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Poker Room Info/Reviews

the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
edited March 2016 in Low Content Forum
I am going to review a few of the rooms I've played in. Feel free to add your own reviews.

I will start with my home base: Horseshoe Hammond. This review reflects my experience at the room which is almost exclusively on weekends.

Room: The room itself is very nice. I would guess it's about 35 tables with 7 or 8 in the top section and an enclosed room where there is at least one table (never bothered looking in). TVs around the exterior walls, but there are none in the middle of the room which may make it hard to see if you are at a middle table. No smoking allowed, but there are tons of people smoking right outside the entrance, so you are still getting your share of second hand smoke. Ive heard this room is pretty much the same setup as the Horseshoe in Cincy, but ive never played there. There is no hotel at this casino.

Games: on the weekend, there is a ton of action. I see lots of 1/2, 2/5 and a few tables if 5/10 NLHE. Recently, they have been spreading a 5/10/20 game. The 1/2 and 2/5 are 100BB capped games, but I think the cap is higher for 5/10 and up. There is generally 1/2 and 2/5 PLO spread as well on the weekends. They also have 3/6 limit if getting eaten alive by rake is your thing. I mostly play 1/2 and it seems pretty typical...most players are bad and half the table is short stacking at any given time. Rake is $5+1. Holdem bad beat jackpot is quad 2s beat...or something like that. Straddle is UTG only. Tables have phone chargers (or at least some of them do).

Service is pretty non existent on the weekends. Even when they do come by to take your order, they may or may not ever return with it. I just walk over to the bar right outside the room if I want a beer, or the self service soda machines for a water. I think there just aren't enough servers, but some of them are pretty bad at their jobs too. You can't order food in the poker room. If you ask the dealer for a "meal button" you can go grab a bite without having to worry about getting picked up, as long as you don't take forever. For food, I generally eat at JB's which is a sandwich place on the second level--it's a solid option. There is also a noodle place which I stopped going to after a lackluster first meal followed by a second meal which included half frozen chicken on my plate.

The room seems severely mismanaged. Last weekend, they were breaking games to send dealers home, despite the fact that there were 25+ people on both the 1/2 and 2/5 lists. Ive never seen anything like it. There is always a line for chips (at times 10+ people deep) and often only one person working in the cage. Chip runners also take up spots in line as they use this same cage person to get chips. Ive seen floor people get in shouting matches with belligerent players. Here is a floor decision I witnessed a month or two ago:

On the turn, the board was 2222. 3 players. First to act bets out, next to act raises 3x the bet. Third to act shoves. First guy calls. It's now the raisers turn. He has headphones on and didn't hear the "all-in" and neither of the other two players had shoved their chips across the line. The dealer said again, "they are all in, do you call?" The guy said "yes" so the dealer put the river out. The 1st and 3rd guys both had an ace but the second to act (headphones guy) had qj. When told that he called their all-ins he contested and the floor was called over. Ultimately, the floor guy said "he said 'yes' which doesn't mean 'call' and therefore he didn't call and only owes his original raise amount." Essentially the guy was free rolling because i doubt he contests his call if an A comes on the river. Ridiculous. I saw an almost identical situation ruled the other way at a different casino a few days prior to this.

Overall, I think this room is poorly managed and the service sucks, but I will continue to play here as this is where the action is in Chicago!

Comments

  • Chicago IronChicago Iron Posts: 68Subscriber
    You can eat in the top section fwiw. Agreed the line at the cage is brutal. The servers are pretty brutal too. You forgot to mention the massage girls. $2 a minute. The thing I dislike the most about this place are the tables. There is very little leg room. If you're a tall guy with long legs, which I am, it is very hard to get comfortable. I'm severely under-rolled for PLO or 5/10 but they have adjustable chairs in the top section which is usually the deciding factor for me moving tables.
  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    You can eat in the top section fwiw. Agreed the line at the cage is brutal. The servers are pretty brutal too. You forgot to mention the massage girls. $2 a minute. The thing I dislike the most about this place are the tables. There is very little leg room. If you're a tall guy with long legs, which I am, it is very hard to get comfortable. I'm severely under-rolled for PLO or 5/10 but they have adjustable chairs in the top section which is usually the deciding factor for me moving tables.

