Aviation Club de France

July 27, 2007

As I mentioned this morning, I was headed over to the Aviation Club of France – a casino on the Champs that offers Texas Hold ‘Em poker.

Well, I got in. I arrived at around 9:30 local time in my Merrills and dashed up the stairs.

Usually there’s a LARGE bodyguard at the front door – or TWO of them – but today he was watching the crews cut the trees in prepartion for the huge audience for the Tour de France. That was an opportunity I wouldn’t squander, so I ran up the stairs to the main desk.

No, I didn’t know the main desk was upstairs, but I wasn’t going to wait for the guard to turn me away again.

At the main desk I cordially said hello and had a nice little conversation with the LARGE gentleman behind the desk. This is a private club and they are slightly particular about who they let in.

The guard at the desk looked at my shoes and then, taking some pity on my abject fashion sense said he could lend me some shoes. We strolled down the lavish hallway to a coat-check room. In the back were about six pairs of shoes in various states of disrepair.

In fact, four of the six pairs were in worse shape than any shoes I had ever seen but they said I needed shoes so I put them on.

Then I got a claim ticket for my camera, coat and bag (no photos I assumed) and I strolled neatly down the hall in my clown shoes. I have no idea what the reason for this is, but maybe it’s because the streets of Paris are covered in dog crap and a sneaker or trail shoe is far more likely to retain stench and crap than a smooth-soled dress shoe.


Down the hall to the cage when I paid my 30 Euro entry fee and got my seat assignment.

Then I waited for 20 minutes for us to be seated.

The tournament was standard Texas Hold ‘Em, no-limit. The room was advertised as smoke-free and I was told the games would be played in English.

Well, they are not quite correct. The dealers all spoke very good English, but there was one hand the entire time I played that I heard any English. And as far as non-smoking…there’s no smoking at the tables, but the audience can (and does) smoke only feet from the table.

Want the recap? OK.

42 players

Five spots paid.

The final table group decided to chop the pot down to 6th place.

I finished FOURTH and took home 110 Euros.

Ecstatic, yes. Amazed, sort of. You see, the caliber of player here was only slightly better than the group I play with in NH. The real help in my cashing was the language barrier.

That’s right. If it had been all English, I might have let my mind wander. But as it was I had to pay attention to every player and every move of every chip. This was because I don’t know my numbers in French very well and had to rely on counting the chips people bet to see how to bet myself.

By the way, I was the ONLY American in the Club this morning.

I’m beaming.

More to come…sorry there aren’t any photos.