by Ashley Adams
I’ve reported on five poker rooms I played at during a recent trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. This concludes the four-part series [Read the other parts of Gulf Coast Poker Report], with a look at the Hard Rock and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
Hard Rock Casino, 777 Beach Blvd. 228-374-7625. The Hard Rock is the area’s room for young players; I was there at 12:30 on a Saturday night. The casino was crowded with guys and gals in their 20s – many of them drinking heavily. Some of them had found their way into the poker room – which had two $1/2 no limit hold’em games going.
The games are raked at 10% up to a maximum of $4 with a $2 drop for the bad beat and other promotions. Players earn $5 off their meal bill for every two hours of play. My visit was characterized by what I can best describe as the tale of two tables.
My first table was an uber-aggressive affair. Players had enormous stacks – averaging about $1,000. No one had less than a few hundred; a couple of players had over $2,000. I bought in for $500 while I checked out the game. During my 25 minutes in the game I saw 20 or so hands. Nearly all were 3 or 4-bet pre-flop – often to $75 or so. The post-flop bets were often $250 or larger. I only saw two showdowns – each for pots of $1,000+. As I said, it was a very aggressive game. I left without playing any hands beyond the flop, down $50 or so.
I moved to the other table. It could not have been more different. The players were universally sedate and timid. Only 35% or so of the hands were raised pre-flop – usually to $7 or $8. Five or six players typically saw the flop, that was often checked around. This game was more my speed – allowing me to set the tempo for the betting. The game proved easier for me to dominate and, hence, more profitable. At 2:00 AM I left for the night. When I come back to the region I hope to try this room again.
Beau Rivage, 876 Beach Blvd. 228-386-7092. The room generally viewed as the busiest in the area is the Beau Rivage. It’s beautifully appointed and most closely resembles the highend Las Vegas poker rooms like the MGM. This room spreads $1 - $3 no limit, with a 10% $5 maximum rake and a $1 drop for the jackpot. Comps are $5 for every three hours of play. I visited the room at 9:00 AM on a Sunday. I saved this room for that time because I figured that the Beau Rivage, as the busiest room, would have a game going early on a Sunday morning. I wasn’t disappointed: There were two games going – one was full, one had three seats open.
I sat down in this short-handed $1 - $3 game. There were seven players including me. All were tourists. Two seemed particularly strong and aggressive. One of them raised pre-flop the first four hands that I watched. On the fifth hand I hit KK in late position. Sure enough, my aggressive opponent 3-bet to $25. I made it $75 and he made it $150. I shoved the rest of my $500 stack and he called for a total of $400. He flipped over Aces against my Kings. I didn’t improve – starting off my session stuck $400.
The session got better as I played for the next two hours before leaving for Bay St. Louis and the two small rooms there. By the time I left at 11:00 AM, my game was filled and there were two more games going. I had managed to win back all but $40 of my original $500 stack.
With seven poker rooms in the area, with a nice mixture of limit and no limit hold’em, and with the beautiful weather, the picturesque coastline, and the relatively inexpensive hotel rooms, this is an ideal poker destination. For those interested in playing all but the biggest limits, this is an ideal poker destination.
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 http://www.houseofcardsradio.com. Contact Ashley at email@example.com