I used to live in Boston, and Foxwoods was the first casino where I ever played poker. I will always have a fondness for it because of that. Here's a note I wrote last spring about one trip. What's that? Too early to be hitting up the archives? Well screw you! It's my blog and I'll do whatever I want! Now read:
Artie Lange wrote in his recent book that the best part of doing coke was the ride to go get it. The same can be said of the two hour drive from Boston to Foxwoods Casino. Everything is optimism as you fly through Rhode Island, past the pink palace and deep into the Conneticut woods, where the casino rises up through the trees like a pre-fab Native American Disneyworld designed by Chief Uses-ToomuchTurquoise. After we drop off the car at the free valet (“Free??” we say; “This isn’t Vegas” sneers the surprisingly cheerful valet), we head through the outer casinos with the droning, chiming, mantra of thousands of slot machines whirring away. All the coins have been replaced by voucher tickets, so the metallic harbinger of jackpots is the only thing missing. Seeing people smoking indoors (that’s right, inside a building) is shocking and sooo retro. We play poker for a few hours, and then Gene heads back to Boston and I head to the Twin Pines hotel (it’s actually called The Two Trees, but Twin Pines sounds much more like something out of a David Lynch movie). Let me tell you something about the Twin Pines: they have heat/sun lamps built in to the ceiling of the bathroom. The feeling of that warmth beating down on you after you get out of the shower is….is…..well, I’ll say indescribable because I can’t think of anything else to say. I simply don’t think I can go back to my peasant existence devoid of bathroom heat lamps. I play in a tourney the next morning, and do pretty well, but bust out when my pocket aces are all in against ace-jack of diamonds. Yeah, of course three diamonds came out, but you don’t want to hear my poker sob stories. The only thing more boring than poker bad beat stories are baby and pet stories (“…then little Tad spit up on the concierge. It was so precious…..” “Fluffy did the cutest thing this morning….”). Lunch is on the casino. That’s right, there is such a thing as a free lunch! I use my Dream Card at Fuddrucker’s and all is good! Imagine that; you drop a few hundred bucks here and they give you a free sandwich. I don’t know how they stay in business. The Dream Card used to be called the Wampum Card, which I found much more delightfully un-PC. I thought they should have gone full out and called the gift shop the Indian Giver. I hit the race book to bet on some horses and kill a couple hours, and end up having the most fun of the two days hanging out there drinking complimentary cappuccinos and strawberry shakes (if you’re ever at Foxwoods, do yourself a favor and get a strawberry shake) and screaming at 70-1 longshots on the big screen. Now it’s time to head to the bus lobby and go home. If there is a more miserable, bedraggled murderer’s row of DNA and societal wrong turns than a casino bus lobby, I don’t want to see it! I’m craving a Dr. Pepper, but at this point in the trip I don’t really have that kind of money to throw around. It’s either a soda or a trip home, but not both. I choose the trip home. I pay the driver my last crumpled $21, and settle into my seat, tired, disoriented, broke, and a little strung-out on bad air and cappuccinos. As we pull out of the Rainmaker parking lot I think to myself; I wonder if Gene wants to come back next week………….