Posted by midwestgb
Jan 13, 2014

Craps at long last

After quite a dry spell I stepped away from the craps table several months ago. Late last week I returned. Made 9 passes and a full 6 point Firebet. The only disappointment in that roll was my failure to press up my table bets more aggressively. I cannot seem to bet assertively on myself in the midst of a good roll, ever. Crazy.


RaleighCraps Jan 14, 2014

Awesome result!

I hope I can repeat your result on my NCL cruise. It has been a few months since my last game too.

midwestgb Jan 14, 2014

Best wishes on the cruise!

RaleighCraps Jan 16, 2014

With the way people keep disappearing on the cruises, I'm thinking just getting back to US soil would be a win.....

Posted by midwestgb
Dec 03, 2012

Ahhh Variance....

Late night found me rescuing my college frisbee-playing son and some buddies from a tourney 200 miles away... broken down car led to a call to Dad to come rescue. Nice way to start the work week.

Anyway, on the way back from school after dropping off the group I decided to swing by our newest Casino on the highway to see what things look like there in the dead of the night (when I am normally nowhere near the place). Had little luck at Craps and VP and took my remaining $60 to the bored BJ dealer at a $10 table who was still open with no players. It was a six-deck shoe. I thought things might get off to a good start when she gave me 90% penetration on the shoe. It was a 21+3 table and I normally avoid the 3-card game altogether. But.... the first 3-card hand out of the shoe was a winner and I had not played it. So, WTH, I decided to go ahead and lose my money just a bit quicker.

I lost maybe two more hands in the entire shoe. Won or pushed probably the last 20 hands straight. About 5 or 6 three-card hands hit. Stupid, stupid luck in the dead of night. Made 700% profit on my bankroll and ran out of the place when we cleared the shoe. It's a truly crazy game.


odiousgambit Dec 05, 2012

I guess it shows Lady Luck likes to be unpredictable; this time she smiled, knowing you can't duplicate the circumstances easily [g]

AcesAndEights Dec 12, 2012

As a former college frisbee-playing dude, I thank you for your service to your son and his teammates :)

Posted by midwestgb
Jun 12, 2012

Escape from Chicago

So we - the family that is - just got out of Chicago after 4 pretty wild days. The occasion was my wife's 50th Birthday. Our two 20-something daughters have a band in Chicago and so we decided to hold the celebration there. My oldest son and his fiance came in for the weekend, along with my youngest son and several extended family/friends. And yes, there was a bit of gambling involved. More on that in a moment.

We enjoyed several things that members who travel this direction should definitely consider doing on their next trip to Chitown. The top of the list for my wife and I was a boat excursion down the Chicago River, as well as out into Lake Michigan. Take the 90-minute combined trip from Wallenda. We've done a different but similar boat ride there in the past, but this one was far superior. Great views of most all the major buildings downtown, and the skyline when viewed from the Lake is breathtaking. Information from the Tour Guide was right on, both as to Chicago Architecture and History. Highly recommended. Another big highlight was the Museum of Science and Technology. Phenomenal place. It was our first visit and we loved it. Spring for the tour of the REAL GERMAN U-BOAT. Unreal.

The other non-gambling thing we did which is worth mentioning was EAT. This is what they do in Chicago. Big Time. My general favorite when visiting is a small Italian Pizza/Bakery chain known as Pompeii. They've been in business since the 20's and they are extraordinary. Any entre dish at Pompeii is fabulous, and the desserts are incredible. You will not forget the bread pudding or the Cannoli. Plus, the prices are reasonable. We had dinner there at there Wellington St. location on Friday evening and it was just as always. The other place we ate that requires mention is Joe's Stone Crab downtown. This place is based in Miami and they have a third location in Vegas at Caesars. Unreal service and the fish was sensational. They also do steaks. I set a personal record for expenditure for a single family meal, but it was worth it.

On to the gaming. My oldest and I played at a new establishment just east of O'Hare, Rivers Casino. It is just one year old. We managed to get over there twice, on Saturday morning around 9:30 and again on Monday afternoon around 1:00pm. Both trips had their moments.