    Thanks for adding your info. I've never sat up top, so I had no idea!
  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    Canterbury Card Card Club--Shakopee, MN

    Ahhhh, the place where I got my poker start. You can play at 18 in this room, but you are stuck with mostly limit games. I never played here regularly, but I'd say I've been here 30 or 40 times over the years. Some of my info may be a little outdated.

    The Room: The room is large--I would guess 40+ tables, most of which are in use on any given Friday/Saturday night. It's located at a horse track, and does have a small amount of table games available for those of you who play them. There are TVs around the exterior walls as well as hanging down in the middle of the room. It's hard to find a spot where you cant see a few TVs pretty well. I don't remember exactly when, but I think it was renovated in 2009 or 2010, so it's still somewhat nice. No cupholders in the rail, so you have to use small tables that they put between the seats if you are drinking. All smoking has to be done outside, but they have a heated area for use during winter months. There is a small bar which is essentially in the poker room as well as a kitchen which pushes out pretty average food.

    The Games: Limit as far as the eye can see, with a few exceptions. 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 6/12, 8/16, 15/30 were always being spread when I was there. Also, 30/60 on the weekends wasn't too uncommon and was sometimes a HORSE game. In the last few years they have also been spreading 2/100 spread limit which plays a lot like 1/2, just with a $100 bet cap. Rake for all these games was $5+1, but the "yellow chip" ($2 chips, 6/12 and above) games only raked 5% instead of 10%. I never really made any money here--I wasn't a good player and the rake was 10% at 4/8 which was what I mostly played. They also spread a lot of tourneys, including their "Survivor" sit-n-gos where players would buy in for $X00 + $30 (usually, 200, 300, 500, 1000), and play no limit for two hours. Rebuys were allowed, but after 2 hours the tourney was over and everyone cashed out for the amount of chips they had. I played a few of these, and would venture to guess that they were soft games, but I was too bad to really make that assessment at the time. Bad beat/promotions are in place, but the promotions tended to be run during low volume times. aka the weekend players fund the dip-shits who flock to the casino on "Aces Cracked" day and other junk like that.

    Service: To this day, service is the best I've experienced in a casino. The "service" buttons accessible to the dealers actually worked, and the waitresses did a great job putting up with people who would tell the dealer to press the button 2 minutes after a waitress left.

    Never had an issue with management. Many of today's floor personnel are former dealers (maybe this is normal). I never witnessed anything that I thought was "unfair" on the part of the management, and none of the problems referred to in the Horseshoe review above really exist in this room.

    If only they spread no-limit....
  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    You can eat in the top section fwiw. Agreed the line at the cage is brutal. The servers are pretty brutal too. You forgot to mention the massage girls. $2 a minute. The thing I dislike the most about this place are the tables. There is very little leg room. If you're a tall guy with long legs, which I am, it is very hard to get comfortable. I'm severely under-rolled for PLO or 5/10 but they have adjustable chairs in the top section which is usually the deciding factor for me moving tables.

    Read that they are closing thr poker room cage. What a joke. Also, i read on twoplustwo that the issue with breaking games to send dealers home despite 30+ people on 1/2 and 2/5 lists has happened each of the last few weekends. Someone tried getting on the list at like 1am and was told to just go home. If you want to play 1/2 or 2/5 here on the weekends, show up before 11pm.

    The sudden onset of this issue after the tourney left town makes me think that either a bunch of people quit at once or, more likely, they are no longer allowing dealers to work overtime. Either way, this speaks to to the horrible management that is in place here. It also can't be good for the games that random drunks aren't able to stumble in and try poker after midnight.


  • ChicagoSpikeChicagoSpike Posts: 37Subscriber
    If your goals are to play professionally the only choice in the Chicagoland area is Horseshoe Hammond which is unfortunate. There are a lot of things to dislike about the Shoe, and a lot of them have been mentioned.

    The thing that gets me and it may seem minor is the noise. It's got to be the noisiest casino I've ever played poker at. The chairs are horrible. They arch back and give no back support. If you play any considerable time and you're middle aged like me this is a problem.

    Like I said this is unfortunate because the games are good and when the CPC or WSOPC is in town there is a ton of money on the tables.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    You guys should try the Grand Victoria casino. I was there for two days during the week and it had one of the best 2/5 games I have ever been in.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    James2748 wrote: »
    You can eat in the top section fwiw. Agreed the line at the cage is brutal. The servers are pretty brutal too. You forgot to mention the massage girls. $2 a minute. The thing I dislike the most about this place are the tables. There is very little leg room. If you're a tall guy with long legs, which I am, it is very hard to get comfortable. I'm severely under-rolled for PLO or 5/10 but they have adjustable chairs in the top section which is usually the deciding factor for me moving tables.

    Read that they are closing thr poker room cage. What a joke. Also, i read on twoplustwo that the issue with breaking games to send dealers home despite 30+ people on 1/2 and 2/5 lists has happened each of the last few weekends. Someone tried getting on the list at like 1am and was told to just go home. If you want to play 1/2 or 2/5 here on the weekends, show up before 11pm.

    The sudden onset of this issue after the tourney left town makes me think that either a bunch of people quit at once or, more likely, they are no longer allowing dealers to work overtime. Either way, this speaks to to the horrible management that is in place here. It also can't be good for the games that random drunks aren't able to stumble in and try poker after midnight.



    wow a place managed worse than the casinos in LA. lol.
    Thanked by 1the_dude_abides
  • ChicagoSpikeChicagoSpike Posts: 37Subscriber
    Thehammah wrote: »
    You guys should try the Grand Victoria casino. I was there for two days during the week and it had one of the best 2/5 games I have ever been in.

    I've heard that too. I know the games at Harrah's Joliet are very good.
    The only problem is the Illinois Poker rake is more than Indiana. I think Harrah's is $7+$1 rake.

    And the fact that both casino's are haul distance wise from me I'll just go to Indiana or the charity games near by. :p

  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    Thehammah wrote: »
    You guys should try the Grand Victoria casino. I was there for two days during the week and it had one of the best 2/5 games I have ever been in.

    If only I had a car...I sold mine when I moved to downtown Chicago. I guess the train goes out that way--maybe I will try it some weekend. Just get a hotel out in Eglin and play poker....sounds nice! I hear Eglin is a dump though.

    Not a fan of IL rake, but I think the rake would force me to play 2/5 which could be a good thing.
  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    edited April 2016
    Hollywood Casino--Columbus, OH

    I've played about 15 hours of 1/2 in this room, all on weeknights.

    Room: The room is pretty nice. The entire casino is, actually, as I believe it's fairly new. I'd say there are about 20 tables with 7 or 8 going on the weeknights that I've been there. Phone chargers at the table, and a dedicated cage for poker players. Smoking is not allowed, but there is a room of some sort around the corner that you can smoke in. TVs line the walls of the room as well as hang from the middle of the ceiling, ensuring everyone has a view. Chairs are pretty average--nothing special. Floor seems competent in my limited experience.

    Games: Generally 1/2 NL and some limit action going on (3/6 or 4/8...I forget). Sometimes there is one table of 2/5. Rake is 6+1 which kinda sucks, but the games play deeper than normal. They play deeper for two reasons that I can see: 1) 200 BB cap on the buyin at 1/2 and 2/5. Most people don't buy in for the cap, but someone sitting down with 150BB is pretty common. 2) more competent players, on average, so not many short stackers. I say the players are more competent, but it's still 1/2 and most of them are still no good.

    There are a lot of guys in their 20s that would like you to believe that they play professionally, but let's be honest, none of them are playing 2/5 when it runs and most of them are no better than the OMC they are sitting next to. If you play 1/2 for a living, you probably live in your mom's basement and have to ride your bike to the casino.

    They have started a high hand promotion where the high hand each hour gets to spin a big wheel which has prizes from $100 up to a few thousand. I chuckle every time I hear one of the 20s kids ask his buddy if he is going to "grind the high hand promotion" tonight (in addition to running like 7-11pm, it runs like 1am to 4am or something like that where there will be fewer tables running). I almost forgot to mention--they allow button straddles here where the SB becomes first to act preflop. I totally agree with Bart that these straddles cause people to play better out of the blinds (aka fold more). I hate the button straddle!

    Service: pretty average. Not much to say here.

  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,575Subscriber
    Lucky Chances - Colma CA
    1/1/2 - is generally terrible because most people buy in very short. The drop is $4+$2. If you get a table with deep stacks this game can be very profitable. It is $4 to limp in. Players are clueless and terrible. No idea how to play. Some of the field is bluffable

    3/5 - Most buy in for $300-$500. Occasionally you get a 1/1/2 player who buys in for $100. The players are far better than the 1/1/2 players. A good portion can fold and can bluff. But it is rare to see them value bet on the river. ABC level 2 regs that I usually encounter do ok. If you really know your shit you can do very well.

