Saturday, May 29, 2010

Deuce-four claims another unsuspecting victim

Cardgrrl pointed me to this entry (dated tomorrow, strangely) in the blog of Starsky76:


So I have about 20K left and were now in the 600/1200/100 level and am in
BB with A,10o. SB has been way short since I got to the table. Folds around to
SB who shoves for 6500 chips. I hadn't looked at my hand yet and when I did I
snap called.He had 2,4o! I flop an ace, he turns a 4 and rivers a duece, nice.
Burn another third of my stack.
That's just what's gonna happen when you try to run something weak like A-10 up against the Mighty Deuce-Four!

Karma can be a bitch

One episode from my cash game at the Rio last night was both amusing and perversely satisfying to me.

Two seats to my right was a very large man, with commensurately large hands. He had the bad habit of keeping one hand over his hole cards while playing, and that was enough to make them mostly invisible.

At one point, the woman to my immediate right acted out of turn. I was suprised when the dealer stopped her and indicated that it wasn't her action, because I, too, thought that it was. It was only after the dealer pointed to Big Guy that we noticed his cards. I could see only one little corner of them peeking out from under his hand, and both I and the woman next to me had overlooked them.

She and I both pointed out to the dealer that this was problematic. He didn't see it that way. "His cards are right there," he said.

Idiot dealer doesn't see that this is a problem. This is the first dealer I've ever encountered who isn't willing to insist that a player keep his cards plainly visible. So I decide that rather than call the floor over or otherwise make a big fuss over it, I'll put up with it for 30 minutes, and presumably the next dealer will be willing to do his job and ask the player not to cover his cards.

About 20 minutes later, in the middle of a hand, the same dealer tries to get me to take my turn. But this time the tables are turned (so to speak). I have noticed that Big Guy has cards and hasn't acted yet, and it's the dealer who missed seeing them, because Big Guy has his hand over them. I say, "It's not my turn," and point at Big Guy. Dealer then notices the cards, drops his head in embarrassment, and gives a wry smile. He obviously realizes the irony in the situation.

I'm still pretty annoyed that he refused to take action when two players were telling him that this was a problem, so I needle him. "What's the trouble? His cards are right there." Dealer shoots me a dirty look, but I'm not done. "Seriously--it's not a problem when the players can't tell that he has cards, but then it is a problem when you can't?" Dealer is now clearly peeved with me, and he says, "No need to get smart about it, guy."

Well, yes, there is a need to get smart about it. It is to drive home a point to somebody who is demonstrably either too stupid, too stubborn, or too uncaring to deal with it otherwise. If one player is covering his cards to such an extent that the two people to his left can't easily tell if he is still in the hand or not, that is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Period. It doesn't require yelling or recrimination or chastisement--just a polite, friendly request to the player that he not cover his cards. It's about the simplest thing in the world. If you as a dealer refuse to intervene in such a simple situation, you earn my scorn and my ridicule when you fall victim to the exact same problem. Had you dealt with it when it was pointed out to you, you wouldn't now have to be embarrassed.

Do your job, and we won't have a problem. Don't do your job, and I'm going to mock you when it comes back to bite you in the butt. That's how I roll.

Miscellaneous sights from the Rio

I did finally get around to playing some actual poker last night after my socializing and gawking. I headed back to the regular poker room rather than joining the cash games in progress in the Pavilion Room for two main reasons. First, it's not nearly so noisy and chaotic there. Second, assuming they run things as in the past, you can't get any comp credits or status points playing in the WSOP rooms. If the games were meaningfully softer or better there, I'd play there and skip the trivial bonuses, but I have no reason to believe that to be the case.

In any event, here's what the newly covered tables in the main poker room look like. The "felt" is a very slick material, even easier to slide cards and chips across than "speedcloth." I liked it a lot. I'm guessing, though, that these were printed up before Harrah's and Everest Poker had their falling out.

For one of the downs in my session, we had celebrity dealer Nelson. I recognized him immediately from his countless appearances on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark, NBC Heads Up Championship, etc. Strangely, though, it appeared that not a single other player at my table knew his face. He was, as might be expected, a consummate pro in every respect.

