I recently played in a Golfweek Amateur Tour event at Stockton Seaview Resort near Atlantic City, and decided to spend a couple of nights in Atlantic City to play some poker. Here's a quick recap.
Thursday, 8/7, Harrah's
My first visit to Harrah's. I was staying on a free room promo. Started playing around 5PM. Room felt kind of beat. My table consisted mostly of tight, local grinders who all appeared to know one another. I got the impression that most of the folks were there because of the $400,000+ bad beat jackpot. Interestingly, the jackpot is shared among all the Total Rewards properties in AC, and there is a room share for everyone in all the properties when it hits. The room had two other promos of note: an hourly $500 high hand (also among all properties) and a free buffet for 5 hours of play. I played for only a couple of hours at 1-2NL. Won a $100 pot off one of the regulars when I called down his 3 barrels with second pair, and figured that was about as good as it was going to get. The old fellow working in the cage gave me a free appetizer to McCormick & Schmick when I cashed out (and it's right next to the poker room), so I decided to eat dinner there. Sat in the bar and caught the tail end of happy hour. Service was SLOW, but the food was fantastic. Circled back to play in the 8PM tourney, but it didn't run as there was only one other entrant!
Friday-Saturday, 8/8-8/9, Borgata
Entered the 6PM, $100+20 tournament. Played for six hours and sadly went out in 8th place with the top 5 making the money. I thought the management of the tournament was a bit sloppy. When down to two tables, my table had to wait for a couple of minutes toward the end of a level to even the tables... even though we'd been playing lopsided for several hands. The floor person just wasn't paying attention. Also, they had a number of dealers who only deal tournaments, and some of them, one in particular(!), were subpar. Got up the next morning and played at a fun 1-2NL table from 6:30-10:30AM. Was playing with a group of kids who had been playing all night. I played until the daytime grinders started to filter in, booking a $160 win and easing the pain of finishing so close to the money the night before.
Sunday, 8/10, Bally's
Stayed at Bally's Sunday night on a free room comp that my buddy from Chicago secured. He has Diamond status with Total Rewards, so we hit the Diamond Lounge for drinks before heading to the poker room. Diamond Lounge had a full buffet set up and huge space overlooking the ocean. My buddy said it was nicer than any of the Diamond Lounges he had been to in Vegas. Played 1-2NL in the new poker room for about 4 hours. Honestly, I don't remember much about the room other than it was located in a distant and sort of desolate part of the mostly desolate Wild Wild West portion of Bally's. (I'd had quite a bit to drink.) Table had good action, and I had my best session in some time. Most of my money came in two hands. The biggest, a $600+ pot, was the result of my nut flush holding up against a set of aces and two other undisclosed hands. The other was a $400+ pot where my top-two pair held up against some sort of draw by the fish at the table.
All in all, I had a nice trip. The Borgata is clearly the class act among the properties I visited, but I enjoyed my time at Harrah's and Bally's as well.