3 Days: Ute Mountain Casino in Colorado & Two Days In Albuquerque! (UT-CO, CO-NM, NM) “DAYS 161, 162, 163” – Dec.12,13,14

December 14, 2010 - 7:00 pm - (UT-CO) - “DAY 161” - Week 24 - State #22

I woke up this morning at 9 am and immediately started writing because I was leaving Moab as soon as I finished. (No need to stay here any longer, plus it was just a stopover to break up the drive from Brian Head, UT to Albuquerque, NM which was 11 hours.)

I finished writing around 11 am which was perfect because I would get to listen to the NFL football games while I drive (if I get any radio stations). 😉  For me, driving while listening to sports events makes the ride go by much faster.  Nice!

Traveling From Moab, UT - Albuquerque, NM
Like I said, I stopped here to break up the ride, so from Moab to Albuquerque is about a 6 hour trip.   I was only on the road a few minutes when I was again reminded how amazing the scenery is here in Utah.

Seriously, I couldn’t drive for two minutes without wanting to take out my camera and snap another picture.  Everywhere I looked was another crazy rock formation or another mountain in the distance that was many different colors.  Amazing!

Again, I wish I had more to write so I could put more pictures of the ride in this post but, all I really did was drive, listen to the football games on the radio (when the station came in), and take pictures every other second of the different sceneries.

Then, about two hours into my trip, I spotted a casino on the side of the road called Ute Mountain.  Since I had nowhere to be once I got to New Mexico, I stopped at Ute Mountain to check it out and see if they had poker.  Also, I could watch some of the NFL games.

F.Y.I. - Ute Mountain is in Colorado about 30 miles from the four corners.  The four corners is where you can stand in 4 states at the same time, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada.

Ute Mountain Casino & Hotel
I walked in and the first thing I did other than ask if they had poker (they did), was to get a players card.  I got my card and then asked around until I found a manager on duty who had the ability to comp a room.

About 20 minutes later, I finally spoke with somebody in charge and after telling him about my journey and website, he comped me a room for the night.  Thanks! 🙂

Poker
Now that I had a room for the night, it was time play some poker!  The poker room was smaller but nice as it had about 7 tables.  As most poker rooms do, they had many different promotions and today’s promotion was a Broncos Jersey giveaway at 10 pm.

Anyway, it was about 1:30 pm when I sat down to play.  The only game they had running was a 2-10 spread limit, dealer’s choice game (Hold’em or Omaha).  I bought in $100 and sat down.

I played for about an hour until the game broke shortly before 3 pm (I was down $40).  It broke at that time because at 3 pm there was a $10 NL Hold’em poker tournament that everybody in the room enters each week (unlimited re-buys and one add-on).

Poker Tournament
In this tourney you started with 1000 chips but you could re-buy as often and whenever you wanted. (I never re-bought for the whole tourney so it only cost me $10 to play.)

During the first hour, the cards were going my way and by the time the break had arrived... I was chip leader of my table.  Sweet!  What I didn’t know was that many people re-bought for $50 or $60 during the break so when I got back... I wasn’t chip leader anymore. 🙁

2nd Hour
For the whole second hour, I didn’t get one playable hand as I folded almost every hand I was dealt.  This was crippling because going into the 3rd hour the blinds were going to be real big and my chip had gotten real small!  Not a good combo.

3rd Hour
About five minutes into the 3rd hour, three people were eliminated and I was at the final table. (The top 5 were getting paid.)  Still, my chip stack was so small, I had to make a move soon.

Then, before I knew it, I was in the big blind with (A, 4) off-suit.  The blinds were 1,000-2,000 and I only had 3,000 chips, so needless-to-say I was All-In.  (There were three callers so if I hit, I would be all good again.)

The flop came with nothing and by the time the river hit... I still had nothing.  Somebody hit a pair of 9’s and I was eliminated in 7th place.  Ahhh!  At least, it only cost me $15 to play for 3 hours. 😉

Taking A Break
It was now around 5 pm and I had eaten yet, so I went to room and changed, then headed over to the buffet for dinner.  The buffet was your standard buffet.  It had salad, a bunch of options, and desert.  I ate a lot of food because the beef ribs were real good! 🙂

After eating dinner and getting a second wind, I went back to the poker room to play a cash game for the rest of the night.  Again, the only game they were playing was a 2-10 spread limit, dealers choice game.

Poker Again (Cash Game)
Since I was down $40 from poker before, I only bought in for $60 to start this time.  It didn’t take long to lose that $60 as a half hour later, I re-bought in for another $100. (I’m in for $200 total right now.)

F.Y.I. - The players and dealers were real friendly in this room. Everybody knew everybody’s name here (except for me), but they welcomed me in and made me feel like I was regular. 🙂

It reminded me of the casino I enjoyed playing in while I was in Hankinson, ND (Dakota Magic) where the whole room was one big family.  Nice!  (I’ll back there one day for a weekend.)

