JB
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JB
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April 9th, 2013 at 1:45:09 PM permalink
I visited the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Hogansburg, NY this past Saturday afternoon. It is the third time I have ever been there. The first time was not long after they opened because it was just a relatively small room. When I went last year I couldn't even recognize it as the same place because of all the expansions they have done. When I went on Saturday there were even more expansions done since last year's visit.

The place is mostly a slot parlor. They have several areas which are non-smoking, and the display screens near where you insert your player card will indicate if you are at a non-smoking machine, which is a nice touch. I would describe the place as one step lower than "low-roller joint" yet it does not have the appearance of a low-roller joint. (It's no Wynn, but it's not exactly Ellis Island either.) I get the impression that, in the grand scheme of things, they are just getting their bearings and will continue to grow and expand.

In terms of video poker there are relatively few machines: some single-hand, some 3/5/10-play, and some Super Times Pay, but the paytables are horrible:

6/5 Jacks or Better = 95.00% return
6/5 Double Double Bonus = 94.66% return
7/5 Triple Double Bonus = 94.92% return
And the ugliest ducks I have ever seen in person: the same paytable as FPDW except four of a kind pays 4 instead of 5 = 94.34% return

However, the video poker machines built into the bar, compared to the other offerings, have a relatively decent game: a $1 Jacks or Better game based on the 7/5 paytable, but there are separate progressive jackpots for the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, and even Full House. The Royal Flush jackpot was over $6,000 when I was there (which it was last year too, but I think that was just a coincidence). Last year the bar with these machines was located in a separate room, and I went to that room first this visit to find it, but the bar was gone to make room for the bingo room, so I assumed the game was gone as well. I finally found it at the other end of the building shortly before leaving, but didn't note any of the jackpots other than the royal flush. When I saw the game last year the progressives put the return at over 99.1%. Having Four of a Kind and especially Full House be progressive helps the return climb quickly. Additionally, hitting a progressive forces the machine to round up the payout to the next highest dollar, so if the Full House is at $35.01 it will pay $36. This helps boost the return a bit too.

They have some table games, including a hand-held double-deck blackjack game. I must give them a demerit for saying on their blackjack page that you should "Play so that the Dealerís down card is a ten value card," which we know is incorrect. However, I applaud them for being the only casino I know of which refers to carnival games as carnival games (in their FAQ under the question "What are the table limits?"). Their website indicates that the Pair Plus bet on their Three Card Poker tables has the 1-4-6-30-40 paytable, but I can't confirm if the table felt says the same thing. They have other games like Pai Gow Poker, Four Card Poker, Texas Hold 'em Bonus, Blackjack Switch, Caribbean Stud, Spanish 21, Roulette, Craps, Let it Ride, Mississippi Stud, and Mini-Baccarat too.

The place is growing, and was quite crowded Saturday night. They have a buffet, which I ate at this visit. It's not huge or glamorous, but sufficient for most people. The price on Saturday night was $19.95 which I believe included tax, or perhaps there was no tax since it's on a reservation. There is presumably an extra charge if you want lobster or king crab legs, because I was asked if I wanted those before paying. I was also asked what I wanted to drink, and a separate receipt was printed with the desired beverage on it, which was nice because it meant you could leave that on the table and go up to the buffet immediately, eliminating the need to wait for a server to ask what you want to drink before you go to get food. You can pay for the buffet with comp points. The servers were very friendly.

They also have a steak house and a food court, neither of which I investigated.

I'm not sure the rate at which points are accrued on machines or table games, but 100 points is worth $5. I don't believe cash back is an option, so using comps for the buffet or gift shop is basically their only use.

Beverage service was frequent and efficient, although I never used it. There are at least two self-service soda stations, one in the main room and one in the room where poker and bingo (and more slots) can be found.

So, they are definitely growing and expanding. I may visit again at the end of the month to check out their new hotel, which just opened yesterday.
Doc
Doc
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April 9th, 2013 at 2:51:33 PM permalink
Akwesasne is on my list of chips to collect, so it's nice to see a report on the place. I have a trip planned, but I can't seem to get it to the top of the list. When we do make it, stops are likely to include the Presque Isle in PA, Akwesasne and Turning Stone in NY, and Canadian establishments Great Blue Heron, Casino Brantford, Casino du Lac-Leamy, Casino Montreal, and Thousand Island Casino. Definitely a summer weather trip.

Thanks for the info on Akwesasne.
boymimbo
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April 9th, 2013 at 3:10:20 PM permalink
Make it a circle and stop by here in Niagara Falls. I'll throw in a Casino Sault Ste Marie chip for ya!

Punch and pie.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
rdw4potus
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April 9th, 2013 at 4:01:12 PM permalink
I see the Erie part, and I see the Montreal part. I assume this route must go from ?? to Erie to Brantford (with a stop in Mimboland), then along the north side of the lake, to Montreal, to Turning Stone, and then back to ??. I could swear that Doc already had a chip from Rama. How does a person get to Rama without driving right past either Thousand Island or Brantford AND Great Blue Heron?


