Friday, August 31, 2007

Snapped Off

Snapped Off

That’s been the feeling lately. I’ve been getting snapped off.

Have you ever gone through a streak so bad, you wonder how you ever liked playing poker? Yet, you’re determined to get back to the table.

I’m not going to tell everyone about my “bad beat” stories. I hate them. I really do. People lose to one and two outers. I sucked out on two people once with a two (set over set over set, I had bottom set and hit quads on the river).

But you know what I hate more than bad beat stories, cocky fish. Yeah, I said it – COCKY!

There are so many who play as though they what they’re doing. I’m one of them, but I feel I have some sort of knowledge when it comes to playing poker. I’ve read a ton of Skalansky books. Some not Skalansky books. And plenty of columns. I know the theory and the math.

Yet, I never get used to the luck factor. Lately, I’ve run into some bad luck. Like the other day having rolled 8’s in stud, (First three starting cards are the same) and the guy to my left catches the case 8 for an inside straight.

However, instead of acting gracious, he raked in his pot with his ‘I know what I’m doing’ look. That’s ok. At least he didn’t speak.

Later on, I hit a flush on FIVE cards and win the pot. His comment, “Only I’m supposed to make those kinds of hands.” But it wasn’t joking or playful. Oh, only you’re supposed to suck out, sir.

I wish more people were like Mario the Magician. Mario hits one- and two-outers like it’s his job. But he’s fun to play with and sometimes – only sometimes – you don’t mind losing to the guy. He makes losing tolerable, if not enjoyable.

Become someone people don’t mind losing to. You’ll end up being paid off in the end, if you’re lucky.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

AC on the Rise

Revel Entertainment Group has revealed its plans for the casino it intends to build next to the Showboat, which is currently the last casino on the Boardwalk.

Yes, the shady part of town.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Dennis M. Farrell Jr., a gaming analyst for Wachovia Capital Markets, predicted that Revel's casino will do for the northern end of the Boardwalk what the trend-setting Borgata did for the Marina District when it opened in 2003.

"Just imagine what the reception would be if Borgata was on the Boardwalk," Farrell said. "It will really help the northeastern end of the Boardwalk kind of blossom. As you put more bodies down there, you'll really have more excitement in that area."

The unnamed caisno will be the tallest in Atlantic city reaching feet high. The plans will be released later this week to the public, but without I can't tell you anything about the poker room.

I feel however this casino treats poker is a tell-tale sign about the future of poker. If it's a beautiful room such as Borgata's with 85-tables and lists longer than my arm, then poker has its roots firmly planted in the industry. However, if it only has a smaller 25 to 30 card room, it's not going to take the game seriously and look at it as only precious space that could be used for slot machines.

But that's not the only reason to hit the new casino. It boast the first wedding chapel in the resort. We're looking at two to three years before this casino is finished. That's enough time to plan a wedding.

Check out The Press' story here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Out of Action

I haven't posted in a few days because I haven't been around the poker rooms lately. I've been a little busy with my real job (stupid work).

I just wanted to mention that the only poker show I watch on television is back: High Stakes Poker on GSN. I didn't get to watch last night's episode but I made to set it to record from here on out. From everything I have read about the show, it's supposed to be pretty good this season. GSN has even upped the amount of episodes from 13 to 17 this year.

Four more shows of gambling. I love it.

Here's just a little info on season four, which you can catch Monday at 9 p.m. (ET).

New players this season: Brandon Adams, Mike Baxter, Brian Brandon, Phil Galfond, Guy Laliberte, Bob Safai, Antonio Salorio, Haralabos Voulgaris

Returning players: Sweet, sweet Patrik Antonius, David Benyamine, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Jamie Gold, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu

Announcers: Gabe Kaplan, A.J. Benza
For the record, I love Kaplan as a player as well.

Soon, I'll get back to the felt. Once this pesky problem of a job is handled.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sick of Bad Dealers

I'm at the point where I'm pretty sick of bad dealers. And there are too many of them in Atlantic City. There are some who are down right horrible such as not knowing when to create a side pot when one player is all-in a multi way pot.

However, there are certain other things that make me angry about dealers. Maybe they only pertain to me, maybe other people just don't care. However, when I play the game, I want run in a professional, respectable manner.

