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From rodeo to poker round-up

Dec 3, 2007 5:31 AM

Carol, we just returned from our fall poker tour. And it sure is good to get back home to Las Vegas!

On the tour we visited poker rooms in California, the Reno Peppermill and ended up the past couple of weeks in Oregon for the Wildhorse Fall Poker Round Up near Pendleton, Oregon.

Each year in September Pendleton is known for its rodeo, but in November everybody comes a few miles east of town to the Fall Poker Round up, which is held at the Wildhorse resort and casino.

The Fall Poker Round Up poker tournament is a one of a kind event, and Roland Waters, the trail boss and head wrangler of all the cowpokes in the Northwestern United States has created a real winner.

Here are just a few of the things that make the fall poker Round-up unique:

”¡ It’s hard to believe but Roland offered no juice satellites. This means that all the money put up by the players was returned to the players in the form of entry buy-ins into the large tournaments.

I have seen this only once before, when I was hosting an event at the Crystal Park Hotel and Casino in Los Angles, where the club had guaranteed a $50,000 prize pool and they wanted to make sure that they had plenty of entries to cover the guarantee!

So the last day before the poker tournament the promoters took out a little insurance and held no juice satellites. It worked and they covered the guarantee. I guess I remember this so well because I won the tournament.

”¡ Roland added thousands of dollars to each event, a total of over $90,000 was added to the prize pools in this year’s event, plus Roland added a cruise for two in the Seniors Event. Yes, you guessed it, I did not win the cruise but Oklahoma Sarah and I are hosting the cruise in March on the biggest cruise ship on the ocean — The Freedom of The Seas. To reserve your cabin go to

”¡ Unbelievable, but the buy in to most of the tournaments was $100—$200 and the big one on the end was $1,000. But the juice was never more than $10, as in $1,000 plus only $10.

”¡ The food was good and free if you played in the tournaments or live games.

”¡ The number of players were in the hundreds — 500 to 600 and more players in each event.

”¡ A bad beat jackpot was available in the live games; I have never seen this before in a poker tournament. As soon as tables were available live poker was played Western style, which meant it was hard to lose. Carol and I both won every time we could find time to sit in on a live game!

When we left the Wildhorse on Monday, the snow was almost a foot deep, but after a couple hours of driving south to Las Vegas we ran out of the snow.

I was really proud of Carol; she finished in the money twice and got really close in a couple more.

Yes I got the most money in the Stud 8 and better and finished in the money a couple of times, so we were able to pay for the gas and expense of the trip and bring back some money to play in the Vegas games.

I will tell you more about the Poker Round Up next time

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

You must make hundreds of decisions during a poker tournament or when you are playing in a live poker game.

The success that you have when playing poker and in life will be in direct proportion to the number of correct decisions that you make.

Most decisions are seat-of-the-pants judgments — you create a rational for everything but the more knowledge and information that you have about the other players will help you greatly in making those decisions. But in the end, most decisions are based on intuition and faith.

Have faith in your decisions and most of the time you can take the money home and count it there.

Remember until next time to stay lucky.