Finally, I was lucky enough to snap the Picture of the Day. I was standing outside the Rio convention area with my friend Shamus when Kara Scott, who had been hanging around a few feet away from us (she can't keep her eyes off of me--and, really, who can blame her?) suddenly jumped onto the back of a scooter with Maridu (Maria Mayrinck).

That's right: This blog now features hot poker-girl-on-poker-girl action!

You're welcome.

A minor mystery

I spotted this poster in the hallway outside the Amazon Room last night while chatting with several of my blogger buddies. They're all bright, observant people, well-versed in the game of poker, and all on the lookout for interesting things to report--but none of them had noticed what caught my attention.

Since they are using the "bad beat" metaphor here, presumably the poker hand shown is supposed to represent the worst starting hand in hold'em (7-2 offsuit) beating the best one (pocket aces; we'll forgive them for not knowing that 2-4 is actually much stronger than aces). But the hand as shown is inconsistent with that concept. The final result is that the aces improve to aces full of deuces, while the 2-7 improves to deuces full of sevens. Aces win. How is that a "bad beat"?

This is one of that category of things that always makes me wonder, "How many people were involved in designing and producing this thing with nobody noticing that they screwed it up?"

Event #2

After taking my stroll through the Pavilion Room, I went to the Amazon Room, where Event #2 was underway. This is the $50,000 buy-in eight-game mix "Poker Player's Championship." (I don't know why "Player's" there is singular, but it is. Would make a lot more sense for it to be "Players'" if you ask me.)

There are no truly soft tables in this event, but suppose you got yourself freerolled into it somehow. Would you like to be seated here, against Matusow, Lindgren, Townsend, and Alaei?

How about here, with Corkins, Mercier, and Chiu?

Or maybe here, playing against Dwan, Negreanu, and Seed?

If you prefer, you could try your luck at this table, with Raymer, Harman, Minieri, and Seiver.

Or, if those spots just aren't challenging enough for you, maybe you'd like to take on Ivey, Benyamine, Nguyen, Giang, and Deeb:

Me, I think I'll stick to playing against the wannabes who bust out early from the $1000 weekend donkaments when their top pair is, to their astonishment, not good enough for stacks.

Pavilion Room

If you've been paying any attention to poker media the last few days, you've undoubtedly seen pictures of the Pavilion Room along with comments expressing disbelief at how big it is. Well, I can understand why. It was easy to think that the cavernous Amazon Room was as big as a poker room could be. Now we know better. The Pavilion Room is 50% bigger than the Amazon. It is actually difficult to see one end from the other. Here is my poor attempt to capture it in my little camera:


I went to the Rio yesterday to say hi to some of my blogger friends who landed jobs reporting on the World Series of Poker for various news outlets, to look around the new facilities they're using this year, and to play a little poker.

The first new thing I saw, just outside the Pavilion Room, was a display of the history of the bracelets awarded for winning WSOP events. I took pictures, knowing that many of my readers might find it interesting but won't be able to get here to see it in person.

Unfortuately, the display is not very photo-friendly. The lighting is not bright enough to work well without a flash, but a flash from just a foot away, through glass, is a disaster. Lacking a tripod for slow exposures, I did the best I could, but there was no way to avoid ugly darkness. Still, you can see the items and read the accompanying cards. It's not pretty, but you can take a look anyway.

Here's this year's bracelet:

The next display case is supposed to contain three of Billy Baxter's bracelets, showing various styles of bracelets over the years. One of them was missing, for reasons that weren't explained.

The next case contains a bit of WSOP history that I don't think I had ever heard before: For one year they gave out platters instead of bracelets:

Here are Johnny Chan's back-to-back Main Event bracelets:

Finally, here are Doyle Brunson's latest two bracelets:

Guess the casino, #522

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Excalibur

Friday, May 28, 2010

Most deserving, for sure

I see over on Wicked Chops Poker that porn star Samantha Ryan has landed a sponsorship deal with UltimateBlecch. Obviously, she must be a far better poker player than, say, Kathy Liebert or Vanessa Selbst, and that's why UB picked her over them.

Actually, the deal makes perfect sense. Who better than a porn star to represent a site that screws its customers?

Trouble for the NAPT and Venetian?

