I was near Philadelphia, in King of Prussia, for a work-related conference. I elected to stay an additional night so as to play some poker. There were other casinos around, but I was primarily interested in poker, and Parx has the largest room in the area.
Parx is not a hotel, but there are several nearby, listed on the Parx website. I stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott, because I have frequent stay status there. The casino discount code listed on the Parx website didn't work, but my Marriott status got me almost as good a deal. Hotel staff discouraged me from walking, so I took Uber. When I saw how close it was, I decided I would walk back, unless it looked unsafe. I ended up playing until 3AM. I did walk back, without any incident. The surrounding area is mostly an office park, and it was a ghost town.
The main casino has slots, table games, sports bar, and several food venues, but no poker. That is in a separate building. So, I registered to get a player's card, then quickly burned through my $10 in free slots. It was for the best that I went to the main room first. I never did see a player's card registration in the poker room, and the food choices are reduced there. I opted for the noodle house for dinner. I enjoyed a cold Asahi beer and good, hot, Pho soup with beef.
If memory serves correctly, there were $1/2 and $1/3 NLHE games, as well as $5/5 PLO and $6/12 O/E games. At the time, $2/5 NLHE had the most tables running. The room had a bar, lots of televisions, and over 60 tables. On this day, a Thursday while a tournament series was going on at Borgata, it was less than half full. Parx did run a nightly tourney for about $140. It was essentially a satellite structure, where 10% of the field got paid, but everyone who cashed received an equal split of the same prize money. The room has food runners who will bring food to your table, but it was a limited menu. At one point in the night, several folks ordered the daily special, a chicken parmesan sandwich. I didn't eat anything there, but I did sample the beer and the coffee, which were both fine. Funniest food experience of the night was watching a pretentious regular try to order sushi for delivery from a local restaurant. It was a 2 1/2 hour ordeal but he finally received his raw fish.
I don't play much poker, so normally I play $1/2 when in a strange place, but after circling the room a bit and observing, I decided to play $2/5. I bought chips, got on the list, and was seated within about 20 minutes. The rake at $2/5 was 10% to $5, plus a $1 bad beat drop.
No cash is allowed at the tables, which made adding on after a lost hand a bit of hassle, but I guess that's an incentive not to lose. The regulars were usually prepared for this, having large denomination chips on their person that they could put in play. An early hand at my table saw a big hand go down for about $1500 where a flopped nut flush stacks top pair, send nut flush draw. Afterward, the stacked player attempts to rebuy with an orange $1k chip. He asks the large stack to cash it for him, and there's a discussion about whether these chips are allowed to play at this level. Several players weigh in, outing themselves as regulars at Parx. The dealer declares the chip plays. Since he also periodically works as floor man, his decision is taken as final. As dealers come an go, the question comes up a few times, until the floor is called, and he rules that the $1k chips are not allowed at $2/5. Seems typical for many poker rooms that the rules depend on who you ask.
The most interesting hand of the night happened on a nearby $1/2 table. A regular who prefers PLO, sat to play with the stated objective of chasing the bad beat jackpot. He flops quad 6s. On the turn he gets it in against a straight flush draw, and loses. The bad beat was around $214k. Scuttlebutt put the table share at $13k.
I didn't play many interesting hands, and when I did, I played poorly. I got involved in an unintentional 3-way all-in. I don't recall exact preflop action, but it had been raised and I got to the flop against a loose reg and a more ABC reg. Flop comes low (2d,5d,8x). I have 6d4d. Loose reg bets small, like 1/3 pot, so I raise, around 3.5X, and player on my left flats. Loose player then shoves for around $450 effective. He had done this several times prior, with simple over cards. He was slightly tilted, and was in a mode to bust or double up. He had been short, but after doubling twice, now had around 90bb. The player on my left, whose action seemed strong, was not acting strong. I felt good about calling the loose player and let that dominate my thinking. I called, as did the player on my left. Loose player had Ad3d, so he took all my flush outs. Player on my left had 7d,6s. I was left needing a 4 or 7. After two bricks, the loose player dragged it with A high. In hindsight, I should have adjusted loose player's range for having built his stack back up. I kept thinking the player on my left was just fishing, and he would go away, but he didn't. As Charles Barkley would say, "turrible".
I busted at the end of the night when I raised an opener with KK, at around $500 effective. He called, then donked the KJ8 flop. For some reason I only called. Turn was Ts, which brought a flush draw. Villain leads again. Now, I suddenly am concerned about AQ. I totally didn't think of it on the flop, as I was focused on the fact that OMG I have a set of Kings! Here, I didn't know what to do. Perhaps I should have shoved. I called hoping to see a free river. The river was a low spade, completing the flush. Villain checked, so I got my free card. But now I lose to a straight or a flush. I quickly shoved, but it was too small, only around $220 into about $660. Villain called with AQ.
I think my player pool was mostly regs this night. I saw one player use aggression well. Otherwise, I saw the same loose passive (lots of limping) play I see at my $1/2 home game. There was lots of poor play, which meant I fit right in.