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Exploring the world, one poker room at a time - a wasy8 project

    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Hey guys, its wasy8. For those of you that don't know me, I am a 23 year old mid-high stakes HUSNG pro and have been playing poker professionally for about 3 years. I have several blogs on PS, most of which flop out of laziness, but I promise this one will be the most interesting. Why? Because it has absolutely nothing to do with online poker, which admittedly can be pretty tough to blog about, since most of the entries sound the same anyway.

      I currently live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and have been wandering more into live games lately. There are 7 poker rooms in Calgary, and 21 total in Alberta which is pretty ridiculous. Poker is alive and well in Alberta, and the games are juicy with lots of oil money in the area and people all too willing to punt it. So I came up with this kinda crazy idea that I should try to play at every single one, collecting a $1 (or lowest denomination they have) poker chip from each. This expanded into "what if I hit up as many as I can in Canada, the US, and overseas as well?" Seems like a pretty unique way to see the world, and when I'm old and frail I'll be able to look at my collection of $1 chip souvenirs with fond memories of each.

      I've been two a few cardrooms in the last year that I definitely wish I had collected chips from (in Montreal and Manila specifically) but unfortunately can't document them here unless I go back and play there again. I'm doing this mostly alone, but every once in a while I'll drag a friend out for a road trip to grind some live pokerz with me too, especially on the longer drives north. Also, if you're willing to host me to play at a cardroom I haven't done yet (which is basically everywhere right now), let me know and I'll see if I can fit it in sometime in the future!

      All of you wonderful readers get to share in my experience too, since I'm going to document my experiences here with a blog post for every cardroom I play at. I have two chips collected from the last week, one from the Grey Eagle Casino and the other from Cowboys Casino. I'll post recaps below, as well as a picture of the chip I collect from each.

      Hope you enjoy!

      Cardrooms Played At To Date

      Crown Casino - Melbourne

      Concord Card Casino Simmerling - Vienna
      Montesino Casino - Vienna

      Viage Casino - Brussels

      Grey Eagle Casino - Calgary
      Cowboys Casino - Calgary
      Cash Casino - Calgary
      Casino Calgary - Calgary
      Elbow River Casino - Calgary
      Deerfoot Inn & Casino - Calgary
      Casino Lethbridge - Lethbridge
      Cash Casino - Red Deer
      Boomtown Casino - Fort McMurray
      Century Casino - Edmonton
      River Cree Resort & Casino - Enoch
      Palace Casino - Edmonton
      Casino Edmonton - Edmonton
      Casino Yellowhead - Edmonton
      Baccarat Casino - Edmonton
      Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino - Morley
      Camrose Resort Casino - Camrose
      Casino by Vanshaw - Medicine Hat
      Casino Dene - Cold Lake
      Eagle River Casino - Whitecourt
      Great Northern Casino - Grande Prairie
      British Columbia
      Edgewater Casino - Vancouver
      Grand Villa Casino - Burnaby
      River Rock Resort & Casino - Richmond
      Starlight Casino - New Westminster
      Boulevard Casino - Coquitlam
      Cascades Casino - Langley
      Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino - Surrey
      Chances Casino - Fort St. John
      Treasure Cove Casino - Prince George
      Billy Barker Casino - Quesnel
      Cascades Casino - Kamloops
      Hard Rock Casino - Vancouver
      South Beach Casino - Scanterbury
      Club Regent Casino - Winnipeg
      McPhillips Station Casino - Winnipeg
      Shark Club - Winnipeg
      Aseneskak Casino - Opaskwayak
      Sand Hills Casino - Carberry
      New Brunswick
      Casino New Brunswick - Moncton
      Nova Scotia
      Casino Nova Scotia - Sydney
      Casino Nova Scotia - Halifax
      OLG Casino Thunder Bay - Thunder Bay
      OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie - Sault Ste. Marie
      OLG Casino Point Edward - Point Edward
      Caesar's Windsor - Windsor
      OLG Casino Brantford - Brantford
      Casino Niagara - Niagara Falls
      Fallsview Casino - Niagara Falls
      Woodbine Racetrack - Toronto
      Casino Rama - Rama
      Great Blue Heron Charity Casino - Scugog Island
      OLG Casino Thousand Islands - Gananoque
      Rideau Carleton Racetrack - Ottawa
      Prince Edward Island
      Red Shores Racetrack & Casino - Charlottetown
      Casino du Lac Leamy - Gatineau
      Casino de Mont Tremblant - Mont Tremblant
      Playground Poker Club - Kahnawake
      VIP Poker Club - Kahnawake
      Casino de Montreal - Montreal
      Snakes Poker Club - Kahnawake
      Stardust Poker Mansion - Kahnawake
      Casino de Charlevoix - La Malbaie
      Poker Palace - Kahnawake
      Living Sky Casino - Swift Current
      Casino Regina - Regina
      Dakota Dunes Casino - Whitecap
      Northern Lights Casino - Prince Albert
      Gold Eagle Casino - North Battleford
      Bear Claw Casino - Carlyle
      Painted Hand Casino - Yorkton
      Diamond Tooth Gerties - Dawson City