On Saturday upon arrival they had three of their four craps tables open. Two were at $10 min. and the third was being played by a single gentleman on a Reserved basis. My son and I decided we were watching our first true Wise Guy in action. He had a Wing Man at the table who was not playing. The table had a full crew in action, with the player at one end. In his tray were approximately 50 (more or less) orange chips. So I had his buy-in at around 25K. We played, unsuccessfully, at the table adjoining the Wise Guy. We lasted about 30 minutes as the table was cold, then played about 20 more minutes of Video Poker. Took a look back at our friend as we strolled toward the exit at that point, and his rack was empty, and his face a bit taught. We got out before he did... ;-)

On Monday, the place was absolutely hopping when we arrived around 1pm. I gathered a slots tourney was scheduled for that day. Virtually all of their table games were in action, and that included all their Craps tables. Played some Roulette without success. Their Roulette tables are all of the Dual type, with one wheel servicing two connected betting layouts. Could not get on a BJ table, so once again found a suitable Craps table - this time, there was a single $5 table which we joined along with one $10 table and two $15 tables. Our luck was mixed, but noteworthy during our hour at the table was the fact that both $15 tables had a 4-point Fire bet winner hit.

We found the place easy to navigate, with friendly dealers. The Bar area is in the center of the squared-off casino floor, and the table games completely surround the Bar area. Then, the slots surround the table games completely.

Craps is fairly standard, with the Field playing 2x on both 2 and 12 however. I believe the Fire Bet paid 24x, 249x, and 999x if I'm not mistaken. Video Poker offerings were average.

All in all, a reasonable gaming experience. Oh, and I love the No-Smoking rule for all IL casinos.


Tiltpoul Jun 12, 2012

My favorite thing about Rivers is the parking garage. I love how the lights are above each space telling you if it's occupied. That's so genius!

FinsRule Jun 13, 2012

I've been to Rivers 4-5 times, and every time I parked on the surface lot. I'll check out the garage next time.

Gabes22 Jun 13, 2012

I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Chicago. When you return and subsequently go back to the Rivers Casino is Des Plaines, might I reccommend going to Hugo's Frog Bar and Chop House. They have a couple other locations in the area downtown on Rush Street in the triangle and in downtown Naperville. They have a partnership with Gibson's and serve the same steaks they buy. Gibson's if you don't know, is one of the best steakhouses in the city, and the downtown location is probably the best place in town to run into a celebrity. They also do seafood very well, so everyone will be happy. The Wendella cruises are amongst the best in town and I like that you board in the river, and have to go through the locks to get into the lake, as opposed to the cruises that start at Navy Pier. However, some of those that start at Navy Pier serve dinner and have some dancing on deck as well for a change of pace.

midwestgb Jun 13, 2012

We did see the Dinner cruises and they looked like a lot of fun. Great tips on other eating establishments!

I thought the parking at Rivers was excellent. The garage is very nice. The surface lots were terrific and very close to the entry.

One oddity at Rivers was the lack of self-serve drink stations. These are everywhere in the Midwest casino biz, but I did not see any there.

teddys Jun 13, 2012

Second the Hugo's/Gibson's recommendation. You might also try Bob Chinn's Crab House in Wheeling, just north of Des Plaines. And yes, Chicago is one of the best food towns in the country, if not THE best.

midwestgb Jun 13, 2012

Don't know how it happened, but the Waiter at Joe's upsold us something fierce on everything. That said ... The guy was outstanding, and quite the salesman. If the other places mentioned are at or above Joe's in price (which I am certain they are), my gambling avocation will be taking a big hit next trip to Chicago!

Gabes22 Jun 15, 2012

I would say Gibson's is priced similarly to Joe's Stone Crab, Hugo's might be a bit cheaper and Hugo's has a location inside Rivers Casino and while Gibson's main location is downtown, they have two locations in the burbs with one of them, the Rosemont location being very close to Rivers Casino, maybe 5 minutes via car.

