ugh. this day started out with a bad beat. i sat down on the chair to lace up my sneakers, and felt something under me. i got up, looked down, and saw my eyeglasses crumpled out of shape, and beyond repair. drat. "hello, lenscrafters? ....."
their ads are accurate. less than an hour later, i'm on my way. once past cincinnati, i cross over the ohio river into indiana. i pass the aurora casino in lawrenceburg (ken's poker page has told me there's no poker here, and he's right). a sharp right turn, across the railroad tracks, a sharp left turn, and i'm cruising down indiana route 56, the scenic route along the river.
ten or fifteen miles down the road, i'm in a sleepy little town (the brochures call it "historic") named rising sun. there's *nothing* here but the grand victoria riverboat casino. i suffer my second bad beat of the day by missing the noon deadline by about five minutes. ::::sigh::::: one leisurely lunch later, and i've paid my five bucks for my entry ticket. you should have seen the look the cashier gave me when i told her my zip code (10014)! the boat used to be the "pink flamingo," based in new orleans. the company that ran her went bankrupt, and she was driven up the mississippi and ohio rivers to her present location.
boarding begins at 1:30, and i quickly find the poker room, located at the front of the boat, on the top deck. what used to be 8 tables is now 6, three each of stud and hold 'em. when i got to the room, there was one 5/10 stud game in progress, but we soon cranked up a second. both games ran all afternoon, and no other games were spread. the room is bright and airy, with plenty of room to walk around. you can even walk outside! tobacco smoke wasn't a problem, but there were only three or four smokers in the room. the first and last seats (next to the dealers) are non- smoking. poker dealers pool tips. the 5/10 stud game had a standard structure: $.50 ante, low card bring-in for $2, first raise to $5, option with an open pair on fourth street. in live games, a full house or better wins an entry into a free car giveaway lottery held each sunday.
there is no rulebook available for players. :(
the rake for all games in the room is 10%, up to a maximum of $5. that's tough to beat. on mondays, they run a hold 'em tourney; on tuesdays, they run a stud tourney. both tourneys have a $30 buy-in, with $30 re-buys. **there's no house "juice" for the tourneys!** all money goes to the winners. both tourneys start out with 20-minute rounds, which progress after two hours to 15-minute rounds.
the boat actually leaves the dock, and cruises downriver for about a mile. it then turns around and returns to the dock. the "cruise" lasts for about 30-40 minutes of a two-hour session. and since there's an influx of new people every two hours, the texture of the game tends to change drastically whenever there's a new session.
i was told that on weekends, they usually get a 10/20 stud game, and some- times even a 15/30. they also spread a 6/12 hold 'em game on weekends, and sometimes a 10/20 omaha/8 game.
tomorrow, it'll be caesar's indiana glory of rome, located just outside louisville, kentucky! stay tuned!