Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Macau Trip Report - 2013

Once a year I take a crazy trip with my old Army buddies. We are in the "life is short - better travel now" phase of our lives. 2 years ago it was kayaking in Canada. Last year was hang gliding in Rio. This year was chasing Komodo dragons in Bali.

We first flew into Singapore. What a clean, almost sterile, city. Great golf and great sight-seeing with an amazing $1 billion garden right outside the Sands hotel where we were staying. What a contrast to Bali, which was a paradise, although the touristy areas were pretty dirty. We joked that if the same level of filth was seen in Singapore, someone would have been shot.

We finished the trip in Hong Kong. Now that's a great city. It's a shoppers paradise. Every name brand you can think of, and many you have never heard. We stayed at the Peninsula Hotel, home of the 14 famous bespoke green Rolls Royce's. I was hoping to get a ride, but it never materialized.

The boys weren't interested, but I could not turn down a chance to get to Macau, especially since I was that close. I left the hotel at 3 pm. After negotiating the taxi and ferry system (bring your passport!), I was on a one hour jet boat to Macau. The biggest poker room is at the Wynn. I got there at 6 pm and the lists were long. Still, I was seated at the lowest no limit game by 7 pm. Their lowest is 50/100 HKD (Hong Kong dollars) and there highest is 300/600. After the exchange rates, that's the equivalent of 7/14 to 40/80. In other words, their lowest game is bigger than my regular 2/5 NL game.

I found the play very conservative. The only re-raises that didn't come from me were people holding aces or kings. I didn't see a single bluff. I made 2 good plays and 3 bad plays before I had to go. I was down a little, but I really feel like this is a very beatable game. Much more so than in the California poker rooms, which are also quite beatable.

Only one poker celeb I recognized - I think he goes by viffer, but I may have that wrong. Bunch of neck tattoos. I recognized him from Poker After Dark as well as HSP.

To those that may inquire, I did not get a massage in Macau. I've heard great things, but travelers's gut kept me far away.