Shuffle 214 exterior

Shuffle 214 Poker Room Review

After visiting Shuffle 512 in Austin Texas a few days before, we took a swing at its sister entity, the Shuffle 214 poker room in Dallas. We were not extremely impressed with Shuffle 512, so our expectations were modest for the 214 version. Let’s see how it fared!

Casino Setting 

The Shuffle 214 poker room is on the northeast side of Dallas near the 635 loop. Note that this is a heavily trafficked area, so if you are hustling to get to a tournament on time, leave plenty of time.

The room resides in a small strip mall. Every room we visited in Texas was housed in a strip mall, except for the Champions Club (which is in a hotel). The Shuffle 214 poker room was definitely at the lower end of the Texas strip mall scene. It appears pretty run-down outside with trash strewn about the entrance and in the parking lot. The parking lot definitely did not feel safe after dark, and I had to escort Heather to our car at one point.

Shuffle 214 exterior

Non-Poker Amenities

If you wish to learn more about how poker generally operates in Texas, read the details under the Non-Poker Amenities in the Texas Card House Houston room review. Or check out our earlier article, What’s Up with Poker in Texas Anyway?

At the Shuffle 214 poker room, there is no initial one-time membership fee, which is typical at many other Texas rooms. Daily fees to play are $10, or $30 for a month ($200 annually). If you play tournaments, you just buy into the tournament and they hold a piece of that entry fee for the house just like anywhere else. For cash, you pay a $13 per hour seat fee (and nothing comes from the pot). They also offer a 5-hour cash play promo for $55.

Shuffle 214 poker room offers no amenities outside of some vending machines, free water, and a large refrigerator where you can store your own beverages.

Shuffle 214 Poker Room Comfort

The 26-table poker room is brightly lit. The temperature is comfortable and the lighting is bright enough to see the board across the table. The day we visited, there were only 4-5 active tables between cash play and our tournament, and the final table of an earlier tournament. The room was pretty quiet at the start. It got a bit louder as more tables opened up (both cash and tournament) later in the evening. There is no smoking allowed in the room.

The chairs at the Shuffle 512 poker room have wheels and are adjustable. However, the padding is thin and some are wobbly. They are definitely not the most comfortable we’ve experienced in Texas (as opposed to say Champions in Houston and The Lodge in Austin. The tables are clean and branded, but a bit worn. Interestingly, they are relatively flimsy portable tables, not the typically solid heavy tables we find in most rooms. The tables have a padded rail and drink cups, but lack USB ports or auto-shufflers.

Play runs nine-handed and the tables felt a bit small. There was not as much arm and leg room as we experienced elsewhere in Texas. The chips had some wear on them. The cards were not branded and, like the tables, felt a bit flimsy.

The Shuffle 214 poker room definitely could use some better upkeep. There were lots of things strewn on the floor of the room itself and the bathrooms were filthy. There were only two single bathroom stalls for (at one point) over 50 people in the room. Along with Legends in Houston, Shuffle 214 was the least well-maintained of all the rooms we visited in Texas.

Poker Room Staff

The floors were not much of a presence, but the tournament seemed to run well enough. However, the floors did calculate our equity chop at the end of the tournament quickly and accurately, which allowed us to wrap up the tournament neatly. The dealers were solid, but generally not as friendly or verbal as those elsewhere. As Shuffle 214 does not offer beverage or food service, there was no need for wait staff.

Players at Shuffle 214 Poker Room

The player pool was fairly diverse both in age and ethnicity. There were a handful of women playing our tournament. Most players appeared to be regulars. However, they were not very talkative for the most part. There was one player that became highly belligerent and was escorted from the building by security after being refunded their tournament buy-in. The players were easily agreeable to a chop after a player who had refused to pay a bubble or enter into a previous chop discussion busted. Play was fairly straightforward. Players were not making many tricky moves and there were definitely players who could be exploited in various ways.

Shuffle 214 Interior

Tournament Structure

As of this writing, the Shuffle 214 poker room offers one or two tournaments every day. Buy-ins range from $15 (prepare for lots of rebuys/add-ons!) to around $130. Starting stacks range from 10,000 to 40,000 chips. In tournaments with buy-ins below $100, structures are not great, at around 14-15 S-points, so be prepared to play fast and aggressive. Higher buy-in tournaments offer better structures, around 27 S-points.

In our tracking of tournament activity, the Shuffle 214 tournament sizes vary greatly by day of the week. Our Wednesday evening tournament ended up with 101 entries. But many evening and weekend tournaments can get as little as 30 to 40 players, and other nights can easily exceed 100.



Cash Game Activity

On this Wednesday night, the Shuffle 214 poker room was running 1 $1/$2 NLH table and 1 $1/$3 NLH/PLO table. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Shuffle 214 generally sees maybe 1-2 $1/$2 NLH tables on any evening, with the peak falling on Wednesday night (although sometimes there are none). They never run any $2/$5 NLH. What they will run is 2-3 tables of mixed NLH/PLO $1/$12 and $1/$3 games sometimes a “round of each,” sometimes mostly NLH with a hand of PLO mixed in, and sometimes “bomb pots”.

APT

Overall Assessment of the Shuffle 214 Poker Room

The Shuffle 214 poker room fell short of even the low expectations set by Shuffle 512. The exterior of the building is pretty shabby, and the interior does not look any better. The tables and chairs are, well, I could search for a new word but I’ll stick with shabby. The whole place could use much better attention to cleanliness. The floor and dealers were solid but fairly quiet. There is not a lot to recommend here; and, we’re saying this about a room that gave us one of the larger cashes of the trip. Feel free to skip this room if you visit the Dallas area.

  • Comfort
  • Tournament Structures
  • Personnel
2.7

Summary

The Shuffle 214 poker room fell short of even the low expectations set by Shuffle 512. The exterior of the building is pretty shabby, and the interior does not look any better. The tables, chairs, cards, and chips are a bit flimsy. The floor and dealers were solid but fairly quiet. 

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