But like in N.D., the game shuts down early here as they told me it will break around 10 pm shortly after they do their Bronco’s jersey giveaway.  That’s OK by me, I’ve been going to sleep earlier anyway and I still have a 4 hour drive to Albuquerque tomorrow.

Anyway, I played until the game shut down at 10 pm and when the smoke cleared... I had won back my $100 plus another $70!  Nice!  And I needed it because I have to start rebuilding my bank account.  (I’m still over a grand but bill are coming again!  Ahhh! :()

Back To My Room
I got back to my room around 11 pm and after talking to Jeremy (as I do nightly), I watched some TV, looked into what to do in Albuquerque when I get there tomorrow, and then went to bed.  Pretty standard really... (Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers”). 🙂

Ute Mountain Casino & Hote
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To all my poker playing/gambling readers out there, if you are ever planning to visit the “Four Corners” area and you get the itch to play... Ute Mountain is the place to go.

It’s not Las Vegas by any means, but they have everything you need.  They offer all table games (blackjack, roulette, craps, etc...), they have nice a poker room (lower limits), of course they have a ton of slots, and the room was clean and comfy.

Well... that was my Sunday.  I spent it in Colorado somehow and was glad I did because I found a little nook in the country I was happy to have visited! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

December 14, 2010 - 9:15 pm - (CO - NM) “DAY 162” - Week 24 - State #22

I woke up today at 10 am and started writing as fast as I could (not that fast). 🙁  I’m a day behind and have been for almost a week so I’m trying to catch up, but with all the driving I’m doing... it’s been hard to say the least. 😉

I finished posting at 1pm, so I packed up my things and went to the lobby to check out.  The cool thing about all lobby’s this time of year is the festive environment and every place I go there is some form holiday display and I enjoy them all. 🙂

F.Y.I. - I have always like this time of year since I was a kid, not even for the presents (although they were nice) but because of the way it this season makes people feel. 🙂 And... Happy Holidays to you too Ute Mountain, thanks for everything!

Traveling - Cortez, Colorado - Albuquerque, NM
Since I stopped overnight in Colorado, the drive was only 4 hours to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The good thing about Albuquerque is there are a lot of casinos and it’s a big city (not NY big but not small either).  Also, I have press pass for the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.

The bad thing... I still don’t where I’m staying yet and I don’t have anything on the horizon.  My plan is to hit a casino and see what I can do but if that doesn’t work out... I’ll find somewhere affordable to stay until I find a better option.

The Drive
This drive was very similar to the last two I just wrote about as it has all the same beautiful landscapes as Utah does.  I’m sure there are differences but I”m not a expect at it so for the layman... it all looks roughly the same, beautiful mountains, blah blah blah. 😉

Funny Signs Next To Each Other

I wasn’t more than 30 minutes into my journey when I saw two billboards next to each other that were so different yet appropriately placed, that I had to double back to get a picture.

One billboard had a huge picture of Jesus and said, “Jesus is watching you”.  The other was sign for an adult bookstore that said, “Adult video”.  It’s an instant classic! LOL 🙂

The Rest Of My Ride
For the rest of my drive I enjoyed the scenery as I kept my eye out for any possible places to stay.  The first place I stopped was Santa Ana Casino about 10 miles north of Albuquerque.

Santa Ana Star Casino
Santa Ana Star was a full casino complete with all tables games and a poker room but... they didn’t have a hotel attached.  So even though it was nice, I left after a quick walk through and kept driving south until I got to Sandia Casino & Hotel 10 miles south.

Sandia Hotel & Casino
I arrived at Sandia around 6 pm and after getting my players card, I asked around until I found somebody who was in a position to be able to comp a room (or so I thought).  I spoke to a casino host and after about 20 minutes... they told there was nothing they could do.  Ahhh! 🙁

Still, this was a real nice place and the poker room is supposed to be the best on town.  Plus, I am Albuquerque so I have arrived.  I can either keep driving around town to one of the other 3 or 4 casinos (with hotels) or I can find a cheap room close by and play some poker already.

Finding An Affordable Room
After some thought (5 seconds), I decided I was tired of driving around and started searching my GPS for a hotel close by to stay at.  I called about 5 places and the most affordable room was at a Motel 6 about 3 miles away ($32.99 per night).

Motel 6
Long story short, the girl at the front desk gave me a room but she didn’t want her picture taken. 😉  Then, I settled in for minute before I headed back out the casino to play poker.

Back To Sandia Casino For Poker
As I stated earlier, the poker room here is nice as it has about 20 tables and a consistent player base (or so they say).  I went to the board and the games they had running were 2-4 limit, 4-8 limit, and 1-2 NL.

