The following are my reviews of the best and worst in Laughlin poker rooms.
Okay, so this one is totally subjective, because others might have something on their necessity list which has to do with number of people actually IN the poker room.
The pluses are, the poker room manager, Dan, has the absolute correct strategy to run a successful poker room. He doesn't tolerate abuse, he doesn't tolerate drunks, he will not allow the IWTSTH rule bastardized, he is liberal about comps and getting rakes reduced for SH games, he is open to setting up private tournaments and lessons and he requires his dealers to be polite and well trained.
The minuses are, there are few players playing. For whatever reason, the Palms has some kind of curse on it, no one will go there. I've yet to hear a valid reason why, so it is a total mystery to me, but whatever.
Dan is also very open to new games and ideas. He is pretty easygoing and laid back, except when it comes to abuses in his room.
Laughlin has never been known for it's poker rooms, so I have to pretty much put them all in the worst category. Sad, but true.
I used to be a regular at the Colorado Belle. I thought it was a good room, at first, because the dealers weren't abused. They also ran frequent tournaments, with seated players getting priority seating.
Then I noticed that the floorman, Glen, was constantly taking red birds to give call in's priority seating (this not only breaks the rules of floormen accepting tips, but also call in's aren't allowed by the Belle). Then I noticed that Glen seemed to touch the women too often.
Next I noticed that the dealers were always griping about the customers, the players, and sometimes yelling at them, cheating them out of pots, out of money.
The worst was that James, the poker room manager, constantly allowed this type of behavior. He never enforced anything, and when employees of the Belle spoke of James, it was always with a smirk and laugh, "yeah, HE'S the poker room manager, hardy har!" James was a pushover, and pretty much allowed his employees to rule the poker room the way they saw fit.
This all came to a head in late March of 2004. A dealer and I saw Glen fondling a new, young dealer turned tournament director. The dealer told me it was my obligation to report sexual harrassment. I did, and found myself banned from the poker room the next day.
Since this incident, I have been "invited back" by several employees of this poker room. They have tried to push this incident under the rug or whatever. But do I really want to play in a room like the Colorado Belle? No way, ugh.
I only have one real problem with Harrah's; the rake is much higher than any other Laughlin room. Instead of $3+1 they are taking $4+2.
Harrah's has never liked poker rooms nor poker players, they usually go around closing any casino poker room that they purchase. With the poker boom, however, they are opening rooms, yet scalping the newbie player who has no idea he is being robbed. Harrah's Laughlin is no exception.
The Riverside has a very interesting background. I won't even go into it, but it is both sick and entertaining.
I still play there occasionally, mostly just for a laugh or two. The characters truly amaze me. Binion's has nothing on these dudes, organized crime goes much more unchecked in Laughlin than Vegas these days.
Ramada just kind of opened a table or two in the gaming pit. Can it really be called a poker room? Ditto with the Edgewater, but they keep opening and closing their "room" too often for me to even rate them.
Overall, games are very soft in Laughlin, with tons of senior citizens who are mostly loose and passive. Money can be made, comps are easy, food is cheap and decent, the people are much more pleasant than Vegas and the cost of living is next to nothing.
It's a fun place to play for a day or two, but I wouldn't want to be a grinder in Laughlin.