London Part 2, Hitting the Felt and more! September 2019

After a day of sightseeing, I hit the felt in the evening. There are a couple casino’s in the famous Leicester square. One happens to be a Caesar’s property called Empire Casino. My higher tier status transferred so, I received a UK diamond card. The poker room was small but cozy, in a separate room from the rest of the casino.

My first session I played $1/1 (pounds). The max buy in was $150, which is what I bought in for. This may have been the easiest game I ever played in. Most players had less than $50 in front of them and would limp in most hands, then play any pair until the river. I did well in this game, unfortunately the $1/1 game didn’t run very often and I played $1/2 the rest of my sessions. The $1/2 game was tougher because players were allowed to buy in up to the largest stack, this causes the game to play higher. There were also better players in the $1/2 games.

They had some cool promotions at Empire. Their signature hand is 5/6 suited, so if a player wins a hand in a tournament or cash game with 5/6 suited, they play rake free (minus $1 promo drop) for the rest of their cash game session. I was able to win this pass several times during my week playing there. It was also their 20th year anniversary, so they had some promotions related to that. In one of them, they dealt a hand to each player at every table, the player with the winning hand of their table won a sweatshirt and a rake free pass. I won the hand at my table with the immortal J5 offsuit and thus won a sweatshirt and rake free pass.

Overall, I really enjoyed my sessions at Empire. The dealers and staff were professional and friendly. I also did well in the games, so that’s a nice bonus. The food and beverage service was unorganized, but for me though only a slight blemish. I also played their $50 tournament. The tournament had about 70 players, but I didn’t cash. AA cracked yada yada… However, I won a hand with 5/6 suited and received a rake free pass for the cash game.

One memorable hand from a cash game session was when the player first to act limped in for $2. I raised to $12 with A10 and got 2 callers including the limper. Flop came K 10 6. After it was checked to me, I continued for about $25. The original limper called and the turn was a 7. Player first to act checked, and I checked behind for pot control and with the intention of calling most rivers. River was an 8, making a possible straight with a 9 . My opponent was first to act and made a bet about the size of the pot ($75). I thought for a couple minutes, does he really somehow have an 9 in his hand? In the end, I went with my plan of calling most rivers and he showed QJ for a missed straight.

I stayed busy off the felt and Westminster Abby (included in the London Pass) was one of coolest churches i’ve been too. Not only is it a historic place of worship, but also a historic place of burial and ceremonies. Pictures weren’t allowed inside, but I snapped a few anyways. Shhh….

Around the corner from Westminster Abbey is The Jewel Tower. It’s also included in the London pass, so I popped in. It was very small with a few artifacts. Not much to see, but worth a quick browse.

Across from the Jewel Tower is the House of Parliament (Palace of Westminster). It was an interesting time to be near this building, as there was a lot of political unrest in England. As a result, protesters and media were all around. I wasn’t able to go inside, but the outside the building looks cool and even though it was under construction it was still nice to see Big Ben.

That’s all for now. Part 3 coming soon. I go on Pub Tour and continue sightseeing. Thanks for reading!

-Ben