      Riverking Poker Club - Phnom Penh
      NagaWorld Casino - Phnom Penh
      Queenco Casino - Sihanoukville
      Lion City Casino - Sihanoukville
      Riverking Bao Mai - Sihanoukville
      Oriental Pearl Casino - Sihanoukville
      Ya Duo Li Casino - Sihanoukville
      Fortuna Casino - Sihanoukville
      WM Casino - Sihanoukville

      Babylon Casino - Macau
      City of Dreams Casino - Macau
      Wynn Palace - Macau
      Wynn - Macau
      Venetian - Macau

      Casino Cezar - Zagreb
      Casino International - Zagreb

      Casino Atrium - Prague

      Casino Palma Real - Punta Cana

      Spielbank Wiesbaden - Wiesbaden

      Cotton Poker Club - Budapest
      Universum Poker - Budapest
      Tropicana Casino - Budapest

      Eglinton Card Club - Galway
      Four Aces Card Club - Galway
      Gold Rush Casino - Cork
      Fitzwilliam Card Club - Dublin
      Temple Bar Emporium - Dublin
      JP Poker Irish Open - Dublin

      Savan Vegas Hotel and Casino - Savannakhet

      Dragonara Casino - St. Julian's
      The Casino at Portomaso - St. Julian's
      Oracle Casino - Bugibba

      Holland Casino - Amsterdam

      Sortis Casino - Panama City

      City of Dreams Casino - Manila
      Solaire Casino - Manila
      Resorts World - Manila
      Wild Aces Poker Sports Club - Angeles City
      Century Poker Sports Club - Angeles City
      Royce Hotel and Casino - Angeles City

      Jack Poker Club - Timisoara
      Gentlemen's Poker Club - Timisoara
      Mario Grand Poker Club - Constanta
      Grand Casino Marriott - Bucharest

      Resorts World Sentosa - Singapore

      Grand Casino Beograd - Belgrade
      Casino Royal - Vrsac

      Casino Bled - Bled

      Paradise City - Incheon

      Grosvenor Victoria Casino - London
      Casino at the Empire - London
      The Hippodrome Casino - London
      Grosvenor G Casino - London
      Aspers Casino - London
      Genting Casino Cromwell Mint - London
      Grosvenor G Casino - Brighton
      Rendezvous Casino - Brighton
      Rainbow Casino - Bristol
      Broadway Casino - Birmingham
      Dusk Till Dawn - Nottingham
      Manchester235 - Manchester
      Isle of Man
      Palace Casino - Douglas
      Grosvenor G Casino - Cardiff
      Les Croupiers Casino - Cardiff
      Grosvenor G Casino - Swansea

