Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stereotypes and poker - Part 3 of a 116 part series on "Better Know a Poker Player"*

Part of my multi-part series of "Better Know a Player"- the 116 part series on racism and stereotyping those around you*, I continue with 2 new stereotypes: the Marine and the take-no-sh*t Navy old Navy guy.  Enjoy it, or ignore it as blatant racism.  You choose!

The Marine / Army guy
We've all seen this person at the table.  He's either wearing a cropped haircut and an "Army One" t-shirt, or he's got the ever-so-subtle digital camouflage backpack.  Whatever means you choose to recognize him, I always swallow hard.  Here's a guy who's fighting for our country (directly or indirectly), and he's putting his money on the table as the table fish.  It's an ongoing internal battle for me; on one hand, I'm not one to shy away from the fish - I'm not above taking handouts.  On the other hand, he's putting his life on the line for my freedom that I don't necessarily take for granted.  However, he's a big boy and knows what he's getting into; I just hope he's not losing more than he can afford.  He has a tendency to combine with the table drunk because he's there for the free drinks and the entertainment that poker brings him.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter.  Easy game.  Totally loose-passive.  Value value value, if your heart can handle it.

The retired Navy guy
Take no shit from no one 'cept his war buddies, this guy proudly served our country when you're daddy was in diapers.  I can respect that.  Like the Marine / Army guy, thank you for your service to our country.  Thank you for fighting the Nazis, or the Japs, or the Vietnamese, or the Koreans (North, of course).  He's wearing a hat that states what destroyer / battleship / carrier he served on, and he's usually grumpy.  Ham it up with him and he'll be more palatable at the table, though careful, son - don't overstep 'yer boundaries.
The verdict: Rock.  He'll check / call you down and never fold top pair.  He's got an unadapting range in mind that he'll *NEVER* deviate from - position be damned.  He's going broke on AA every. single. damned. time!  (Why the F*CK do they *NEVER* hold up, G*DD*MNIT!?!?!?!   Why?  Because you're only paying off when they know they have you beat, and they're folding the hands that didn't flop good against your 1% raising range of AA, KK)  Again, check / call means top pair.  Raise means some two pair, but definitely set+ and overpairs (for some reason, overpairs are held in higher regard than 2 pair; WTF?).  Value value value when you nut on him.  Fold otherwise.  He'll pay off your flush / straight and set.  Therefore, don't try to bluff.

To be continued...

* Credit to Steven Colbert and the Colbert Report's 434 part series, "Better Know a District" series.  If you haven't seen any of the episodes, click over to his website and watch.  It's very clever - Eleanor Holmes Norton is my favorite interview.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Any poker in Huntsville, AL?

I'm going to be in Huntsville next week. Has anyone even been there? Is the entire state void of poker outlet?

Monday, February 25, 2013

What Would You Do #242? - Turned flush

Here's an interesting hand that came up last week at my weekly Charles Town session:

I look down to find 8d4d in the BB after 6 players limp and I check my option.

Flop comes 5d6dTh
I'm pretty happy with this flop; I have a gutter to the weak-ish straight + a flush draw.  I want to juice this pot, as I figure I'm drawing pretty good to any made hands at this point.

Therefore, I lead out for $10 and get called in 1 spot, UTG+1 who is a tight, by-the-book player.  Rarely raised at the table, limps too many hands, but I've never seen him get out of line, thus far.

Turn is Ad
I hit my flush and check through to the caller.  He fast-checks the turn. A note as to why I check the turn here: He's the type of player who will be scared off a bad turn card such as this. Not only is this turn an overcard to the board, but it completes a lot of two pair combos and the flush. Not wanting to scare him off his hand, I opt to check the turn and value the river.

River is Kh
I bet $25 into the $32 pot.  He insta-raises me to $100 to go.  It should be noted that this was a fairly easy table up until that time.  I was able to raise at will and sweep away limps with regular frequency.  In fact, after my 3rd or 4th PF value raise, this same guy turned to me and said, "One of these times, I'm going to run you down / catch you," believing that my raises were disingenuous (some were for value, some were of the "air" variety).  So this weighs into my decision. 


