|Address||5000 Willows Road, Alpine, CA|
|Region||San Diego, California, USA|
|Phone||800-847-6537 or 619-445-5400|
An Indian casino east of San Diego, in the mountain village of Alpine. The only attractions in Alpine are the Viejas casino and the adjacent Viejas Outlet Mall. Easy to get to, about 40 minutes east of downtown San Diego on I-8, take the Willows Road exit.
...and occasionally higher, on request.
Game Nature: At lower limits, it's quite loose-passive and friendly. At higher limits, skilled players try to "make moves", and solid play can yield profits (though there are decently-skilled tight-passive players who populate the higher games as well).
Rake: $2 + $1 jackpot, plus another $1 jackpot when the pot hits $20, and another $1 of rake when the pot hits $30. Large pots total $5 in rake and jackpot drops. No flop, no drop.
Posting: New players do not need to post to enter a game.
Shuffling: All tables have Shufflemaster machines installed except for the two tables that are outside the room proper (there are only 20 tables actually inside the poker room).
Kills: Killer acts last unless raised before.
House Rules: Cellphones are officially "banned from the room", though I notice many players still carry them and answer them. However, players are absolutely not dealt into a hand if they are on a cellphone - no exceptions. For NL cash games, each player is given a big orange all-in button which must be used to declare yourself all-in.
Tournaments at Viejas are typically small little loss-leader types to get people into the room in the mornings. They have daily 10am NLHE tournaments where the buying is 12 + 2 + extra, where you can pick an extra amount up to $7 (so max buyin is $21 for the tourney). The more extra you pay, the more chips you get in the tournament. There are no rebuys.
During tournament play, your (laminated) seating card is also used as your "declaring all-in card". Levels are typically fairly short at these morning tournaments (10-15 minutes each), marked by a recording playing throughout the room of a pleasant voice saying "Attention tournament dealers and players: the levels have changed. Please refer to the nearest monitor for details."
The daily tournaments used to be very big, and regularly attract over 100 players every day. It's been shrinking recently, but still gets 70-80 players every morning.
They do have big tournaments a few times a year, based around "special events" like the Superbowl. These larger tournaments typically have buyins from $100-500.
Jackpots and PromotionsEdit
They do have plenty of jackpots, but I don't know the details.
An exceedingly nice, upscale atmosphere but low-rent blinds and limits. This room is great for the low-limit poker player who still wants to play in a very nice room. There are nice flat screen TVs on all the walls of the room.
The interior of the casino is quite labyrinthine; it can be tricky to find the poker room, as you have to find the one escalator that leads to the "non-smoking second floor" upon which the poker room is located (hint: head for the southern section of the casino). The room being on the second floor does mean you are somewhat removed from the noise and bustle of the main casino floor, though there are some video poker and slot machines right outside the poker room door, and their noise can be heard from inside. It's not too bad, though.
A lot of Spanish is spoken in the room, and there seems to be no rule against it. You don't have to know Spanish to play here, since the games are conducted in English, but if you are uncomfortable when people speak Spanish around you, you probably would not enjoy your time at the low limit tables at Viejas.
Tables and Chairs: Nice wheeled-leg chairs with nice padding; the legs and back of the chairs are not adjustable, but they're still nice. Largish nine-seater tables with solid black vinyl armrests, green felt, and a clean commit line. They fit ten people at the tables for tournament play, and it doesn't feel cramped.
Parking: Lots and lots of parking, in open-air parking lots. Valet parking available. Regular shuttle buses to San Diego and and elsewhere.
Smoking: Smoking is allowed in the casino, though it's not nearly as smoky as most typical Indian casinos I've visited; they must have good air circulation. The poker room itself is completely non-smoking, and is upstairs and fairly isolated. Some smoke drift might occur, but it's not noticeable within the poker room itself.
Service and Comps Edit
Standard casino cocktail service, except sodas are free and other drinks you have to pay for.
They also have meal service at the table for poker players. They have specials for poker players, too, but the special price isn't all that great (for example, a $5.99 breakfast special for seated players). And the non-special pricing which applies to everything else on the menu is fairly high, as casino food goes: the garlic shrimp entree is $14. The quality of the food is quite high, but you definitely pay for it.
The casino does offer a good Vegas-style buffet restaurant, though. It's not cheap, but buffets in Vegas aren't cheap these days either.
Links and Notes Edit
- Visited by MarkT in July 2008.