Legends Poker Room Review

Our Texas poker journey started in Houston. After playing tournaments at Texas Card House Houston and Champions Club, I decided to try a Tuesday afternoon cash game at the very active Legends poker room. I didn’t know a lot about Legends other than it has a high volume of PLO games. As it turned out, Legends is a very different type of card room.

Casino Setting 

The Legends poker room is on the west side of Houston in a very heavily trafficked retail area. It lies in a rather humble strip mall with a couple of smoke shops, a laundromat, an independent pharmacy, and a couple of small dining establishments. While Texas Card House Houston was in a nicely kept, pretty upscale square of restaurants, this is what greeted me when I emerged from my car at legends:

Most of the parking lot looked similar, and the entire exterior of the plaza looked pretty run down. The setting is, shall we say, dicey (more on that later).

Non-Poker Amenities

The Legends poker room is a medium-sized card room with a small bar area offering food and drinks. No frills here. However, Legends did feature at least two masseuses circulating. Oddly, these women were giving the players massages on their bare backs (lifting their shirts up to their necks/heads. Let’s just say that is not a common practice in many poker rooms.

Legends Poker room exterior

Small TVs, mostly showing sports circled the room. There were a couple of vending machines in the room offering chips and candy.

Legends Poker Room Comfort

The 20-table poker room felt what can best be described as a bit plain and somewhat “unkempt”. The carpet was beige, the walls a neutral grey, and the ceiling black industrial foam. The combination felt a bit bleak. There were a couple of unused tables randomly pushed together in the center of the room with a pile of chairs on the edge of the room across from the entrance. Players seemed to treat the room with basic disregard. Lots of portable tables had various stuff piled on them.

The chairs have wheels and are adjustable, but do not have arms. They are decently padded and comfortable. Table spacing isn’t terrible, but seems a bit inconsistent. In some seats things seemed tight against the nearby tables, others were fine. The room could probably use a better layout to maximize the use of its space. Tables do feature a padded rail, but no USB ports, auto-shufflers, or drink cups. Play at Legends is nine-handed, but the tables are large enough that everyone has room.

Legends Poker Room interior

The chips, cards, and felts are all clean. Oddly, there were two different colored $1 chips – a white and a blue. I figured one of them was a $2 chip, but no they were both $1. Strange.

As you may imagine at this point, I had not done extensive research into Legends before going there to play. After leaving I became curious. What I found was a history of shootings in the parking lot which sometimes resulted in stray bullets entering Legends. I also discovered that a Legends dealer punched out poker legend, and apparent major irritant, Sammy Farha. Neither of these events surprised me after my visit.

Poker Room Staff

Texas is unique in the poker world. Gambling is not officially legal in Texas, but poker rooms have flourished despite that fact. I believe they are up to about 49 rooms in the state with 6 or more tables. And new rooms are opening every day. In the past month, The Big Blind opened in San Antonio, and another room, Comal Card Haus, is scheduled to open in the next couple of weeks. Most rooms have stayed this side of legal by not raking cash play. Instead, Most Texas card rooms take a one-time membership fee, a daily/monthly fee, and an hourly seat fee to play in lieu of raking pots.

Nonetheless, as I checked in at the Legends poker room, I was informed I did not need to pay any of these fees. Rather, the pot would be traditionally raked. The staff member joked, “there is a reason we’re the only room in the area to be profitable.” There was a complete wink-wink, nod-nod feel to the exchange. As of this writing, having been to seven rooms in Houston and San Antonio (with several more to come in Austin and Dallas), this is the only time we have encountered traditional pot raking in Texas.

The Legends poker room manager and floors seemed pretty pleasant. This was another room with a metal detector and security guard (all seem to have guards). Dealers were very competent, but not the most social or friendly. Wait staff circulated constantly and really seemed to be working hard. And, then, there were the aforementioned masseuses.

Players at Legends Poker Room

The players at the Legends Poker Room were quite diverse in age both and ethnicity. A handful of women were playing across the nine active cash tables. Players seemed very focused and serious about their play. Most were quiet with little bantering, although there was some chatting to be heard. Overall, players seemed glum and not particularly happy. The player next to me repeatedly swore under his breath when he folded. As far as play, it was standard tight-aggressive. Pre-flop raises to $20 in the $1/$3 game I played were not uncommon.

Tournament Structure

The Legends Poker Room does not run tournaments as of this writing.



Cash Game Activity

On the Tuesday afternoon of my visit the Legends poker room was running 12 active cash tables, mostly PLO. Only three tables of $1/$3 NLH were active. There were four tables of $1/$3 PLO, two tables of $1/$3/$6 PLO, and three tables of $5/$5/$10 PLO. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Legends poker room sees 3-4 $1/$3 NLH tables most evenings and weekends, and six to ten various levels of PLO. That’s a lot of PLO action, and PLO seemingly takes the place of any higher level NLH or other games.

Overall Assessment of Legends Poker Room

The Legends Poker Room has a dicey, edgy atmosphere. However, cash play of low level NLH and all levels of PLO is very active. If you like PLO bomb pots and loose money, and don’t mind the occasional gun going off in the parking lot, this might be the place for you. But the atmosphere is very downbeat, overly intense, and a bit chaotic. If you’re a regular, you likely get used to that, maybe even relish it. But, for a one-time visit, Legends does not offer a great environment.

APT
  • Comfort
  • Personnel
2.8

Summary

The Legends Poker Room has a dicey, edgy atmosphere. However, cash play of low level NLH and all levels of PLO is very active. If you’re a regular, you might relish the loose money and be used to the seedier elements. But, for a one-time visit, Legends does not offer a great environment. 

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