Breaking Even at Borgata

I had made plans to meet up with Randi for dinner at the Borgata yesterday since she was visiting her family in NJ for the holidays. I decided to make the most of the day by getting up early and driving down in time 11am weekly tourney. It was a $50+$10 with a $50 add-on. Twenty minute blinds, about average for a tourney of this buy-in. I think there was 138 entries and the final 2 tables got paid. It was a pretty uneventful tourney for me personally as I had almost no interesting hands to speak of. Played textbook poker right up until just before the money when I tried to do some stealing from some particularly tight players thinking they would be happy to limp into the money. Unfortunately my plan backfired as one of the players caught a monster and I blew off about $25K in chips in the process. That left me low-medium stacked going into the final two tables and 2nd lowest chip stack going into the final table. With only about a $45 difference between 10th and 9th place, it wasn’t worth waiting around for the shorter stack to bust out so I took my shot with A4 suited three hands before the blinds were about to reach me. I got two callers but the board missed me and I busted out in 10th which paid $250.

It was perfect timing too as I finished the tourney right at 4:30 when Randi was arriving. I checked into my room and when she showed up we headed on over to the Old Homestead for dinner. I of course had the steak au poivre which was as awesome as ever. It is simply amazing how consistent they are in making that dish. The quality of marbled beef. The perfect medium rare. Just the right coarse grind of black pepper. That incredible brandy cream sauce. Damn, that is good eating. I paired it with a 2005 Coppola Director’s Cut since I’m still in my love affair with the Rubicon winery whose membership I just joined. The Director’s Cut is kind of their middle tier in between their diamond-labeled series and their flagship Rubicon wines. The Director’s Cut Zin has nice young fruit flavors, especially cherry, and medium tannins that make it a real pleasure to drink on its own as well as with the steak. Not as big and over blown as other California reds, it’s a lot more food friendly in my opinion.

After dinner, about 7:30p, it was time to hit the blackjack tables. It was busy and the lowest table minimums were $25. Fine for me, but a bit high for Randi, but she was game to try and hang anyway. And all in all, she did fine even if she did end up busting out in the end. She was a reasonably quick study and even got props from others at the table for learning to make the right plays. Too bad she kept busting on correctly taking hits on 12 vs. dealer 2. Poor girl got that dealt to her 6 times in the first 2 shoes. She wasn’t flawless though, but her only gaffe wasn’t related to the cards. One of our dealers was John, a young black guy with a bald head. He was friendly and we were chatting with him the whole shift. A couple hours later, after a break dealer came and dealt for 15 minutes, another dealer named Chad came on to deal next. The thing is, Chad was also a young black guy with a bald head. As Chad stepped up to the table, Randi said “Hey! Look who it is!” Immediately realizing she was clueless that this was a different person, I started loudly saying things like “is this the start of your shift?” and “hey, that’s no way to treat us on your first hand of the night”. I still don’t know if Randi actually picked up on it, and I forgot to tease her about it before she left. Being that Randi is both blonde and Polish, I will have some relentless needling in store for her. But anyway, she lasted for several hours at the $25 blackjack table with a very limited bankroll and she had reason to be pleased with that performance. She then decided to head off to bed and I continued to play.

The swings weren’t that pronounced, but they sure trended against me. I ended up playing until 3:30am or so, probably longer than I should have, but we were having a good time. It was in part because of a friendly dealer, no idiot players at the table, and mainly for me because of the astoundingly attractive young Korean named Kelly that showed up at around midnight, sat on my right, played for about half an hour before busting out, and then came back an hour later, sat on my left, looking equally gorgeous from that angle I might add, and played some more. We were getting along fine despite the language barrier, and maybe a little too fine, because at one point some guy who I assume was her boyfriend, came over to mark his territory. He wasn’t rude or anything, he just kind of snuck up on us and squeezed in between us to grab the cigarettes in front of her and to give her a peck on the cheek. That kind of killed the vibe and coincidentally the momentum of the shoe as well and the dealer started drawing to 21 repeatedly. Oh well. I decided to cut my losses and call it a night, down $700.

Woke up this morning, had some Starbucks with Randi before she headed back to her parents’ place, and then I headed back to the casino to recoup my losses. Took me about two and a half hours, but I finally built my $1400 buy-in to exactly $2100 and then cashed out and hit the road. So basically I finished off the weekend no better off than when I got there- blackjack was a wash, my tourney profit exactly offset my half of the steak dinner, and I never got Kelly’s phone number.

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