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Old 12-12-2005, 11:27 PM
JoeU JoeU is offline
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Location: Connecticut (the wonder of it all)
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Default Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

Hi Everyone,

I just got back from my first Cardplayer Cruise to the Mexican Riviera and I thought I'd share some of the highlights/lowlights of the trip. I'll only include one "bad beat" story. It's not really a bad beat, its more like "the right cards at the wrong time".

The Mrs and I get into San Diego just before noon on the 1st, a day ahead of the boat. We usually do that to make sure we're at the port and not stuck in some airport on the day we leave. As soon as I get off the plane, I ask the information desk how close the closest casino is. I guess Viejas is the winner at 40 minutes away. So with no car and no local casino, we head off to the hotel to check in. We drop off the bags, and walk to some "seaport" type of area with resturaunts and shops. Our hotel was across the street from the pier, so those of you from SD will know what the area was called. We had a great view of the bay, and all the carriers in port. We get a bite to eat, do a little walking, and end up back at the hotel at 6:00. I promptly fall asleep (we were up at 2:30am ET to catch the flight).

I wake up at about 5:30 local and look out our balcony. There, I am hit by this image:





Pretty cool to see the ship up close and personal like that first thing in the morning. It really gets the juices flowing for the upcoming trip. We get a few more winks in, pack up and check out to get on the ship.

We have been on this boat before. The Carnival Spirit entered service in 2001, and we were on it in November of that year for my best friend's wedding. He was married on the ship. She looks a little worn. Thats expected for a ship that has carried around 400,000 passengers since I was last aboard. The layout of the ship came back to me in an instant, which made getting around very easy for the rest of the trip.

The Ports

Acapulco
This was fairly nice. Sort of Cozumel West, but more built up. I would say Cancun West, but I've never been to Cancun. We went horseback riding on Revolcadero Beach through a company called Shoretrips. We booked 2 excursions through them, this one and the one in Manzanillo. The horseback riding was great. I had never been on a horse, so this was a treat for me. It was hot, even on the beach, but that didn't matter. We still had a blast. We were gonna do the Senor Frogs thing, but never made it because we were exhausted from the riding.

Ixtapa/Ziuhateneho

Ziuha is a little fishing village, and Ixtapa is a resort town just outside. The boat anchored in Ziuha Bay. This was the rest and relaxation part of the trip. We caught a cab to Playa Ropa and spent the day on the beach. Here is a picture of the boat anchored in the bay:




Manzanillo

We went scuba diving here through Shoretrips. My wife had never been, and I only dove once in St Marteen 4 years ago. The day was overcast, which made it a little murkier underwater, but the fish and coral were still amazing. We saw puffer fish, moray eels, stingrays, and schools of colorful fish. Definitely worth the trip.

On the way back to San Diego, our cabin faced the west, so we got some good sunset shots. Here's one for the report:




We also saw whales from the ship on both sea days coming back, but I didn't have the camera handy for that.

The Poker







The poker was good. There were approximately 400 people on the ship booked through Cardplayer, and about 250 were players (the other 150 being either dealers or non-playing spouses). They had two poker rooms set up, one onthe second floor and one on the third. They were both at the back of the ship, next to the dining room. This location made it easy to jump into a game after dinner or while checking the menu for dinner that is posted outside of the dining room. It was 3 floors from my room, and only about a minute or two's walk.

The games I played in were fairly soft, although my bankroll would say differently! Thy regularly spread hold'em games of 2-4, 4-8, 6-12, 10-20, and 20-40. They spread 4-8 and 10-20 omaha. The had 1-2 and 2-5 NL games, and a 20-40 HO. On the last 2 days of the cruise, FeliciaLee and I convinced them to spread a 2-4 HORSE which was an instant success. there was a list for the last 2 days of the cruise for the game. On the last day, we changed the Hold'em to Crazy Pineapple, thus making it a 2-4 CORSE. Here are some photos from that game:





(Felicia is probably gonna hate me for this one!)

The dealers and floor were absolutely top notch. Very efficient and very friendly. Linda Johnson was always around, mingling with the players. I didn't see Jan Fisher or Mark Tenner as much, but I would assume they were around. Mark also taught 2 seminars during the cruise, one on Hold'em and one on Omaha. I didn't make it to either, and I wish I did. Linda taught a beginners class that my wife and I attended. It was held in the chapel of the ship (yes, the same chapel my best friend was married in!). They also held a welcome aboard and going away party for the Cardplayer guests, complete with hor'deurves (sp) and free drinks. Many people with the group were past cruisers with Cardplayer, and I could see how they would get the repeat business.

Ok, stop reading here unless you want to read my misery.

