ProfessionalRakeback.com was founded primarily to provide factual and helpful information about playing at online poker sites. Although the online streets are our major focus, our team consists of many professional players that also play live poker from time to time. As a part of our recent trip to Ontario, Oregon, we played at two local poker rooms.
We recently published a review of Action’s Card House in Ontario, and today, we will be discussing the other social poker room in Ontario, OR called Ontario Poker Room and Social Club. Ontario Poker Room also goes by OPR as shorthand.
Location: Ontario, Oregon on the Eastern Idaho border
Hours: Opens at 5:00 pm Five Days a Week, Opens at 12:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Promos: Bad Beat Jackpot, Royal Button Draw Progressive Jackpot on Wednesdays, High Hand Progressive Jackpot for cash games, High Hand pots for tournaments, and a Royal Flush Progressive Jackpot
Rake: Tournaments feature somewhat standard although fairly high fees (20-30%). Cash games separate 10% of each pot up to $5, the winner will donate the separated chips back to the house
Miscellaneous: Other games, like Pinochle and Open Face Chinese, are played here during off-times
Food/Beverage: Hot and freshly prepared meals are usually available for free to all players; the bar also sells beer, chips, candy, and soft drinks
Pros: A decent amount of TVs to watch sporting events, extremely friendly and fun environment, highly professional dealers and staff
Cons: Tournament fees are a touch high at times. Occasional player shuffling of a second deck leads to doubts about game integrity.
Ontario Poker Room Location
Ontario Poker Room is located at 287 S Oregon Street in Ontario, Oregon. The location is truly in the heart of downtown Ontario with numerous local businesses within walking distance. Ontario, Oregon is a fairly 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 folks who reside near the border in Idaho.
Ontario Poker Room Games
Ontario Poker Room spreads cash games every day of the week as long as players want to play. The most frequently played game here is $1/$2 NL Hold’em, but on Sunday and Wednesday, $1/$2 Omaha Hi/Lo is the game of choice.
The minimum buyin for $1/$2 Hold’em is $30 with a $500 maximum. All $1/$2 Omaha games feature a $60 minimum buyin and a $1,000 maximum. Occasionally, other games will be played like mixed games and Hold’em with an Omaha Hi/Lo Button. Ontario Poker Room also hosts pinochle, cribbage, and chess games.
The poker room opens at 5:00 pm every weekday and at 12:00 noon on the weekends. Usually, the cash games will start around this time or shortly thereafter. Sometimes, there aren’t enough cash game players when a tournament is scheduled for 7:00 pm, so the cash games get going after players start to bust from the 7:00 pm tournament.
Ontario Poker Room offers tournaments six days a week as well as a few special events throughout the year. In 2022, Ontario Poker Room offered special tournaments to send players to the W.S.O.P. in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The weekly tournament schedule does appear to change on occasion without the website updating, so be sure to text, call, or visit their Facebook page to confirm the tournament schedule for the day you want to play. We will include the standard weekly tournament schedule below:
- Monday, 7:00 pm: Omaha Hi/Lo Turbo Tournament, Buyin: $50.
50,000 chip starting stack.
- Tuesday, 7:00 pm: NL Hold’em Tornado Tournament, Buyin: $30.
5,000 chip starting stack.
- Thursday, 7:00 pm: Deep Stack Bounty NL Hold’em Tournament, Buyin: $35.
10,000 chip starting stack with $10 bounties.
- Friday, 7:00 pm: Fireball Tournament, Buyin: $50.
5,000 chip starting stack with unlimited $10 rebuys for the first hour
- Saturday, 1:00 pm: Deep Stack Tournament, Buyin: $60.
15,000 chip starting stack with unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour
- Sunday, 2:00 pm: NL Hold’em Tournament, Buyin: $40.
10,000 chip starting stack with two rebuys for the first hour
Ontario Poker Room offers players a solid range of bonuses and extras to look forward to including High-Hand bonuses, a Royal Button Draw Progressive Jackpot on Wednesdays, and a Bad Beat Jackpot for cash games. The Hold’em Bad Beat Jackpot only requires a minimum of a full house to be beaten to be triggered, which is more generous than most poker rooms.
