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Luckybuck interior

Interior of the expanded Lucky Buck card room, looking from the manager station out towards the exterior door

Hours 9am-2am daily, 24hrs Fri-Sat
# Tables 10
Address 1620 Railroad Ave, Livermore CA
Region Bay Area, California, USA
Phone 925-455-6144
Website theluckybuck.com

On Railroad Ave, about 6 blocks west of Livermore Ave. Located inside the Granada Bowl bowling alley.

Games Edit

Limit hold 'em: 3/6, 3/6 with a full kill, 4/8, 4/8 half kill, 6/12, 10/20. 6/12 half-kill definitely on Saturday nights (after 4pm), but becoming more common on other nights as well. Players must request for a higher limit. In general, only some of these games are going at any given time (e.g. 3/6, 3/6fk, and 4/8).

NLHE: Not allowed per city code.

Omaha/8: 3/6 or 4/8 or 4/8 half-kill, 6/12, 6/12 half-kill. Game will not be greater than 3/6 till after 4pm on most days and it is common to see a 4/8 half-kill by 6pm. Players must request for a higher limit. Generally only offered as part of a Dealers's Choice table.

This is a small social card club that caters to whoever is playing, and as such they offer "Dealer's Choice" at some tables. Signs on the wall state that the dealer's chocie must be one of: Limit Hold' Em, Limit Omaha Hi, and Limit Omaha Hi-Lo. Generally, in a game, this is determined by the holder of the dealer button, who can flip it to the side that says Hold 'Em if they want to play Hold 'Em, or Omaha if they want to play Omaha 8/b (or play hi only, be declaration). Lucky Buck keeps separate Jackpots for Omaha and Hold 'em.

Game Character: All games seemed somewhat loose, alternating between passive and aggressive. Omaha 8/b in particular was fairly loose, with only a few aggressive players.

Rake is $3+$1 jackpot for Omaha, $2+$1 for Hold 'Em. No flop no drop applies in this card room. Rake is taken directly out of the pot after the flop.

Posting: New players do not need to post, and can choose to wait until the button passes before entering the game.

Shuffling: Five tables with Shufflemaster machines, 5 hand shuffled.

Chip luckybuck

A dollar chip

Wait Time: Varies based on time of day and game population. They do have must move tables for the popular games (e.g. 3/6 Holdem) if they have more than one table of it, to ensure that at least one table is always full.

Tournaments Edit

Daily tournaments:

  • Monday-Sunday: 9:30am (signups start at 9am) NLHE, $20 buyin
  • Sunday: 4:00pm (signups start at 3pm) NLHE, $60 buyin/$20 rebuys (unlimited in first 2 rounds)/$20 Addon (one time)
  • Last Monday night of the month (except months with holiday on last Monday)

$110 Buy - In; No Rebuys - Tournaments vary from Partners/NL Hold'em/Omaha Hi/Lo; and Ladies Tournaments.

  • WSOP Qualifiers $220; Jan 14th, Feb 11th, March 17, ,April 21, May 12,

Call to see what featured tournament is being played each month.

Jackpots Edit

Multiple jackpots are available, though the Omaha and Hold'Em jackpots are kept separate.

  • Royal Flush bonus of $200 (must use both hold cards), payable to holder of Royal Flush. Applies to Omaha as well as Hold'Em.
  • High Hand jackpot of about $200 or so to the holder of the high hand in each 8-hour window (10am-6pm, 6pm-2am, 2am-10am). Must be shown to dealer (ie: flop a straight flush and everyone mucks. Table cards and that qualifies), at which point the dealer calls out "high hand!". Board can play. Separate high hands are kept for Omaha and Hold'Em.
  • Small bad beat jackpot: Aces Full Of Jacks or better, beaten (both hole cards in both beaten and beater hands must play). This jackpot is often maxed out at $9999 for Hold'Em, and seems to be hit around once a month.
  • Mega bad beat jackpot: Quad 8's or better, beaten (both hole cards in both beaten and beater hands must play). This jackpot is somewhere north of $35,000 and climbing for Hold'Em.
Luckybuck exterior

Exterior of the Lucky Buck card room

Atmosphere Edit

"Friendly, hometown atmosphere". Four doors lead directly to outside, to the bowling alley, and to the connected bar. Mostly filled with regulars who know each other. Great staff, and very friendly dealers! They enjoy their jobs, and are very professtional. It's surprising how efficiently they even keep such a confusing game as 4/8 Dealer's Choice moving, switching between games, dealing cards, splitting pots, etc.

The Lucky Buck is located inside the Granada Bowl bowling alley. It has a door to the outside (on the east side of the building), and the sign outside the door says "POKER ROOM" in big block letters. A small sign on the door itself has the name of the club on it.

The manager's desk doubles as the cashier cage. The chips are just kept in chip trays, stacked on the "bowling shoe racks" behind the manager counter. Incongruously nice Bud Jones chips (some of the nicest chips I've seen at any casino).

Neighborhood: a slightly "industrial" area, just a block or two off the main drag in Livermore. Across the street are two grocery stores, so it's kind of "shopping/business". Seems safe and family-friendly. Heck, it's in a bowling alley.

Parking: A quite cramped and serpentine parking lot; good luck finding your way around in it (lots of little one-way stretches, etc). Looks like it might hold about 60 cars, and it wasn't easy to find a space.

Tables and Chairs: Standard 9-player tables. Felt is that slick "astroturf" felt. Player chairs are nicely padded metal frame fixed-leg chairs with wheels on their feet to make it easy to roll them in and out.

Smoking: Not allowed inside due to California law. Smokers can step only a few feet to one of the external doors to grab a few puffs outside between hands, so it's not too onerous.

Service and Comps Edit

Every now and then, a waitress from the bar comes through and says "cocktails?", and you can order a cocktail that she'll come back and give to you. They're not complimentary. If you ask for a Diet Pepsi, like I did, she comes back with a cold unopened can and says "fifty cents please."

Every day at 6pm, someone from the snack bar inside the bowling alley cooks up a dinner which is provided free of charge to all players in the poker room. Some days, they bake up some pizzas with various toppings, some days it's spaghetti with green salad, etc; it's all free if you're playing and you can eat while you play: just get up, take a paper plate, grab some food, and sit back down and keep playing. If you aren't there at 6pm, or don't want what they're serving, you can order anything from the bowling alley snack bar at a discount if you are playing poker (usually about 15-20% off normal prices).

Links and Notes Edit

  • Nearest competitor is only 2 miles to the east: Livermore Saloon and Casino. Nearest larger room is probably the Oaks in Emeryville.
  • Visited by MarkT in Feb 2006, Feb 2007, and Dec 2007.

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