This is a well lit room, tables are well spaced and in its own dedicated area off the casino floor next to the pool entrance and easy to access from the parking area located on the Tropicana Blvd side of the building. Unfortunately while the parking is convenient on this side the parking is all uncovered.... Now as to the hotel. If anyone remembers the show "The Swan" where they took some really butt ugly people (good people just born with not so pleasing appearances) gave them plastic surgery, new teeth and they came out looking like the difference between the wicked witch of the west and a Ford Model, well this is what happened to the hotel. The whole place is much changed. The casino, the hotel, the pool(s) wow do they look different. This property re-opened last year after the extensive remodel. I have seen a lot of places remodel and you still knew where you were. You would not recognize this place it is so nice. That being said it will take some time for them to rebuild their client base as they are not part of a major chain, but the rooms here are very affordable/cheap for the Strip and now that the strip has moved so far south with City Center, I expect we will find more middle and upper middle class people staying here. I did not visit the pool this year, but they had a pool scene last year rivaling the bigs...I would say on par with the Palms pool scene, so this may draw a good poker crowd. Hopefully it will, as the facility's infrastructure is now very very good. If you have visited here before, it is worth a trip to see the remodel. Spend a few hours playing pokeer here as well.
The comptetition seemed to be made up of a 50/50 mix of older local men and then the rest were tourists. These locals tend to play fairly tight, but are not afraid of calling off a large bet with a hand that has drawing potential, so it is possible to get paid, albiet with some risk of a suck out, but making suckouts pay is they way to a winning session.
The dealers all seemed professional. Everyone looked to have been dealing for quite some time. There may have been some fresh out of dealer school, but none looked young enough to give off this vibe.
The cocktail service was what you wuold expect from a poker room in Las Vegas. The one great feature that will bring me back here consistently was the fact that there is a fridge full of pepsi, diet pepsi and various sodas as well as water in the back of the room that anyone can pull from. Las Vegas is hot and dry. I don't often order drinks even when they are available because I typically do not drink alcohol and I can't stand the thought of paying $1 for a small 8oz coke. Then when I do finally get the urge to order a drink it is because I am good and thirsty and it seems like there is never a waitress around, or they are taking far to long. This fridge gives instant gratification. Sure the cocktail waitress loses a few tips, but I have also seen a lot of coffee and soft drink players stiff on tips. Beer and cocktail clients rarely do this, so I am sure this is more than a fair trade. This also makes the cocktail service for alcohol so much better since there is less compeition for cocktail waitress tray space from the non-alcoholic drinks. The waitress that was on duty did make frequent trips over several visits and did a really good job of servicing the room and keeping the drinking crowd drinking.
The managment seemed compentant. They do not follow the normal rules. This being the "Jamie Gold" room, they let you expose cards and talk about your hand while heads up and making a decision, so it plays more like a home poker game at times.
With their current promotion, this property does a good job of rewarding players that fill the room. Some have complianed that the current up to $10/hr rakeback makes the room tight, but I saw some decent action at the tables I played. At $10/hour, there is no spot in Vegas that beats this deal. The current deal is a sliding scale per hour capping out at $10/hour of you play the hours between 10am-7pm. You need at least 4 hours during this period to qualify for the program. No one who reads this board would have any problems qualifying.