Tiger Tours the Tables - sycuan casino, casino barona, san diego; ocean's 11, oceanside, california

11/12 first, a couple amendments/corrections about the sycuan cardroom:

i went back yesterday, and tried to change seats after the button had passed. but the dealer wouldn't let me move into the small blind. hey! don't you have the forward moving button rule? he looks at me like i'm a man from mars - he has no idea what i'm talking about. but it's annie adlin to the rescue! "no, tiger. you made a mistake in your report! we use the dead button rule here!" hehehehehe....and she even knows why i was mistaken - we saw a dealer do something last night, which would have been right under the forward moving button rule - but the dealer made the mistake last night!!

and i even saw two smokers who were sitting next to the dealer get up from their chairs to smoke their cigarettes. but it turns out that the seats next to the dealers are *not* no-smoking....it was a lot smokier in the room on friday night, but still not as bad as some places i've been.

i want to mention the sycuan's comp system. when you first register, you get a casino id card (lol....i've got some collection of them by now!), and $5 in your account. from then on, when you first sit down in a game, you clock in and you clock out when you are done playing. you get paid $.50 per hour, which can be used for food. but annie told me that poker comps are not good in the gift shop. oh, well.

you must be pretty determined to get to casino barona. you take route 67 north from el cajon (just east of san diego) to its end; then a right onto willow road, and a left onto wildcat canyon road (how could i resist with a name like that?). some ten miles later, after some more hair-raising twists and turns and ups and downs, you suddenly get to the casino. there's lots of parking all around, and, like many indian casinos out west, there are handy helpful shuttle buses and carts.

the seven-table poker room is in the far corner of the casino, but it's set up amidst slots, pai gow tables and various other assorted facilities. they've got two 1-3 stud/8 games in progress and a list for 3/6 hold 'em. but games have a full kill. the room has high ceilings and what appears to be good ventilation. dealer charles greeted me as soon as i walked in (it's just not that hard to spot the newcomer in a "local" casino), and puts me on both lists. all of the tables in this room seem slightly undersized. there are small service tables for ashtrays, drinks and food. the seats next to the dealers are clearly marked as no-smoking seats. :)

they run small buy-in tourneys here three nights a week. they have bad beat jackpots (two of which were hit the night before i arrived). cash does not play. they use the forward moving button rule - i saw it in action twice, so i'm sure of this one! dealers keep their own tips.

i play some 1-3 stud/8. i could make a fortune at that game at that casino. not one player at either table has the slightest clue how to play hi-low split stud! i win two or three stacks of green ($1) in less than an hour. they take one dollar for the jackpot, and only rake $2 from the pot (the cheapest game in town!). it's got an ante of .25 and low card brings it in for a dollar.

at the 3/6 hold 'em game, they take the entire big blind. one dollar goes to the jackpot and two dollars goes to the rake. no flop, no drop. i was astounded when, holding ace-jack suited one to the right of the button, after four limpers, i raised and ended the hand! ack!!!

floorman ralph told me that the rulebook in the room is based on the rulebook from the bicycle club in los angeles. i think that someone once told me that all the los angeles clubs use a common rulebook (i've got the one from hollywood park - thanks, steve(?) nebbiolo), which is derived from the las vegas hilton. for whatever it's worth, one of the staff at sycuan told me that barona will close their poker room in january. :(

when i was checking into my motel room day before yesterday, the guy right behind me was wearing a casino morongo baseball cap. i asked him for directions to sycuan (he seemed like the right kind of person who might know!). he gave me directions, but poor-mouthed the casino. seems that he had just changed jobs as a chef from morongo to barona. so he gave me a comp card to the barona buffet! :) and i used it! :)

and, oh, yeah. while i was eating dinner, the public address system announced that there was an accident on wildcat canyon road, and it was closed. i had to go all the way to ramona and around the mountain to get back to my motel! ack!


ocean's 11 casino is halfway between san diego and los angeles, and is located just off interstate 5, at mission avenue. oh, wow!! what an amazing experience!!! i walk into a casino, **and the air is fresh!!!*** wtg california!

the casino is named for, and based upon, the "rat pack" movie about a group of army buddies who get together to simultaneously rob five las vegas casinos on a new year's eve. if you read this newsgroup, you know the movie. as you enter the casino, you walk past the "rat pack lounge." the walls of the whole place are decorated with stills from the movie, and images of the various stars in other movies (e.g., sinatra as nathan detroit in "guys and dolls"). one entire wall of the casino is an image of all of danny ocean's eleven, with akim tamiroff, too! what a gas!

the place is well-lit, and, of course, well-ventilated. when i arrive, a tourney is almost finished. the sign-up board is not close to the entrance, but i'm greeted as soon as i get to the podium. they spread 1-4 and 3/6 stud/8, 3/6, 4/8, 9/18, and 20/40 hold 'em; 3/6 hold 'em/8; and 3/6 and 4/8 omaha/8. most games have a full kill. dealers carry their own racks, and they're pretty good. they keep their own tips. there are small service tables for drinks and food (no ashtrays here!). the room is rather quiet - most players are watching the college football games on television. i am advised that you get a meal comp for about three hours' of play. i'm also told that the food here is pretty good, but i didn't stay to eat.

at the 3/6, the entire big blind is taken for the rake. the three $1 blue chips are exchanged for one $3 orange, which is dropped. i didn't see any bad beat jackpot signs, and didn't see any bad beat jackpot drop. at the 4/8, the entire big blind is taken for the rake. the omaha/8 games are played nine-handed at a stud-sized table.

i chat with supervisor chuck mccormick for a while (annie? he says, "hiya!" back to you!). sure enough, by the time i'm finished playing at the place, everybody knows that there's this guy from the internet in the room......

i won a rack of blue playing 4/8 omaha/8 for something more than two hours. yeah, i had a good time at ocean's 11. :) the place definitely makes the "yes" list. :D

i've made it to los angeles, and i'm heading to hollywood park as soon as i post this. there are a couple rgp'ers looking for me....

stay tuned!