Last week I went to Monterey for a job interview. I decided to spend 4 days there to explore the area, have a reunion with a friend from my early life, and check out the local poker scene as best as possible.
My firs disappointment came in the form of Ovo not having a game for me to play in.
I knew this before I left, and planned accordingly.
I arrived weds. night, and spent thursday enjoying the monterey bay area and going down through big sur. The weather was 68 and sunny, and was a real delight.
The area is absolutely beautiful, and I was already hooked. I didn't want to go home.
Friday I interviewed. It was an all day interview for a position that would be created for me. The company did not have an opening that they were looking to fill, but were looking to explore the idea that I might be a good fit for their future plans. This is a very flattering position to be in, and I was flattered to be there.
A friend of mine just started at the company January 2nd, and gave me some feedback she overheard as people left their session of the interview. She e-mailed me this as she was leaving the office:
Everyone loves you, and I mean "LOVES." Things like "That man is incredible", "Is there anything he hasn't done?", "He is innovative", "He has some really great ideas", "We really need him here", "Can you believe he really exist?"
Way to go on blowing everyone away.
They said they would put together a couple compensation packages, and would be making the formal offer tomorrow. I guess the interview went well.
The up side is that they are a great group of people, and I really like the company focus. They are also small (68 people) but stable. No people who have been there as professionals in my field have ever left the company, which is 10 years old. The job description is as good as I could hope for. It really looks promising.
After the interview, they took me and my friend who works there out to dinner (my friend would be working int he same department). We got out of dinner at 9, and it took me about an hour to locate the nearest card room, hit the ATM, and get a seat. Welcome to Mortime's Card Room in Marina, CA.
The room had 6 tables. a blackjack table, a Pai Gow Poker table, 2 NL tables and 2 spread limit tables. The poker tables were all hold'em only. Spread limit was $2-$6, and the NL was $1/$3 with a $500 max buy in as the game starts, but you can buy in for up to the biggest stack once the game is going. I looked at the table, it was mostly short stacked, with 2 people sitting on $400ish. I had only $800 from the ATM (stupid withdrawal limits) and so bought in for $300 so I could reload if needed.
The game played smaller than a NH/MA border CT .25/.50 game. The biggest pot I played all night might have been just under $200, and the second biggest pot I played was $90ish. The big stacks were the nits at the table. Easy to steal the small ones, watch out if they stick around or play back at you. Super tight, almost never in a hand. The rest of the table would buy in for $100 at a time. This made it easy to get all in. The play was bad. People playing junk cards, but not playing them well. Got all in on a flop of 873 with 2 clubs while holding 8s7s. Lost to Q7o when the river Q came. Stuff like that. But the pot was small, as the guy with the Q7 only had $45 at the start of the hand.
Ran bad/card deadness led to a -$200 session. Stole a few small one's easily. Lost a few medium ones to suckouts. Never had the goods against the monkeys trying to give it away.
I think the game is definitely beatable based on my 4 hours there, but I was hoping to get to the main table.
The table I was playing at was the feeder table, and was a must move for the main table. The main table was deep stacked, but I didn't get to watch the game. Not sure how it plays. If it plays as small as the table I played at, I'll be looking for anywhere else to play. Waiting for a hand all night to pick off an all-in monkey for a small pot is not fun poker.
The room was a dump, and the area was rough. I was escorted to my car by an armed cop at the end of the night to ensure my security. Was glad to have him. I am used to playing illegal underground games with a variety of businessmen and sketchy characters, but the games are not known by the general public, and I never feel danger when leaving, as such I liked the cop.
The chips were cheap ABS for the $5 and $25 chips, but chipcos for the $1 chips. Weird. The chipcos were ugly designed. J5 hadn't ever met these people. They looked like a stock design choice.
The next day I went to the aquarium. Supposedly the best aquarium in the US. Nice Jellyfish display, and the giant octopus was really showing off it seemed. Overall, less nice than Chicago or Boston, but it is a nice aquarium. Didn't go to any aquarium shows with the trained animals, and the sea otters were sleeping while I was there. They could really learn a thing or 2 about penguin exhibits from Boston.
In the end, I am expecting a formal offer tomorrow, and expecting it to be one that I'm likely to take. I hope Meeting Ovo, and some other locals will result in finding some home games to play in, as mortimers is not my idea of a great regular game. The next nearest card room worth driving to, the locals at mortimers told me, would be the Bay 101. I could go play with Helmuth. It is too far to play regularly, but may make a nice occasional trip.