Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waiving Goodbye to 2013

2013 was not a good year for Pete P. Peters at the poker tables.  My biggest issue was simply not playing enough hours.  The previous two years, I easily hit my goal of 200 hours of cash (which, admittedly, is still a very small sample size).  I also ended up each year in the black.  This year, not so much:

Sixty-six hours is pretty pathetic.  I thought the opening of Maryland Live! (a mere 35 minutes away) would dramatically increase my cash play.  However, given the current issues with crowds and waitlists, I've only played two sessions there so far.  Hopefully, once Caesars opens in Baltimore in August, this will be less of an issue.
In the meantime, I'm determined to put many more hours in in 2014, even if I have to start arriving at MDL! at 11:30 am on weekends to get a quick seat . . . or make trips to Charles Town. 
Hope everyone had a good year.  Onward and upward!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Trip Report

I've seen a lot of depressing things in casinos over the years.  But this scene took the proverbial cake:

American Idol has no doubt produced some stars over the years.  There's Kelly Clarkson (all 240 pounds of her) -- unquestionably a star.  Carrie Underwood - also a success.  There's that Daugherty dude.  He too seems to have turned his idol performance into a successful career.  I'm sure there are others I'm missing. 
Then there was the spectacle I witnessed Friday night . . . 
The scene -- The showboat . . . the House of Blues black jack pit.  There he was.  Former American Idol winner David Cook . . . performing what was, in essence, background noise.... nuisance for black jack and roulette players . . . I mean, he won the whole damn show -- and this is what he gets?  Free shows before 20 drunk chicks in a black jack pit?   The whole thing just depressed me.  It was the low point of what was otherwise a fantastic week  . . .
I got my vacation started early.  Friday afternoon, December 21st.  Three o'clock came and I hit the road.  The Borgata was calling, and I was listening . . .
I arrived around 8:00, whipped out my black label card, and was checked in to a room on the 28th floor within minutes.  First stop - B Bar for a few adult beverages and some sweet, sweet video poker.  Within half an hour, I hit my first big hand:
This was my third time hitting deuces this year after striking out on the hand for nearly three years.  I guess I'm just on a heater . . .
Over the 6 days I spent in AC, I monkey mashed a lot of buttons.  Like, a lot.  Some of the highlights included flopped quads on a ten-handed bonus poker game:
Quad aces for $200 at Bally's:
And this sweet five-of-a-kind on a double joker poker machine:
I spent four days at Borgata, mainly just donking machines, watching football and enjoying adult beverage and fine dinning.  I had dinner at Bobby Flay's once, and Izakaya twice during my stay.  I racked up nearly $200 comp dollars and, at 2:00 am Monday night (or, Tuesday morning, depending on your perspective), I was dead even.  A total success in my book.
Yet, at 2:00 am, I still wasn't tired.  Nor was I concerned that I had to get up relatively early in the morning to drive up to Strong Island for Christmas Eve with my family.  Maybe it was the Miller Lite(s) talking; but it felt like time to make a black jack run.  I sat down at a $25 table at Borgata, and bought in for $200.  Ten hands later, I had no more chips.  But, of course, a shoe can't run terribly for long.  It had to turn.  So, I bought in for another $200.  Ten minutes later, that too was gone.  While I had made it four days without losing a dollar, my late-night-last-ditch attempt to find a heater put me into the red for the first half of the trip.  It was time to call the clock on my trip to Borgata . . .
I spent Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Thursday with my family.  A respite from the degeneracy.  Friday morning, however, it was time to head back to the Jersey shore.  I left Smithtown, NY at 6:30 am.  By 9:30, I was rolling through the empty streets of Absecon on the outskirts of AC.  I was meeting up with my oldest friend, Zeen, for some weekend debauchery; but he wasn't getting into town until later in the evening.  And it was too early to check in to Showboat where we were comped for the weekend.  So I decided to make a pit stop at Harrah's for some 100-hand VP mashing.  Two hours later, my finger aching and my heart ready to explode from 3 cups of coffee, I was dead even and ready to leave.
