Steffie was away at Field Hockey Camp. The weather was forecast to be rotten. There were no movies worth seeing. Helaine and I decided to drive the hour or so to Foxwoods where I could play poker while wearing something other than pajamas.
The traffic was horrendous. Well, for our little part of Connecticut it was horrendous. I’m sure Californians or Long Islanders would disagree with my threshold of traffic pain. We hit the first stoppage on I-91, approaching I-95.
The new Ikea was supposed to attract more cars. Since it has opened, I have noticed much slower traffic where I-91 empties into I-95. It might be a coincidence. I hope it is. I don’t want to think this will now be the norm.
I crossed the “Q” Bridge and headed east on I-95. Since I-95 runs from Maine to Florida it’s considered a north – south road. Signs point you to I-95 north or I-95 south. Unfortunately, here in Connecticut it is entirely east – west. It is somewhat confusing in the beginning.
A few minutes later I heard what sounded like touch tones on the radio, then silence, then National Weather Service radio broadcasting a tornado warning for Northern New Haven County.
I picked up the phone and called the station. I wanted to make sure we were on it. Thankfully we were.
Gil Simmons was heading back to the studio from the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament. A crew was heading to Wolcott where we had reports of storm damage. Our automated equipment had instantly posted the tornado warning on the air.
We continued the drive – in heavy traffic on I-95. As is so often the case, we never found out why the traffic was heavy. One minute we were in bumper-to-bumper stop and go traffic, the next we were cruising along at the speed limit.
Skies remained threatening, but we beat the storms to the casino. The valet parking area was fairly empty and we pulled right in. As it turned out we beat the thunderstorms by about 30 minutes.
Since July, and Las Vegas, I have spent more time in casinos than ever before. Of course I’ve been going because I’ve been winning. Somehow online poker has made me a much better ‘live’ poker player. And since I am willing to risk more in person, a good night can be very rewarding.
The poker room at Foxwoods is bigger than ever, just having added 12 tables. It was also more crowded than I’d ever seen it with long waiting lists to play. I signed up and Helaine and I left to walk around. I came back in time to play.
Recently, I had been having good luck at $10/$20 Texas Hold’em, and went there again. Foxwoods deals tables of 10 at Hold’em – and the table was full.
I bought in with $200 and was soon down around $60. The things began to turn around. By the time we were ready for dinner I had won $483.¹
We went to the coffee shop for dinner. Foxwoods has some beautiful restaurants and one disappointing buffet. I had a French Dip sandwich, fries and a bowl of chowder. Dinner couldn’t have been nicer.
To its credit, this coffee shop is reminiscent of Vegas coffee shops. It is bright and airy, more room between tables than you’d expect. The food is very good. The menu is more limited than most Vegas coffee shops, but there’s no problem finding something good to eat.
We headed back upstairs and I got reseated for poker. Even though my dinner break allowed me to be second on the list for players coming in, it took nearly a half hour for me to sit.
I never felt I was doing that well, but before long I could see an extra few stacks of $5 chips in front of me. I was up over $200 before getting sucked into a hand that better judgment should have kept me from. I left the table up another $143.
As was the case when I played in Atlantic City, I keep waiting for my big loss. It is coming – I just don’t know when. Even a great player, and I am not a great player, can’t sustain the string of wins I currently have at brick and mortar casinos.
That loss didn’t come Saturday night.
On the way out I picked up some brochures for Foxwoods big series of tournaments which comes in October. The entries are a bit pricey, but I would consider playing in one event.
In a somewhat sobering observation I realized I am eligible to play in the Senior Tournament. All I need to do is bring proof of my 50+ age… and a lot of cash.
¹ – When I play poker, I buy in for a round amount. When I cash out I subtract that amount to come up with my win. During the course of playing I tip the dealer after any winning hands and tip the waitress when I get a soda or coffee. Those come from my stack, so they reduce my winnings. Whether they should be part of my winnings or losses is academic. It is easier to calculate it this way, so I do.