Friday, January 12, 2007

Chicago - my kind of town

It's been a while since I've put anything here. I wonder if any of you even come here anymore. No matter. I never really cared who read or didn't read this blog anyways. Although I know of at least on person who would email me regulary to tell me to update. But even he has stopped emailing me as my blog wasn't updated for months. I guess I never wanted this thing to be a chore, but rather an outlet for the creative side of my brain. Not that I was very creative here, but it did allow me to throw some thoughts on paper so to speak.

At any rate, alot of changes have happened in my world since I last posted. I've accepted a transfer within the company I work for and have moved from Texas to Illinois. I will miss Austin for a few reasons, although the one that tops the list is I will miss all of the friends and poker players I have made and played with in my time in that town.

I now reside in the very far northwest suburbs of Chicago. In fact, we are so far out, I sometimes wonder if saying we live in Chicagoland is even accurate. I'm not sure what the official radius of Chicagoland incorporates, but I would have to think we are either outside it or right on the edge.

In my short time here, I believe I already have a fair picture of the poker scene here. There are casinos all over the place, but not all offer live poker. Within about a 2-3 hour drive there must be 8 or 9 casinos, some of them are indian, some are not. Of course the closest one to me doesn't offer live poker...go figure. But within a 2 hour drive there are 2 casinos that do. The shortest drive would be to Potawatimi Casino which is actually in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The only casino in Northern Illinois that has poker is Hollywood Casino in Aurora, but it is a small room of 6 tables and about a two hour drive for me. Probably the best casinos for poker action are in Indiana: Resorts (formerly Harrahs, formerly Showboat) and Majestic Star and Majestic Star II. However, these could be anywhere from 3-4 hour drive for me depending on traffic in and around Chicago.

There is also Rockford Charity Games, which is a traveling casino night for various charities. I've been to several of these and they offer lots of action, both tournament and cash games. This is a great way for charities to raise funds and allow poker players to play poker. They are usually held in the northwest suburbs of Chicago or in and around Rockford. They tend to be the closest organized games for me to go to.

Lastly there are home games. Home games here seem to be a tad different than in Texas, but fundamentally the same. I've been to 4 different locales since I have been here, and all of them leave something to be desired. There are loads more, but I seem to be having a hard time finding any way out here where we live. The closest I have found is about 15 miles from me, which isn't a bad drive at all, but it is on a night that I can't always play.

I haven't found a single home game that has any kind of security. But I guess not enough games here have been robbed to necessitate game runners from instituting it. Besides, if you want security, I guess you can just go to a casino. And there is always the unlikely chance that a home game will get raided too. Of course, I am told no one can remember a home game getting busted here in many years.


Just this week, a home game was busted in Loves Park, Illinois (west of Chicago outside the city of Rockford). I don't know much about the game or who ran it, I've never played there. Of course "home game" is a bit of a misnomer here as I believe this game was operating on commerical property. Players tell me that the police took all of the poker items - tables, chips, etc. - and all of the cash....including whatever players had in their wallets and pockets at the time of the raid. (I wonder if all of the money actually made it into evidence. ) Some players believe another game turned this game in...eliminating competition. I can't say for sure, I don't really know, so your guess is as good as mine, but it does sound likely. The incident hasn't gained any press but you can be sure it is talked about quite a bit in poker circles.

It seems to me, that we will be reading and hearing about more and more busts as time goes on, since poker has become so popular. I also expect to hear about more robberies as would be robbers find poker games to be an easy target.

1 comment:

jackietrehorn said...

Glad to see you are posting again. I was actually checking your site before deleting it from my favorites list. So I won't be deleting and keep posting.

Have you noticed how many Austin restaurants there are in Chicago. Most are in one area of town: Z Tejas, Chuys, Sullivans (does that count?) and one or two others.

Have fun with the winter