Ontario Poker Room and Live Social Club Review
ProfessionalRakeback.com was founded primarily to provide factual and useful information about playing online poker sites. Although the online streets are our main focus, our team consists of many professional players who also play live poker from time to time. As part of our recent trip to Ontario, Oregon, we played at two local poker rooms.
We recently posted a review of Action’s Card House in Ontario, and today we’re going to discuss the other social poker room in Ontario, OR called Ontario Poker Room and Social Club. The Ontario Poker Room is also called OPR in shorthand.
location: Ontario, Oregon on the eastern border of Idaho
O’clock: Opens at 5pm five days a week, opens at 12pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Promotions: Bad Beat Jackpot, King Button Wednesday Draw Progressive Jackpot, Cash Game High Hand Progressive Jackpot, Tournament High Hand Pots and Royal Flush Progressive Jackpot
Rake: The tournaments are somewhat standard, but with quite high fees (20-30%). Cash games allocate 10% of each pot up to $5, the winner will donate the allocated chips back to the house
Miscellaneous: Other games such as Pinochle and Open Face Chinese are played here after hours
Food and drinks: Hot and freshly prepared meals are usually available for free to all players; the bar also sells beer, chips, candy and soft drinks
Professionals: Decent amount of TVs to watch sporting events, extremely friendly and fun environment, highly professional sales staff and staff
Cons: Tournament fees are sometimes a bit high. Occasionally, a player shuffles a second deck, leading to doubts about the integrity of the game.
Ontario poker room location
The Ontario Poker Room is located at 287 S Oregon Street in Ontario, Oregon. The location is truly in the heart of downtown Ontario with tons of local businesses within walking distance. Ontario, Oregon is a relatively short 45 minute drive from Boise, Idaho. Because Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley are so large and there are no legal live poker rooms or casinos, Ontario has become a hot spot for people who live near the border in Idaho.
Ontario Poker Room Games
The Ontario Poker Room offers cash games every day of the week as long as players want to play. The most commonly played game here is $1/$2 NL Hold’em, but on Sundays and Wednesdays the preferred game is $1/$2 Omaha Hi/Lo.
The minimum buyin for $1/$2 Hold’em is $30 with a $500 maximum. All $1/$2 Omaha games have a $60 minimum buyin and a $1,000 maximum. Sometimes other games will be played such as mixed games and Omaha Hi/Lo Button Hold’em. The Ontario Poker Room also hosts pinochle, cribbage and chess games.
The poker room opens at 17:00 every weekday and at 12:00 noon on weekends. Usually the cash games will start at this time or shortly after. Sometimes there are not enough players for cash games when the tournament is scheduled for 19:00, so the cash games start after players start dropping out of the 19:00 tournament.
The Ontario Poker Room offers tournaments six days a week as well as several special events throughout the year. In 2022, the Ontario Poker Room offered special tournaments to send players to the WSOP in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The weekly tournament schedule seems to change from time to time without the website being updated, so be sure to text, call or visit their Facebook page to confirm the tournament schedule for the day you want to play. We’ll include the standard weekly tournament schedule below:
- Monday 7pm: Omaha Hi/Lo Turbo Tournament, Buyin: $50.
Starting stack of 50,000 chips.
- Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.: NL Hold’em Tornado Tournament, Buyin: $30.
Starting stack of 5000 chips.
- Thursday 7pm: Deep Stack Bounty NL Hold’em Tournament, Buyin: $35.
Starting stack of 10,000 chips with prizes of $10.
- Friday 7pm: Fireball Tournament, Buyin: $50.
Starting stack of 5000 chips with unlimited re-buys from $10 for the first hour
- Saturday 1pm: Deep Stacks Tournament, Buyin: $60.
Starting stack of 15,000 chips with unlimited rebuys from $20 for the first hour
- Sunday, 2:00 p.m.: NL Hold’em Tournament, Buyin: $40.
Starting stack of 10,000 chips with two rebuys in the first hour
The Ontario Poker Room offers players a solid lineup of bonuses and extras to look forward to, including High-Hand Bonuses, the Wednesday King Button Draw Progressive Jackpot, and the Bad Beat Cash Game Jackpot. Hold’em’s Bad Beat Jackpot only requires a minimum full house to be beaten to trigger, which is more generous than most poker rooms.
