Sports Betting, Handicapping, Poker playing tips, Trip journals and Whatever else.
I’m back, not with advice, but to recap a recent trip to Bally’s Atlantic City.
As a native New Yorker I don’t drive much, however as someone who enjoys playing live poker and table games I don’t usually go to Resorts World or Empire City. Both casinos are good places to go to if you want to bet on horse racing and catch local boxing matches in New York City, and I do.
Instead I go to Atlantic City. A.C. has had several casinos close in recent years but with the only casinos that remain are closer to each other in town, and they all offer more amenities than the ones in NYC and Pennsylvania. They all have hotels, table games with live dealers, live poker, the Ocean, better food and lounges, pools and night clubs. Those are some of the reasons that caused me to hop on the late bus and head to the Bally’s Wild Wild West poker room.
After I buy my ticket, it’s $38, but you get a slot voucher, which is good for slot play in a machine at the property your bus is going to. The amount varies by casino and by day.
I board at Port Authority, it’s a 2.5 – 3 hour ride South East. I arrive at the casino, I wait for my bus bonus which is a $25 slot voucher (which in my opinion would get more interesting if they would allow you to use it as ‘match play’ as well), I head directly to the poker room for $1/2 Super N/L and as mentioned in a previous post, this plays better than a normal $1-2 N/L table because of the higher required minimum buy-in of $100 – $500. The higher limit allows for wider swings and heftier pots.
I usually go with two buy ins of $300 to allow myself to re-buy in case of emergency, or in reality, in case of a cooling Ace high flush losing out to a full house, with the final 2 cards coming on the turn and the river. If you play poker long enough you will see that happen to someone. It could even happen to you, if other players don’t believe you to have the flush to begin with.
So the $1/2 Super N/L game started out slow. With most slow playing tables many people are trying to trap. They will wait for a strong hand and then draw someone in. The goal is to get them to bet to you. Instead of having to lead the action themselves they prefer to lie and wait with made hands instead. To combat this, I play small ball and in some cases it works perfectly.
As an example of the kind of night I had, here is a break down of a great hand: We have 8 players at a 10 person table, 5 players call. A $6 raise from the player on the dealer button puts a total of $30 in the pot minus the rake. Now the flop comes, the first cards of the community cards, King of clubs, Queen of hearts and 10 of spades.
At this point in the story I should mention have pocket tens, I have the 10 of clubs & the 10 of diamonds. I have a set or three of kind. So unless someone was lucky enough to flop a straight to the King with jack nine as their hole cards I am green lit to raise away till the river. I am acting third out of the five players left in the hand after the flop the first two players check and I obviously bet $15 to see who has a real hand.
The player directly to my left raises it to $75, a scary sign but I think that is due to the fact that he hasn’t raised much in the past hour of playing. The others look at there cards to stall and maybe think about chasing their own respective straights. When the action gets to me, I think to myself this is a player who usually tries to protect solid hands which would include the top two pair and he would wait on a straight to trap and surprise me by just smooth calling my $15 initial bet.
I re-raise all in for a total of $178. and he almost instantly calls my raise for $178 putting a total of $386 in the pot. That’s not life changing but winning is winning. The next two cards are key, as the turn (or fourth card) is a 2 of hearts and the river (the 5th card) is a 7 of clubs. At this point he called my all in bet, so I have to show first during the showdown. Some players seem to think this matters, because not showing is not giving the opposing player information by hiding a losing hand. The point of showing my hole cards at showdown is give the players the information I want them to have and most important of all; to win the pot.
I flip my cards to show three of a kind, he flips to show two pair Kings and Queens. I rake in my winnings and stack it up in even stacks of $100 a piece. The player grumbled a little bit and was thrown about $200 cash by another player who he explained was his bank. The bank player had $700-$800 in chips in front of him. Soon after winning this pot the table broke and I went to another and won a few smaller pots of about $30-$80 in total on fewer quality hands with hole card of Ace King and pocket nines and an unexpected flush of 7-2 of spades which I was able to win with another player hitting a second pair on the river, over valuing their hand and calling me for $30. When I leave the final poker table of the evening I have $738 in chips and head off to the cage.
It’s about 11 am and at this point and I’m on the way to the Cafe at Caesars A.C. which is open 24hrs most days and I am glad on this day it’s open as well.
