Lone Star Card House Poker Room Review

It has been a while since I played Poker outside of a few home games. I was driving home from work a few weeks ago and heard an interview on the Radio with a local poker club that was about to open in Clear Lake. I looked into it a little but had not made up my mind if I wanted to drive that far to check it out. I was talking about it at a home game and one of the players said there was one opening in Conroe. He gave me the website and FB page and I started looking into that one. I mentioned it to a few of my friends and 2 of them went with me to check it out last weekend. The website says they Charge a Membership fee ($10 per day) and an hourly seat rental charge ($9 an Hour) but since they just opened they are doing a $25 daily membership fee and no seat rental fee. I also got a free day for bringing 2 new players. I ended up playing the $100 tourney (10 Players) and some $1/2 NL cash game (7 Players). I also played last night the Tourney drew 20 players. Based on my 2 sessions below is my review and ratings on the room thus far….

Rating scale green_lrg-10white_lrg-07white_lrg-07white_lrg-07white_lrg-07 to green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10

Number Of Tables and amenities: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07
There are 5 tables and room to expand to 10 from the looks of the space. Chairs are comfy and chips and tables are nice, clean and new (as to be expected from a new room) Tournament chips are very nice clay chips. Only has 1 unisex bathroom that may be an issue when they get bigger. They do serve free chips, soft drinks coffee and water but no food or alcohol.

Game Spreads And Limits: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07
They have no-limit holdem at $1-$2 Buy ins $50 – $300. You can straddle under the gun for $4 and double and triple straddle. Games currently run Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Tournaments: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07white_lrg-07
I think the buy in amounts are good for the area and the start times are good as well. The payout is top heavy and with no rake the pot is very large.LSCH Blinds

Thursday 8pm $50

Saturday 4pm $50

Saturday 7pm $100


I am kind of a tournament structure nit (not as much as Chainsaw) but I do think structure is important. That being said this structure is terrible. You start with 15k in chips if you get the 5k bonus chip. But the blinds start at 100/200 and the 1st level is 20 minutes . This is where it gets strange (see chart above) the next level is 200/400 and 19 minutes then 400/800 and 18 minutes. They then color up the 100’s. Then they go to 500/1000 and 17min then do another color up of the 500’s. Then the next level is 1k/2k 16 min, ect. I prefer a consistent 20 or 15 minute levels and smaller jumps. I would suggest adding at least a 300/600 level.


How Good Are The Players: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07
Players seemed to range from beginner to average. Sure, there are some good players, but for the most part, this is a very weak room with a lot of callers to see the flop and some who will hang on with Ace high.

Dealers: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07white_lrg-07
Out of my 2 visits I had 3 different dealers and I rated them as a whole. Some issues I had can be fixed with training but there were many basic errors. This is a problem I see with a non tipping set up, there is no motivation to deal a lot of hands and get better to increase tips.

Management: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07white_lrg-07
The game runners and management seemed nice and would listen to player recommendations. They also seemed like they were trustworthy and were trying to follow all the rules as grey as they may be but that is a discussion for another time.

Overall Rating: green_lrg-10green_lrg-10green_lrg-10white_lrg-07white_lrg-07
Overall this is a new room and it will take some time to build a player base. I think they have the foundation they just need to work on a few items and this could be the best room in Houston. I hope so as they are 30 minutes from me and I hope this Poker Club model takes off in Texas.





Pre game poker…

We had 14 players for the Super Bowl eve poker tournament. Chavo went all out clearing out his garage and turning it into a poker room. He also rented a margarita machine and players chipped in for the food and drinks. The action started out fast as we had a rebuy at table one on the first hand! It settled down a bit but when we got to the break, we had 15 rebuys and 13 add-ons making the prize pool $840. After the break we quickly got down to 12 but were stuck at 2 tables for a while until 2 players went out on the same hand.

