Thursday, June 16, 2011

Caesars Lowering Poker Comps in AC

Last month CET lowered poker comps at their Atlantic City properties 2+2. This month they started charging 1,000 reward credits per trip to an AC Diamond Lounge unless you have "super" diamond status (25,000 tier credits). In theory, the food offerings will be upgraded. This is a major devaluation in poker comps.

1/2 NL earned 30 tier credits per hour. This meant it took 367 hours of poker to reach diamond status. With diamond status came access to the Diamond Lounges and free parking. The player also accumulated $367 of comps.

1/2 NL earns 20 tier credits per hour. This means it takes 550 hours to reach diamond status, a 50%! increase over 2010. The player will earn $550 in comps over the course of the year, but every time they hit up the formerly free Diamond Lounge for a quick meal they lose $10 of comps.

Seven Star
There are a surprising number of seven stars in AC that earned their status by playing poker as a full-time job. Seven star is 100,000 tier credits, so 3,333 hours of 1-2 in 2010. That works out to 64 hours/week. Admittedly, many of these players also mixed in some 2-5 that earned 60 tc/hr, but 2-5 does not always run. In 2011 it will take 5,000 hours of 1-2 to make seven star, or 96 hours/wk. That doesn't leave much time for doing anything but sitting at poker tables. 2-5 now earns 40 tc/hr. So it takes 2,500 hours of 2-5 to make seven star, or 48 hours/wk. I'm not sure 2-5 runs in a CET room 48 hours/wk, but it may be possible. In the end, I think CET solved their problem of having seven star poker players.

CET Plays Dirty Pool
I think a lot of players were burned by having these changes made in the middle of the year. I know I was. 99% of my play has been at CET rooms in AC, Chester, and LV at this point in the year because I was working on keeping my diamond status. I was more or less on pace to do so, having accumulated around 4,500 tier credits. At this point I thought I had to play 217 hours in AC or 232 hours in LV (Las Vegas properties award 28 tier credits/hr) to make diamond. Now I need 325 hours in AC, an increases of over 100 hours. I'm not sure where I am going to find an extra 100 hours in my schedule for poker. I'm sure I am not the only player these mid-year changes affects, and it I think it is really dirty of CET to pull this off. I'm sure there are disclaimers on the website / total rewards card that say they can change anything at anytime, so I don't think it is illegal, just dirty.

Is Diamond Worth It?
The main benefits I get for being diamond in AC are: (1) Free parking, (2) $10 buffet access at Diamond Lounges, and (3) shorter check-in line. In Las Vegas I have only used one diamond benefit ever, cutting the taxi line at Caesars Palace. All other diamond lines I have used in Vegas also accept platinum. So if I am not going to AC very frequently, there is really no benefit to diamond over platinum.

What's Next for Tarpie
I wrote the first draft of this article over a month ago. In that time I have remained loyal to CET. Although poker comps have been reduced and diamond status devalued, CET still provides me with heavily discounted or comped hotel rooms. That is a very valuable benefit that no competitor offers. So while I am annoyed at the reduction in benefits, I don't have anywhere else to go.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

23 Hours in Vegas

A couple of factors influenced me to do a 23 hour trip to Vegas. First, the Ironman of Poker was happening and I thought it would be fun to witness some of the shenanigans. Second, for the first time ever Caesars gave me a free weekend room at Caesars Palace. I can usually only get IP and sometimes Flamingo, Harrah's, or Bally's comped on a weekend. I really wanted to check out the top line Caesars hotel. Finally, I had been to Vegas every month since November and I wanted to keep the streak alive. The reason it was a 23 hour trip is because airfare shot up a buy-in or two if I wanted to fly back Sunday morning instead of Saturday night. A rational being would have skipped flying across the country for 23 hours in a destination, but I did not.

After getting the full on TSA grope at Dulles (seriously, the guy checked my "junk" five times) it was off to LAX. Only one TV in the UA terminal at LAX was showing college basketball. Was anyone really watching the Clippers? Boo LAX. Just an all around crappy airport.

The plane touched down at McCarran just after 9pm. I was expecting a mob at the taxi line since a lot of hotels were sold out, but just breezed through. Ditto for checking in at Caesars Palace. I refrained from making any dorky Hangover jokes while the clerk hooked me up with a sweet room. The low quality picture was taken out the window with my phone. Through the magic of twitter I saw that Poker Grump and Grange95 were likely to be at Planet Hollywood so off I went.