After devouring my comped turkey club with fries and a seltzer, I had been drinking mostly Heineken and Jack and Coke’s all night. Earlier, I was trying to sober up at 8 am as I was sitting at the table and I drank several cups of coffee and cups of tea with honey and lemon.
Having played all night with the rest of the midnight crew which was substantial going from 8 tables on Wednesday night to 3 tables overnight and into the late morning. I leave a $5 tip for my comped meal and go to the Total Rewards center to check how much I have earned in comps and tier score. I check and see that I have earned a good $30 in comps and about 800 tier point to bring me to 1700 overall needing only 13300 more to reach Diamond status. In years past I was a Diamond card player but I’ve played less often and the hourly rewards for poker player has changed, and this makes it harder to get to Diamond status solely by playing cards.
After breakfast/lunch I head over to the craps table to test my luck a little further and almost right away, the dice come to me. I buy in for $300 and quickly, three people roll a point and then seven out immediately after.
Then the dice get passed to me and I roll a 10 which is good because Bally’s offers 10 times odds for craps. This means if you have $10 pass or don’t pass bet down you can have $100 on your odds which for the 10, pay 2-1. I also quickly roll a seven after my 10 and lose a good $60. My $10 pass line bet and $50 in odds behind.
Now comes the rally, first I should mention the fire bet, the fire bet is a bet that some casinos offer to entice players to put money down at long odds. A player is betting that the shooter, a.k.a. the person rolling the dice, will roll four to six separate points all before you roll a seven. This sounds easy if you haven’t played craps before, and according to the wizard is not an easy feat. The person next me is a young black guy talking a lot and rolling kind of crazy as the dice keep rolling of the table.
Initially I place my money on the don’t pass. This means that I bet he will roll a 7 before he rolls the point number. He rolls a 4 which is generally harder to roll and after I put down $40 in odds on the don’t pass bet I have $130 left in chips. He rolls a few random numbers and them hits the point of four. I lose and quickly realize he may roll a few points before rolling a 7 so I decide to bet with him on the next point and put $10 on the pass line. He then rolls a 9 and I put $50 in odds behind. He rolls a few times and then hits the nine point! He then proceeds to roll the following points: 10, 8, 5 then 10 again then completing the fire bet by rolling the 6 for all the points which pays 1000-1.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a fire bet down but the shooter did a $5 and he rolled the dice off the table about 20 times. However, since I had put down odds on my pass line bets and hit a few hard ways on the 4 and 8, I was able to come out ahead to the tune of $700 and decided I wanted to go over to the next table because they had to slow down the game and we all had to wait while they paid out the winner his $5000 to assure nothing weird or illegal had happened.
So move to the other craps pit and I see someone in the middle of a roll, and they wait for me to buy in for $300 and other players at the table are placing other side bets as well on individual numbers and different hard-ways. The roller to my left then rolls a seven and then a point and then another seven, so he’s out.
Now this time think I think the dice are going in the other direction so just in case I put $1 in the fire bet until the dice move unexpectedly towards me, so I up my fire bet to the max of $5 and try not to focus on anything but rolling the same way each time and keeping my mind off whats really going as to not get to nervous.
I rolled 7 on the first two rolls and then proceed to roll the 10, 4, 9, 8 and 6 points over the course of and hour and a half to win a grand total of 250-1 on my $5, five point fire bet. This wins me $1250 for the fire bet, plus another $500 in my odds bets and come bets and yo bets. I rolled the point 9 three times before getting the fifth point for the fire bet.
During the game a Russian man says to me I will give you a $100 if you roll that 6, which was the 5th point I had hit during this roll. After I do he throws me four green $25 chips and the crowd that has formed at the table goes crazy.
I was so in the zone that I didn’t realize how people were betting around me until I notice he left the table with a few purple chips which are worth $500 a piece. The player to my right has $4,000 in front of him. I am getting high fives and hugs from total strangers. It’s all a great feeling and it’s helped increase my bankroll. I stay for one more roll and hit a come bet on the 10 point for $100 to make another $300 before the shooter sevens out.
All in all a great overnight hit and I take my winnings and jump on the bus now headed back to my beloved NY and sleep like a baby the whole way home.
“If it doesn’t make $$$ it doesn’t make sense”