Tuesday October 6, 2020 at 11:30 pm

The Bicycle Casino outside of Los Angeles reopened with "outdoor gaming". The Bike originally shut down in March during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in June for a quick minute before Governor Newsom shut down all casinos during a spike. Almost four months later, the Bike reopened with 52 total outdoor tables, including 17 outdoor poker tables.

BikeOutdoorLive

Weird times means weird gambling options. Whenever casinos run out of room, they find ingenious and not-so-subtle ways to cater to gamblers during major events like the WSOP, or other big-time tournaments. I've had to play poker in some version of a "poker tent" at Commerce Casino in LA and at Rio Casino in Las Vegas for the WSOP. But now, there's a tent-like setup in place during the Bicycle Casino's grand re-opening featuring outdoor table games.

The Great Pandemic of 2020 has forced people and businesses to do weird things in order to survive. In the brick and mortar casino world, operators have been trying to figure out how to maximize profits while trying to have a safe environment for their employees and gamblers. Some greedy casinos will do the bare minimum to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and gamblers, while other casino got the extra mile to add other safety precautions.

Of course, the pandemic hit the casino industry hard. Professionals had limited options to earn a living, while the service side of the casino industry got hit the hardest.

The Bicycle Casino closed its door in March when everything else shut down, inclding Las Vegas. When things looked like it was easing up, the Bike reopened in June. That reopening did not lastlong before the Governor of California shut down casinos... again.

Well, the day finally arrived for the fall re-opening of the Bike. On October 5, the Bike returned to 24/7 operations with a temporary outdoor casino. I know it sounds weird, but down at the Bike they're trying to have the best of both worlds. The outdoor space, with 52 gaming tables, is essentially a tent without any sides. Just the top is in place for lights and the eye in the sky to keep eye on the games and action.

Before you can even get close to the premises at the Bike, you must provide a temperature check. And all gamblers must wear masks and adhere to distancing guidelines in high-traffic areas.

The Bike said they would use, "Hospital-grade UV-C light machines and Thermal Imaging Cameras to Electrostatic sprayers with longer-lasting disinfection." In addition, the Bike claims, "We invested in the best state-of-the-art technology to enhance our safety measures. In addition, air handling has been increased with enhanced filters to filter out virus particulates."

The Bike clearly did not half-ass their effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, while trying to still make money running a casino.

Due to limited space, there's also a limited number of tables. It might get a little wonky at peak times. There's 52 gaming tables and 17 of them are specifically set aside for poker. That makes 35 other pit games for your to gamboool it up.

Of course, only in LA would there be an outdoor casino right up against a freeway. And in true degens are gonna degens fashion, you could build a casino in a highway median and degens would still show up.

The Bicycle Casino has been a well-known hotspot for gambling and poker in Southern California that has been around for almost 40 years. It's located in Bell Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles in one of the many "incorporated areas" where weird, grey-area legal, and often nefarious things go down outside the jurisdiction of the City of Angels protectorate (e.g. see season 2 of True Detective). From the day it opened, the Bike came under investigation as a legal card room put in place to launder money for a local crime syndicate.

The Bike hosted plenty of live poker events and previous stops on the World Poker Tour. They were also the first casino to enter the live streaming era with Live at the Bike in which a high-stakes cash game would be broadcast with commentary and everything.

The Bike also had good mid-stakes action, especially in limit hold'em, which seemed to die off in recent years. They had a juicy $8/$16 LHE game back in the day that I enjoyed when I first began to frequent SoCal room a decade ago. Their $20/40 LHE is pretty fishy at times. There's also some crazy action at the $5/$5 NL tables right now, including $5/$10 NL and $10/$20 NL.

Latest news
Wednesday October 21, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Sam Grizzle passes away, once beat up Phil Hellmuth

The poker world said goodbye to one of its last grizzled characters when Sam Grizzle passed away after a massive stroke this weekend. Grizzle, most known as Phil Hellmuth's nemesis, was one of those characters that flirted the line between pro and angle shooter. Grizzle won $1.3 million in tournaments, but won unknown amounts as a cash game player in Nevada.

