WOVCon East!WOVCON EAST
Hosted by AZDuffman and OneAngryDwarf
Place: Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Saturday, March 12
Time: 3PM-8PM (approximate)
OK, it's not really a convention, or even anything on the scale of what the real WOVCon will be. But after AZDuffman and I discussed it, we thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to try and organize a small get-together for our brethren on the East Coast and Upper Midwest.
Since we both live in the Pittsburgh area, the Rivers is most convenient for us, admittedly. However, Pittsburgh is somewhat centrally located between the Northeast and Midwest, and is an easy 3-6 hour drive from many other major cities--so we thought it would also make a fairly convenient meeting point. And the casino itself is very nice.
The plan is pretty simple--meet up at the Drum Bar for a drink or two, then play craps/blackjack/whatever for a few hours, followed by dinner either at the buffet or Andrew's Steakhouse.
If you're interested, just RSVP in the comments so we can get an idea of how many people to expect. Thanks and hope to see you there!
Attendees so far:
Gaming News reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
wrongway + SO?
keep us posted, but me attending looks unlikely, count me out for now
I'll try to stop by. Actually, the plan is to go up to Atlantic City that week before, but I may be driving through there on that day, and I noticed they are giving $100 freeplay if you show a premium card from an PA/WV casino. (I have a Diamond). So, I'll try to work my plans around being there. Put it at 60%.
Sounds like fun, but it's the wrong season for a southern boy like me to be driving north. I'm thinking about re-visiting Niagara Falls, probably in the late spring, and the "direct" drive takes me by Pittsburgh. I might check out one or more of the casinos in the area on that trip. I still haven't been to any PA casinos since table games were opened.
This should be worth a trip as I have to say Rivers is about the best you will find as far as a "locals" joint goes. Only casino I know of that has a three story window actually giving you a sense what time it is outside. And an update to the BJ conditions--there are a few shoe-dealt tables, thought they are in the smoking section. I hope we can get several people in for this one.
I'm interested. I'd need to clear it with my wife, but I have a free place to stay near Pittsburg so it might work.
I am already planning a trip to Pittsburgh or Philly for the last weekend in June- if we can place this one before or after that weekend would e a great two-fer for myself.
I know you are mentioning March 12th- Im just offering for a second meet up date later on. :) I cant make March.
Reporter from the Trib-Review? Do tell.
Man, I'd love to, but I work on Saturdays. Wifey and I would love to check out Rivers, and I'd love to visit my old home town and yinzer wit' yinz.
Can't make any Sunday evening things since the wife's work means she has to be at work early mondays. Add the 4.5 hr drive in each direction and unfortunately, day trips are out of the question.
If it shifts to central pa to the one casino there, maybe I'd make it. ;)
As to June if I am free I would be happy to meet with just about anyone here on the board, bring it up in May.
On the reporter, he is a member here and I hope I did not give an incorrect impression that will hurt him. But I invited him to one that fell thru before and he was interested then. I am NOT suggesting this will be a feature article, but I am suggesting a nice mini-convention with good conversation will be good for all involved. And if it does become a story, maybe the site gets famous in PIT. Maybe a REAL convention next year? I'm not saying, I'm just saying.....
You can add me to the tentative list. As March is the busiest time for work for me, I often have to work weekends. So I don't want to commit fully to coming as of know. I do not know how heavy of a workload I will have as of now, but as it gets closer I will have a better estimate. Also, I have a close contact that works at the Rivers, so if there are any questions I'd be happy to forward them along.
Forgot to add, that if the date changes its not a big deal for me as I live about 15 min from the Rivers.
#Pocket5s--will be good to have you--mind if I ask what kind of work you do?
No problem AZ...I'm a civil engineer. March is usually the busiest time because the previous years annual reports are due to clients, as well as several design jobs being done for construction during the summer months.
If I can get this to work, how many other casinos could I hit in the span from Friday-Monday?
I'd say 5 including the Rivers.
Mountaineer and Wheeling Island are in the panhandle of West Virigina. They are both an hour from downtown Pittsburgh but in opposite directions from Pittsburgh (Moutaineer is NE, Wheeling is SE). Moutaineer is about an hour north of Wheeling Island though. 3 hours of driving time involved if you wanna knock both out at the same time- Pittsburgh / Mountaineer/ Wheeling / Pittsburgh. Both casino's are average, kinda dated in my opinion
The Meadows is about 20 minutes south of Pittsburgh.. Is new, not as new as the Rivers, but it's just as nice if not better than the Rivers IMO.
Presque Isle Downs is about 2 hours north of Pittsburgh right near Erie, PA. Not sure if there any any casino close there in NY, but cannot comment on it because I've never been.
Meant to saw the West Virgina Casinos are NW and SW..
