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Thread: Poker rooms...the strangest and/or the worst you have ever seen

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    Bronze mdj1980's Avatar
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    Poker rooms...the strangest and/or the worst you have ever seen

    I'd been thinking it would be interesting to hear from the PFA posters, and maybe hear discussed on the radio show, about your stories of the strangest live poker rooms you have ever been to, and the ones you have thought were the worst (or most "ghetto"). Certainly when poker rooms were opening up everywhere in the early 2000's they were often getting put in makeshift locations that often made for some odd playing conditions.

    For example, I remember playing on a casino boat in Tampa, floating in international waters 10 miles off the coast. The poker room there was actually pretty nice, with a great view of the ocean. Another vacation I played in a building in Vancouver's Chinatown that looked like it had no business holding a casino, but up on like the 3rd floor it did, and it was a pretty nice, legit looking casino...or at least as good a casino you could have on top of a Chinese grocery store. So again, strange location but nothing odd about the room itself.

    Probably one of the most "ghetto" poker experiences I've had was playing at Miami jai alai...all I remember was it was $2 limit (that was all that was allowed by law back then), every pot was capped pre-flop, and the dealer had to continuously remind the players that Spanish was not allowed at the table (even though I was probably the only one there who didn't speak it). There was no room, just a table thrown in the middle of the place. This is also probably one of the worst neighborhoods I've ever ventured into to play poker. Although now that I think of it, casinos are usually in pretty bad parts of town...

    The last one I wanted to mention was the one that got me started thinking about this thread. The first poker room I ever played in regularly was at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. When the room first opened up in like 2002 or so it was located in what was formerly a party room in the back of the bingo hall. So you had to trek back through the bingo hall whenever you went to or from the poker room. Fine. No big deal. What made this room so unique was what was on the other side of the poker room wall. Not too far outside the confines of the casino was a rendering plant, where cattle would go to get slaughtered. So every once in a while when a truck came in, the literal smell of death would waft into the poker room. The staff actually had to keep aerosol cans of air freshener handy, and they put them to use quite a bit. Thankfully now that room has long since moved to another area of the casino, and for all I know that rendering plant may not even exist anymore, but at the time that had to be one of the strangest situations out there.

    I'd be interested in hearing some of your stories...anyone have any?

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    Gold ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdj1980 View Post
    I'd been thinking it would be interesting to hear from the PFA posters, and maybe hear discussed on the radio show, about your stories of the strangest live poker rooms you have ever been to, and the ones you have thought were the worst (or most "ghetto"). Certainly when poker rooms were opening up everywhere in the early 2000's they were often getting put in makeshift locations that often made for some odd playing conditions.

    For example, I remember playing on a casino boat in Tampa, floating in international waters 10 miles off the coast. The poker room there was actually pretty nice, with a great view of the ocean. Another vacation I played in a building in Vancouver's Chinatown that looked like it had no business holding a casino, but up on like the 3rd floor it did, and it was a pretty nice, legit looking casino...or at least as good a casino you could have on top of a Chinese grocery store. So again, strange location but nothing odd about the room itself.

    Probably one of the most "ghetto" poker experiences I've had was playing at Miami jai alai...all I remember was it was $2 limit (that was all that was allowed by law back then), every pot was capped pre-flop, and the dealer had to continuously remind the players that Spanish was not allowed at the table (even though I was probably the only one there who didn't speak it). There was no room, just a table thrown in the middle of the place. This is also probably one of the worst neighborhoods I've ever ventured into to play poker. Although now that I think of it, casinos are usually in pretty bad parts of town...

    The last one I wanted to mention was the one that got me started thinking about this thread. The first poker room I ever played in regularly was at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. When the room first opened up in like 2002 or so it was located in what was formerly a party room in the back of the bingo hall. So you had to trek back through the bingo hall whenever you went to or from the poker room. Fine. No big deal. What made this room so unique was what was on the other side of the poker room wall. Not too far outside the confines of the casino was a rendering plant, where cattle would go to get slaughtered. So every once in a while when a truck came in, the literal smell of death would waft into the poker room. The staff actually had to keep aerosol cans of air freshener handy, and they put them to use quite a bit. Thankfully now that room has long since moved to another area of the casino, and for all I know that rendering plant may not even exist anymore, but at the time that had to be one of the strangest situations out there.

    I'd be interested in hearing some of your stories...anyone have any?
    When I moved out to AZ end of 2012 there was several poker clubs operating in Strip malls.. Several got shut down in fact but there were a couple which were 1-3 table operations.. Now in AZ its legal to open carry and they actually had dealers who had 9mm strapped to their hips as well as 2 bouncers which were armed also.. No food at all they sold poker stuff like cards and chips in the front of the storefront and the games were behind closed door.. The weird thing is AZ poker laws are basically contradictory to each other.. Private games are legal but the person running the game must not 'benefit' from any gaming going on.. Which means depending on whos running the show and hate to say it whos getting their palms greased would and remains to be what constitutes benefiting..(some of the stories of busts on NVG out here aren't exagerations actually) full on SWAT crap but then the players are charged and usually get their cash back because its not ILLEGAL to play poker even in a private locale its only illegal for the person running it to benefit but creates confusion.

    Is a bar running a private weekly lead benefitting from the poker because theyre are extra customers in his establishment. Maybe... and again depends on the interpretation of the County Attys office in the case and which Judge was assigned.. One guy actually argued he wasn't actually benefitting as his club was a non-profit and actually only made money to cover expenses and had proof any extra was donated to a charity usually a food bank or usually holiday time the Salvation Army and the case was dismissed based on the fact the owner wasn't benefitting at all..
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    Bronze mdj1980's Avatar
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    When I moved out to AZ end of 2012 there was several poker clubs operating in Strip malls.. Several got shut down in fact but there were a couple which were 1-3 table operations.. Now in AZ its legal to open carry and they actually had dealers who had 9mm strapped to their hips as well as 2 bouncers which were armed also.. No food at all they sold poker stuff like cards and chips in the front of the storefront and the games were behind closed door.. The weird thing is AZ poker laws are basically contradictory to each other.. Private games are legal but the person running the game must not 'benefit' from any gaming going on.. Which means depending on whos running the show and hate to say it whos getting their palms greased would and remains to be what constitutes benefiting..(some of the stories of busts on NVG out here aren't exagerations actually) full on SWAT crap but then the players are charged and usually get their cash back because its not ILLEGAL to play poker even in a private locale its only illegal for the person running it to benefit but creates confusion.

    Is a bar running a private weekly lead benefitting from the poker because theyre are extra customers in his establishment. Maybe... and again depends on the interpretation of the County Attys office in the case and which Judge was assigned.. One guy actually argued he wasn't actually benefitting as his club was a non-profit and actually only made money to cover expenses and had proof any extra was donated to a charity usually a food bank or usually holiday time the Salvation Army and the case was dismissed based on the fact the owner wasn't benefitting at all..
    Interesting...here in Florida for a while we had slot machines popping up in strip malls under the guise of "internet cafes" but never poker rooms as far as I know. Those are pretty much all gone now.

    I'd say that two armed bodyguards and especially an armed dealer definitely qualifies in the "ghetto" category!

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