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part four of the farewell gambling tour: i take macau

2011-11-06 - 12:44 p.m.

UPDATE 2017: My Macao & Hong Kong pictures are missing.

Written around 10 AM on Friday, November 4, 2011:

Talk about the longest day. Caught a taxi where the guy offered me a flat rate for the airport. It sounded like a deal, and I took it, as this guy seems to know all the little tricks. The only fly in the soup was that some truck had spilled a bunch of sheet metal all over the interstate, backing up the traffic a considerable amount. We had to sneak off and slide through some seldom-seen neighborhoods before we passed the excitement. Even with all that, he kept the meter running to show me that even if I'd paid the meter, I would have gotten a better deal than I would with those other guys. Of course, with the flat rate, which is a bit of a gamble on a clear blue day, I ended up coming out way ahead. Needless to say, I tipped him well.

Golds don't need a club pass any more on international flights so I breezed into the club to lunch on more of the artichoke salad. Hey, they now have a "leave a book, take a book" basket in the main sky club. I also mixed a drink of espresso and Bailey's. Yikes. Suddenly I realize why I haven't slept 8 hours out of the last 48...

I had 44G, an exit row near the lav with lots of extra legroom. No one in the middle seat, Ambien user in the window seat. I used my "Have a Drink on Us" coupon to get a Woodford Reserve and an entire can of Coke Zero. White wine (which was complimentary anyways) for the rest of the voyage. The food ran the gamut from horrifying to execrable. The Ambien victim simply didn't eat, and I think he made a wise choice there.

I read my books, tried to sleep, tossed and turned. 16 hours later we landed at Hong Kong. Here, because the ferry times didn't mesh well with the flight arrival times, I had to wait over 2 hours more to catch the last ferry to Macau. Just enough time to find out that I'd forgotten my Paypal PIN number.

The turbojet offered a smooth, rather dark ride. But, finally, we pulled up to the bright lights, big city, with all sorts of exotic Chinese red neon letters and flashy casinos. There were two widely distant places to pick up the free casino shuttles and, flipping a coin, of course I first walked to the wrong one. Eventually, I made my way back and ended up on the right shuttle. It dropped us off at the Grand Lisboa casino entrance, and those of us with bags had to figure out our own way back to the hotel. It was after midnight before I finally found myself in my fancy, highly scientific room complete with a tub that's a jacuzzi (that lights up blue when you use the whirlpool function), a steam room, a foot massager, and who knows what all. I washed my hair and took a blue lighted whirlpool bath, found out that my computer can't find the wireless network, and tried to sleep.

I think I actually did sleep about 3-1/2 hours but mostly it was toss and turn. Finally, I gave up around 7 and went for a stroll around the area. My first bird of Macau is the Little Egret. I hope I got some nice shots of the interesting hotel/casino buildings. I tried to wander a bit around the Casino Lisboa casino, but the phrase "Warren of rooms" wasn't a joke. All I seemed to find was endless rooms of grim people playing baccarat. I didn't know there were so many baccarat players in the world.

One interesting thing about the Casino/Hotel Lisboa is that it is graced by large, intricate, and costly-looking sculptures. One of the items that knocked me off my perch was an intricately-carved green jade Grandfather Clock. I didn't know if photos of the treasures were allowed, I saw no one else daring to photograph them, and I'd heard that photos were frowned upon in the Macau casinos, so if you want to see it, I guess you'll have to fly out there and see for yourself.

I'd read that Wynn (across the street) was more open plan, so I went there and managed to find the poker room without too much angst. There was immediate seating at 10/25 (don't worry, that would be Hong Kong Dollars), so I got right into the game with no waiting.

My first hand in Macau? The dealer told me to post in the cut-off, and then some dude stole my post. My second hand? I picked up A ♥ K ♥ and open-raised to $200. Loose Portugeuse guy on the button makes it $400 to go, Asian small blind calls, and I shove all-in. Loose guy ain't that loose, and he folds. Asian guy calls. There's an Ace on the turn, and I double up. My third hand? I pick up A ♦ K ♦ and win a smaller pot. Otherwise, not so much. I bought in for $1,500 HKD and cashed out for $3,400 so I'm now ahead at both poker and in total for the Farewell Gambling Tour.

Yah, and I noticed that I was the only person who had to post to enter the 10/25 game. Nice way to haze the tourists, people. As for the "loose" guy, I formed that impression on the basis of one hand, as I was walking up to the table, where he flashed a ridiculous hand when the other guy folded to him. A moment later, I realized that 1) the guy who folded to him was his buddy, and 2) he's probably one of these guys who is loose pre-flop to induce ridiculous call-downs post-flop, so now you know why I'm using the word "loose" a tad tongue in cheek.

However, the idiot who called my pre-flop all-in truly was a loose player. He didn't have to show but for whatever reason he did. KT. He called my pre-flop four-bet all-in with the mighty King Ten of offsuit. I figured he'd at least have Jacks.

So it wasn't a tough game but nor do I really believe that the conditions were right to play for serious money, what with little hints here and there that would make me uncomfortable about moving to a larger game.

Also, while the official language of poker may be English (just as the official language of aviation may be English) there was chit-chat going on in all kinds of different languages, another thing that creates a bad atmosphere for people wanting to play for any kind of real money....All in all, I would be happy to visit again, but I wouldn't plan a trip wanting to invest substantial sums of cash in the game out there.

Peachfront's Note: Stay tuned for part five of my crazy Detroit/Macau/Hong Kong Farewell Gambling Tour and mileage run. I've been on a travel kick lately. Don't forget to check out my recent adventures. Or you may want to read part one of the Farewell Gambling Tour, New Orleans, or continue to part one, Detroit, and part two, Greektown to get caught up on my thrilling tale of global gambling hopping around like a crazy rabbit.

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