PLO: Hold’em on Steroids

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I introduced four-card poker to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas in the spring of 1982 with my friend Gwen from Seattle. The game we spread at the Nugget started out as limit, but after two hours of boring, short-handed poker, we decided to change it to pot-limit.

Then something strange happened.

The game filled up as players started to arrive for the WSOP. They loved this new four-card version of Hold’em. The game was later called “Nugget Hold’em” by Bill Boyd, the card room manager and a legend in the poker world.

Nugget Hold’em became a regular game after the WSOP concluded. When Steve Wynn closed the poker room, the game moved across the street to Binion’s and became $4/$8 limit Omaha, and the rest is history.

When I moved to California in 1985, I spread the PLO mix at the Horseshoe Casino in Gardena, where I was the casino general manager. I could never imagine then that Omaha would become the second most popular poker game in the world.

But after fifty years of playing the game, I realized some things never change; the best poker players still win the money.

PLO Starting Hands

Here are a few strategy tips that will help you become a winning player at Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO).

If you look at hand charts, AAKK double suited is listed as the top starting hand. The next best hand would be any AAJ10 double suited while some charts list AAQQ suited as the second best hand.

I spoke with a few professional PLO players who win consistently. Eric Garcia, Peter Cutler, Dimitri Gazetovici and Warren Oberman come from a wide range of backgrounds from a PhD to engineers and a VP of a software company.

When it comes to starting hands, they generally agree on the top starting hands, which include AAKK, AA10J, KKQQ down and all paint double suited. The bigger the pairs and connectors, the better pre-flop your hands are.

Nick Savadian, the Hollywood Park Casino host for PLO games, gave me his top hands: “AAJ10 double suited and 2nd probably AAJQ double suited and third 10J 78 double suited. For PLO mix my favorite starting hands are AA23 and AA2J double suited or A234.”

Strategy for Beginners

Stop Light

Tip 1: Group your top hands together into three groups: Group A, Group B and Group C with about ten starting hands in each group.

As you gain experience and expand your game, you can expand your hands. It’s best to start out playing tight to avoid the temptation to gamble. It’s important that all your hands be suited (ideally double suited) and connected with as few gaps as possible.

Now picture a traffic signal with red, yellow and green lights. A red light is the first three spots to open where you will fold most of your hands. A yellow light is next three spots to open, so proceed with caution. The green light is the last three spots on the button and blinds, so feel free to go if the conditions are right since you have all the information on the action before you act.

In the red light zone, you can open or raise with the hands in your Group A or Group B. In the yellow position if someone has opened the pot with a raise, then proceed with caution and only use hands in Group A. You can play any group in green depending on what’s happened because you have all the information from the previous six spots.

Tip 2: Know your players. Watch for a few minutes before playing. Look at their chip stacks and analyze their behavior.

Tip 3: Chip stacks and pot size determine how you will proceed with the hand. Remember when you bet, it opens the pot for a much larger bet. Bet sizing in PLO separates great players from weak ones. You can often tell a new player because they only have one move–”Pot.”

Beginner Mistakes

Don’t shut yourself out of a pot because you want to be to aggressive. Let me give you an example. In the Main Event at the WSOP, I picked up KQ of spades. I flopped an open-ended straight flush draw. Two players checked, and I bet $300. Both players called. The next card paired the board on the turn. Both players checked again, so I decided to steal the pot and bet $1400. Both players moved all-in.

It was obvious they had full houses, and I had to throw my hand away. They had given me a free card, but I didn’t take it, and that hand has haunted me ever since because the river was an Ace of spades making me the royal flush.

I shut myself out of my pot. The principle is the same in PLO. No shame in checking.

Another beginner mistake I often see is a player betting second or third best hand. For example, it is checked to them when they are drawing to the third or fourth flush draw. They bet the pot and another player comes over the top for all their chips.

Now what? Our player should have taken the free card.

