Every poker room has its own character, and one of the more unique spots to play is in Rosamond, California, at Diamond Jim’s Casino about 80 miles north of Los Angeles off the 14 freeway.
You can’t miss it. It’s the only thing there.
If you are looking for a day trip and good poker action, trek to the Antelope Valley to Diamond Jim’s, and you will find what you’re looking for.
You will find every type of poker player from your local grinders to tourists looking to kill some time on their way to somewhere else. With 12 tables, the casino regularly spreads No Limit Hold-em games ranging from a $40-$100 buy-in with $1-$2 blinds to a $200-$500 buy-in with $3-$5 blinds, which usually runs Fridays starting at 5 p.m., according to Cliff Donnelly, a floorman at the casino. There is even a $4-$8 Omaha High-Lo Split game. Diamond Jim’s also features other table games such as blackjack, Pai Gow Poker and Three-Card Poker.
Tournaments are held every day except Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays at 12:20 p.m. there is a No Limit Hold’em tournament with a $65 buy-in for 10,000 chips. You can double your stack for $20. On average, this tournament draws around 30 players and pays approximately $800 for first.
On Sundays beginning at 12:20 p.m. they hold the Desert Classic Quantum Reload Tournament, which started at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino. The Desert Classic closely follows the Bike’s Quantum Reload format with different starting times and starting stacks.
The first session starts with 5,000 starting chips for $40 with one optional add-on for $30 for 5,000 more chips before you begin play. The second session starts at 1:50 p.m. and offers 7,000 starting chips for $60 with one optional add-on for $50 for an additional 7,000 chips. Every participant in the Quantum Reload receives one free buffet with tournament entry.
Speaking of food, a seated player’s special menu features reasonably-priced breakfast items starting at $4.95 plus burgers, sandwiches, wraps and Mexican food starting at $5.95. Happy Hour is weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m. with drink and appetizer specials. Diamond Lil’s Restaurant is a full-service establishment with a separate entrance for non-gaming guests. Breakfast is served daily.
Diamond Lil’s is open 24 hours, 7 days a week with daily lunch and dinner specials. If you are looking for a friendly casino with great poker action, this one is worth the drive.
Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in gaming. She has played poker professionally for over 10 years. Email: [email protected]