Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review; Downstream Casino

Last Thursday about  2 PM Local time, I went to The Downstream Casino, near the border of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. It's West of Joplin Missouri a few miles.

I rode there from the Springfield Missouri Airport with my Ma, Lana Bartling. She lives North of Springfield, so she figured it would be easier to take me there directly from the airport.


Ma had seen ads for this resort on TV, so she was interested to see if it was as nice as it looked on TV. The last Indian Casino she had been to was in Flandrou South Dakota, which was some time ago, and that was a small and primitive operation compared to this more modern Downstream Casino.

It was easy to find right off the freeway,  and had a nice private drive p to the resort. They were setting up fr an outdoor concert, and I didn't confirm this but someone told me it was Peter Frampton. If I had more time, I would have wanted to come back for that.The landscaping was nice, there was plenty of self parking. The buildings have a bit of a distinctive look to them. the architecture and materials have a retro look, like from the 50s or 60s maybe.


 Inside, I immediately liked the layout, it was simple, and basically squaare, lacking the intricate mazes of many casino floor layouts. It was the standard dark with lots of isolated lights. It was easy to locate the poker room, the restaourants, etc. We took the time to get a ploayers card, and we got a free buffet and five dollars of free play on the slots. I gave my card with the five dollar slot credit to Ma.

We hit the lunch buffet at the Spring River Buffet, and we enjoyed it. The desserts were the highlight--good cheesecake, pie, and other treats. The salad bar wasn't huge, but the fruit was good and fresh. I liked the chicken fried steak, it was very good, much better than what you would get at a basic chain diner. It was lot's of comfort food, and the staff was friendly and helpful.

In line for the buffet, spoke with a guy who drives 3 1/2 hours to get there, three times a week. He and his wife have a regular schedule. They stay overnight and have their room comped. So they are basically always either coming or going to the casino, it's practically their second home, since they stay there three nights a week. Ma wanted to know what you have to do to get free rooms three nights a week "Loose a lot of money" was the predictable reply. They play slots, blackjack, and some of the crazy "board games" like three card poker or whatever.

After lunch, I got Ma settled into a nice nickel video poker machine. Deuces wild. Then I went to the poker room.


There were two tables going, both 1-2 no limit games with a maximum buy in of $200. That's their basic game there. They also get a 2-3 going and from what I understand weekend PLO games. They also offer daily tournament. I locked up a seat, checked in with Ma, (she was hitting four and five of a kind on her deuces wild machine,e was up fifty cents).

Then I got my chips and sat down to play. There was a red flag right off the bat; about the third hand, I was in the big blind. I tossed in a red 5$ chip. The dealer, an older lady. didn't give me any change, three white chips. I was in the number one seat. I looked at her and asked her "don't I get some change." and she just seemed like she didn't' hear me. So they play the turn and then on the river, I said again "I should get some change", still no reaction. This guy wins with a pair of queens, and it looks like the dealer is about to push the pot to this guy and I say "Time!" and they are all startled, and this guy goes "It was a pair of queens". And I'm like, "yeah, I know, I want my three dollars change, that's why I called time." And the dealler is all confused doesn't seem to understand untill one of the players explained that I must have put our a red chip for the big blind. Later, some players were comenting that she had been struggling with dealing at the other table also.

The other red flag right away was some casual talk about the fact that green and black chips were not allowed in play because they had been "disappearing from the table". I'm always prety observant and carefull at the poker table, but I was thinking to myself "holy shit! First they try to scoop my threedollars change from the big blind, now talk about chips disapeering from the table, what the hell did I get myself into here?"

After a few hours, it all seemed fairly harmless. This game is mostly locals and regulars. Way more action probably on weekends, and at night.

The session I played, there was quite a bit of changing of players, and the game never settled down to a steady lineup.. A couple guys left shortly after I came in, taking about $500 each off the table. They game was pretty loose and aggressive. I'd come in first with a raise to $7, and get two or three callers behind me, plus at least one of the blinds, and I'd see flof with a rasied pot five way! And those guys would just fire away if they caught even a small piece of the flop, any pair for sure, under-pairs they pushed hard, etc. The kind of game I really love, and I could play that game every night and do pretty good.

I was down a little, after several busted draws on those five way hands. A guy with a short stack went all in ahead of me, about $40 is what he had. I looked at an Ace/Queen off suit. I put him on a weak hand to go all in with, a pair of sixes maybe, or even Ace/Jack or worse. So I go all in with about $120 to isolate him, and I'll be damned if this kid doesn't call me behind. The kid I was a little worried about him calling too, maybe he's got ace/king or something. The board comes a mess of small cards, like a 2, 4. 6, 7. 9 rainbow. I flipped over my Ace queen thinking I got whacked with a paiir of fives or threes or somehitng. But they both grimaced and mucked their hands. I was quite happy to more than double up with Ace/Queen after air-balling the board!

Ma wanted to go, so we did. I world have stayed al night, and expected to win at least a couple hundred dollars. They have a nice little card room at the Downstream Casino. It's clean, the rake was $4 I believe, a huge discount to what I pay in Arizona. They have the little no limit game that's just fine for beginners or experienced players alike. They play PLO. If I had more time to spend there, I might end up giving them a higher rating.


For now. I rate The Downstream Casino as "BET", the second highest rating out of four. 

"CHECK RAISE" being the highest (Most recommended), followed by "BET", (definitely worth a look) then "CHECK", (limited appeal) which is third out of four, and finally "FOLD" (least recommended--avoid)

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