So over the course of the years, I've met most of the bloggers that I've wanted to meet. There are still a few out there that I haven't but they are getting fewer and fewer... one of the guys that I've "known" the longest who I actually never met was cmitch. He never came to the winter gatherings that I've been to and I have not gone to any blogger gatherings that happen during the summer (during WSOP which I think cmitch goes to). Well, now that I've moved to Tampa and he lives in Orlando, I figured it was a matter of time till we met, especially considering there's a casino in Tampa. Recently, FL passed a law that no longer caps the buy in at the poker tables so all the more reason for degens to get together right?
Well, so Thurs, I get a text from Cmitch telling me he's gonna go to Hard Rock Casino (here in Tampa) on Fri. Since i live 10 minutes away, I told him that he can just text me when he gets there and I can go meet him. Now the last time I was in this casino was back in December... during my apartment hunting trip. And sure enough, the games were shitty and but so was the rake/service so I decided that I see no point in coming to this casino... So despite living 10 minutes away (like 6-7 miles away), I never bothered to go... until tonight... and boy did I underestimate the power of degeneracy...
Friday evening, the Hard Rock Casino exit is packed... I mean there's a line on I-4 to get off the exit. I patiently wait and eventually, I enter the parking garage where I proceed to text cmitch (who was already waiting for me at the bar) that I am now in the parking garage... This begins the 30 minutes of trying every level of the parking garage looking for a spot! Eventually, I got tired of being stuck behind a long line of cars doing the same thing I'm doing so I drove to a nearby neighborhood, parked my car in there and just walked to the casino.
Cmitch and I had some drinks together to get acquainted and then we hit the tables. He quickly got to his 2-5NL table and I was seated at a 1-2NL table shortly thereafter. I also signed up for the 1-3NL table but since 1-2 was starting a new table, I figured I'd go sit there. With the law no longer capping the buy in, I show up with $200 stack when the dealer quickly tells me that for 1-2nl, the cap is a $100. WTF!? And then I see a bunch of people buying in for like $40 or $50 bucks... 3rd hand in, I don't even remember what I had but I stack this other guy and yet I'm only up like $50... WTF!?
Fortunately, I hear my name being called for the 1-3NL where the minimum buy in is $100 and max is $300. While there will still plenty of guys buying in at the minimum, at least it was a $100. The table was fairly nitty but there were two juicy calling stations who kept buying in $100 at a time (one of them bought like 5 times while I was there) and then there were some other donkeys that would spew for a while and leave empty handed. I was one of the lucky recipients of such donkeys when my AA > JT on a J high flop. T9 was also a great hand for me tonight as I hit two pair twice, both times getting me a decent pot. Some more wins and spews here and there netted me +$253 for the night. Considering the stack sizes, not a bad night.
I called it quits around 1:30am when my table started getting short.... cmitch didn't quite seem ready to go home yet but I saw on twitter that he left about an hr after I did with a profit of $200... follow him on twitter or go check out the blog (linked above) for his trip report (assuming he posts something).
Overall, it was pretty fun... the players were pretty terrible and it was an enjoyable activity... having said that, I doubt that I would go there more than once a month. Let me put it this way... It ain't no Vegas...