At the final table, we were all pretty even until boss went on a run and moved all in 3 hands in a row. the next hand with blinds 500/1000 Chavo raised to 3k boss went all in for 20k on the button Chavo called for less with KQ ,thinking Boss was full of it, but he had a real hand AK and Chavo was out. A few hands later on a board of 345 Ortego bet out flounder re-raised Ortego re-raised flounder went all in and Ortego snap called. Flounder showed A2 for the flopped wheel but Ortego had 67 for the flopped nut straight and flounder was crippled. A few hands later flounder was out and then we were down to 4 and at the money bubble. Morgan was the short stack but he would not go away at one point he was down to 2500 with blinds of 1000/2000 and he tripled up. Four handed lasted a few levels until Vinnie moved in on the button with 99 and was called by Ortegos 55 the 9s held up and Ortego was out on the bubble.

Three handed went a little faster as Morgan was still short and made a min raise all in from the sb with 33 and Vinnie called from the bb with 6h9h. The flop was Ks3cTh for a flopped set but Vinnie said all I need is runner runner hearts. The dealer (Britney) obliged by turning Qh Jh for the rivered flush and we were down to heads up. With almost even stacks and players ready to play cash Boss and Vinnie chopped the money.

We started a full cash game of $1/$1 no limit. Chavo started off winning every other hand and was up from $25 to $125 in a flash. But like Farve he could not finish as he ran into flounder who beat him in 2 huge pots. The 1st was a board of QQ3 Chavo had Q6 and flounder out kicked him with Q9 and a few hands later Chavo and flounder got into a pre flop raising war and firing back and forth and when the dust cleared they were both all in and Chavo’s QQ was dominated by Flounder’s KK. Chavo was busto and contemplated retirement from poker while crying in the Viking room.

Chavos Tourney Recap 9/12/09

Chavo ran another tournament on Saturday night. There was a scheduling issue and Chavo had to move his game up and give everyone short notice. Because of the short notice, there was a big group of players that had already planned another tournament and could not come. Even with that, we had 16 players to start the tourney and almost got up to 17. One of the players girlfriends said she was going to play but thought there would be more women. Not sure if she realized it but out of the 16 players and 4 were women. We set records last month with 17 players and a prize pool over $1,000 but with the short notice this time, we lacked the wild rebuy period. We still managed 13 rebuys (3 from Chavo) and 14 add-ons for a prize pool of $860.

After the break, three of the four ladies at my table decided to play a huge pot. Tiffany raised Britney and another lady in the SB called. The flop was AA7 and Tiffany bet again Britney called and so did the other lady. The turn was a 4 and Tiffany bet Britney went all in and the older lady called as well as Tiffany. The river was 4 making the board read AA744 and the lady in the SB went all in, was called and showed AQ for a full house. Britney showed pocket 7s for a flopped full house and Tiffany flipped over pocket 4s for quads to win the pot. Tiffany scooped a huge pot eliminated 2 players and began to jump up and down in celebration. After that pot Tiffany was the chip leader and used it effectively to eliminate a few players and coast into the final table.

wsop chips

At the final table, most of us were short stacks due to Tiffany having all the chips, we had a lot of all ins and calls. And we were quickly down to 5 players with Nick and Tiffany holding 80% of the chips. With blinds at 1000/2000 Nick had made it 4000 and Tiffany reraised to 9000 I had exactly 9000 and I was in the BB with AK I thought for a long time hoping they both had a pair I called and nick called. Nick had 99 and Tiffany had 88, the board ran out all low cards and a K and I won a big pot to stay alive. A few hands later, on the bubble, the big stacks collided and nick was all in with 99 vs Tiffany’s A7. The board ran out Q2JJQ to counterfeit Nick’s pair and give Tiffany a commanding chip lead.

Tiffany had about 100,000 and Phillip, Tammy, Padilla and I had about 20,000 each. I picked up a pair of 6s in the BB vs Tiffany’s J9 and won the race to double up. A few hands later, the blinds got very high and Padilla was forced all in and was out in 4th place. We were down to 3 the two ladies and my self. A two-on-one, A manage trios of pain…you usually have to pay double for that Cotton.