My "hand of unfortunate timing":

In the 2-4 HORSE, we're playing hold'em and in LP I'm dealt Q [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img]Q [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]. An old guy who played absolutely any 2 cards from any spot calls UTG, an unknown lady in MP raises, I 3-bet, all fold to the old man who now caps, we all call. 3 to the flop for 6.5BB

Flop: 8 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]8 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]4 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img]

They both check to me and I check behind smelling a trap from the old man. Same situation:

Turn: Q [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img](8 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]8 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]4 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img])

UTG checks, lady bets, I raise, UTG calls, she 3-bets, I cap, all call. Nervous and confused to the river for 18BB

River: 6
[img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img](Q [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img]8 [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]8 [img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img]4 [img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img])

UTG checks, lady bets and I stop for what was probably 10 seconds, but seemed like 5 minutes. I say out loud "did you flop quads???". I get this sinking feeling that my gut is right about 4BB's too late. I say, "ok, I just call because I think you got quads, I'm queens full". The old man had mucked as I was saying I call, and she turns over 88.

My other misfortune was that ina 2-4 game that was playing loose, everyone manages to fold to the SB who was the loosest goose in the game. He asks for a chop and I say yes ( I always chop). He turns over AJo and I turn over KK [img]/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]! Talk about running bad.

Overall, it was a great trip, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Let me leave you with one final pic to show my misery at the poker table:



Joe
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2005, 11:39 PM
FeliciaLee FeliciaLee is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Golden Valley, AZ
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

Great report, Joe.

I've been wondering what I should say, but I wanted to get some things off of my chest (haha) since I got home, so I attended to my journal first.

Well, as far as the pic goes, at least I can't possibly look any worse, lol. I still don't have much hair. My teeth have slowly gotten discolored. I was so cold I had to put on Glenn's fleece jacket over my formal clothes. Ah, the life of a middle aged loser.

The pics are great, though, really. And the ones of you really look exactly like you. The implosion one really brings out how you look in everyday beats, haha.

I'm glad we got the HORSE game going. It really seemed like the hit of the cruise. I'll never forget your comment about 3/6 being "a little over your head" (ROFL) when I tried to up the stakes. And I was hoping for 4/8 or up, lol.

I'll try to add more tomorrow. Naturally I got a cold on the last day, ugh. I just don't have any immune system, so I seem to catch everything that is passing around on a ship, with the circulated air. Blah!

Oh, and I forgot to show you my mastectomies! [img]/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2005, 11:45 PM
JoeU JoeU is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

[ QUOTE ]
I'll never forget your comment about 3/6 being "a little over your head" (ROFL) when I tried to up the stakes. And I was hoping for 4/8 or up, lol.

[/ QUOTE ]

The way I was running, .50/1.00 seemed too high! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

I did read the blog, wish I knew all that before I read it. It seemed like you were still able to read people. You saw from a mile away that that lady flopped quads, and I missed it because I was focused on the guy who I thought had aces.

As far as the masectomy goes, I guess I'll take a raincheck??? [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]



Joe
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2005, 02:41 PM
RollaJ RollaJ is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

[ QUOTE ]
Oh, and I forgot to show you my mastectomies!

[/ QUOTE ]
I think you didnt forget, rather you knew he never left his cabin without the damn camera [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

BTW, OP... AMAZING Trip report, nice to see some pics included!
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:12 PM
FeliciaLee FeliciaLee is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

[ QUOTE ]
I think you didnt forget, rather you knew he never left his cabin without the damn camera

[/ QUOTE ]
Are you kidding??? I'm the one who sent the pic of my chest, right after surgery when it was still all raw and gross, to a friend of mine as a practical joke. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:22 PM
RollaJ RollaJ is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

You know what they say....... "If you aint got it, flaunt it" [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:29 PM
maranello11 maranello11 is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

I was thinking about booking one of these as well, just wanted to know how often the games run and if they have tourney's as well.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2005, 06:12 PM
Cyberchomp Cyberchomp is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: S.F. Bay Area
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

[ QUOTE ]
I was thinking about booking one of these as well, just wanted to know how often the games run and if they have tourney's as well.

[/ QUOTE ]

My experience on this particular cruise was that they would run one tourney a day while the ship was at sea. There were four full sea days on this cruise. There was a $230 limit HE tourney, and three NL tourneys with buy-ins ranging between $150 and $300+. The tourneys began at 9:30 a.m.

The poker rooms opened for business at 9:00 a.m. each morning when the ship was at sea, closed at 5:00-5:30 for dinner break, and reopened at 7:00 p.m. until the wee hours. The rooms were closed when the ship was in port (local regulations) but you could probably have done a "home" game in your cabin. I actually saw poker chips for sale(!) in a department store in Acapulco...

Games were set up based on demand. There were usually two 2/4 and up to four 4/8 games going during the course of an evening. Lots of demand for 6/12, along with the Omaha and NL tables.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2005, 11:53 PM
GoblinMason (Craig) GoblinMason (Craig) is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

Bet the flop. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Nice report, I wondered what the quality of these games would be based on the fact that all players are booked through CPC.

Did you see if the 20 was good?

-Craig
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2005, 11:57 PM
JoeU JoeU is offline
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Default Re: Cardplayer Cruise Trip Rport

I didn't, but Felicia said the 10-20 O8 was tight. In fact, I heard many players say the games were tighter than usual. I'd assume people are becomming better players.

It's still worth the trip.

Joe
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