Friday Mrs CEM and I managed to make it up to Charles Town Races, which had just statted doing table games on July 4th Weekend. From what we had heard that first weekend was a total zoo, so we waited a couple of weeks. The Good: The table games are literally as soon as you come in the door from the Valet (which is only $6), so very easy to find. Plenty of games, including Craps, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Let It Ride, Pia Gow Poker, even a Big Wheel. There actually seemed to be a few open seats if you looked (mind you we got there at 5:30 PM on a Friday, so those from DC/Baltimore were still on their way from work/home. The Bad: Dealers were amazingly slow and showed very little understanding of the games they wer dealing. I am a huge fan of Pia Gow, but it shoudlnt take 7 minutes to deal, determine winners, and pay out for 6 players playing a hand of Pia Gow Poker! The other major issue were the limits. $25 was the cheapest table found (except for Let It Ride, which was $15, and the Big Wheel which was $10!) when we got there at 5:30, by the time we left after Midnight the minimum at Blackjack had hit $50.
The poker room as basically a tarped off/darkened area where the horse racing upstairs betting was done. They had a number of games, both Limit (5/10 and 10/20) and No Limit (1/2), plus some 4/8 Omaha. There sign up screen showed a waiting list for the most popular choice there (1/2 No Limit) was at 121 people before 6 PM Friday night. No tournaments were shown to be planned at casual glance. So they are definately going through their growing pains right now, but there is at least hope for the future.
On Saturday night, I played the Daily Dollar and went out about 1/2 through the field, and decided to fire up a $3 Double Stack 6 Max tournament, which had a nice structure and 487 runners. A beat in the first hour put me at 1500 chips early, but I worked on playing TAG, and found myself moving up the board well for the following couple of hours. 54 people cashed, which I easily made it past, but once we got down to 5 table, I was having to play short stack ninja poker, pushing and/or stealing in the best opportunities. Even though I was 25th of 25 at one time, I played my stack back up long enought to last all the way to 13th place, winning about 4 times my buy-in.
Until next time, good luck on the felt and with all you do!