Haven't had much to say the last few weeks, thus the dearth of posts. At one point I started up a trip report from my recent venture to AC, but then I realized that Helixx, Pauly, Beck, and AlCantHang had already said basically all there was to say. Add on top of that the fact that I had a rare weekend where no session saw me in the black, and, well, I just didn't feel all too celebratory upon my return. I found myself saying "maldito rio" far more often than I'd ever like to, that's for sure.
As in the past, I did truly enjoy eating at Noodles of the World (locations in Shanghai, Bangkok, Tokyo, and CLEVELAND) with Al & Co. I enjoyed seeing Helixx win a bundle at 3/6 too -- a much needed confidence boost for a guy who could easily beat the 6/12 game if he decided to do so. Plus, he had a smokin' hot lady sitting on his left the whole time, so his table was +EV in more than one way. Come to think of it, I've never played poker against so many beautiful women as I did that weekend. Got one of them broke twice too in the 1-2 NL game, and didn't feel the least bit bad about it.
Looking ahead, I've got a lot of poker in my schedule. Maybe too much, hard to say. For those in the area, I'll be back at Borgata Feb. 19-21. My first night will be free, thanks to the substantial comps I racked up last trip. I highly recommend the following comp whoring strategy to anyone who plays at Borgata: go to the cage & buy a rack of red, sign up for 10/20 plus whatever game you actually want to play, sit for an orbit, get up and leave for your new game. Then, when you get your other table (1-2NL, 3/6, whatever), DO NOT swipe in. Say you forgot your card or something. You'll earn comp dollars the whole time at the 10/20 rate, which I believe is $2/hr. This adds up, and paid for all my food last trip with a lot of money left on my card. As the Guiness guys say, "BRILLIANT!"
I'll be staying with a whole host of poker degenerates during my Feb. Borgata trip... some of whom will likely be playing 40/80 or higher. Pros. Watching these guys get drunk while destroying a 1-2NL table is truly a spectacle. I know F-Train has seen it, and been on the receiving end of their awful/aggressive/luckbox laden play. At least this time I got rooms at Borgata at the poker rate (I've been shut out the last few trips and stayed in Absecon instead). If you'll be out around AC at the same time, let me know.
Following the AC trip, I'm off to Vegas March 3-5 for a friend's bachelor party. Staying at the Flamingo, which isn't really very exciting, but the group going is great and I know we'll find ways to create some great memories. I'm even looking into trying to do a private poker tourney for us at the Imperial Palace. Those guys were great for the WPBT event, and I gather they'll be accomodating if I ask. Again, if you'll be out there at the same time, get at me and we can meet up for some straddle bets & hammer droppings. Equally importantly, if you have good bachelor party recommendations for Vegas (e.g. specific places to go, etc.) LET ME KNOW. Thanks!!
In other poker news, serious players absolutely must be tuned into what's going on at Party right now. They just got done running a VIP reward program where players were offered a lump sum of cash in exchange for earning a certain number of Player's Club points during a two week span. They've followed this up with a VIP20TO100 bonus offer (1 week to clear, 10x, $500 needed to max it out) and a drawing for 1,000 players to double that bonus. Word has it they're overhauling their Player's Club points store in February, with some decent gear finally available for purchase (most estimates from the folks on 2+2 have an iPod priced at about 50,000 points)
These things are all good and well, but to the careful observer they really spell one thing: the absolute end of rakeback. These offers are not cheap for Party, and they are all designed as an incentive system that should do enough to keep most (but certainly not all) players happy enough to leave for the other poker sites with much better management, graphics, games, and support (like Full Tilt or Stars). Now if only Party had the kind of game selection Full Tilt has (mmm, HORSE tourneys, razz ring games!), or the support system from Stars. Anyhow, if you have rakeback right now on Party, do not expect it to last. Of course once Party slams that door shut, many have argued that the other sites will inevitably follow. I'm not sure I agree, but time will tell.