Three handed I was the chip leader and I picked up AA on the button and raised Tammy pushed all in from the SB with JJ and I called and Tammy was out in 3rd. Heads up lasted a a few hands but it all came to an end when Tiffany pushed with K9 and I called with AJ. She hit her K on the flop but I caught up with an Ace on the Turn the river was a blank and I won the tournament.

Chavos Tourney Recap

Primo came in from SA and he played while I worked Friday night. He ended upo coming in 4th and winning a little money. We left Houston at around 1am and headed towards Beaumont with some money in our pockets…

The tournament was set up and ready to go at 5pm and we actually got started at around 5:45pm. We had 12 players (2 tables of 6) and we decided to have a set dealer but have the big blind shuffle a 2nd deck to keep the game moving. We also implemented a new rebuy rule where you could rebuy as soon as long as you were below the starting stack. (used to be you had to be broke)

The action was fast from the get go at my table and we had  2 rebuys in the 1st 5 minutes. it setled down for a while then we had a hand where 3 players were all in andthe hands were AA 78 and AJ on a A3868 board and we had 2 more rebuys. after that we got within 2 minutes of the break and 1 player decided to move in blind till the break. he was called by Boss with a short stack and boss doubled up. At the break everyone added on and the all together we had 8 rebuys and 12 add ons.

after the break we quickly lost 2 at the 2nd table and were down to the final table. At the final table the short stacks started to move Jason moved in a few times and had no callers and was slowly staying alive. Boss was the 1st casualty when he made a move with a flush draw and ran into Tammys middle pair. 2 short stacks were eliminated in race situations and then Primo Doubled up another short stack when he lost a race on the river.


Primo and Charles saw a flop and on a board of Ts2d6dAd charles moved all in with a set of dueces and Primo called with the 2nd nut flush…But the board paired on the river and Primo was out in 7th and Charles was a monster chip leader…IMG00181

Boss and Primo got the side game going as the rest of us played on. Chavo strated to push as he got short but didn’t get any action until his  TT ran into Morgans QQ.  Jason tried to make a move with T8 but ran into a hand was out and we were down to 4 .

Charles had about 60K and Morgan, Tammy and I had 20K.  i started to pick up some hands and I doubled up with my AK vs Charles QT when the flop came down Q66 i thought I was done but the turn gave me the A and the pot.

Charles and Tammy got into a huge hand and Charles was crippled to less then a BB and was eliminated the next hand. down to 3 Moorgan pushed all in from the SB with AJ and I called in the BB with AK and Morgan was out in 3rd.

Tammy and I played heads up for about 30 minutes moving chips back and forth. I had a chip lead and she pushed for 3BB with 55 and I called with K7 and it was a race. I hit my 7 on the flop to win the hand and the tournament.

This was the 1st  time I had won this tournament (chopped 1st once and I have a 3rd)

I then headed over to the $1/$1 cash game where I watched Primo give money to Chavo and Boss. Jason won a bit earlier but he was cashing out when I sat down. we played cash till about 4am and I ended up 1 little but Chavo and Boss were big winners up $100+ each.

TKE House Fundraiser 3

I visited my Alma mater Sam Houston State last weekend for my fraternity annual Big Bamboo Bash Party. The party was on Friday night and had planned a poker tournament fundraiser for Saturday. The best time would be in the late afternoon but we had to reschedule around the NFL Draft that was going to start at 3pm and run all day. We decided to start at 12:30pm and make it a turbo that would end around 3pm.


Well the party was fun and of course with late night drinking comes hangovers. We also had a 10am meeting saturday morning that ran late so with the combination of that, an early start and the draft the tournament was cut from 2 tables to 5 players.

The Players were J.D. , Chavo, Padilla, Flounder and myself. We started with 2500 in chips with 15min blinds of 25/50 and rebuys for the 1st 3 levels. We also decided to play winner takes all. Padilla was getting lunch so he was being blinded out but that didn’t stop the rest of us from getting in some big hands. Chavo and flounder were involved in a big hand with a board of 73Q Flounder shows KQ and Chavo shows a set of 7s that hold up for the win and Flounder has to rebuy.  A few hands later JD limps in from UTG and it is folded to me in the BB and I look at AA and raise JD min raises me and then i make a 3rd raise and JD calls. the flop is all low cards and I shove and JD calls for less and shows KK. I win and JD is forced to rebuy. We get to the break and everyone adds on for 4ooo in chips.

