Reading Sporting Club, owned by Stanley Casinos, is found opposite the famous Reading Rock Festival site. It has recently gone through a major overhaul, including the card room.
Games and Info
The card room is open between 19:30 and 04:30 for both the nights tournament and cash games. The new card room boasts brand new tables and computerised tournament system. The tournament final table has a birds eye camera which is shown on the screens in the card room.
The usual game is £1/£2 NL Holdem. Charge is £3 an hour without a dealer, £4 an hour with a dealer. The game usually starts around midnight and runs until the card room shuts. I have only seen this game running at one table, but I'm sure if there was enough interest another table could be started and/or another format played. I have heard the game being pushed up to £5/£5.
Edit July '07. Sinse writing this review I have been to Reading Sporting Club and asked a floor manager if we can start up our own game. He was happy for us to do whatever we wanted, aslong as we paid £2 each an hour. We played 50p/50p NL Hold'em.
All tables are hand shuffled.
After the main game fills up waiting time can be hours depending on who drops out. I have never seen a second table running.
Reading Sporting Club has a nice selection of tournaments running throughout the week.
Monday - £20 NL Hold'em with Rebuys
Tuesday - No tournament
Wednesday - £20 NL Hold'em with Rebuys
Thursday - Beginners Nights, £10 NL Hold'em with Rebuys
Friday - £50 NL Hold'em Double Chance
First Sunday of each month - NL Hold'em £200 Freeze out.
Reading Sporting Club card room is tucked away to the left as your enter the main entrance, located next to the bar. It is not a separate room, but far enough away from the rest of the casino. This means that the card room is quite peaceful. There are usually two members of staff working ion duty, acting as tournament directors and dealers when it gets quieter. Tournament chips/rebuys are bought from them, however for the cash games chips are to be bought from a table game (e.g. roulette) and bought back to the card room.
There are many regulars who are mostly friendly to the new player. Player standard ranges from very good to very poor, with most tournament players having at least a basic knowledge (with the exception of Thursday night when some novices turn up). The cash game can be wild when pit game punters wonder over but beware, some very experienced sharks are lurking. There is the usual mix of personalities, some good some bad, but overall Reading Sporting Club is a very nice place to play poker.
Tables are brand new 8 man, slightly smaller than what some might be used to. They are nice and comfortable with good padding around the edges. Chairs are basic fixed leg, but decent enough.
Table service is good. Hot drinks and sandwiches are free and the service is very quick.
Review by Chris Edwards aka 1tripz1 www.1tripz1.com