Thursday, September 01, 2005

Poker Room Review: Palm Beach Kennel Club

I just completed a trip to Florida. Though this was a business trip, I was able to squeeze in time at the poker room at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. As the name implies, the place has something to do with dogs, but not the 72o kind. It is a dog racing track in Florida’s grandest tradition. With that in mind, I didn’t expect much from the poker room at such a place.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. This was a very clean, nice poker room. The seats were comfortable and the personnel were very friendly. When the girl at the front desk found out I was a first timer, she told me that they only played ‘Go Fish’ in the club. Yuck, Yuck.

Food is allowed at the tables, but I think all they had to eat was sandwiches. I had chicken salad on rye which was very tasty. They do not server comp drinks. Soft drinks are $1.50 and beer in $2.50. Not sure about liquor, but it was served.

The games are mostly low limit. They spread $1-2 spread and $2-2. They only used one blind, so playing is cheap. They also advertise “new higher limits” on their billboards. I couldn’t quiet figure out what they were talking about. Did they used to spread $.25-.50? I think they were referring to their ‘Turbo’ tournaments which are $40+5 Sit-n-go No Limit tournaments. There was also Omaha and Stud, but I didn’t pay any attention to these games.

This was some of the fishiest action that I have ever run into, outside of Vegas, that is. I started at a new table and the hands I saw played would make most players skin crawl. 83o won more than two hands. I got caught by more than a couple suck outs, but I was patient, and it paid off.

From a starting stack on $60, I got whittled down to $22 and then I stared winning. I played every hand expecting to be shown down, and I was almost never disappointed. I could not believe that I could sit at a table for over an hour without playing any hand except the BB and then suddenly raise and still get 5 or 6 callers. Un-B-Leavable. In about 5 hours of play I ended the night up about $120.

The poker room closes at midnight, so we made an early exit for the hotel. On the way out we ran into a half drunk who was having a bad night. He was doing well at the tables but the story of getting to the table had me in stitches. It was raining a typical Florida monsoon when he arrived. Parts of the parking lot were under 3 feet of water. He didn’t realize this until his car stalled in the middle of it. Then, while getting out of his car and sloshing through the water, he dropped his cell phone which busted on the pavement. Later in the evening he returned to run the battery down trying to start it up. Me and my Maine man Chad (yea, he’s from Maine) gave him a lift back home to Jupiter (Florida, that is).

But back to the poker room: To summarize, The Palm Beach Kennel Club is a nice, comfortable room with good food and a friendly staff and schooling patrons. I’ll be back.

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