Now the blinds are at 200/400 and the chip average is 7500. with the blinds being high people started to get involved in big pots right away. Padilla made a move from the SB with Q9 when the flop came all low cards but Flounder called with AK high and eliminated Padilla. a few hands later Chavo raised with a weak Ace Preflop and was called by JD. Chavo pushed when an Ace hit the board but JD called with a better kicker and Chavo was out next. Chavo blames his performance on the draft starting at 3pm even though he went out around 2pm.


Now 3 handed i had about 15-20% of the chips in play so I pushed whenever i picked up an A or saw a flop and hit or had a draw. I ended up building up to about 12000 after a few all ins vs JD.  JD hit Flounder for a big pot when his AK beat Flounders QQ and a few hands later  Flounder was gone.

Heads up I was down 4-1 in chips i got it to about even when the blinds were at 1500/3000. JD raised from the BB to 6k I reraised all in from the BB for 9k more.  I showed AK and JD had QT, whoever won this hand was going to win the tourney and I was a 3/2 favorite but when the flop came down J98 i was pretty much drawing dead. JD took the pot and won the tourney.

With the blind structure and payout I had to play the way I did and being hungover and tired I think i played well.

Shuffle Up and Steal

Inside accounts of a recent poker room robbery in San Antonio from a friend of mine….


Alright, so last night after a business meeting, a friend and I decided to play poker. We called a guy we know who usually runs his own game. He told us he was playing but at a different location. We assumed it was his game at a new place so we didn’t think anything of it and showed up. We got there and realized that this wasn’t his game. It was a 1/3 NL hold ‘em game with about 3-4K on the table. Was a friendly game and didn’t seem like a shady or unsafe place so we stayed…..yeah, stupid move.

We sit down with $100 in chips and commence play. The poker table is where a dining area would normally be, separated from the living area. I was sitting in seat 2 and I had direct view of the front door. Within 15 minutes of play, I see 3 guys walk in through the front door. They are all wearing dark clothes and two had their faces covered. At first I thought it must have been some kind of practical joke or something because they walked in normally without much fanfare. As they walk toward the table, I look to the game runner who was sitting across from me in seat 5 and I see him reach into his pocket, pull something out (I assumed it was his wallet), and put it into his sock. I knew, right then, that this was no joke. The two guys that approached each had a handgun; a .357 mag and a 9 mm. The 3rd guy stationed himself at the front door; he had a shotgun and no mask.

The two guys approach the table and start yelling for us to get up and face the wall. They ask where are phones and car keys were and said that if we had anything in our pockets we better take it out and put it on the table; they told us that if we didn’t and they found something on us when they did a strip search that they were going to kill us. My phone was already on the table but my car keys were still in my pocket. As I reached into my front pocket with my left hand to get the keys, I slipped my right hand into my back pocket, pulled out my wallet and stuffed it down the back of my pants. It then slipped all the way down my leg and fell on the floor. I kicked it under an end table in the corner of the room.


The guys then ask who the homeowner was and when they found him they pulled him into the living room. They then move us one by one into the living room and make us lie face-down on the floor with our hands up. The two guys then take the homeowner upstairs while the guy with the shotgun stayed downstairs with us. He kept repeating, “Don’t move; I’ll kill you, I don’t know you”. Maybe it’s just human nature, or maybe I watch too many movies but I couldn’t help but play over and over in my head the different things that could be done to overtake the guy with shotgun. Of course, I knew that this wasn’t smart because these guys were only there for the money and, besides, there were kinds in the room. If someone tried to do something and it went wrong, one of the kids could have been hurt. Anyway, by this point he had put all of our keys and phones into a pillow case. Apparently, the two guys upstairs were looking for the homeowner’s safe. So at this point there are about 13-15 of us in the living room. About 8-10 of us on the floor and the rest on the couch. This included all the players and the homeowner’s wife, two young girls and one baby.

