|Hours||9:30am - 3:30 am, 7 days a week|
|Address||49 W Galena Blvd, Aurora IL|
|Region||Chicago, Midwestern USA|
Despite its street address, the Hollywood Casino is actually a block north of Galena Blvd, on New York Street, in downtown Aurora. The entrance to the self parking garage is off Galena, however (Valet parking entrance is off New York).
Relatively easy to reach off the I-88 toll road, west of Chicago.
- $10/$20 ($5/$10 blinds)
- $20/$40 ($10/$20 blinds) - Spread only on Tuesday and Thursday
- $1/$2 blinds, $50-$200 buy-in
Omaha Hi only:
- $10/$20 ($5/$10 blinds) - Spread on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
- $10/$20 ($5/$10 blinds) - Spread on Tuesday and Wednesday
Rake: Rake is quite high: 10% to a max of $6 for 7-10 players, with a $1 bad beat jackpot drop taken on the deal. The $6 rake is actually $5+$1, as the sixth dollar (at $60 in the pot) is used for funding promotions. For 6 or 5 players, max rake is $4. For 4 players, max rake is $2. Due to IGB rules, games can't be run 3 handed or heads-up. No flop, no drop.
Posting: New players need not post.
Shuffling: Standard Shufflemaster shuffling machines on all cash game tables, and on none of the tournament tables.
Wait Time: Wait times vary greatly. On a recent Saturday night around 10pm, there were open seats at 5/10 and a wait list of 5 people for 10/20. At other times, reportedly, the wait can be 2-3 hours. Try calling ahead for more info.
Jackpots and Promotions Edit
Bad beat jackpot, currently (April 2016) just over $120,000. Minimum qualfying hand is Quad Fives beaten.
Occasional large promotional tournaments (e.g. the "Hollywood $100,000 Poker Challenge").
Hollywood Casino in Aurora has a large (for Illinois) poker room directly across from the main casino entrance, separated from the main casino floor by 3/4 walls. The entire casino is non-smoking though the walls don't do much to keep the general din of the slot machines out. The dealers are generally competent and the floor staff are genial, though sometimes ill-informed - a question about their newly instituted Wednesday tournaments went unanswered by the floorman.
There are 7 cash game tables in this spacious and very nicely-appointed room, and about a dozen or so tournament tables. There is an unfortunate regulation in Illinois that limits casinos to a set number of "gaming positions". One gaming position is one seat, so each poker table takes up 10 positions - the same as 10 slot machines. This means that on a busy weekend evening, the casino limits the number of poker tables in action so that they can accommodate more slot seats. One very busy Friday night in 2006 found only four of the room's tables in action, leading to 3+ hour waiting lists for the games. Why anyone would wait that long is impossible to say when they could be in Indiana in under an hour.
There used to be a $5 admission charge to enter the casino, but that is no longer true. The fact that the entire casino is now non-smoking is interesting and provides a slightly surreal experience as you walk by banks of slot machines with no billows of smoke issuing forth. It does mean that this is most smoke-free poker experience you can have outside of California; you don't even have to walk through smoky rooms to get to the poker tables.
Overall, I'm not sure why anyone would play at this poker room over the long run. The only reason to play in the room is it is the only casino in the area that regularly runs any non NLHE at reasonably high stakes. The games are just as good in Indiana, the rake is lower, the selection is better, and it's only about 45 minutes or so down the road. If you've never been to Hollywood, check it out, but despite its generally pleasant ambiance, it's unlikely to become the home poker room for any serious player.
Parking: Massive parking garage across the street. Valet parking available. Parking garage costs $4, and $10 on weekends (payable upon exit), though parking is free if you have a Player's Club Card (so get one; they're free).
Neighborhood: Smack in the middle of downtown Aurora, right on the shore of the rushing Fox River. There is a pedestrian bridge that connects the parking garage to the casino which runs right over the river, and provides a neat overhead view of this largish, powerful river as it runs over a waterfall beneath you. The fact that it is in the downtown of a city has its pluses and minuses overall: you get the sort of vaguely rundown feeling you can get in slightly-depressed urban areas, but it's relatively clean and is virtually deserted during non-business hours.
Tables and Chairs: Large 10-player tables. Recently refelted red felt with no commit line, and nicely-padded black vinyl armrests. Player chairs are decently comfy (and nicely padded) fixed leg chairs with no wheels.
House rules: A player can get up and go to lunch or dinner and their seat will be reserved at their table for no more than one hour. A special "1 hour dinner break" button is placed at their seat while it is being held.
Service and Comps Edit
Food and drinks are available via frequent waitress service. Sodas are free (if you can't wait for a waitress, there's a self-service soda fountain right outside the poker room; just get your own cup or refill). All players receive $0.50 an hour for playing (and no points).
Links and Notes Edit
- Nearest competitor is about 30 miles to the east: Harrah's Horseshoe Hammond.
- MarkT visited in Sept 2008.
- chgosoxfan visited in April 2016.
|Poker rooms of the Central United States|