by Ashley Adams
I left off the first part of this article after finishing play at the Casino Royale poker room in the beautiful Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento. Though my friend Andrei was tired out by our cross country flight and subsequent poker jaunt, I was still energized. So before retiring I headed out on Saturday night to the two other rooms in Sacramento, The Capitol Casino, and the Limelight Bar and Cafe Card Room.
The Capitol Casino (411 N. 16th Street, Sacramento, 916-446- 0700) is the dominant card room in the area. Open 24/7, there are ten poker tables and many “California Games”. The food is outstanding. They have Asian dishes, diner fare, and elaborate desserts that literally sit on shelves surrounding many of the areas of play. It was weird looking, but so tempting that I went back the following day just to eat breakfast (and had a great omelet and perfectly prepared coffee).
The room has the biggest action in the area. I played in the $2/$5 game that rocked and rolled. (They sometimes have $5/$10 no limit I was told—but it wasn’t going on the Saturday night I was there). Seventy percent of the hands were 3-bet or 4-bet pre-flop. I don’t recall if there was a cap on the buy-in, but at my table there were three players sitting with well over $1K. While the level of play was not of the very highest level—that you’ll find at some of the very large poker rooms like Commerce, Aria, Bellagio, Borgata, or Foxwoods -- this was better than a collection of local rocks and recreational players. I didn’t sit in or observe their other games, but there were $1/$2 no limits going as well as a few $4/8, $6/12 limit and even a $4/$8 Omaha8 with a half kill. They offer a wide variety of tournaments as well.
...and flair and money with its Pittsburgh Poker Open & Spring Series.
By Barbara Rogers
And you thought Pittsburgh was famous for its twisted steel of years past. Now they are famous for having Rivers Casino in their city and a very popular poker room. Jim Tinney, poker room manager makes sure of it. Just coming off the $50,000 March Meltdown, and giving money away—that does make for popularity. Now with $175,000 guaranteed and tournaments priced to keep you playing the entire event, The Pittsburgh Poker Open/Spring Series will play from April 10th to April 21st. You can satellite into the main event or with so many NLH events, win the buy-in money yourself, for the main event. The start dates for the main No Limit Hold’em event are Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th, 12 noon, $1,000+$100 will get you into it. One hour blinds in the main event should please you. In addition to a raft of NLH tournaments, Pot Limit Omaha, will be offered along with a Green Chip Bounty event. I love the number of No Limit Hold’em events on the schedule. Jim is a man after my own heart.
by Haley Hintze
The World Series of Poker Circuit Series will lose one of its venues next season, following the announcement by parent company Caesars Entertainment that the Harrah’s Tunica casino will close on June 2nd. The Mississippi casino-report is the largest of three Caesars-owned properties in Tunica, but remained awash in red ink despite the success of the WSOPC Tunica stop. Mississippi’s Tunica casinos have seen sharp revenue declines, with much of the region’s casino business shifting to the state’s resurgent Biloxi / Gulf Coast region. The most recent WSOPC Tunica visit was in late January, with the stop expected to be removed or replaced on the tour’s 2014-15 slate.
by Barbara Rogers
Rockin Rivers! Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Rivers Casino is bringing on their Spring Poker Open. All the events are affordable and there’s quite a list; $175,000 is guaranteed in pay outs. For more information view their ad on page 2 of this issue of Poker Player. [Download the PDF]
200 grand guaranteed at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan in their Mid-States Poker Tour coming up May 9-18th. The qualifiers start as early as May 2nd. Put this in your tournament schedule book and look into their Player Of The Year Tournament Of Champions. The guaranteed prize pool for this is over $40,000. You can stay where you play at FireKeepers worldclass hotel. Say hi to Kelley Bailey, in charge of the poker room while you’re there. Kelley has made sure players have a tournament to play in 7 days of the week. 2014 Stacked Sundays is another popular venue of Kelley’s. The 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month, $220+$20 will get you 15,000 in chips and 30 minute levels. Get more info on page 11 of this issue of Poker Player. [Download the PDF]
Borgata has another of their big money events coming up. They will be bringing players into Atlantic City from April 8-26; look for $5 Million in pay-outs during the 51 events.
by Barbara Rogers
You’ll want to be a part of Seneca Niagara’s 16-event Poker Challenge from March 16th thru April 6th . With buyin’s ranging from $100 up to $1,100, new pay-outs and blind structures, this 9-day winter festival of poker will heat things up for you. There is even a Step 1 satellite for only $40. Step 2, a $150 qualifier, sends one out of eight players to the main event. Step 2 is offered Fridays at 9pm and Saturdays at 3pm and 9pm. The main event buy-in is $1,100, with a $100,000 guarantee. See page 11 of this issue for all the details (Download the PDF). I should note that Events 10-16 will allow 18-year-old players this year.