It’s time to make some money so I decided to play in the 1-2 NL game.  I was immediately sat and bought in for $111 ($50-$200 is the allowed buy-in).  The table had some big stacks there so even though I had $111., I was still a very small stack.  (I used a rhino today to change it up!) 🙂

The first few hands I played I lost as my cards never filled out (flush draws, straight draws, etc...).  Next thing I knew... I was down to just $13.  Ahhh!  Now, most people would just play the very next hand and throw their $13 away.  Not me... 😉

I waited it out until I got a hand I wanted to play and whala...  I made a monster comeback as I double-up’d 3 of the next 6 hands.  I looked down and now I was up $100, time to get out of Dodge!  🙂

Back To Motel 6
It was 11 pm and I was tired from all the traveling I’ve been doing so I called it night and headed back to the Motel 6.  Hey, it was a smart move.  The $100 I won paid for my gas, the room, all the food I ate, and I still have some left.  Nice! 🙂

There’s not much else to write except I had another great day.  I made it to another state (#22), I won some money ($100), and I have a place to stay (Motel 6).  Not bad for a guy who left 162 days ago with just over 2 grand and a dream! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

December 15, 2010 - 1:38 am - (NM) “DAY 163” - Week 24 - State #22

Today was a day I needed to get a lot done so I got up early (as I have been) and listed out what I needed to do.  I needed to figure out where I’m staying, I had to send some stuff to Mom, get an oil change, fix my GPS, and decide what to do with the ticket I got in AZ.

Oh yeah... I also have to write 2 days worth of posts just to get up to date, not including this one (so 3 total).  Ahhh!  I am so busy I won’t have time to do anything in Albuquerque today except all this busy stuff. 🙁

Motel 6
As I was leaving to go to Fed-Ex and get an oil change, I stopped at the front desk to see of the GM was around.  She was, and after a brief conversation I worked a deal for my room for the night.  Nice! 🙂  (OK, I have a place stay today.)

Fed-Ex & A Oil Change
Having a place to stay put my mind at ease so now it was time to get the other stuff done.  First, I went to Fed-Ex and mailed my Mom some paperwork and small Holiday presents for the family.  Thanks Glenn!

Then, I went across the street to Midas to get and oil change for my car.  It was $28.99 after tax but I after a quick conversation it turned out to be just $20 flat.   Thanks Midas! 🙂

While I was waiting for my car, I started talking with the 3 people working there about my trip (Daniel, Chris, Roger).  (They asked after seeing the Wheresrooster.com on the side of my car.)

Anyway, they were real cool guys and after telling them a bunch of stories about my journey... I think I have few new readers now. 🙂  Good luck in life guys, it was nice meeting you!

GPS & AZ Ticket
After getting that done, it was time to fix my GPS (or at least try to) and then figure out what to do with my ticket (pay it and take the points or take a 4 hour defensive driving course on line for $45 more than the ticket?).

This part of my day took over 4 hours to complete.  I fixed my GPS or at least I think so and I decided to take the defensive driving course and keep my streak of 17 years without a ticket alive.  (I have to complete the 4 hour course before 12/21.)

Taking a Nap, Then Writing
It was now 5 pm and I was exhausted from running around all day so I took a nap.  I did this because I still had to write 3 days of posts (including the one I’m writing now, it’s 2:20 am and I’m still working, just posted this pic at 4:50 am). 😉

I woke up at 6:30 pm and started writing.  I wrote while watching TV until 9 pm when I left the room to grab some food.  I have some Chili’s gift certificates from AZ leftover, so I found a Chili’s and went there for a late dinner.

Chili’s
Chili’s was well... Chili’s.  After looking through the menu I deiced to order the two for $20 deal (2 entrees - fajitas, ribs., app. - cheese sticks).  I wasn’t gonna finish it all but I hadn’t eaten all day and I still a long night ahead of me.  (It will all get eaten before I go to sleep.)

In case you’re curious, I ate most of the fajitas and took the ribs home for a late night snack. (I ate them while I wrote “DAY 162”.)

Motel 6
I got back to the room around 11 pm and have been writing ever since (it’s almost 3 am).  Whew!  I’m finally caught up, well kinda... I still have take all 3 of these entries and post them on the website with the corresponding pictures (another 1-2 hours).

I have said this before, I am having the time of my life but it is a lot of work, much more than I ever thought there would be.  And... sometime this week I still have to set aside 4 plus hours to take that damn defensive driving course!

Thanks for reading!

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Comments (3)

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  1. DAD says:

    WOW !! What can I say that you haven’t done.
    Driven for 3 days across 4 states, experienced desolate places, found casinos, gambled and won.
    Only thing missing is charity work.
    You the man !!!

  2. bennervous says:

    I really feel so bad for you with all the work you have on your plate.

    Thanks for posting the state count. I like that you consider feedback.

    I love the comp room slip from Ute Mountain saying that the reason for the comp is website promo. We gotta talk about this more. I’ll reach out to you by the weekend.

    Other lurkers on your site need to comment a little. It seems like it has just been your Dad lately. Not that it is bad that your Dad is posting (Hi, Mr B.), its just that few other people are.

    C’mon people! I am curious about what others think about the journey. I know you are out there, as Rooster and I have discussed site hits.

  3. dave says:

    I think people prefer just reading and also… I’m not even sure when to find the comments sometimes… LOL Again, I’m not a web guy. 🙂

    Thanks Ron and Have a Happy Holidays!

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