What can I say? So far, besides the Hard Rock, I believe that Derby has done their best to innovate, and evolve as along with the way poker has. Believe me, after playing incessantly trying to learn and paying buckets of $ for that education, then taking a decade + hiatus after moving up north, the changes made make this room great. things up over the years and do what they need to do to attract every type of player around, from people like myself way back in the day (Early 2000's...'99-'06 was my most active time there, and wow have they done some amazing things with that space. I was a 85% tournament, 10% Sit n Go Turbos (when they had them) and 5% cash player back then.
So I recently returned. I've played there at all different hours on all different days of the week. Not a huge sample size, but a varied one for sure. I can tell you that the $1/3 Prime game, despite the fact that the take is absolutely going to affect the NIT, or the guys that grind out a living playing typical low limit games for a respectable average hourly win rate that can support a living will never beat this game because of the rake if they don't adjust their style.
That said, if you go there with some aggression, and play position, get it in good? You will find that there are gobs of dead money to be had there. First time back, buyin for only $300, and arrived late, only played about 3 hours or so, and left with a $2170 PROFIT SO $2470. To me, I figured it was a fluke, one or two of the guys would show down terrible hands all the time and I ended up felting one of them 3 times myself.
So I went back at a different time on a different day. Bought in for the max this time. Same thing. I still couldn't quite believe this was a pattern though. I stood up with $3400+ in chips, minus my max buyin, for a respectable 1.5x return.
Was convinced this third bust two weeks later would have to be the time I didn't win big, or perhaps even lost, but to my shock, and total pleasure, there were 2-3 guys drinking and going all in blind and nonsense like that, and my god was that a profitable night. All I had to do was sit back and wait for any decent playable pre-flop hand, and had to be careful not to want to get it in with any two cards, believe that it was tempting, but we stuck with decent ore-flop hands, got it in good and hit two or three $500 buy in blind all ins. Everyone else at the table was cleaning up. I had to p*SS so bad, but there was literally no possible way I was going to miss one single deal until these two maniacs had had enough. The they left, and I was sitting there after buying in for $500 to start with, in 3 hours, I had just under $5K from one multi-way all my n blind pot that I called with KJ suited to flop open ended, with two spades, and hit the spade on the turn, everyone else was drawing dead. They left I continued to play, and at the end of it all I had 16x'd my original $500 buy in.
There are more booked wins at that $1/3 prime game. Have I lost before? Sure...I usually bring enough to buy in max 3 times, and I have been stuck up to or a little over 2 of those buy ins, but those days I was able to just grind and wait for better spots, and if I didn't totally break even, I did when counting food, drinks, and the loyalty points...
They also have great tournaments. Save for one they didn't handle so well, and I would have been @#$% too if a bunch of players got to sit in free roll style, but I read a complaint that it made it hard for people who actually had skin in the game to play. Listen, I agree in one sense that they were probably put in some pretty disgusting spots, but to me? If you have people that are playing like it's free, because it is? Variance and math argues irrefutably that your odds of beating them are much higher than them catching a cooler on you which sucks, but if you played it right, you just have to accept that that will happen, but the odds of you taking their chips are exponentially higher if they are playing that loose. I pray for cash tables like that...so not handled well, but if you got coolered, there's nothing you can do to prevent it. Odds are low it will happen, but it will happen, but math doesn't lie, and the law of large numbers virtually guarantees that the majority of players in that tournament that weren't scared to get it in good? Had their odds increase overwhelmingly to build a stack they never would have otherwise.
My overall opinion. Go there for the dead money. It's all over the place. I know because I was that dead money at one point.
There are early, and the $1-3 game was still full of action.
or of the insane take which would render any grinding type of player's profit,
One huge advantage...50+ tables??? Yes please, makes sear changes looking for dead money much less of a pain. Heck even at the HardRock which has