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Atlantic City Poker

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Atlantic City, NJ
Saturday, November 10, 2007 - Sunday, November 11, 2007
Atlantic City Poker photos

Purpose: To play poker!

More details:
Gabe and I decided we wanted to get in one more poker trip before having the baby, so we decided to go to Atlantic City for the weekend. Due to the flight itineraries and prices and the hotel prices, we decided to leave on Saturday morning and return Sunday night. We invited others in the poker group to join us, and Brad decided to join us from the Raleigh area. Clint met us in Atlantic City since he lives in New Jersey now.

Our flight left RDU at 9:05am, so we picked Brad up around 7:45am. We figured this would give ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport, do the park-and-ride thing, get through security, and then catch our flight. We had already checked in the day before, so we didn't have to worry about that part. We flew on Southwest, which Gabe really hates and hopes to never fly again. We didn't have any particular issues aside from the general cattle herding and over-the-top cheery and cheesy attitudes that are commonplace with the airline. They have recently changed the way that they board. Now you not only have a letter, but you also get a number and basically board the plane in the order that you checked into the flight. Since we checked in almost a full day before the flight, we had very good spots! Unfortunately, the flight was already full of people from Orlando. We boarded the plane first, but we didn't get to sit together at all as there were only a few empty spots scattered throughout the plane. Lame!

We arrived on time, and we had no problems with getting the rental car. We ended up with a PT Cruiser -- not a bad little rental car, if you ask me. I felt like a giant since I'm not used to driving such a tiny little car! Everything had been going smoothly so far, but then we hit some snags on the way to Atlantic City. It took us FOREVER to get about 10 miles as there was a Penn State/Temple game starting around the same time. Apparently, Temple plays all their games at the Eagles Stadium, and the interstate runs right next to the stadium. The trip that normally takes an hour from Philly to Atlantic City took us over 2 hours this time! Once we got to the Tropicana, we discovered that they have completely changed around the parking garage. We circled the hotel several times before we found the entrance. We finally found a parking space, checked into our rooms, dumped our bags, and headed to the poker room. It didn't take us too long to get on a table, and we started playing by about 1pm or so.

Clint joined us at the tables by 2:30pm, and we all played until around 6pm when we took a dinner break. We wanted to make sure that we had some food before our $100 tournament at 7:15pm. All of us decided to play in the tournament, though Gabe was iffy at first! Brad said that playing in the poker tournament "would be a good break from the poker" --ha! We had hoped to go to our "Clone Cafe," but then discovered that they had also moved the restaurant. Man, you don't visit for two years and they change everything! We ended up at Corky's for dinner. The food is mediocre, but it's almost always quick enough as they never have a wait.

After dinner, we got back just in time to take our seats for the tournament. The tournament had no rebuys or addons and started with 110 people. Brad was the first to get knocked out this time with some bad luck early in the event. Clint stayed in a bit longer, and was knocked out about halfway through the field after lasting through several of the breaks (every 3rd round has a break). Gabe and I continued through the tournament and were short stacked for quite some time. We were pretty excited when it was down to two or three tables and we thought we might both make it into the money! Unfortunately, I was knocked out in 14th place. Only the top 10 spots paid, so I didn't get any cash. So close! Gabe hung onto his stack and made it into the money. After that, people started dropping like flies. Gabe ended up getting to the top 4 and then the four remaining players made a deal and split the top prize money equally for a payout (after dealer tips) of $1600. Woohoo!!

After I got knocked out of the tournament, I watched until Gabe was in the money and then periodically checked in to see how he was doing (and went to report to the other guys who were playing cash games). At one point, I went up to Gabe to ask for a $20 (which got a few snickers from the guys at the table). I returned 20 minutes later with a $100 voucher! I doubled my money on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and then hit 4 Kings for another $60 on video poker. By the time that I returned, they were down to about 7 or 8 people. I watched most of the rest of the tournament. At the end, the dealer and the other players who split the cash got a kick out of me asking Gabe for half (hey, we like to spread the cash around so one of us isn't carrying such a huge amount!).

Gabe and I decided against playing any cash games after the tournament as it was quite late at this point (close to 3am). Gabe did decide that he needed to get a video poker fix. I guess he couldn't let me show him up on the video poker with my four Kings. We passed a bank of Wheel of Fortune slots on the way and blew $20 there...then continued to the video poker where Gabe hit 4 Aces with a 3 kicker in one of his first hands for $500 (kickers other than 2, 3, 4 is only $200)! Pretty exciting! We watched Brad and Clint play a little bit of their cash game and then Clint, Gabe, and I went to bed shortly after 3am. I was deliriously tired at this point! Fortunately, we got nearly 7 hours of sleep. Not too shabby for a poker trip. Brad got about half that much sleep as he returned to the room around 6am (I don't think that any of us really noticed!).

We slept as long as we could on Sunday, and then we all got showered and packed and headed to breakfast around 11:30am. We went to the clone cafe (Seaside) this time which looks much nicer (and has a view of the "shore"). We had to wait a little bit to get a table, and we all got a few dollars in comps from our poker playing the previous day. Once we finally got to our table, we were all so hungry that none of us could really decide what we wanted to eat. Brad mentioned about 6 different appetizers and entrees that he was interested in ordering, and then when we finally ordered he ended up with something completely different. Ha! I really wanted pancakes, but I also wanted eggs...so I had to essentially order two breakfasts. Oh well, at least we had some comps! At one point during our meal, I decided that it would be a good idea to throw the contents of a packet of sugar on Brad. I think that I was just as surprised about it as everyone else at the table was (well, except for maybe Brad who was now coated in sugar). I'm not sure I can explain it...so I'll just leave it at that.

We went straight to the poker room after our breakfast and played almost 6 more hours of the poker. Gabe and I played at the same table, which is usually nice. Gabe made a little money, and I lost a little. The table kept getting shorthanded and was pretty boring for a while, but we still had fun. Clint left about an hour before we planned to leave to go and catch our flight. None of us really wanted to leave! One night just isn't enough in Atlantic City - we were just getting warmed up! We finally cashed out close to 6:30pm and made it out of the parking garage by 6:45pm.

At this point, we realized that we only had two hours before our flight departs...and we're still in Atlantic City. We just hoped that we wouldn't run into any traffic, but it was a bit stressful. We didn't have time to stop to put gas in the car or anything, and fortunately we didn't run into any traffic on the way. Returning the rental car was fairly quick. We had to wait a few minutes for the shuttle to take us to the terminal, but then checking in and security were a breeze. Of course, we didn't have good spots in the Southwest queue, but we really didn't expect to have good seats (or any chance of sitting together). Our timing worked out ok this time, but I don't think that I would prefer to cut it that close again!

All in all, it was a great "last" trip to the casino. We probably won't be able to do it again for quite a while, so it was nice to end on a high note!