DonKKing wrote a review about Santa Ana Star in Bernalillo, NM

$10 Sunday evening tournament

I had visited this casino, located about 25 miles north of Albuquerque a couple of times about a year ago. They offer a cheap, but good, buffet on Monday nights with a $5 senior discount. The problem was that they had trouble getting a single table for that tournament on both occasions.

As part of my Balloon Fiesta visit I went there for their incredibly cheap Sunday evening tournament. I don't know if there is a live tournament with a lower buy-in anywhere in the USA, even if you pay the extra $5 to get 1K additional chips. The result was a complete shutdown of their cash games and 70 starting players that filled all tables. Since you could have 1 rebuy there were a lot of bust-outs in the first hour and there were alternates waiting for those seats as well.

I got the impression that at least three players at my table were either currently employed as dealers or had previously worked there. It's unclear to me how many people were local as Bernallilo is pretty small town to have 70 players. There were some serious players, including one guy who stood up every time his hand went to the river, but I think it was more social than serious. I did not stay long enough to see if a cash game re-started and the waiting list for 1/2 had only 4 names on it.

Their waiting list board indicated that they offer Open Face Chinese Poker but I don't know if they really spread it.

The room is right off the main entrance next to the Players club but was not particularly noisy despite this unusual high traffic location.
Tables and chairs well maintained and food/beverage service was readily available.

Food and Drink

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