      Pensacola Greyhound Racing - Pensacola
      Grand Falls Casino - Larchwood
      WinnaVegas - Sloan
      Horseshoe - Council Bluffs
      Kansas Star - Mulvane
      Harrah's - New Orleans
      Belle of Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge
      L'Auberge Casino and Hotel - Baton Rouge
      Shooting Star Casino - Mahnomen
      Canterbury Park - Shakopee
      Golden Nugget - Biloxi
      Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Biloxi
      Beau Rivage - Biloxi
      IP Casino and Resort - Biloxi
      Hollywood Casino - Bay St. Louis
      Silver Creek Casino - Missoula
      Kalispell Hilton Poker Room - Kalispell
      Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas
      Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon - Las Vegas
      Flamingo - Las Vegas
      Monte Carlo - Las Vegas
      Aria - Las Vegas
      Mirage - Las Vegas
      Palms - Las Vegas
      MGM Grand - Las Vegas
      Excalibur - Las Vegas
      Luxor - Las Vegas
      Mandalay Bay - Las Vegas
      Harrah's - Las Vegas
      Circus Circus - Las Vegas
      Riviera - Las Vegas
      Wynn - Las Vegas
      Bellagio - Las Vegas
      Caesar's Palace - Las Vegas
      Bally's - Las Vegas
      Venetian - Las Vegas
      Stratosphere - Las Vegas
      Rio - Las Vegas
      South Point - Las Vegas
      The Orleans - Las Vegas
      El Cortez - Las Vegas
      Binion's - Las Vegas
      Golden Nugget - Las Vegas
      Treasure Island - Las Vegas
      Hooters - Las Vegas
      The Quad - Las Vegas
      Palace Station - Las Vegas
      Suncoast - Las Vegas
      Red Rock - Las Vegas
      Green Valley Ranch - Henderson
      Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Las Vegas
      Riverside Casino - Laughlin
      Harrah's - Laughlin
      Cactus Pete's - Jackpot
      Peppermill - Wendover
      Wendover Nugget - Wendover
      New Mexico
      Isleta Resort and Casino - Albuquerque
      Sandia Resort and Casino - Albuquerque
      Route 66 Resort and Casino - Albuquerque
      New York
      Seneca Niagara Casino - Niagara Falls
      North Dakota
      Dakota Magic - Hankinson
      Riverwind Casino - Norman
      Winstar World Casino - Thackerville

  • 122 replies
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Grey Eagle Casino - Calgary, AB, Canada

      My first stop on this project is at the Grey Eagle Casino, a casino on an indian reserve with a large 15 table poker room. My friend, who is also a HUSNG reg, talked me into playing the $300 monthly challenge tournament last Wednesday with him. We both played and swapped a small %. He busted about midway through, and despite it being my first ever live MTT, i finished 6/147 for $1750, plus an extra $100 in bounties. Was pretty disappointed with my finish though, since i was a dominant chipleader with 6th left. A combination of it being a fast structure as well as being really card dead and running badly when I actually did have cards meant that I busted earlier than I wanted to. Still a good result I guess.

      How did I score my $1 chip if I just played a tournament? Funny enough, I just found it on the ground in the poker room during the tournament. Works for me. And even though my buddy didn't cash in the tournament, he did clean up in the cash games while waiting for me, so all in all a successful trip.

    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Cowboys Casino - Calgary, AB, Canada

      I've been to Cowboys a few times now, since it's really close to my place, plus its awesome overall. The poker room/casino is also attached to a club, so lots of drunkies wander in from there too. The poker room is open 24 hours, and if you're around at 10am they give you a complimentary breakfast as well. I went on Friday and Saturday, and took home a profit of $2400 at 200nl over 2 sessions. Saturday might've been the craziest live game I've ever been a part of. Two players at the table were literally playing their entire hands blind, and were putting in 100bb almost every hand doing so. They were running super hot to keep themselves in the game for most of the night, but overall I held enough hands vs them to score a pretty monstrous profit of $1850 on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

      I can imagine Cowboys will probably be my go-to for live games when I'm not exploring other cardrooms. Highly recommended.

    • DeLau
      Joined: 10.01.2009 Posts: 1,606
      Awesome blog! Can't wait for more. My wife and I are planning to go to Canada next year (2014 actually) for 8-9 months. Still trying to figure out where we will go and what we will do exactly. But it seesm like I will definitely have to play some live poker! :s_grin:

      If you want to come and play in some casino's in Belgium, I will be happy to show you around :)

      GL and HF!

    • carrapa
      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 1,295
      will follow :D
    • NIVEKii
      Joined: 01.01.2009 Posts: 1,138
      This will surely be a blog to follow! Sick that you have so many casino's relatively nearby. My first casino trip will be in Prague, perhaps I can do something similar wherever I go. Thanks for the tip! :f_grin:
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Casino Calgary - Calgary, AB, Canada

      Casino Calgary is in the northeast part of Calgary, and part of a chain of casinos that also includes Casino Yellowhead, Casino Edmonton, and Casino Lethbridge. You get a loyalty card that collects points whenever you visit any of the casino, plus other bonuses for things like visiting all 4 casinos within 30 days. I won't be able to visit all 4 this month, since I'm going home to Winnipeg for Christmas with the family for two weeks, so I'll likely visit the others all in January or February.