Click to see results

After quite a bit of time, piecing the hand together, I came up with a few possibilities for his hand.  I doubt he's ever calling QJ and backing into the straight...  I simply can't see him doing that.  However, I can see him limping Ax (AT, A5, A6), or some such hand.  I can't see him calling a flop bet of $10 with a flopped 2 pair 56 combo, nor can I see him calling a flop bet with an overpair to the board or flopped sets.  I see him raising all of those hands.  However, there are a TON of diamond combo cards that he could limp and overcall the flop bet.  As a matter of fact, there are only 3 [unlikely] combos that I can beat here: 23dd, 72dd and 73dd.  All other diamond combos have me crushed, of which there are a whole bunch.  Remember, he loves to limp / fold to a raise, but he'll definitely try to get in there cheaply.

Back to the hand, though, I told the dealer I wasn't making a decision, but wanted to flip my cards over to get a reaction.  He definitely looked, but I could not discern a reaction.  I kept coming back to the question: was this a guy to make a "big" raise on a 3flush board, where I could have easily gotten there...  Was this a guy to turn his hand into a bluff on the river?  Was this a guy to never put me on a flush against his turned or rivered 2 pair?  I kinda concluded at this point that he's never bluffing the river.  He's always value betting the river.  In effect, the trouble for me was whether he believed his hand (because he had a 2 pair combo) was the best or whether his hand actually was the best (he had turned the better flush).

After much deliberation, I mucked my hand (face up at this point), and got a ton of snickering / laughs from a few guys down at my end of the table...  I'm not one to be deterred by popular belief / opinion... certainly not from a few donkeys who believe that they would NEVER lay down a 3flush - probably under any circumstances - but that caused a bit of conversation with the guy who won the pot.  A healthy debate led to asking him what he had; he had no problem answer our question - he was leaving in 3 hands anyway.  He said he had Qd7d.  The disbelievers were still disbelieving, though I'm fairly certain he told the truth: he has no reason to lie, Q7 is too precise of a hand to make up, and he was somewhat impressed with the laydown.

During the whole session, I had run terribly - I found myself down 3 buy ins within the first hour (JJ < Kc6c -> KKx board, AJ < AT -> QT9Q board, AQ < J5 -> 235 board, and how can I forget about the JT < 89 -> 389Q 9 etc.).  It's interesting how, when you can make a "big" laydown (don't know if I quite consider this "big"), it's karmic.  I immediately proceeded to stack and stack again, eventually breaking even on what was the makings of a terrible losing session.  In my book, a 3 buy in swing: that's a win.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stereotypes and poker - Part 2 of a 116 part series on "Better Know a Poker Player"*

Part of my multi-part series of "Better Know a Player"- the 116 part series on racism and stereotyping those around you*, I continue with 3 new stereotypes: the businessman, the former jock, and the drunk.  Enjoy it, or ignore it as blatant racism.  You choose!

The Businessman
Well dressed, regardless of ethnicity, he's likely coming off a hard day of work at a conference or meetings away from home.  Coming straight from work (he didn't take the time to change into something more comfortable, did he?), he's looking to blow off some steam and play some cards.  He's not here to fold hands - he's here to take flops and see where they go.  He's a fish, and although he sometimes knows it, he usually doesn't care.  Again, money isn't really an object to him since his business is likely footing the bill.  He's going to be a loose passive, and he's going to allow himself to call down with second- and sometimes third- pair hands "on a hunch" that you're bluffing.  Sometimes, ego is involved, whereby he'd rather lose big than fold what could be the winning hand.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter players.  Similar to the black, thug types, they will pay you off and begrudge their "bad luck."  Like their counterpart, watch out when they take the betting reins.

The Ed Hardy former jock
Bursting with muscles from the seams of their shirts, these guys were "the man" in their high schools and/or colleges.  I was talking with a guy last night who went to Podunk University and was begrudging the fact that he didn't make it to the NFL - because he was the best blah blah blah on his blah blah blah team.  His career was curtailed due to injury or girl troubles or whatever... oh yeah; you got the mental fortitude to be a poker player!  Anyway, these guys are huge in the ego department and not so big in the brains department.  They understand aggression because they've been picking on the nerds, but don't understand a story.  Therefore picking off their bluffs are usually easy, and inducing action is usually even easier.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter players.  Check to signal weakness and let them do the betting for you.  If you really want to make a statement and put them in their place, come over the top of them, but this is more meta-game than immediately profitable poker (i.e. you fold out their bluffs, etc. - situation dependent).

