December 10, 2009

Baize & Bullets

Trip Kings Card Room

This game is super soft. And totally unbeatable.

A new cardroom opened in the area this week. No dark alleys or remote door locks, it's somehow legal, with a large portion of the night's take (from blackjack and the poker rake) going to local charities. They've got an impressive setup - four blackjack tables and four poker tables in the front room, and a tournament area in the back with an additional half-dozen tables. The manager is a slightly spastic former poker boss of Detroit's Greektown casino. The dealers have been professionalish, and the play has been light and easy.

However, the rake is menacingly steep for the $1/$2 No-Limit stakes (10% of each pot up to $6, plus another dollar for a progressive high-hand shenanigan). I'll keep careful tabs on my action there, but I'm pretty sure the hefty rake will eat up most/all of the profitability. Still, it's fun and engaging to be making live poker decisions, and with profits going to charity I can rationalize some investigation.

14 DECEMBER 2009
Four sessions in, the poker report is good, but the atmosphere is disconcerting. There is a woeful lack of security, especially given the club's location and the history of negativity at [granted, underground] cardrooms in the vicinity. The cage has been unattended most of the time, and they have no semblance of procedure when it comes to cashing in and out. Nobody watches the blackjack players or dealers; there's no "greeter" at the door. The place is wide-open, and the clientele got rougher-looking by the night. My stats at $1/$2 NL (including blackjack losses and many tips to the dealers):

1.5hr/+15, 2.5hr/+130, 3.5hr/-60, 3.5hr/+30

By my estimation the club has made about a dollar from me for each dollar I've netted. Essentially, I'm laying 2:1 that I can beat the poker game while tipping generously and simultaneously trying not to get shot.

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