Off to Delaware Park we went. We parked in the lot and took the free "trolley" shuttle to the front door. It is certainly walkable but the free shuttle is a nice touch. The casino itself is long and fairly narrow as it runs the length of the home stretch of the race track. Its 2 floors with a good mix of slots and table games.
My wife went off to the slots (her poison) and I found my way to a $10 BJ Table with a middle age gentleman dealing. Rules are good,6 decks, BJ 3/2, S17, LS, DSA, Split to 4 hands, NoRSA with Penetration 80%. Hand shuffle, which is a slower (more thorough) shuffle than I've seen elsewhere. My wife was quickly up $300 and then came to watch me. At first I thought the dealer was kinda stiff, but he loosened up. He even quietly apologized after some ploppy just had to hit 15 against a dealer 6. The dealer almost begged him not to! In the end it didn't actually affect the hand, but it was nice that the dealer recognized that I might care. After than he started joking around a bit.
Something that really bothered both my wife and I (and the dealer) then happened. An older lady sat down at the table and bought in for $100. She then played 25 and 5 on the match the dealer. Though she played good basic strategy, she quickly burned through that and started fumbling in her purse, through bank envelopes and pulled out some tens and twenties. Which of course also was quickly gone... then she found the "good" envelope and laid a couple of hundreds on the table. Still betting about 25/5 on each hand, and winning very few of them. Several trips to the envelope and $600+ later it was time for a shuffle and off she went. You could see the dealer was not happy to see her keeping buying in for more. Perhaps she could afford to lose this money, but clearly the 3 of us (dealer, my wife and I) weren't getting that sense. To me, while I wouldn't want to lose $600+ that quick, it would just be my BJ money and my life wouldn't really change. I sure hope the same can be said for this nice old lady.
As mentioned we were up against a time limit, so I ended the session after about an hour (part of which was that awful shoe with the old lady) and ended up $2!!! woo hoo :)
Next day was the NASCAR race in Dover. A nice day for a race, though the race itself left quite a bit to be desired. No real racing, mostly just follow the leader all day. In the end, Jeff Gordon won.
So Monday we headed to AC and the Tropicana. Had time before lunch for a mini session and started things off right with a small win! The rules at the Trop are as they were (not great), 8 decks, BJ 3/2, H17, noLS, DSA, Split to 4 hands, NoRSA with Penetration usually about 80% (though some dealers don't use the slot, so be careful). (You can get 6 Decks and S17 at the $25 tables). They have started the reconstruction of the gaming floor so about 1/4 of it is blocked off. They have nice pictures on the temporary walls of what the floor will look like when done, quite impressive. Apparently they will work in segments always keeping the gaming active, with next May the target for the official grand opening. Looks like it will be a welcome upgrade.
We then ate lunch at "A Damn Good Sports Bar" in the quarter. I had the BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger and my wife the french dip. Both very good and reasonably priced. After lunch I had a nice session with a "good" fun table to put me up over 20 units. Since I can't afford to play at tables where I can play alone, its nice to play with decent players who are out to have a good time. Unfortunately, I played another session before dinner... Ughhh, it was one of "those" sessions where absolutely nothing goes right. Losing doubles, getting ugly hand after ugly hand. A fitting end to the session was having a high medium size bet out being dealt 8/3 vs dealer 4. Double 9, dealer flips a 7 and you guessed it 10!!! Lost 40 units in that session.
The nice Italian restaurant off the casino floor "Il Verdi" was running a 3 course tasting special for $35 a person. It was an amazing meal, the warm bread with roasted garlic dipping oil could have been enough actually, but I started with the Caesar salad and my wife the egg drop soup. Both were excellent. We then had the cavatelli with lump crab meat. A huge portion which was amazingly good, we couldn't eat it all but took the leftovers for lunch! Dessert was scrumptious as I had the tiramisu and my wife the creme burlee. In our opinion a very good value for $35. They also had 1/2 price wine bottles.
After dinner, a little more BJ and I hit another good run winning back 30 units of what I had previously lost. It was pretty much a constant up tick through the session with even any major slumps. Making the trip positive at the end of day 1 (up 18 units).
The day of ups and downs! I started the day fairly early with a very fun dealer still on from the night shift. At times I had the table to myself, and then another nice gentleman sat down. We both knew BS well so we worried when occasionally another ploppy would sit down but for the most part all was good. A couple of hours later I was up 20 units and time for a break.
