Rumors of my demise are reasonably exaggerated. It's just been a very, very busy time, with things such as random posts about poker or other things, wedged in during idle moments. I haven't had the chance to play much poker on my own at all lately, with an exception on Wednesday night when I donked out fairly early in the Bodonkey to Smokkee, took a ridiculous runner-runner backdoor flush beat to get bounced from the $20K an hour or so later --- to some idiot all-in with A-8 against my set of aces on an A-4-2 flop, but made a final table on a different site at the same time. Technically it was a plus night even if it didn't feel that way.
Sunday night, though, I snuck out after watching the Packers beat the Chiefs and drove over to Majestic Star in Gary. I'd heard good things about the room and had always wanted to see it for myself, and Sunday I had a span of free hours and just had that urge. Road trip! Despite taking the intentionally slower route through downtown Chicago, because I love the Chicago skyline at night and I'm rarely down there, I still arrived in time for the room's evening tourney, a $80+$20 Heartland Poker Tour league event. I didn't care which-or-whatever about it being part of a league except that it meant an extra $5 in juice (and another $5 chip gratuity), but I was just there for the trip, anyway.
Nope, didn't win. Didn't cash, either, though I hung around to about 21st while the top 14 made the money. Also didn't cash in a $65 SNG, later. But I did enjoy the room, which seems larger than the 20 tables it actually holds, tucked up on Level 3 of the "Majestic Star II" side of the casino. Is that the port or starboard side of the boat, anyway? Since it's away from the rest of the games, too, this feels like a true poker room; there's a snack bar just outside the room itself and the room's windows overlook the scenic Gary waterfront --- which quickly returns one to the business of poker, at that :-/ --- though for a restroom break you've got to run down a level and dash through most of the second-floor slots. As casino restroom inconveniences go that's run-of-the-mill, certainly not on a par with playing later at night at Caesar's and discovering that you're sharing a restroom, and long lines, with packs of post-pubescent teens and maybe-prostitutes trying to crash the scene at Pure.
Well, you don't find -that- in Gary. But the poker here is all good. The staff was competent for the most part and very friendly throughout, good signs for a room that clearly wants to be a dominant player in the Midwest market. It's not the type of room I'd return to every day, but it's certainly one worth the occasional trip.
What I did enjoy was that the room seems to offer a good deal of variety, including at least two reasonably priced tournaments daily. They have a few big tournaments coming up, including a H.O.S.E. event I might try. They don't spread Razz, though, hence H.O.S.E. instead of H.O.R.S.E. ... cowards.