The Secret “Ante Up for Africa”.

I hope to post trip reports from all the SoCal casinos eventually. It seems fitting that the first Indian casino I would visit was San Manuel. Every time I visit my beloved Santa Anita I return home with my programme which contains a $10 free slot play coupon for the Highland casino. Since this is my down time I decided to visit their website to see if it was worth a trip. I saw a link for “Ante Up for Africa”. I assumed it was an old link because I had not heard anything about it and trust me my email box gets bombarded in the days leading up to events.

Maybe it is the remote, for poker media/players,location or the fact that the tribal rulers guaranteed $500000, yes half a million, to the charity. However, the event took place tonight, the secret “Ante Up for Africa”.

The casino reminds me of Sante Fe casino in Las Vegas. It has a decent size, around twenty, table poker room, slots, table games , a lounge which has tribute bands on Mondays ( A Yes tribute band played this past Monday which is pretty unusual) and a buffet. I found the staff to be excellent. They even put a media room in the large Amazon like tournament area. A media room with coffee, water, cheese,cookies and melon. So I walk across to the red carpet to see if I had a spot. I start at one end where it is “I have a camera and want to sell photos to TMZ” ” Fat bitch who blocks everyone elses photos” but where was pokergossip? There I am, right between Fox and NBC. LOL. I love this place. I even invented a new game, ” Call the poker player over and say Fox wants to interview you” The friendly young FOX crew had no idea who it was or what to say. I was entertained!

Who was here? The poker side had Annie Duke + Joe Reitman, Howard Lederer (“So you are Annies brother?”asked the Fox girl ) and Chris Ferguson. Blackjack was represented by Hollywood Dave sporting a blonde mohawk, and Andy Bloch. Off duty media types Amanda Leatherman and Ali Nejad. Hollywood was represented by Don Cheadle, Cheryl Hines, George Lopez and Mekhi Phifer. A couple of young playmates played but Amanda and Cheryl Hines outshone them in the beauty stakes.

The buy in was an affordable $150 with no rebuys.

1) Ali Akhyari, 2) Josh Draney 3) Marlon Maglaya.

With my sign up bonus and my racecard coupon I wandered downstairs to play my $45 in free play. You still have to go to Vegas for the penny machines, the majority of machines here are nickels and quarters. The fact I only cashed $7 (I am a very savvy slot player usually) explains why the tribe can be so generous to the charity. With Bingo costing $25 and the lowest NLHE at 2=5 it is hardly a cheap night out but with twenty buses ferrying punters in from L.A. + San Diego business was brisk.

Casino staff asked me if I was returning tomorrow. Do you think I am a degenerate? I am off to the races.

Tags: ,

Leave a Comment