There are two very good reasons to avoid using ATMs in Atlantic City casinos: 1) the exorbitant $4.50 fee (matched, unfortunately, by the very sneaky Bank of America); 2) no $20 bills, only fifties and hundreds. I owed eighty bucks to the guy who booked the room, due to the fee being split three ways (one guy flaked...), and wanted to maybe gamble with a total of $40, with another thirty-ish in my wallet already. That wouldn't have been a bad idea, really, thinking ahead, except that it was sometime around 5 AM and my boy Jared and I wanted to play some cards, and his friend Matt had disparaged limit Texas Hold 'Em earlier in the day. Between the alcohol I had consumed over the course of the night (relatively lightly buzzed at the point I sat down to the poker table) and general exhaustion, I was somewhat susceptible to suggestion. Also, I've only ever played no limit Hold 'Em, but not with this kind of money, and not walking in as a severe shortstack. But I'm skipping ahead too much, I think.
Nicole dropped me off in front of Pickles, the bar outside of Camden Yards, where I was meeting Matt and Jared to make the drive up to New Jersey. We took two separate cars, and arrived sometime around 9:30 PM at the Tropicana.
That's Matt to the left of the picture and Jared to the right.
After we checked in and stashed our bags, it was off to the in-casino sports bar for $5 forty night. As I downed two giant jugs of Yuengling, we were joined by two friends (Brian, I believe, and another guy whose name I forget) of Matt's who happened to be in town for a poker tournament. Sitting around a table were four guys with wedding rings and myself. Needless to say we were nigh invisible to the local wildlife, which was just as well.
Matt bet the nameless guy, who I will call John, because why not, that he couldn't handle chugging two forties in two minutes. John downed them impressively (pouring out cups and handling each with about three swallows, with only minor spillage) then started talking about getting arrested because his wife wouldn't let him smoke marijuana in private, instead forcing him out to his car, where he was spotted. Ah, good times.
Eventually we wandered down to some kind of dance club thing, also in the Tropicana. While the rest of us were otherwise occupied, Jared went ahead and paid the $5 cover to the place (they had a DJ), in spite of it being over-priced, over-loud, and not exactly over-crowded. We were tourists, sightseeing back to our own days of singledom, with binoculars. I have had some great times with Jared, back in the day, but otherwise I've never been a bar person. There were a few monitors with silhouetted strippers, as well as one or two scantily clad women writhing around with each other, begging for attention...and receiving it brazenly.
I purchased an (decidedly non-forty-ounce) Amstel Light for $5 after being told that Delerium would cost me $20. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Jared, tired of all of the fluid in beer, ordered a martini. It was all vodka and olives, and huge (also probably single-handedly responsible for his hangover today). I have no idea how much that cost. Jared and John and I drifted over to a table, and it became increasingly clear that John was drunk off of his ass. After he nodded off to sleep a few times, the bouncer came over to tell us that he had to stay awake or leave, so we spent a few minutes prodding him before I decided to step outside and call Nicole, because I missed her, and we'd texted so I knew she was up. While I was gone, John spewed something upwards of 80 ounces of fluid from his mouth onto the floor of the club, serenaded by Jared's hysterical (and rapidly receding) laughter. I didn't notice the reams of paper towels on the floor when I came back in to the noisy place, but did witness John's stumbling retreat from the wet spot, presumably towards a dry bed.
The rest of us left after another half hour or so and headed to a local pub (actually stepping outside and crossing the street) for some 2 AM drunk food...I had a pizza burger and a Magic Hat, for a total of $14. Delicious in my pleasantly buzzed state. Somehow Jared and I challenged Matt and Brian, or vice versa, to a game of pool. There were three tables in the place, all taken. One was currently the property of a pair of very good players. Matt and Brian offered to play them for it in order to allow us to play a game against our friends. After M/B got destroyed, Jared and I took a turn. $1.00 in quarters. Jared is usually a better player than I, but he was off his game. Still, we managed to win by using strategy, which was great. Plus, bragging rights. By now, it was inching towards 4 A.M., and Jared had wanted to play cards, which brings us back to the start of this blog.
Life lesson: never break a $100 bill into chips at a no-limit table where you intend to play unless you are perfectly willing to lose $100. For that matter, never play no-limit when you only have a $100 bill. I folded a lot of hands before getting an Ace-Queen, still with $95 in front of me. I bet $10 pre-flop and almost everyone folded, with the exception of one guy with a huge stack of chips in front of him and far too many drinks in him. The flop was King-King-Jack, and both of us checked but I was pleased to note that I could get a straight with a ten. The turn, a Queen, and I figured I had the high two pair with an Ace kicker, a good hand. I bet $15, looking to buy the pot. He re-raised another $20, and I considered the possibility that he held a King, but decided to see the river, hesitating because, of course, this would exceed the limits I had set for myself. The river was a seven, no help to anyone. I checked, he raised $35, essentially putting me all in (I would have kept $2.00 for a later big blind). He was representing the King, but had bluffed on earlier hands, playing fast and loose. Nicole tells me that I should have called the hand. Maybe I should have. I do think he had the King and lured me in with the check on the flop. Anyways, it would've been a lot better if I'd had only $40 in chips on the table, which had been my intent if not for that damn ATM and some foolishness. Perhaps I could have taken some chips off of the table in between hands. Ah well.
Jared made a stupid move two hands later, thinking his opponent was bluffing when there was two pair on the board and Jared held an Ace. He wound up down about $25. We retreated back to the room we were sharing with Matt (still out drinking with Brian...they'd show up at 7:30 AM, about a half hour before I woke up completely and a few more before Jared and Matt would - I wandered around a bit and called my lovely girlfriend).
Breakfast skillet: $8
One attempt at penny slots: $1
Tolls: $15 (instead of gas)
The experience...well, let's say it was worth it.