Monday, February 20, 2023

First Impressions: The Poker Palace in North Las Vegas

For several years, Tony Bigcharles had been wanting me to go to the Poker Palace in North Las Vegas with him on a Friday night when the Palace runs No Limit poker tables. I am rarely in Las Vegas on Friday nights, but I was this week. I decided to finally give it a try. I was expecting to find a scummy place that seemed dangerous. My impressions were not very accurate.

We drove from the south Strip area at 6:00pm. Despite the somewhat heavy traffic on the interstate, we got there in about 20 minutes, courtesy of the diamond lanes. We easily got signed up on the cash game list, knowing that the game would likely start in just over an hour. In the meantime, I saw that Tony had already gotten seated at a $3 minimum black jack table. When the seat next to him opened, I decided to give it a try despite being unfamiliar with the chart for proper play. I must admit, it was a blast! The dealers were fun, as were the other guys at the table. Tony helped guide me in some strategies, and then went ballistic when, on a whim, I split my J-J cards with the dealer showing a low card. Tony claimed that he got a bust card he shouldn't have gotten because I took a card I shouldn't have taken. I  didn't want to try to explain that the subsequent hands he won afterwards were because I had split the Jacks, but I doubted that he could follow my reasoning. In fact, the way I see it, he owes me about $50 of his profits. My Las Vegas friend, Norm, joined us in winning at blackjack and then playing poker.

The poker tournament had few people bust early, thus the NL game started much later than usual. Tony and I started at one table, and Norm was able to play when a second table opened. The game was really fun and loud! At the beginning hands, I was dealt A-K, A-Q and A-A and was able to accumulate some chips. Poker is EZ sometimes. However, my payback was being card dead and not having many hands connect for hours. I was getting a pretty small stack and therefore decided to shove with a second nuts flush draw after a flop. One person called. The turn gave me the nut flush and I felt pretty good after the river was dealt. Unfortunately, the guy who called went runner-runner full house, Aces over Kings. He not only felted me, but jumped into second place on the Poker Palace February high hand list. Ah well ...

After Norm and I stopped playing, we witnessed some very bad Spanish Karaoke in the bingo hall after the bingo games were over. Poor young woman. 😅

So really, how was Poker Palace? The good and the bad:

Good: Cleaner than I expected, employees and players were friendly, favorable rules on blackjack, well lit inside and out, good security presence late at night, large parking area, great drink service. 

Bad: I never saw anyone at the players club station, thus never got a card. Norm got one and was awarded $20 in free play. At one point, the cashier station had no one working for about 20-30 minutes! It was frustrating to have to wait to cash out my blackjack winnings. I was parked far away, and walking to my car was a tad uncomfortable. Norm had a security officer ask if he wanted an escort to his car. I was walking out with Tony, so I was less fearful with a companion.

I did not play any slots or bingo and did not eat at either of the restaurants, so I can not give an evaluation of those options.

Conclusion: Poker Palace was much better than I expected. The poker game (single $2 blind) and the blackjack were fun and the players were having a good time. I would definitely go there again to play the Friday night poker game and blackjack. It's a small locals place, so outside of that, I doubt I would wander that far off my usual haunts on the Strip.

Thanks for reading!


Blogger Ace said...

Got a laugh out of the JJ hand. A tale as old as time - "you took the good cards"

5:30 AM  

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