Atlantic City -- Running is good for you
Worm: You know what always cheers me up?
Mike McDermott: No, what's that?
Worm: Rolled up aces over kings. Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them. Playing all-night high-limit hold'em at the Taj, "where the sand turns to gold." Stacks and towers of checks I can't even see over.
McDermott: Fuck it, let's go.
Worm: Don't tease me.
McDermott: Let's play some cards.
ATLANTIC CITY -- "You can all-in if you want," the young Asian woman says to me.
It sounds like dirty dialogue at a seedy "I love you long time" massage parlor, but it's not. She's a dealer at the Taj, the famous Taj from Rounders, and I'm seeing what my options are.
See, I raised from late at this loose $5/10 table with four other callers, then flopped a set of Js. Flush drawers folded, then I get raised on the turn. We get to six bets on the river before the young Italian kid, complete with maroon track suit and 70s-issue brown rose-tinted sunglasses flips over his cards.
"I've got the straight," he says triumphantly, turning to his friends.
"Well, I've got the boat," I say, motioning to the paired 5s on the board and raking in a decent-sized pot.
Another hand later (AK vs a woman who called me down with Kx), I'm up $230 in less than an hour and back up for the trip.
All because of running. Running is good for you!
This morning it was plenty bright out and I couldn't pass up a chance to run on the boardwalk. In high school in North Carolina, Coach Brayboy used to wax poetic about the virtues of hardwood.
"You can run all day on it and your legs still won't get tired," he would say as he made us do laps. Of course, I never saw him do much running.
But it's true. My goal was to make it up to Showboat/House of Blues Casino and the famous Taj, pick up chips and play a little.
I cut over to the ocean and dipped the tips of my shoes in the water, crunching on seashells along the way. And thinking it's cool that in just a few weeks I'll be doing the same thing at the Pacific Ocean.
The Taj isn't what I expected. I mean, it fits the well-worn look of the Atlantic City casinos. But I expected more glitz and glamour after seeing that famous scene in Rounders where Mike McDermott plays Johnny Chan.
It's a large room, one of the biggest I've seen. But it looks like it could use some new paint and maybe a refit, like what the Bellagio did.
At least the players haven't gone to the trouble to upgrade. I see some gray hair limp in early with T8s, he flops a str8 on somebody and I just wince, thinking, how do you think that's a good play? Like Lee Jones mentioned once in Card Player, we online players, we see so many hands, we have speeded up time. Making a habit out of trash cards is not going to help you in the long run.
But I can see why people want to be up in the short-term. It's a rush. I'm up about $100 now and I have that kitty-kat swagger back. Making the jog back to the Madison Hotel (the lobby completely looks like a set from The Matrix) is easy.