Archive for the ‘California Poker Rooms’ Category

California Losses vs. Vegas Wins

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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WSOP Main Event Champions: Where Are They Now?

by , Feb 5, 2012 | 5:39 am

We know about Jamie Gold’s poker residency at the Tropicana in Las Vegas — where he can be found playing 1/2 and apparently trying to fill the poker world’s Professor void by offering lessons that cost about as much as a college education. (The Jamie Gold Poker Room official launch party, btw, is Feb 17!)

But what about the rest of ’em?

You can currently find Jerry Yang, the 2007 WSOP’s biggest winner and #20 on the all-time poker tournament money list, bussing tables while commanding an otherwise lackadaisical staff (according to Yelp) at Pocket 8s Sushi & Grill in central California. Um, pass the yum-yum sauce?

Via Pokerati’s resident Vegas grinder-thug @AndrewNeeme:

pocket 8s sushi and grill

Poker Fish: You wouldn’t believe how many of Jerry Yang’s relatives are always hitting him up for free sushi.


2011 WSOP: Year of the Freeroll Online Qualifier?

by , May 12, 2011 | 4:16 pm

Normally this sorta promotional bit wouldn’t catch my attention for any longer than it takes to press the “mark as spam” button. But for whatever reason, new somethings related to online poker and real money get a second look these days.

And this one … knowing the tensions we’ve seen between California card rooms and the poker sites we used to think of as the “good guys” (before government officials said, “no no they Full Tilt and PokerStars are the bad guys!”) … well, hmm, call me @JeffMadsenObv, but is it coincidence that California’s first brick-and-mortar card room to open an online poker site did so on April 15?

Aha. Exactly.

Likewise, might we see more California casinos opening up online outposts soon … and how many similar ops across the country will be trying to entice players to their no-money real-money tables with WSOP seats? Also kinda curious … a $7,500 cash buyout option for the winner. (That seems pretty good, no?)

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Poker Art: Making of the Cowling Desk @AviatorCasino

by , Mar 25, 2011 | 6:23 pm

Stumbled across this vid on Youtube — the time-lapse construction of the welcome desk @AviatorCasino in Delano, Cali. I can 100 percent say that Aviator is my favorite poker room in California’s Central Valley … (where Bakersfield is the big town some 30 miles away, but is also just a $15 flight from Vegas on Allegiant! $40 after taxes, but still … airplanes!)

That’s the whole theme of the Aviator Casino … airplanes, airports, and pai gow. That’s why at least some non-poker people see this creation of an info station at a California poker room as less about tourney registration but not too much less because it is still “functional art”:

More about this awesome little poker room — the coolest I’ve ever seen in the area — at TheAviatorCasino.com.