Where do Akwesasne's customers come from? It's an impressive facility, and it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Are they coming from Canada? From Burlington?
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
boymimbo
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April 9th, 2013 at 4:18:31 PM permalink
It's only 50K square feet with 1,600 slots in 19 table games. Cornwall, ON would be the primary market, but it probably attracts alot of cottagers in the summer to stay along the Thousand Islands.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Doc
Doc
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April 9th, 2013 at 4:22:57 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

Make it a circle and stop by here in Niagara Falls.


When we make such a trip, we will definitely spend at least one night at the falls. We are overdue for a return visit.

Quote: rdw4potus

I could swear that Doc already had a chip from Rama. How does a person get to Rama without driving right past either Thousand Island or Brantford AND Great Blue Heron?


I do have a chip from Rama, collected during a visit to Toronto. I also have chips from the casinos near the falls. I just wasn't focused enough to hit all of the desired spots on a single trip. I need to fill in the gaps, and we have never visited Montreal or Ottawa, so sightseeing and collecting can be combined.
boymimbo
boymimbo
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April 9th, 2013 at 4:26:41 PM permalink
I got it.

Home -> Presque Isle -> I-90E -> I-86 -> Seneca Allegheny (Visit Face!) -> 219 N - I-90 - I-I90N -> Peace Bridge -> QEW (Casino Niagara / Fallsview) -> 420 -> QEW -> Linc -> 403 -> Casino Brantford -> 403 -> 401 -> 12 north -> 7A -> Scugog (Great Blue Heron) back south on 12S -> 401 -> Thousand Islands -> 401 -> 416 -> Ottawa (Casino du Lac-Leamy) -> 417 -> 40E -> Casino montreal -> 40E -> 401 -> Cornwall -> Akwesasne -> 401 -> I81 -> I90 -> Turning Stone -> Home!
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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April 9th, 2013 at 4:39:04 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

I got it.

Home -> Presque Isle -> I-90E -> I-86 -> Seneca Allegheny (Visit Face!) -> 219 N - I-90 - I-I90N -> Peace Bridge -> QEW (Casino Niagara / Fallsview) -> 420 -> QEW -> Linc -> 403 -> Casino Brantford -> 403 -> 401 -> 12 north -> 7A -> Scugog (Great Blue Heron) back south on 12S -> 401 -> Thousand Islands -> 401 -> 416 -> Ottawa (Casino du Lac-Leamy) -> 417 -> 40E -> Casino montreal -> 40E -> 401 -> Cornwall -> Akwesasne -> 401 -> I81 -> I90 -> Turning Stone -> Home!



That's very similar to what I did when I got these chips. actually, I wound up doing a big figure 8: Albany->Rochester->Seneca->Niagara->brantford ->north-side-of-lake casinos->Ottawa->Akwesasne->turning stone->rochester. Fly to pittsburgh. Erie->Pittsburgh->WV->Philly->AC->Albany. Hopefully Doc's travel coordinator is less sadistic than mine;-)

I'm still impressed by Akwesasne. 50K square feet and 1,600 machines matches Sugarhouse. Sugarhouse has 800,000 people within a 5 mile radius. Akwesasne has 8,000. I'm just sayin'...
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
teddys
teddys
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April 9th, 2013 at 7:12:33 PM permalink
Thanks for the review. This somewhat inspires me to complete a review for the Wizard on The Cannery - Original Recipe. It's hard to come up with new things to say.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
JB
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JB
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April 27th, 2013 at 6:48:51 PM permalink
I just got back from another trip to Akwesasne. In my last review I mentioned their one decent video poker game, a $1 7/5 Jacks or Better game with progressives on the top four hands. The royal flush doesn't appear to have been hit since the last time I visited:



In the picture above, the prize for four of a kind had just reset to $125 before I snapped the photo. Since progressive payoffs are rounded up to the next highest dollar before being awarded, the paytable prior to dealing the above hand was effectively:

Hand Prize ($)
Royal Flush 6663
Straight Flush 266
Four of a Kind 164
Full House 42
Flush 25
Straight 20
Three of a Kind 15
Two Pair 10
Jacks or Better 5
...for a return of 101.1%.

If anyone goes there to play it, you'll find it at the bar in the westernmost portion of the casino, which I think was called Cascades and has a 2 or 3-foot tall live flame enclosed in glass. Not all of the bar machines have this game; some just have flat 7/5 Jacks or Better. The first seat to the right of the flame (the leftmost seat at the bar; an end seat) definitely has it, and is the machine pictured above.

It also had a $1 progressive for a natural royal flush on 8/5 DDB and 16/13/4/3/2 Deuces Wild, which was at $6031 the last time I looked, for returns of 97.9% and 97.7% respectively.

The four-progressive Jacks or Better is the best video poker game, and possibly the best game at all, in the entire casino. And I don't think very many people play it, since most of the people sitting at the bar seemed to be playing the slot and keno games rather than video poker.

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