Tiger Tours the Tables - commerce club, normandie, los angeles, california

11/15 monday

the commerce club is huge. it's the biggest cardroom that i can recall in my memory. they've got all games and all limits. they spread as much seven- card stud (high) as any east coast cardroom. there are separate rooms for asian games (pai gow tiles and pai gow poker, etc.), the so-called "california games" (21st century blackjack, california baccarat, etc.), pan9, pan and, of course, poker.

it's located on telegraph road, just off the washington boulevard exit of interstate 5 (santa ana freeway). there's parking all around the place.

i didn't take many notes here. there's lots of games and lots of action. i noted that this club has a very different color coding for chips (i think that all of the los angeles clubs use the same color system). $1 chips are blue (purple?). $2 chips are green. $3 chips (used for the drop and for those screwy 9/18 games) are black-and-orange. nickel chips are yellow. they use dark yellow (brown at hollywood park) for $10 chips, and gray for $25 chips. $100 chips are white. all of them are those dratted "speed chips." i put my name on a 6/12 stud list, but found an open seat at a 15/30 stud game. i sit down.

there's a maniac on my immediate left, who raises indiscriminately and almost constantly. there are several calling stations on the other end of the table. it would be a dream, but i'm not well-placed. but after the maniac busts out, i move one space to my left, and start to win back my chips which the maniac has given away. play at this table is loose, loose, loose. a woman named shyrlee sits down on my right, and she and i and richard (on my left) become friends. shyrlee just loves my story about my cross-country trip, and richard keeps denying that he's a bank robber. he does it so often and so sincerely, that i become convinced that he really *is* a bank robber! :) cash plays at this limit, and my meal is comped.

i win a couple stacks of yellow (for my east coast friends, this means a couple stacks of reds) in a couple hours. i had a good time at the commerce. :)

i paged "mr. topset" and "mr. liveone" but there was no response. :( nobody won a tropicana poker club jacket. :(

back to the motel to freshen up and it's off to the normandie!

the normandie is one of the old "gardena" cardrooms. it's been on rosecrans avenue, just off route 110, for just about forever! it's much darker and much more garish than the elegance of the commerce club. and it's an awful lot noisier!!

they spread stud at 1/2, 2/4, 3/6 and 6/12; "mexican poker" at small levels, hold 'em at 1/2, 2/4, 3/6 and 6/12 and omaha/8 at 2/4 and 3/6. the smaller "vip room" spreads stud at 10/20, hold 'em at 15/30 and lowball at 15/30. the room has about 30-35 tables, and the boardman's public address system could be cranked down by 50% without any loss. they use speed chips here, too. :( cash plays in this room.

i'm seated almost immediately at a 6/12 stud game. i'd describe the table as "weak-tight." it's time to voice one of my pet peeves: i've found that an awful lot of dealers here in the west are very lax in calling string bets, and do not do anything to prohibit (or even reprimand players about) those cute little hand moves when betting. the ante at this game is $1, and they take $3 from the antes for the drop. i play for about 45 minutes when i tell a guy, "nice hand, sir. well played!" another player at the table stands up, racks his chips, and says, "are you tiger? presto?" and wins a jacket. it's lurker mike steinberg (mjs90201@earthlink.com), who doesn't even bother to stay around for a few minutes to chat. :(

a few minutes later, barge virgin beth even (rhymes with "heaven") shows up, and sees me pair my door card, make a full on fifth street, and stack a *monster* pot at this green chip game. she puts both our names on a 3/6 hold 'em list, and they soon call down a new game. i book a win at stud and transfer tables to the new 3/6 hold 'em game, where there is a $3 charge on the button.

for reasons that only she can explain, beth decides to sit on my right. our table can be described as populated with "transitories" - we played with at least 25 different people during our two-hour session! i hit some big hands and get paid off handsomely! here's one: i've got rockets in late position and raise five or six limpers. young black female (maniac) in the big blind makes it three bets and i cap it. six players. flop is kc 9c 5h. she bets, three callers, and i raise. button calls, and she re-raises. all call. turn is a rag. it's checked to me, and i bet, because one of my aces is the club. button calls and the woman check-raises. all fold to me, and i call. button has had enough. the river is another 5 (not a club). she checks to me and i spread. she had the spade king and the club queen. gotta love los angeles poker. i stack another monster.

later, beth is on the button and calls in a 7- or 8-way pot. i don't defend my small blind. flop is ks 9s 4h. it's checked to her, and she bets. there are three or four callers. the turn is the spade five. it's checked again to beth, and she bets. same callers. the river is another four; it's checked to her and she bets. i mumble, "that musta helped you. kings up look good." but nobody calls, and beth throws pocket fives face up on the table and crows, "presto!!" wtg beth!!

she's won one rack of blues, and i've won two racks, and it's time for dinner! :)

after dinner, beth has to leave. i sit down in an empty seat at a 10/20 stud game next to jacket winner mike. the game is terrible, and i don't stay very long. i get a jacket from my car, bring it back into the casino, and book the evening.

tomorrow is crystal park and the bike!

stay tuned!