teddys
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
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December 31st, 2010 at 12:21:15 PM permalink
I visited Presque Isle Downs & Casino on 12/29/10. What follows is my review:

PI is located off of I-90 just outside of Erie, PA. It is convenient to get to off the interstate, and the traffic flow is good. PI is a racetrack racino but the horses weren't running that day. I think they run in the winter, though; it is an artificial track. There is very little space given over to horse bettors and they have expanded the casino to take over most of the grandstand. Parking is plentiful. I parked in an overflow lot across a small bridge from the casino, and walked over, but they also have a shuttle that circulates the lot picking people up.

PI has added table games in the last year. There are two pit areas: one in the main casino "barn" and another in the back area where the grandstand used to be. They were testing out the back area pit while I was there. They had people with badges and fake chips placing fake bets on the roulette wheel to train the dealers. The operating pit had the following games: Blackjack ($10-$100 minimums), Roulette ($10 minimums), Let it Ride ($10 minimum), Three Card Poker ($10 minimum, 6/3 paytable on the PP), Texas Hold 'Em Bonus (closed), Mini-baccarat ($25 minimum, on a big table but no handling of the cards, dealer deals the "wrong" way of exposing one card for the player and one card for the banker alternately, instead of tucking the banker hand under the shoe) and Craps ($5-$10 minimums). The rest of the casino is given over to slots. The best video poker games are 9/5 Jacks and 15/9/4/4 Deuces Wild, both at the dollar level, for 98.4% and 98.9% returns, respectively. All the lower denomination paytables are significantly worse. Blackjack rules are six decks, LS, S17, no RSA for a house edge of around .34%

My own play: I first stopped at the players club to get a card. I then played blackjack at $25 a hand for a few hours, losing $50. The dealers seems friendly, upbeat, and competent. I fear they may still be in their "honeymoon" phase, but these dealers beat the pants off anything I've seen in Vegas or AC. I found I was the only one invoking the surrender rule, and a lot of people asked me about it while I was doing it. They didn't even know it existed. The only snag was the first time I surrendered I made the wrong signal, and the dealer gave me a hit card. The pit boss was very understanding, however, and let me surrender anyway. Yuengling Light was available for a reasonable price of $2 for a 12-oz. draft, and I will say I indulged, because I love Yuengling beer. Drink service was friendly and fast, and you could use your comp dollars for drinks. There was no mid-shoe entry for some (but not all) of the blackjack games, which is a confounding rule, and just seemed to irritate most of the players.

After blackjack, I wandered over to the craps table, which was $5, and played for a while, breaking even. They put up a sign saying the table minimums would increase to $10 at such-and-such a time, so I cashed out then, and went to play video poker. I played $1 9/5 Jacks, and 15/9 Deuces for about 20 minutes. I hate playing inferior paytables, so I cashed out after hitting a 4-o-a-k on the JOB and a wild royal on the Deuces. I finished up $380. Sorry, I didn't keep track of how many points I earned or the cashback rate. I don't think I earned very much, however.

I then dicked around with some of the slot machines that I found interesting, like Slotsky and Miss Kitty. Slotsky took a ton of my money (damn Russian duck), but Miss Kitty was generous and granted me a $60 payout. I think I lost about $30 on slots.

I still wanted to gamble, so I played blackjack for a few more hours (got down to my last quarter but made it back to even plus a little more on BJ total), and then wandered over the craps table which I was shocked to see had reverted back down to $5 minimums. I almost never see pit bosses lower minimums midstream. I rolled the bones for another few hours, and people got on some really hot rolls. The dealers were also very attentive and by and large good. Looks like the training process that AZDuffman described really worked. I finished playing craps up about $220.

I then went to the promotions booth to see if I had earned any comps. The boothling said "You have $1.76 in comps" I just had to let out an audible laugh. Talk about chintzy. I didn't even bother spending my meager amount. I left and stopped at McDonald's on the way home :)

I don't think I'll be returning to Presque Isle, even though I had a winning trip. The atmosphere is decent and the service is good enough, however, if you just want to scratch the gambling itch. The comps are horrible, but the drinks are cheap, and good. I think I've seen the future of locals' casinos. Verdict?: Not bad, but not great either.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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December 31st, 2010 at 5:08:04 PM permalink
>PI is located off of I-90 just outside of Erie, PA.
Wish I could get Maine out of my mind every time I hear Presque isle.

