Monday, June 20, 2005

Smash and Grab

There has been a significant break since my last posting where we found our hero going on tilt in the Bay area. I had intended to post my findings from Garden City but..... Our meetings had gone late and we had arranged to meet an old collegue (now a customer) at a local Bennigans Pub for a bite to eat and down a couple of pints. For those of you in the Bay area, it is the Bennigans right by Six Flags in San Jose. Anyways, it must have been about 6:45pm when we arrived and parking was at a premium. I was driving and pulled our rental Expedition around to the front to offload 5 of my collegues and proceeded around back to find a place to park.

I met them inside and we had some good craic. After a couple of hours, we started to head back to the hotel (and me on to Garden City there after). However, as we walked up to the vehicle we discovered a window shattered. A long story short, 5 vehicles were broken into, a total of 8 laptops were stoken valued at ~$20K, $15K worth of equipment, 8 computer bags containing personal items valued at over $3000.

This little incident was costly in many ways. Firstly, I lost some personal items, a ton of data, and a minor thing...time. Instead of getting to Garden City at 9:30pm like I had anticipated, I wasn't able to get there until Midnight. The incident required waiting around for a police to arrive and fill out a report, then return the rental vehicle to Hertz to change out to a new one.

Incidentally, SJPD says that this is a popular parking lot in which gangs will make quick smash and grabs looking for laptops since there are so many high tech compaines in the immediate area. We were told that they had even been brazen enough to hit cars parked directly in front of the restaurant. Here is the the thing. If you are an restaurant operator and know that theives stake out your lot, wouldn't you do something like add some security?

The good news is that I can report that Garden City alive and well. Since my last visit there some 3 years ago, they have added auto shufflers to all of the tables. I wanted to play 20/40 but the list was waist deep so I settled in at 8/16 with a kill. I was able to hammer out a win that surpassed my losses at Bay 101

Some things you might like to know about the casinos in San Jose.
There are no slot machines or craps.
They spread only limit poker.
2/4 up to 80-160.
The rake is based on # of players at the table. Expect the small blind to pay a $1 rake on a chop preflop - yeah, preflop.
Tables are 9 handed max.
All tables have auto shufflers.
Epect to pay the rake of 9 handed (7 or more) with only 6 or even 5 players actually at the table. There are so many Asians which play and most of them are smokers, so they will be gone smoking more than they are playing leaving the table short handed.

One last thing, I thought I would be clever and play at Bay 101 on the day of my departure. I had a few hours to kill before my flight, so I went to the airport and checked in. I then took a cab over to Bay 101 since it was a short 5 min ride. I was able to get into an 8/16 game almost immediately. There were significant waits on anything else. The first hand I played, I lost to a guy who out drew me on 5th street. What I did learn was that this table was ultra loose aggressive and I needed to adjust my game quickly. Unfortunately, I ended up coming out on the short side more times than not and found myself in a rather large hole that I didn't think I could get out of in the time I had remaining. I should have recognized this trap and cashed out right then and there. In the end, trying to overcome the deficit with the added pressure of needing to leave for my flight was a recipe for disaster and I found myself playing differently than I would have had I had all the time in the world. Kind of like playing in a tournament when your short stack and that big bad blind is coming toward you. An expensive, but valuable lesson.

Some times nutz, sometimes peanuts.


April H. said...

That's actually Paramount's Great America across from Bennigan's.
;) I live 5 minutes from there and Bay 101. I didn't realize Bennigan's was such a hot spot for gang activity, sorry you guys had to go through that.

By the way, nice blog!

mikek628 said...

Yes, that is the one, Great America, not Six Flags and it is in Santa Clara, not San Jose.

The police officer said that they like to hit this place and similar ones where they know alot of white collar workers will go for a pint after work. A ton of tech companies are right in that general area making it an easy target with a high take. Additionally, all the rental cars there have bar codes on the windshields making them easily spoted as possible targets. It was just getting dark when we discovered the crime.

Thanks for stopping by!

Flynn said...

I learned the hard way too, that I cant play any kind of poker well if I have something to do after the game: a flight, a date, call my girlfriend, whatever. I have to have complete confidence that I am not required elsewhere or else I am rushed. When I played blackjack alot, I could jump in and out of any game, count some cards, play a few hands, and do ok even knowing I had to be somewhere else in 15 min.