One of the pioneering poker rooms in the Philippines, the Metro Card Club continues to be a favorite among locals for 24/7 cash game and small stakes tournament action.

City Pasig City, Manila, Philippines
Address Google map Bldg. C Bazaar Area Metrowalk Commercial Complex, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines,
Website https://metrocardclub.com/, Facebook
Hours 24/7
Contact (+63) 2 633-1422 or (+63) 2 633-6536, admin@metrocardclub.com
Games No-limit holdem cash Pot-limit Omaha cash (sometimes) Daily tournaments Monthly special tournaments Period small stakes tournament series
Size 30+ tables total

How to get to the Metro Card Club

For players travelling to the big casinos, the Metro Card Club is out of the way, but might be worth a trip for the curious.

The Metro Card Club is located in Pasig City, which is a city inside the broader metro Manila. From the airport, the taxi ride is from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic. Sundays is best to travel and avoid peak hours, especially 4pm to 9pm.

Cash games at the Metro Card Club

There is always something open with most tables at the lower stakes. Seats are usually available for 25/50 peso, and often waiting lists for the higher stakes.

  • NLH: PhP 10/20, rake 10% cap PhP200, Min/Max buy-in PhP200 – PhP2000
  • NLH: PhP 20/40, rake 10%, Min./Max. Buy-in PhP400 – PhP4000
  • NLH: PhP 25/50, rake 10%, Min./Max. Buy-in PhP1000 – PhP5000
  • NLH: PhP 50/10, rake 10% cap PhP400, Min./Max. Buy-in PhP2000 – PhP25000
  • PLO: Usually not available, on demand PhP20/40, PhP50/50, PhP 100/200
  • VIP high-stakes games play on demand

Poker tournaments at the Metro Card Club

The room has consistent daily tournaments for small stakes with small guarantees, which vary according to the day of the week from 30k to 100k in Philippine peso. (1 USD ~ 50 peso).

Throughout the year, they various tournament series with larger guarantees of 500k to 1 million peso. These tournaments are only announced close to the tournament date but I found the structures to provide value for money. Sometimes a 2500 peso buy-in will get you a slow 30 minute level 2-day event. 

Metro’s biggest annual event is the RVS CUP Philippine Poker Championship with a 5 million peso guarantee and various value side events. It draws quite a field.

Daily tournament schedule at Feb 2020 for Metro Card Club Manila

Poker operations at the Metro Card Club

A few veteran security staff will check your bag and pad you down before entry. They are mostly concerned with weapons. I’ve never seen a gun at the premises however but I’m glad they check. Upon entering, you’ll be at the cash registration desk. The friendly girls will ask you which games you’d like to play and will appoint you a seat promptly or put you on the lists. Booking transfers between tables and games is allowed, and usually they’ll come find you at your table to alert you of your transfer opening. You are welcome to just walk in and walk around. The list system works fine, but occasionally your name will disappear from a list (perhaps you miss the announcement or they think you don’t want to transfer any longer), so keep an eye on the list as time passes.

The dealers at Metro work hard. They are well-trained, courteous and fast by local standards. They understand the games they are dealing and rarely make obvious mistakes. Stay alert however, mistakes are made and you’ll need to point them out or call the floor for rectification.

The cashier and tournament registration desk are on the opposite side of the room. You can order chips at the table conveniently. Tournament registration is a single queue and rather slow, so come early to avoid waiting, or later. 

The floor is readily available for calling time or to resolve disputes. I’ve found the floor generally very knowledgeable and sort most disputes quickly and fairly for the most part.

Security staff patrol the room generally keeping things in order and helping out.

There is a bar that prepares drinks. You can order coffee, tea and water on the house or self serve. You can order delivery food from various local restaurants and the staff will place the order and bring the food to you at the table, served with plates and cutlery (for a service charge), but very convenient and some of the food is delicious. 

Generally massage is available at your table and at a reasonable price too.

How about the players? Most of the room is amateurs, recreationals, beginners and house players. For tournaments, most players are regulars for dailies, but the larger tournaments attract a crowd from all over Manila because of low buy-ins, good structures and guarantees. Last year I saw over 1200 entries!

Rules followed or Wild West?

Of course, like every poker room, the Metro has house rules which make differ from what you are used to, and cash game rules are different from tournaments. For the tournaments, the rules are more strictly enforced, including penalties for acting out of turn or using your phone during the hand. I’ve experienced the rules are often more strictly enforced for non-local players, but on the bright side, anyone can call floor and request enforcement of a rule. An ongoing problem (like most rooms in the Philippines) is getting the English-only rule enforced. Tagalog, and sometimes Korean is often spoken during hands. For cash games, the emphasis is more on a fast game rather than a strict game. Many players mix in attempted humor with angle shooting. Being mostly a tournament player, I’m satisfied with rule enforcement all in all.

Feel of the Metro Card Club poker room

The Metro room feels like poker, looks like poker and smells like poker..eww. Chips are flying, tables gather crowds, people laugh and cheer. Regs sleep at the table, and heads fall into plates of guacamole nachos. The lights are dim, the announcements airport loud. The chairs are for school children, but they are firm and fit under the table. Bring your headset, bring your pillow and bring your money. The bathroom, well, save your number twos for the hotel.

Glady, there is no smoking or vaping in or near the room, so the air is sweet fresh air-conditioned unpolluted Manila pollution. Well done to Metro for no smoking atmosphere.

Nearby to Metro Card Club

The Metro Card Club is located in an entertainment square called MetroWalk, replete with restaurants, bars, karaoke, Starbucks, coffee shops and eateries. A great place to meet up with friends to chill. Try the Behrouz restaurant for delicious and value Persianv and Middle Eastern cuisine!

Summary

PROS CONS
24/7 action Inconvenient location
Various cash game stakes Very noisy room
Poker and only poker Rule enforcement biased towards locals
Fast, skilled dealers Many locals, so soft play common
Cash and tournaments Poor lighting
Many food and drink options Unpredictable for high stakes, PLO

Video blogs for Metro Card Club in Manila

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