The table drunk
Do I need to go further?  We've all seen this kind of player and know exactly what I'm talking about.
The verdict: 'Nuf said.  Never know where he's at or what he has.  He's dead money, but keep the liquor flowing so he'll stay there.  He'll pay ze man his moneys every time, without fail.  Strap in for some variance turbulence, but he'll be way behind and paying off far more often than the reverse.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter.  Easy game.

* Credit to Steven Colbert and the Colbert Report's 434 part series, "Better Know a District" series.  If you haven't seen any of the episodes, click over to his website and watch.  It's very clever - Eleanor Holmes Norton is my favorite interview.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I met a second blogger in person!

I want to give a quick shout out to Brian, over at Birdies & Bad Beats.  I linked up with him last night while playing at Ctown.  He's a BAMF playing 5/5 PLO...  Don't know how he plays that game with the variance he must experience - I couldn't handle the swings!  I'm scared about 2/5 and here he is at the 5/5 $1500 Omaha tables!

Brian - I hope you cleaned up last night, because if you have the cojones for it, I'd imagine you can really kill the game.

As to the 2/5 comment above, I think 2/5 needs to make it into my regular rotation.  I need to get past the feeling of safety that 1/2 gives me and also stop being so complacent.  I am going to make a concerted effort to play the "bigger" game.  If Brian has the cajones, I'm gonna grow a pair myself.

One quick poker hand which I feel I played well, because last night really lacked any true need for decision making:

I raise to $17(!!!!!) with from the BTN with AdQx and get 2 callers, a wonky, loose, though passive 50+ gentleman, and a 40+ gentleman who is an engineer in business for himself in a similar line of work to myself.  Also loose, the 40+ has a habit of overcalling when he limps most of his hands (and he raises his premiums without a doubt).  Otherwise, I thin out the field of around 5 limpers.

FWIW, the 50+ has $95 remaining and the 40+ has a stack of around $400 (I have him easily covered - booyah!).

The flop comes Kd Tx 3d.

Checks to me and I weak lead for $30 into the $60 pot.  I figure this will not be a clear stab because both players have a tendency to check / fold most missed flops and I don't want a diamond or random QJ J9 to "get there" on me, even though my hand isn't great at this point.  Two calls and I'm pretty much done with the hand.

The turn is the Kx.
Checks again to me and I check through.  Either the river misses and I take down the pot with a sizable bet, or I fold out of the hand.  I'm reasonably certain that no one holds a K though.

The river is an offsuit J and here's where the action becomes interesting.
The 50+ tries to ship his remaining $65, but can only manage $60 because he string bets his remaining $5 in white $1 chips.  The 40+ hesitates for around 10 seconds and calls.  Action to me.

Here's the difference between me a year or two ago and me now:  The old me would consider this a call / fold situation.  The current me says I'm never folding here; the only decision is whether to raise.  If I'm beat from the 50+, whatever...  He probably has KJ, end of story.  However, if I am indeed beat, I want to get value out of the 40+ guy who has a larger stack.  I want him committing more than $100 to this hand.  I ponder the decision for awhile and figure that he had to think about his decision for a $60 call, so therefore likely does not hold a K - and neither does he put me on a K or a rivered broadway.  I decide to put in a raise for $75.  50+ guy snaps the $5 effective, but I can't get 40+ guy to make the call.  He hesitates for a long while, realizes he'll see a showdown regardless of his action, and convinces himself of the fold.

FWIW, 50+ guy held Jd6d for the rivered JJ KK two pair - WTF?  What is he ever beating when getting called / raised?  In a comical moment afterwards, I hear him talking about how I sucked out on the river!  LULZ!

GG sirs...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stereotypes and poker - Part 1 of a 116 part series on "Better Know a Poker Player"*

I know that I, personally, am guilty of making judgements based on race, accent, or style.  I believe that stereotypes do exist in poker, and I hold that they're all correct until proven otherwise.  It's negative EV if you close your eyes and imagine your opponent as looking like vanilla ice cream instead of what and who he truly is, whether he be chocolate, green tea or rum punch.

Since this is my blog, and I can write what I want to without fear of reprisal or being called racist (people can still call me that, I guess), elitist, etc., I'm going to keep a running log right here & now intending to catalog the various stereotypes dancing through my head.  This is going to be a multi-part series.  I think it is important to note that yes, this is a bit biased, but away from the table, I honestly believe that I treat all people the same regardless of color or creed.  The only thing that prejudging does at the table is help me get a leg up on my opponents initially.