The PHo poker room was hopping on a Friday night. In the ten minutes I waited for a new table to be opened I spotted the Grump. The new table was pretty soft and I was up a little bit when I noticed the seat to the left of Grange was open at another table. Got cleared by the floor to move and got seated between two IMOP participants (River Joe was on my left). I pretty quickly benefited from the tilt the IMOPers had put one guy on. My early position limp with AK became a re-raise all-in when it came back around to me with half my stack already in the pot. In the end my AK > A? for a double up in my first orbit. Sometimes poker is easy. I gradually added onto my stack but I don't recall any memorable hands. After Grange got bored and left in a blaze of chips I got a table change to Grump's table.

In order to be social I ended up with IMOPer Santa Claus and Poker Grump on my immediate left. I was fairly card dead for the time they were both at the table, and having two sharks behind me kept me from doing anything too crazy. At some point Grump left. This is around the time that I had been up for twenty hours straight save for a catnap on the flight. There was also Sam Adams and Jameson consumed so details get a little fuzzy. I do know that after Santa Claus left I moved into seat one and went on an incredible run. Some good play, some luck, some just being the drunk guy at the table that no one ever believed.

I do recall two lucky hands. In one case a short stack committed a large portion of his chips to my pre-flop raise with KK. Of course he hits his set and I get it all-in with him on the flop. Runner-runner flush and I'm stacking up chips (yes, I pulled off the same luckbox feat in Reno). Another "lucky" hand was flopping a 2 with 2-4 (the Grump). I bet it and the guy shoved his short-stack. It was almost free to call so I did. He flips over 77 and I start apologizing for "cracking" it before the dealer puts out the turn. Of course the turn is a 2 for trips, and another 2 on the river for quads. The guy took it well.

I set a personal record for a triangular number of red chip stacks with 15. I was trying to get to 21 when the wall hit me around two in the afternoon. I racked up much to the dismay of the table who had been salivating over my chips for hours at this point.

I wandered up to IP in a zombie like state. After getting on the list for the one table they had going I went over to the Penazzi oyster bar at Harrah's for my only meal of the trip. The large dish of scallops and pasta did not sit well after drinking for sixteen hours straight. When I went back to IP I sat for an orbit but left before I put a chip in the pot. At this point I went back to enjoy my beautiful room. By enjoy I mean I took a long shower so I wouldn't fall asleep before my flight. Packing was easy since I never unpacked or slept. Walked down to the Caesars taxi line and it seemed like there were a hundred people in line. On a hunch I walked by the line and there it was! An empty diamond member taxi line. Man that diamond card saves me so much time in Vegas. It was worth going up to AC on December 30 to get enough tier points for it.

Nothing too exciting at McCarran. It's not very busy on a Saturday night. It's also really easy to avoid the Nude-O-Scopes by walking between security lines. Next stop LAX.

Get to my gate at LAX and my worst non-fatal flying nightmare is there. Half the passengers waiting to board are middle school students hyped up about visiting the nation's capital. Besides catnaps on flights to and from LAS, I have not slept in 40 hours at this point. I am really worried that I will end up on CNN for losing it on a kid in flight. United must have sensed my fragile mental state and hooked me up with the penultimate first class upgrade. Sweet! No jail time tonight. Since there was a bulkhead behind me, I reclined as soon as the wheels left the ground. I instantly feel asleep and did not wake up until the deceleration/descent woke me up. That's the way to fly.

Hit Wegmans at 7:30am which really has to be the best time to go. Unfortunately I am almost never up at that hour.

All in all a fun 23 hours in Vegas. I'm glad my room was comped since I never used the bed. Sadly, my shortest Vegas trip ever was almost my most profitable Vegas trip ever. Hopefully the rungood streak continues when I come back the second weekend of April.

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Trip to Reno

A couple of months ago I booked a weekend trip to Reno, taking advantage of low airfare and a comped room at Harrah's Reno. I intended to ski for the first time in a decade, and to play some poker. Unfortunately, I somehow injured my shoulder and decided skiing was not the best idea for recovery. Oh well, more time for poker.

