NOT VEGAS - 3 Days in Atlantic City

Reports & Blogs by vookenmeister Posted

Day One: The Beginning

First day ever in a casino for chris. We go to borgata and both drop down close to a 100 then each fight back to finish up a 100 after 4 hours of play. Time to take a break and go somewhere else

Spirits are up as the jitney bus drops us off 30 minutes later at the trop. Paul hits some great cards off the bat and builds a good stack. Chris is patient and does not really play a hand for an hour. Then he goes crazy semi-bluffing a gutshot draw and with a large bet pre-river. Two calls later chris hits the miracle card and wins a big pot. We play into the wee hours as we both give some of our stacks back late.

We stumble out and wallk 8 blocks.... the WRONG way until we board the jitney and ask to go to our street. Everyone laughs as we realize we have no clue where we are. Finally we make it back to the hotel at 5am

Day 1 results...
Chris wins 410
Paul wins 697

This place is sooo lame compared to our home game.

Day two: stormy weather

Our heroes crawl out of bed around 10 to go find some food. The weather in ac is just ugly as the people... Overcast, cloudy and hopelessly pathetic. After a fine meal at mcdonalds we head to the hylton casino to sign up for the 2pm tourney

We play no limit for 2 hours before the tourney starts... Both of us are up a little bit when a big hand develops. Raise, reraise, call before the flop and then the flop comes A,K,J of hearts. pot is huge. Chris leads out with a bet of about 1/4th of the pot. Paul has a pair of tens with a heart so even though he is behind, he calls for the draws hoping to get lucky. The next card is another jack. Locals start talking about the bad beat jackpot of 80k where if you lose with aces up or better both players cash in. Everyone at the table knows we both have the potential hands to do it. chris leads out with a huge bet anyways.. Bastard. Paul confesses openly it is not worth a call and talks chris into working a deal. He calls for the 75 but gets his money back and will concede the pot if he wins. Last card is an uneventful blank, and chris shows down the crusher 4 jacks.

Time for the tourney. Typical cheap tourney with crazy blind structure puts both our heroes in a bind with stacks of only 5-10 times the big blind. Paul goes all in with 10-7 then k-5 and steals the blinds and antes. Chris does the same thing stealing some hands. Then paul gets AK, makes the same move and is called by two people. He is dead to two aces and gone.

Chris lasts longer and after some great steals goes all in with AQ suited and loses a race to pocket 9s.

Off to the trop. Chris is still up about 70 after the tourney while paul is struggling. 2nd hand paul gets lucky and flops a set of 10s. He manages to milk all 250 of someones chips who had 2 pair ( of course he loses most of that back later on a tough hand but I do not want to talk about that). At the dinner break both our heroes are up for they day

9 hours of play at the trop till 6am. Table is horrible but we are both card dead... Chris even more so. Despite some good reads, Chris had a bad run of luck which drops him down for the night. Paul muscles around and picks up some chips just due to the majority of the players being so weak..

The pair heads out into the night....umm morning and manages to walk the correct way back to the hotel

Day 2
Chris loses a little over 200 including the tourney
Paul wins a little over 300 including the tourney. chris survives his run of bad luck and is still up about 200 for the weekend. Paul has gone slighty over 4 digits.

Spirits are high as our heroes are convinced the water is stocked with fish as day 3 looms

Day 3: Suck Out City

Our faithful duo heads out to Bally's to try their luck in another tourney. They walk to the 6th floor casino only to be told the tourney is somewhere else. As we are in line to register we overhear a dealer explaining what a blind structure means to the group of kids behind us. They are playing in the first tourney ever. Are you kidding me? Can it be that easy to take everybody's money?

Apparently not... 4 levels in and Chris is treading water with an average chip stack. At a different table, Paul is the maniac. He has won several pots with almost nothing but hasn't made much ground with his chips. He has been punishing limpers and just showed everyone a 6-3 when they folded. Next hand is there are 3 limps (200) to him on the button. He looks down at A-Q and bumps the pot up to 1600 to go. One player pauses and puts him all in for his remaining 9800 in chips. No way he's got QQs, KKs, or AAs. Only A-K is possible and who would not raise with that? Paul calls and gets shown K-J. Whoever wins the pot will be the chip leader at the table. Flop comes A,Q, 5 two clubs and then runner runner club and Paul is sucked out to a flush. He goes out in 50th place and jokingly asks the dealer where he is supposed to cash in.

Chris fares a little better and survives another hour into the tourney...only to be eventually sucked out himself in a similary fashion (story did not make the press because I can not remember the details).