The Ontario Poker Room also boasts a number of other promotions that it will be promoting each night. We saw them give $25 to the first five players in the cash game and $100 to the first player to arrive. Fun bonuses like this are constantly changing here and make for a great reason to stop by and give it a try.
Atmosphere and feeling in the poker room
The Ontario Poker Room looks like a professionally run home game. The decor is quite charming and old-fashioned, which is certainly appropriate for its location in the old center of a small town. All dealers and staff are very friendly and professional and the small town environment means players feel very comfortable and know each other.
Another little tidbit to mention is that our reviewer actually managed to hit a royal flush during a small tournament here. There was a $5 optional high hand bonus for the tournament, which our reviewer won with his royal flush for around $100. He was also informed immediately after the hand that there was a separate $1 buy-in for a small bonus of a $25 royal flush.
Our reviewer was unaware of this and did not pay the $1, but John, the owner, decided to pay the $25 bonus anyway. The actual cash winnings in this case were small, and we were left wondering how a $1 buy-in from each player on a regular basis for a hand as rare as a royal flush only yielded $25; however, this positive experience speaks volumes for the type of people who run the Ontario poker room.
Food and beverage options
The Ontario Poker Room really goes above and beyond when it comes to dining and food availability. There are free dinner and dining options almost every night. The variety and type of food will vary, but you can count on there being hot and fresh food to eat while you play, absolutely free of charge. When we visited last time, a batch of Panda Express was brought in for all of us to enjoy for free.
There is also a fully stocked cooler with plenty of beer and soft drinks available for purchase at modest prices. There are also additional snacks available for purchase including candy, chips and nuts. The food options available for purchase are limited to light snacks here, but the free fresh meals more than make up for this small drawback.
History of the Ontario Poker Room
Ontario Poker Room and Social Club is owned and operated by John and Carla Gutcher, who are a husband and wife team. John and Carla originally lived in Bend, Oregon and always loved the game of poker. As the couple neared retirement from their main careers and moved to Ontario, they knew social gaming and poker were illegal in the city.
John and Carla decided to research the topic and collect data in an attempt to change city ordinances to allow social gambling. In 2016, John and Carla presented their research and findings to the City Council and shortly thereafter the ordinances were revised to allow social gambling.
After the regulations were changed and the way was clear for John and Carla to open a poker room, they started the Ontario Poker Room and Social Club. The Ontario Poker Room and Social Club was the first poker room in the Ontario area and it is clear that John and Carla’s efforts have been extremely successful for all poker players in the Treasure Valley area.
Ontario Poker Room Player Reviews
As part of our review process, we always want to check out what other real players are saying about Ontario Poker Room. Most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, which is no surprise given our excellent track record, but feel free to check out what a few other players had to say below:
The Ontario Poker Room obviously maintains a generally positive reputation and we agree that it is a great place to play live poker. Our only concern that came up during our visit is that the dealer will deal a second deck and have the players take turns shuffling in an attempt to speed things up. Unfortunately, many of the players cannot shuffle properly, which can be a bit of a concern when it comes to the integrity of the game.
You don’t have to wait to play poker now
We’re glad we decided to stop by the Ontario Poker Room recently on our trip to Ontario, Oregon. We also recently reviewed Action’s Card House. Although it is difficult to compare the two rooms and choose which one is better, we really enjoyed the experience in both rooms. We highly recommend stopping by the Ontario Poker Room if you are in the area or passing through.
Although live poker can be one of the most enjoyable and profitable poker experiences, there are many places to play poker safely online from the comfort of your own home. If you want to learn more about playing online for real money, please feel free to check out this detailed article covering the best online poker sites for US players.
You might be wondering about the legality and safety of playing online poker. Please feel free to check out our extensive page covering online poker laws and regulations for US players.
Look below for more reviews of live card rooms in the United States:
- Shuffle512 (Austin, TX)
- The Lodge (Round Rock, TX)
- Action’s Card House (Downtown Ontario, OR)
- Golden Nugget (Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Mandalay Bay (Paradise, Nevada)
- Texas Card House (North Austin, TX)
- Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN)
- MGM Grand (Detroit, Michigan)
- Beau Rivage (Biloxi, MS)
- The Borgata (Atlantic City, NJ)
- Tropicana (Atlantic City, NJ)
- Turning Stone (Verona, NY)
- Tayoga Downs (Nichols, NY)