Poker Room Review: Hard Rock Casino Vancouver
Location: Hard Rock Casino Vancouver – Coquitlam, BC
Hours: 24 hours
Situated between the Fraser River and the parallel Trans-Canada Highway is Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. Formerly known as Boulevard Casino, and actually located in the city of Coquitlam, BC, Hard Rock is a new renovation to an existing gaming property that features great performances, walls full of music memorabilia, delicious food options, and, of course, all the games you need to test your luck.
Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is still owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), as it was before the renovation. GCGC also owns River Rock Casino, Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino, View Royal Casino, Casino Nanaimo, several Chances locations, as well as properties outside of BC in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Washington.
The renovation, completed in mid-December, 2013, brings a fantastic entertainment venue to town. The property’s aesthetic is exciting and fresh, and the music-themed décor is not overdone. Even the tournament chips are colour-coordinated with the Hard Rock design! The layout promotes exploration, and iconic artefacts from the music industry can be found around every corner. You can even take home a souvenir from the in-house gift shop. There are acres of slot machines and plenty of table games, as well as The Theatre to catch headlining acts, and several dining options including a food-court-style collection of restaurants.
The poker room was also given a facelift during the renovation and has fresh Hard Rock felts and clean, new poker chips. The room has its own cashier cage for poker players’ convenience, as well has beverage and snack options tableside. If you want something more, there is full food and drink service available as well.
There are generally $1/$2 and $2/$5 No-limit Hold’em cash games running, as well as $2/$4 and occasionally $4/$8 Fixed-limit Hold’em games. Hard Rock pools their Bad Beat Jackpot with the other GCGC properties in the Greater Vancouver area – River Rock Casino and Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino – making for a fast-climbing jackpot.
Hard Rock offers daily morning and evening tournaments from Sunday to Thursday, and mid-day tournaments on Friday and Saturday. The buy-ins range from $40 to $100 and you can add 1,000 chips to your starting stack for $5 in any tournament.
This poker room doesn’t currently have a leaderboard for these daily tournaments, but they do offer a few annual majors. There will be a series in early April that has yet to be named, and there will also be a Summer Series and a Winter Classic in December.
The dealers are friendly and competent and know many of the players by name. Many of the players, especially on week days, are regulars who are well known to each other and the casino. The play is fairly strong, likely aided by the knowledge many players have of their regular opponents. It isn’t one of the softer poker rooms around. However, the chairs definitely are some of the softest in the city, if that’s any consolation.
Stop by Hard Rock Casino Vancouver for the signature Hard Rock experience. The casino is a pleasure to play in because of the great décor and clean, new renovation. The food and entertainment options are a great attraction, and the poker room is first rate. There is always lots of action, but it may be best to avoid weekdays unless you want to test the regulars.
Good luck on the tables!