by Andy Clark
All right, readers—I started this column in January, and since then have visited a number of casinos, resorts, and card rooms. Many of you have contacted me via email and asked my advice where to play in the Pacific Northwest. Well, here are my top picks for places to stay, visit, eat, enjoy, and play poker in and around my region: Northern Quest, Wildhorse, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, and Suquamish Clearwater, in no particular order. I pushed my luck at all five establishments and was nothing less than impressed with everything they had to offer.
Northern Quest Resort & Casino is located in Airway Heights, Washington, just a few miles west of Spokane near the airport. They have a prestigious hotel, wonderful food (Masselows) and a state-of-the-art poker room. This gem includes a superior spa and swanky cigar bar. At the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, enjoy an overnight stay in the new tower just outside of Pendleton, Oregon...beautiful country and great hospitality. Play in one of their Poker Round Ups (spring and fall) or the Summer Rodeo while the family watches a movie at the cineplex. There is even talk of a bowling alley and water park in the near future. For now, fine dining at the Plateau and entertainment on the weekends are both special treats.
Thirty minutes north of Seattle, the Tulalip Resort Casino, just off I-5, is one of the premier conference destinations in the PNW. This enormous property, located next to the Premium Seattle Outlets, offers a massive gaming space and expansive poker room. The luxurious hotel boasts the finest amenities to go with their highend spa. Experience the thrill of Vegas-style gaming and world class entertainment at the Snoqualmie Casino. This upscale, action-packed mountainous property with a view is a short drive from Seattle on I-90 East and has an impressive ten-table, classy poker room. At the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort pamper yourself and a loved one after taking a 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island. This naturally breathtaking retreat nestled among the pines and cedars of the scenic Kitsap Peninsula offers a wide array of indoor and outdoor pleasures.
Lucky Chances, located in Northern California, is currently hosting their Battle of the Bay tournament and concludes on Sunday, June 11th with their No Limit Hold’em Championship and a $100,000 first place guarantee. Recently, I was impressed by the action at Ringo’s Little Vegas in the Spokane Valley as I bought-in for their Wednesday night tournament and was the first one knocked out upon making the final table. A dream of mine is to someday hit the links with former UW quarterback Sonny Sixkiller at Seven Cedars Casino near Sequim, (pronounced Squim) Washington. Located in one of the most picturesque areas of the nation, it looks to have an incredible golf course and word has it the legendary Husky never misses a Super Bowl there.
Attention all Poker Room Managers: if you think your card room should be on my Top 10, contact me via email and tell me why. I will then do my best to visit your establishment this summer. I plan to hit the road and would enjoy meeting you and checking out your property.
All-in tip: After looking at a HogWild Poker League ad in Poker Player Newspaper, I signed up and have enjoyed playing, especially in their HogWild Staking Series. Check out their website and decide for yourself. And nice job, HogWild, you got my business. Job well done!
Andy Clark is in charge of Poker Player’s Northwest advertising sales. He’s an accomplished high school teacher, coach and avid poker player. Father of four, he enjoys travelling with his family. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.