Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reno Tahoe March 2010 (Pictures Below)

From California I flew to Reno, as you might remember I try to get to Vegas once a year. This year our group decided to try Reno and Tahoe. The group is much that same as last year, Dwayne, Dwayne’s father, Ronny, Billy a friend of Ronny’s, Richie, and of course Gary. You may remember last year Gary was on the phone all the time with his new girl friend Sally, well this year he has another new girl friend her name is D’knees. This one might be a keeper.

As soon as we arrived Dwayne found out there was a king crab eating contest. First prize was a years worth or king crab. In normal Dwayne fashion he knocked it out of the park, eating over 20 lbs of king crab in 2 hours. Gary came in a distant second with just 10 pounds of crab consumed.

We decided to play some poker, Reno is much smaller then Vegas and so are the poker rooms. We were staying at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino on the Reno strip. After a few hours of poker I was about even. Then I was dealt Q of clubs and Q of spades. I made 4 blind raise and got called by the button. The flop was Q of hearts, J of Diamonds, and King of Diamonds. This left a lot of drawing hands. I bet the pot which was about $50.00 and got called. The pot was now $150.00. The turn was a 9 of diamonds. There was now 3 diamonds on the board. I had a set of queens, but a ten would have me beat with a straight or any 2 diamonds would have me beat with a flush. I decided to check, I wanted to see what the other guy would do. He bet 10 dollars. This was very strange. If the board paired I would most likely have the best hand with a full house. Clearly he wanted me in the hand to trap me, or he wanted a cheap card on the river. Since I did not know the player I simple called. The river was a Q of diamonds I hit 4 of a kind. I had just a 2% chance of hitting that card. Now how do I trap him? If he had a high diamond he will make a bet. So I checked, he bet half the pot I pushed all in and he called. The pot was $500.00. I have quad queens. I turned over my cards and proudly showed 4 of a kind. The other player slowly turned over one card an ace of diamonds, he had a flush, and then he turned over his other card a 10 of diamonds. He hit a straight flush, AKQJT of diamonds. The only hand that would have beat me. I was ready to head up to my room and jump out my window, when everybody at the table went nuts. I was very confused. Then the pit boss came over to me and said,”Do you realize, you just won $100,000.00?” I just laughed and continued to walk away. The pit boss then pointed to a sign on the wall that said, “Bad Beat Jack Pot $200,000.00.” He went on the explain if a hand of 4 of a kind or better gets beat, the loser gets half the Bad Beat Jack Pot, the winner gets 25% and the other players at the table split the other 25% about $8,000 each. The last time someone had won this jack pot at Harrah’s was 4 years ago. The pit boss asked if I wanted a check of cash, I quickly said a check showed my Botswana passport so they would not take taxes out and I was happy as a lark.

What a great way to start a poker trip. The next day we headed to Tahoe a one and a half hour drive from Reno. As we climbed up the mountains the weather turned from a light ran to a heavy snow storm. We had rented a mini-van that Dwayne was not to happy about driving on a mountain pass in a snow storm. Even in the snow Lake Tahoe and the mountains were just spectacular.

As far as gambling Tahoe is even smaller then Reno, the three casinos in town share one poker room. We found some tourist, showed them my check for $100,000.00 which must have intimidated them because between Gary, Richie and I, we won $1,000.00 off them in less then an hour.

Reno does not have the night life of entertainment that Vegas has, the weather was slightly cooler, 45 degrees instead of 65, and so much of our time was spent in the Casinos. Dwayne played 3 and 4 card poker, he would win ten or twenty thousand and then lose eight thousand. He would play four to five hundred dollars per hand and play 2 or 3 hands at a time. I think it is more fun to watch Dwayne play then for me to play myself. On the other hand Ronny was making a name for himself at the Black Jack tables. I do not know what he had done, but as soon as he would sit down at a table, everybody else at the table would get up and leave and it would be just him and the dealer. He seemed to be winning, but clearly no one else wanted to play at the same table as him.

I am glad we visited Reno, I am $100,000.00 richer because of it, but once was enough. Now back to Botswana and getting ready for the Presidents visit.



Saturday, April 3, 2010

Santa Barbra California to San Francisco California

After the wedding we chose to take a few days and drive highway 1 north along the coast of California. I have done this drive many times and each time it is even more spectacular then the last. Our first stop was San Luis Obispo I have always wanted to visit San Luis Obispo as it is famous for its wall of gum there is a wall that has more used gum stuck to it then any other wall in the world. Finding this wall was our mission and well worth the visit.

Mission accomplished so we headed North to San Simeon we found a great place to stay right on the ocean. The next day we would visit the Hearst Castle.

The Hearst Castle was over the top, I have been to Biltmore Estate in Ashville North Carolina, and though the Biltmore is larger the Hearst Castle is far more dramatic. Even compared to castles in Europe I would favor Hearst Castle. Not just the castle but the land and views surrounding it.

From the Castle we headed north to Big Sur. With all the rain on the west coast, there were plenty of rock slides to deal with. In some parts the road was closed, but comparing these road conditions to Botswana it seemed like a drive through the park and we kept going.

Once we hit Big Sur we had to stop and have lunch at Nepenthe Restaurant the food is great, views out of this world and the prices are sky high, but worth every penny.

Next stop San Francisco as we approached the bay area we were hit by a huge hail storm that left one of the biggest rainbows I have ever seen. We spent two days or Rest and Relaxation in the City by the bay. We got to spend sometime with my favorite cousin Robyn and her perfect concubine Gary.

From here I am off to Reno Nevada.

Enjoy the Pictures.