Tuesday October 20, 2020 at 2:51 am
Planet Hollywood poker room reopens, Pai Gow jackpot hit

After a lengthy shutdown, live poker returns to Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. Meanwhile, one lucky Pai Gow poker player struck it rich with a $133,037 jackpot win at Planet Hollywood. And over at the Wynn Casino, the poker room is temporarily shuttered and relocated after the Wynn/Encore reduced hours due to a serious drop off in gamblers.

Friday October 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm
Live poker finally returns to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City

The poker room at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey will finally reopen for the first time since being shuttered in March. The Borgata will resume action with 30 of its 77 tables on Wednesday, October 21. All players will be required to wear masks. Tables have plastic partitions and will only be seven-handed. The Borgata reopened in late July of this year, but the poker room was not ready yet.

Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm
Spicy lead up to Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu grudge match continues

It's time for the nitty gritty as Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu iron out the last few details of their long-awaited heads-up match. The two were hashing it out and smack talking via Twitter for the entire (poker) world to see. Doug Polk, a heads-up NL specialist is coming out of retirement to play Kid Poker, is a favorite over Negreanu. The match is set for November 1 and will be broadcast on PokerGO.

Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 3:53 am
Phil Ivey conversation on staying mentally sharp

Phil Ivey and Poker King, a new online poker site in Asia, recently joined forces. Poker King recently spliced together a video on a new series called " A conversation with Phil Ivey. In this episode, Ivey invites his old friend Barry Greenstein to have a chat about life, growing old in poker, and mental health. Ivey also explains his new venture with Poker King and their innovative security system to identify cheaters.

Saturday October 10, 2020 at 5:24 pm
PokerStars Bounty Builder Series begins Sunday October 11

PokerStars launches their latest series on Sunday, October 11 with their Bounty Builder Series. This series with 213 events of the Progressive KO variety, is specifically designed to help players expand their bankroll. Tournaments have buy-ins as low as $1.10 with over a dozen events with buy-ins under $22. The Bounty Builder has over $30 million in guaranteed prize pools and will run through October 25. There will be two Main Events with buy-in price points at $55 and $530.

Thursday October 8, 2020 at 2:22 pm
Phil Galfond gives Phil Hellmuth props, but high-stakes regs disagree

Phil Galfond complimented Phil Hellmuth and his heads-up game and all hell broke loose. Galfond, arguably one of the greatest PLO cash game players and heads-up gurus, shared a quick assessment of Hellmuth's heads-up skills against Antonio Esfandiari in the High Stakes Duel. High-stakes regs were quick to share the prevailing sentiment that Hellmuth is not that good and that even if he was, the Poker Brat" table image and antics diminishes any true achievement at the tables.

Saturday October 3, 2020 at 10:26 pm
Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu heads-up battle to start November 1

Two months after the initial confirmation that Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu would engage in a heads-up grudge match, the two finally picked a start date for their challenge lasting 25,000 hands. Negreanu and Polk will begin jousting on November 1 by two-tabling $200/$400 NL. The final details are still yet to get worked out, but at least their fans have almost a month to get fired up on the craziest heads-up battle of 2020.

Thursday October 1, 2020 at 4:09 am
Sports betting revenue up 65% in Nevada, but Las Vegas still not back to normal

At first glance the numbers show overall revenue in the state of Nevada is down 22% from last summer, with Las Vegas Strip revenue down 39% in August. But considering we're still in the middle of a pandemic, the overall numbers are nothing but good news for casino operators in Nevada. With pro sports returning and the NBA playoffs in full swing, sportsbetting revenue spiked +65% in August.

Tuesday September 29, 2020 at 10:35 pm
PokerStars introduces Active Waiting List to protect poker ecosystem

PokerStars will roll out "Active Waiting List" with a specific mission to protect recreational players and protect the overall game by fostering a healthy ecosystem The folks at the red spade attempted to address sharks preying on weaker players in cash games and deter the act of bum-hunting by modifying the wait list. This new Active Waiting List is specifically created to induce more action and create a fair distribution of players joining new tables, while acting as a deterrent for pros who seek out and prey on bad players.

