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Doc
Doc
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PokerGrinderodiousgambit
August 3rd, 2022 at 1:59:30 PM permalink
Collected one new chip yesterday myself. I’ll post a write-up after I get photos.
Doc
Doc
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smoothgrh
August 7th, 2022 at 10:35:37 AM permalink
State: Virginia
City: Bristol
Casino: Hard Rock


I’ll begin this post with a little background information that I had completely overlooked until very recently (perhaps I was asleep for a couple of years.) In 2019, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia approved casinos in the state, with a few conditions imposed. If I am reading the internet info correctly, they imposed a limit of one casino in each of five designated cities, with the requirement that the residents of each of those cities must approve the casinos in order for them to be opened.

I haven’t dug into the history very well. As I understand it, each of the city governments received proposals from potential casino operators, selected one that they liked, and put the idea up for a yes/no vote of the citizens. The votes were held last November, and the residents of Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth gave their approvals. In contrast, the people of Richmond rejected the casino proposed for there. From what I have read, in April of this year, a judge gave the city permission to hold a second referendum in November 2022. Then, in June, the legislature nullified that plan, delaying such a move until 2023, giving the city of Petersburg (nearby) the opportunity to pursue an alternate casino proposal and get the license away from Richmond. Perhaps someone who understands this process better than I do can explain it to all of us.

Progress is underway in the first four locations, with construction underway in at least some of them. The one that (apparently) is furthest along is in Bristol (a city that is really in two states, straddling the line between Tennessee and Virginia.) Of course, this really means that there are two cities with the same name on opposite sides of the line, and the casino city is in Virginia.

That operation has opened a temporary casino under the name of “Bristol Casino”, while the signage all around says “Future Home of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – Bristol.” That facility opened for business on July 8, and the news was a complete surprise to me. It is located in what remains of a closed (perhaps abandoned) shopping center once known as Bristol Mall. The Bristol Casino is on the lowest level of the building, and it is my understanding that the permanent casino (with construction now going on at the opposite side of the structure) will be on the upper floor. That permanent casino is expected to open in 2024.

I visited the Bristol Casino for a couple of days this past week as part of a wedding anniversary trip that my wife and I took. I had communicated in advance with forum member Odiousgambit, a Virginia resident who had not previously made his way to this temporary casino. We have met with him (and usually his wife) a couple of times at the Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, and he joined us for the visit and gaming in Bristol.

What they have in operation right now seems to be done rather well, so I suspect these facilities will continue to operate when the “permanent” casino opens, perhaps as some sort of annex. I did not count things myself, but a news article says that they have 870 slot machines and 21 table games. They currently have two restaurants (Mr. Lucky’s and a pizza spot, both of which we tried), a bar, a small sports book area, a high-limit area, a small non-smoking casino area with machines only, and the general (smokey) casino area that is almost confusing enough to get lost in.

I only played craps, myself. They had two craps tables, but only one was open during my visits on Tuesday and Wednesday. The minimum wager on Tuesday afternoon/evening and Wednesday morning was $15. (I prefer a $5 table myself, but I can’t seem to find one within driving range of home.) For Wednesday afternoon and evening, the minimum bet jumped to $25. I am not accustomed to seeing that kind of jump mid-day on a week day. I looked around at a few other games and saw both $15 and $25-minimum blackjack games. I glanced into the high-limit area but didn’t linger to check it out. The craps table offered 3x4x5x odds as well as the Fire Bet and what appears to be a copycat of the All-Tall-Small bet, except it is called something like the Little-Biggie-Boom/bust bet. I don't know the background on this, but to this non-lawyer, it looks a bit like an infringement of some sort.

The dealers are still working on their skills, but they were all quite friendly, and I didn’t notice any significant problems. My impression is that some of them had received formal training before the temporary casino opened, and others are being taught on the job. At least for the craps game, the dealers seemed to understand the game better than most of the players.

In planning this trip to a “temporary” casino, I had in mind that I could pick up a souvenir chip from the Bristol Casino now, and then in 2024 I could go back and add another new chip to my collection – that one from the “permanent” Hard Rock Casino – Bristol. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Apparently they didn’t want to waste money on a “temporary” set of chips, so all of the chips in play have the name of the not-yet-permanently-open “permanent” casino. Thus, I have titled this post with the name on the chip rather than the name the casino is currently using on the door.

The chip is almost new, so it is in very good condition. It is a white RHC Paulson/GPI mold with three very-wide purple edge inserts. The center inlay is a bit oversized, with one side having the Hard Rock logo and the other displaying an orange electric guitar in Hard Rock tradition. All of the text printing is in purple, except for the yellow in the logo.

On both sides of the chip, UV light reveals hidden text with the repeating name “Hard Rock Bristol”. And for those of you who are familiar with the things we have seen before with this type of hidden text, yes there is a very hidden typo in about the same place it usually shows up. Have fun searching for it. If you don’t know what this comment is all about, try reading every word of the fluorescing text. You may click on any of the four images below to see a larger version (which might help if you are scanning the details of fluorescing text.)


odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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August 7th, 2022 at 11:41:28 AM permalink
If you like to play Craps but prefer to play along with someone you know, and live within hailing distance of North Carolina, definitely make friends with Doc. He's on an extended winning streak, getting the W for each trip he takes for the last numerous. Plus you will be meeting up with fine people, him and his wife, which can be a nice break from the crumb-bums in the usual casino crowd.

