This may be the only flaw of the room. It looks like a open space at the back of the casino with old poker tables in it. Nothing that distinguishes it or makes you go “WOW” like other rooms do. It needs some TLC. The felt on the tables is very worn and just the overall appearance of the room pales in comparison with the MGM, Mirage and Bellagio. It’s on par with Excalibur but that’s it. It only needs to be spruced up a bit. The chairs, which are on rollers, were comfortable and there were plenty of cushions for added comfort. There is a small overhead monitor behind the front desk that displays the games and waiting list.
My philosophy on competition is probably different from most. I based my rating on three factors: winning, learning and fun. If all you play is fish, you’ll never learn. If you don’t learn, you don’t improve your game. If it’s not fun, you shouldn’t be playing. With this in mind, The Orleans gets a high rating because of the overall experience. You get just about every type of player here, from the local rock to the “Moneymaker” wanabe. Winning is possible but you really need to be at your best and don’t let the old folks fool you. This place will make you think because of the variety of players at any given table. My only complaint is due to a couple of rather obnoxious players. They were loud and gave a running commentary on the board and the players that were in the hand. I don’t want someone announcing that there’s a flush draw on the board when my opponent may not see it. Their only redeeming quality was they were very bad players. Otherwise, the games were very enjoyable, educational and, whether I won or lost, it was time and money well spent.
My only complaint about the dealers is they seem to cater to the regulars but this is to be expected in this type of off-strip room. Frequently, they would get into a conversation with a local and, almost as an afterthought, work the game. Otherwise, every dealer seemed very capable of running a game and they did keep the games moving. What I didn’t like is allowing the locals to be absent from the tables for long periods of time. Frequently, the table would be missing two or three players at a time and this made the blinds go around very fast. They return when it’s their normal turn for the blinds so they don’t get penalized. I didn’t notice any mistakes that weren’t promptly addressed or corrected. I didn’t get into any tournaments so I can’t comment on that aspect.
Service was adequate for ordering and delivery and the waitresses were attractive in their skimpy outfits.
Of all the rooms I visited, management at The Orleans seemed the most upbeat, friendly, and really interested in keeping the games full and running. The waiting lists were well maintained and they were very quick to fill seats or open new games. I never waited more than 5 minutes for a seat. One of the floor actually sat in as the dealer to get a game started until a regular dealer arrived. Any disputes were quickly resolved and explained to all players. Considering how hectic things got with players coming and going, filling tables and getting tournaments going, they showed considerable professionalism, patience, and efficiency. They helped make the experience of playing in their room very positive.
The room has one of the few comps that I found during my exploration of poker rooms in Las Vegas. The first time you play, ask for a Player’s Card. They only ask for your name and give you a card the size of a credit card. Every time you get into a game, give the card to the floor and they’ll swipe your starting time and table numbera Don’t forget to have it swiped when you leave. I believe the comp is $1.25 per hour but it’s only good for food. You can’t get cash back so be careful on how much you ask to be comped out of your total available.