Posted by midwestgb
Jun 11, 2011

Couple final AC thoughts

I mentioned on another thread that I happened to play craps at the Tropicana in AC either the same day, or the following day, after the Trop gave up another $5 mil loss to a high roller. The first such winner did so at the BJ tables earlier this year. The latest guy won mainly at the Craps table. Carl Icahn, Trop's most recent owner, has apparently authorized this type of high roller action and the subsequent issuance of press releases when they get hit. Different.

Of the casinos we visited - and we hit all of the primary locations - I would rank Borgata and Caesers at the top, with Harrahs close behind. That said, there is a kinda nice 'old school' atmosphere with many of the other properties. These include Showboat, Resorts and Taj Majal. I actually spent most of my time at Taj, which had a decent slot promotion going for new card holders. They also had a friendly set of dealers and managers. The Marketing Manager himself happened to activate my slot promotion for me when I had a problem. Nice guy. Wondered how he tolerates The Donald.

Atlantic City is a place I hope to visit again. I had some preconceptions that were not altogether positive. The real thing exceeded my expectations.

Posted by midwestgb
Jun 02, 2011

AC trip

I am just completing my first visit to Atlantic City, staying at the Wyndham condos a block west of the Boardwalk next to The Resorts property. During our first four days, my wife and I have chatted with a number of locals and I thought it would be fun to share what some of them have told us about the area. And provide a bit about the gambling experience as well.

Mainly, we've met some neat folks dealing with stress as best they can. People are professionally cordial, yet distracted at times. Times are tough here. There seems to be some resentment in the gaming industry over the State taking over completion of the Revel Casino project, which is a very cool structure nearing completion on the north end of the Boardwalk.

We have had several merchants say that they continue to struggle, and that no turnaround has occurred for them. Another hot topic is The Resorts property. It was the first casino built in the 70's, and fell upon hard times the past few years, almost closing. It was bought and then 'reopened' so that the new owners could void all existing union contracts legally. They are now facing gender discrimination suits featuring Gloria Allred who made it to town this week. They also have the unions after them.

The gaming is IMO quite good. Very reasonable table mins ($5 evening craps, etc) and decent dealers. I finally had some luck at VP after a dry stretch. The VP machines do not feature terrific payables with the exception of one lone multiplay at the Taj Majal - pm me if anyone wants its precise location ... ;-)

We love the shore experience from here south to Cape May, which is a historic seaside town tied to the Coast Guard. Highly recommend one see it and also Ocean City, especially if young ones are along for the trip. We have two nieces with us, ages 13 and 15, and they have loved the coastal towns to the immediate south of the city. Ocean City's Boardwalk is in some ways superior to that of AC. Both are incredibly long and special.

It's a place every gambler must see once!


SanchoPanza Jun 03, 2011

Better than that lone video poker machine at the Taj, where are those $5 craps tables in the evenings?

benbakdoff Jun 05, 2011

Despite the jokes, the stereotypes and the bad tv show, my family and I think New Jersey is a great place especially the south shore. I was at Resorts on opening day and have made monthly and sometimes bi-monthly trips to AC for years until Foxwoods opened. We still go once or twice every summer even though I don't play much because of the lousy blackjack rules at most of the casinos.

Here's a little Resorts trivia. It was the Chalfonte Hotel before it was acquired by Resort's International. During World War II, it was taken over by the US military and used as a hospital. There is now a Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May.

Did you know that Revel is already taking reservations even thought it's not scheduled to open for another year?

midwestgb Jun 05, 2011

Played $5 craps weeknights at Taj Majal.

The Revel is a nice-looking property to be sure; it will be interesting how it affects the rest of the Voardwalk.

Btw, after my original post we made it over to Borgata and Harrahs, which are in the Marina District a couple miles northwest of the Boardwalk. Nicest Harrahs casino I have ever been in, superior to their Vegas namesake.

benbakdoff Jun 05, 2011

Did you happen to notice Harrah's address? It's 777 Harrah's Blvd.

cclub79 Jun 12, 2011

Is 777 more impressive than 1 Borgata Way? When you build the roads from swamp I guess you can name/number them any way you'd like

SanchoPanza Jun 17, 2011

What swamp? Please, those are "protected wetlands," even with the generating windmills.