Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A little live poker for me??

Two relatively quick STT's anyway. I went here on Sunday (after my once in 3 years clothes shopping spree) and played a couple of sit'n'go's. I won the first one (I sucked out with 8's against my opponent who had Q's....8 on the flop!) and busted out 5th in the next one...still had a nice profit when I left. Although the 5.75 Bud Lights are a bit of a drag (16 oz.). I used to play at Rockingham Park when I lived in Lawrence about 3 years ago. It's the next town on the MA. side of the border. Many moons ago my Grandpa (who taught me all the card games when I was a mere 5 years old) showed me the adrenaline rush of horse racing. He loved to bet on the horses. After he passed away in '98 I figured some day I would buy his old house and make weekly treks to Rockingham Park. I didn't quite turn out that way as horse racing was outlawed some time in the early 00's. They still have simulcast racing and every time I step in that place I get a wave of nostalgia that just gets my adrenaline going. Back in '02 I stepped into the place and placed a few bets on the simulcast horse races....although exciting it just wasn't the same.

I took a look around the old Race Track and thought about how big the place is. They have computer and merchandise shows there on a regular basis because they need to make money on the amount of unused space. "God forbid this place goes out of business" I said. Salem, NH would turn into the largest liquor/merchandise outlet destination in the northeast. Not that it isn't see the Communists here in MA have made it all but impossible to drop your cash on any electronic devices or liquor, or food..or get the picture. The sales tax on everything is killing towns like Lawrence and other border towns. When I escaped the formerly great town of Lawrence in '07 I had one last conversation with my neighbor. She is an older lady maybe 75 or so and her husband passed away a couple years earlier. She asked me "Why isn't our property tax going down....that's why I voted for Deval Patrick?". I explained "You got suckered like everybody else who voted for him....he blatantly lied and you bought it. I'm sorry but you have to predict this kind of thing by doing research". "I don't know how I'm going to keep this house" she said  nervously. "I wish you guys have been great neighbors to me and my grandparents for 50 years. I'm sorry but raising a daughter around here isn't like it was even as little as 25 years ago. We are getting out of here....I suggest you look into selling your property and setting yourself up for the rest of you life" She had scared look on her face and rightly so. I felt bad about being blunt but they are used to that because they lived next to my Grandfather for 40 years.  That conversation is a little hint at the desparity that is the northern border of MA. Did I mention that I was in the area of Rockingham Park because I was doing my once every 3 year clothes shopping run to Salem, NH??

So I am at Rockingham Park in '03 looking around and I declared that it would be a crazy-good place for a casino or at least a card room. I mean the wasted space would be filled to capacity.....even for Charity Card tournaments. I had been playing in a couple of charity tourneys around the area after the Moneymaker effect took hold. Fast forward 3 years. A local MA Charity org. that ran NLHE tournaments for charity moved from MA to Salem, NH and started a card room in Rockingham Park. It was even run by two guys I graduated High School with! That was quite a surprise when I started to frequent the card room and seeing them act as tournament director and Chip runner/Dealer/Pit Boss types. I didn't see them when I was there last Sunday but they are probably still associated with the room I would imagine. I mean the money that runs through there must be quite large and it really is a good place in tax-free Salem, NH. I even saw that they expanded into BlackJack and other small table games (which I will stay away from...unless of course I ever get back to Vegas). The biggest bet that you can make in the cash games tables is 4 dollars I believe....that is basically why they can do this legally. I could be wrong about that but that's what I heard when I was there for 3 hours last Sunday. The only other things that keep it from being an incredible card destination? The lowest buy-in for the 10-man STT's is 40.00....and when you win or chop the top two are expected to toss the dealer 10 bucks as a tip. I was made aware of this after I gave the guy a five and the guy that was watching the action when it got to 3-handed let me know. The other semi-complaint is that you may experience a weird sensation while sitting on the downside of the table while playing cards. know how the racetrack has large areas that slope downward toward the racetrack and the huge ramps that also have tables and also slope downward. It really is weird but just a slight annoyance. I joked that it makes the nits get their cards faster in the limit Omaha and Hold'em tables....well half of them do anyway.

So I had a great time being there all by myself. I did however have the ghost of my Grandfather looking over my shoulder. Drinking his drink, laughing his laugh, soaking up all the surrounding atmosphere in preparation for more great stories to be told......and enjoying all the former and current gambling going on back at the ol' racetrack....

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