Apparently, I'm asking for too much out of people.

I can rant all I want about the things that make me angry, but here they are:

- Don't whore for a dollar. Most people are going to tip to you. Regular players are going to tip you well no matter what. Don't be a whore.

- Don't spice up your game at the expense of another dealer. Calling a player who is a good tipper off another game to your is unacceptable. Why would you want to alienate the people you work with every day? Unless, of course, you don't care what any of them think or how they feel about you, which of course is probably true.

- Don't tell me about your three cats and mutt. I don't care about what goes on in your home. If I wanted to listen to someone complain all day, I would call my mother.

- Don't tell me about your bills. I didn't choose your job. I didn't tell you to go to college only to become a poker dealer. I didn't tell you go suck some guy's jock only to get kicked out of the house and now you have no place to go. I don't care. Not even a little bit. I don't feel bad for you that you can't pay your bills. Work two jobs. Work three. Just shut the fuck up and deal the cards.

Well, this annoys me a little and I'm getting steamed up. I think I'll take a break from ranting about dealers for a little while.

I can't think of anyway to fix this. These are internal problems that floor people have to care of. However, when the floor people don't do anything and let the behavior continue, it breeds and more and more dealers do it.

My solution is to stop tipping. Yeah, it's terrible and then I will probably hear them complain more and more.

Actually, I don't think I could ever stiff anyone on a tip. Maybe next time I play $1-$5 stud at Harrah's I'll throw them .50 cents. That'll learn 'em.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Poker for the Soul

Poker is smart.

Don’t believe me? Okay, maybe you’ll believe Charles Nesson. He’s only a Harvard Law Professor. Oh? You’re impressed suddenly.

Nesson, along with thousands of other poker players, have realized there is more to poker than just throwing your chips into the middle of the pot. Serious poker players know there is strategy, knowledge and risk during every opportunity.

However, many people look at poker as just game. However, Nesson will announce the formation of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society in Singapore tomorrow. He sees poker as an educational tool in schools to tech everything from the basics of life to military war strategy.

“Poker is ONE of the best metaphors for teaching life skills across a variety of disciplines,” Nesson, a founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center on Internet Law, told the Associated Press.

Many people feel poker is just a game. On the simplest level it is, but poker is more than that, which many people are beginning to realize. You can use lessons learned in poker in everyday life.

You can talk to your grocer in a way that will get information out of him and perhaps finagle him in to making a deal. You can tell when your children are lying by the way the twirl their hair or can’t look at you. In poker talk, this is called picking up tells.

Strategy is important as well. In poker, you set up your opponents to make the most mistakes and capitalize on them. This happens every day in the office. You try to take advantage when a co-worker fumbles.

Nesson hopes that in time university will pick up this theory. Then, they GPSTS will hold championship events in a bracket format.

Until then, I’ll see you on the felt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot Night at The Trop

Poker players are a funny breed. I’m not talking about the tourists who sit down waiting for their all-in Degree moment. Real deal poker players whose sole purpose when coming to Atlantic City is to find the quickest way to a cash game and cheapest way to park.

Monday night was no different in Atlantic City (minus the rumors of extra shady dealers). The Tropicana had its regular crowd: a room full of no limit players, a handful of cash games and one $5-$10 stud game. However, there were extra good-looking women who weren’t on the clock that night. That should have been the first clue that Monday was going to be strange at the Trop.

First, the boyfriend hit a royal flush, his first. I wasn’t around to see it and felt badly about it. However, I was busy taking care of other things. Being the sweet, sweet man that he is, he waited for me to spin the Wheel of Junk. There were three prizes on the wheel that I wanted. The $100 cash and the Ionic Breeze. Well, that’s only two. I could have lived a watch or something.

Feeling lucky, I pulled in all my Price is Right karma and spun the wheel. If this was the Price is Right, there would be no Showcase Showdown for me. Just the lonely walk of shame as I walk away with a Plinko chip as a souvenir.

I landed on a Trop Poker club shirt. It was a red t-shirt with the logo on the breast. The back said: “In Position to Slow Play.”

I don’t even know what that means.

The night was moving well. TB was shipping it in stud to bad players and getting cranky about it. I was sneaking my card on to his table to get extra comps. It was a normal night.