I got into town at eight o'clock Friday night. The first order of business was getting dinner. recommended Lucky Noodle Bar, and after wandering around a bit and asking a security guard I found it. Harrah's Reno is a bit confusing because it is really two casinos across the street from each other. I was staying on the east side, the smaller of the two casinos. The noodle shop was quick, filling, and cheap. Plus, you get to watch a master woksman if you sit at the bar. I also realized I was back in Nevada when I got asked for ID to use my credit card to pay. I cannot recall the last time I had to provide ID for a credit transaction in Virginia, or even Atlantic City.

After eating I got seated right away at the one 1-2 game Harrah's was running at nine on a Friday night. Within an hour we were playing five-handed, but the table filled up later. These were some bad players. Example: My pot-sized all-in reraise was called by a naked inside straight draw. I'm not sure I have ever seen that before. Of course the poker gods were not kind to me and I suffered a few suckouts to finish down for the session. The room went dark sometime between three and four am. By this point I had a few Sam Adams and Jamesons in me and was not ready for bed. The bikini clad sirens lured me to the blackjack pit where I played 6:5 BJ. Bad Tarpie! Luckily Harrah's was looking out for me and closed that pit within 30 minutes. I headed over to the non-bikini blackjack tables and managed to make up for my poker losses plus a few hundred. Send a SASE and money and I'll send you my BJ system. It involves betting and randomly betting a little more and then getting lucky :) It was off to bed around 5am.

My body was on east coast time, so I woke up threeish hours later. The Harrah's buffet on Saturday morning is not a bad value. $13.99 included rotgut champagne. As long as you have an omelet station, I'm happy. Since it was brunch, prime rib, sushi, and crab legs were also set out. I just stuck with an omelet, breakfast meats, and a mimosa.

Late Saturday morning was a bad time to be looking for a cash game. Harrah's was running a tournament, so I decided to explore downtown a bit. I skipped right pass El Dorado and went into Silver Legacy. Their poker room does not open until noon and it is all electronic tables. Lame. Circus Circus had no cash games and had just started a tournament. I tried to enter just to kill time until cash games opened up, but there was no late entry. On my way back to Harrah's I hit El Dorado and found a cash game. Had to re-buy a couple of times because flush draws always seem to get there for other people, but then the fun started.

My favorite hand was limping with KK. With my usual luck, non of the LAGs behind me re-popped it (or even limped), so it was just me, BB, and Button. Flop is a beautiful K93 rainbow. Check-check-check. Let's see if I can give one of these guys some rope. Turn 3. I got up from the table and did a little dance, but these guys weren't paying attention. Check-check-check. River 8. BB bets ridiculously big, something like $65. I had $165 and decide to re-shove. I didn't think there was much chance of the Button having a hand he could call with, so I was just going for the BBs chips. Now the Button starts bitching and moaning about being caught on the river. It takes him five minutes to talk himself into a call. Yay! The BB calls instantly. Button had A3 for trips, A kicker. Button was correct, BB had 8-3 for suckout rivered boat. But KKK33 is best! I can't remember the last time a hand worked out so well for me. It took me minutes to stack all of those chips.

Another favorite was raising pre-flop with KK (again!) and having a guy call half his stack. Flop is T93 and I put him all-in. Of course he called half his stack with 99. I didn't even see the board, but I runner runnered a flush as I was counting the chips to pay off the set. Whoops. I ended up stacking the guy a couple more times. It was fun since he didn't tip dealers and was generally unpleasant.

The rest of the afternoon I hit a few more sets, and even after showing down monsters no one was giving me credit for hands. I ended up cashing out four racks. I think this is my biggest score ever. Last year I built up a four rack stack but then pissed it away before cashing out. I need to remember it is possible for me to pull this off next time I'm stuck folding J2off and having AA cracked for hours on end.

Went back to Lucky Noodle for dinner. The Harrah's poker room had a wait and again, just one table so I went back to El Dorado. Made a small profit before lack of sleep hit me.

When packing for my early, early morning flight, I had to take my winnings out of my wallet since it would not close. I hope to have that problem again in the future. Got back to DC in time for my six o'clock dart match and my good fortune carried over to my dart game. All in all a fun weekend.

Hopefully I will make it back to Reno/Tahoe for skiing in the next couple of months. It's mostly up to United Airlines.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still Breathing

Almost 600 days since my last post. Whoops. Many trips to LV, AC, and PA have gone undocumented. I met Katie, Dawn Summers, Grange95, and Pkr Dlr. I attended two allvegaspoker meets/poker tournaments. Much water was tread on pokerstars and full tilt. There were definitely bloggable happenings, but most of the time I forgot I had a blog.