Ontario Poker Room also boasts a number of other promotions that it will advertise on any given night. We have seen them award $25 to the first five cash game players and $100 to the first player to arrive. Fun bonuses like this are constantly changing here and create a great reason to stop by and give it a shot.
Poker Room Environment and Feel
Ontario Poker Room feels a bit like a professionally run home game. The decor is quite charming and quaint, which is certainly fitting for its location in an old downtown area of a small city. All of the dealers and staff are very kind and professional, and the small-town environment means that players are very comfortable and familiar with each other.
One other small 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. Also, he was informed right after the hand that there was a separate $1 buy-in for a small $25 royal flush bonus.
Our reviewer wasn’t aware of this and didn’t pay the $1, but Jon, the owner, decided to pay the $25 bonus anyway. The actual monetary wins in this instance were small, and we were left wondering how a $1 buyin from each player on a regular basis for a hand as rare as a royal flush only awarded $25; nevertheless, this positive experience speaks to the kind of people that operate Ontario Poker Room.
Dining and Beverage Options
Ontario Poker Room truly goes above and beyond when it comes to dining and food availability. There are free dinner and meal options almost every night. The variety and type of food will vary, but you can count on there being hot and fresh food that you can eat while you play for absolutely no charge. When we visited last time, a bevy 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 that you can buy, including candy, chips, and nuts. The available food options for purchase are limited to snacks here, but the free, fresh meals more than make up for this minor downside.
Ontario Poker Room History
Ontario Poker Room and Social Club is owned and operated by Jon and Carla Gutcher, who are a husband and wife team. Jon and Carla originally resided in Bend, Oregon, and they always loved the game of poker. As the couple neared retirement from their primary careers and relocated to Ontario, they knew that social gaming and poker were illegal in the city.
Jon and Carla decided to research the topic and gather data in an effort to change the city ordinances to allow social gambling. In 2016, Jon and Carla presented their research and findings to the City Council, and shortly thereafter, the ordinances were reshaped to allow social gambling.
Once the ordinances had been changed and the path was clear for Jon and Carla to open a poker room, they launched Ontario Poker Room and Social Club. Ontario Poker Room and Social Club was the first poker room in the Ontario area, and it is clear that Jon and Carla’s efforts have been extremely successful for all poker players near the Treasure Valley.
Player Opinions of Ontario Poker Room
As a part of our review process, we always like to check out what other, real players are saying about Ontario Poker Room. Most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, which is no surprise considering our excellent experience, but please feel free to check out what a few other players had to say below:
Ontario Poker Room clearly maintains a generally positive reputation, and we agree that it is a fine place to play live poker. Our only concern that arose during our visit is that the dealer would pass around a second deck and have the players take turns shuffling in an effort to speed things up. Unfortunately, many of the players cannot properly shuffle, which may be a bit of a concern when it comes to game integrity.
You Don’t Have to Wait to Play Poker Now
We are glad that we decided to stop by Ontario Poker Room recently during 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 our experience at both rooms. We highly recommend stopping by 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 plenty of places to play poker safely online from the comfort of your own home. If you’d like to find out more about playing online for real money, please feel free to peruse this detailed article covering the best online poker sites for U.S. players.
Perhaps you are wondering about the legality and safety of playing online poker. Please feel free to check out our extensive page covering the laws and legalities surrounding online poker for U.S. players.
Look below for more reviews of live cardrooms across the United States:
- Shuffle512 (Austin, TX)
- The Lodge (Round Rock, TX)
- Action’s Card House (Downtown Ontario, OR)
- Golden Nugget (Downtown Las Vegas, NV)
- Mandalay Bay (Paradise, NV)
- Texas Card House (North Austin, TX)
- Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN)
- MGM Grand (Detroit, MI)
- Beautiful shoreline (Biloxi, MS)
- Borgata (Atlantic City, NJ)
- Tropicana (Atlantic City, NJ)
- Turning Stone (Verona, NY)
- Tioga Downs (Nichols, New York)