you can't miss binion's horseshoe casino as you travel along interstate 20 in bossier (pronounced: bohz' zhier) city, lousiana, adjacent to shreveport. it's this huge gold tower on the north side of the road, at the traffic street exit (yeah, it sounds screwy. but "traffic street" really is the name of the street!).
there are several casinos in town, but only binion's offers poker. the room is on the lowest of the three levels in the casino. as you enter the casino, you walk past a "million dollar wall" composed of ten thousand consecutively- numbered $100 bills. unlike vegas, you can't have your picture taken with the money in the background. the opposite wall includes pictures of past wsop winners.
the eleven table room is set against the back wall. only the cashier's cage separates the poker room from the slots, so the room is pretty noisy. i'll note that smoke is not too terrible a problem here. when i arrived at about 5 pm on sunday, all tables were in action. they offered 1-5 stud and 4/8, 10/20, and 20/40 hold 'em. they'll spread omaha, but the game rarely goes. the front desk of the room was pretty busy, but i was greeted within a few seconds of my approach to the desk (i value this little bit of customer service very highly). they don't spread stud any higher than 1-5, so i asked to be put on the 4/8 and 10/20 hold 'em lists. the room is rather cramped, and there's little room for movement around the tables. cocktail waitresses are quite agile to get drinks to their customers.
cash doesn't play on the tables. the seats next to the dealers are not no- smoking. the floorman i spoke to didn't know the origin of their rulebook. in fact, he had never heard of this newsgroup, barge, or any other aspect of rgp (several rgp'ers regularly play at the horseshoe - but nobody sought me out after my name was called for a game). the rake is 10% to a maximum of $4. as one would expect from a jack binion casino, a few hours of play gets you a comp to the buffet. i didn't play long enough to see how they handle the situation where one of the blinds busts out (i assume it's the forward-moving button rule).
i'm called for a 10/20 hold 'em game, and buy a rack of red chips. i figure that i have the local pros at a serious disadvantage. you see, none of them have any idea that "i don't play hold 'em!" :) so a few hours later, i'm up a couple stacks of reds, and it's time for the buffet. :)
one guy at my table made a royal flush. the floorman was called over, and, with great ceremony, the player was awarded a year 2000 calendar, which featured thirteen different prints of dogs playing poker. (koff, koff)
the buffet was average. but it was comped, so i can't complain.
after dinner, i return to find only half the tables in action. there's only the one 10/20 hold 'em game running, and it's short-handed. i take a seat at a 4/8 game, lose back about two or three stacks of whites, and book the session when the floor consolidates the four 4/8 tables into three.
overall, i'd rate the room at about a "b." the atmosphere was friendly, and the dealers were very good. the noise is a minus, as is the restricted space. but considering that it's the only game in town, it's not bad, at all.
i'm starting a big push west tomorrow. california is calling me, and i've got new mexico and arizona between here and there.