Writing has never been one of my favorite activities. I was very happy to take only one semester of freshman english and one technical writing course in college. That being said, I feel like a mooch since I don't contribute anything (but my chips) back to the poker blog community. Therefore, I will try to occasionally put up an informative post here in the future. I cannot write entertaining, funny stories about my poker travels like Dawn Summers and Grange95. It amazes me how many details go into their trip reports. I can't remember this morning like that. While I will post the occasional trip report, I plan to focus more on amusing incidents, restaurant reviews, LV/AC/PA tips, and Harrah's hotels tips.

I have noticed that a majority of the poker bloggers I regularly read are/were lawyers or have at least filed a legal brief. I don't think that is some kind of sampling bias, but can be attributed to law requiring a lot of writing and intelligence. I actually flirted with law school when I was miserable in my first couple of jobs out of school. Figured if I was going to be miserable working, I might as well make good money. Got as far as taking the LSAT tired and hungover on a Saturday morning. Ended up heading off to grad school instead of applying to any law schools. Who knows; I might have been a better blogger if I had spent three years practicing logic and writing.

For anyone reading this: thank you. I am impressed. I assume, like me, that you do not do regular housekeeping on your RSS subscriptions :)

P.S. Does one post in 2010 qualify my as a poker blogger? I had planned to attend WPBT Winter Classic 2010. It's a moot point anyway. My non-poker hobby is shooting darts. My team made championships, which unfortunately take place December 11. Lame. If something happens to change that before then, you may see me at the Geisha Bar bitching about high last minute fares.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

AC Trip Report 3/28-3/29/09

Went up to AC to get the rest of my hours for the Harrah's WSOP Freeroll. Since I only needed six hours I did not kill myself trying to maximize hours.

Catch the 9:37 train from New Carrollton to Philadelphia and then the noon train to AC. By the time I check-in and unpack it's time to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner. Just missed the lunch prices at the buffet so was stuck paying the $30 dinner price...of course it was still free due to the $50 Royal bonus from the week before. This was an impressive buffet. I'm a sucker for buffets and really enjoy the Bellagio and Planet Hollywood buffets in Vegas, and this one is just a step below those two. That means it is very good. Peel and eat shrimp and crab legs get close to justifying the high cost, but I made sure to eat $30 worth of food anyway :) This made me very tired the rest of the day, but I did not have to eat again.

Finally make it to the tables at 16:00. Nothing too exciting happened. Had to re-up the stack a few times early in the session, but managed to cash out $18 up. Ordered a Jameson in a glass no rocks and waitress brought about four shots of whiskey in a soda glass. I just looked at the table and told everyone to tip the waitress for bringing me so much alcohol. I really cannot recall any hands from this session, but I did cross the 150 hour threshold during it.

Wake up and kill a little time before the buffet opens. Figure I can eat once at 9:00 and make it until evening without eating. Breakfast buffet same quality as the week before, and I am fueled up for the day. Leisurely washup and packup, and hit the tables at noon. Open a new table with a few familiar faces but I don't see a flop for three orbits (and I started the table with the button). Just J-4, T-3, etc. for an hour straight. Fairly active table with quite a few all-ins during this time. Hand of the day: limped around to my BB and I see AQ. I just check since there probably would have been callers to a raise and no one will put me on such a good hand if it hits. Flop is QcQhJh rainbow so I check since I have like a million bettors behind me. UTG bets $7, one caller, and then I pop it to $30. UTG thinks and thinks and calls, other player drops out. Turn: As. Sometimes I have so much skill at this game :) I check and UTG goes all-in. Well, unless he uber-slowplayed AA I am golden, so I call. UTG flips over KhTh for a flopped open-ended straight flush draw...unfortunately for him his straight came. Dodge the 9h/Ah on river to take down the pot.

Nothing really exciting happened after that. At the 18:00 dealer change Candace comes to the table for the first time in a couple of weekends. She is one of my favorite dealers. Bad beat: the table breaks before she deals a hand. Get to a new table, mark my spot, and go to the food court to have some pizza before leaving. Trip home very smooth this time: NJ Transit got in a little early, Amtrak got the PHL a little late so I easily get the early train. Home by midnight and finished a little up for the trip (as long as I don't factor in hotel and travel costs).

Check the Harrah's site on Monday and notice that Friday night is free..uh-oh, another trip report next week???