Chris joins Paul at the 6th floor Bally's casino. Our heroes will soon learn that Bally's is not their style. The 1/2 no limit table they sit down at is so bad that they are forced to show down the best hands to win. Paul stubbornly believes otherwise and makes a serious of beautiful strategic moves that go completely over the head of his opponents as he is consistently called after the flop by horrible hands that just happen to hit the flop slightly and be better than his. Fortunately, Paul had come over from a different table first so had an extra $100 in winnings to donate... which he did so beautifully. Paul teaches the donkeys what a donkey he is by thinking they are capable of folding. Chris struggles to get any cards of value as well. They both realize it's time to take out the pick ax and just work hard with some simple plays, but the cards just aren't coming. 4 hours of struggling later they finally realize they might as well be playing limit. They head back to the Trop to find a table whether better players... but hopefully not too much better. Paul and Chris leave Bally's down $70 and about $150 respectively. It's just not fair. We're hunting donkeys without a rope. It is so hard to play against someone who plays any two cards...especially when they keep hitting them. Hopefully, the luck will change soon.

A few hours into the trop and Paul is on a tear with a run of good cards and maniacal plays. He is the maniac again and it's working because he is getting lucky cards to go with it. He breaks someone when he gets a pair of kings that turn into a set on the flop. He build his stack to well over 700 or so. In the meantime, Chris is losing ground as he continues to receive bad cards. He plays them pretty well and manages to only bleed off the minimum while he watches the maniac on his left forcing people off the table. Striper comes to the table. I am calling him Striper because he is a pudgy man in his late 20s who is obviously way tight. By this time, both our heroes know who are the bluffers, the callers, the rocks and the tight/aggressive/continuation players at the table (only one of those fortunately and he is getting way unlucky). This guy folds 15 times then puts a large bet out, still gets action and wins it. A half hour later, our maniac picks up a pair of kings again in the small blind and raises a bunch of limpers $20. Striper calls the $20 after originally limping in. Pot is about $50. Flop comes 2-5-J rainbow. Paul bets out $30 and striper hesitates and comes over the top for $70 more. Pot is now up to $180 and only $70 to call. Striper still has about $200 left while Paul has plenty. It's gonna have to be all in or fold. Fortunately, Paul remembers how often he has mistakenly overplayed top pair before. He has some info on striper. He is above average, but obviously tight. He definitely is not the kind to bluff raise so what could he have. Would he have limped in and then called a larget bet with 2s, 5s, or Js? We all know that's not what you want heads up against an aggressive player (let's u think u can get all his chips if you hit your 1 in 8 flop). However, striper is not that great. He must have the set. Paul painfully folds his kings face up and Striper has the decency to show his set of twos. It was very nice of him to show. Paul dodges a bullet and only loses $50 instead of $300. Fortunately, Paul has learned his lesson of overplaying top pair/overcards the hard way before and it helps now.

It's around 2am now and Chris is extremely frustrated about his lack of cards... I know because I'm sitting next to him and he keeps showing me. He is down to $70 and not enjoying it while cursing his continued bad luck. I talk him into cashing in for $200 more and waiting it out. Chris has not played enough poker to realize that luck evens out over time and that you must struggle to fight it... especially when you are at a table that is either playing 2nd pair or letting you run over them. Chris forks it over and buys back in. He starts to get some average cards and slowly builds his stack up.

Meanwhile, Paul gets himself into a hand with Mr. Tuf Guy aggressive bluffer. Mr. Tuf Guy is already on slight tilt because another player has been aggravating him, which has caused him to try and muscle everyone. Paul get Mr Tuf Guy to put all his cheaps dead to Paul's straight. There is only problem though... a King on the river will split the pot. Yup, you guessed it. the miracle king saves Tuf Guy. They split the $400 as the suck outs continue to come. Paul's stack has dwindled down to about $500 while Chris is playing great and has inched his stack up to about the same. No all ins for Chris just steady pre-flop, post-flop play and many take downs without having to show a hand.

