The Best Live Poker Rooms - Los Angeles, Nassau
This section will review what I personally believe are some of the best poker rooms in the United
States to play.  There is no shortage of great places to play in all areas of the country, although
most of my experience has been on the west coast and mid-west.  

My favorite rooms consist of a place where players are overly aggressive and where you get
over-calls (people chasing second or lower pair/or worse) on all streets especially the river.

I will list the rooms by geographical preference, as I find each region has its own dynamics.  You
will find I prefer to play in Los Angeles rather than Las Vegas (although I love to go to Sin City as
often as possible). Las Vegas Poker is actually the lowest on my list of favorites because there
are just so many more places that give up fantastic Poker Action.

I am also including my recommended Las Vegas Hotels by class of accommodations.

Well two things, first obviously the Bahamas is not in the United States; second the hotel I am
listing only has Poker ONCE a year (PCA PokerStars Event).  But this is my personal favorite
resort to visit so I am including it on my list--and at NUMBER ONE

Paradise Island, Nassau


As stated above, Poker is only played here in January.  But boy is that one time some big action.  
The PokerStars PCA Event brings a lot of great action.  The Atlantis Resort and Casino is the
largest destination in the Caribbean. It spans most of Paradise Island's beach and enjoys such
an enormity that first-time visitors are bound to be lost for most of their first day here.

PokerStars has built the PCA into more than just a tournament. It is a literal festival of poker.  
Not only is the EPT sponsored Main Event held, over the course of  a week, you will witness
several other big tournaments including $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000 No Limit Hold'Em events.  
Side Action cash games are in abundance and very juicy.
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
The Dig, Atlantis

Easily, my number ONE choice to play poker in the United States.  No place has more fish where
they play more aggressive.  If you can play here, you can play anywhere.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles' card rooms are the largest in the world, dwarfing those found in Las Vegas, Atlantic
City, and anywhere else.

Commerce Casino

By far, my favorite poker room in the United States.  Commerce Casino has everything you want a
casino to offer—a full service hotel, superb dining establishments, spa, pool and sundeck,
banquet rooms, shops and entertainment.  With a sweeping Assyrian/Babylonian-themed entry
created by famed Flamingo Hotel and Rose Parade Float designer Raul Rodriquez, The Crowne
Plaza Hotel at Commerce Casino beckons guests to enjoy the hospitality of a full-service hotel.  
The decor showcases the hotel's impressive art and magnificent statues. Landscaped
throughout with imported plants, palm trees and tropical flowers, shaded walkways and
cascading waterfalls, one encounters picturesque vistas within an exotic ambiance.

With a massive 243 tables, Commerce Casino is the largest cardroom in the world.

The Commerce Casino offers a wide variety of games including:  
Limit Hold 'em $1/2, $2/4, $3/6, $4/8, $9/18, $20/40, $40/80, $60/120, $100/200, $200/400
No Limit Hold 'em $1/$2 40 min/max, $2/$3 $100 min/max, $3/$5 200 min/max,
$5/10 400 min/max, $10/20 blinds 600 min no max, $20/40 2000 min/max,
$100/300 30K min no max
Seven-Card Stud $2/4, $4/8, $20/40
Omaha Hi-Lo $3/6, $4/8, $6/12
Mixed Games $300/600, $400/800

The casino spreads more Texas Hold 'em games than any other casino in the world. Games
with limits of 1-2 and 2-4 are upstairs in the ballroom, while 3-6, 4-8, and 9-18 exist on the main
floor, with larger limit games in the Hotel section. No Limit Hold 'em games have buy-ins as low
as $40 and go much higher.

The Casino's bad beat jackpots sometimes grow into six figures. The jackpot amounts are
doubled at regular times during the week. Between 11am-12pm and 7am-8pm and 1am-3am
daily Commerce Casino offers a $100,000 Super Jackpot for Hold 'em.

