i'm going to stop by atlantic city before i get back to new york. that will complete the circle of this cross-country journey. this will be my last report, which is a "best and worst" list.
i began keeping this list about half-way through my trip. i've beed adding and editing it as i went along. enjoy!
nicest chips: sandia casino; desert diamond; artichoke joes; gold strike, lucky chances, sky city. (there are three basic types of chips: ceramic, clay and speed chips. i love the look and feel of ceramic chips and i hate speed chips. all of the casinos listed here have ceramic chips.)
dirtiest chips: president, st. louis
smokiest cardroom: speaking rock, el paso
best buffet (by far): gold strike, tunica
most spacious cardroom: sandia casino, albuquerque
best water pressure: baton rouge, la. honorable mention: albuquerque, nm
slipperiest bathroom: baton rouge (you take the good with the bad).
best "bang for your buck" hotel room: tunica, miss. i stayed at the gold strike and was charged $25 per night. in some hotels, they'll even give you the room for free (on some weekdays) if you play long enough! and at the gold strike, they don't hesitate to write you a buffet comp for a couple hours' play!
most beautiful sunset: cruising on the "grand advantage ii", on the gulf of mexico.
most paranoid moment: entering the narrow, ill-lit parking structure across the street from the president, st. louis. 2nd most paranoid moment: trying to find a parking space at speaking rock, el paso.
most spectacular desert scene: the view of sandia crest as one exits santa ana star casino, just north of albuquerque. honorable mention to pichacho pass, between tucson and phoenix.
noisiest cardrooms: harrah's new orleans; caesar's glory of rome, new albany, indiana
sexiest (least-clad) cocktail waitresses: harrah's new orleans
least friendly cardrooms: hollywood casino, tunica; treasure bay, biloxi; gila river, phoenix.
most expensive non-highway gas: san francisco, california: $1.51.9 per gallon
most unusual road sign: in western pennsylvania, on interstate 70, an exit for the towns of "eighty four" and "glyde".
worst error of omission in planning my trip: not getting an aarp card; 2nd worst error: not taking a hand-held tape recorder for preserving my thoughts while driving.
best method of dealing with walkers, lobbying players and absentees: lucky chances, colma, cal. honorable mention: casino san pablo, cal.
best method of eliminating problems with string-raises and "moves" with chips: an oval betting line drawn on the playing surface.
worst bad beat: when that little old lady was drawing only to two running deuces.....and got 'em both on 6th and 7th streets to make quads and beat my flush at a 5/10 stud game at caesar's glory of rome.
biggest win: almost $750 in four hours at 15/30 stud at bicycle club. biggest loss: $332 in four hours at 10/20 stud at caesar's glory of rome.
best seafood dinner: "chappy's" in gulfport, miss, with nolan, marietta and keith fichtemaier.
best steak dinner: "ruth chris'" in phoenix, ariz, with david and cathy trinidad. honorable mention: "pio's" in st. charles, missouri, with mr b. and miss b.
best state in which to play poker: california. no smoking allowed. 'nuf said.
worst 15 minutes of my trip: i stopped at a gas station in mountainview, california. i call bay101 to confirm directions. i drive to bay101. uh oh. i left my notebook (with *all* of these notes) in the telephone booth. i drive back to mountainview....find the same gas station...and there's my notebook! whew!!
craziest drivers: los angeles, california
best cafe au lait and beignets: cafe du monde, new orleans (duhhh...) (and that leads to:)
best single day of my trip: carousing in new orleans with nolan and marietta dalla, when we didn't play one single hand of poker, and, for that matter, didn't even mention poker *once* during the entire day!
best moment in the trip: when the guy sitting next to me at desert diamond casino saw my barge99 chips, struck up a conversation, and then floored me when he said that he remembered seeing my name, tiger123, in cardplayer magazine!
most exciting poker moment: being all-in at the final table during an omaha/8 tourney in biloxi, and knocking two people out in that same hand.
best supervisors/floorpeople: there were many. but there has to be two or three who make the "best" list: cincere' mason, biloxi grand; david horton, gold strike; vito casucci, station casino.
friendliest dealers: gold strike, tunica, miss.; biloxi grand, miss.; station casino, st. louis.
best cardroom: (for a multitude of reasons,) the winner is the biloxi grand; honorable mention to desert diamond, tucson, az; lucky chances, colma, cal; staion casino, st. charles, missouri. i am certain that if i had spent more time at several other rooms (such as commerce club and tunica grand) they probably would have made the list, too.
and here are some stats (exclusive of my ten day stay in san francisco):
times i watched "jeopardy!" - 4
times i watched "win ben stein's money" - 2
alka seltzers - 2
laundries done - 6
motel6s - 18
travel lodges -1
super8s - 2
days inns - 1
colonial inn - 1
casino hotels - 3 (tropicana, atlantic city; gold strike, tunica; biloxi grand)
total miles traveled - 10,024
total gallons of gas - 256.357 (just under 40 mpg)
number of flair felt tip pens used up - 5
number of newspapers i read - 2
number of crosswords i completed - 2 - one in each newspaper
number of negative comments about my reports posted and e-mailed - 2 (cocktail waitress in st. louis
and the pugnacious one in atlanta)
number of times i wore a pair of leather shoes - 1
number of times i wore a white dress shirt and tie - 0
number of times stopped by border patrols - 0 - i guess i just don't look the part
number of traffic tickets, etc. - 0 - although i was stopped once by a cop for approaching a work
zone at an excessive speed, he believed my excuse that a following 18-wheeler was playing games with
number of casinos visited - 39
number of discrete poker sessions - 105
number of casino id cards obtained - 8
number of hours spent actually playing poker - 309
number of hours spent gambling - 1 (playing craps with "darkside dalla" at biloxi grand)
number of tourneys/number of times in money (entry fees/gross win) - 5/2 (320/394)
number of beers consumed - dunno. around 12 or 14, i guess. most of 'em with nolan, at the
"mississippi long bar" at biloxi grand.
number of bottles of scotch consumed - 7 - about one a week. what else is new?
number of tropicana poker club jackets won by people who said "presto!" - 14
number of baseball caps purchased by me or given to me - 14
number of shot glasses given to me - 1 (station casino)
number of cardroom jackets given to me - 1 (bicycle club)
number of cardroom t-shirts awarded to me - 1 (for quad aces at sky city)
number of rulebooks collected - 3 (casino arizona, oaks club, and bay101)
number of signed poker books collected - 2 (chuck ferry's book "the complete cardroom"; lou krieger's
"more hold 'em excellence")
number of trip reports posted - 40 + this one
number of public responses and private e-mails to my reports - damn. i wish i had saved them all.
number of friends i made on this trip - i can't count that high. thank you all so very much.