Horseshoe Hammond Poker Room Review by abby99 Location: 777 Casino Center Drive, Hammond, IN 46320 Phone: 219-473-6065 (Poker Room) Web Site: http://www.harrahs.com/casinos/horseshoe-hammond/casino-gambling/poker-room-detail.html Games offered: Hold'em (Limit, No-Limit), Omaha 8OB, Pot-Limit Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Razz, Mixed Games including HORSE and HOSE Number of tables: 34 Horseshoe Hammond unveiled its new casino and poker room with a soft opening in late July 2008 and a formal grand re-opening on 08-08-08. With this upgraded property, Horseshoe Hammond has seriously raised the bar for Chicago-area and Northwest Indiana casinos. Pros Beautiful and spacious room. Experienced management and staff. Excellent variety of games and stakes. Competition ranges from soft to tough. Generous comps at $2.00 per hour. Chip runners are available. Players can call ahead to get on a list. Little casino noise. "Promo" fund. Cons Restrooms are not very close to the Poker Room. No paging system outside the Poker Room. Cell phone service is spotty. Food service is available only in the high-limit area and the private room. "Promo" fund. Games/stakes availableLimit Hold'em 3/6, 6/12, 10/20, 20/40, 40/80, 50/100, 75/150No-Limit Holdem 1/2, 2/5, 5/10, 10/25Omaha 8OB 5/10 with a killPot-Limit Omaha 2/5, 5/10, ... 50/1007-card Stud 1-5, 2-10 (spread limit)HORSE, HOSE, Razz 5/10, 15/30, 30/60This list is representative; other games and stakes are available depending on demand.Horseshoe Hammond has filed applications for triple-draw games including 2-7, Badugi, and California Split.Tournaments will be offered beginning late August 2008; dates and buy-ins to be announced, but will likely be around noon Sundays through Thursdays and at 7:00 p.m. on Mondays.CostsLower limit games are raked at 10% with a maximum of $5 per pot. For 5/10 no-limit games and 40/80 limit games, a time charge of $8 is assessed every 30 minutes.The Poker Room has a "promo" drop of $1 from each pot of $20 or more in the lower-limit (raked) games. The promo fund may be used to increase tournament prize pools and to fund freeroll tournaments. Because management wants this fund to benefit primarily local, frequent players, the current plan is not to use it for bad-beat jackpots. The promo fund is a feature for some players and a drawback for others.Decor and atmosphereThe room is spacious, with a classy look and 21-ft ceilings. The walls are paneled in dark wood and are adorned by ten plasma TVs and historic photographs from the original Binion's Horseshoe. Numerous chandeliers light the room effectively. With a maximum of nine players seated at each table, there is plenty of elbow room. Tables are spaced out nicely, with plenty of room to walk between tables without disturbing seated players. A photo of the room is posted on the Poker Room's website here.The main room has 25 tables, a front desk, a cage, and screens showing current games, wait lists, and interest lists. In the back of the room is an elevated high-limit area with 7 tables and its own front desk and cage. Off to the side is Benny's Back Room, a private room with two tables. The chairs in the high-limit area and in Benny's Back Room are a little nicer than the chairs on the main floor.At each table is a dealer control panel that shows a player's first name (for players who give the dealer their Total Rewards card) and which seats are occupied or vacant. This system enables the front desk staff to fill the empty seats more efficiently, and it eliminates the need for dealers to shout out when seats are available. The dealer can also call for a floor person, a chip runner, or waitstaff with the touch of a button.Quality of opponentsPlenty of fish and sharks, and everything in between.ChipsThe Horseshoe Hammond's standard rack of Paulson H&C chips is used in the ring games. Denominations are $1, $2, $5, $10, $25, $100, and up. The $5 LE 08-08-08 chip was issued on the date of the Horseshoe's grand opening; both sides are shown in the photo below. As of September 1, the tournament chips had not arrived.Other poker gearCards are USPC Kem, bridge size, standard index, with Kem's circle back design and the Horseshoe Hammond name and logo. Setups include brown and green decks.Dealer buttons are larger than usual, at approximately 2.75" in diameter. Other than the size, they are the typical white button with the word DEALER engraved and colored in black.Chip racks are heavy duty 67.7 mm racks; they are not the PaulSon brand or the usual 66.7 mm racks made to fit Paulson chips.Each table has 10 large cup holders set into the rail. On the layout, "Horseshoe" is printed in very large white letters, making it a little difficult to see white objects (dollar chips, cards); the layout can be seen in the photo on the Poker Room's website (see link above). In the high-limit area, the word Horseshoe is in yellow/gold, which is less of a problem. The buzz is that as the layouts wear out, the replacements will have different design or at least a different color scheme. In-table automatic shufflers are used.Additional perksPlayers earn comps at the rate of $2 per hour. Comps are credited to a player's Total Rewards card and do not have to be used on the same day that they are earned. Cards are swiped at the table, which is convenient and ensures that players are credited with their comps.The usual non-alcoholic beverages (coffee, bottled water, soft drinks) are provided at no charge. There is a charge for alcoholic beverages (required by law) and energy drinks.Reviewers CommentsThis is a beautiful, spacious, and well-run room that rivals some of the better rooms in Las Vegas. The Poker Room's manager, Jason Newman, and several members of the floor staff have years of experience in Las Vegas.Immediately outside the Poker Room are two PokerPro tables, which are managed and serviced by slots staff. Games include 0.50/1 and 1/2 No-Limit Hold'em, 2/4 Limit Holdem, 2/4 Omaha 8OB, and 0.50/1 Pot-Limit Omaha. Depending on demand, one of the tables can be used for low-buy-in single-table tournaments (Sit and Go's). According to one slots staff person, many of the players at the ring games are on a wait list for a game in the Poker Room, while others prefer to play poker where they can smoke. At the time of this review, both tables were 0.50/1 NLHE.Two promotions are running during September 2008. A Quads or Better Bonus pays $500 for 4 of a kind, $1,000 for a straight flush, and $1,500 for a Royal Flush. On Mondays between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., Horseshoe will splash $500 into a pot on a randomly drawn table every half hour. Player reactions to the promotions are mixed; some like them, while others prefer that the additional dollar not be taken from qualifying pots.Horseshoe Hammond will host a WSOP circuit event 10/24/08 - 11/02/08. The Poker Room plans to hold satellites to WSOP events.This review is based on visits to the Poker Room on 8/13/08, 8/16/08, 8/31/08, and 9/01/08.