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Thread: Pechanga Visit

  1. #1
    Hey guys,

    I was able to head to Pechanga Monday. I had visited the place just once previously, and that was a few years back, so I thought I'd report on a few things.

    First, for those who are going to visit Cherokee (NC), Pechanga is quite similar in design to what Cherokee looked like prior to the Cherokee expansion. Cherokee now has more casino floor space and better food options, in my opinion, than Pechanga.

    I was surprised by Pechanga's video poker inventory, as there was 9/6 Jacks or Better and 8/5 Bonus, plus deuces returning over 99%. I encountered the same "sticky buttons" I also found in Cherokee. Very weird -- the places are quite spiffy and sparkling with newer machines, but the buttons on many machines do not respond cleanly. A big "hmmmmmmmmm."

    The Pechanga poker room was impressive. Bigger than the poker room at Caesars in LV, I think. I was really surprised. Most days there are two low-cost tournaments, one at 10 AM, the other at 7 PM.

    The only place I ate was in the food court, so nothing really to report. The upcoming shows, Boz Skaggs, Moody Blues, and the like, are priced at least double what one would pay in LV, which suggests a high percentage of comped tickets

  2. #2
    Thanks for posting this. The Pechanga poker room is indeed much bigger than what Caesars had before Caesars downsized its poker room and you will find many low buy-in tournaments, well under $50. Their poker room also has bad beat jackpots and because they are rare hands like quads over quads the jackpot amounts often reach 6-figures.

    Pechanga also has several very nice restaurants and gets the best acts.

    It is in fact bigger than any casino in Vegas. Unfortunately it is not linked to any casino in Vegas and your play at Pechanga won't get you comps anywhere else.

    Regarding their video poker: yes, they have a full array of full pay games. But be careful. Outside of the high limit room, when you play $5 video poker, the pay tables are adjusted so that instead of getting paid $1250 on certain double-double games the pay is $1195 so there is no W2G and no need for a floor person. The tradeoff for no W2G is the lower pay, and for the casino they save on employee costs and time.

    I like Pechanga except its too big and too smokey. I think all of California goes there to smoke.

  3. #3
    Good point, Alan. Even though Pechanga has a "no smoking" area, the overall smoking in the casino is pretty rough. The person who went with me said the smoke was really bothering his eyes. I was unaware until afterwards -- next day I had the classic sore throat. I noticed that the good video poker machines in the smoking areas filled up first.

  4. #4
    I made a second trip to Pechanga last night. Again, I had an issue with a sore throat blowing up on me in the middle of the night after spending six or seven hours in the smokiness. Anyway, another question. The place is very nice physically, and the restaurants seem to be good looking in terms of design and physical plant. But I have yet to find a restaurant where I can say that I actually liked the food, and I am no connoisseur. Anyone else feel this way? I thought I had a pretty low bar for buffets and cafes, but maybe not.

    Also, although the video poker has good returns (some 16/10 NSUD for 50 cents), and the machines are sparkling clean, the buttons do not respond well compared to Las Vegas inventory. A lot of sticking and delays, and I am a slow player, so a fast player would have an issue. One machine was so bad (the NSUD), I had to use the touch screen. I just find it bizarre that these newer machines, kept clean as whistles, have gnarly button problems.
    Last edited by redietz; 06-09-2015 at 02:48 PM.

  5. #5
    I haven't been to Pechanga in so long that I don't remember the restaurants that well, but I had no complaints. I recall going to the steak house, a fish restaurant and their 24 hour restaurant which, if I remember correctly, had the best prime rib I ever had but at a "24 hour cafe price."

    Regarding the sticky buttons: it's not the cleanliness on the outside of the machine that counts. The outside can be clean but the button apparatus can be a disaster. Consider what happened to me at Rio about a year ago:

    I had a ticket for $500 of free play and I inserted it into a video poker machine. I press the deal button and it is stuck. I call an attendant who calls a technician who opens the machine to find that previously someone spilled a drink and all the buttons were stuck and needed to be replaced. The repair would take about an hour.