Ready to Play

HPC_Exterior

Hollywood Park Casino, located in Inglewood, California, offers a variety of Omaha games, including $4/$8 Big O (five-card Omaha), $40/$80 limit Omaha high-low and $20/$40 OE mix of Stud and Omaha.

They also spread several PLO games such as PLO mix and PLO high only. The best way to get practice is to get on the table and play. If you like No-Limit Hold’em, you will love PLO.

Robert Turner is a legendary poker player most well-known for introducing the game of Omaha poker to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino in 1995 and Live at the Bike, the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet in 2002.

Robert has over 30 years’ experience in casino marketing and player development. He has served as an executive host at the Bicycle Casino and MGM. He is currently working as a casino consultant.

Robert can be reached at robertturnerpoker@gmail.com for consulting, marketing and coaching. Find Robert on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thechipburner and on Twitter @thechipburner.

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Expand Your Poker Horizons by Patricia Chavira

We have a poker tournament at my job every few months. Whether it’s a cash game or tournament, the game we always play is the ever-popular No-Limit Hold’em.

It’s hard to get people out of their comfort zone whether it’s a friendly game at work or at home. Luckily, Los Angeles card rooms host several non-Hold’em poker tournaments for players ready to expand their poker horizons.


Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California added 7-card stud to its line up recently, including the only weekly 7-card stud  tournament on the west coast.


The stud tournament features a $60 buy-in and is held every Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

You will see some great stud players from around town.


If you want to try your hand at stud before you play in the tournament, Hollywood Park features a live-action stud game everyday hosted by poker great Mike Rocco. The game is played high only.


Stud is one of the oldest card games, and in past decades was a staple in Las Vegas and the east coast. The late Chip Reese and Danny Robison were great stud players and moved to Las Vegas to play higher stud.


Players need to play all games to be a well- rounded player. And another game to add to your poker arsenal is Omaha.


BIG O Omaha Comes to Town


5-card Omaha, or Big O Omaha as it’s popularly called, has exploded in popularity around Los Angeles’ card rooms. It is certainly a game full of action.


Hollywood Park Casino also started the new wave of Big O games and is the only casino with a weekly tournament featuring  Big O high low.


The Big O tournament has a $60 buy in and is played every Saturday at 3 pm. It features some added perks of a food voucher and $2,000 guarantee. The tournament is hosted by Omaha creator Robert Turner.


For Big O cash action, there are several games of $4/8 and $6/$12 daily. Hollywood Park Casino also spreads PLO Omaha and $40/$80 Omaha daily.


So, if you are a Hold’em player, Hollywood Park Casino spreads a variety of games to take you to the next level.  Their speciality tournaments help you practice for the WSOP and mixed games.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer specializing in poker. She writes the “Poker Scene” column for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.

 

Welcome to Silicon Beach: L.A.-Born Tech Can Shape Gambling on the Westside by Robert Turner

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Poker revenue at Hollywood Park Casino, located in Inglewood near the Westside of Los Angeles, is surging.

Though the media is focused on the $2.6-billion stadium being built for two NFL franchises (the Los Angeles Rams or the San Diego Chargers) as part of the City of Champions Revitalization Project, there is a new game in town that really can be a game changer for gambling on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Silicon Beach is the name for the Westside of Los Angeles that is home to over 500 tech startup companies. From Google to Snap Inc., the company behind the popular mobile chat app Snapchat, major tech companies have opened offices or are headquartered in the region.

The area includes the cities of Culver City, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach and Santa Monica–all just minutes from Hollywood Park Casino.

Billions in venture capital are financing the tech boom, and it looks like the money will continue to flow with the expected Snap Inc. IPO scheduled for Thursday, March 2.

With the company looking to price its upcoming initial public offering at between $14 and $16 a share, Snap could have a market value of more than $22 billion. The company could raise nearly $3.7 billion, according to an article in CNN Money.

