Thursday, April 03, 2008

Caesars Indiana

A short trip to Caesars Indiana for poker doings has left me a bit under the weather, so apologies for yet another delayed post. My quick three-day jaunt left me exhausted and resulted in a quick trip to a "doc in the box" upon my return. More to follow on that count, I'm sure.

But as for Caesars, I hadn't quite realized how out in the boonies it is, off to the southwest of Louisville across the Ohio River into southern Indiana. It's a half-hour drive from Louisville despite being ten miles or less from the city as the crow flies, because there aren't any bridges across the Ohio in the direction where Caesars Indiana lies. Instead, Louisvillians have to head to the northwest to the bridge at New Albany, Indiana, and then back down the west side of the Ohio, which turns southward not far west of Louisville.

You know it's a trip to nowhere when you're on a two-lane county highway with a steady flow of traffic both ways, and the county highway even features a "Y" intersection on the way south. Caesars Indiana boasts an Elizabeth, IN zip code, despite the fact that there's three or four closer hamlets to the casino itself. But as one travels down Cty. Hwy. 111, one notices this edifice looming closer. It's Caesars, alright, stuck on a land tract opposite the highway from the river at a spot where the highway itself flows near the water.

The water itself was plenty high before my trip, so high that the casino itself was closed for two or three days. The bottom floor of the parking ramp was closed and the elevators up and down in the parking ramp were still shut down. One of the workers there told me that the Army Corps of Engineers had ordered the casino shutdown because the barge itself that the casino proper is engineered upon --- despite it being some distance from the river proper --- had started to float of its moorings in the flood.

Initial impressions on the layout? Caesars, or rather Harrah's Entertainment, must have gotten a good price on the land. For what there is here for a casino/resort complex, the place sprawls... to the point of creating some lengthy walks at times for its visitors. What's funniest, perhaps, is the nine-story hotel built at the rear of the complex. Floors eight and nine are the key-card-only suites, and I was lucky enough to pull Floor Seven, with the money view to the east. The west side looks directly into a large bluffside immediately behind the hotel to the west. East looks out over the Ohio --- to the strip-mined hillside across the river and the smelting plant just a bit to the north. That's all you see except for the parking ramp and casino rooftops below.

Like I said, they got a good price on the land.

But inside, the place is all Caesars, or perhaps faux Caesars, since it's not quite possible to do the totality of the Vegas Caesars experience in a setting like this. The great Vegas Caesars maze of shops and slot banks and restaurants and clubs turns into something more like a mini-mall here, if indeed a nice one. The casino operations are totally separate, of course, and are a -hike- from the rest of the resort. I spent much of my days in a second floor conference room in the business center above the mall/restaurant area,and even that was a longish walk from the hotel. Seriously --- the longest of the hallways from the hotel to the rest of the complex features not one but two people-movers, like those found in airports. Gotta like the "Global Citizens! Attention, please!" call over the loudspeakers when one reaches the end of the people-movers though; nice touch.

Entertainment choices? They put some big acts on, here, but it's pure heartland --- no rap or alternative to be found. The banners I saw advertised Tanya Tucker, the Doobie Brothers and Sawyer Brown. I'd guess that's a fairly typical selection.

Poker? It's on the bottom level of the four-level casino, three levels of which were open during my visit. While I was there for poker doings, I only had a chance to sneak in one "freelance" session of my own, that the evening of my arrival. I was tired after my seven-hour drive and didn't want to think too hard. So I played $4/8 limit. I left up almost $200, despite missing at least one value bet. The players at my table weren't good --- unless you consider cold-calling with K-9o from middle position a good play --- and I caught a couple of pairs of queens that held. I did snag an extra bet late in the session from a new player who I correctly pegged as having the need to fire at any pot not already fired at someone else. On that hand, I had A-Q in the BB and let him carry the action throughout after catching an A-high flop. When all was done he showed K-9 for poop; I'd only called his river bluff (instead of check-raising) trying for an overcall from a third player in the hand, because that guy didn't have much, either. Sometimes it works.

Good session, for what it was. That said, the attention of a lot of the players was focused on another table, where Paul 'Kwickfish' Wasicka was relaxing and playing some $1/2 NL.

More next time.

No comments: