Posts Tagged ‘heads-up tournaments’

California Losses vs. Vegas Wins

On the road to heads-up victory?

by , Apr 19, 2012 | 7:18 pm

Me in Oceanside, CA

Ahhh, California...

My brother Chris and I, hiking Runyon Canyon above LA

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably either a poker player or fan of the game in some fashion. You know that the games in Las Vegas are plentiful on any day of the week. The weekend crowd consists of tourists from all parts of the US escaping their routine lives for a few days in the desert. During the week, the player ratio skews more towards Europeans on extended holiday, mixed with the company conference crowd and conventioneers. There are always locals in the game and during the daytime, they can represent 50 percent or more of the table lineup, even at Strip properties.

At nighttime the ratio shifts more towards the out-of-towners, but where the tourists are, there will always be local regs scattered about.

It’s so fun playing a heads-up tournament. You get to play every hand… what more needs to be said?

As a poker player and/or fan, you might’ve heard that while Las Vegas is the gambling epicenter of the US, when it comes to poker, the true Mecca is actually located in Los Angeles. And after a recent return visit to my old stomping grounds, I was quickly reminded of that fact. The LA cardrooms are different in so many ways from their Vegas counterparts in everything from the atmosphere to the feel of the cards to the player makeup to what’s comped and what isn’t. At any one time in the Commerce, Bicycle, Hustler or any other casinos that occupy very non-glitzy East LA districts, you won’t find more than 1 percent of the player pool designated as “tourists”. No tourist is going to take time out of enjoying gorgeous Malibu or exploring the weirdness of Venice Beach to grind Commerce Casino. These places are packed with locals who love poker, love gambling, and very much love action. They absolutely have to… how else could you explain these folks braving horrific Los Angeles traffic to get to Bell Gardens to play $2/$3NL midweek? It’s true, you do get comped food from a rather impressive menu at the Bike, as opposed to free cocktails a la Las Vegas. But I have to assume it’s more than that. Poker has become a real part of several cultures that make up Los Angeles’ diverse demographics. It’s been that way for decades now, before the no-limit era and now well into it.

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