This strikes me as one of the most interesting and important poker-related news stories of the year so far:

By the way (since the federal Department of Justice seems to be involved in this, as well as, obviously, the recent indictments/convictions/seizures/etc. related to online poker), all of you who somehow got the idea that Mr. Obama was going to be the head of an administration that was friendly to online poker--how are you feeling about that impression now?

Guess the casino, #521

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Boulder Station (I believe that a few other of the Station properties use the same door handles)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

At this time (no poker content)

I keep thinking that I should start another blog, called something like, "All the OTHER stuff that annoys me." Because, folks, trust me--I get just as irritated by all of the stupid things that people do in life as much as by the ones specifically related to poker. I just don't tend to write about them. But maybe I should.

Anyway, after three recent flights, this particular annoyance is on my mind: It's the incredible overuse of the phrase "at this time."

"At this time we will begin the boarding process."

"At this time passengers in zones 1 and 2 may board."

"At this time all passengers should be in their seats."

"At this time we ask that you shut off all electronic devices."

"At this time please be sure that all carry-on items are securely stowed."

"At this time the captain has turned off the seat belt sign."

"At this time we will begin beverage and snack service."

"At this time we have reached our cruising altitude of 30,000 feet."

"At this time you can see the Grand Canyon from the left windows."

"At this time the weather in D.C. is 75 degrees and clear."

"At this time we direct your attention to the in-flight magazine, which you may take with you as you leave."

"At this time we expect to be landing a few minutes ahead of schedule."

"At this time we invite you to apply for our company's Visa card and be rewarded with bonus miles."

"At this time we are beginning our final descent."

"At this time we will be collecting any trash or leftover items."

"At this time please be sure that your seats are fully upright and tray tables are up."

"At this time we ask that you remain in your seats until the aircraft has come to a complete stop."

"At this time we thank you for choosing U.S. Air."

At this time, I'd like to put a bullet in the brain of the next person who says, "At this time."

Really, what do these pinheads think is added to the meaning of their sentences with that phrase? Are they worried that without it, for example, we might mistakenly assume that the pilot is telling us what the weather was like yesterday, or that the seat belt sign was turned on an hour ago, or that they're announcing that the beverage service will be starting the day after tomorrow?

Hint to the clueless: We have a present tense in English. When you use it, people understand that you are talking about the present, rather than the past or the future. On the rare occasion that there might be some doubt about your meaning, and you wish to clarify, the word "now" serves quite nicely, and has done so for several centuries.

I have no idea how, when, or why this strange verbal affectation of "at this time" came into popularity, but the ubiquity and monotony of its use in certain industries and situations--the airlines being the most obvious and obnoxious offenders--is driving me nuts.

At this time I'd like to ask them to knock it off.

Guess the casino, #520

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Aria

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Was a believer born tonight?

I got knocked out of the Mookie early, so I've been watching Cardgrrl play while I do some other work. She was getting short-stacked and in need of a double-up. I told her, via IM, to be on the lookout for a 2-4.

Frankly, I didn't think she would heed this advice, as she has continued, contrary to all the evidence, to shun and bad-mouth and fold--FOLD!--the Mighty Deuce-Four. But there are no atheists in foxholes, I guess, so when it was folded around to her in late position, she shoved. I think she was expecting just to win the blinds and antes.

The result? She got called by Q-Q and A-Q, a three-way all-in pre-flop. And how did that turn out? Well, if you know anything about 2-4, you don't even really need to look at the following screen shot:

Not just the double-up she was wanting, but a triple-up. Natch. I, for one, never had a second's doubt. The Deuce-Four laughs at opponents who come after it with pathetic holdings like Q-Q and A-Q.

She just had another double with KK vs. A-2, and now sits in 4th place, with 44 out of 101 remaining.

Will Cardgrrl finally, FINALLY admit that I have been right all along about the most powerful hand in poker? We shall see.


I have updated my blogroll over there in the left-hand margin, for the first time in, well, way too long. I was reminded of the need to do this when a friend recently started his own poker blog, and I noticed how far out of date my list was. It was littered with blogs that no longer exist, ones that have changed their focus or authorship or address, ones I had stopped reading, etc. This happened because, while I used to use the list as my actual portal to checking on the blogs laboriously one by one, later Cardgrrl helped me set up an RSS reader (I do not mind admitting to being technologically retarded), and I no longer needed the list for my own daily use, and it fell into neglect.

