Located on the Pala Indian Reservation near San Diego, California, the Pala Casino Resort and Spa is a Las Vegas style resort casino, offering everything from slot machines to table games to poker, as well as luxury hotel, dining, shopping, and other high-end amenities to its guests.
History of Pala Casino
One of the newest casinos in California, construction on the Pala Casino began in early 2000, with the casino opening its doors to the general public on April 2, 2001. Over two years later the remainder of the project was completed including the properties 500-room hotel and massive 10,000 square foot spa.
Pala has been become well-known for its enormous spa, which has won several awards including making the Top 100 list of spas in the United States in 2012. The Pala Casino Resort and Spa is a AAA Four Diamond rated property in its own right, and one of the nicer, more upscale casinos you’ll step foot in.
Pala Casino today
The Pala Casino Resort and Spa is right in that sweet spot of offering top flight gaming options as well as terrific amenities, which allows the property to appeal to a diverse group of visitors. It’s one of the few casinos where you can go eat dinner, catch a show, and head to the spa, and not even feel the need to gamble.
But they are a casino and there are a lot of gaming options to choose from!
Just how many? A lot. Pala Casino offers some 2,000 slot machines, nearly 100 table games, as well as a small but comfortable 15-table poker room.
The poker room at Pala Casino is non-smoking and tableside food and beverage service. The Pala poker room has TV’s, good cell and wifi reception, jackpots, as well as a phone-in list for certain games.
Where They Stand Now in the Poker World
The main poker room is certainly small, but Pala does have the resources and space to host tournaments, and both daily and major tournament series are played at the casino.
Cash games at Pala are for the most part low limit affairs. Typically you’ll find action up to $4/$8 with a “kill” in Limit games, although at peak hours the stakes offered can easily double that amount, and $8/$16 games with a “kill” are not uncommon. No limit games are typically spread at the $1/$2 and $2/$3 limits, with a $5/$5 game spread on occasion.
Major tournaments don’t come through the Pala Casino all that often, but it has hosted several major tournament series in the past. The daily tournament schedule pretty good for a small poker room, with anywhere from one to three daily tournaments hosted by the casino on most days.
You can see the Pala’s full tournament schedule here.
Overall the room is small, it’s out of the way, and it’s not really a haven for professional players. If you’re in the area and are looking for some low limit poker action it’s a good room to visit.
Pala offers a pretty good rewards program for their poker players. Comp dollars average about $1/hour for cash game play and poker players can also receive discounted rates on rooms at the casino’s hotel as well.
You can learn more about Pala’s Rewards Program at their website.
Handicapping Their Chances for Online Poker
Pala has recently jumped on board the online gambling train, having opposed previous bills introduced in California, including SB 40 in 2012.
However, with concessions made in more recent bills it appears that Pala is ready to embrace online poker in California provided they can work out a deal in their favor.
After opposing online gambling expansion for years Pala created a subsidiary, Pala Interactive, in 2013, and has already started building out their online poker site and hiring third party vendors in anticipation of an online poker bill passing in California.