      As for the poker room itself, it seems nice enough. Its open 24 hours but I visited during a weekday evening when the games didn't seem particularly good. Encountered the first solid live reg I've ever played at 1/2 - he was aggro in good spots, betsized really well and was friendly and engaging towards fish. If you want to play live poker successfully, I think these are all really good qualities to emulate. Having him two to my left wasn't exactly ideal. However, right beside him, one to my left, was a player with the exact opposite qualities of this player. He was an old fuck who bitched every time he a) lost a pot, b) folded preflop and wouldve hit the flop, c) he thought someone else played bad. Constantly berating fish and being generally unpleasant. I really wanted to punch him in the face. Repeatedly.

      All in all, these less-than-ideal playing conditions, plus being tired, meant I only stayed for a shorter session of about 3 hours and left with a small profit of $115.

      Cash Casino - Calgary, AB, Canada

      Cash Casino was actually my first stop of the night, before Calgary Casino. I learned a pretty important lesson here though - ALWAYS call the poker room before you show up to make sure games are running. The room was completely dead. Only a dealer sitting there watching TV. He told me 1/2 basically only runs on Friday and Saturday nights, and other than that its basically only their daily $40 tournaments. I guess with so many poker rooms in the city, they can't all be lively all the time. However this was pretty disappointing for a room that is up 24/7. I bought my $1 chip from the cage anyways and left.

      There's another Cash Casino in Red Deer, and since that's the only casino/poker room in that city I expect it to be much livelier when I go there.

    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Originally posted by DeLau
      Awesome blog! Can't wait for more. My wife and I are planning to go to Canada next year (2014 actually) for 8-9 months. Still trying to figure out where we will go and what we will do exactly. But it seesm like I will definitely have to play some live poker! :s_grin:

      If you want to come and play in some casino's in Belgium, I will be happy to show you around :)

      GL and HF!

      Cool! I'd be happy to help you out with travel plans when you do come to Canada. There is literally so much to do, but if you're here for 8-9 months you should have plenty of time to visit all the major attractions.

      Belgium would definitely be cool to visit. I'll let you know when I'm in that part of Europe. Hopefully sooner rather than later. :)
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Originally posted by NIVEKii
      This will surely be a blog to follow! Sick that you have so many casino's relatively nearby. My first casino trip will be in Prague, perhaps I can do something similar wherever I go. Thanks for the tip! :f_grin:
      A casino in Prague would be pretty sick, definitely a city that would be high on my list to visit.

      Cheers and good luck!
    • acceleration123
      Joined: 11.12.2010 Posts: 5,312
      This seems pretty cool, gonna follow :P And come to Prague
    • DeLau
      Joined: 10.01.2009 Posts: 1,606
      Originally posted by wasy8
      Cool! I'd be happy to help you out with travel plans when you do come to Canada. There is literally so much to do, but if you're here for 8-9 months you should have plenty of time to visit all the major attractions.

      Belgium would definitely be cool to visit. I'll let you know when I'm in that part of Europe. Hopefully sooner rather than later. :)
      Great, sent you friend request. Hit me up on skype when you're coming this way :)
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Elbow River Casino - Calgary, AB, Canada

      Elbow River is actually the closest casino to my place, but spreads basically only limit holdem, some PLO, and some mixed game stuff. They do spread some of the biggest limit games in Canada, and the 40/80 game runs regularly. Another 24/7 poker room in Calgary, but no NLH means I don't play there. I contemplated sitting down for a bit of limit poker, but was told there'd be a 30 minute wait for a game. Let's be serious, I'm not waiting 30 min to play limit poker. Bought my $1 chip at the cage and got outta there.

      Nice looking chip though.

      Two more casinos in Calgary to do, Century Casino and Deerfoot. Gonna try to hit up Century this weekend, and Deerfoot next week. Also wanna try to get to at least one of Lethbridge, Red Deer, or Stoney Nakoda before I go home to Manitoba for Christmas next Friday. All three are outside of Calgary (Lethbridge 2.5 hr drive, Red Deer 1.5 hr drive, and Stoney Nakoda 1 hr drive).
    • Riverdiver
      Joined: 12.07.2012 Posts: 1,126
      Cool blog, subbed :s_love:
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Deerfoot Inn & Casino - Calgary, AB, Canada

      I've been to Deerfoot once before last night, but forgot to collect a chip. I think Deerfoot is one of the nicer casinos in Calgary, located in the southeast corner of the city. Another 24/7 poker room, and action is pretty steady all around the clock.