This influx of money can transform the region and could have a major impact on the gaming world from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

The California and Nevada gaming industry and the way it is marketed may look different in the near future because of E-Sports and Internet gaming being developed in Silicon Beach. California gaming laws need to catch up with the new gaming opportunities on the horizon.

Nevada has been working hard on new gaming regulations to allow the new generation of gamers to play and bet legally on games of their choice. There is even some support to changing the gambling age to 18 in Nevada.

This new generation may not find table games or slots entertaining, but they do like games, and one game in particular they love is poker. Poker, along with E-Sports, may be the engine that drives the new gambling economy.

The gambling companies of the future and the businesses that market them may come from Silicon Beach and Southern California in the not-to-distant future.

Industries of the Future

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Thousands of new jobs will be created in social media companies, gaming studios and digital marketing companies like Jukin Media, the global leader in viral video licensing. These companies, though not household names, create and market the content that millions will purchase or view.

It’s time casinos get into digital marketing if they want to reach this new generation of gamers.

The employees who work in these industries range in age from their early 20s to 40s, and many of these tech and gaming employees are locating and working on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Ramy Wahba, Casino Manager of Hollywood Park Casino, recognizes the need to reach out to this new demographic, and he said they are creating a total new experience for the young gamers starting with their tournaments and service. They gave tournament players their own deli for faster service. And that’s just the beginning.

I recently located to the area with my wife who works at a video game company on the Westside. It’s a very special place now, and I forward to this exciting time in the gaming industry.

Robert Turner is a legendary poker player and casino/billiard marketing expert. Robert is most well-known for creating the game of Omaha poker and introducing it to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino in 1995. He also helped create Live at the Bike, the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet in 2002.

He has spent over 30 years in casino marketing and player development. He has served as an executive host at the Bicycle Casino and MGM.  He is currently working as a casino consultant.

Robert can be reached at robertturnerpoker@gmail.com for consulting, marketing and coaching. Find Robert on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thechipburner and on Twitter @thechipburner. Subscribe to Robert’s blog “Beyond the Numbers” at www.robertturnerpoker.wordpress.com to receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Pioneering Women in Poker: Phyllis Caro, Part 2

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Last week I wrote about how Phyllis Caro got her start in poker and how she ended up working with her husband at the time, Mike Caro, and founder of the Bicycle Club, George Hardie, to clean up poker in California.

People like myself who have been playing poker since the boom times have no idea how bad it was, especially for the dealers. As a dealer herself at one time, Phyllis can tell you some horror stories, but as she says, it was an accepted part of poker.

Players acted out and blamed the dealers for everything. She says players were not only verbally abusive towards dealers, but physically as well.  My husband Robert Turner described a horrific incident where a player actually got out a lighter and tried to burn a dealer.

It did not happen overnight, but Phyllis was instrumental in helping stop dealer abuse. Players were given warnings and then time out (yes, like children). Poker was changed forever once management took a stance against dealer abuse.

Phyllis continued to rise through the ranks from Dealer Coordinator to Vice President of Casino Operations of the Bicycle Club. In between, she worked tournaments becoming the first female Tournament Director making such innovations as starting the first non-smoking tournaments.

Always an advocate for women in poker, she started the annual Queen of Hearts tournament, which runs to this day; in fact, it was just held this Sunday at the Bike.

As Tournament Director of the Bike, she also ran the second largest tournament in the industry at the time, the Diamond Jim Brady. In 1993, when Phyllis became the Vice President of Casino Operations, she was the first female to hold that position in the industry.

In April 1990, the Bicycle Club was seized by federal authorities making federal government part owner of the most valuable asset ever seized at that time under federal racketeering laws.

The government appointed a trustee named Harry Richard to oversee operations at the Bike. Under the trusteeship, Phyllis fought to keep poker honest. As Phyllis says, “Mike ingrained the fact that all games should be honest.”

In 1995, Phyllis was hired as Casino Manager at Hollywood Park Casino and eventually became Director of Poker Operations where she continued making history.

