I embarked on my first ever trip to Eagle Pass, TX this past weekend in the hopes of a pleasurable experience at the one and only casino Texas has to offer. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino as they call it lies but a mile from the Rio Grande river and sits about a few miles outside of Eagle Pass. Driving from here to Sonora was pretty boring but afterwards it became a hilly-snake-winding-fest through some bushy terrain all the way through Del Rio until I got the casino three hours later. As you'd expect, everything looked run-down and very authentically Mexican to my inner-touristy joy, if that makes any sense. I didn't have a map of town and getting around wasn't easy to say the least. Everyone I tried to get directions from either only spoke to me in Spanish or a sort of Spanglish that still flew over my head but I would nod anyways like I knew what they were talking about which was a lot of fun. There's a million cops driving about in Eagle Pass since the town sits right on the border and I'd bet you money not a single one was white. Even the cop I asked directions from to the casino had a thick accent and said that it was on "El Nino" highway when he actually said "El Indio Highway" and so for the next thirty minutes I'm looking for El Nino...to no avail.
Had I known how much money I would make that night I don't think I would have checked into the "Dream Motel" that I paid $40 for. And yes you can imagine what the place was like just by reading the name of the place and yes I work for a Choice Hotel property (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Econolodge, etc.) but Eagle Pass didn't have any of those. So "Dream Motel" it was since I didn't want to pay the $80 something Super 8 wanted, fuck that I thought at the time. I check in, the nice Indian lady hands me a key, and to my surprise the room actually had a fridge and microwave, not that I would be needing them. So I take a quick shower and call ahead to the casino to reserve myself a spot at a $2/$5 no-limit table. They said it would be an hour wait but that was alright, I had a casino to explore.
Arriving there was interesting. You take this rough, curvy little road to get onto the Indian Reservation and then you see the place and realize how ass ugly it was. The casino is essentially nothing more than two sparate buildings, one for bingo and one for slots and a poker room. Think the San Angelo Colosieum but smaller. Most of the cars in the lot were from Mexico of course but I did spot a Washington plate here and a Minnesota plate there...tourists on a short diversion from San Antonio perhaps? I take a walk and as I figured the place was pretty much made up of people 55+ years old. I also quickly realized that there weren't any video poker or blackjack tables! I asked a customer service guy about it and he said that they had to be removed recently because they were a Class 2 casino and those games are reserved for Class 3 casinos now. It was probably a good thing that they didn't have it since I totally suck and can't count cards anyway. It left me feeling more focused on actually playing good poker and man did I do awesome that Saturday night...
The poker room manager asked me for my name so he could find it on his list and then pointed to the table I'd be sitting at. I make my way to it but also stop at the cashier cage to buy in for chips. You see, at a $2/$5 no-limit table the minimum buy in is $200, max being $500. What I really wanted to do was play some $1/$2 hold'em (since the buy-in would be min. $100 and I'm a cheap jew) but they didn't have a table for it so 2/5 it was. Immediately I see a big stack at the table from a white guy who had some of the biggest bushiest eyebrows I'd ever seen (think Bert I guess) and he was bullying everyone at the table. He even got under the skin of the woman to my left not too long after I had just sat down before she left. So anyway, I'm playing very tight poker to get a feel for the table and it wasn't long before I got my first big hand of the night in pocket 10s. I limped, someone raised, I called, and then the flop came out. He checked, I bet, he folds, and I win my first small pot of the night. That loosened me up and got me comfortable from there on. I didn't have to do much to start winning. Both times I recieved pockets Aces I got full value out of. Someone moved all-in the first time so it was an easy call. The second time was from what WAS the biggest stack at the table but he had lost almost all his chips to another player and was on tilt so getting his last remaing $200 was very easy. His flush draw never made it and it was another easy scoop. I would later win another $300 with pocket Kings that turned into a Full House to an Albanian opponent's river made straight. Yes, I said Albanian. I got to talking with him later and he was just in town from San Antonio and he had some really funny stories and was an all-around cool guy. After I realized that I was up to around $1300 I decided to call it quits, even though I could have easily sat there for another three or four hours I decided that I had made enough to cover my trip expenses and enough left to still pay off my credit debt. So shortly soon after it was off to the Dream Motel to hopefully do some of that dreaming they so advertise.
To be continued tomorrow...hopefully.