PDX Poker Club formerly Encore Poker Club

Phone:
(503) 206-8856
Minimum Age:
21
Poker Tables:
16 Tables
Hours:
Daily: 11:30am-2:30am
CyberChas wrote a review about PDX in Portland, OR

The Best Club in Portland

I've only been to two other clubs in Portland, but in my opinion, this is the best.

The poker: Great tournaments start every 2 hours from noon to 10pm. Fair buy-ins of $30-$50 with a $10 door fee for all that day. Some tournaments are freeze-out, some have an an add-on, some have a live rebuy. Payout and blind structure is pretty standard. Starting chips are fair.

The space: The space is very clean and nice. The tables are mostly great. The chairs very comfortable, some with arms, some not, and some solid, padded straight-back for those that like a stiffer seat. Drink holders are built into all the tables. The temperature is well controlled, not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. There's TVs and vid games for distraction during breaks or between tourneys and an ATM. At least one TV shows the Tournament Director board. One negative here (and I suspect it's a software thing) is that they don't seem to be able to get the TD board on ALL the TVs when there is only ONE big tournament going.

The dealers: I have never had a bad experience with a dealer at Encore. They're well-trained and professional, not stiff, and most are quite friendly. They work hard to keep the tournaments going well, keep people who are getting "wild" under control, and protect the game. They know when to call for the floor and leave any difficult decisions to the TD. They handle pots quickly and efficiently and catch most problems right away, but are willing to take advice or correction when it's pointed out.

The food and drink: They have VERY GOOD food for a poker club. As good as any non-casino poker venue I've ever been in. It's well prepared, and generally (except at the peak of a very big tournament) delivered quickly and efficiently. It's fairly priced and there are specials that are often quite reasonable and a LOT of food. It's a hot grill, not just micronuked or re-heated stuff. There is a full bar. They cater to my unusual (low carb) demands. And they don't nickle-and-dime you about refills or anything like that. The service staff is friendly and professional.

Competition: They are a solid crowd. They play well. Many of them are consistent and regular final-table players. There are fish (hey, I'm one of them) and occasional drunks and crazies, and it's just a matter of who gets their chips. The rebuy tournaments do cause some players to loosen their game, but after the rebuy period ends, most everybody has reasonable games and plays solid and to win. I haven't ever noticed any collusion and definitely no cheating.

Promotions and Comps: There aren't a lot of comps, but there are regular promotions and contests for regulars that can win you some great prizes (free entries, etc.) for no extra money. All tournaments have a guarantee for the pot, and sometimes they will double or triple the guarantee. That usually draws so many more people that they end up making the extra guarantee in entry fees and rebuys, but occasionally, there's an overlay. There is a weekly freeroll (with optional rebuys) but I can't speak to it, as I've never been able to make it. Quarterly, they do GIANT tourneys with really BIG pots over a four day period and that draws huge crowds and great competition.

Parking: OK, it's in a hard area to park in, but they now provide you a free neighborhood parking pass if you come for certain tournaments. Otherwise, on weekdays till 6pm you might have to move your car once if you don't get a good space. On weekends and at night, it's no problem.

Management runs the place well. They get you into a game quickly and keep the tables balanced fairly and assure that TD rules are held to. Handle any issues that come up when called by the dealers. They will even do the equity chops when provided with the chip counts. Payouts are precise (please don't forget to tip your dealers--until the law changes, they are working for tips only).

Overall, I'd say this place is doing an EXCELLENT JOB in a tough environment.

Room for improvement? Well, there are only two unisex bathrooms, and quite frankly, with some of the bigger tournaments, they have outgrown that number. It's a big investment, but at some point, they are gonna have to put a few more in. They keep them pretty clean (hey, after 12 hours and hundreds of players going through, it's a miracle how clean they keep them) and they run very well. Just that the lines get DARN long when there are 100+ guys waiting at a 15 minute break. Hopefully in 2014, with new poker laws to help, they'll get this fixed.

Competition
Promotions and Comps
Dealers
Food and Drink
Management

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