Phyllis may be retired from poker now, but she will always stand for integrity in poker; she has committed her life to it.

Listen to me and Robert discussing Phyllis’ career on High Roller Radio here: https://youtu.be/bmhuFvCUw38

 

A Passion for Poker: Meet Hollywood Park Casino’s Ginger Lee by Patricia Chavira

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As I have written about before, women are underrepresented both at the poker tables and on the casino floor, so when I meet a woman who has both played poker and worked in a casino, I know I am talking to a very rare person indeed, and that special woman is Ginger Lee.

Ginger ended up in a card room like many women do—she tagged along with a friend. When she was a college student, she was asked if she would like to go to the Bike. She said yes thinking she was going to a bicycle shop.

Much to her surprise, she ended up at the Bicycle Club in Bell Gardens, California, one of the largest card rooms in the world. Little did she know that fateful decision would change her life.

When she was a waitress at a sushi bar, a customer who worked at Commerce Casino convinced her to apply for a job at the card room. In 1990, she learned to deal and passed her auditioned. She began working as a dealer but realized that to be a better dealer, she had to learn how to play poker, so she began playing after work.

Working With Poker Legends

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Linda Johnson, the First Lady of Poker

Ginger rose through the ranks being promoted to the tournament staff by her mentor Cheri Dokken, Commerce Casino’s tournament director for many years. She also had the privilege of working tournaments with legendary tournament directors Jack McClelland and Matt Savage.

Ginger began playing tournaments herself even meeting her future husband at the L.A. Poker Classic in 1992. She tells a funny story about registering another player for a tournament who never showed up. She didn’t want to be stuck for the buy-in, so she decided to play herself. It was her first No-Limit tournament. She ended up chopping it. Ginger is also a skilled 7-Card Stud player who has cashed in several stud tournaments.

In 2003, she dealt during the first season of the World Poker Tour to such poker luminaries as Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. But the best part for her was working with her idol Linda Johnson, “The First Lady of Poker.”

After working at Commerce for 25 years, Ginger now works at Hollywood Park Casino as a shift manager with Director of Casino Operations Ramy Wahba. They worked together at Commerce for over 20 years.

Over her career, Ginger has learned that a casino’s success depends on customer service. As she says, “We are here because of the customer; we have to listen.”

With her passion for poker, you can be sure any casino that Ginger Lee works at is a place you want to play.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker.  She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.

 

 

Hollywood Park Casino’s Grand Opening Celebration by Patricia Chavira

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Hollywood Park Casino’s Grand Opening Celebration kicked off on Friday, October 21 with a red carpet event for dignitaries and poker executives from other casinos.

Ramy Wahba, Director of Casino Operations, and his management team did an outstanding job during all phases of the transition—from the construction phase to grand opening. They have much to be proud of.

Los Angeles now has a poker showplace to rival any in the world, and this weekend Hollywood Park Casino firmly established itself at the top of the list of the best places to play poker in L.A. or anywhere for that matter.

Its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport in addition to being part of the first the part of the first phase of the City of Champions Revitalization Project means Hollywood Park Casino is poised to become the leader in California gaming. Not only is it beautiful, but I predict it will become the best place to play poker in California, if not the country.

As I have written before, the property is simply breathtaking. Designed by San Diego-based JCJ Architecture, the new casino spans 110,000 square feet with 125 gaming tables, a 20,000-square foot simulcast wagering facility with a private bar called the Turf Club and a luxurious high-limit room for Cal Games called the Golden Dragon.

Not only will you be playing in the most beautiful card room in the country, you will most likely find your favorite poker game as Hollywood Park Casino is experimenting with a mix of games that will appeal both to the recreational player and poker pro.

On Friday, you could play $20/$40 Hold’em, $20/$40 PLO and a $6/$12 mix of Big O and E.O. Stud 8 or Better. I have just started playing mixed games, and the $6/$12 is a perfect game to sit in if you are a beginner like me.

