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Poker By The Bay
December 26, 2006 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Playing poker in San Francisco

I'm going to be traveling for work to San Francisco for the first full week of January, and would like to try to get my poker fix in while I'm there. Of course I know that there aren't any casinos, but I've read magazine stories about how part of the current poker craze is for bars to have tournaments for prizes, which is cool by me. If anyone knows of specific locations where this might occur, that'd be great.

One BIG caveat is that I will not have a car, so driving down south to the Bicycle Casino or across the bay to any of the other Indian casinos isn't an option. I know that public transit in the bay area is great, but I'd really prefer to stay in the city, even if it means just playing for prizes in a bar.

Oh, and I am looking for Texas Hold 'Em, by the way.
posted by robhuddles to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There's a card room in Colma called Lucky Chances which you can probably get to by bus/bart.

Colma is a bizarre place.

Other than that I have no idea.
posted by mrunderhill at 11:23 PM on December 26, 2006


Maybe you can give this directory a try?
posted by ifranzen at 11:41 PM on December 26, 2006


And close to Colma is Artichoke Joe's, in San Bruno. I think you can get there on Cal Train.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:54 PM on December 26, 2006


Artichoke Joe's is about three blocks from the San Bruno BART station, and Lucky Chances has a shuttle to Colma BART.

It might be bad that I know that.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:33 AM on December 27, 2006


I know you said no East Bay, but you still might want to check out the Oaks Card Club in Emeryville, not far from the MacArthur BART and probably just as easy to get to as Colma or San Bruno.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:50 AM on December 27, 2006


Keep in mind that depending on where you are from, that particular part of Emeryville might seem very rough to you.
posted by fishfucker at 9:55 AM on December 27, 2006


Easy to get a cab ride to either Lucky Chances or Artichoke Joe's from SF, also easy to take public transportation to Artichoke Joe's, which is next to a CalTrain station and fairly close to a BART station. Both of those clubs are in safe, working class suburbs of SF (Colma and San Bruno, respectively, as had been mentioned).

AJ's is one of the oldest continually operating cardrooms in the state. These days, it has mostly limit holdem (3/6, 6/12, and 15/30), and a big no limit game that goes several days a week. The NL game is (currently) the only uncapped NL game in the Bay Area, with a minimum buy-in of $2k. It may not be big by Bellagio standards, but it's as big a game as you will find in the Bay Area. When it goes, there's usually a main game and one or two Must Move's.

Lucky Chances is a newer room, with more tables than AJ's. It has limit holdem (3/6, 6/12, 9/18, 20/40) and some spread limit. There is a long and complicated legal dispute that AJ's initiated against LC to prevent LC from offering no limit games. I won't bore you with the details, but after the first of the year LC should once again offer NL Holdem, although I don't know exactly when.

I've played a lot at both clubs. I think the food is a bit better at AJ's, but neither club has exceptional food. Staff at both clubs is usually pretty good.

My recommendations:

If you play low limit, go to AJ's.
If you play mid-limit (e.g., 20/40), go to Lucky Chances.
If you play low stakes no limit, go to Lucky Chances.
If you want to play in the "big game", go to AJ's but call ahead to make sure it's running.

For both clubs, you can also call ahead and have your names placed on the seating for mid- and high- stakes games.

Good luck!
posted by mosk at 11:31 AM on December 27, 2006


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