Monday, March 23, 2009

AC Trip Report 3/20-3/22/09

I have been making many trips to Atlantic City trying to get 150 hours of play to qualify for the Harrah's WSOP Freeroll. So, while this is my first public trip report, it was my eighth (or ninth or tenth...bad record keeping pre-mid-February) AC trip of 2009.

When I was only making trips to AC every other month or so, driving was fine. Once I started going almost every weekend I needed to find less stressful transportation from DC->AC. I looked into bus junkets, but the little information I could find online did not appeal to me. In mid-February I tried taking the train and found it to be a comfortable way to travel although it does increase the length of the trip by two hours. At least my time on the train is spent reading or watching videos.

I booked the trains for this trip over a week in advance in order to get lower rates and a AAA discount. The plan was to catch the 6:30 train Saturday morning and the 19:44 train out of AC Sunday evening. On Wednesday a comped Friday night room at Bally's became available on the Total Rewards website. Traveling Friday evening and not having to wake up at 5:00 in the morning on Saturday sounded good to me so I switched train reservations to spend two evenings in AC.

On Friday I caught the 19:22 train at New Carrollton, MD, and got into AC around midnight. Checking in at Bally's I request a non-smoking room with two beds. Told I have to take a smoking room. Even before I quit smoking a few months ago I would never stay in a smoking room. Ask if non-smoking is available with one-bed. Tap, tap, tap..."you're in luck sir, we have a very nice suite in the garden tower that is non-smoking." Get to the room (first time I have not been stuck in the Claridge tower at Bally's) and it is sweet. Living room with a giant flat screen TV that can be rotated to face in the bedroom or living room (only 10 channels and I never found ESPN). Bathroom with TV in the mirror (that cannot be seen from the throne or shower/bathtub area). Bath with water jets. Very nice...and they say casinos hate poker players :) In the morning I discovered my "view" was a roof and all the other rooms with the same view. Looking up there was a little bit of sky, but I wasn't here for the view anyway.

Once I got the room set up I went downstairs and played some 1/3. Why did I not go over to Harrah's to earn some hours? Because I knew I only had an hour or two and the travel to/from Harrah's would have cost me about an hour. Sat down at a wild, action-packed, Friday night table. Lost $50 on the river shortly before leaving, and that is what I finished down for the session. No big deal...just not being patient and playing a bit loose on my first night.

Hit the Wild West buffet in the morning instead of the 6ix bistro. The bistro has fine food but horrible service...not even the normal NJ rudeness, more incompetence. The buffet is decent if not a little uninspired. As long as I have an omelet station I'm happy. On the way back to the room I stop and get my new platinum card that I have qualified for with the poker hours already put in. Bad beat: platinum expires 03/10 instead of 03/11...I think if I had earned my 4000th tier point in April I would have had platinum until 03/11 so I am a bit miffed that I am being punished 11 months for being efficient. Oh well...might write a note to Harrah's to see if they will do anything about it. Get back to the room and relax in the jacuzzi-ish tub reading Sklansky and Miller's NL book. Very slowly making it through that book. Checkout and am on the Total Rewards shuttle to Harrah's a bit after 10:00.

No suite upgrade at Harrah's, but the self-checkin kiosk attendant manually gives me my room preference (machine thought I wanted a nice Waterfront or Bayview room, but this degenerate poker player likes the Harbour tower rooms that are right above the poker room). Unpack and am seated at 1/2 right at 11:00. I do not move from the one seat until 03:00 the next day. Had a fun table and didn't do anything stupid (poker wise) outside of bleeding off some chips out of boredom. Suck-out: Virginia Tech NIT game on TV right next to table...bad-beat: Tech down by 20 at the half. This caused the coronas to start coming to me before noon. Actually, I was drinking the coronas at my metabolic rate for 8+ hours so no big deal. Got a Jameson in the 22:00 timeframe. Before I was finished our fun table decided to do a round of tequila (actually, one abstainer, one kamikaze, and eight tequilas). The worst drink I have ever had still got me drunk. When we did another round of tequila a 1/2 hour later we were smart enough to ask for the Cuervo, but my taste buds were still reeling from the first shot so this one wasn't a whole lot better. At least I still had some Jameson to wash it down. Last corona finished before two. Realized I forgot to eat at some point in time (poker or alcohol destroys my sense of time, so both together and I'm can barely remember the day). Ordered shrimp cocktail and chicken tenders off of the poker room service menu. Food was good and necessary and helped soak up the alcohol. Due to the drinking and salty chicken, I pounded 10 oz water bottle the last hour or two of the session.

