I am in Hawaiian Gardens, a tiny city at the south end of Los Angeles County. It’s best known for its casino, located in two ‘permanent’ tents.
This is not Las Vegas. It’s not opulent or glamorous. It’s a pit! And yet it’s a very comfortable and friendly pit. It’s our pit!
Out in the parking lot construction is underway for a fancier building. Everyone is worried things will change when the new place opens. People are very attached to this pit.
It’s my understanding the place is owned by an individual, a physician. It must make a lot of cash, because it employees more people than any other casino I’ve ever seen. Like on the deck of an aircraft carrier, each job has a different colored shirt. They’re all attentive.
The food here is amazing. The menu has American, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese sections. I had pepper steak and shrimp with rice. Full meal with soft drink, $9.25.
I noticed during the tournament a short buffet line set up. Food for tournament players, $1.
Helaine and I are here tonight playing in their nightly poker tournament. There are over three hundred players. Someone’s going home with a substantial infusion of cash.
We started at 6:15. The final hand probably won’t be dealt until 2:00 am or later. Of course most players will have been knocked out and gone home by then. I’d like to be groggy, but playing.