$50,000 Celebrity Bounty Tournament

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Robert Turner with Scotty Wayne,  co-founder of Rounders Poker

My husband Gaming Today columnist Robert Turner played the $50,000 Celebrity Bounty Tournament on Saturday, October 22. He said, “The entertainment world came to support Rock the Vote at the Grand Opening of Hollywood Park Casino. The pros had a hard time as some of the celebrities had fun beating up the pros!”

The players chopped the prize pool 18 ways for $2,500 each with actor Peter Mackenzie from black-ish winning the tournament.

Leave all your preconceived notions about the old Hollywood Park Casino at the door. As their tagline says, “Raise your expectations.”

 

The Future of Poker at the New Hollywood Park Casino by Robert Turner

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The new Hollywood Park Casino, located just minutes from downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood, California, provides a unique gaming experience that embraces the future but also honors its historic past.

Close to Beverly Hills, the beach areas and West Los Angeles, Hollywood Park Casino has always had its fair share of celebrity poker players, but the new casino is a glamorous addition to the Los Angeles poker scene where everyone is treated like a VIP.

Los Angeles now has a Las-Vegas-style casino that is just the first phase of the multi-billion-dollar City of Champions Revitalization Project. The design looks to me like they took the best of the Wynn and Aria to create a gaming experience to rival any casino in the world.

You can bet on horse racing or wine and dine with your friends or significant other while overlooking the action on the swank casino gaming floor. The casino has two race books, one being a very upscale experience specially designed for serious bettors.

The Ram’s $1.8 Billion Home

 

rams-stadium

In 2019 the Los Angeles Rams will play in a new $1.86-billion stadium being constructed next door, making it the most expensive stadium in the world. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in this spectacular setting in 2022.

The development also includes a man-made five-acre lake called Lake Park which will be surrounded by high-end residential areas, hotels plus retail establishments that will keep the excitement going on well into the next decade.

All of this new development is adjacent to the newly-remodeled Forum, which already features world-class concerts and events nightly making the Hollywood Park area a must-see destination.

Can you imagine a weekend with three concert venues all attracting 100,000 concert goers between the Forum and the other planned concert facilities? This is a poker player’s dream come true.

Players follow the action and the money. In Southern California all roads lead to Hollywood Park Casino.

According to Forbes, the value of the Los Angeles Rams increased from $1.4 billion to $2.9 billion since their return to Los Angeles. The money will be flowing into this area in the near future.

The New Hollywood Park Casino Welcomes You

hollywood-park-entrance

This is the future of Hollywood Park Casino. Frankly, I don’t think 125 gaming tables featuring Blackjack, Poker and Baccarat can handle that much action. I could easily see this casino double in size in a few years.

That’s a nice problem to have.

I remember a very different poker scene in Los Angeles when I arrived over 30 years ago.

I first started my career in poker management in Gardena. I managed four of the six card rooms in the area. These rooms were nothing like the card rooms of today; these rooms were full of smoke and shady characters who would deal the cards themselves.

There were no professional dealers at this time, and some players could deal much better than others (if you know what I mean).

This little city on the westside of town became the poker capital of the world. This was before the Bicycle Club and Commerce Casino became the biggest card rooms in the world moving the poker universe east.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that thirty years later I would see the westside become the place to play poker again.

Come see the future of poker at Hollywood Park Casino. You won’t want to play anywhere else.

Robert Turner is most well-known for creating the game of Omaha poker and introducing it to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino in 1995. He also helped create Live at the Bike, the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet in 2002.

He has spent over 30 years in casino marketing and player development. He has served as an executive host at the Bicycle Casino and MGM.  He is currently working as a casino consultant.

Robert can be reached at robertturnerpoker@gmail.com for consulting, marketing and coaching. Find Robert on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thechipburner and on Twitter @thechipburner. Subscribe to Robert’s blog “Beyond the Numbers” at www.robertturnerpoker.wordpress.com to receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Future of Poker at the New Hollywood Park Casino

Resized_20160803_180822

The new Hollywood Park Casino, located just minutes from downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood, California, provides a unique gaming experience that embraces the future but also honors its historic past.

