Monday, August 14, 2006

Los Angeles Poker

From about the time I started looking into moving to Las Vegas for poker, I had heard that Los Angeles was another excellent location for a poker player. The Bike and The Commerce casinos have two of the biggest poker rooms in the world, and other poker rooms were supposedly scattered all through the city. I decided on Las Vegas because I already had some connections here, but I always figured Los Angeles would have worked just as well. Now that I'm moving there and looking into it a bit more, I'm not so sure. I've now been to both the Bike and Commerce, and both are located in rather depressing neighborhoods, almost completely devoid of culinary options. Drinks, which I have become accustomed to being served for free at poker tables, were being paid for by patrons at the Bike; I can only hope that this is not a city-wide policy. My most severe misgivings, however, concern my anticipated commute.

Westwood, the neighborhood I'm moving to in LA next month, doesn't seem to have any poker rooms within a half hour drive. Now, I realize expecting a commute of less than 30 minutes in Los Angeles was probably overly optimistic, but I really thought that was going to be the case. When a particular destination is about 10 miles away on the freeway, I used to expect that to mean it would take about 15 minutes to drive there. That was before I tried driving on the freeways in LA. The Commerce casino is 20 miles from Westwood, but this takes at least 40 minutes, probably nearly 2 hours during rush "hour." The Bike is just a bit further. Somehow, I had gotten the impression that the Hustler Casino was ten miles away, but really it's about twice that. My best bet now seems to be the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, east of the airport. Only 12 miles south of Westwood on the 405, this shows some promise; maybe I'll even be able to get there in under half an hour. Hollywood Park has the added advantage of being in the neighborhood where Aaron, one of my best college friends, will be moving this week for his new job with a video game company. It'd be nice to finally have a poker buddy to play with on a regular basis, but I expect Aaron will be pretty busy with his new job. I just hope the Hollywood Park poker room will be satisfactory. Going to their website doesn't really help give me much idea what to expect. I guess I'll have to go check it out on my next apartment hunting trip. Hopefully, I won't have to resort to the recently outlawed internet poker after I move.


adspar said...

I spent a week at the Commerce about 3 or 4 years ago and really enjoyed playing there. People were much friendlier than anywhere else I've played. Also they comped you free meals served right to the table for $15/30 and up (I've heard that was raised to $20/40 now). There wasn't much NL when I played, I'm sure there is now, not sure about the meals for NL.

Also, that bill passed the House, but still has to pass the Senate before it becomes law.

Good luck with the move.

joe said...
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joe said...
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joe said...

Excuse the above typo-ridden posts.

What's the traffic like over the course of the day? Your drive might be easier than it seems if your trips can be adjusted to daily patterns. Also, how slow, how long, and how variable is rush hour on the roads you expect to drive?

I just checked several LA traffic sites from Google, and at least 3:15AM on a Tuesday seems to have good traffic flows (although there were several "yellow dots." Most were green)

Keith said...

Thanks for the info/advice. Maybe I was being too pessimistic. Hopefully I just had an unusually bad sample of freeway traffic. I'm not sure yet what the traffic flows are like over the course of the day... so far it's been bad whenever I tried.

So, when does the Senate vote?