Depending on how much you want to drive (do you want to "see" the casinos or do some quality time?) You can do:
1. Rivers-site of WoV-EastCONN
2. Meadows-down the road, same games and rules plus a racetrack.
3. Wheeling Island, WV racino
4. Mountaineer Weirton, WV--dead steeltown racino but a neat, western theme
5. Presque Isle Erie, PA Same rules as rest of PA, NO POKER ROOM
This is all od PA, a little further
6 Salameca Southern Tier, NY Indian Casino Good Skiing nearby Holiday Valley
7. Seneca Niagra Niagra Falls, NY, USA. Was the convention center, good if you want to catch up on your secondhand smoking
8/9. Casino Niagra Niagra Falls, ON, Canada Two places, good view of falls, PASSPORT REQUIRED! (know before you go)
I'd say hit Rivers, Meadows, Wheeling, and Mountaineer.
Mr & Mrs Wrongway planning on being there. Depending on work and what not, put us at 80%
I'll up my probability to 80%
A word of advice for all travelers (two actually)......if you are trying to get anywhere, and have any sort of schedule to keep to, do NOT rely on Greyhound Buses to get you there. And at the very least, give yourself plenty of time if you are also relying on local commuter trains.
On Friday, I was coming back from a trip to Atlantic City (which, aside from the nightmare described below, went very well). My plan was pretty simple...take a Greyhound from the Hilton (where I was staying) to Philadelphia, take the SEPTA train from Center City to the airport, and then fly home to Pittsburgh.
I always tend to wake up earlier than I need to when I am anticipating something, so I'm up at 4:30 or so. After a few early morning hands of blackjack and a small breakfast, I check out. $76 dollars in comps, which is very nice--enough to cover one night's stay and two buffets. Even though it's now 5:30AM, and my bus is scheduled to leave at 6:15AM, I decide to head down to the station anyway. (Anything to keep me from gambling even more, right?)
6:15AM rolls around. No bus.
6:30AM rolls around. No bus.
7:00AM rolls around...and there's a bus! But it's going to New York, not Philly. I ask the driver and he gives me the number for the main AC bus terminal. The lady there says she is "appalled" that the bus hasn't shown up yet and will try to find the driver. As I find out, this is pretty much the same thing the two other people waiting with me were told when they called about 15 minutes ago.
At 7:15AM a Hilton security guard comes down, calls the bus terminal, and announces...that they are still trying to find the driver and the bus will be there soon! I didn't think I needed another definition of "getting the runaround," but there it is.
At 7:30 the guard announces that the bus will be there at 8:10AM. This is actually the next scheduled bus, though. And it gets into Philly at 10:30AM, and my flight is at 11:10. So that's not going to work. I say "screw you, Greyhound" and head on over to the AC train station. (Kudos to the extremely reliable AC Jitney service for their free shuttle to and from each train.)
Because there were only 3 of us waiting for the bus, I have a sneaking suspicion that Greyhound simply decided it wasn't worth it to bring a bus out there to pick us up. Pretty sloppy and underhanded. I resolve never to buy a ticket for another Greyhound bus again...just like the last time I rode Greyhound.
I manage to change my flight to a later one, departing at 3PM (BIG kudos to Southwest for not charging exorbitant change fees, like other airlines...only had to pay $43 for the higher fare), just to be safe. Hop on the NJ Transit train at 11:15, arrive in Philly at 1PM as scheduled.
Hooray, home stretch now! Or so I thought.
The next train to the airport leaves at 1:04PM. I've taken this train a few times before, and it's a 30-minute ride or so at the most. About 15 minutes after leaving 30th Street station, though, the train slows to a stop.
At 1:30PM, we're still not moving.
At 1:45PM, we're still not moving. The conductor finally comes on and explains there is a switch malfunction, and that there is a crew working on it as we speak. I start to think about just getting off and taking a taxi...then realize that's not going to happen...the train is nowhere near a station, in an industrial wasteland.
We FINALLY get moving again at 2:10PM or so, and arrive at the airport at 2:30. For a 3:00 flight. Somewhat astoundingly, despite a huge line at the check-in counter and the usual TSA nonsense...I make it. Which makes me happy, and feeling bad that I had gotten pissed off earlier at the same time.
I was supposed to get home at 12:30. I get home at 6PM. Did I mention I had to go to work in two hours, too?
So in conclusion: thank you, AC Jitney, NJ Transit and Southwest...screw you, Greyhound and SEPTA. And thank you also to my own car for being so reliable...I knew I should have just driven you there in the first place.
With so many connections to make you had too many vulnerabilities particularly since the very first one was with a notoriously unreliable company. No one takes buses if they can avoid it. And with so much drug traffic on the buses the cops tend to delay them for canine searches with careless abandon anyway.
Hope the gambling went okay.
I was aware of Greyhound's less-than-sterling reputation from trips in the past, but they do have some pretty attractive free slot play offers for riders on their AC routes (between $20-$40 depending on which hotel you go to), and it was a short trip so I figured I could handle it...little did I know.
Aside from all that, the trip went very well. Lost the first few days, but then I tried out Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em for the first time over at Bally's and got back a decent amount. Got the rest back playing blackjack at the Hilton, only wound up losing around $100 net...not a bad deal at all considering I got $76 in comps back.