Monday, November 24, 2008

Donovan, Sometimes You Win But Really Tie, Other Times You Sit Your Ass on the Bench

A pleasant day with the kids, no leaks thru the garage sale bought Tommy jeans, no spaz-tastic whines emitting from the backseats due to not receiving the same amount of snacks. We raced around the house with laughter versus time outs getting handed down from the wraith of the parent. A visit to Cabela’s to take in everything hunting/fishing/manliness as this is the only place aside from the local Lodge that you’d feel at home in your Remington t-shirt, fatigue cargo pants with a Rambo sized compound bow strapped across your back while dragging that 10-point buck killed in the woods behind the building to back of the store for processing. Honestly, Cabela’s is pretty kick ass, the aquarium, stuffed animals (literal and pillows), 15 foot tall fly fishing rods, and venison burgers will take anyone to the cabin life within seconds.

Upon returning home the wife decided to extend her morning shopping to several hours versus “I’m going out for a few things”. Late afternoon she stumbles looking five drinks past sober and she announced a freedom to do what I want for the balance of the evening. Of course my mind had non-kosher ideas involving minty scents and Nurse/Doctor costumes, but the kids were up and since I had a need for some live poker playing with Vegas on the horizon, the decision was made to hit up the new card club.

Running Aces near Forest Lake is the new kid on the tundra and color me very impressed with the place. I wasn’t there on a writing/reviewing/photoing trip so no formal notes were taken, but being 30 minutes from my house this place will be receiving more action from this degenerate gambler should the opportunities appear in the future:

The D├ęcor: soft, light colored, very clean, plenty of space to stretch without feeling crowded. The chairs were adjustable to height and very comfortable; being not-so-short my knees did not take a beating from the six hour session

The Staff: Wow. And wow again. Polite, accommodating, friendly. Hell, even on the way out as I checked out the rack of tournaments and special events a dealer who was hitting up the ATM stopped for five minutes to explain the Sunday Tournaments (nearly 200-300 players every Sunday for their big $320 weekend tourney) and several other promos. I asked the dealers to listen for my name for the Omaha seat (while in $2/$4 HE), and half the table plus the dealer shot up when it was announced.

The Drink Staff: Cougar-city, raaaaaaaaaaaaaawr. No young bouncy ladies here but real women you’d buy decent scotch on the rocks, maybe a steak dinner, and she’d show you things only seen in the MILF section of YouPorn.com. Aside from the fairly attractive staff, they were again courteous, fast, and even provided free smile that had no hint of sarcasm.

The Games: Granted, one non-HE game running but since the wall of AARP rocks at the O8 table (4/8 with half-kill on a $40 scoop) that huddled around the five to nine seats were boring the fish to death the game didn’t suck. Nor did the action at the $2/$4 seat as I played 90% of the hands dealt for two hours and had more fun chatting it up with the table versus check-raising the hoodie guy on my right who played SERIOUS. POKER. Yep, $56 stack, me calling off his hands, and offer to buy him a drink wasn’t cracking this sour-puss to lighten the fuck up francis. Luckily the cool dealers and other chatty folks were having fun cracking my 93o to the tune of $8. The place did run a sizable amount of spread limit ($2-$60) type games which I did not imbibe because a) I hate hold em’ and b) spread limit gives me hives despite having a fairly good ROI in those games

The –EV Games: No commission Pai Gow?!?!!? Sadly, it was after six hours of battling nut lows against the oxygen tanks that I saw the sign for this, maybe next time. I instead gave away $40 playing 4-card poker which I made the mistake of getting in between two couple who had an hour long conversation over/around/thru my head which made me ask for a beer despite getting ready for the ride home. Again, polite dealers, pit bosses, and drink service in this section.

The Bar/Restaurant: I’m sure its nice, as I’ll write up this next time when I have the chance to delve into the eats beyond some rather tasty chicken fingers (note to tall blonde with legs that wouldn’t stop waitress: I’m a honey mustard versus BBQ type guy, but you’ll get over-tipped anyway).

End result: Loss of $56. Well worth the night of watching the old dude with a front porch that could seat all of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader at the O8 table waddle to the “Club VIP” room for free pretzels every five minutes. Little things like people watching make my card room experience must more win then winning. Ok, winning would have been better but factor in the drinks and food the actual gambling loss was paying rake.

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Vikes won. No gloating due to the score not reflecting the horrible performance of our quarterback again. Gus is just too old/beaten for this anymore, much like Brad Johnson’s flop-fest as Pinkiegate was going on, he can’t chuck the ball down field 50 yards to a streaking Rice or Berrian. Heck, even the stable targets were finding lame ducks thrown at their feet. Defense came up big, again. Could the Vikes pull off a 2000-2001 Raven-like playoff run? Bears at home in front of a national audience this week and the prospect of DP curling up into a ball after Neckbeard gets hammered by something other then a liter of Jack will make the game watchable at least. Wager sir?

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Tomorrow, my thanks to PokerStars (and someone else) towards funding our lower-middle income contribution to the economy. It’s big but not so big that it wouldn’t fit.

Hop over to see last night's Warm-Up report if you're so kind.

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