That Room is Dirty!
Whatever happened to poker players going to a casino and playing poker. When did players get to the point where they expect their poker experience to be like that from Television. I have played poker all around the country and there are a lot of players that act like they are beneath many poker rooms. Heaven forbid if the tables are a little worn or if the chips are dirty. And if the casino won't give them the world for free, well heaven help them.
Some of my favorite places to play are places that many people won't touch. For example, my favorite poker spot in all of Atlantic City is the Taj Mahal. When I tell people about that outside of AC, many time I get the reaction of "Eww. That place is dirty." They will then go on an sing the praises of the almighty Borgata. I have played at the Borgata and in all honesty, the only way I will play there again is if I have nowhere else to play in the city. It is nice, but the staff has been stuck up much of the time I have went there and forget about finding a non-Holdem game the majority of the time.
The Taj is indeed not nearly as pristine as the other casinos. The chips are dirty, and the tables are old. However, when I go there, I actually feel like I am playing poker. It just has that ambiance to it that just feels right to me. Also, I can usually find any game I want at almost any limit I want.
When I am in Los Angeles, I usually split my time between the Bike and Hawaain Gardens. The Bike makes sense to most people, and the rest of you that know the L.A. poker scene just looked at me like I am nuts at suggesting that Hawaain Gardens is good. One of my favorite things about these two casino is that you can find all the games at all the limits. Both have an insane amount of players at all times and I absolutely love the Bike's tourneys. Also, just for fun, I like to play the $3 - $6 Stud 8 game at HG just for the entertainment value. The last time I played there, the average age at the table was 65 and that was because myself and a 45 year old guy lowered the age average. We had 2 players in their 80's and the Asian to my right, known as "Papa", was 95.
My favorite place to play in Tunica happens to be the Hollywood Casino, which is weird because it is probably the smallest poker room in Tunica. This is one of the few casino's where I go to play because I like the setup. The tables are in a small room with each table having its own individual lighting. It has a feel of a basement home game. Most of the time I play, it is usually all locals, which makes for a relatively tight game, but I have never lost at the casino. (Granted, several times my wins were small.)
If you haven't figured it out, I am a little eclectic on the types of rooms I like to play at. I don't want the biggest or the fanciest rooms, but I want somewhere that I can play the game and enjoy it. While it isn't the most stylish way to play poker, it is definitely a lot of fun.