So now the list accurately reflects what I get in my Google Reader, though I have limited it here to blogs/feeds related to poker and Las Vegas. The connection of some of the ones listed to those subjects is sort of tenuous and/or intermittent, but I made my best judgment calls.

The blogroll is not only subject to change, it certainly will change. I find myself adding and/or subtracting an item or two every few days. It is by no means a static list, and I won't promise to keep is updated properly. But right this minute it shows who and what I'm reading in the worlds of poker and Las Vegas.

I believe I have checked them all for currency, removed redundancies, etc. But if you notice a problem with any item, or just want to recommend something else to add, the comments are yours.


Cardgrrl is so nice to me. She not only suggested and arranged for my recent visit, but once I got there she had two completely occasionless gifts for me. The first, pictured above, is a Pandora charm. Cardgrrl is not exactly shy about her affection for Pandora jewelry, calling it "the gewgaw equivalent of crack." (See her extolling its virtues here and here.)

I would have thought myself immune. But a hedgehog? That's just playing dirty, Pandora, capitalizing on a guy's inordinate fondness for the adorable little hedgehogs! Look at that cute little face! Look at those cute, itty-bitty feeties! I might actually have to repress a SQUEE here. It is, as my daily dose of excessive sweetness,, likes to say, just redonkulous.

I still don't know what I'm going to do with this thing, other than get all little-girl-squealy about it every now and then, but I sure like having it.

The other gift requires much less explanation. Since I always wear long-sleeved shirts when going out to play poker (because of frequently frigid card rooms), you, my faithful readers, would be unlikely to see this, if I did not show it to you here:

Farm puzzle

I flew from D.C. to Philadelphia yesterday on my way home to Vegas. This leg of the flight is short, just 25 minutes, and they never climb above 11,000 feet, so I had a nice view of the ground all the way.

I was curious about something I saw in the farms. As you can see in the photo (click to view it at full size), most farms have "arms" of greenery snaking through them. These are clearly not streams, because they end rather than going all the way across (at least mostly). I thought of irrigation ditches, but it seems unlikely that farms in this part of the country need irrigation ditches, and, besides, these are strangely irregular for irrigation ditches; at least the ones I've seen in the western U.S. are perfectly uniform and evenly spaced.

Whatever these things are, they always start at an edge of a field and end within the field; that is, there seems never to be one that has both ends within the field, and only a few that go all the way across. Some branch, some don't. Some are straight, some curved. Some are long, some short.

I can't figure out what these things are and/or what their purpose is (which I suppose is really the same question). I suppose they could be just ordinary, naturally occurring ditches draining into streams, but there seem to be a lot more of them than I would expect. Of course, my experience is based on growing up in Illinois, where things are a lot flatter, so maybe this is just how farms in more contoured regions are, with drainage ditches.

Enlighten me, readers!


I'm clearing my cell phone of photos that I no longer need to keep on it. Came across this one, which I took downtown the day before I left for D.C. last week, then forgot to share with you.

Last summer, the theme downtown was "Summer of '69." Well, they've moved forward in time one year, and now the place is all about "Summer of '70." 1970 was the year that the Partridge Family made its television debut. Hence this bus. It's kind of kitschy-cool, if you ask me.

Asking to see cards

All players are entitled to equal information, because, as John Vorhaus succinctly put it, "They say that information is power; in poker, it's cash, just cash."

This basic idea is at the root of the universal rule, "Show one, show all." It means that if you voluntarily show your hole cards to one player, every other player at the table is entitled to see them, too. If you don't make this happen yourself, then any player can ask the dealer to expose them.

But there's a practical problem that I have run into more times than I can count: Asking the dealer to show them doesn't always work. My standard phrase is, "Show those, please." The problem is that a fair percentage of the time, the dealer doesn't hear this request. It gets lost among the other conversations going on, as well as the general background din of the casino.

An associated problem is that there is only a very narrow window of opportunity in which to make the request. The interval between a player flashing his cards to his neighbor and the dealer sweeping them into the muck (after which it's too late) is typically two seconds or so. That's not much time for me to see what has happened, decide that I want to see what was shown, speak up, and have the dealer recognize and respond to the request.