Players can bring members of a home game to the Casino and they will provide game
instruction, dealers, a pit boss, cards, chips and poker snacks. The "home" games act as live
cash games and are eligible for jackpots.

The Commerce Casino is home to several poker tournament series, including:

  • Los Angeles Poker Classic - Annual tournament beginning in January and
    running through early March. This is Commerce's major tournament of the year,
    involving a World Poker Tour event, a Professional Poker Tour event and the
    celebrity event, the World Poker Tour Invitational.
  • California State Poker Championship - Annual tournament, held every September
    since 2003. Originally held in June, the tournament was moved to avoid conflict
    with the World Series of Poker.
  • Heavenly Holdem - Annual tournament held in May. It is a tournament with smaller
    buy-ins where every event is Texas hold 'em.
  • Holiday Bonus Tournament - Annual tournament held in December.

Non-poker games
Commerce also offers Pan, No Bust blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, 21st Century Baccarat,
Pai gow poker, Super Pan Nine and 13 Card Chinese poker.
Commerce Casino
The Bicycle Casino

Good thing the poker is good here.  Not the most pleasing place to play in my opinion even
though the Casino has gone through renovations in the last few years.  I keep going back
because the money is flowing.  That said, with over 135 tables featuring Poker Games, and
California Games, The Bicycle Casino (known as "The Bike") is the world's second largest poker
cardroom and is renowned for its World Class Poker Tournaments, Pro-Sporting Events, Car
and Cash Giveaways.

There are a wide variety of poker games including:
Limit Hold’em $1/2, $2/4, $3/6, $4/8, $6/12, $8/16, $20/40, $30/60
No Limit Hold‘em $1/2 40 min/max, $1/3 80 min/max, $2/3 100 min/max, $3/5 200 min/max,
$5/5 500 min/max, $5/10 (500 min, no max), $10/20 (1000 min, no max)
Omaha Hi-Lo $3/6 full kill, $6/12 full kill
Crazy Pineapple $3/6
7 Card Stud $1/2, $2/4, $3/6

Also available is Mexican Poker and Pan.  Tournaments are held most everyday. There are also
small buy-in tournaments, such as the Nooner Days and Nights tournaments, held when other
tournaments are not scheduled.  They also have a full California Games Room with
California Baccarat, Chinese Poker, No Bust Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, and
Super Pan 9

The Bike is home to the Legends of Poker, a tournament series established in 1995 that now
includes a stop on the World Poker Tour.

As an aside, for several years during the 1990s, after being seized due a tax lien, the casino was
owned by the United States government, providing millions of dollars of revenue to the
Bicycle Club Entrance
Hollywood Park Casino

Located at world famous Hollywood Park Racetrack, the beautiful art deco-styled casino opened
on July 1, 1994. The first casino in the U.S. located at a racetrack, Hollywood Park Casino (81
tables) combines the action and excitement of the most popular live casino card games with the
thrill of live & simulcast thoroughbred wagering! In addition, Hollywood Park Casino is home to
the largest charity bingo hall this side of the Mississippi and a diverse range of entertainment
and special events.  

Like many major casinos in the U.S., Hollywood Park features a host of nearby amenities,
including an always-open health club with massage rooms, a beauty salon and barber shop, a
night club, banquet facilities and more. Some consider Hollywood Park to be one of the “big
three” poker rooms in the U.S., the other two being the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle
Casino in Los Angeles.

They have a nice variety of Poker including:
Limit Hold'em $2/4, $3/6, $4/8, $6/12, $15/30, $25/50, $40/80
No Limit Hold'em $1/2 40 min/max, $2/3 100 min/max, $3/5 200 min/max, $5/10 400 min/max,
$5/10 500 min, No max
Omaha Hi/Lo $3/6, $4/8, $6/12
7 Card Stud $1/2, $2/4, $3/6, $20/40

They also run 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and Mexican Poker.  Hollywood Park Casino has a separate
California Games Section with Blackjack; Pan 9; Pai Gow Poker; Fortune Pai Gow Poker;
Pai Gow Tiles; Caribbean Stud; 3 Card Poker; and Baccarat.