    5/10 - usually loaded with fairly competent regs. I don't play it because the 3/5 is much more juicy.

    Oaks - Berkeley CA
    1/2 - people buy in for varying amounts but there are quite a few that come in for $200. The players are just bad, really bad and various forms of bad. I'd say it is slightly more aggressive than the 1/1/2 @ Lucky Chances post flop. Some of the players do ridiculous bets and raises. Tough to bluff here. You can make money here as the drop is $5.

    3/5 - Is a zoo. Last time I played it was 2015. Many of these players simply don't fold. Some get silly aggressive. There is money here.

    Graton - I forgot what city but 1 hour north of San Francisco
    1/3 - Plays similar to the Oaks 1/2. Quite a few players from the Oaks come here. I forgot the drop.
    3/5 - Plays a little tighter. When I was there often the table had quite a few older guys who played tighter but still didn't know what they were doing.

    Bay 101 - San Jose CA
    I played there once and have some notes from a friend.
    3/5 deep stack ($1000) - The game is a little hit or miss. You have players that are worse than Lucky Chances 3/5 and some that are decent TAGs. It is not uncommon to find a table that has many tight players.


    The rest I have not been to.
    Matrix 5/10 is supposed to be very tough
    Palace game is supposed to be very loose and crazy
  • the_dude_abidesthe_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    I've visited several new rooms over the last few months. Let's start with:

    Majestic Star. Gary, IN.

    I'd like to title this review "The whales of Lake Michigan" in honor of the players in this room and the fact that the casino is on 2 ships on the coast of Lake Michigan. I would say that this 1/2, 300 cap game is about as good as it gets. I only played 20 hours or so here over a weekend, but most draws were played like the nuts and no one seemed to want to fold much of anything.

    I stayed in the hotel for 2 nights. It reminded me of a worn down Motel 6 with extra smoke smell added to my non smoking room. About what I expected, so I am not really complaining. The walk from hotel to casino is about a mile, but they have a convenient shuttle service which I'm pretty sure someone was trying to spend the night on one night, but not 100% sure because I'd had way too much Scotch.

    The casino itself has two distinct smells. 1) cigarette smoke, and 2) stale air freshener. Not sure which is more carcinogenic.

    I was honestly impressed by the floor personnel in this room. They were very personable, welcoming, and overall on top of things. The dealers generally had a great rapport with the regulars. Quality of the dealers was hit or miss, just like most other rooms.

    The poker room does not have its own cage, so you have to step out to the main casino to get chips. Not too bad except for when there is a tourney, there will be a long line.

    One thing I couldn't stand is the cards. They use the really big lettered/numbered cards, so you pretty much have to lift 1/2 of the card up off the table to check your suits. Might as well check your neighbors hand while you're at it.

    Didn't explore my food options really. I always ate at some new-looking grill they had. Food was low quality and overpriced...exactly what you'd expect.



  • AbbeyLoverAbbeyLover Posts: 17Subscriber
    Sandia casino - Albuquerque NM.

    To be fair I haven't played here much lately but if you're in ABQ and want to play cash this is your best bet. Always 3-4 tables of 1-2nl $300 cap going with 1 or 2 2-5nl $1000 cap games going. Also Omaha hi-lo, limit. Check Bravo app for other games. I always get a quick seat to 1-2. Mostly bad regs who play loose-passive with occasional 2-5 players waiting for a 2-5 seat. 2-5 can be tough. Mostly local pros or good players just playing highest game available. Very well run poker room. Fast with new tables, good dealers, auto shufflers. No smoking or drinking but they have food service plus restaurants to eat at.

    I have been other places like Santa Ana & Route 66 where two games are going with a list thirty deep because they don't have enough dealers. Sandia has reliable nightly games and weekly tournaments.
  • ACKACK Posts: 428Subscriber
    edited July 2016
    Crown Casino Melbourne Australia

    High rake but very soft games.

    1/2: 20-100. 5 tables daily
    1/3: 100-300. 5-10 tables daily.
    2/5: 200-500. 5 tables daily.
    5/5 w 10 straddle: 400-1000. 1-2 tables daily.
    5/10/20: 1000-3000. Few times a week.
    1/3 PLO: 100-300. Few times a week.
    1/2/5 PLO: 400-1000. 1 table daily.

    10% up to $15 rake on most games.

    Good time to come is during Aussie Millions and the Australian Open in January.
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