Road Trip: Morongo Casino, California

Doug and his friend Jessie picked us up about 9:30 and we started out on our long road trip to Cabazon, California to an Indian Casino called Morongo. Doug and Jessie are both under 21, so they can’t play in Vegas, but the rule for Indian casinos is only 18+ apparently. They were both involved in a car accident the other night, Jessie was the driver. They had a hire car and Jessie did a really good job of driving us there and back, despite being a little nervous. I know after my crash the last thing I would have wanted to do is drive 8 hours two days later.
Doug and I played a lot hands together earlier this year, he is a regular and well known poster on 2+2 forums and we have talked a bit on AIM. He also coached and staked Rohan and few months back. It was really nice to meet him and get to talk a lot about poker and share some of the joys and frustrations of being a PokerStars regular.

Arriving at the casino we discovered that what we thought was going to be a $1/$2nl game with a $200 buy-in, was actually a $1/$3 game with a $100 buy-in?a really horrible structure. Doug was going to play $2/$5 and sit down with $4000 in front of him, I was considering playing in that game with a little less money in front of me, but decided to stick with Rohan and Jessie and donk it up at $1/$3. The rake was horrific, even if it was raised pre-flop and everyone folded they would take $3?so a blinds steal netted you all of $1. And with stacks of only 33 big blinds, it became a game of flipping coins and 60/40, 70/30 all-in pre-flop situations. Rohan got ultra unlucky, twice getting AK all-in in a coin flip situation and losing both times. Not only that he lost a straight to a rivered Royal Flush. He stopped playing a lot earlier in the day than we did because he was just running so awfully and was over it.

Early in our session a hand came up where I turned the nut straight and we put a fair bit of money in. The river completed a runner-runner flush and the guy led into me and I tanked for a bit and eventually made a crying call?he had the flush and I threw my hand into the muck and some wife beater looking guy with tattoos and a white singlet asked for my cards to be picked up out of the muck and exposed to the table (apparently legal, but somewhat unethical).

A little later controversy erupted when the guy found out Rohan and I were together he started talking about how he doesn’t like it when friends play in the same game. He then said that we are probably cheating and kicking each other under the table and until we get involved in a big pot together he is going to think that. To accuse someone of cheating in the poker world is a pretty big thing and I took serious offence. I had a few words to say to him and defended myself; the entire table was kind of in shock at this point. He then threatened me saying that I’d want to be careful what I say to him, I think the implication being that he had connections or whatever. At that point I toned down a bit, but I really couldn’t believe that the dealer wasn’t stepping in because this guy was going way over the line. Then I sighed and said “Welcome to America?and the guy goes “That’s right motherfucker, go back to your own country” and even then the dealer did nothing. I probably should have called the floor over to get the whole thing sorted. Instead I just didn’t say anything for a while and it all settled down. The guy even started talking to me in a friendly manner later. Obviously, he was just a complete nut job and I shouldn’y have wasted my time arguing with him. The rest of the table was really nice and I had a long discussion with an older guy about everything Australian related.

I think the funniest part of the day was when Doug went to cashout his chips. Because it was more than a few thousand, he had to take them to the main cage and do some paperwork. Anyway he was told he should get a security escort from the poker room to the cage. He agreed and after waiting for like 15 minutes this really serious security guard approaches Doug. He tells Jessie and I to back off, he can’t have anyone following him, even friends. It was just so hilarious how seriously this guy was taking his job and the power trip he was on being in a security uniform.

The poker part of the trip was probably the worst part, but the 8 hour car ride there and back will definitely be one of the highlights of my trip. Doug is a really charismatic guy and someone who has a lot to say about poker and poker situations. The way he was talking and the advice he gave me has given me some inspiration to make some changes to the way I approach the game. It was also just great to be able to talk with someone that has been on the same level as me and knows the ins an outs.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

1 Comment + Add Comment

  • That guy sounds like a total tool! It would have been awesome for you or your mate to have stacked him!

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