Heather and I naturally gravitate toward the bleak. Optimism has traditionally been anathema to our shared world view.
We’re not proud of our glass half empty – more like glass-broke-and-hope-leaked-all-over-the-counter – outlook. But it’s become ingrained. Brush teeth, shower, think about how we are going to die one day and how it has all been for naught.
Twenty-five years ago in a single weekend I went to see Glengarry Glen Ross and Waterland, and rented the John Cassavettes’ classic A Woman Under the Influence. If you’ve never seen those films, don’t. At least not without a bottle of Prozac and the local suicide hotline on speed dial. These are three of the most depressing films ever made. Yet, a quarter century later, I still refer to this as the most enjoyable film viewing weekend of my life.
In trying to carve out savings for our poker pilgrimage, one of the first areas Heather and I attacked was how to save money on groceries. We wondered how we could spend $700 a month on groceries when we did not have extravagant tastes. Well sure, there was that weekly run to the tony local farm stand which carries a range of goodies on top of those fresh vegetables – expensive cheese and chocolates, nasty good breakfast items like cider donuts and chocolate croissants, and, sometimes, maybe a bottle of wine falls into the basket as well. Additionally, our grocery shopping often left us losing too much to freezer burn and watching forgotten fruit and vegetables morph into science experiments.
To use a poker term: we had leaks in our grocery shopping strategy!
First, I must couch this review within my general affection for the Venetian/Palazzo complex at large. My wife and I started our annual poker jaunts to Las Vegas three years ago. I was uncertain whether I would like Las Vegas at all. As much as I love poker, I do not necessarily groove to the full casino experience. An entire city of that environment might prove to be too much for me.
Choosing the Palazzo as our hotel was the critical and fortunate first step to loving Vegas. The rooms have a large, multi-level design complete with a desk, dinette set, square coffee table and huge wrap around couch. The bathroom is bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve rented in New York City! Our room at the Palazzo always feels more like a small, beautifully appointed apartment. Whenever I stay there, I never want to leave.
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As we ponder our Poker Pilgrimage, we need to decide where our year of travel will take us. We have three basic criteria for places to earn a spot on our journey, a location must either have a poker room (or rooms: Hello Las Vegas!) we want to visit, be a spot that we have never been but would like to go (such as Charleston, SC), or be one of our favorite cities, and thus worthy of a return trip. Today, we thought we would share our five favorite cities and start to pin some way-points on our journey.
Boston is an easy one. We live in the Boston area, and thus this is where our journey will begin. Boston has history, museums, culture, natural beauty, and sports teams galore. For the first time visitor we would recommend the aquarium, the science museum, Faneuil Hall, a walk down the Freedom Trail, a walk along the Charles River, taking in a game (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, or Bruins depending on the season), and a visit to any of the many historic and beautiful outlying towns. Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and numerous New Hampshire cardrooms are within a couple of hours if your poker jones needs to be fed. If you’re looking to save on attractions, you can Save 45% or more on Boston’s 5 best attractions with CityPASS. The Boston CityPASS allows you to save on such attractions as the Aquarium, Museum of Science, and the Skywalk Observatory. These are all must-visits on our Boston list.
NOTE: This review was updated in September of 2019 to reflect substantial changes in poker room location, cash room activity, and tournament offerings.
Mohegan Sun moved its poker room in 2019. We recently stopped in for a visit to play a tournament and update this review. Previous to the move, having to wind through the Casino of the Sky and the Casino of the Wind, to find the poker room wasn’t an easy task. You had to pay pretty close attention to the signs at every bend. The journey was always worth it, as the Mohegan Sun poker room always provided a top-notch experience. However, the decision to move across the casino near the Autumn entrance, convenient to both the Indian Summer and RiverView garages, has made access to the room much better.
Mohegan Sun Setting
Mohegan Sun sits in the woods of Southeastern Connecticut right off of I-395 and not far from I-95. It’s very convenient to access, more so than its nationally recognized nearby rival Foxwoods which is farther off I-395 toward the Rhode Island border. Conveniently, if you want to sample both poker rooms, they are only about a 15-minute drive from one another. Mohegan Sun’s setting is slightly less scenic than Foxwoods, but you definitely know you are far from any large cities here. Nonetheless, you can reach several beautiful Connecticut and Rhode Island beach towns and coastal communities in under 30 minutes. One of our personal favorites is Mystic, Connecticut which is worth visiting in its own right.