I live in Mountain View and often go to Casino Matrix when I want to play poker. I thought of checking out Artichoke Joe's although it is relatively far but it hosts 17 poker tables. When I entered their poker room, found that they barely had one table for No Limit Holdem only having 4 players playing and rest all were running Limit Poker. Btw, this was on a Saturday evening, so you can assume that it was not the lack of action but the different style of game play which the casino hosts or maybe something which players prefer. The latter is hard to believe as No-Limit Holdem is the most popular format and is favorite for most of the players.
Anyways, I sat down at the table which had min $100 and max $400 buy-in and 1-2-2 blinds($1 on button) as most of the casinos in California have a dealer blind. You can only open with $5 and the succeeding bets/raises can only be in the multiple of 5, which I have never seen before. You can straddle for $5 from any position and the straddler only has to act after all the action is completed. This makes the straddling from Dealer, Cuttoff and Hijack really favorable since the dealer has to act after action has crossed him/her and SB and BB have acted, so he/she is able to see everybody's action before getting an option to raise. Secondly he/she will also be 'in position' to play a relatively larger pot post-flop. Makes a weird dynamics in the game but was interesting to play and I experimented with it a little by straddling all my late positions.
The drop is $4 for all pots but they take $2 from every pot for the jackpot which is very high in my opinion. Some of the pots are $15 and if you take $6 and dealer tip off it. You only get what you put in.
There are no Comps here and I did not have much of a chance to experience the food service. They charge $2 for a bottle of water which is quite expensive. They have a dedicated smoke room which is good.
Overall it was worth checking out but this place but I wont be coming back to play poker here. I would rather stick to Matrix for No -Limit. I really would prefer to come here if they could have more of No limit games.