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by Ashley Adams

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California Poker Scene, Part 3

by Ashley Adams

It was Super Bowl Sunday morning, day two of my California poker odyssey. I’ve reported on my earlier visits to the California Grand, Casino Royale, the Limelight, Capitol Casino, and Cache Creek. Sunday I drove from Sacramento up through Colusa and Oroville to Chico and then back south again to Marysville. I played in four more rooms: Colusa Casino, 99 Casino (formerly Angie’s Place), Feather Falls Casino, and Casino Marysville.

The Colusa Casino (3770 Highway 45, Colusa, 530.458.8844) is a full service resort casino with a modest poker area on the casino floor typically running just $3/$6 limit hold’em. They rarely get no-limit, but they do have a fantastic mixed game on Wednesday evening. In it they spread Crazy Pineapple, Irish Hold’em, and Superflop. I had never heard of the last two games, and describe them to you here—perhaps for the first time in print!

Irish Hold’em is a variation of hold’em. Instead of getting two cards, you get four. You discard two before the flop. The rest is the same. Superflop is dealt the same as hold’em, but there are only two additional rounds of betting, both at the higher tier. The flop and turn are done together—with four cards being exposed initially. There’s a round of betting. And then there is a one-card river, making the board the same as a regular hold’em board. Watch for them soon at a card room near you—or travel to Colusa on Wednesday at 3PM to play them.

We drove north to Chico, to visit the 99 Casino (175 East 20th Street, Chico, 530.892.2282). I loved this place and would make it my regular poker room if I lived in this neck of the woods. They had a $1/$1/$2 no limit game with a $50 minimum or $500 maximum (or to the size of the largest stack of the table) and a great spred limit dealer’s choice game ($2-$4 on the early rounds and $2-$8 on the latter rounds of betting). They allowed standard casino games and one of their own called “Option Alley”. It was 5-card stud hi-lo with a replacement round at the very end. They had tasty $1 tacos, huge $1.50 hot dogs, and $2 beer. There were a ton of promotions and two or so tournaments each day. What’s not to like?

Our next stop was in Oroville, at Feather Falls Casino (3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, 877.652.4646 ext. 329). This is a large casino with a slightly dark poker room that spreads $1/$2 no limit hold’em. The manager was very friendly and accommodating.

The game I was in had two dealers from the nearby Gold Country Casino that was not offering any poker at the moment—because both of the dealers had decided to go play at Feather Falls (which is the stronger of the two rooms I gather). Feather Falls is a full service casino with a hotel. They offered a $79 poker rate for their executive suite. I didn’t stay but did play, winning about $100 in 30 minutes from the very casual fun loving and relaxed players in the game. They had a full daily tournament schedule that they were in the midst of revamping—so if you are considering a trip make sure to call first. One big plus is that they feed players for free during their tournaments. They are closed on Sunday.

Last on our trip was Casino Marysville (515 4th Street, Marysville, 530.743.4120). This was a very friendly room and is the headquarters in the area for Omaha8. When I was there they were spreading a $3/$6 limit Omaha8 game. They had a nice promotion -- $60 in chips for a $40 buy-in if you play at least two hours. It was Super Bowl Sunday when I was there—and they were feeding players for free—though they don’t normally comp meals. They rarely have no-limit, but sometimes have a limit hold’em game. We left there after the big football game—and headed to Thunder Valley. I’ll report on it and a few others in my next column. Next up: Thunder Valley, Lucky Derby, and Jackson Rancheria.

Ashley Adams is the author of Winning No Limit Hold’em and Winning 7-Card Stud. He hosts the radio show House of Cards, broadcast in markets throughout the US and on the Internet at Contact Ashley at

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