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Poker seminar gets 'Palms up'

Oct 14, 2008 4:55 PM

The Inside Straight by Joe Awada |

We recently kicked off our series of poker seminars at the Palms, and I must say I was pleased and gratified with the turnout.

There was a good mix of players, from beginners to experienced players, both young and old.

Everyone seemed to benefit from the topics we covered, which included strategy for tournament play, how to attack satellites, both regular and super satellites, as well as general poker theory for playing limit and No Limit Hold’em.

On the topic of satellites, there was intense interest from many of our players. Or course, satellites are a good way to get into a tournament if you’re on a budget and you have the added advantage of playing competitively before the actual tournament begins. It’s a lot like a baseball hitter taking a few pitches before facing the opposition – you have a chance to get into a rhythm that will prepare you for the real action.

There was also considerable interest in games other than Texas Hold’em, which has become the most popular game in recent years, mostly because of the exposure it receives on TV.

Specifically, there was a lot of interest and discussion surrounding Omaha. New players are catching on to the game, which features a bit more action than the regular Hold’em with the added cards, as well as a more intricate strategy.

We also touched on other games such as Razz, Paduki and Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, as well as the 8-or-better, hi-lo versions of seven card stud and Omaha.

The Palms was gracious enough to donate some nice gifts for those who attended, such as caps, T-shirts and other Palms logo merchandise.

We’ve tentatively scheduled our next poker seminar for Sunday, Nov. 2, so if you’re interested in some playing tips, stop by the Palms.

At the Palms we’re also finalizing the details of some upcoming poker tournaments, including one for ladies only. As I noted here previously, the winners of the tournament will have a chance to double their prizes by playing myself in a bonus round. Stay tuned as we’ll have the details and dates in the near future.

Or, if you’re around town, stop by the Palms during the week – I play poker there regularly and would enjoy meeting our readers and fellow poker players.

Speaking of tournaments, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has landed at the Bellagio for a series of high-profile events.

My good friend, Doug Dalton, the poker room director at Bellagio, has his hands full handling all the players and activities. He reports that, despite a general drop-off in casino business because of the economy, early registrations in the WPT has been brisk.

Doug also noted that there seems to be an unprecedented number of international players signing up for the tournament.

Right now, you can take a shot at the WPT through the satellites and super satellites. I’m certainly looking forward to playing in the $15,000 buy-in main event next week.

Finally, I was looking over the state’s gaming revenue report for the month of August and noticed that poker revenue actually increased slightly, about 1 percent more than rooms raked in a year ago. This came despite an overall decline of about 8 percent in casino revenue statewide.

It’s good to see that poker remains alive and well and, from what I’ve seen in the poker rooms, there’s still a steady influx of new and younger poker players.

Let’s hope the poker powers that be have the insight to keep them playing.