After having had my "show" request disregarded way too many times, I have come to saying it rather loudly. It is also necessarily somewhat rushed, because of the number of times that the dealer hears the request, but doesn't register and react to it before shoving the cards into the muck.

The result, though, is that I can't help sounding rather insistent, forceful, perhaps even desperate. Those tones are just the natural by-product of saying something fast and loudly, so as to get the dealer's attention. Since adopting this change of tone, I have frequently gotten surprised or even alarmed looks from dealers. They occasionally glare at me and say something like, "OK, calm down."

I know of no way to get the perfect modulation of voice that would be sufficiently loud, clear, and rapid to be sure to attract the dealer's timely attention without resulting in an impression that I am somehow excited or desperate about the matter. I rather doubt that it's possible to achieve the middle ground that avoids missing information opportunities but also never results in a raised eyebrow and a scowl from a dealer who doesn't understand my dilemma.

Yes, dealer, I know you don't like to be yelled at. But if I don't come close to yelling, you and your peers have a nasty habit of ignoring me. You and your ilk have driven me to being insistent.

The best solution just occurred to me the other day.

I have stated here several times before that I believe that the "Show one, show all" rule does not just convey a right to the other players, but confers on the player exposing his cards an affirmative ethical duty: If you show one person, you need to show everybody, rather than making somebody else ask and relying on the dealer to show. But few players do this consistently, unfortunately. I think this concept needs to be functionally incorporated into the rule.

If I ran a poker room, I would implement this rule: If the dealer sees a player sharing his hole cards with another player, then the dealer is required to do two things. First, expose those cards for the table, without waiting for anyone to request it. Second, tell the player in question that if he is going to show one person, he has to show everybody. That is, make it clear that the dealer taking this action is a backup plan, a remedial action for a player who failed to live up to his responsibility. Teach players that the "flash and muck" is unacceptable and will be treated as a violation of the house rules. You can get a warning the first time or two, because people need a chance to be told the rule and overcome their bad habits, but after that, failure to comply will be deemed deliberate, and escalating sanctions may come into play, as for all other recurrent violations of the rules of the game.

This rule is most important when a hand has gone to either showdown or a late-stage bet without a call. It is less important when the hand being shown is folded pre-flop, and the flash to a buddy is just a "Look what trash they're giving me" gesture. Still, in an effort to prevent future problems and instill the meaning of the rule, I would have dealers in that situation politely explain that the rule also pertains to that case, and ask the player not to continue showing his cards. If it persists, then the next time the dealer will need to keep those cards separate from the muck and show them after the action has concluded--and keep doing this as often as it occurs, until the player learns not to do it.

Of course, the dealer sometimes doesn't see the post-hand flash, because it tends to occur right when he or she is busiest with pushing the pot, moving the button, clearing the board, dropping the rake, etc. There's no perfect solution, as far as I can tell. In those instances, we'll just have to revert to what is now the standard method of having a player actively make the request.

But if dealers consistently did as I describe, and if this procedure were standardized throughout all poker rooms, I think that we would gradually see a change in player behavior toward what I think should be the norm: a player who wants to show his cards does so by tabling them face up, not by flashing them semi-secretively to one selected opponent.

Great Falls National Park

I'm home. Poker playing and blogging will resume soon.

In the meantime, let me show you a bit of Great Falls National Park, where Cardgrrl took me Monday. It's a beautiful place. Unfortunately, my photographs don't do it justice. None is even good enough to feature here as an especially good one or a favorite, as I have been doing with my vacation photos in recent months. But you can see what the place looks like in the photos here.

Maybe the most impressive thing I saw--though it looks completely pedestrian in the picture--is the marker showing the flood levels over the last hundred years. It's impressive because that marker stands at least 50 yards laterally away from the current river, and at least 50 feet above it. It's truly hard to imagine the volume of water it would take to overflow that gorge and spill out into the park. And when it does, there is no other natural barrier to contain it for a few hundred yards out--that is, in order for the water to be that high, it's also going to be amazingly wide. I wouldn't want to be there during such a flood.

In the park you can also see remnants of the lock system built by a company that George Washington founded, in an attempt to get shipping around the falls. Pretty impressive engineering for 200+ years ago.

