So Friday afternoon, Jay and I went down to Pechanga (about 1 hr south of where I live, if the traffic wasn't in the way) and decided to see what it was all about. Although I have played a few games in Vegas, I normally just play online.
We arrived in late afternoon, found the self-parking area easily (much easier than some of the places in Vegas) and wandered into the casino, looking for the poker room. I was actually impressed with some of the slots and stuff I glanced at on the way - as a technical person (read geek), I am always impressed with the technology. Anyway after wandering around the casino and following the signs (I swear they make you take the long way - or the casino was bigger than I expected) we went up the escalator and found the poker room.
Now this was the first time for Jay in a B&M poker room, and my experience in Vegas told me to take it real easy and play something simple. We signed up for the 2-4 limit (the minimum spread they offered) and got seated right away. (There was lots of tables and they seemed to be seating people with no more than a 5 minute wait).
Now the table I was at appeared to be the geriatric retirement table. I swear I wasn't even sure a couple of the players were alive. It did appear to be like everything you hear about at low limit tables - no foldem holdem was in full play. I still tried to play my normal tight agressive game, but that didn't really work well. The tight part was easy as I never got any cards worth playing (for the first 2 hours anyway) and when I finally got something (pocket Kings), I raised one BB preflop and everyone folded. At this point (I hadn't been paying enough attention) I learned that they have a flat rate of $4 per hand - when basically meant my hand won me about $4.
At 6pm, they started this jackpot thing where you needed to have AAA1010 or better and have it broken by something better (basically a bad beat jackpot). They also had to use both whole cards in the hand. This jackpot thing certainly woke up the seniors at my table and they got all excited. According to one fellow, the only reason he was still playing was to win the jackpot. I kept my mouth shut and nodded to agree with him. He commented on my previous pocket Kings that if the Jackpot was going, I shouldn't have raised as it was important to see the flop.
At this point I had been slowly bleeding blinds and was down about $80. Fortunately my cards changed and I managed to make a mini comeback. We decided to take a break about 45 minutes later and I was back up to being only down $25. Jay on the other hand had the same cards as me, minus the mini comeback.
We took a break for supper and came back in about an hour.
By this time, it was 8:30 or 9pm and the texture of the crowd had changed. The seniors had mainly gone home and there was a much younger crowd there. We still got seated right away and continued our bad card streak. Although I had previously had a couple good sessions in Vegas playing low limit holdem, this night reminded me of all the reasons I hated limit. I slowly bled blinds and although I managed to get slightly better cards than earlier, I never managed to get back up to my buyin and finally quit after midnight down about $40.
Overall, it was fun tho, and I figure I will be back again. Although they weren't advertising it online, they were spreading a cheap $40 NL game which I think I will target next time.