Meet me at the Borgata!

 In mid August I decided to head south to Atlantic City, N.J. to play low ball. Low ball is more commonly known at Texas Holdem and in most cases generally refers to the lower level tournaments and cash games which feature more rapid blind levels and lower patience factors than some larger and higher stakes tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

  Having been to Foxwoods several times, I prefer Atlantic City as there is not only more variation in terms of casinos and tournaments but even with the increased cost of fuel found the cost of expenses to be cheaper than in the woods around Ledyard, CT. I arrived in Atlantic City just as the sun was going down. It was an incredible scene watching the bright glow of the reddish-pink sky setting over the Atlantic Coast. I'm rushing down the Garden State Parkway past billboard signs that read and have pictures of:  "Robin Williams" August 23rd and "Madonna." the background is illiuminated by the shapes of the casinos themselves. Having never been to the Borgata decided to stop there first and I didn't regret it!

  The word amazing is an understatement to describe the opulence of the Borgata. Everything at the Hotel, Casino and Spa is first class. A guest experience that is definately here. The casino is equally as impressive. I literally had to follow the signs through a mass assortment of table games, high stakes table games, slot machines. Its 10:00 at night the place is packed. Beautiful women everywhere in a scene that is simply not seen in northern New Hampshire. Finally, I locate the poker room. Similar to the rest of the Borgata property, the room is at capacity with 850 poker players! The no-limit tournaments are all $350.00-$500.00 plus fees and they had at least 10-15 tables of cash games. So I decided on a $1-2 cash game I purchase my chips and head across the massive chandelliered ballroom as widescreen HDTVs broadcast the Beijing Olympics; the U.S. is winning the swimming competition. I arrive at the table, I'm assigned to seat #7 which is on the end three from the dealer. This is a good seat because it offers a lengthwise view of the other players.

Shuffle up and deal. I muck my first three hands just to get an overall sense of the environment the player to my left looks and acts like a younger version of Mike Tyson, think he is from Philadelphia there are a couple of Puerto Ricans who clearly speak broken english and the ever present and predicatable, hoodies. I dismiss the rest as clingers on. By now I'm the small blind and I've called with my sutied 7-9, Tyson throws out an information bet at $200.00 one of the hoodies calls the bet and the rest of the table quickly fold. I call. The flop comes 7-Q-10. Hoodie checks. I bet $500.00, Tyson acts pissed but throws his cards away, I'm guessing he is holding a king. The hoodie really hesitates looks at my chipstack, he wants to call this bet but he doesn't, he folds. My experience is that hoodies often fold under pressure even when they have the winning hand. So I pick up this pot. The night continues on, I did lose some hands, I chased after A-Q spades which were beat on the river by unsuited jacks when nothing hits the board. But by 4:15am I'm looking at my chipstack I'm up substantially from where I started. The poker room is still nearly 2/3rds full and I'm starting to feel tired from the six plus hour ride from New Hampshire. So I decide to cash out my chips. As I'm leaving the Borgata and walking along the seventh floor of the parking garage through the night sky I'm asking myself some questions: Why isn't New Hampshire doing this? Why did Senate Bill 306-FN not pass? Why did Senators Lou Dellasandro and John Gallus not mention Atlantic City during the hearing on the casino legislation?

The Borgata was opened in 2003 by casino developer Steve Wynn. Imagine something like this in Hampton Beach or even the Pease Tradeport. It could mean alot for tourism and New Hampshire.