Back from Alaska, The Yukon and such and such. No, I could not see Russia from any part of Alaska, but I did see the Governor's Mansion. You know, the one Sarah Palin won't live in because it's in Juneau, not Wasilla. You know, the actual capital of Alaska.
Saw plenty of whales, but unfortunately, none on the cruise ship poker table. Wow, I knew cruise ship poker was a bit dodgy with their truly horrible tournament structures, but it didn't really hit me until I played. Played five NLHE tournies on board. Won one, bubbled another, and crashed the rest. These tables were single table, 10 player tournaments with 2000 in starting chips and blinds that double. Yeah, double. Every. Fifteen. Minutes. Starting level gave you 20 big blinds, and by the end of the first orbit, even if you havent' played a hand, you're down to roughly 8 BB. So of course I found myself where I'm shoving ATC from unopened cutoffs or buttons when I'm sitting on less than 4 BBs only 30 minutes into a tournament.
In truth, these tournaments are designed to be over within about 75 minutes from the start, and the last thing any of the casino staff is worried about is providing a good structure. The one basically unforgivable issue took place in the first tournament, where the dealer would not allow the BB to raise after a button SB call during heads up. Her understanding was that "the small blind had the option". I attempted to correct her of this, but she wasn't having it, and the first-time-in-a-casino donkfish who lasted to heads up actually didn't know any different, and didn't care, and his opponent (who seemed to know different) didn't seem to care.
Oh well, such is life, and I was cool with it. I did manage to take one down, which paid for the remainder of my tourney play. The one thing that bummed me about the play was that over the entire cruise, we managed only once to get a cash table going (3/6 LHE). Otherwise, played my first live casino craps (slight loss), Caribbean Stud (broke even, but what a terrible game), and donked around blackjack for a while.
And saw glaciers, humpback whales, sea lions, otters, a couple bears, and had a brilliant time. I highly recommend cruising the Inside Passage if you can.
Of course, given my virtual denial of net access, I was left in the dark during at the time, but found my blogger catch up reading most pleasant, indeed, thanks to the deep WSOP runs of a couple of our blogger queens. CK and LJ, I'm proud of you, and surely these are only the first of many deep runs and cashes for each of you in that lil' ol' WSOP thingy. Especially LJ in her first. ever. live. HORSE. tourney. Pretty stunning, actually.
Anyway, I'll put up a couple photos of the trip once the Good Doctor Mondo gets them from her vid camera to the laptop....