Close to Beverly Hills, the beach areas and West Los Angeles, Hollywood Park Casino has always had its fair share of celebrity poker players, but the new casino is a glamorous addition to the Los Angeles poker scene where everyone is treated like a VIP.

Los Angeles now has a Las-Vegas-style casino that is just the first phase of the multi-billion-dollar City of Champions Revitalization Project. The design looks to me like they took the best of the Wynn and Aria to create a gaming experience to rival any casino in the world.

You can bet on horse racing or wine and dine with your friends or significant other while overlooking the action on the swank casino gaming floor. The casino has two race books, one being a very upscale experience specially designed for serious bettors.

The Ram’s $1 Billion Home

rams-stadium

The new Hollywood Park Casino, located just minutes from downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood, California, provides a unique gaming experience that embraces the future but also honors its historic past.

Close to Beverly Hills, the beach areas and West Los Angeles, Hollywood Park Casino has always had its fair share of celebrity poker players, but the new casino is a glamorous addition to the Los Angeles poker scene where everyone is treated like a VIP.

Los Angeles now has a Las-Vegas-style casino that is just the first phase of the multi-billion-dollar City of Champions Revitalization Project. The design looks to me like they took the best of the Wynn and Aria to create a gaming experience to rival any casino in the world.

You can bet on horse racing or wine and dine with your friends or significant other while overlooking the action on the swank casino gaming floor. The casino has two race books, one being a very upscale experience specially designed for serious bettors.

In 2019 the Los Angeles Rams will play in a new $1.86-billion stadium being constructed next door, making it the most expensive stadium in the world. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in this spectacular setting in 2022.

The development also includes a man-made five-acre lake called Lake Park which will be surrounded by high-end residential areas, hotels plus retail establishments that will keep the excitement on going well into the next decade.

All of this new development is adjacent to the newly-remodeled Forum, which already features world-class concerts and events nightly making the Hollywood Park area a must-see destination.

Can you imagine a weekend with three concert venues all attracting 100,000 concert goers between the Forum and the other planned concert facilities? This is a poker player’s dream come true.

Players follow the action and the money. In Southern California all roads lead to Hollywood Park Casino.

According to Forbes, the value of the Los Angeles Rams increased from $1.4 billion to $2.9 billion since their return to Los Angeles. The money will be flowing into this area in the near future.

The New Hollywood Park Casino Welcomes You

hollywood-park-entrance

This is the future of Hollywood Park Casino. Frankly, I don’t think 125 gaming tables featuring Blackjack, Poker and Baccarat can handle that much action. I could easily see this casino double in size in a few years.

That’s a nice problem to have.

I remember a very different poker scene in Los Angeles when I arrived over 30 years ago.

I first started my career in poker management in Gardena. I managed four of the six card rooms in the area. These rooms were nothing like the card rooms of today; these rooms were full of smoke and shady characters who would deal the cards themselves.

There were no professional dealers at this time, and some players could deal much better than others (if you know what I mean).

This little city on the westside of town became the poker capital of the world. This was before the Bicycle Club and Commerce Casino became the biggest card rooms in the world moving the poker universe east.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that thirty years later I would see the westside become the place to play poker again.

Come see the future of poker at Hollywood Park Casino. You won’t want to play anywhere else.

 

 

Robert Turner is a legendary poker player and casino/billiard marketing expert. Robert is most well-known for creating the game of Omaha poker and introducing it to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino in 1995. He also helped create Live at the Bike, the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet in 2002.

He has spent over 30 years in casino marketing and player development. He has served as an executive host at the Bicycle Casino and MGM.  He is currently working as a casino consultant.

