On February 9th, 2009, a poker room that is five years in the making, the North Coast Casino facility is open for business and catering to the experienced gamer. Constructed by local poker players, the poker room offers four full-sized poker tables and six HD televisions with a big selection of sports channels to pick from. The card room also offers a bar serving different selections of beer, wine and other types of beverages. Owner and General Manager of the North Coast poker room, Robert Thomson is from Humboldt County.
Thomson started playing poker and dealing poker in 1990, before television coverage of poker events became well-known on cable sports channels. Thomson worked his way up, from floor managing and eventually managing casino poker rooms. Thomson said that there is a present moratorium on poker room licenses in California and the only way to get one is to buy one already in existence. There are only two poker room licenses available in Humboldt County and after years of talks with the owner of the Klondike Casino, Thomson was able to buy the license.
After that, a thorough background check with the California Department of Justice and the FBI ensued. The poker room offers Texas Holdem and Omaha $3 to $6 and bigger, and $1 to $2 No Limit and higher. According to Thomson, the North Coast Casino will soon be offering weekly poker events with $100 to $200 buy-ins. Thomson added that with a $5,000 payout, they will be offering one of the biggest poker events in the county. Thomson also plans to begin a bad beat jackpot, dividing the cash between the winning and losing card hand.
A bad beat is a term utilize to describe a poker card hand that appears to be strong but nevertheless loses in the end. The North Coast Casino employs around fifteen experienced poker players. Thomson said that friends of his that have worked in the WSOP helped start the business by doing consulting work and teaching dealers. The North Coast casino can be found at #26 Fifth Street in Eureka and is open for business from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m., 7 days a week.