Hollywood Park Casino has an assortment of major poker tournaments including the Poker
Derby, the Sport of Kings and the National Championship of Poker.

The Casino is also home to the Mike Caro University of Poker, whose “Advanced School of
Winning” teaches “poker strategy and psychology.”
Hollywood Park Casino
Hustler Casino

Larry Flynt's Hustler Casino (55 tables) is in the South Bay, Los Angeles suburb of Gardena. It is
owned by Larry Flynt Publications and open since June 2000.  In February 2007, the casino
completed a major expansion and opened the Crystal Room, which serves as a combination
card room, conference room, and poker tournament site.

Mr. Flynt took personal pride in overseeing the design and decoration of the card room, dressing
it out in first class luxury. He made certain the casino maintained an elegant architecture and
unsurpassed furnishings. Beautiful reproductions of Gustav Klimt paintings adorn the walls,
huge plasma-screen televisions are strategically placed throughout the casino to appeal to all
clients, and best of all, there is a smoking atrium with a retractable roof, surrounded by a circular
glass wall.

Variety of games includes: Poker
Limit Hold 'Em $2/4, $3/6, $4/8, $4/8 kill, $6/12, $6/12 kill, $15/30, $25/50
No Limit Hold 'Em $1/2 50 min/max, $2/5 100 min 300 max, $5/10 500 min No max
Omaha Hi/Lo $3/6

They also offer Seven-Card Stud.  California Games include Pai Gow, Super 9 and Blackjack .

The weekly tournaments draw high rollers including Flynt himself, while the party atmosphere
and special events (bikini contests, all-male revues, car shows) draw a younger, more lively

Since 1997, Flynt has hosted "the biggest seven-card stud game in the world"; the game started
at Flynt's home but moved to his casino when it opened.  As of April 2007, the minimum buy-in is
$200,000, with $1000 antes and stakes of $2,000-$4,000.  Unlike most high-stakes ring games,
Flynt's game is held in a corner of the casino's main poker room floor.  Regulars at the table
include Chip Reese, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, and Ted Forrest.
Hawaiian Gardens Casino

The Hawaiian Gardens Casino (110 tables) is located in the city of Hawaiian Gardens about
25 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  The casino facility isn't as aesthetically
appealing as the Commerce, but there's always plenty of action and the staff is great. If you're
looking for a fancy casino with first-rate food service, this isn't your spot. But if you're looking for
hot action in mid stakes hold'em games, this is a great alternative to the Commerce Casino.

Hawaiian Gardens features cash games of every variety ranging from: (Poker Games):
Limit Hold'em $1/2, $2/4, $3/6, $4/8 half kill, $6/12, $8/16, $15/30, $20/40, $30/60
No Limit Hold'em $1/2 20 min/max, $1/2 40 min/max, $1/2 100 min/max, $3/5 300 min/max,
$5/10 500 min/max, $10/20 1000 min No max
Omaha Hi/Lo $2/4, $3/6, $6/12
7 Card Stud $1/2, $2/4, $3/6
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo $3/6

They also offer Crazy Pineapple, Mexian Poker, and Lowball.

Asian Games include Pan 9, Paigow Poker, Paigow Tiles, 5 Card Stud, Blackjack Poker 21,
13 Card Chinese Poker

Hawaiian Gardens also offers tournaments and sit-n-gos daily.
Note: I have played in all of the listed Casinos
Hustler Casino
Hawaiian Gardens Casino
Casino Locations
Nassau (Bahamas), Los Angeles (California)
San Francisco (California)
San Diego (California), New Mexico
Tunica (Mississippi), Phoenix (Arizona), Minneapolis (Minnesota)
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