I cashed out and drove over to Showboat where I was able to check in early.  The dude at the front desk recognized my diamond status and offered an upgrade to the premium tower.  I wondered if he had ever stepped foot in any of the rooms at the Boat.  There is nothing "premium" about anything there.   I told him I couldn't care less where he put me, and he promptly sent me on my way to one of the finest shit-boxes Caesars Corp. has to offer.  I opened the door and immediately regretted not having paid some year-end bonus cash to stay at Borgata again.  I mean, why am I working in the first place if not to be able to spend weekends at the Borgata?
Fully disgusted with my error in judgment, I immediately hit the boardwalk and walked the mile south to Toga Bar at Caesars to watch football and monkey mash some more.  Even . . . again.
Zeen showed up around 8:00 and I was already buzzing good.  A solid 5 hours of beer will do that to you . . . even Miller Lite . . .  We caught up and grabbed some adult beverage at the bar at Showboat.  It was then that the David Cook debacle went down.  My favorite moment:
David Cook:   [general pandering to the "crowd"]
Zeen:      [standing in the back . . . mockingly raises his beer and shouts something derogatory towards the former "Idol" . . . I forget his exact words . . . something about the shittyness of the music . . . or maybe the shittyness of David Cook's haircut . . .]
David Cook: [acknowledging Zeen and saying . . . "I can't hear exactly what that guy in the back is saying; but I see him lifting his beer up . . . Cheers, man!!!! I hope you are all also having a good time!!!"] 
Pete Peters[feeling pity . . .  wondering if David Cook ever saw his life ending up like this following an American Idol win . . . playing for free . . . being openly mocked and not even knowing it . . .]
After what Zeen and I both witnessed, there was only one thing left to do -- Patron shots.  20 minutes later, the natural post-Patron-shots-progression reached its zenith, and Zeen and I ended up a Johnny Rockets eating 2000 calories of fatty goodness:  
After burgers, we went back to the bar for one last mistake . . . Another round of Patron shots.  Zeen complained the shots weren't as big as the opening rounds . . . I suspect the bartender was trying to protect us from our own devices.  Within half an hour, we were donzo for the evening . . .
Saturday morning, I awoke at the crack of 11:00.  I decided to man-up and hit the boardwalk for a 5 mile run.  While the exertion helped a bit, I could tell it was going to be a sluggish day.  Zeen hit the racebook to bet some ponies;  I decided to finally play some poker.  I sat down at a "Super $1/2" table at the Boat and bought in for an un-super-sized $200.   I got aggressive from the start.  First orbit, after 5 limpers, I popped AQ to $16 from the big blind, and everyone folded.  10 minutes later, I looked down at AA from the button and again raised a bunch of limpers to $15.  Again, no callers.  OK.  Twenty minutes later I looked down at KK from the button.  After several limpers and an $8 raise, I re-pop to $25.  The big blind, who is sitting on about $150, tanks, and Re-Raises to $60.  It folds around and I snap-shove.  He calls and tables AQ.  Cowboys hold (eat it, Rob!!!).
About half hour later, I decide to limp in late position with A(d) T(h).  I flop middle pair on a Q(d) T(c) 3(d) board.  Early position agro bets out $15.  I call.  Turn is the T of diamonds giving me trips and the nut-flush redraw.  This time, agro splashes out $50, over-betting the pot.  I'm not going anywhere . . .  The river is the 2 of diamonds.   Agro checks to me and I bet $85.  He calls.  I table the flush and he starts bitching about how I called him down on the flop and turn with the Ace of Diamonds.  Perhaps in his disgust, he failed to see my Ten.  In any event . . . good game, sir.
I ended up getting KK again heads up against my agro friend.  He limped, and I raised to $12 and he called.  We saw a T44 flop.  He checked, I bet, and he called.  The turn blanked and we checked down.  River also blanked and I bet about pot ($50 or so).  He called.  Kings held again (suck it, Rob!!!).
In the end, I played less than two hours and walked with a healthy $330 profit:
Post poker, we headed over to the Irish Pub off the boardwalk for beverage.  That was followed by more beverage.  And finally, dinner over at Harrah's and additional beverage.  Zeen decided to call it a night.  I decided to take one more crack at black jack.  And drink a few more beverages.  After buying in for $200 and building my stack up to $500, I let it slip down to $300, and decided to cash out a moral victor . . . 
2:00 am Saturday . . . after 6 days in AC, I was done . . . 
Finally tally: ($300).   Not a bad result!
- Pete