Friday September 25, 2020 at 9:52 pm
WPT Online Championships: Michael Addamo chops $100K Super High Roller for $1.28M

The 2020 World Poker Tour Online Championships have finally come to a conclusion on partypoker. The pro-friendly event ended with a $100K Super High Roller. Michael Addamo and partypoker ambassador Ike Haxton agreed on a heads-up chop, but Addamo walked away as the WPT Online Championships official champion, Addamo banked early $1.3 million for being the last high roller standing.

Thursday September 24, 2020 at 12:03 am
Andre 'PTFisherman23' Marques wins 2020 WCOOP Main Event in 3-way money chop for $1.14 million

The 2020 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event Championship, aka WCOOP Event #72-H at PokerStars attracted 1,977 runners to the $10 million guaranteed prize pool event. The final table included... Teun 'tinnoemulder' Mulder, Andre "PTFisherman23" Marques, Robin 'robinho' Ylitalo, Tonio "prrrak4783" Roder, Michael 'munchenHB' Telker. The top three agreed to a chop that gave them roughly $1 million each. Portugal's Andre "PTFisherman23" Marques defeated Germany's Tonio "prrrak4783" Roder heads-up for the WCOOP Main Event title and $1.14 million in cash. Dutch pro Teun Mulder took third place.

Monday September 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm
RIP Darvin Moon, Runner-up 2009 WSOP

Darvin Moon, the Luddite Logger from Maryland, made poker history when the amateur went all the way to the second-installment of the November Nine and reached the final table of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. Moon lost heads-up to Joe Cada but he cashed nearly $5.2 million off a modest $130 investment. Moon stepped out of the spotlight have his brief brush with fame. He passed away over the weekend at age 56 after complications from surgery.

Thursday September 17, 2020 at 2:51 am
2020 WPT World Online Championships: Phillip Mighall Binks Main Event for $1.7 Million

The 2020 World Poker Tour Online Championship at PartyPoker continued with the Main Event. The $10,300 buy-in Main Event attracted 1,011 to the $10 million guaranteed prize pool. The UK's Phillip Mighall defeated Holland's Teun Mulder heads-up to win the Main Event for $1.7 million. Mulder earned $1.2 million for second place. PartyPoker Ambassador Dzmitry Urbanovich made the final table but finished in sixth place. Damian Salas busted in third place.

Tuesday September 15, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Tilt-a-Phil: Tony G vs Phil Hellmuth (Videos)

Love them or hate them but Phil Hellmuth and Tony G blowing up at each other is hysterical content. One of the many thing I miss about the poker boom, were the televised blow ups of our favorite poker villains. PokerStars released one of their clip videos of their favorite moments with Tony G needling Hellmuth during The Big Game.

Friday September 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Hollywood Home Games, Irish Eyes Smiling with Mike Sexton

Ever since Mike Sexton passed away last weekend, the tributes poured in all over the poker community including two good one from Houston Curtis and Padraig Parkinson. It's very rare when the community is unified by something and in this moment of tragedy, the poker world collectively mourned the passing of Mike Sexton as one of the true legends and one of the greatest ambassadors of the game.

Wednesday September 9, 2020 at 4:58 am
WSOP Online: Melika 'Melirazavii' Razavi, Connor Drinan, Michael Gathy win final bracelets

The 2020 WSOP Online came to a close at GGPoker with its final bracelet events. Iran's Melika 'Melirazavii' Razavi snagged her first bracelet with a victory in Event #82 $1,050 Beat the Pros. Connor Drinan faded 899 players to win Event #83 $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ for a $1.4 million score. For the final bracelet event on the docket, Belgian pro Michael Gathy banked $272,504 for shipping Event #85 $500 Closer (Last Chance) and won his fourth-career bracelet.

Monday September 7, 2020 at 7:13 pm
RIP Mike Sexton, Poker's Greatest Ambassador

The poker world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest ambassadors and beloved players. Mike Sexton passed away at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer. Sexton loved the game of poker and he sought to share his love of the game with people all over the world. Sexton won over $6.7 million in live tournaments and unknown millions in cash games, including a WSOP bracelet in 1989. Sexton also won an event on the WPT in 2016. Sexton is widely known as an announcer for the World Poke Tour. He inspired people to become better players, but more importantly Sexton inspired pros to become better people.

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Thursday October 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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