Saturday, August 06, 2005

Poker in Cripple Creek Colorado

One thing that I have not mentioned about myself is that I travel on business quiet a bit. Sometimes I know that I am headed some where weeks in advance and sometimes it can be on a moments notice. I usually travel alone.

Last week was an occasion when I knew that I would be in Colorado Springs, Colorado for a week. I'm not real big on traveling. I've been at it pretty hard for 3 years now. The excitement has worn off. There are two ways I like to entertain myself. One it to go to a local pool hall to have dinner. I don't like sitting in a restaurant all by myself reading or playing with my laptop or cell phone until my food arrives. At the pool hall, they usually have good food and something to do. It is usually very easy to meet a local or two since all you have to say is "wanna play a game?" I'm the kind of person who can get along with guys and girls, bikers and business folk. I find that what people think about their home town is interesting and they usually have an opinion on the subject. Most times I end up just shooting and eating.

Other times I find the local casino or poker room. Since the 2003 WSOP, I've been swimming upstream in the school of new poker players. I usually resreve the poker for after the business part of the trip is over for as you know, it is real easy to while away the entire night at the poker table. Being a very tight player, it can be cheap entertainment, too. My work let's me schedule flights and hotel reservations so I can usually stay over a night after my business is done (don't want to run out on a customer just to catch the last flight). That is prime poker time.

So last Friday night, I made the one hour drive from CO Springs to Cripple Creek. (I'll save the Wednesday night bar poker story for another post) The drive has its pretty sights. From Springs, you are only driving about 20 miles, but you have to go around Pike's Peak, adding a little bit of time. The approach to CC is a sight. You over look the little town down in the valley. Very post-cardy.

The town looks to have been brand new about 100 years ago. Little birck building tightly line the main street. Closer inspection shows that each shop is a casino, some more flashy than other, but all with door wide open and ready for action. I had done my homework and knew that one of the few poker rooms was located at the Midnight Star Casino.

Parking was a breeze and was finding the poker room. It has its own entrance to the street. I had to wait about 10 munutes for a table at 6:00 pm. The games were full of locals with a tourist here and there. I was hungry on arrival so I ordered dinner by asking the local in the next chair what was good (chicken fried steak) so I never looked at the menu. The food came in about 30 minutes and was excellent. The waitress was busy with other orders and didn't come back around for payment. I stopped her later to find out that food is comped. I've never seen that anywhere else. (Commerce is cheap and good, but not free). I did tip her at this point.

The action was good, but this old fart two chairs to my left was getting every draw on the table. He cracked my nut flush with a boat on the river, my straight with a better straight, my set with a flush, and on, and on. Otherwise, I didn't get any cards. I think I did well to only loose $80 in 7 hours of play.

On the whole, I liked Cripple Creek OK, but the drive is tedious and the surrounding are better in Black Hawk (CO).

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