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays

'Tis the season or some shit.  It's Friday morning and I'm trying to clear my calendar to take next week off.  The plan is to surround a few days of family fun and holiday cheer with some wholesome degenerate wagering.  In this regard, I'll be taking off this evening for 4 nights at The Borgata.  Tomorrow, beginning at noon, is 5X Slot Dollars.  Yes folks, that's right.  For every slot dolla earned between noon and 8:00 pm, you get $5.  Degenerate Christmas is coming early.  I plan on being rested and ready to monkey-mash (TM) dem buttons beginning at 11:59 am.  I will take sporadic breaks to sip refreshing Miller Lite, rest my fingers, and watch some college bowl games.  In short, I have a delightful day planned.
Sunday is still up in the air.  If I wake up with self-loathing, I may make the 2-hour drive up the Garden State Parkway and catch the Jets game.  If I don't feel like punishing myself, Sunday will be spent in the poker room and/or watching NFL from B-Bar.  Monday will be much the same.
I'll be home visiting my parents and family Tuesday through Thursday.  Then, assuming all is quiet in the office, the plan is to stop back at AC on the way home for a weekend at Harrah's. 
A truly degenerate Christmas!
Happy Holidays to the usual crowd and to any random readers.  Hope everyone has a safe and festive week.
-Pete P. Peters       

Monday, December 9, 2013

Skins Weekend

This weekend was my friend's 40th.  Yes, another one bites the dust . . . We spent Friday night at Ruth's Chris for some filets and good wine.  I got home late, and had to be up early for "the tile guys," who were making their second attempt at installing my kitchen tile.  They showed up and, despite everything that everyone else had told me, claimed they did not need to lay a subfloor because there was already a concrete subfloor in place.  So, they simply laid the tile and left . . .
That evening, my friend "Jimmy" came down from Jersey.  This weekend, instead of me driving up for the Jets game, he got the privilege of spending 8 hours on the road for the Chiefs / Skins game at Fed Ex Field.   We walked the 2.5 miles to my friend "Mr. Kim's" apartment for his birthday/holiday bash [Mr. Kim is not his name.  However, given his Korean heritage, I decided on a totally racist alias . . .].  Jimmy and I made it halfway to Mr. Kim's before making a pit stop for a few cold beers . . . and a few tacos . . . and some tequila.  It was cold.  The journey was treacherous.  It had to be done.  By the time we finished the journey, we were both feeling OK.  And, as I walked in the door, I saw Professor Kim -- Mr. Kim's mom.  I had not seen Professor Kim in several years.  We spoke for a while, and she told me about her current research on cancer and genetics and some lectures she was preparing.  I grinned like a dolt as the tequila and warm apartment air took their collaborative effect on my senses.  She then walked away, presumably wondering why her son was friends with a blustering idiot.  I do my best.  It's all I can do. 
After the party, Jimmy and I grabbed a few road colas and made the walk back to my place.  It was cold.  And windy.  And the walk sort of sucked.  But it beats ending up in jail on a DWI . . . Plus, the exercise is healthy.  At least that's what I tell myself.  We got back to my place at 1:00 am or so.
I was up at 7:30 Sunday morning, packing the car for the Chiefs / Skins game.  We made it to Fed Ex Field by 10:00.  The weather was delightful.  31 degrees and snowing.  Fortunately, Jimmy had brought the "Jets Tent" with him.  So, we set it up and just dealt with the barrage of "flattering"  comments from the locals (it's not like Skins fans can really say much about the Jets . . .).


We entered the stadium late in the 1st quarter with the score already 17-0.  Well done, Redskins. 
After enjoying the view for a few moments, Jimmy and I retreated to the Monte Cristo Lounge for a fine cigar, and ended up watching the rest of the game from there.  Nothing beats live football!
This morning, I awoke at 7:30 to a ringing phone.  My contractor.  Again.  He wanted to know if the flooring was done so he could proceed with the cabinets.  I gave him the thumbs up.  Then I went downstairs and walked on the tile.  It creaks.  Yes, the tile floor creaks.  The floor has always creaked in that spot; but I somehow assumed that once tiled, it would not creak.  I call back said contractor.  He says to call the tile guys and have them come out to look at it.  I call the tile guys and explain.  They show not the least bit of concern.  "Perfectly normal."  Um.  OK.       
So, the cabinet installation is ongoing as I write.  Hopefully, the flooring is actually OK and doesn't crack.  The only thing better than going through this process would be doing it twice . . .  I really should have just sold this condo and started fresh!