I took a short video of the main part of the falls, embedded below:

Oh, those gorgeous orange and purple flowers in the next-to-last picture in the album are not in the park, but in front of Two Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria, where we went for dinner after our walk. Yummy stuff.

Guess the casino, #519

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Aria

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guess the casino, #518

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Aria

Monday, May 24, 2010

The first rule of Jackpot Club is: You don't talk about Jackpot Club

I have kept Richard Marcus's blog about poker cheating and other casino cheating in my RSS feed--despite him being a flagrant, frequent, and unrepentant thief of online content from legitimate writers--because it does serve as a useful aggregator of news about the subject. He had a post today about a poker bad-beat jackpot being nullified at the Royal River Casino in Flandreau, South Dakota, because one player talked about the possbility of a bad-beat jackpot while the hand was in progress.

Because he is an unethical person, Mr. Marcus reprints an article from the local television station, KSFY, without even providing a link to the original. His modest "reform" since being caught habitually plagiarizing is that he now names a source, but then steals the material anyway, with no link to the original. But it's easy to find:

(I'm sure Mr. Marcus just "accidentally" overlooked this notice at the end of the article that he copied without permission: "2010 ksfy Action News. All RIGHTS RESERVED. This MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.")

The article doesn't give a lot of detail about what actually happened. The claim is that only two words were spoken, and we aren't even told what those words were, or what the exact context was.

For my purposes here, it doesn't matter. What matters is that every poker room I know of that has high-hand and/or bad-beat jackpots has a rule in place to the effect that the awarding of the jackpot may or will be voided if the players discuss the jackpot possibility during the play of the hand.

This rule is eminently sensible. It helps prevent distorting play just to chase down a jackpot.

But even if you were to disagree about its purpose or utility, just the fact that it's there on the books and MIGHT be enforced, as it was in South Dakota, should be enough to shut up the nearly inevitable talking about the jackpot that occurs every time a board makes it possible. It seems that there is always at least one idiot that just can't resist pointing out what is obvious to anybody paying attention, and that one idiot might cost everybody a whole friggin' lot of money.

The worst thing is that the guilty idiot is at least as often the dealer as one of the players. I saw this just a few days ago at Binion's. The flop was three parts of a royal flush. When the turn paired the board, the dealer said, "Here we go!" I wanted to dope-slap him. In fact, I think that dope-slapping any imbecile who violates the rule should be explicitly permitted--even encouraged--by poker room rules.

At least one Vegas poker room recently terminated an ace-cracked type jackpot because of rampant collusion and discussion during the hand.

I have written about the whole problem of talking about jackpots while the hand is still in progress several times: here, here, and most especially here.

Even if you somehow manage to forget the first rule of Jackpot Club, please try to remember the second rule of Jackpot Club: You DO NOT talk about Jackpot Club!

Guess the casino, #517

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Texas Station

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I learned a new word today.

The wedding that Cardgrrl and I went to yesterday was near Easton, Maryland, at a home on an estuary of Chesapeake Bay. That meant that we had to drive over The Bridge. I had probably seen and heard of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at some point, but it never stuck with me in the way that, say, the Golden Gate Bridge does. So as we approached it, I had no idea how long or high the thing was. As bridges go, this is one heck of an imposing monster. (Read all about it here, and where it stands in the world list of longest bridges here.)

Cardgrrl told me about a friend who has significant anxiety crossing bridges, and said that this one causes the most problems of all for her, due to its length and height. Moreover, she told me that she had read an article in the Washington Post about the number of drivers that panic, freeze up, and hence cause traffic snarls on this particular bridge. I had never heard of such a thing. I get a bit tense driving over bridges where the sides appear (mostly erroneously, I'm sure) to be not quite up to the task of preventing one's car from going over the edge should one have a tire blowout, or get pushed over by another driver changing lanes forcibly at an inopportune moment, or whatever. But it's nothing like a debilitating fear. Before today I don't think I had heard of that subset of people for whom this is a serious problem.

So when we got back home, I looked it up. Here are a few articles on the phenomenon generally, all of them tied at least in part to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge specifically:

There's my completely non-poker-related bit of public service/education done for the day: gephyrophobia. You're welcome.

Guess the casino, #516

To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Answer: Texas Station