Easily discouraged, I am not.

True, I threw a party larger than the Annual GDP of some small third-world countries the Monday night prior, but gall-darnit, I finally had an open weekend to head up to Atlantic City.

I’ve been saving up a stake for our mid-June Las Vegas trip, and I decided to embezzle some funds from it so I could cover the Monday night loss and make the weekend trip. I figured the worst case scenario, I take $2K to Vegas instead of the planned $3K.

I left a bunch of funds in my checking acct so I could cover the cost of room(s) while staying at the Trop and borrowed $300 off of Kiki so I could take $650 cash up there.

I managed to earmark an extra year on this fine planet by celebrating a birthday on the 27th of April. Me mar sent some Amex Gift Cheques totalling $300. All told, I had roughly $1250 at my disposal, owing Kiki $300 and owing my Vegas stash $1K.

I checked the Greyhound schedule, saw there was a bus leaving around 1430 for AC out of Silver Spring, MD, and I set up a taxi to be sure I’d arrive in plenty time to get a ticket and make my bus.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know about just how damned cool the bus can be. Lemme remind you. Round-trip ticket was $36, no taxes/add’l fees. Not only were there no add’l fees, but when I got off the bus at the Hilton in AC, they gave me a $5 voucher for their buffet and a $22 cash voucher redeemable at the slot counter.

I got my $22 back, and walked up the boardwalk to the Trop. Another tip… about a half block south of the Trop, there’s a tiny little ghetto-esque “Public Computers!” store on the 2nd Floor of a storefront on the boardwalk. For $3, you can get on the interweb and make some relatively cheap communicado with the outside world.

So anyway. Went into the lobby, got checked-in to my room, and was ready to head up to the poker room. The very fact that I stopped by the interweb shop and checked-in to my room before heading straight to the poker room may amaze some of you, but I assure you ’tis true. I’ve got witnesses.

Sadly, there were no rooms available in the South Tower for Fri and Sat night combined, so I took one on the chin and got a West Tower room. It’s not the end of the world, but Sunday mornings in the West Tower elevators at the Trop can be HELL. If you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean.

We kind of waited last minute to decide we wanted to take this trip. I called 888-POKER-AC the Tuesday prior and was almost immediately discouraged into thinking I would not be getting a room so easily.

As mentioned earlier, easily discouraged, I am not.

In the old days, before the change of ownership at the Trop, several of the staff in the Poker Room were responsible for assigning poker rates to players and releasing poker rate rooms. I’ve got more hours in that poker room playing than some of the newbies have working. Back in the day, it was hella easy for me to get a room. Worst case scenario, I’d go on the waitlist and get a hello-operator around 2200 or 0100 while playing. But … now the Poker Room Staff is not at all involved in booking the rooms, it’s all on the reservations department.

Well, fuck.

But this actually worked somewhat to my advantage, it would seem. I spoke to the nice person on the phone from reservations and tried to explain my dilemma. He finally transferred me to a supervisor and she sang sweet beautiful music. “I can’t give you a poker rate, there are none available. However, based on your unusually high hours, I can give you a Casino Rate, comparable to that which we offer slots and table games players.”

And, while not free, it’s slightly cheaper than the poker rate. It’s harder to qualify for, but if you do qualify, you’re more likely to be able to score a room.

I’m officially a big fucking degenerate to be able to qualify for that rate as a poker player.

And proud of it.