Until the fire alarm went off. Every person in the poker room looked at each other. They weren't worried about the alarm, but rather thought ‘what is that annoying noise? I’m trying to berate this kid for making a donkey call and the alarm is too loud.’

The table games on the main floor shut down as a speaker came on and said: "This is an emergency. Please exit the casino." Some slot machines were even turned off.

People at the bar cleared out. Gamblers grabbed their chips and left behind their drinks. The slot players spun their final reels before hitting the coin machine.

And the poker players??

Still sitting at the tables. Not a single card player moved from their seat. The alarm sounded for about 10 minutes and a firefighter was even in the room and, still, no one left.

If there was a fire blazing, it was nothing compared to the one in the poker room.

FYI: There was no problem that night. None at least that effected any poker game.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A.C. Bad Beat Jackpots

The Harrah's properties and the Hilton have Bad Beat Jackpots in Atlantic City.

Here is a list of the current jackpots (as of Monday night).

Bally's: ~ 97,000
Caesars (Didn't answer the phone when I called): less than $20,000. It got hit at $130,000 and then $27,000 recently. It was reseeded to $10,000 just last week.
Harrahs: ??? Apparently it's too busy on a Monday to answer the phone. UPDATE: I was told the jackpot is around $53,000 by a reliable source.
Hilton: ~$27,000
Showboat: $30,363

I'm going to try and update the totals every Friday from now on. This way anyone who wants to come down on the week will know the jackpot totals.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome to the Future

Recently, the Casino Control Commission granted Atlantic City the right to test out electronic table games for poker and roulette.

"I think it adds a new element to the Atlantic City market," Casino Control Commission Chair Linda M. Kassekert told the Press of Atlantic City in an article last week, "and is particularly important because Pennsylvania and Delaware have them."

The electronic poker tables will look like real poker tables, but with screens where the players would read their cards.

No casino has applied to test the table games – yet.

It’s already happening around the world. The Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Mich., has become the first fully automated poker room in the world (70 miles from downtown Chicago). The room features 15 PokerTek ‘Poker Pro” ten-seated tables and four PokerPro heads up tables, according to

The room does well, but it is the only option for people living in that area.

However, my personal feeling is there a lot lost without a dealer. I’ve dealt with terrible dealers and get annoyed with them, but it doesn’t matter. I would rather have a dealer than a computer.

It’s like baseball and people who want to get umpires replaced with instant replay. The human element is part of the game. People who want to get rid of dealers to get electronic poker games, in my opinion, are cheap and have nothing better to do. They don’t want to tip and would rather see the money going to the casino than a hard-working person’s pocket.

There are also tells you notice with players who shuffle their cards a certain way or play with them. There are things players do with their chips.

If I wanted to play poker by punching a bunch of buttons, I would sit at home and play on the Internet. I don’t like playing on the Internet; therefore, I go to the casinos. I don’t mind tipping dealers; I’ll even deal with the rake.

I don’t want to deal with computers deciding the fate of my cards.
Photo credit:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs

I went Bob’s Celebration of Life Party today and it was very special. I met his wife, who even though she didn’t know us, couldn’t have been happier to see us.

I didn’t know Bob on a personal level. I knew him just from dealing, but as I said previously, he was my favorite dealer. She talked about Bob with all smiles. He was a fun loving guy who just wanted to do the things he enjoyed in life.

She told us that he used to say, if he as going to die, than he would want to while doing what he loved. My boyfriend and I didn’t know anyone at the party, but that was fine.

We walked around, looked at his pictures, and learned even more about his life. He used to own a sub shop in the area and his spinach sandwich was voted Best of the Press. His obituary talked about the thing he loved to do everyday, one of which was reading The Press every morning. I felt a little better thinking he read my stuff on a daily basis.

His wife said that they had the party instead of a wake because she knew that’s not what he would have wanted. He went through life happy and would have wanted people to enjoy his life after death.

It’s no consolation, but the Caesars poker room is worse off without him. His family lost a great man.

Bob DeNofio
January 26, 1954 – August 1, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Resorts has poker?

Resorts Casino opened its new poker room a few months, but it isn't part of the private room trend in Atlantic City.

