First, to even get in the poker room you have to stand in a long line just to swipe your card and start your time. Every other place I have played in TX you swipe in at the table after you have been seated, not here though. Wait in line to swipe in, then wait in the same line to swipe out (after you wait in line to cash out). Oh, and if you forget to swipe out, the clock is still running and you will have to pay your balance before you can play there again.
But after you wait an hour to swipe in, you are good to go! Now you can wait for a table to open ..but, there's tons of seats open AND a list with 30 names on it?? Since you don't swipe in or out at the table, they don't know where there are open seats to send players! They have some sort of "seat card" system that might work if they kept up with it but, they don't. So most tables are short handed even though the list is a mile long.
Once you finally have your seat, hopefully you like the table, I don't even know how you would get a table change. Get back in the 1h line to see someone at the front desk?
And don't bother waiting on the $2-5 NLH for a bigger game. The $2-5 is capped at $1k. Thought this was TX poker?? The $1-3 was way deeper since it is match the stack.
On a good note, once I finally got a seat and it was at a table with more than 4 players (took about 3h), the game was great. A couple hours later when I finally got a seat at the $5-10 it was even better! And the dealers are great. It is also a very nice room and plenty big. Nice tables and comfortable chairs. A live stream. In a nice part of town. Seems secure and safe. Big parking area. Most of the staff is doing the best they can with what they have.
Their system probably works like a charm when there are only 2 tables open to deal with. Anything more than that and it is a total sh**show. The night I went was during the first big week that Doug Polk became part owner. I would think they want to be ready to handle a crowd though?? I was scheduled to be there for a week, thankfully my hotel gave me a refund for most of the remaining nights. Several others I spoke with did the same. I truly hope they work this stuff out. It is a nice big room with all the ingredients to be one of the best rooms in the country!
Oh, and good luck getting a bottle of water at the table ..or anything else for that matter. Get up, get in line, and wait (while you're paying them an hourly fee to be there)!
Hi galmo12, I'm sorry to read you had an unsatisfying experience at The Lodge. FYI, the $2/$5 game is almost always a match-the-stack game. The day you came was the "Monster Meet Up Game" with Brad Owen, Andrew Neeme, and Doug Polk. Those guys wanted lower-stakes players to be able to comfortably play the $2/$5 (which normally plays *very* big at The Lodge), so we temporarily capped the buy-in at $1k and removed the PLO bomb pots so more people could participate. The very next day we were back to our usual $2/$5 format with match-the-stack. On that day, we had the $5/$10 game running for players who wanted bigger action -- I'm glad you got a seat in that game.
Regarding forgetting to clock out and being left with a big bill: we are always willing to work with our players in these instances. If you come back and have a bill much higher than the time you actually played, you just have to let us know and we will work with you on it so you pay the amount you should be paying. It happens all the time.
We also broke the record for most cash game tables in Texas history the day you came by, and many new members were registering at the front desk. This contributed greatly to the longer wait times. Nonetheless, I'm shocked to hear you waited for an hour, but that is certainly not the norm at The Lodge. That said, the lines and check-in system are something we are working to improve (we have some cool plans in the works to make it much much smoother).
Regarding water and refreshments, there is a fridge with soft drinks and a water machine in the back of the room. There is almost never a line of more 2 or 3 people to get beverages. It should be quite easy to go grab what you need between hands and get back before the next hand begins.
We appreciate all of your feedback.