You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a ... a cow ... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.
-O, Brother, Where art Thou?
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- It's been a while since I've seen something like this -- an honest to God, working nuclear reactor right on the side of a country road.
I saw a view of the water, so blue, that made me yearn for Biloxi, Hawaii, the California coast, anywhere the land gives up the frontier.
And I saw a casino so beautiful that walking through it gave me the feeling that I get when I walk through the most storied casinos that we play in Las Vegas, that feeling of walking onto a court in a playoff game.
But first I had to get there. After celebrating Empire's birthday and playing lots of duel-mode Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Sham and I stayed up until 6 a.m. playing two-player "Party Mode" on Madden 09 -- lots of drills, scrimmages and even a trivia section.
I dutifully got myself up three hours later and made my way to work to drop off my car. There was a parade or something so it took me three tries to get into the downtown area.
At O'Hare, my dad picked me up and we drove into Indiana. He had heard of the Blue Chip Casino
in Michigan City, Ind.
My original plan was to take a rental directly from the airport as I'd done a few years earlier on a trip to Resorts East Chicago (Ind.) and Trump Casino in Gary, Ind. and play at the new Horseshoe Hammond (Ind.) and the Majestic Star in Gary to add to my chip collection and wallet.
But the Blue Chip had a poker room and it seemed a lot better to carpool.
The Blue Chip has a decent-sized casino. It's pretty modern and chic and right away I felt at home walking through it. I love the Midwest casinos' practice of having free soft drink stations - I really needed a Diet Coke at that time.
Pops wanted to play some video poker so I settled in to get an hour of play in the poker room (two of my chip sets at home are for places where I've played at least an hour in poker rooms).
Medium sized room, they were running three tables of NL$1/2 ($200 max) and one limit table at the time. I got the table with a bunch of retirees, one young Russian-looking lad and a very loose middle-aged guy.
Had KK twice in that hour, once everyone folded, the other I got pushed out of on the river with a board that had a straight and flush possibility. The nice older guy to my left bet it out when I checked. I immediately brought out $30 like I was going to call and looked out of the corner of my eye at him. It could just be me, but I had a feeling like he was coveting the chips, so I folded.
I was down about $50 on my last hand that I was going to play there when I got 99 utg. I just limped, it gets raised by Seat 1. Loose guy in seat 6 calls, I call, and seat 9 calls.
The flop is 723, two hearts. Loose guy in sb checks, I check, seat 9 goes all-in.
Seat 9 just lost half of his stack to Seat 1 when his AA got cracked by K9o with two Ks on the board (one on flop and one on turn). I had a feeling that he would be trying to make a move on Seat 1 when he pushed.
Seat 1 got out of the way, loose guy folds.
I shrug and push out a $100 stack "I'll give you some action." He shows J9s of hearts and the board plays out 3, x to give me the pot.
The Russian guy can't believe it. He doesn't know that I don't give a fuck about money.
And just like that, the Biscuits (10-3) gets a Chipper Jones-like hit to end a partial session.
The hour is up, I cash out an orbit later, catching up with pops.
We are so close to the Michigan border and Four Winds Casino
that if I was by myself there's no way I wouldn't drive the extra 5 miles just to check the place out. Next time.
But we decide to hit the Hammond Horseshoe on the way back home and the Garmin navigation system takes us right through the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
, which is pretty fucking beautiful.
That's when we happen on a giant cooling tower next to the road, which I think is the Bailly Nuclear Plant site. I'd never experienced anything like this, well, since being in Boy Scouts in California and having a camping trip at the park that is part of the Rancho Cordova plant site. lol
After the dunes, "Industrial wasteland" is pretty much my best description of what you see from the highway at Gary and Hammond.
But the Horseshoe is a hidden gem. It's about twice the size of the Horse that I know in Tunica. Already the weekend afternoon, there were lots of people already gambling it up.
The poker room was jammed full of tables -- and people, but it was still pretty nice. They spread the requisite NL games, plus $10/20 and 20/40 limit (hint, F-Train), they had $5/10 limit O8 and even what must be a large game -- $2/5 PLO.
I wanted to play here. But my mom already was home from the stuff that she had to do for the day. I think pops liked seeing the video poker machines that they had but we agreed we could come back in the future (it only took about 30 minutes to get back to the Chicago suburbs).
On deck for today: Possibly a 5K. Definitely some cookout-food and then watching the Chicago White Sox make a futile attempt to make the playoffs in their last regularly-scheduled game for the season against Cleveland.