Resorts made the room along with other Asian games and a few $5 craps tables. There are only eight tables and when I walked in there were two $2/$4 limit games and a short-handed $1/$2 No Limit. The casino isn't really trying to market the poker room.

It has tournaments twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a ladies only tourney every third Monday of the month.

Poker makes the casinos the least amount of money per square foot and Resorts can't compete with some of the closer casinos when it comes to poker such as the Taj and Showboat. It makes sense that they wouldn't build a huge poker room. It has the tables there for people would want to play.

In other news: The Trop fired its President and Cheif Operating Officer. Who knows where this casino is going?

Casesars and the United Auto Workers union have started talks on contracts with the dealers.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

R.I.P. Bob - You'll always be my favorite

Recently, there has been a series of deaths of either people I know or those associated with people I know. Yes, I know people die and that’s just life, but it still makes me sad.

Last night, I found out that my favorite poker dealer in Atlantic City died on Wednesday. (No, not my boyfriend. He doesn’t count).

Robert Defonia, better known as Bob from Caesars. He went home after work on Wednesday morning and apparently had a heart attack. He was only 53.

Bob was my favorite for a number of reasons. Besides being an excellent dealer, he was always fair. He laughed at my jokes and always had a smile for me. He always had a few jokes himself. Whenever he dealt and didn’t push me a pot after getting off the table he would tell me, “Next time I’ll get ya.” Even if he didn’t get me next time, I always looked forward to him dealing to me.

I haven’t played at Caesars in awhile because I don’t like what the room has become, but I always thought about Bob. He knew he was my favorite because whenever he sat down, I let the table know Bob was my favorite dealer.

The last time I was there was about two months ago. I saw Bob, he didn’t deal to me that night. But he was so happy to see me. He gave me a huge hug and told me he missed having me around. He didn’t have to do that. The dealers at Caesars make a ton of money, so it wasn’t as though he was buttering me up for tips.

He was a good guy and I am definitely going to miss him. Next time we meet, I hope I get to play a few hands with him rather than him dealing.

UPDATE: There is no vieweing for Bob. The family elected to have him cremated. There is a celebration of life get together on Friday from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Palladium Room at Caesars. Those of you that knew are welcome to come. He was good man.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Don't Feed the Dealers

Just tip them.

Playing throughout Atlantic City I notice a terrible trend – the lack of tipping for dealers is disturbing.

When I am playing and I see a person win a pot for $15+ and they don’t tip, I make sure to say something. Sometimes it comes out friendly. “Oh sweetie, don’t forget the dealer.” Then, I give a little wink. Sometimes, well, actually many times, it comes out bitchy such as when I lose a big pot to someone. “Make sure to give the dealer a little of my money.”

People forget that when they are playing poker, yes, it’s a game, but for the dealers it’s work. They have to deal with talking on the phone (which is against the rules), people blatantly showing cards to their neighbor, collusion. This isn’t a game to these guys, it’s work. Crappy work when dealing with the likes of yo…I mean, terrible human beings.

Take for example, “Priscilla” Queen of the Damned. She was playing at one of the fabulous Atlantic City poker rooms last week. She is such a high roller and so important that $2-$4 limit was the game for her.

There was nothing wrong with anything she did. It didn’t matter that she was showing the cards to the guy next to her, who didn’t want to get in her pants, only she didn’t know it. She thought that every time she showed “Gregory” her cards, it was closer to loosening his belt. Sad thing was when he got back from the bathroom, his brown leather belt was turning his lower body blue.

During one hand, she showed Gregory her cards while he had cards himself and didn’t do anything. So the dealer tells her she can’t do that. Her response rather than I’m sorry is “What’s your problem?”

The dealer: My problem is you’re a dumb bitch who can’t follow rules.

Actually, that was in his head. He didn’t say that to her, though I wish he would have. I did.

Later on that night, she’s in another with Crazy Asian. They were raising and capping every turn. In the end, she losses the pot and has just $6 left in front of her. While the dealer is shuffling, CA throws her five red chips, which is against the rules. You cannot give chips out of your stack to other people on the table. It promotes collusion and is not allowed, but why would Priscilla care.

The dealer doesn’t miss anything and says, “What was that?”

Priscilla, graceful as a fairy princess, says: “It was for the blowjob I gave him out in the parking lot?”

