Originally Posted by Wolfe
I played at the Forum this weekend. The room is really nice. New tables, good lighting and competent dealers. Everyone was really friendly. All they play is NLHE. 5/10 up to 100/200.
In Cebu, the highest typical game is 100/200 (pesos, for those of you not in the Phils., this is roughly $2/$4 USD) with a forced straddle (effectively turning it into 200/400 - this is done to limit the rake, which is government regulated according to the blind limit). Occasional larger games are arranged up to 300/600. At the Hyatt in Manila, I believe they run larger games. Metro Manila I think maxes out at 300/600.
In Cebu - Diamond focuses on 10/20 up to 50/100. Metro Cebu is mostly 10/20 to 25/50, a few times a week there'll be 50/100, but has regs who play 100/200 a few times a week. Metro also runs daily tourneys, buy ins are typically 500 if I remember right. All In has regular 10/20 up to 50/100 play, and again has regs who play 100/200 several times a week. Both Metro and All In have larger guarantee tourneys - All In has a 1M guarantee 1R1A on June 27 (I think), Metro Manila has a 5M guarantee in July some time.
One thing I didn't like though. At one point in the evening a group of women came in to market a cigarette brand. Obviously this is a business arrangement between the casino and the marketing company. Problem is, you have to take a survey to get the free pack of cancer sticks. All of a sudden, half the table is up taking these surveys that take 10-15 minutes to complete.
This is common to all the poker rooms, but doesn't happen that frequently - once every two months or so.
Second concern. The room itself is very secure. CCTV and security guards. But, the casino is in a strip mall. No security in the parking lot. You have to walk to the street to get a taxi and you need to wait for a taxi to go by, no stand nearby. I would be worried about walking out with a big win here.
Be very careful, this is a very legit concern. In Cebu, security is best at All In and Metro - Diamond doesn't have security outside the room, but both the others do.
I came in second in a MTT last year and won 250K pesos - all in 1K denomination bills, since that's the largest denomination in the Phils. - I have a car and driver, so it wasn't a big deal, but I can't imagine taking that into a taxi.
Reputable clubs (Hyatt Casino and Metro in Manila and probably others, all three in Cebu) can make arrangements to hold your winnings in the cage for you to pick up later, but I wouldn't do this with a club I didn't know the owner of.