i didn't expect this trip to be perfect. things do go wrong. that's a part of life.
when i got back to my motel room last night, i found the curtains pulled open and the lights on. hmmmmm.....when i entered the room, i found that, although the bed had been made, the waste baskets hadn't been emptied. and, worst of all, **there weren't any cups in the room**!!! how'm i gonna make a drink without a cup??? and then there was the fly. i didn't let it in, and the damned thing buzzed all night. some of you have told me that the last trip report was the best so far, but i don't know if i can attribute that to the experiences of the day, the new bottle of dewar's, or the damned fly!
i registered my (extreme) displeasure with the night clerk, and was referred to the motel manager. i spoke with him around noon today. stephen phipps is a very pleasant man of about 40 years, 5'6", light brown crewcut, glasses, mustache and goatee, dressed in shirt and tie. he manages to tame the tiger with calm common sense. and he gives me a break on the price of tonight's room. wtg stephen!
then we start to chat. i tell him about my trip, and that i'm playing poker during the afternoon, and writing these trip reports at night. stephen understands that playing good poker is not gambling, and he tells me that he put himself through college by playing poker!! :) i go back to the room, copy my trip reports to a floppy disk, and give the disk to stephen, together with directions on how to get to this newsgroup! hiya stephen!
at station casino, i finally get to meet gambler103, whose real name is paul, and his child bride, jerry. they're a very lovely couple, and i actually get to play in the same 1-5 stud game as jerry for a short time before i'm called to play 3/6 omaha/8. paul tells me how much he is enjoying my trip reports (you know, i just might get used to hearing that.....not!).
cardroom day manager vito has pulled my two prior trip reports off the newsgroup, printed them out, and brought them into the room. my reports were passed around to various staff members and several regular players. i'm a celebrity! :)
vito introduces me to rich ollar. he's a gentleman of about 65 years, crew- cut, glasses, and wearing a station casino windbreaker. at vito's request, rich rolls up his left sleeve. he's got a tattoo. oh, what a tattoo!! under the station casino logo are a suited ace-deuce and a pair of kings. and "professor omaha" is emblazoned above two station casino chips. what a great tattoo!! rich turns out to be a good guy, too! and when he puts money into the pot, he's got the nuts...or he's drawing to 'em. :)
i re-learned a very important lesson today. i played in the 3/6 game for about 45 minutes, before i was called for 5/10 omaha/8 (both games have a full kill). i take the new seat. this was an error. in my 14 hours of 3/6 omaha at station casino, i had become used to multi-way multi-bet hands. there were always one or two or three or more people who would call with anything (which frequently meant nothing) to build huge pots. in the first fifteen minutes at the 5/10 game, i saw exactly one hand with as many as three people in it - and i was the third person who got the short end of the stick by getting counterfeited on the river. the game is deadly silent, and i'm not having much fun. another ten minutes, and i ask the floorman to put me back on the 3/6 list. i don't get back into the 3/6 game for *four hours*, during which time i've finally gotten back to even. another hour or two at the 3/6 (with the maniacs, the calling stations, and the newbies), and i can put another nice "w" into the logbook.
lesson: it's more fun, and a lot more profitable, to play in a lower-stakes game with bad players than in a higher-stakes game with good players.
yeah. i knew this lesson. what was i trying to prove?
i'm having so much fun at station casino that i decide to stay another day. another fed ex package from home brings a stack of correspondence, most of which requires a response. :( but one is from martindale-hubbel (the premiere lawyer-rating service), who has finally decided to rate me. (note: they don't rate lawyers whom they feel are unworthy of a rating. lol!).
today, i notice that the station casino pokerroom has a snack bar adjacent to it. they serve burgers and dogs and other bar food (mostly fried).
i also notice that they've got a number of basic "house rules" posted on one wall. i'm drawn to this one: "in a showdown situation, any player at the table may ask to see a hand. excessive use of this rule is considered, at best, impolite and will not be tolerated." this is the local version of the general rule that any player in the hand may request to see any called hand at the showdown. however, i do like the phrasing of this rule, and i urge mike caro and associates to adopt this language in their universal rulebook. i very rarely use this rule. however, since i've been the "new kid on the block" for the last two weeks, i've had it called on me not less than five times!!