Let's start with the Asians first, because they're easy to pick on:

The Craisian Asian
The typical crazy Asian is the gambol gambol gamble type.  He loves to throw good money after bad - even if it's clear that he's beat - in order to suckout for the euphoria of the win.  He's typically middle- to late- aged, skinny, scraggly beard... you know the type - perhaps a long hair coming out of his mole?  This guy will play literally any two cards - they're SOOORRRTED (suited) or they're CORRRREEEECCTING (connecting).  QJ and JT is the nuts PF.  They are action junkies to the extreme.  They take the culture to heart, believing in rucky (lucky) numbers, thereby playing J4o as a limp / call.  They love calling gutters, so beware when that weird 3 straight turns like 6 8 K -> turned 9.  I'd imagine most of them are simply degenerate gamblers who are constantly losing money; they're in it for the thrill.
The verdict: These are bread-and-butter payoff players.  You'll feast on them, but strap in because it can sometimes be a bumpy ride when they do hit their improbably gutters on the river.  Make sure you value bet the shit outta them!

The young, Asian internet- type
Proceed with caution!  Usually, they know what they're doing.  Donning a hoodie pulled low to cover their foreheads, they're aware of their table image, and like to feed off the impression of their elder brethren.  However, they are not Craisian.  They are generally smart, know how to fold, and know how to represent.  Their bluff stories usually make sense and their value bets are just as well-thought out; sized appropriately for the hand they perceive you to hold.  They also understand odds, so size your bets appropriately for this kind of player.  You're not going to get a ton of value out of them.  Generally avoid pots with them when possible.
The verdict: As I said above, keep clear of these guys.  They know what they're doing, and if their iso-ing you, raise an eyebrow and question whether they view you as the fish at the table.

The black, thug-types; i.e. gold caps, goatee, low hanging pants, etc.
Somewhat intimidating at first glance, these players are generally nice people, looking for a night of entertainment.  Give them the entertainment they're looking for; talk it up with them.  Buy them a drink!  They've played at home games and fancy themselves knowledgeable players, but at their cores, they're loose / passive.  They play level one poker, much like the Craisian Asians, however, they're not nearly as aggressive and loose.  Their value bets when they do nut on you are usually uncharacteristically small in comparison to the pot - they tend to miss a lot of value from their big hands in that regard.  I believe they value bet small because of the rampant fear among the loose passive community that they're going to lose the fish on the hook.
The verdict: Bread-and-butter players.  They will pay you off every time without fail and begrudge their "bad luck."  However, when these guys are doing the betting, make sure that you have a hand.  Don't spaz out when they bet small and you think you can come over the top of them.  They're pretty certain to have a premium hand.

To be continued...

* Credit to Steven Colbert and the Colbert Report's 434 part series, "Better Know a District" series.  If you haven't seen any of the episodes, click over to his website and watch.  It's very clever - Eleanor Holmes Norton is my favorite interview.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The continuation of Quincy Capers

Just a quick entry that Yakshi has been up to his creative genius again, continuing the saga of Quincy Capers.  For those of you who haven't followed from the beginning, he's a fictional boy who is a savant of sorts.  I can't really tell whether he's a legit player or just a luckbox, but he pulls in the $$$.  If you're into comedy and like poker, this is a MUST READ. 

The latest entries can be found on Yakshi's site,  Perhaps Yakshi has the original entries archived somewhere, and can put a comment on my blog pointing you to them, but it serves to have a bit of background, in addition to being able to read the backstory when you're all caught up on his latest entries.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The backraise... WTF?

In my spate of recent sessions, I've been running into a few odd backraises and I'm wondering how to interpret the actions.  First, let me start by detailing how the play went down the other night, and then I'll move into the hows and whys:

I hold JJ in late position (perhaps CO / BTN?).  It is limped to me - and a player who had been limping *EVERYTHING* (but not anything; he most likely has some semblance of a hand, be it suited connectors, small pairs, etc. on up to AJ+ and I'd assume AA - limped) all night had limped in on the hand as well.  He also had the habit of overcalling with his limped hand, regardless position, implied odds or players in the pot.  Sitting there, counting the limpers, I popped it to $15 + $3x limper = [I think] $25 (this is a Southern California 2/3 game, mind you, unlike playing at an Iphone Casino, where the action is AWESOME).  The raise served to fold out the original limpers, and, true to form, Mr. decent player / too wide of a range started carving out chips.  Good; I will be HU into the pot with a decent hand against a weakish range.  To my surprise, he opted to backraise; he limp / raised it to $120.  Quite the predicament, no?  Perhaps, but not necessarily.

