Saturday, January 26, 2008

Garden City vs Bay 101

From my visit to Bay 101 today, let me present you with a quick review/comparison of Garden City and Bay 101...

Reasons why Bay 101 is better:

  • Brighter and more saturated. Seriously! The chips are brighter colors, the outside is very new, and even the sign outside is more colorful!
  • Cleaner. Not that hard, I know. There was even someone washing the wall behind me while I was sitting in 6/12. Right behind me, bumping my chair... But at least it is cleaner!
  • The dealers are better. They seemed very efficient and on the ball. In fact, the whole staff seemed more with it, more energetic, and younger. Garden City has some fossils around (nice fossils though).
  • More 6/12 games. When I signed up, there were 5 6/12 games and 3 3/6 games running. When I got a table, I expect there were at least 6 or 7 6/12 games running (compared to GC's usual 3 or 4).
  • The Omaha (LO8) seems to be an easier game. I didn't play long, but there was a ton of turn over and no real list even though every other list was packed. The 4/8 with a half kill (the kill going on anytime someone scoops a pot over $40) it is slightly smaller than 6/12, but the decreased rake ($5) makes up for that. If I was interested in only Omaha, I'd go straight to Bay 101.

Reasons why Garden City is better:

  • Atmosphere. Garden City is much more welcoming, at least from my point of view.
  • Chips. I hate Bay 101's chips. They are a plasticy ceramic, which makes them both slippery (when in stacks) and sticky (when counting them into the pot) at the same time. I love the colors though.
  • The Board. Bay 101 still uses a big white board for the brush to track players. GC has an electronic board with card sign-in (quite handy) and plasmas around the room.
  • Temperature. I was actually cold at a few moments. I think they have the heat turned down a few degrees lower.
  • Wait time. On a Saturday at 2 pm, there shouldn't be a 90 minute wait for 6/12.
  • Proximity. Ok, this is just for me -- Garden City is on my way home from almost everything. Bay 101 is on my way home from nothing (when do I ever go to the East Bay or North San Jose?).

Things that are about the same:

  • 6/12 game quality. My 6/12 table was pretty much the same as an average table at GC (approx 5 to each flop, chopping blinds every once in a while, and a mix of good players and some bad players).
  • Access. Both are similar distances from a main freeway, and if you know where you are going, easy to get to.
  • The clientel, while maybe slightly more Asian, seem to be similar as far as income goes.

Personally, I'll probably usually be hitting GC more just because it is on my way home (relatively). On the days I only go to the casino, I may hit Bay 101 instead because it is slightly closer and it is fun to mix things up once in a while.

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