Whatever happened to Cigars and Poker?

I’m not going to go on a tantrum about all of the “smoke free” poker rooms in the country. What I will do is give ‘props’ to the one true poker room that stills exists today that allows cigar smoking and is properly equipped with ventilation. But before I get into this blissful visit to this kingdom of all my favorite vices (Cigars, Poker, Whiskey), let’s get a few things clear.

While I totally understand the heatlh concerns of smoking and even some of the claims agains second hand smoke, but when do we look back into history and say to ourselves “hey all of these thing were fine in the 70’s and 80’s when we were children and wonder why we’re such stick up the asses today?”

In the interst of time. I digress. Let’s go back to the year 1999. Before there was a Cris Moneymaker or Antonio Esfandiari and by the way, David Williams was still sneaking into card games in Dallas as a teenager. But Im getting ahead of myself. I was living in Dallas Texas and driving over to Shreveport LA on the weekends to play poker.  Let’s keep in mind that these were the days where Poker rooms were not popular to casino management and many were being closed to make room for additional slot space.  This was the case with the Horseshoe casino poker room, which was at the time, the only poker room left in Shreveport.  As I made one of my final trips to Shreveport, I learned from table talk that there were other casinos just a few more hours down the road in Vicksburg, MS and around the Jackson area.  I also learned that all the while I was driving to Shreveport, I could have just stayed in Dallas and played Holdem.  At a higher limit than was offered at the Horseshoe.  This was great!!  Now I don’t have to drive three hours, I can still play poker at a poker table and the dealer who invited me (who was also the dealer at this home game) told me that in the home game I’d have all of the same amenities as in the casino.  Drinks, food, cocktails!  Awesome.  And so began my life as a Dallas rounder.  More on that life later and back to cigars and poker.

Prior to attending the home game in Dallas, I decided to drive over to Vicksburg, MS on a long weekend that I had away from work.  I found a game at the Ameristar Casino.  I was a low limit 4-8 game, but hey, I was already 5 hours from Dallas and I wasn’t going to turn around.  I played in the game most of Thursday night and typical of a 4-8 game, it was loose as a goose.  I began to inquire about where (if any) could I play a mid limit game in the area.  I’m looking for 10-20, 15-30 or 20-40.  I was told that if I was willing to drive yet another 45 minutes to Union, MS, I would arrive at the Silver Star Casino in Philadelphia, MS.  There I could find a 10-20 Omaha Hi game.  I finished the night at the 4-8, made a little profit then retired to my hotel so that I could get a good night’s rest and drive to the Silver Star early the next morning.

To be continued…

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