Summer has finally hit the Las Vegas Valley and the mercury is firmly planted into the 100s with no break in sight ... at least not for a few months. The WSOP has come and gone, except for the final nine who are set to play in November, and many new champions were crowned. There were repeat performances by some of the poker world's elite players too.
The Deep Stack tournaments at many other properties are also finished or winding down. It's been a great few months of poker in Las Vegas, with the Venetian, Golden Nugget, Horseshoe, Wynn, and Bellagio, all hosting major events.
With a sluggish economy, it is amazing that the poker players continue to flock to this Mecca. Nevertheless, I think that poker in Las Vegas is going to dry up for a little while as players regroup to rebuild their bankrolls. That said, there are many more things to do near the area.
The Eureka Hotel and Casino, about an hour north of Las Vegas (Eurekamesquite.com) is hosting its summer poker tournament for those needing a low-cost poker fix and a chance to get away. While it isn't cool by any means in Mesquite this time of the year-actually, it's frequently the hottest spot in the nation-it is in the foothills of some of the prettiest and coolest scenery in the Southwest.
The event runs July 25-August 1 with a $30,000 freeroll on August 2 for those who've qualified by playing as little as 25 hours of live poker in the cardroom between July 18 and the morning of the event. More hours gets you more chips with 65 hours maxing you out.
You also can buy into the event directly and information can be obtained by calling the property at 702.345.4709. In addition to the usual no-limit events, there also will be a HOSE tournament as well as an Omaha/8 and a tag-team half Omaha/8 and limit hold 'em. Join Bobby D, Linda Johnson, the Eureka gang, and me for an event that's easy on your wallet and a guaranteed good time at a lovely and newly refurbished resort. Call 800.346.4611 and mention the code POKER OPEN for the lowest rate.
While you're up there just one freeway exit from Arizona and some beautiful canyon driving, stay an extra few days or come up early to enjoy the mountains of the neighboring states. Once you've navigated the curves of the interstate into Utah, you can visit Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon, and the Brian Head ski and summer fun recreation area. Stopping in the picturesque city of St. George, UT along the way for lunch also is scenic and fun.
The temperatures are cooler and the scenery is some of the best in the west. It is a great place to unwind, enjoy the great outdoors, hike, bike, run, practice photography, and otherwise remind yourself that there's more to life than poker. There is, isn't there? Moving right along.... I'm headed to Washington, DC on behalf of the PPA and internet poker lovers everywhere.
Jan Fisher has 30 years experience as a poker player, tournament director, strategist/columnist, co-founder of the Tournament Directors Association, Partner in Card Player Cruises, WPT Boot Camp instructor and statistician, and live studio announcer for the Professional Poker Tour. E-mail Jan at Jan@cardplayercruises.com.