In prior hands, I had seen this guy show down some really light calls based on the action for the board (and be correct), showing that he's either an uber donk (which I tended to not believe) or he knows / has some semblance of knowing what he's doing (I erred on that side of belief).  Here is an instance of a player knowing how to play, backraising - and backraising big.  Granted, I had been, to that point, a "very" active player - usually raising when I entered a pot, limping rarely.  (Reality is that my raising range is heavily slanted towards late position raises / steals, mixed in with value early position raises; my standard fare.)  Given the table texture, this was met with immediate consternation; I was the active "rebel" in a table full of rocks and loose passives (3 uber fish, 4 rocks, and the limp/raiser); they liked to see flops, and they liked to see 'em cheap.  Back to the story, though, this player knew what he was doing and had just put me to a decision for what amounts to my stack.

Here's my thought, and I'm hoping others weigh in, because this seems to be endemic to the more skilled players who are trying to "outplay" other skilled players (code for I'm in the "skilled player" grouping): The backraise is a terrible idea.  It's almost always a bluff.  It has to be.  Here's the thing: if you have AA against another skilled player, you have a made hand that doesn't need improvement; you're effectively letting your opponent bluff his hand for the entirety of the hand and/or perceive that he's "value betting" his perceived better hand.  Yes, anything can happen on the flop (72o can outflop AA a small percentage of the time), but is the intent with AA to win a small open raise, or to win stacks against an open late position raiser who is perceived to have a wide range?  Stacks are obviously preferred.  The intent of slow playing AA is to let your opponent hang himself.
By back raising, you know just as well as the other skilled player that you'll be folding out his bluffs, which severely limits your value from the best hand, AND you'll likely be folding out smaller and a few mid pocket pairs - all hands which you know full well that you're dominating.  If the opponent has a cooler hand such as KK, the money is going in regardless.  Knowing this, and your opponent knowing this, if you're slow playing AA, you're gonna slow play 'em, not backraise BIG and push people off the pot to take down a small pot.

Back to the original story; I'm facing my $120 fold / shove decision (i.e. either I feel comfortable with this hand and should just get it in PF with the better hand for $160 additional or fold believing he's got the AA/KK goods).  For those that opt to "call and see the flop," I'm not looking to reduce variance by calling and seeing if the flop holds an Ace or a King and allowing myself to be potentially bluffed off the hand.  Getting JJ in against an AK still shows JJ to be a ~53/47 favorite, FWIW.  Therefore, I shoved over for my remaining $~280.  He more-or-less [incorrectly IMO] snapped the call with TT; he's at best 50/50 against my perceived shove range of AK and maybe AQ, and he's 4-1 against my shove range of JJ+ (remember: my table image is that of a skilled player and therefore, I'm not a total LAGbot).  Is he getting calls / shoves from worse out of me?  No.
To address the "incorrectly IMO" comment and put the cherry on top, after my shove, he's calling $160 to make $425, ~3-1 pot odds - which I think is a marginal fold.  Poor call notwithstanding, his "fancy trap play" against me got him into this mess that he should have never been in in the first place!

Here's the crux with his given hand of TT:  he's either winning $25 + limps outright and getting a fold out of a hand that was 50/50 with him (good) or hands that he's an 80/20 (pocket pairs) or 70/30 (Ax hands) favorite over.  Since he's snap calling a shove, he's also allowing himself to get stacked by heavily slanted dominating hands (i.e. overpairs to his TT) where he's the 80/20 dog.  Bad bad bad poker!

It should serve to note that this hand plays *ENTIRELY* differently if my opponent is an unskilled donk who just plays his 2 cards but has a similar limping history.  If my opponent is a donk / noob, his range is now very slanted towards premium overpairs (and mostly AA at that).  It becomes more of a fold to the backraise and less of a shove at this point (whether correct or incorrect) because donks / noobs, though they love to [incorrectly] bluff, aren't considering a backraise... like... ever... without the goods.  Noobs want to win pots now and don't give a consideration to value.  They look at a win as a win despite the amount they collect for that win.

