Recently returned from 4 session trip in late Dec. Played almost exclusively $5/5, with a bit of $5/5/10 and straight $5/$10 sprinkled in.
Dec. 28th 1:30 AM to 9 AM. bought in $500, cashed out $4,481
Very pleasant atmosphere, floor was responsive to table change requests Only a couple of pros, none at my table. Saw some LATB folks including Wayne Chiang who was at my table briefly. Game was incredibly soft, tons of action. Made most of my stack by limping 7-7 utg, tight bad young asian recreational player raises utg+1...3 callers. flop is 7,6,5 two♥
. BB check, i check utg1 bets pot, utg2 calls, I cr to $335, pfr calls as does utg2. Turn is offsuit 10, I jam for ~ $900 PFR snaps with KK, utg2 tank folds 9,7 offsuit. Game was that good.Hawaiian Gardens
Dec 29 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM in for $2,100; cash $1,642
Really nice room, very helpful floor. Games were tighter and more solid than rest of my trip, tho could've been due to daytime shift. David Chan was there, as well as one other known pro (don't recall name). Play-wise, I played 3 very large pots (min 1K) with combo draws and bricked all 3. Rest was relatively uneventful / standard.Hollywood Park
Dec 31 2:45 AM to 10:00 AM in for $600; cash $2,610
Secluded room, really liked the $10 valet to have car right out front, game was excellent. Two pros kept playing $5/10 heads up rather than coming to $5/5 which was eye-opening and probably good for my winrate at 5/5. Speaking of which, the $5/5 was awesome - very recreational. Apparently I missed @Bart
by one day as he played there on the 30th. Play was almost as bad as the bike overall. eg Had QJ off cold 4-bet jam from SB vs my utg open and omc 3-bet. Commerce
Jan 1 2:15 AM to 10:00 AM in for $1600; cash $764
Yikes. I had to try it, and I guess I'm happy I did but what an unpleasant place to play. The chairs! I think they are the same chairs the poor church down the street here in Ontario uses to host community forum meetings. It's loud, gross, unnecessarily cramped...poor table layout. Overall, I understand why people play here. play was atrocious. played two large pots where I was 2 outed after money went in vs whales, but no complaints - I think the avg relatively solid player could print money here.Overall Takeaways
-Play seems way softer than Vegas, DC, and certainly Montreal. I'm down about $12K at Playground (PG) this past year and a half for reference
-The only English at the table rule is completely flaunted, not that I care or would ever speak up
-Players bet then agree to check down, which is weird, as it's strictly prohibited here
-The 2 room thing (one smaller, better room for the higher stakes players) is a nice feature as the threshold is so much lower to get into the nice room than it is in some other places
-at all 4 casinos, the chips are really nice.
-Food was cheap and quick at all 4 casinos. Small sample size, but for the price, food seemed decent
-Drop / Rake considerations - at PG, food is free but rake is capped at $15 +2, so you give up $17 every time you drag in a big pot. So LA drop is nothing compared to that. Rake is obv cheaper in Vegas, but games seem sufficiently softer in LA to overcome this difference.
TLDR - can't imagine how playing in LA isn't the best. The volume of players and overall softness / rec feel to the games can't be matched. But driving around LA certainly sucks. Overall a great place to go play poker for a week or so.