The 2 guys come back downstairs with the homeowner and some bed sheets. The guy who had the .357 gave it to the one with the shotgun to hold and he proceeded to cover those of us who were laying on the floor with the sheet. As soon as he put it over us though one of the guys told him to remove it. Not that I’ve been the victim of many robberies, but these guys didn’t seem to know what they were doing. They seemed unorganized and were acting as if they had learned from movies or something. Anyhow, after deciding not to cover us with bed sheet, they opened the door to make their way out. No sooner than they opened the door did they close it right back. Apparently, someone in the house was smart enough to dial 911 when the guys walked in and left the line open. The dispatcher could hear everything that was going on. So, because the guys took so long trying to find a safe in the house, the cops were already waiting for them outside. The house was surrounded and there was even a chopper in the air. The guys panicked and tried leaving through the back door. Too bad for them, the cops were out back as well. When we knew the guys were leaving out the back door and that the cops were there, we made our way out the back door. I was the first one out the door and was greeted with 3 cops, guns drawn aimed right at me with one yelling, “Get on the floor and don’t move, I’ll blow your f****** head off!” I complied gladly.


The police then proceeded to get all of us out of the house and lie face down on the ground in the backyard. After finding out who the robbers were, they let us up and processed the house as a crime scene. 2 hrs later, we were all taken downtown in a “paddy wagon” and had to give statements which lasted about another 2 hrs. Gladly, nobody was hurt and the idiots were caught. Unfortunately, the police kept the money that was in the pool! Overall, those fifteen minutes of play cost me a lot of frustration and lost time. What’s this going to do to the hourly rate in my poker log?



TKE House Fundraiser

I put together a small tourney for my fraternity to help raise money for the new house. The best time to do it was the day of the fraternity’s Bid Day Party (last Sat) at around 3pm. I figured everyone would be drinking but I put the tables off to the side and tried to get people to confirm in advance.

Of course come the day of the tourney 4-5 people bailed but we got 3-4 new players sign up on the spot. We ended up with 14 players and 2 tables. The structure was $30 buy in for 3k unlimited $20 rebuys for 3k and a $20 add on at the break for 5k.

I got off to a great start as I was still counting money and setting up stuff I was dealt 7s8s in the SB. I call and so do 4 other players. I flop a flush draw check and so does everyone else. The turn is another spade and I bet out and get called by the BB. the river is a blank I value bet my flush only to get called by a bigger flush.  Thanks Rusty….

The next hand I flop a set and have to fold when the board contains four clubs by the river and the other player bets out. I push a few hands later with a weak Ace and have to rebuy. A few hands later I get low again and on a flop of AJ7 I push with my A5 vs a weak player. He calls with J5 and the river brings one of his 2 outs ….J! Thanks again rusty. Rebuy #2….

I get another rebuy but by now the blinds are at 150-300 and I have 10BB. I get 10s9s in the BB 5 peole to the flop of QJ3 there is action ahead of me and I decide to push with my draw. I hit the 8 on the turn and win my 1st pot of the night. I make it to the break and add on for another 5k. After the break I take out a player with JJ and then we soon get down to the final table of 8.

At the final table 2 players are really active and start taking players out. We quickly get down to 4 players. I pick up a few small pots here and there and have a medium stack. Henry and Pat get into a huge pot where pat moves all in on the river on a board with a possible flush. Henry makes the call with a straight and Pat shows a losing set.  Pat has about 3bb and I take him out on the Bubble a few hands later. Henry gets it all in vs Ocie with AT vs AK and is sent out in 3rd.

I play Ocie heads up with about a 60k to 40k lead over him and the blinds at 3000/6000.  Ocie raises on the Button to 16000 I push with 88 and he calls with Q5. Flop brings a Q and I am crippled.  I ge t an A7 the next hand and ship my last 20k he calls with AT and I am out in 2nd.

The Fundraiser made $250 for the House and I Donated my $60 profit to the House as well.