My wife and kids were out of town this weekend so I headed down to Fremont Street to have some fun. I do not get much of a chance to visit downtown Las Vegas anymore with how busy I am with work but I needed a day away from the laptop.
I started by playing some old coin operated video poker machines at Las Vegas Club. That got boring after a while so I headed across Main Street to check out the new Pokertek electronic poker tables at Plaza. There was one game running. It was a $.25/$.50 No Limit Texas Hold’em game. The minimum buy-in is $20. Since I was only there to try it out I bought in for the minimum. I do not usually play Texas Hold’em and my experience with Pokertek tables had not been positive (mainly because of where I played, not the machines) so I did not plan on being there long. My plans quickly changed and I spent hours playing in the room.
The first impression the room made was great. David Cardenas is the manager and he did a great job explaining the tables to me and other players that were interested in playing. There are many features that would be missed without the quick tutorial.
The manager did more than just oversee the game. He interacted with passersby that stopped to watch. This drive helped get a few players in the game that may have otherwise moved on. He also doubled as a host for players at the table. His efforts went above and beyond what is expected from most poker room managers.
The drink service was fast and courteous. There was rarely an empty drink. The service bar is located right next to the poker room.
The game was full of friendly players. Everyone was having fun and being social. Few poker games are this friendly. Not to tap the aquarium too hard, but the average skill level of this game was extremely low. The game played more like a play money game before the flop than anything for real money. The play tightened up after the flop but there were plenty of bad call downs. Admittedly, I made several myself. It seems to be easier to press a couple of buttons than toss chips into the pot.
I ended up playing for almost seven hours. I played 260 hands during that time. I ran my $20 buy-in up to $105 during that time.
If low buy-in games appeal to you then I suggest checking out the Plaza’s poker room. It will not replace live dealers but it is a nice change of pace.