Tiger Tours the Tables - isleta gaming palace; santa ana star

11/4 thursday

i taken a couple bad beats along this trip - but that's just part of the game of poker. unfortunately, i've also suffered a couple bad beats as part of the trip. ::::sigh:::: this is just part of life.

i jumped into the car, bright and early (around noon or so), and drove off to the foot of the mountain range that peaks in the sandia crest. i drove through the modern and high-scale town of sandia north, and reached the entrance to the tramway. uh oh. there's a big sign across the road which says that the tramway is closed from 11/1 - 11/12 for maintenance. :(

what do you do when you can't do the thing you wanted to do? play a little poker, perhaps?

isleta gaming palace is located some ten miles or so south of albuquerque, just off interstate 25. i get to the cardroom around 1 pm, just as the daily tourney is finishing. shift supervisor connie is doing the paperwork, and gives me a nod to tell me that she'll be right with me. it's nice to be noticed. :)

the room has eight tables, where both stud and flop games are played. how- ever, all the tables are built for stud. flop games are played 10-handed, and it's a little crowded. the room is set in the far rear corner of the casino, immediately adjacent to the buffet, so the room is pretty quiet. it's got pretty high ceilings, so, even though there are some serious smokers here, smoke is not too much of a problem. seats next to dealers are not no- smoking.

the rake is a variable 5% - 10% (c'mon. it's 10%. who's kidding who?) up to a maximum of $4. they take an extra dollar for bad beat jackpots. there were two 1-5 stud games and one 4/8 hold 'em with half kill in progress when i arrive. i'm soon seated at the hold 'em game. as a promotional bonus, when you buy chips for your initial buy-in, you get $30 chips for $20 cash. besides the daily tourneys, they have a daily high hand giveaway. the dealers here are reasonably good, and even connie jumps into the box to allow her staff a lunch break (they're shorthanded today). generally, it's a friendly place, and i managed a couple laughs while booking a small win.

during my travels in albuquerque, i'd heard the name of chuck ferry. hey! i know that name! chuck is night shift supervisor at santa ana star casino cardroom! time to go back there!

chuck is even more of an expert on house rules than i am! in fact, he's an expert on organizing, opening, and running a card room! and he's even written a book on the subject, "the complete card room"!! i tried to buy a copy, but chuck was having none of that. he even autographed it for me! :)

the book tells you everything you need to start from day one if you are going to operate a cardroom. it goes from soup to nuts. it has a lot of good stuff for cardroom managers. unfortunately, the person who was supposed to edit the book didn't bother to do her job, and there are numerous spelling, grammatical, usage and contextual errors. however, there's a great deal of diamonds in that chaff. :/

chuck ferry has played in, worked in, managed and owned cardrooms for the past 30 years or so. he's about 60, tall, gray hair, glasses, and was wearing shirtsleeves and a tie. oh, what a tie! the tie depicts a royal flush in spades!! and it turns out to be an official formal "poker digest" poker cruise tie! chuck has just returned from working one of june field's poker cruises, and he's proudly wearing his working outfit! :)

chuck and i play 3/6 omaha/8 for a few hours, and i manage to drop a rack- and-a-half of whites. i say goodbye to yet another new friend, and head down the road back to sandia casino. hey chuck! come back to rgp!! we miss you!

at sandia, i'm seated almost immediately at a 4/8 half kill hold 'em game. i win back what i had left at santa ana star, and call it a night. back on he road tomorrow.

stay tuned!!