December 02, 2002
Player #1: Ah, Joey, I can't buy a hand. I'm gonna go get some dinner.Yes, I had entered a world where steak was implied, and that's a world that's okay in my book. My trip began with a tour around the insanely massive Foxwoods, then it was off to the poker room for the 10:00 a.m. Limit Hold `Em tournament. I did fairly well in the tournament, finishing 20th out of 88 entrants. I was far out of the money but did get to play almost three hours for a few bucks, after which I enjoyed a long lunch in the brain-numbingly excessive buffet.
Player #2 (apparently Joey): Okay, what are you getting?
Player #1: (incredulously) Steak.
Player #2: No, no...I mean what kind of steak?
That was actually the highlight of Saturday for me, as I became a reverse Midas, with everything I touched turning to crap. My double-down blackjack bets drew deuces, the ball avoided my numbers in roulette like it owed them money, and if a player needed a card to beat me, then by God, that card was gonna come. I fought back late into the night to avoid a total disaster, but headed to my overpriced hotel room a nearly broken man.
Well, tomorrow is another day. I woke up late, grabbed a cup of coffee in a rundown luncheonette (where the proprietor spent ten minutes of my life extolling the virtues of soy milk and stevia, only to then ask if I wanted an apple fritter roughly the size of a puppy. I headed to the Mystic Seaport, which ain't exactly hopping in the bitter cold of early December. I picked up a pressed penny for my sister, grabbed a fine lunch of lobster bisque and a crab melt, then went for Round Two, this time at Mohegan Sun.
Now, if Foxwoods makes the Atlantic City casinos look like some low-rent stripmall out on the edge of town, then Mohegan Sun makes it look like the alley behind the stripmall, perhaps with a pack of mangy dogs rooting through the dumpster. The place is truly incredible: gigantic, stunning, and as I was soon to find out, the luckiest place on Earth. I had planned to just play for an hour or two, but events soon conspired to keep me in Connecticut until nightfall. I spent an hour walking around before I finally decided to try some more roulette. I figured I'd put a $20 down and see what happened. Well, on the first spin I hit a little something, enough to keep me going. Well, I hit something on the next spin and the few after that, and after about 15 minutes I had taken that $20 up to around $250. I figured that it was a good time to leave the table and check out the poker room.
With my $250 in hand I sat down at a $5-$10 Hold `Em table with a kill (meaning that if a pot is over $90, the winner of that pot has to put up $10 and the next hand is played at $10-$20. As I said, I had only planned to stay for a couple of hours, but the player to my right, an annoying know-it-all who had apparently accumulated so many comp points at craps so that he'd never have to pay for another meal as long as he lived, told me that I'd be an idiot to leave before 9:00, since I'd just end up sitting in traffic on I-95.
Well, I have to admit that I was in a mood to be convinced, so I stayed at that table for another five hours and proceeded to kick everybody's ass. It helped that three of players were casino poker rookies with deep pockets, but I was just getting the cards and/or getting lucky. One big pot came when my King-Jack in a kill pot was greeted with a 9-10-Queen flop, giving me a straight with callers all the way down. I also eked out some lucky ones when a Queen hit the flop as I was taking my King-Queen up against pocket Jacks and Ace-King, and when my pocket 9's backed into a straight on the river. Basically, there was an hour when I could do no wrong, and when the table finally broke I found myself with almost $700 in front of me. That original $20 had gotten me all the way back from the previous day's hole, paid for all the trip expenses, and put me well into the black for the trip.
On my way to dinner I played a little craps (not really my game, but I wanted to throw the dice and ended up making five points before sevening out), then had my first ever filet mignon. It tasted like victory.
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