Mohegan.


Stop in at Foxwoods. I usually get Freeplay.


Park at Foxwoods in Riverview, the first pull off and take the left choice. When parking get as close to the right hand area as possible. The other end will be a longer walk to the Poker Room.


TRAFFIC


Great roads after nine coming home.


TABLE SELECTION


Starting early means starting with the good and tight regulars. If I do that, I want to hit and run as it won’t be long before they get my play and I won’t get paid on good cards.


COMEDY


Watch the times. It was 8 this time at Foxwoods and I could have gone. However, that would have cost me $100 earned between 8 and 9 at the poker table that night.


GPS addresses


Route 91 toward Springfield exit 13B is the CVS and Bank of America ATM. Great bathroom at the CVS.


928 Riverdale Street


West Springfield


A full bank is here:


225 Memorial


West Springfield 01089