Writings from Truckin'


Poker Blogs

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Grubette in Palm Springs

As I take the day off from playing (the horror!), we turn today's entry over to my sister, who's a crackerjack poker player herself.

Last I played her was in Vegas in September. She won a monster pot against a rammin'-jammin' Texas cowboy who raised everything and everyone. I couldn't have been more proud watching her take down the pot (despite my hard-earned bucks being part of it) and construct a wall of chips so tall even Superman couldn't see through them. She later claimed she was drunk.

In the grub clan, she represents the live poker rooms of the left coast. And oboy, it even contains grub details!

Thanks, baby sis! Hope to see more adventures from you. Look out Howard, Annie, and Katy.


Wanted to seek some warmer weather, so off I went to Palm Springs (Rancho Mirage actually) to the appropriately named “Agua Caliente Casino.” Maybe this isn’t so appropriately named for the would-be loser that finds himself in actual “hot water.” The casino is in the middle of real desert with sand and everything!

I had to wait 20 minutes for a poker seat. When I got one, I had exactly 40 minutes to make some money before I had to catch the tram to the “Spa Casino” over in Palm Springs. Nothing exciting happened in my $4/8 game, and I won $30 and drank two beers before I had to leave.

The Spa Casino had just expanded into an Italian-themed Venetian/Bellagio knockoff, with lots of restaurants including its star of the week, the Seafood Buffet. That was our goal for the evening. No poker room, the bastads! I looked around, played a few nickel slots and lost, and then ended up on a Blackjack table and played briefly. Doug was already there.. when he sat down he said, “I’d like four buffets and a free room” to the unsmiling pit boss. About ½ hour later, I got comp’ed two seafood buffets and Rich got one! My mouth was watering. We had previewed the goods beforehand, with the stacks of crab legs and lobster tails surely as good as Vegas. Even more so because free is a always good condiment.

But it absolutely wasn’t. It sucked. The crab legs were watery and the lobster tails were overcooked and tasted like they had freezer-burn. The coffee was ok. They had real linens. My mother took one of the real linen napkins, wrapped 25 cookies in it and shoved it in her purse. That’ll show them and their bad seafood.

On the tram ride back, she took out her stolen loot, which included a pocketful of pretentious looking foil wrapped candies, and gave them to Doug, who smartly opted to skip to buffet. He started on a macaroon and then offered one to a lady that had just boarded the tram, and she took one and started eating it! From a stranger with obviously stolen cookies that had been handled by two people now and stored in a purse that had wadded used tissues, lint and other things moms carry. The germy lady also accepted a piece of candy. At least those were wrapped.

The tram took forever.. now - down to business. I’m in hot water at about 10pm, when I see the poker board 50 names deep. I sign up for every limit table, with the $6/12 being the shortest. After an hour wait, I get a $6/12 table and sit down with $200. The chip lady brings over my chips whose denominations are normally a standard color. But not these, they’re bright pastel pink $2 chips. It’s amusing to see geriatric men (Palm Springs’ staple) and some sunglassed serious poker players rifling and stacking girly pink chips. Which would soon be mine.

After 20 short minutes I’m up $200 and begin to get an uneasy, familiar feeling.. oh yes, this is just a fleeting moment.

Down $300 an hour and a half later, my name gets called for $3/6. Now I have to stay at $6/12 to win back my money.

I’m reaching into my wallet for another $100 when I see Doug sit down at the $3/6 seat that could have been mine. I get up there and go over and check out his first hand’s hole cards, KJh. Nice start. The flop is AQhx. I said, “What were your cards again?” And he slyly shows them to me while looking at me instead of looking at the turn card, which I see, a 10h! He says, “Er, I’ll bet.” with two callers. I whispered to him, “Do you know you have a Royal Flush?” and he nodded. For the reveal, only one caller, a lady with Aces and 10’s. Doug turns over his and says, “I’ve got a Royal Flush,” and I slapped him on the back and said, “What’s the bonus here, $500??” The dealer yells to the poker boss, “Jacket on 9!” and says consolingly to us, “The jacket is very nice.” Yep, Doug won not just a jacket, but one emblazoned “Agua Caliente Poker Room.” $500 would have been more useful, especially when Palm Springs is a freakin’ desert, no jackets necessary.

Fast forward 5 hours later and I’m nearly falling asleep on my borrowed chips from Doug. He’s hungry, and so is everyone else. So we get comp’ed again at the midnight buffet appropriately called the “Agua Caliente Buffet” because they didn’t have much more than water. They had some greasy potatoes, which I smothered with coagulated country gravy. They gave warm handi-wipes. The coffee was good. My mother was overjoyed to find the sugar substitute Splendor free for the taking, which she sure did.

We got to our golf course view hotel room and went to bed at 5.30am. It was nearly tee-time. Luckily we had a 4pm late checkout.

We got up and left around 1pm, a little dejected from all of us losing except Doug, who was even. My mother commented on the ride home, “I’ve got a pocketful of Splendor.” Yes, indeed!

Poker: 450
Beer and Stoli Vanil: 52
Food: 0


McDonald's California Cobb salad
Happy Meal (nuggets and fries with Haunted Mansion toy -- the mirror with a scary ghost)

3 Diet Cokes
1 Red Bull

Baja Fresh chicken burrito

grub: 170 (more Xmas gifts)
poker: n/a