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Casino Real no longer an ‘old corner’ cardroom By JASON CAMPBELL

You look down at your hole cards.

Ace. Ace.

Some might say they’re the unluckiest cards you can be dealt. But they’re also the best starting hand that you can have, and the guy to your left just pushed all of his chips into the middle of the pot.

This is it. At this point, right now, you’re putting all of your money into the pot with the best two cards.

Ain’t Manteca grand?

No more trips to Jackson or Reno or Tahoe or Vegas just to get a few good hands of poker anymore. Casino Real has become a legitimate destination for Central Valley poker players and has grown from an old corner card room into a full-service facility that offers fine dining and a full bar as well as blackjack, three-card poker and baccarat.

How much of a destination?

When Ernie’s Food and Spirits opened, chef Michael Midgley attracted a daily lunch and dinner crowd that filled the parking lot and made the spot a top dining option for people not just in Manteca but surrounding cities as well.

Midgley has since gone on to open his own restaurant, but Ernie’s still thrives as the city’s only fine-dining establishment and an augmentation to the poker-playing that takes place next door.
And a lot of poker-playing takes place next door.

Under the watchful eye of General Manager Dennis Williams, players receive perks for hours played like entry into free-roll tournaments and cash options as well as table jackpots that can reach as high as $50,000. Any time a straight flush is beaten the amount is split amongst the players at that table, and hands, from that level all the way down to a full house, equate to a payout to the table – known colloquially as a bad beat. The losing hand gets the majority of the amount.

Casino Real is located at 1355 N. Main Street. For more information visit

or call 209.239.1455.