We ate lunch at the Seaside Cafe (from which you cannot see the ocean - go figure). But the food is quite good and the service is very quick. Prices are reasonable as well. My wife had the chicken fingers and cheese fries while I had the open face turkey with mashed potatoes. Both very good.
After lunch I played again with a dealer I had played with the day before. He has a very dry sense of humor but he makes it fun... Occasionally after checking for BJ when a player has a BJ, he will flip over his UP card... It can really be unnerving but then everyone laughs and you get paid!!! When he does have BJ he never jokes! I was quickly up 22 units and we decided to take a walk up the boardwalk on a beautiful day.
It was sad walking by the front of the now closed Trump Plaza. Not so much that it is closed, but more about how ugly and dingy the place looks. Its also so dated that I'm not sure the building the casino is in could be used for anything at this point. The hotel portion could possibly be condos. Really no loss here (sorry). We headed up to Bally's, I wanted to check out the wild west BJ, but it appeared closed??? Is it only open weekends? So we headed into Bally's proper. My wife HATES the carpeting! They are painting the exterior of the buildings to a drab looking tan. They used to be brightly colored with each "building" different. We don't like the change, nor does the girl at the desk we were talking to about total reward cards.
$10 BJ at Bally's was all 8 deck 3/2 H17 with nice new pink tops for breast cancer month, a nice touch. They were fairly busy (remember this is a Tuesday off season).
We headed back down the boardwalk and had time for some BJ. And so the downs began... Lost 10 units over a fairly long session expecting it was time for dinner. Turned out my wife wanted to wait on dinner so I went back for more... Not a good plan!!! lost 15 units quickly... Once again ending on a double losing to a dealer made hand! In hindsight I should not have played this session. I was prepared to take a break, and instead went back to the table. Never a good idea!
We then went to the magic show Magique! We had seen the show before, and I enjoyed it, though my wife really doesn't. She "put up" with it again, and I enjoyed it again. If you enjoy magic and dancing its a nice show. Tickets are probably overpriced at $25 though you can always get $5 off. Our tickets were comped or I don't think my wife would have "put up" with it :-) For the record I really enjoyed the show.
After the show my losing ways continued. A nice dealer and table, I was up for a while but then hit a run of losing large bets... Finally ended down 17 units. For those counting, that's 41 units up and 42 units down for the day! Trip now up 17 units.
I don't always play on our last day as we usually get an early start. But the last 3 sessions from the day before had left a very bad taste. I wasn't chasing losses, in fact, I still had a winning trip, albeit small. It was more psychological that I could actually win a session. So I buy in for 17 units! (I'm not having a losing trip here).
I'm quickly down more than half of that... here we go again... I'm 0 for 4 doubling and finally I'm down to betting 3 chips with 2 left in my hand... 9/9 verse dealer 2... ughhh... So I dig in my pocket and split the 9's... I could now have a losing trip... I get A (yay) and 5 (not so yay)... dealer flips Q and then K! Yes! I hand the extra chip to my wife for "safe keeping" - no losing trip here. It starts to come around and a starting to win back my losses. Last hand of the shoe I'm dealt 4/4 verse 5. Fasten your seat belts! Split'em! On the first 4 I get a 4! split again... Get a J and a 9 (blah), On the 2nd 4 I get another 4! Split again, get a Q and a 5! Double and pull K. Here we go... the rest of the table stands and dealer flips over an 8 then a T. YES! I ended here, even for the day, yet somehow my faith and psychological well being has been restored. Variance can suck, but good play will be rewarded.
Trip ends up 17 units - not great - but not bad. My wife ended down on slots so the entire trip was a little negative for us (though her bankroll is separate from my BJ bankroll). Though it is her slots that get us the comped rooms at the Trop so I can't complain too much. Taking that into account it was a positive trip for us.
Speaking of the room, ours was in the Havana tower (our preference). The rooms are nice, but could use some updating. The TV in this room was recently updated to a nice big flat screen so that was good. The view up the boardwalk at night is very different with many of the buildings dark. You really only see Bally's and the Taj (soon to close?) since Caesars is pretty much blocked by the dark Trump Plaza.
As always we had a nice time at the Trop. The dealers were all very friendly. The staff was very nice and helpful. With the coming renovations hopefully the Trop will continue to thrive in this difficult market. Monday was fairly busy with Tuesday less so. Though this certainly isn't prime season for AC.
