Playing ACI suppose most of you on the East Coast have taken a stab at Atlantic City at least once or twice in your lifetime. For some of you it's the mecca of everything seedy as hell and for others of you it's a paradise. Myself, I take the latter of the two. I don't know, to me AC has the grim reality that should be a casino city (o.k. so AC isn't a city) or town. You know, a rough edge to it. Although now they are building that huge strip mall with outlet stores, no this isn't the Disneyland that Vegas has become, it still holds on to it's small ghetto projects right in downtown (they have yet to be built over with new casinos but I think this might be changing very soon). There are several places to play poker in AC and they all have their strong points and weak points. In this blog I'm going to speak on three casinos that I enjoy playing poker at.
TROPICANA: Don't let the name fool you...this place is not close to anything tropical or any kind of Oasis. Sure in Vegas it would be lined with fake palm trees and mirage like settings...but this is AC and it's a big ulgy building. What I really enjoy about the Tropicana Poker Room is that it's got that classic dark-heavy oak feel in the room. Kind of reminds me of an old steakhouse in Brooklyn or an old Irish Bar. Players are well taken care of either it be food or drinks. Although, I do think they need a few more waitresses on patrol and the food can be improved. Each player is given a seperate poker card (diff. than the tropicana casino card) where he/she can get rooms at a very reduced rate after only 4 or 5 hours of play. These rates change with the seasons but now you can get a nice small room for 60.00 dollars...not bad. Rake a couple of hands and you have a room for the night. Plus, you can put a little nickname on your card if you wish. The lines for tables are not long at all and they are always willing to open up a new table if they can make a table with the waiting list. Tables are the usual 2-4/4-8 and so on. Although to be honest, I haven't really noticed any big game tables at the Topicana. The dealers at the Tropicana are nice and sometimes a bit inexperienced. This is to be expected at the lower limit tables, I try and be patient, after all, we have all started new jobs from time to time. Plus, I believe in good Karma...treat them right and they will throw you good cards somewhere down the line. All in all I would have to give the Tropicana about a 6 or 7 on a number scale. The light can be improved along with the food and they can train their young dealers a bit more. But all in all great tournaments and nice friendly people who take your business serious.
Borgata: The Borgata is the new kid on the block in terms of casinos in AC. It's seperate downstairs poker room is very well run. There is no writing down initials of waiting lists and someone reading them off ramdomly. No, the Borgata is state of the art...they have a computer generated list that is displayed on plasma screens so everyone knows where they are at. I'm sure this saves them time being that at other casinos people are always walking up and yelling, where am I on the list. Also, I have to say that Borgata has the best floor managers. They are well trained and come right over to the table if there is any problem what so ever and if your table ever gets low on players ask them to cut the rake in half and they tend to be o.k. with it. I find the dealers to be nice and experienced, but they can tend to have an attitude from time to time and that kind of ruins the table. The downstairs cafeteria is o.k. and the waitresses are always willing to bring you a beer...although like most poker rooms they forget your order from time to time. They have good priced tables 2-4/3-6 and so forth. There are about one or two high stake tables going from time to time, but I'm not sure the limits and how high they go. All in all I would have to give the Borgata about a solid 7 or low 8. I think the floor bosses really impress me with their control of the floor and keeping the action going.
Taj Mahal: Not really sure about the Taj...I suppose it reminds me of that song, "Thin Line Between Love and Hate". There is the stadium feel this place in the sense that it's wide and large...not to mention, it has topped with The Donald cheese to boot. But Donald, can't we put some decorations on the walls at the very least. Also, with all the floor space and rakes you are collecting spread things out and get some new carpet in the place. Yet, where else would you want to play? This place has the air of a poker room with all the old men in there that sit and tell you stories all day long as the cards are being passed on the felt. I mentioned that I hadn't seen big money game at the Borgota or Tropicana much, but you can see them here all over the place...mostly in the back, but you have guys with their hundred dollar chips stacked high and higher and a wad of 50 or so hundred dollars bills stacked right next to them. Yes, this is called high stakes poker. There is a lot more 7 card stud action and also Omaha here than at most casinos since they old timers seem to favor this place. Let me tell you, they take their 7 card stud very serious here and only the serious players should apply. The service isn't that good due to cramped floor. All in all I still have mixed feelings on this location. Of the three times I played here I found the tables to be pretty tough to ink out a small victory. But for some reason to me this is where the really good poker is played in AC. I would have to give this place a 7.
In closing, next blog I will be writing about some books that I find to be interesting and a good read.