I had played poker since my sophomore year of high school when Chris Moneymaker did the impossible and won the World Series of Poker's Main Event. This every day accountant beating the best in the world game us all hope that one day we to could knock out Dutch Boyd with our pocket 3s. Or perhaps bluff Sammy Farha out of the biggest pot of the tournament with a humble King high. You would have thought that the $20 buy in tournaments played on Friday nights in our parents basements were super high roller events at the Belligio the way we talked about them all through the week. Or by the look of disappointment in our faces when our Pocket aces got cracked. We enjoyed these games so much that all we could think about was out 19th birthdays when we would travel to Canada do play in the casinos. And while that time in our lives came and past, our love for poker stayed with us.
On my 21st birth day I was determined to be walking through the doors of The MGM Detroit's poker room the very minute I turned 21 and could finally legally walk through those doors. The room lit up and the the light from the ceiling hit the tables in such away that it made me feel that I had finally made it to poker's big time. A real USA poker room, where I had heard just days before Phil Ivey was playing in a 200/400 PLO game. Was this where he was sitting? Is this the same cocktail waitress he tipped and flirted with?
To this day the poker room at the MGM grand Detroit is still one of my favorite rooms.It is possible that I am bias towards it because of the nostalgia but it also is host of some great games and features. The waitress service is friendly and fast, and while the alcohol is expensive that ins't a problem for us true grinders. The comp system is up to par with the other casinos in town at $3 an hour for us gold 2/5 players. The room is of course smoke free which seems is a must in Detroit as all the casino rooms in town have now went that route. The only problem with this poker room in my eyes is the player pool during the week. While it is not as bad as Motor City or Greektown, the games during the week, particularly before 10pm are completely comprised of nitty regulars. And while it isn't difficult to profit off of them by widening your 3 bet range, it is unlikely that you will ever have a 3 or 4 buy in profit session without getting very very lucky. These old school regs just do not get it in behind very often, and unless you are lucky enough to wake up with aces when they are 3 betting with kings its unlikely they are ever going to pay you off with the best hand.
There is no bad beat jackpot at this room so the rake isn't to bad your typical 2-5 rake minus the promotional dollar. There was talk of finally starting this jackpot the last time I was there so if this is important to you, I suggest calling ahead to find out if they have added it to their features yet. The room is located on the 3rd floor and is right next to the Casinos night club. Make sure to dress to impress on the weekends, including no tennis shoes if you plan on wondering into the club.
They offer a wide selection of games and while NL and PLO are typically the only ones running at a given time, its not hard to get interest in a stud, or PLO8 game fairly quickly. Online sensation BLEWJOB actually organizes a regular high stakes PLO game there if you are interested in meeting the man that made 100s of thousands of dollars playing online poker before his 18th birthday.
Overall this is a room I highly recommend checking out if you are in the area. Hollywood Toledo is actually about an hour and a half closer to where I live but the low quality of the games there and the inexperience of the dealers and floor personnel make it worth the longer drive to Detroit's MGM Grand. Again this is a room that you are going to want to visit afetr 10 pm if you plan on going during the week, before that the nitty regulars make for a painful experience, and keep in mind that the room is actually closes at 6am until noon during the week. It is open 24 hours on the weekends