    Unfortunately for me I had a free play ticket in the machine and I had to wait until the fix was made since free play tickets could not be cashed out or refunded.

  6. #6
    At my local casinos (indiana and Illinois), the buttons never work. There doesn't seem to be any on-going maintenance and repair. And if you press the button on the machine to call an attendant, it takes at least 10 minutes for one to come. Then they have to call a technician which takes another 10 minutes, then you wait for the repair...,.........It seems casinos have really lost sight of the value of keeping the players playing. Everything is delayed now--it has to cost more than the additional help.

  7. #7
    I personally play most of my video poker at Pechanga casino. I picked up video poker a little over a year ago, due to lack of discipline in playing non-even money table games and slot machines.

    As of April 2015, a very significant change occurred here. Many of the machines were replaced with new machines. Good and bad came with the change.

    I took this from my own post at VideoPoker dot COM forums.

    Bonus Poker is 8/5
    Bonus Poker Deluxe is 8/6
    Deuces Wild Bonus Poker is 25-9-4-4-3-1-1
    Deuces Wild is Airport 25-15-9-4-4-3-2-1
    Double Bonus is 9/7
    Double Double Bonus is 9/6
    Jacks or Better is 9/6
    Triple Bonus Plus is 8/5
    Triple Double Bonus is 9/6 (this is actually much improved, before 8/5 TDB was the best and many people still played it!)

    There are 3 types that offer the denomination set

    #1: 5 cent / 10 cent / 25 cent / 1 dollar
    #2: 25 cent / 50 cent / 1 dollar / 2 dollar
    #3: 1 dollar / 2 dollar / 5 dollar
    The GOODS: In many (if not all) California casinos, you will not be able to find a quality video poker game (ones that return over 99%) for under $1 denomination. This change marks a breakthrough where players (who do not expect benefits) can enjoy playing quality video poker for even as low as nickels, dimes, and quarters. I think the good games at Pala (have not been there in a while) require a $1 denomination.

    The BAD: Tier point accumulation has went from $2 coin in a point to $5 coin in a point, compared to slots which is $1 coin in a point. It will take much much more play to get to the higher tiers GOLD/PLATINUM/RED especially now that they changed to the 6 month play period system. Will need to mix in slot play to get higher status than VP alone.

    There are no 16/10 NSUD for 50 cent denomination. The minimum is $1 at the high limit room.

    With regards to restaurants and food, Pechanga took people's negative feedback on the quality of food very very seriously. Rather than just offering bargains and free vouchers for players to quench their hunger and continue playing, they do realize people will pay more for quality food. They've hired credible chef personnel and raised their food prices. Some of the restaurants were renovated and currently one of them is under rennovation. The food court does not offer the best food and will remain as an option for those that want to fill their stomach. The buffet over the last 4 years went from below average to above average near Vegas quality (even though people say Pala is still better), many people will attest to that on yelp.

    As far as the smoke levels, I do agree with it. Though they've put in a fragrance, the smoke just makes the fragrance stronger so people do not smell the tar as much.
    Last edited by alpax; 06-22-2015 at 09:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Question: why are you concerned with points at Pechanga?

    What would you use points for?

  9. #9
    For the points, I've tried to maintain my GOLD tier status for the last 18 months (3 6 month periods). There are still some old bartop Jacks or Better games that credit $2 coin in per point which I have to play now. (50,000 points = $100,000 coin in for 6 month period). The cash back rate is very low.

    GOLD tier status members were entitled to an entry to exclusive monthly raffles (EasyPlay + high end electronics), improved free gifts that were worth about $50 that can be picked up on a Friday (most of their gift offers is during the middle of the week), and slightly bigger discounts (10% vs 5%) at their food places. I know it is things most other people do not value. I am also second guessing whether that would be worth excessive play.

    I would say there is a huge difference between GOLD and PLATINUM, where you can have higher priority in the lines and service, but even so I did not have the time/bankroll to meet the demands since it is set at 200,000 points.
    Last edited by alpax; 06-22-2015 at 11:55 AM.

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