At some point post-midnight (I think) Cardgrrl sat down two to my left. Cards dictated that I not tangle with her, which is probably good for me. Instead of telling the whole table that she's so good at poker she writes about it, I was subtle and asked her about the bus junket. Unfortunately that was a little too subtle to get her to realize the drunk guy reads her blog. Since our paths have crossed my last two trips to AC I'm sure I will run into her again.

Big hand of the session, two-limpers ahead of me and I raise to $15 with JJ and get two callers. Flop come J, 6, 5 rainbow. 9 seat bets $30, 10 seat fold, and I pop it to $90 in case he is on a straight draw. Guys comes over the top all-in. I verify that I really do have top-set and call. Of course he flips over 66. No 1-outer on turn or river and > $1000 pot shipped my way (both of us had healthy stacks). Felt good to be on the right side of set-over-set for once. After sixteen hours I hit the wall and go to bed. All profit is the set-over-set hand...other than that I tread water. Still, it was nice to have two full racks of red and a handful off red and green to cashout.

Only slightly hungover then I wakeup a little before 10:00. First time I have awoke after eight in Harrah's, so I checkout the buffet for the first time since the cafe is mediocre at best. It's $6 more than the Bally's buffet, but it quite a bit better. Got my mandatory omelet, but also smoked salmon, grapefruit and bread pudding. I only eat twice a day while playing, so I really load up on breakfast. Good buffet, just annoying that it doesn't open unit 9:00.

Check my bag with the bell desk and sit down to 1/2 at 11:40. Fishtastic table and build a couple of towers of red. Around 13:00 I am dealt AhQh on the button. Just me and the BB. Flop ThJhKs. Jackpot! Nut straight, re-draw to nut flush. Check-check. 8s on turn. Call a bet. Rived Kh for the royal. Unfortunately no boat for the BB. He calls my medium bet with 7h9h afraid of the boat himself. Ask about the high hand since it was so early in the day...bad beat (if there's such a thing as a bad beat on a royal): someone hit a royal at 7:00 so I get the consolation prize of $50 on my card instead of $200.

In the last 1/2 hour of the session I run QQ and KK into AA. Karmic payback for set-over-set the day before I guess :) I get away from QQ-AA pre-flop but still played the hand poorly. I raise, guy that would only raise with KK or AA re-raises, so I know he has it, but I want proof for some inexplicable reason. So of course I raise again and I finally decide the fourth re-raise means AA. I fold and we both flip up. Less than two orbits later I get KK. Aggro-donk trickster raises to $11, two callers then I re-pop it. He re-raises and it folds to me. He is just the kind of player that would represent AA here since I already showed I can fold KK. That was my thinking when I shoved :) Of course he flips up AA and no card high than a 7 comes on the board...bye-bye stack five hands before leaving. I'm playing to the BB before I leave to catch my train. Last hand I limp UTG with QJs (last hand limp leak!). Aggro-donk pops it to $10 and BB calls. I figure WTF, I'll call for the last flop of the night. JJT flop. BB check, I check, aggro-donk checks. Turn 7..check around. River 2. BB bets $35. I start worrying about 89. I was seeing all kinds of monsters under the bed yesterday. I just call. Aggro-donk calls. Aggro-donk had AA. BB had a T he thought might be good. Trip Jacks crack aces and takes it down! I rake the pot right into a rack and leave without any shame whatsoever :)

Bad beat #1: missed free train shuttle so had to $15 cab it to the station. Bad beat #2: train leaves late and arrived 10 minutes late. Only had a two minute layover but Amtrak train is still there. Run up stairs and train leaves as I'm running down the stairs to it. A bit over an hour until the next train...lame. Bad beat #3: jackass merges on highway and starts tailgating me in the right lane. Speed up to put some distance between us even though I know troopers tend to hang out around the next bend. Sure enough, $131 fine unless I want to go to court. Court date: 10 am the day following the freeroll. First time to be pulled over for speeding since 1996.

After the weekend I should have about 144 hours logged, which means I need to head back to AC this weekend to get the last six hours. I had the poker desk book me a room for next Saturday night for the poker room rate of $109 + taxes + more taxes. That's less than the fleabag hotels in city limits. Hopefully this rate is available during the busy summer months.