Both Paul and Chris are using their position and punishing the limpers whenever possible...often showing mediocre cards as everyone folds pre-flop. Then it comes, a pair of Aces for Paul. Paul is in stealing position again and once more raises to $20. The quadraplegic in seat 5 calls. I'm not characterizing here... he really is a quadraplegic. Likable guy and with his arms and legs missing from the elbows and knees down. The flop comes A-9-5 and I check. I would normally just lead again, but I know this guy is dying to bet out so I want him to think he's ahead. He bets out about $30 and I just call. Next card is uneventful, no straights or flushes to worry about so I check again. He bets about $70. the pot is now $180, it's $70 for me to call and he has about $100 left in chips. Time to move in case he's drawing to anything or capable of folding at the end. I reraise him all in. He calls and shows A-10. Huh? He's drawing dead as I rake in the pot. I had already taken his other chips earlier so I sorta feel bad, but that's poker. He says no big deal.. he won $1400 playing craps yesterday. He hops off to get more cash from the ATM.

Chris' turn to punish the poor guy. Chris has made several great moves and shown a bluff then gets dealt two Aces. Same scenario he raises up a couple limpers to $20 and our guy calls. Flop comes J-7-5 rainbow. Chris bets $20 and this guys shoves all in for about $150. Oh my god. What could he have? Chris is troubled... he has just spent a couple solid hours working his stack way back and now it is threatened. he talks it through.... "no way he has two pair. nothing playable there. Either he's got a set or I've got him." Our guy is very agitated and staring. Chris reads it well, takes a deep breath and calls. Our guy shows down K-J for top pair. TILT!!! Chris takes all his chips.

Back to Paul in the small blind. He has an A-3 and limps in with 5 others. With just $10 in the pot, he checks hoping someone with an ace will bet and generate action. Mr aggressive tuf guy bets $6... everyone folds to Paul....who pauses slightly and then calls. $22 in the pot and the next card is a Q... This guy loves is not good, but still had about $200 in chips. He loves to try and push people around. Paul checks and lets him... Tuf Guy bets $12. Paul decides maybe he has ace anything, time to push. He raises it $50 on top. about $100 in the pot, it's only $50 to call and Tuf Guy has a decision. He quickly reraises all his chips an additional $142 in chips. Paul pauses because he's got some tells on the guy. The guy stares Paul down... he is weak. no doubt. I am 100% positive... I stare back and say, "are you sure? Do you really want to give me all your chips?". I call. Incredibly, he shows down Q-9.... only one of the two remaining queens can save him. Disaster strikes again as a Q hits on the river and the dealer ships $400 to the tuf guy. Sucked out again.. even more painful as it was to a runner, runner 1% chance.

eventually it rolls around to 6:30am we decide it's time to leave. Chris has miraculously come back to finish up $250 after being crippled while Paul has dodged a bullet, then been shot twice, and walks out up an extra $70. Chris finishes up about $300 for the entire trip while Paul cashes out up nearly $1000.

Oh and of course, there's another eventful walk home. Earlier that night, Chris and paul received a phone call from Gibbs who was in town for a bachelor party. A drunken Gibbs claimed he would call back if the group made it out their way to one of the closer strip bars. We never called Gibbs back because we didn't want to leave the tables. Well... as we pass Bare Exposures at 7am in the morning, Gibbs calls out to them. He's been there for 7 hours or so, is still wasted and is waiting outside for his buddy to come out as the bar is closing. He does not remember calling me earlier in the night.... 7 hours in a strip bar... I'm sure he has a hole in his pocket now.

What did we learn?
1) You can make many mistakes and still come out way on top because your opponents are out-mistaking you.
2) Atlantic City players are nowhere near as good as our home.
3) You can never suck out if you never get called with the worst hand. Parallel to that, if you get sucked out a lot then you are playing well enough to get all your chips in with the best of it.
4) It is better to be at a table with semi-decent players than with donkeys. Donkeys are hard to read, which takes away any tricks you can employ.
5) Altantic City is a craphole.
6) Atlantic City is really a craphole.

Honorable Mention Hand: not a lot of money in this hand but it was interesting so had to mention.
Paul limps in as the dealer with 7-6 and 3 other players. Flop comes J-9-8. Everyone checks to Paul who is drawing to the idiot end (only an idiot would play a 7-6). He bets $5 into the pot of $8 hoping to steal it. Small blind poor player min-raises it $5. another play calls the $10. $5 more into a pot of $33 so Paul calls since the players are weak and easy to read. Next card is the 10... and paul has hit the idiot end of the straight. First player bets $10 more, 2nd player calls so Paul calls (these guys are weak it's doubtful there is a Q). Last card is a Q. The board is showing J-9-8-10-Q no flush chances. Both players check to Paul. He doesn't want to share the pot. He accurately guess no one has a K so he bets $25 into a pot of about $70. Both players fold as Paul shows his hand and claims "I play the board". Funny stuff!!

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