He wasn't going to miss this one, seeing as how that winning streak is going plus there's a new chip involved... yep, no way. I'll be blogging about it pretty soon. Some things:

* I was expecting something half-put-together, being temporary, but it was very nice if small. New looking, clean, furbished, nice bathrooms. Perhaps it is going to be part of the new casino when finished. You go all the way to the back of the mall, btw, if you are going.

* Blackjack and other table games: 8 tables in total besides Craps. You had various BJ tables naming themselves by the side game they offered [this used to confuse the hell out of me as to what I was looking at] .......... $15 and $25 though I suppose perhaps sometimes higher. I was informed that BJ paid 6:5 on the former and 3:2 on the latter.

There was one table each for Mississippi Stud, Pai Gow Poker, and something called 5 Treasures. Did not note minimums.

* I've been bemoaning the absence of Craps tables with low minimums in my recent travels, no matter when you show up, and here we go again. I dropped by at 4:30 AM on my way out of there to see if there was Craps going, since someone had told Doc it was 24/7. I never asked anyone if 24/7 was a fact, but a full table with that irritating $15 minimum was going. I don't think they have the personnel for the second table. You can play bubble Craps for $5, 2x odds, each station with its own dice. This allows the system to note whether you are rightside or darkside and make the dice beat you, something not possible when all play against the same dice. Now I don't believe for a minute that is going on [only for a second or two right after getting screwed, which happened in prompt royal style]. I couldn't leave fast enough. Just saying.

Ha Ha.............. I usually reserve that kind of stuff for my blog
The Dice, the cards, they not only have no sense of justice but are actually endowed with a sense of cruel irony. This devolves from the 'nature of random'. Ironically so, don't you see. 
Doc
Doc
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odiousgambit
August 7th, 2022 at 3:28:29 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit


* Blackjack and other table games: 8 tables in total besides Craps. You had various BJ tables naming themselves by the side game they offered [this used to confuse the hell out of me as to what I was looking at.



Perhaps the 21 table games count that I saw in the on-line article was referring to the projected number of tables at the permanent casino, when it opens. I didn’t see any number close to that, unless perhaps if you count the electronic table games, like bubble craps.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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August 8th, 2022 at 5:54:49 AM permalink
this was interesting, have to mention it

the dealers were largely undergoing on the job training, as Doc mentioned. The Box-man was always as good as you'd find anywhere, though, and it seemed the Stick was likely to be well experienced. The other dealers were likely to be needing a lot of help. Stick and Box would help them, and in at least one case I had a dealer that had another guy standing right behind him helping him constantly. This was when the minimum went up to $25, and I was betting max on the odds. The 6 or 8 was the point the first time this had to be paid off when I placed $125 on the odds. The rookie dealer had to ask what he was supposed to pay. Interestingly, the guy behind him was flummoxed for a bit too ... after a short period it was determined to be $150

Of course this meant only one thing: nobody else had been betting max odds. It was 3x4x5x!  That's designed to make it easy for the dealers! No matter if the point was 6/8, 5/9, or 4/10, the payoff for max odds made on the table minimum was going to be $150. Training a newbie, of course you'd expect them to remind them of that first thing, 'payoffs will be $150'. But even the more experienced dealer behind the rookie hadn't prepared himself for that. The thinking likely was, nobody is going to be betting max odds. 

What this tells me is one reason the house is going to the higher minimums now, they are realizing this kills max betting on the free odds.
The Dice, the cards, they not only have no sense of justice but are actually endowed with a sense of cruel irony. This devolves from the 'nature of random'. Ironically so, don't you see. 
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
Joined: Apr 30, 2015
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August 13th, 2022 at 2:46:17 AM permalink
Chip inventory update:
Edinburgh 2
Glasgow 2
Dublin 5
Galway 2

Also I broke my zip up plastic bag that I got free from MGM properties in Vegas during the pandemic. It was a cheap bag worth about $0.10 but I’ve been using it to hold chips while I travel for 18 months. I guess a ziploc will have to work lol.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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August 15th, 2022 at 5:33:59 PM permalink
I tried to collect a chip tonight from one of the Holland Casinos. I am staying near the one just outside of the central area so I walked over tonight. The table minimum got bj and baccarat are both €20 so they don’t have €1 chips in any of the trays. The other Holland Casino is in central Amsterdam and has poker so I assume they will have €1 chips. If not I’ll have to keep a larger denom chip.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston
RideTheEdge
RideTheEdge
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August 15th, 2022 at 7:56:31 PM permalink
When I played poker there they used mostly 2, 10, and 100 euro chips but there were some 1 euro chips on the table. There was a 5 euro entry fee, but hotels in the area gave away free admission cards.
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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August 16th, 2022 at 1:04:33 AM permalink
They recently got rid of the entry fee. I was expecting to pay one but they said they decided it wasn’t necessary anymore.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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August 16th, 2022 at 4:01:47 PM permalink
I went to the casino in city centre today and it seems like the €1 chips just don’t exist anymore so I kept a €5.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston

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