thanks for the last minute data guys. here's my results:

- grand central lakewood: my first overnight stay was in south tacoma right next to puyallup, so GC was about a 3 minute drive down 512 west. i'm from NYC so driving down the street and seeing casinos right off the road next to supermarkets and home depots is a trippy experience. the two grand central restaurants in town are basically TGIF/bennigans type joints which happen to have some card tables in the back. the BJ tables are never more than half full and at one point I was playing $10 heads up for almost an hour which is absolutely unheard of in AC or CT where ploppies line up 2 deep with green chip minimums. I didn't think the H17 rule was gonna be a big deal here using just basic strategy (at most a 0.2% EV hit) but I had really bad luck here and was down about 20 units before PB offered a meal comp. Considering I would normally need 125 player points for a free dinner and I only earned 12 points up until then, I chomped down the grub and left without playing another hand.

- silver dollar tacoma: imagine if your local greasy spoon diner decided to add a sports bar upstairs and deal you poker and blackjack after you finish eating your hash browns. this is NOT a family friendly establishment folks. the concept is a tropical theme with palm trees and tiki hut architecture, and even the PB's wear hawaiian shirts to match the dealer's attire. frat boy drunks galore - I've never seen people so happy to voluntarily lose money with bonehead plays. at one point the dealer seriously suggests to the third baseman not to buy any more chips tonight after splitting 3's against a king and doubling down on a 7...a mercy barring! I believe this is the only place in SeaTac with late surrender, and despite the social carnage around me, I left with $100 profit and all 206 bones intact.

- 7 cedars sequim: my friend's wedding was in port townshend so this was the logical next stop. this was the first indian store I visited and the main differences are a) smoking is allowed (I don't personally care but non-tribal cardrooms have apparently been up in arms about this all year) and b) slot machines which are actually non-random VLT's in disguise. I never thought I'd see a $2 blackjack table on saturday night outside of downtown vegas but white chipstacks and 50 cent clay tokens are alive and well in rural washington state. I opt for the "high limit" $5 table and despite the perfect basic strategy which has done me fairly well at foxwoods and bally's over the years, I can't catch winning hands to save my life and chief seven cedar has accepted my tax-exempt donation of C-notes by the end of the night...and no free food this time either.

- clearwater suquamish: on the way back to the bainbridge ferry I detour to this clean and sunny establishment with a good players club program and decent blackjack rules (I made a promise not to play any non-DAS games at Muckleshoot or Emerald Queen, even though they were closer to where I was staying). I only had time to play for 45 minutes but after finishing slightly below break even and receiving a $3 off coupon to their already cheap buffet, I had a very positive outlook on this ranch located just south of Poulsbo. A real treat was watching two coeds who didn't look a day over 19 sit down with $20 and agonizingly groan in despair or shriek with joy on each $5 hand (you think they'd even consider playing at foxwoods for $15 a pop!). They wanted to split 6's against a 7, the dealer insisted they didn't, he gave them another 6 and then flipped his face card in the hole. Also I collect decks of used playing cards from any and all casinos, and when I went to their gift shop, the register girl pointed to a basket on the floor filled with hundreds of cards and a sign that said "FREE - take as many as you want". And these weren't cheapo Paulson decks either, they were top of the line Gemaco Alpha Series! After briefly flirting with Ebay dreams in my head, I grabbed just two decks and headed back to downtown. On the way out I saw their bingo room was not in use on Sunday afternoon, so they were hosting a local antiques show, and on their advertising flyer, they say they will reimburse you if you arrive by ferry, plus shuttle you for free to and from the casino to the dock. I really liked the overall vibe of this's just hard to get to compared to all the other places around town.

I had my final dinner just north of seattle, across from U of W. I wanted to try Tulalip about 15 minutes away, but it was time to head back to the airport and catch the redeye back to JFK (of course the flight ended up being delayed an hour once we checked in - oh well). And also my understanding but non-gambling girlfriend was just about through with my losing streak and truthfully, I had to agree that there was no realistic chance of chipping away much of my losses in just a 30 minute run and gun. I arrived at SeaTac with 21 hundred dollar bills, and left with 15 and change...roughly 2-3 trips to CT or AC should make up the difference, plus mondo free room offers and bounceback cash. I wonder what kind of mailings I'm gonna get from Grand Central next month.

seattle casinos, it was fun and it was dirt cheap, but I won't miss you too badly.