We used up most of our comp dollars, as they will expire in March, and we may not make a trip back to AC until after that next year. We tend to enjoy AC more when the weather is conducive to taking afternoon walks on the
boardwalk and/or beach.
EDIT: Forgot to mention vulturing was nothing but slim pickings... up 0.65 for the trip. It seemed like there were others vulturing at the Trop based on some things I saw.
The Wild Wild West blackjack is only open weekends and is a 6 to 5 party pit. You didn't miss anything unless you like the mechanical bull.
As for other players, yes I know, but what bothers me is the flow of the game. Playing alone or with good BS players the game flows so smoothly. When there are others that constantly are deciding how they "feel" about their 14 vs 4 its unsettling. I just want them to stand and move on... Even if they eventually do stand, it just makes the table "feel" wrong. Even the dealers are turned off by the waiting for answers.
I certainly understand that the actual decision has no long term affect on the game.
Very nice! Don't worry about other players. I know you know that.
The Wild Wild West blackjack is only open weekends and is a 6 to 5 party pit. You didn't miss anything unless you like the mechanical bull.
Sad thing is those tables are packed on a Saturday night with drunk twenty-something's who have no idea of the difference between 3/2 or 6/5.
By the way, great TR
... but what bothers me is the flow of the game... the game flows so smoothly.... Even if they eventually do stand, it just makes the table "feel" wrong.
A lot of talk about "flow" and "feel" for someone who knows their decision has absolutely zero mathematical difference in the long run of the game. I think I know what you mean though. Part of your gambling experience/fun is the atmosphere, and ploppies can certainly ruin the atmosphere. Maybe this can help: I decided to make a fun game out of ploppies as to not let them bother me. I know they're 50/50 to help or hurt me when they want to hit their 13 v dealer 6. So I like to "leave it to fate." It feels like a fun gamble for me to let them follow their gut instead of perhaps nudging them in the direction of the correct play. Then I like to see "did it help me this time?" when the dealer plays their hand out. It really does seem about 50/50, so half the time, I get to laugh knowing I was 'supposed' to lose that hand, but the ploppy's gut instinct saved me!
I really don't get the 6/5 thing either. It seems like a horrendous business decision. Players will just play the much better games near by, and if they're worried about counters, whom make up 1% of the population, oh of which only about 5% of them actually have a winning game, then they're just retarded. I thought greed conquered all, but apparently the wall-street casino's are willing to burn their own money piles just to slightly annoy the piles of counters/AP's alike. It makes me scratch my head and really makes me happy because how pissed off do we have to make them that they would rather lose money than see 5% of 1% win more money lol.
A lot of talk about "flow" and "feel" for someone who knows their decision has absolutely zero mathematical difference in the long run of the game. I think I know what you mean though. Part of your gambling experience/fun is the atmosphere, and ploppies can certainly ruin the atmosphere.
Yes, its not the decision that bothers me. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it hurts. But the speed of the game slows way down. And almost worse are the other ploppies who get really annoyed, sometimes to the point of yelling, just taking the "fun" out of the game. As my name states, I play for fun, not a living, so I don't want my limited blackjack time (about 60 hours so far this year) to be anything but entertaining. You'll notice in my TRs I'll often comment about how much fun (or not) the table and/or dealer was. It is an important part of the game to me. I used to dislike playing heads up with the dealer, but now I much prefer to play either heads up or with one other "good" player. Now I just need to build my bankroll to a point where I can play more often at tables where that can actually happen.
I really don't get the 6/5 thing either. It seems like a horrendous business decision. Players will just play the much better games near by... I thought greed conquered all, but apparently the wall-street casino's are willing to burn their own money piles just to slightly annoy the piles of counters/AP's alike.
Its corporate greed. Whether casinos or other companies, today's world is way too much about today's profits and not nearly enough about tomorrows!
My wife has finally gotten interested in BJ, and she knows most of the BS plays. However, she likes to break away, and 'follow her intuition', like taking a hit on 14, when the dealer has a 6 up, or more often, she will stand on a 15 or 16, and hope the dealer ends up busting.
I realize her non standard plays will help me as often as they hurt me, so it doesn't bother me when she makes one of her moves. But some dealers, and many other players can get down right rude. One guy was being a pretty big jerk off, and wanted her to take a hit on one hand. The dealer had a high up card, so I told the guy he was welcome to give us the $10 that was up, and then he could play the hand any way he liked. That finally shut him up.