If you driving past the Mardi Gras Casino your first inclination might be to keep on driving. There is not much from the outside that would naturally draw you in. You might even think the place had been abandoned. So when you get the gumption to walk inside you'll be in for a surprise. It's a cozy yet spacious poker room. The atmosphere reminds me of the Treasure Island card room in Vegas, but only bigger.
They play a speed version of their NL games which basically means players can't dawdle over every decision. One of the managers said that initially every player had to act within 10 seconds or risk the auto-fold. The time count has been relaxed, but the play was noticeably quicker than at other area rooms. The place was busy, but they only had a single $2-5 going late on a Tuesday afternoon and it took me an hour to get a seat despite being 2nd on the list.
If there was one thing that stood out it was the number of Russians and Eastern Europeans in the game. I was sitting near a young Russia kid with a big stack that looked like he was at the final table of a TV tournament. You never know when you sit down against these big stacks if you missed solid poker playing or gambling. I usually give the Russian players credit for solid play because of their seriousness, but sitting there for a few hours I realized that they will roll the dice too. I busted once on a semi-bluff raise, but the young Russian kid doubled me up later so that the day wasn't a loss. That was the flavor of the action. A big pair and a nut flush draw have no problems going all-in for $300-400. It makes for an exciting afternoon.
I was a bit dehydrated that day and the waitresses were quick with the drinks. I also ordered a chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries and both were a good value. I couldn't even finish the fries they were so plentiful. They had a dozen or so beers on tap.
I will definitely return the next time I am in town.