Pechanga website www.pechanga.com 877-711-2946 ext 2472 Location: 45000 Pala Road Temecula, CA 92592 Games Offered: Limit Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em, Omaha H/L Number of tables: 54 Smoking allowed? No Pechanga uses an Excel spreadsheet to manage the games list. It isn’t as high tech as some of the new computerized systems but works just fine. The list displays on several monitors around the room so you can keep track of where you are on the list for game A while playing in game B. They also have a monitor right outside to the room. Games/stakes available Limit Hold’em games are spread from 2/4 up to 20/40 with occasional 40/80. Even the 20/40 seldom gets going but they generally have one or more 8/16 games. They will generally have a table or two of Omaha H/L typically 3/6 or 4/8. I almost never play any of the limit games. No Limit Hold’em is spread in four flavors: $40 max buy-in with 1/1 blinds, $100 max buy-in with 2/3 blinds, $300 max buy-in with 3/5 blinds and $500 min buy-in (no cap) with 5/10 blinds. The $40 game generally has several tables going. The $100 game generally has at least one or two and as many as six or seven tables on the weekend. The $300 game mostly has a must move and a main game. On the weekends it will sometimes get 3 or 4 games going. The $500 mostly runs on the weekends and occasionally during the week. NL Hold'em tournaments are held daily at 10AM [$20 buy-in + $5 fee] and several nights a week at 6:30PM. These are ultra-fast tournaments with 15 minute levels. The beginning and end of the month they have higher buy-in tournaments Thursday – Saturday nights. The higher buy-in tournaments increase the levels to 20 minutes, still a very fast structure. Decor and atmosphere Pechanga’s poker room is among the nicest in SoCal. It is located upstairs above the circle bar across from the Silk night club. This is a large room and is part of the largest casino in SoCal, the largest LA clubs are bigger but none of the Indian casinos come close. If you like to watch TV while you play you will love the Pechanga poker room. The room has ten 6 or 7 foot projection TVs and 10 or 15 large plasma TVs. The chairs are better than most, although not as good as the best. Most of the tables have shuffle machines. Tableside food service is available but it is a bit pricey. You can counter the pricey food by getting a player's card. The cards are scanned each hour and pay back between $1.00 and $1.75 depending on the stakes you play. Quality of opponents The typical opponent at Pechanga tends to be a bit weak, that is not to say that there are no sharks, just that the fish outnumber them. As an Indian casino with table games and slots, Pechanga has an advantage over the typical California card room. That advantage is that these -EV games attract players who don’t understand EV. When they wander into the poker room for a change of pace, the games improve. As the largest casino in California, Pechanga also gets tourists, something you seldom find in the poker-only casinos around SoCal. Chips Pechanga uses mostly BG ceramic chips for all but the $100 chip, which I think is a house mold Paulson. They changed the $100 to clay in early 2006, leaving me to hope they would change all of the chips to clay. So far only the $100 has changed. Additional perks Cocktail service is available, but unlike Las Vegas you must pay for your drinks. This is due to California law that prohibits giving away booze. Ten hours of live play will get you a freeroll in the Sunday morning tournament ($20+$5 otherwise). Reviewer Comments The majority of the dealers are friendly and competent, there are exceptions though. The floor staff is about 50/50 with some very good and many so so, with a couple complete incompetents. Pechanga has the potential to be a great room. On the plus side they drop $4 per hand vs. the typical $5 at many SoCal cardrooms, the facility is physically top shelft and the games are almost always good. On the down side, they seem to have some rules just for the sake of having a rule, inconsistent floor decisions, and terrible tournament structures. Overall, if you are visiting SoCal to play poker, the Pechanga poker room deserves a look. While not as big as Commerce or the Bike, it is among the larger rooms in SoCal and the action is always very good on the weekend.