FWIW, this story harks back to a Charles Town story where I called a similar (but lesser skilled) player's backraise with my holdings of KQo: a smaller backraise where instead of me 4bet shoving PF, I opt to call in position with a lesser hand (but better hand than my opponent), with a similar result.  I got lucky on that particular hand, flopping trip Queens, but it still involved a backraise against a semi-skilled opponent holding a less-than-stellar hand where I nearly get effective stacks in by allowing my opponent to value bluff his way into nearly stacking himself.
In summary, I believe backraising has a time and a place (two players that have a ton of history between them, for example, could opt for this play).  However, a standard 1/2, 2/3 or 2/5 game at a local casino against random players should steer clear of this kind of play.  Slow play AA if you will, or fast play 'em and come running & gunning outta the gate, but don't Tricky Dicky limp / raise, repping AA - it just doesn't make sense...

Addendum: After writing this, it's funny, I've been thinking about my own move of 4bet shoving over PF.  I'm giving the same grief to my opponent by criticizing his play of folding out worse hands and only getting called by better... yada yada yada.  However, I neglect to address the fact that I'm doing the same thing for his remaining $160.  By shipping the last $160, I'm folding out the bluffs and "only getting called by better" or coin flip hands.  I partially address that in the statements above about the not wanting to "call and see what happens" A or K on the flop scenario, but I also believe that my opponent has shown overtures to being committed with his hand, and I have a strong read that his hand is either weaker than mine or at worst chopping with mine.  Therefore, I opt to shove over for those reasons.  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it :-).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Notes from the Oceans Eleven Casino & Palomar Card Club

A few notes that I took for the OE / Palomar poker rooms:
  • No post required when sitting as a new player in a hand out of big blind
  • No dead button; it certain cases, the table will go three blinds in order to avoid a dead button.  In the specific example, the SB gets up & leaves table.  The would-be Big Blind posts the BB and sits as the Small Blind and the would-be UTG posts BB as the new Big Blind.  During the next hand, the Big Blind posts the BB normally, the Small Blind posts the SB normally and BTN also posts a SB.  Thereafter, future hands normalize.
  • The bad beat jackpot requires both hole cards but not necessarily pocket pair to make qualifying quads; i.e. board of 3 3 3 8 8 qualifies if one player has 3 T (because the T kicker plays) and the other player has 8 8, etc.  As a result, the BBJ is typically $20-40,000 - smallish.  Aces full of Kings generally qualifies for the BBJ (Oceans Eleven for certain; not sure about Palomar Club)
  • The tables are 9 max.
  • The rake is $5 (for the 2/3 NLHE at least) every hand.  Flat fee.  No flop, no drop.  Stealing blinds *DEFINITELY* makes sense here because a simple BTN / CO raise nets $5.  Limping the BTN / CO puts your limp as the only pot on the flop (since the $5 gets dropped immediately, which makes up the SB + BB).
  • They run a 1/1 $60(?) game, a 1/2 $100, 2/3 $300, 2/5 $1500...
  • Again, the Blackjack offerings - in fact, any table game offerings [it seems] are interesting in what I suppose is all of California.  The casino charges a per-hand fee, $0.50, and have an outside contractor hired to bankroll the part of the "house."  If players so choose, they may take over the bank and play the side of the house for the same $0.50 fee per hand.  This rule seems to be universal within the non-Indian run casinos.
  • Oceans Eleven has a huge room with LOTS and LOTS of tables.  It's not quite the Commerce, but it's certainly up to par with Charles Town...  somewhere around 40-60 tables.  The limit tables are in another room.
  • Palomar Card Club is a small, home game atmosphere.  It has [at most] 8 tables, and they are must-move.  It was definitely a reg fest.  It should be noted that I will *NEVER* return to Palomar Card Club in future visits.  Simply put, it is not a very safe place.  Apparently, there are pimps and hoes right down the street, and the area is generally shady. 
  • Palomar does not have points / etc., but they give you a $5 voucher for every day played more than an hour and a half.  You can use the voucher to get food from the local restaurants (i.e. Dominoes around the corner, or a sushi place) or purchase water @ $1 / bottle.
  • For what it's worth, Poker Wiki has a comprehensive page on the California poker offerings.

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