Robert can be reached at robertturnerpoker@gmail.com for consulting, marketing and coaching. Find Robert on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thechipburner and on Twitter @thechipburner. Subscribe to Robert’s blog “Beyond the Numbers” at www.robertturnerpoker.wordpress.com to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Women in Poker: Chellie Campbell by Patricia Chavira

Chellie Campbell

I had the most amazing time in the Big O tournament at Hollywood Park Casino this Saturday. I made the final table with two other women, Chellie Campbell and Lulu Flippin, who ended up in second and first, respectively. As we played down to four players, I chatted with both women, which inspired me to write this article.

As I have played more Omaha in the past year, I noticed fewer women seem to play this game than hold’em, so when we got down to two tables, it was great playing with two other women. We chatted with the dealer Leslie, and were having fun. We only had to lose one more player before the final table, and it just happened to be the hand Chellie was in.

She won the hand at showdown, and her male opponent wasn’t happy. He kept berating her, and I finally had to tell him to stop criticizing her. He was knocked out in the next hand.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chellie after the tournament after Lulu told me how accomplished Chellie is in life and in poker.

Chellie started her career as an actress. While working at Walt Disney World in Florida, she noticed some of the men would bring their lunch and play poker in the barn where they rehearsed. Because she had never played poker before, she watched them once before she sat in the game. Naturally, she won all the money the first time she played; she was bitten by the poker bug.

When she moved back to Los Angeles, she played with friends in home games. They would go to Vegas every January and June to play poker. She honed her game by playing, reading books and watching old VHS tapes of the World Series of Poker.

When Hollywood Park Casino opened in 1994, Chellie played 7-Card Stud for two years before moving on to hold’em. She played that for six months before being introduced to Omaha by her friend Mitch.

When she sold her bookkeeping business in 1994 to teach financial stress reduction workshops, it gave her more freedom to play poker. Today you can find Chellie playing Omaha in L.A cardrooms. She is the redhead with the bright smile.

She has written numerous books including her latest “From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success without the Stress.” Visit www.chellie.com for more information on this inspirational woman.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker. She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.

 

The New Hollywood Park Casino: Las Vegas Comes to Inglewood by Patricia Chavira

New HPC

Card rooms all over Los Angeles have been stepping up their game the past year, and every time I went to see the latest opening–whether it was new $50-million hotel at the Bicycle Casino last December or the $90-million expansion of the Gardens Casino in April—I was impressed each time.

But I have to admit, when I walked into the new Hollywood Park Casino as part of a press preview last week, I actually said, “Wow.” I have played poker in card rooms and casinos in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for the past ten years, and Hollywood Park Casino has surpassed them all in luxury.

A Grand Entrance

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From the moment I walked through the all-glass entrance into the sun-bathed lobby with water cascading down each wall to my left and my right, I immediately felt I had stepped into a high-end Las Vegas property.

The first thing you see is not the gaming floor but rather a variety of dining and entertainment options. The Raise Lounge lives up to its name as it raises the level of luxury you would usually find in an L.A. card room. With tvs and plush seating throughout, this new component of the casino is sure to draw in new customers.

Right next door is the Century Bar & Grill, a sports bar and restaurant where concertgoers waiting for a show at the Forum can eat and drink before they watch their favorite performer on stage. And they may just be tempted to come back to play their favorite table game.

Designed by San Diego-based JCJ Architecture, the new casino spans 110,000 square feet and includes 125 gaming tables, a 20,000 square-foot simulcast wagering facility with a private bar called the Turf Club and a luxurious high-limit room for Cal Games called the Golden Dragon.

But what is unique about this property is the artwork throughout the property from the signature piece at the entrance to the locally-commissioned photography in the Century Bar & Grill.

Sitting on 11 acres right next to the City of Champions Revitalization project, Hollywood Park Casino is poised to become the leader in California gaming when it opens to the public in mid-September.

With football fans coming from all over the nation to the future home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the City of Angels finally has a modern, upscale casino that we are proud to show the world.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker. She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.