      My game was pretty meh last night though - some competent young guys (albeit kinda nitty) among the few drunk fish that went in and out. Was super tempted to take a shot at the 5/10 game running on the table next to us, looked like it was an average age of 40+ at that table. I only ended up +52 after like 5 hours, but I honestly have no idea how I walked out with a profit. Was totally card dead for hours, and when I did play a hand, it felt like villain got there almost every time. Got QQ in vs JJ midway through the night for a 600bb pot, splashy Asian lady binked her J on the river. I really shouldn't complain too much though, I've run pretty well in live poker all year. (0 losing sessions in 2012, fingers crossed that the streak continues!)

      Called Century Casino, and their poker room is apparently closed indefinitely. So it appears with Deerfoot done, I've gotten through all 6 poker rooms in Calgary. Tonight, I'm making the 2.5hr drive down to Lethbridge to visit their lovely casino. Looking forward to my first poker 'road trip'!
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Casino Lethbridge - Lethbridge, AB, Canada

      This was supposed to be a day trip to Lethbridge, at most a one night stay in a hotel and go home in the morning. It turned into a 5 day trip, where my car broke down and was forced to wait until I could get it fixed. $1100 car repair bill and 4 nights in a hotel later, I could finally get back to Calgary.

      Lethbridge is a smaller city, a bit of a university town. Casino Lethbridge is located at the east end of the city, and is part of the ABS chain of casinos in Alberta. Their $1, $5 and $25 chips were from several different older rooms, hand-me-down chips essentially. The 50 cent chip was the only one that actually had their name on it, so that's the one I took home. If there was a game running it was usually $1/2, but they did get a $2/5 dealer's choice game going at one point as well. As to be expected from a smaller city, the games were super juicy and entertaining. It made up for the shitty casino food and the slow dealers. Probably wouldn't go back, but I certainly won't forget Lethbridge.

      I'm going home to Winnipeg for two weeks on Friday. I might get to a casino or two when I'm back home at some point. If not, I'll make sure to get to them when I come back in May.
    • SherlockHolmes2ez
      Joined: 04.03.2012 Posts: 334
      Nice Blog :s_love:
    • SherlockHolmes2ez
      Joined: 04.03.2012 Posts: 334
      Nice Blog
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Hey guys, I'm back from Winnipeg. Got chips from Club Regent and South Beach, which are the two Manitoba casinos I've played at when I lived there. I would've updated while I was there, but internet was pretty shitty at my parents place and I couldn't images properly for whatever reason. So here's the trip report of the casinos I visited while home for the holidays!

      South Beach Casino - Scanterbury, MB, Canada

      I don't even know if Scanterbury qualifies as a town. The only reason people know Scanterbury exists is because of two reasons: a) the casino is there, b) you drive through it on the way to Grand Beach. It's basically a native reservation, and this is a native-owned casino. It's a decent casino though, with a tropical theme, a decent restaurant and hotel, and good games. It's about 30 min from my parent's house and 45 min outside Winnipeg so I've been here a few times before, but with mixed results.

      Club Regent Casino - Winnipeg, MB, Canada

      Club Regent is where I played my first ever hand of live poker (outside of homegames). It's in the north side of the city and when I first got into poker it was the only place you could play live poker. Since then South Beach and McPhillips (haven't played there yet) have opened their cardrooms so 'Peggers have options now. They also run a tropical theme here, with the whole roof painted as a bright blue tropical sky - a nice effect imo. I did read that Antonio Esfandiari played here once or twice and really liked it - so take that for what its worth. Always been a fan of Regent and will keep coming back when I'm in town visiting family. Unfortunately though they share the same chips with McPhillips so when I collect a chip from McPhillips it's going to look exactly the same as this one. :f_cry:

      I've also booked a trip to Vegas for the end of this month, 7 night stay. Going to play at and collect as many as I can - target is 15, hopefully more. Outside of Vegas, I've decided that my goal is to play at every card room in Canada before the end of 2013 (excluding the 9 I've already played at). There's about 65 in total, so it should be more than achievable. Longer term for this thread, I want to play in at least one cardroom on all 6 continents before the age of 30. I'm 23 now. This thread will be epic and I am stoked for it.
    • lessthanthreee
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      this is the coolest idea ever.
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Landed in Vegas tonight. Hanging out in Panorama Towers at my friend's place before I check in to Planet Hollywood for the week.

      This is the view from his balcony:

      Its not the best quality pic but you get the idea. Big grind week incoming with lots of chips/pics to be posted.