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While on vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a few people wanted to hit the casino there, and this was on my list as well of things to do while I was here as I knew they had a card room.

http://www.kewadinshores.com/

So we make our way there. Once getting in the casino I found the poker room. The first thing I noticed was that they allow smoking in the poker room. This is new to me being that a) I’m from a state that is anal retentive about smokers and ii) of what casinos I do visit where smoking indoors isn’t an issue, they don’t allow smoking in their poker room.

When I arrived at the poker room, I was greeted by a friendly person who asked if I was interested in playing cards. I asked what they had running on the two tables that were populated with people. (there were 5 tables total in their room) One table was running a dealer call it (Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple) the other table was Hold’em only.

I put my name on the list for Hold’em only and went back to the blackjack table where my Wife and others were playing. I played a little blackjack with them and doubled up in about 20 minutes. At this point I was a little anxious to get on the poker table and start playing, so I headed back over to the poker room and asked about where I was in the wait list. I found that I hadn’t moved and that now a spot was open on the dealer call it table. So wanting to sit down, I took a seat there.

When I sat down, they were starting a pineapple hand which I bought in for a rack. The limits on these tables were $5/10 rather than $4/8 which is what I was expecting. After playing $5/10 limit, I found that I really liked it, far more than $4/8. It’s substantially easier to count one chip / two chips versus 4 chips / eight chips and the action moves pretty quickly around the table. You can use greens ($25) for calls and raises. And (what I learned later) when you drag a pot with a bunch of greens in it, you are especially happy. Blinds were $2 and $5 and there was no button fee.

I took a few pots at this table upon sitting down. I was definitely the “outsider� when I sat down as this was clearly a table full of local people that all knew one another. Their table talk was along the lines of “Hey Jimmy, I hear you got new tires on your truck�. It was clear he wasn’t talking to me! I took my first hand when I sat down with A/Q suited and flopped a flush. I bet it and was raised... and though, OK.... bring it. It was aalled all the way around. The turn didn’t pair the board, and I bet, again was raised (by the guy with the new tires) and was called again by everyone else in the hand. Flop was a rag, still didn’t pair the board, so I was safe from full houses, although there may have been a straight or two made by some other players. I was raised again, I reraised, was called by three people, and turned over my A/Q so make the nut flush. They mucked their hands. One guy said “good hand� while the other was not a happy camper. I can hear him now doing a burn out with his new tires.

Next hand was Omaha which I was dealt A/2 hearts, the fist two cards of the flop was the 3h and the 4h, so I stuck around (with Mr. New Tires’ money paying to see the river which gave me the wheel. It wasn’t the heart wheel, but ChaChing none the less. Mr. Tires was in that hand and was now just a touch more bitter due to the fact that I took a few more of his chips.

About a half hour or 45 minutes at this table, the seat (that I originally came for) opened up on the Hold’em table. I’m sure the locals were happy to see me off “their� table.

I sat down at the Hold’em table between (who I refer to as) Mr. Tilt and the Big Girl. Mr. Tilt was obviously working double time to get a chip stack back and Big Girl instantly became my friend when I sat down because she was out of chips after playing one hand. I look over to her when the cards are being dealt and she is pulling a fresh hundie out of her purse and says “Well, Since he is here (motioning to me), I guess I’ll buy some more chips and play a little more� and I though to myself, ‘lady, you and I are going to get along just great.... you know how much I love hundies don’t you??’

2 hours later, she was 3 bills into this table with me sitting to her right betting into her. She took a pot once in a while but was for the most part, a very loose / stupid player. Most everyone else at this table was knowledgeable of one another as they again, much like the other table, were all of a first name basis and knew more about each others lives than most do.

I took a few nice hands that paid off nicely. I do remember there was a streak where Mr. Tilt (who was to my right) kept raising me. If I was the BB, he would raise the SB, if I were the SB, he would raise the button. Every time. At one point I had KK while on the BB, which I was fine to let pass and see the flop with 10 callers, rather that get aggressive under the gun. I reraised him pre flop, and he and I capped it. We ended up going to the river which I saw his suited draw cards that never came together.

One thing I noticed with the tipping that I though was odd was that people would take a pot and throw a dollar chip to the dealer and say “chop� and the dealer would give them 50 cents. When I took a pot I would throw the dealer the chip and leave it there, no chop. One time he asked me “Chops??� and I said “No, I’m tipping with their money (signaling to the rest of the table), keep it� This of course caught the eye of several people where were not happy with my comments and started betting into me as a fantastic and most profitable way (to me) in showing their anger. And hey, the dealer makes out on it as well.

All in all, it was a great night of poker, I got hit with a few hands that took a couple hundred out of my stack that I could have played a little more conservatively by not drawing out on, but in the end, I was there to have a good time.

Overall, if you can stick to your “A� game and not got taken by the locals who know how one another play every hand, I’d definitely make it a stop for anyone heading up over the Mackinaw Bridge and up to the Upper Peninsula. The room was comfortable, the service was decent. The dealers were fast, on the ball and friendly. Most of the crowd at the two tables I was on were my senior by a solid 15 to 20 years, so I was one of the younger folk at the table (other than Mr. Tilt) but still provided a good gaming experience. The poker room closed at 2AM and everyone stayed on the table until 1:58 trying to win that last pot.
 
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