It's been a while since I had played poker at the Detroit casinos, so I made it a point this week to play at least a session at each one. I will admit, frankly, that I avoided the downtown casinos because of the parking situations. Much of the parking in the past had been unattached and this is just not going to work for me. I have zero intention of setting a foot in the city proper with a bankroll. Now, I am happy to report the all 3 casinos (even Greektown) has an attached parking structure. Just to round out the tour, I spent an evening at one of the "charity casinos" that are so popular now, this one at "Doc's sports bar" and now at the Northville Downs.
I started my tour at MGM since it the easiest to get into and out of, it being 5 feet from the off ramp.
Poker room is sequestered on another floor, which is quiet and smoke free.
Lower attendance means getting a seat faster.
Call ahead seating that actually works.
Very comfortable chairs (downright the best)
low buy-in game is deeper at 50-300 instead of 50-200.
I found the dealers very competent.
nicest interior of the 3 major casinos, smells nice
The regulars are annoying at times
Some VERY amateur players at times.
I had 2 (once 3) callers on multiple occasions put in $50 pre-flop just to try and crack my big pair. They succeeded both times.
Next it was off to MotorCity casino, perhaps the poker room of choice in Detroit.
I think its best to some up my experience with MC by skipping right to the list.
more tables than the others
mixed games and higher stakes games
free food and drink bar for players
always seem to have to park on the roof (and return to highway past burned out housing street)
longest wait ever for a seat
evening tournaments only Mon & Thurs
big one: EVERY TIME I have been at MC, there has been an altercation. This time was no exception. (shouting/arguments, dealer mistakes, having to review tape to sort out the mess, etc.)
Noisy as hell. (loud music, sounds of the casino very near)
I reek of "casino smell" when I get home.
I am always confused as to why people like to play here. Maybe because its not Greektown casino.
on that segue...
Wednesday, I am sick of cash and decide I want to play in a tournament. Greektown casino is running a 7pm, so I call and inquire. "We get about 70 players. As long as you are here by 6:30 or so". I show up at 6:30 to see a FULL tournament and a wait list of 40+. The "management" of the poker room is horrible. They are more concerned with if the "hard candy" bowl is full than running the room. ("Hey, do you think you could do better?". In about 1 day!) Who the f*ck eats hard candy out of a bowl in a poker room? The poker-room staff is bothered by everyone ("This job would be great if it wasn't for the players.") Not only all this, but they SHRANK the room down to 1/2 its normal size and put in slot machines, losing the 6 limit tables they used to have in the process. The "tournament director" looked lost, as did pretty much everyone working there. (Maybe its because of the maze of corridors as the casino is built into a old indoor mall. Looks cool though.) Cash tables were up to an hour wait.
I cant tell you about the play there because I LEFT. I got in my car and went back down the worlds stupidest parking structure design and proceeded to MGM. I sat down upon arrival and began to play immediately.
Assuming that a badly run tournament is better than no tournament, this is on the positive side.
Too numerous to list (see rant)
My fourth/fifth trip was to a charity room, Doc's and Northville Downs. At Doc's this consists of 2-4 tables squeezed into a section normally reserved for parties. At Northville Downs, it 5-6 tables in the basement section.
Charity room positives:
Play so bad that its funny
CLOSE to a home near you!
better beer list at a bar, where applicable
people are friendly
Charity room negative:
less tables when there is a party in the restaurant/bar (Doc's)
dealers are bad. so very bad.
During this whirlwind tour I did notice a few things about cash games vs tournaments. Tournaments require more "situation reads" where as cash games require more "player reads". I would expound on this, but its stuff I have commented on before and dont feel like re-hashing right now. I made some good players reads and some bad player reads. I also played far more check-call poker than I would in a tournament.