Precious, isn’t she? The dealer says: “Even if you don’t have respect for yourself, there are other people at the table. Have a little for them.”

He then proceeds to tell her to give the money back. She’s complaining and yelling and then decided it’s time to fight the dealer.

Priscilla: Do you have a girlfriend?
Dealer: Is this supposed to be an insult?
Priscilla: Yeah.
Dealer: Well, I do and you’re not my type, so don’t bother.

Huffing and puffing proceeds and Priscilla runs off the table to a floor person. She tells him what happens and all she gets is a shrug.

The moral of this story is don’t be a bitch to the dealers. Enjoy yourself without breaking the rules and please tip your dealers.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Harrah's Announces WSOP Circuit Schedule

The World Series of Poker ended less than a month ago, but Harrah's isn't taking any breaks. The casino chain announced the 2007-2008 WSOP Circuit Schedule on Friday.

The schedulue includes an extra stop this year and will hit 12 casinos nationwide starting Grand Casino Tunica later this month.

The WSOP will come to Atlantic City in December just in time for the Christmas rush (I wish I could roll my eyes). It will come back again in March to Caesar's. Showboat did not make the cut.

All Circuit event winners also receive a $10,000 seat in the 2008 WSOP main event.

The 2007-08 schedule:

Grand Casino Tunica: Aug.29-Sept.13, 2007
Caesars Indiana: Oct.17-Nov. 2, 2007
Harvey's Tahoe: Nov. 3-13, 2007
Harrah's New Orleans: Nov. 26-Dec. 5, 2007
Harrah's Atlantic City: Dec. 8-18, 2007
Grand Casino Tunica: Jan. 3-22, 2008
Harrah's Rincon San Diego North: Jan. 27-Feb. 7, 2008
Horseshoe Council Bluffs: Feb. 18-27, 2008
Caesars Atlantic City: Mar. 5-15, 2008
Caesars Indiana: Apr. 2-16, 2008
Caesars Palace Las Vegas: April 20-May 1, 2008
Harrah's New Orleans: May 9-21, 2008

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ridiculous, insane or just stupid?

This has to be the weirdest, insane story I've ever heard. If it's fake (which I am inclined to believe) the writer gets an A for effort. However, Phil Laak, the mobster???


Apparently, Phil Laak has it out for Thai people. He just goes around hitting them with vehicles, caughing them to get MS and then hiring someone to kill them. The guy has to cover his tracks.

Why do you think he wears the hood all the time?

He's trying not to be recognized by all the Thai people he's cheated over the years.

Word of caution to Phil: Stay out of Asia.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Jackpot Party

Just a quick update since I won’t be around most of Thursday. But Caesar’s Bad Beat Jackpot is up $86,952 as of Wednesday night. That’s a pretty good number.

Some of the other Harrah’s jackpot, I don’t believe are above $30,000.

And I passed through Caesar’s, sure enough every table was packed and swimming with fishies. It’s the softest game in town.

WARNING: You will win a ton or lose a ton. It’s that kind of game.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Crap out

The poker rooms in Atlantic City are very different from each other. There are relaxed, laid-back types of places such as the Showboat. There are high-energy rooms such as the Borgata. They all offer something different and depending on what you enjoy, you can find a room that fits your game.

As most people know, poker doesn’t make the casino a lot of money. Most games low limits, which are raked games (10 percent of every pot up to $4 goes back to the casino). In a timed game, the casino makes a little more.

So how do the casinos get that money back? It has people sitting in the rooms for hours and hours, downing free drinks. There has to be a way to tap in to that money.

The Borgata so far has done it the best, they do just about everything well. The poker room is on the same level as the casino floor (it used to be the basement). When you walk out of the room, there are tons of table games and slots. However, they recently changed the table game that used to be in front of the poker room.

The Borgata changed it from the Texas Hold ‘Em table game to craps, every gamblers’ favorite game. On top of that, these craps tables aren’t just for high rollers. With tons of $2-$4 limit and $1-$2 to $2-$5 no limit players, the Borgata smartly put $5 to $10 craps tables right outside the door.

As players walk out of the room and see a huge crowd around the table screaming for their numbers, the urge to roll the dice seeps into their body.

There is a reason Borgata is the premiere casino in Atlantic City. They are willing to change and adapt where needed.
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