>Mini-baccarat (dealer deals the "wrong" way of exposing one card for the player and one card for the banker alternately)
Does this make a difference? Did you tell them they were wrong?

> but these dealers beat the pants off anything I've seen in Vegas or AC.
Wow. That is a real good beginning for the casino.
>Drink service was friendly and fast, and you could use your comp dollars for drinks.
That too is good. Two dollars but fast and friendly. Probably beats a tiny plastic cup every now and never.

>There was no mid-shoe entry for some (but not all) of the blackjack games, which is a confounding rule,
Signage problem perhaps? I don't see why they simply can't just adopt one rule and follow it. Do they like answering the same question over and over all night long?

>hey put up a sign saying the table minimums would increase to $10 at such-and-such a time,
Nice that they gave warning.
> so I cashed out then, and went to play video poker.
They may have noticed that and changed their minds.
>The dealers were also very attentive and by and large good.
>Looks like the training process that AZDuffman described really worked.
Somehow, I assumed that all took place in Arizona.
>I finished playing craps up about $220.
Congratulations.

>The boothling said "You have $1.76 in comps"
I sure hope she didn't mean "$176.00". Particularly in a newly opened casino that is still working some of the kinks out, I would have waited around quite a bit for your rated play to get into their computer system properly. Do they have an online way for you to check your account balance?

>I don't think I'll be returning to Presque Isle, even though I had a winning trip.
>I think I've seen the future of locals' casinos. Verdict?: Not bad, but not great either.
Well, at least you didn't have to fly for hours to get there and go through security screenings and pat downs.
The VP rates were not to your liking but you did win money.
It is possible that as air travel gets more frustrating that locals casinos will seek to improve their quality rather than just focus on being sheep shearers with an attitude.
appistappis
appistappis
Joined: Mar 27, 2010
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January 1st, 2011 at 12:33:20 AM permalink
We went on breeders cup day and i wasn't impressed.....by the way the horses don't run live there in the winter.....this place will become a locals flea fest very quickly.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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January 1st, 2011 at 4:13:28 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

I then went to the promotions booth to see if I had earned any comps. The boothling said "You have $1.76 in comps" I just had to let out an audible laugh. Talk about chintzy.

Check again tomorrow.

Comps from table games may be slow getting entered.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
teddys
teddys
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January 1st, 2011 at 10:18:38 AM permalink
Like I said, won't be going back. What the heck, I made money off of them; they can have their comp dollars.

More things:

1. They were marketing heavily to the Asian market. They had big banners in the buffet saying "Our team is here for you" in Chinese, and another one that said, "Where there are horses there is success." I guess that is a Chinese proverb, since it was spelled out in very few Chinese characters. There were a few Asians in the casino, but not a lot.

2. There were three walk-up bars and it was easy to order your own drinks. They did not have any self-serve soda or coffee machines.

3. There was no poker room.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
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January 4th, 2011 at 11:45:12 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

Like I said, won't be going back. What the heck, I made money off of them; they can have their comp dollars.

More things:

1. They were marketing heavily to the Asian market. They had big banners in the buffet saying "Our team is here for you" in Chinese, and another one that said, "Where there are horses there is success." I guess that is a Chinese proverb, since it was spelled out in very few Chinese characters. There were a few Asians in the casino, but not a lot.

2. There were three walk-up bars and it was easy to order your own drinks. They did not have any self-serve soda or coffee machines.

3. There was no poker room.



Thanks for the review teddys. Is there a large pool of Chinese players in Erie? Where are they expecting these players to come from? Buffalo? Cleveland?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
OneAngryDwarf
OneAngryDwarf
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January 4th, 2011 at 6:17:01 PM permalink
There is a surprisingly large Asian population in the Cleveland metro area, who in the past would usually come down to Mountaineer in WV for their gambling. Since the same company owns both casinos, it hardly matters.
"I believe I've passed the age/of consciousness and righteous rage/I've found that just surviving was a noble fight... I once believed in causes too/I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right..." --Billy Joel
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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January 10th, 2011 at 9:16:22 AM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!

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