Atlantic City Observations

I was going to continue my trip report on Atlantic City, but too much time has passed and I don’t have notes. There are some observations I still want to make.

Atlantic City is not Las Vegas. With the exception of Borgata&#185, where we stayed, all the hotels looked shabby and worn. Most were decorated in a style that implied glitz thirty years ago, but no longer does.

Donald Trump’s name is held high over a number of the hotels. I doubt he’d want us to judge him by these facilities.

Most of the hotels in AC, if they stood in Las Vegas, would be scheduled for demolition!

We had a few really excellent meals. I’ve already written about Wolfgang Puck’s place (excellent pizza, half filled bowl of chowder), but we also grazed at the Borgata buffet for breakfast, Old Homstead (excellent steakhouse) and The Metropolitan, Borgata’s equivalent of a Vegas coffee shop.

At the Old Homestead, I ordered the house special – the first time I’ve ever ordered a steak I couldn’t finish!

Beautiful restaurants were very pricey. There’s no way around that.

If you’ve read the blog any length of time, you probably know I don’t drink anything alcoholic (except Bailey’s, which is spiked chocolate milk. I’ll have a Bailey’s once or twice a year). My traveling companions, Rick and Dennis, were ordering “Gray Goose Martini, dirty” at every opportunity.

Finally, I asked to take a sip – the curiosity was killing me. It was very tasty, pleasantly briny and surprisingly without the alcohol burn I expected.

I’m already up to my eyeballs in vices. We’ll keep your resume on file.

Rick and Dennis had the hotel reservation before I came on board and the room only had two beds… so Rick brought a blow-up mattress. Perfect. In fact, on the second day, the maid actually made that bed along with the two others.

You see all sorts of characters when you’re playing poker. Character is the correct characterization. Many try and take on a distinct persona by their dress and manner. Poker is, after all, a game of psyching out one’s opponent.

I sat next to a guy at one table who wore very shiny gold jewelery. It was overly shiny, if that’s possible. Imagine the kind of ‘star filters’ they put on the cameras at QVC and HSN to make everything glitter, but in real life.

On his left wrist he wore a gold Rolex, diamond encrusted. The second hand swept around the face smoothly. Fake! Real Rolex’s tick each second individually. I understood more of him than he could ever know.

In poker, it’s called a tell.

There are lots of young people in their twenties playing cards. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. When you’re in your twenties, how much discretionary income do you have? They’re not all winning.

There’s no doubt poker’s popularity is still on the rise. Borgata has a huge room. Other casinos have enlarged their poker areas too.

We came with a list (compiled by Dennis) of potential poker tournaments to play. There’s no shortage of those either.

As always seems the case, the weather was awful. It was either raining, or threatening to rain. I can’t remember the last time I saw Atlantic City framed against a blue sky. Maybe next time.

&#185 – I had referred to this hotel as The Borgata, but their own signage says, “Welcome to Borgata.” They should know.

Bad Night For My Eagles

For a card playing trip, I haven’t played a lot of cards. Just that one tournament at the Hilton. I have, however, been enjoying Atlantic City.

The three amigos went out for dinner last night. We (meaning I, with their understanding) didn’t want to miss the Eagles game. No sweat. Most public areas have large plasma TVs hung high.

We went to Wolfgang Puck’s place, where I had a very tasty little pizza with prosciutto ham and goat cheese. I’m a sucker for goat cheese.

My appeatizer was a bowl of clam chowder, which was good, but the smallest bowl of chowder I’ve ever had. Actually, the bowl was sized fine, but only filled about 40% of the way.

Wolfgang – is that what you want me to write about? Fill the bowl. Especially for your prices – fill the bowl.

It goes without saying, the restaurant itself was beautiful. In fact, everything in this hotel (Borgata) is nicely done. It also has the youngest, best looking crowd I’ve ever seen in a casino.

While Rick and Dennis went scouting gambling opportunities, I headed upstairs to root on the Eagles. Though they were competitive, they could never stop the Saints, and lost. Season over.

I didn’t want to prolong the agony, so I didn’t call home after the game ended.

By the time the game was over, Rick was back up in the room crashing.

Here’s what I’ve found by my roommate experience – Others snore! I’m not alone. Dennis isn’t too loud, but Rick… holy crap! His wife is a sainted woman for living with this for 37 years.

Truth is, I can sleep through snoring. I had a decent night’s sleep before showering at 7:25 – an ungodly hour for me.

This morning, my friend Peter is joining us for breakfast at the buffet. After breakfast, we’re heading to the House of Blues Casino for a few tournaments.