yesterday, i met nolan dalla and his wife, marietta, at the new orleans international airport. we then drove to biloxi, to our room at the biloxi grand hotel. it didn't take us very long to find the poker room.
hoo boy!! have i got *another* room for you!! the grand has 21 tables of stud and flop games. there are always the usual 1-5 stud games, and often a 2-10 spread limit stud (.50 ante; low card brings it in for at least 2). they generally spread 20/40 stud, but there was a 30/60 game going friday night. hold em is offered at 1-4-8-8 and 4/8, and they usually get a 10/20 or a 15/30, too. omaha/8 goes every day at 4/8 with a half-kill. they'll spread other games, too, depending on what the players want.
i was very impressed by this room. some of the regular features are: cash does not play. chip runners are busy all the time. new players in flop games below 10/20 do not have to post. seats next to the dealers are not no-smoking. the room is located on the top floor of the casino, and is walled in by glass. it's conveniently located adjacent to the buffet. you get one meal comp per shift, for about four hours of play. an awful lot of players here are heavy smokers, but the smoke was not *too* much of a problem. the rake is 10% to a max of 4. they offer bad beat jackpots. i didn't see any "playing over", but i've only been here two days. off-duty dealers play their own money in live games here. they use the "forward moving button" rule when a player leaves. in kill pots, the action always starts to the left of the big blind. they have omaha/8 and hold 'em tourneys $5 + 5 buy-in, $15 re-buys at any time; $25 final add-on at the break.
the dealers are pretty good! there is no rulebook available for players, but the room's rulebook is based on an amalgam of several rulebooks, including the las vegas hilton. :) i happened to be involved in several incidents which required a ruling from the floor, which were all made quickly and (in this feline's opinion) correctly.
the swing shift manager is cincere' mason, a long, cool, dark-haired woman in a beige dress, who exudes a sultry southern charm and runs one very efficient room. there were several very good points to the room, and i'll mention them here because they warrant it. there is a black oval drawn in the middle of each table. chips over the line stay in the pot, and chips outside the line aren't a bet. i *love* this feature, and i haven't seen it in a cardroom in many years. next: the room utilizes a "third man walking" rule, the first cardroom i've played in this trip which uses this technique. best of all, i was particularly impressed by the way the room handles seating control procedures. the folks at the front desk know who is in the room, and where they are, and what games they want to play. they'll get a head count before they announce that they're spreading a new game, and they'll be ready with replacement players for those to join the new game.
did i say that the dealers are pretty good? i played one pot in omaha/8 where there were *four* side pots, each one of considerable size, and dealer mike van peltz was right on the money throughout the hand (hehehehehe....i got all the low from all five!). :) you *know* that i was paying attention.
nolan and i made contact with a couple rgp'ers, too! keith fichtmeier stopped by the room to chat, but he didn't play. he's got a number of projects going on outside the poker room, and doesn't play much at all any more, and we were very happy that he came by to say hello! both nolan and i got to play with "minus200", whose real name is rick. he traveled all the way from mobile, alabama, to regale us with his humor, and it was my pleasure to buy him a chivas regal scotch during our game. :) i also met several lurkers, who will remain anonymous....until they decide to come forward publicly.
obligatory poker story: heheehehe....when i next meet each of you, i'll have to give each of you one dollar. lissen to this..... it's a kill pot at 4/8 omaha/8. the killer is to the left of the big blind, and does not raise his own kill. two callers to me, in late position. i raise with ac 10c kh 10h. button (to my immediate left) calls, as does big blind, killer, and one limper. flop is 10 7 3 rainbow. checked to me and i bet. button raises. big blind (worst player at the table) calls, as does the killer. other player leaves. i re-raise and button caps it. four players. turn is an offsuit 8. ugh. i hate it. it's checked to me and i bet. button raises, again. big blind calls. killer leaves. river is another eight. big blind checks; i bet my tens full; button just calls. the big blind now raises! i make it three bets; button makes a crying call and big blind caps it! two callers. big blind shows down 10 8 8 6 rainbow, for quad eights! he had garbage to call two raises before the flop, and a mere pair of tens with a gutshot to call two bets on the flop!! "nice hand, mister. well played!" oh yeah. the button had the only low..... 5 2 x x.
second obligatory poker story: another kill pot story. i'm in the little blind with ac 2c 3h 6d. fourteen or fifteen players limp in for the kill, so i raise it. lots of callers. flop is 9c 7c 9s. i bet it; three callers, and button raises. five players see the turn. it's 8c. i bet my flush (and unbreakable low draw). next player (an off-duty dealer who has been running over the table for two hours) raises; two callers, and the button re-raises. the dealer eventually caps it, and we've still got five. the river is a wonderful card for me. it's a low one - a red three, i think. i bet. off-duty dealer raises; two callers; button makes it three bets, and i cap it. everybody calls. i spread my ace-deuce of clubs, with the facetious comment: "is a flush good?" guy on the button snorts, and shows two red nines for quads. the other two players muck (one made eights full on the turn; the other guy had his ace-three counterfeited on the end); the off-duty dealer stands up, crows, and triumphantly spreads his straight- flush! we split a *monster* pot!! :)
i'm writing this on sunday morning. nolan and marietta went to a comedy club last night, and had a ball!! he didn't play any poker last night, and he got up early this morning to get his allotted time at the tables! oops! nolan is pounding on the door! it's time to go downstairs and play some poker! maybe i'll play in the omaha tourney!