obligatory poker story: i play 3/6 omaha/8 all day. it's a "kill pot", and i'm the big blind with 10d 7d 5c 3c. the killer is to my immediate left (although he's the killer, since he's to the left of the big blind, he's still first to act). six players, and it's not raised. i throw in three white chips. the flop comes down 9s 8h 3h. it's checked around to the next to last player, who bets $6. four callers. the turn is the 6d. i check; the killer checks; a fish checks; the next to last player bets $12. the worst player at the table (to my immediate right) calls, and i've got the nut straight. i check-raise, and the killer re-raises all-in. the fish folds, the bettor calls all-in for $17, and the worst player calls all-in for $12. i see that every active player (except myself) is all-in, so i face my cards, and call the killer's re-raise. floorman john happens to be passing the table at the time, and he hangs around to supervise the action. there's a main pot and two side pots. while the dealer and the floor are getting the side pots straight, i start chanting, "king of clubs! king of clubs! king of clubs!" the killer shows me his hand. yup. a bad low and two hearts to the king. i'm louder now: "king of clubs! king of clubs! king of clubs!" the dealer burns and turns. you know it! the king of clubs! i do a marv albert-like "yessss!!!!!" and throw her a dollar. she doesn't understand. "sir, you can't bet. they are all all-in." lol!! when the dealer finally finishes awarding the three pots (i get the high from each - the bettor had an ace-deuce), i ask her if i can now tip her. :) (note: the average toke in this room, even when a player scoops a big pot, is a pink $.50 chip.)
semi-obligatory people story: in general, the dealers at station casino in st. charles are pretty good. many are very good. margarite is a black woman in her 30s, about 5'5", slim, with long braided hair. she's got very long manicured fingernails at the end of slim hands, which are all bedecked by bracelets and rings whose sparkle is eclipsed only by margarite herself! her two front teeth are gold. she's one helluva good dealer. if dealers kept their own tokes, she'd make a fortune! she's able to run the game quickly and efficiently, but still keep up a running patter with players whom she knows and players (like your vocal reporter) who enjoy the gay repartee of social interaction. during a break, margarite tells me that she's only been dealing poker for about a year! she has a second job as a telemarketer and loan processor for a mortgage company, and hopes to eventually make the move out west to vegas or california. i ask her for a quote. she thinks for a few moments. she nods and smiles. "dealers are people, too!" you got it, margarite!
non-obligatory people story: i've been posting to this newsgroup for some five years. i've said, many times, that i've met the most wonderful people in the world playing poker. unfortunately, i've also met some of the worst scum of the earth at the poker tables, too (as chris downs noted, "duke" at the president is one of these....). this last week, i played 23 hours at station casino. i met *dozens* of very nice, wonderful people who played in the room, worked in the room, and managed the room. i met exactly three people who qualify as, shall we say, "s.o.t.e's". one of these was named "joe," a man about 60 years old, 5'7" tall, medium build, balding, white hair, glasses, usually wearing blue jeans and a printed checked shirt. i suspect that he's an anti-semite. i know that he's wholly absorbed in him- self, and contemptuous of all who don't find him to be god's gift to poker. at the 3/6 omaha game, i saw joe take out a number of 4"x5" colored photos. he leafed through them again and again, until a woman next to him asked him what the photos were. he told her how he was building a 60 acre lake on his property. he put the photos away. he later moved to the other side of the table. he took out the photos, and looked at them again and again, until a new player asked him what the photos were. he told the same story. joe then moved to the 5/10 omaha game (after making a crack about me never going to church). as soon as he sat down, i saw him take out the photos and start looking through them.....yes, joe. you've made the report.
one final note: soon before i cashed out, day manager vito asked if he could have a private word with me. much to my delighted surprise, vito (who had seen me wear a tropicana jacket, a taj mahal baseball cap, a tropicana base- ball cap, a foxwoods shirt, a taj mahal shirt, and various other cardroom paraphernalia, including my barge99 chips, and my hollywood park "year of the tiger" chip) presented me with a station casino baseball cap, and a long shot glass for my next session at the laptop! thanks, vito! and a big congrats and wtg to vito and his day staff, and to dan and his night staff, on running a terrific poker room! what a great place to play!
i cash out, logging another "w", and redeem my accumulated comp points towards the purchase of a heavy denim "station casino" work shirt. these are my first souveniers of my trip. :)
and it's off to tunica, mississippi!