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is AAA Four-Diamond rated, and the largest hotel in Western New York, with 604 newly renovated rooms. Call 877-8-Seneca or 716-278-6300 to reserve your room. Say “hi” to Amanda Scarcelli and Jason Brooks—They and their staff take excellent care of this poker room. This year you may see something different in the spectacular view of the Falls, just a short walk from Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. As of this writing, they are partially frozen. Because of the Polar Vortex, the Falls are a rare spectacle to behold. Bundle up and take a hearty walk to view this winter wonderland. Sure, it’s hard to leave the warm lodging of this Four-Diamond hotel and the hot action at the cash tables, but it will invigorate you to witness one of nature’s great gifts.
by Barbara Rogers
Bringing you the best news in Floridian poker—bestbet Jacksonville is a good start. The newest and largest Florida poker room has 70 tables and is bringing on the World Poker Tour with a $500,000 guarantee, March 7-25. This WPT event offers plenty of NLH and a couple of Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better events, one of which has a re-buy and three guarantee events. They are $50 grand, $100 grand, and the main event of $500,000.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room open from 10am to 4am daily has the Heartland Poker Tour on their schedule. With a $1,650 buy-in for the main event, the dates for the run are March 21-30. Winner of 13 World Championships, Phil Hellmuth Jr. will be at the Daytona Beach Deep Stacks Charity Classic during the Extravaganza Weekend April 25-27. This is one of his preferred stops during the Extravaganza. Like his style or not, Phil has generously chaired and emceed poker charity events that have now raised over 20.4 million for charity.
Battles At The Beach are now in progress and a guaranteed $1 MILLION is worth fighting over. If you want to get in on the action, head over to Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. This poker room has the highest return for hourly play in South Florida. March 5th-25th are the $1,000,000 guarantees.
By Barbara Rogers
MARYLAND LIVE! is ready to launch its first big poker tournament. With 9 events over 14 days and $1 Million Dollars in cash prizes, the excitement just got as hot as the action at the cash tables. The first $1 Million Live Poker Classic plays out from March 10-24th. Kick off is March 10th, a $225,000 guaranteed pay-out with a $550 buyin, making it a nice R.O.I. first draw of the event. The grand finale, March 21-24th, guarantees a $400,000 payout with a $3,500 buy-in. With a whole lot of play in between, as follows: $150 Double Green Chip Bounty with a $20,000 guarantee prize money, a $1,100 NLH, $100,000 guaranteed, a $550 NLH Freezeout with $75,000 guaranteed, a $1,600 Purple Chip Bounty, with a big $100,000 guarantee, a $350 Black Chip Bounty PLO that guarantees $10,000, the $1,100 Six Man Max NLH guarantees $50,000, and the $150 Double Green Chip Bounty will guarantee $20,000. All in prize money. All waiting for you and me.
I asked a busy man, Mike Smith, Director of Poker Operations for Maryland Live! a couple questions.
by Barbara Rogers
Maryland Live! will host Poker Night In America for their main $1 MILLION DOLLAR POKER CLASSIC event. After filming the main event for television, the crew will stick around to film two cash games. They are by invitation only with a minimum buy-in of $5,000 and maximum of $20,000. The main event is March 21-24th with a guaranteed payout of $400,000. If you have the money, and a colorful personality, visit Maryland Live Casino - Poker Night in America
by Ashley Adams
What’s the poker capitol of the world? For my money, the honors have to go to the entire state of California. This state’s rich poker legacy goes back to the 1930s, a time when gambling was banned everywhere in the United States, but in Nevada. But in California, poker clubs were legal and thrived in those municipalities that allowed them (if only for draw poker games).
Poker continues to thrive in California today, with 104 rooms listed on www.pokeratlas.com. Having played in just about all of the poker rooms in Southern California, I decided to explore the vast sea of poker rooms in the northern and central part of the state. My buddy Andrei (a limit hold’em specialist) and I managed to hit about 25 of them on this five day trip. In this and my next few articles, I will tell you, at least briefly, about the rooms we visited—as well as a few of the highlights and lowlights of our excursion.
We flew into San Francisco and immediately rented a car and left the Bay Area. We could have played in the four rooms that ring San Francisco: The Oaks in Emeryville, Artichoke Joe’s in San Bruno, Palace Poker in Hayward, and Lucky Chances in Colma. All are fine rooms, worthy of at least a visit. But I had played in each of them in the past and decided that we would spend our limited time in rooms to the east that I had yet to visit. So off we were for points east.
by Barbara Rogers
At the upcoming Foxwoods Poker Classic you can mix it up with a field of top professional players as well as top amateur players. All you have to do is…be there! Well, do take some money with you. There are events for every poker players taste. With reasonably priced satellites and a great cash room full of action 24/7, you stand an excellent chance of winning your buy-in. Foxwoods Poker Classic, always considered a major tournament, plays out from March 8-23, offering a $1,000,000 guarantee!
When you view the schedule on page 3 of this issue of Poker Player, you will see a host of events. [View the PDF]
With so many tournaments, with affordable buy-in’s, good starting stacks, you will want to stay and play awhile. PLO, Bounty, HOSE, NLH Seniors, NLH Ladies, (Re-Entry) to name a few. So here are your Foxwoods lodging options: Two Trees Inn, use group # 5857 for Sun.-Thurs. $69, Jr. Suite $99, Fri. $149, Jr. Suite $179 and Sat. $169, Jr. Suite $189. Another choice is the Great Cedar Hotel, use group #4424 for the rates of Sun.-Thurs. of $119, Fri. is $179 and Sat. $199. And finally the Grand Pequot Tower has a rate of $119 for Thurs.-Thurs., Fri. $179, Sat. $199 use code #9829.