Every so often writing assignments sync perfectly with personal interests. So it was when I covered the World Poker Tour DeepStacks Tournament, hosted by the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev. There were 15 games scheduled over a 10-day period. The majority were No Limit Hold ’Em, with buy-ins ranging from $65 – $1,000. Several were satellite events, and there was also an Omaha High-Low and a Pot Limit Omaha tournament.
After an efficient check-in, I signed up for the Atlantis’ Paradise Club and had a late lunch at Toucan Charlie’s award-winning buffet. Early evening, I sat in on my first table, Omaha Hi-Lo. It is my favorite game and the subject of my app tutorial. It was a $5,000 guaranteed payout, allowing buy-in/registration through level six. Although wounded early by a straight flush beating my full-house and my second nuts losing to the nuts in the same hand, I was happy to make the final table and finish in fifth place.
After breakfast the following morning at the Purple Parrot, I was off to take photos for my new website, www.PokerResortsReno.com and the app, Travel Reno. The area is scenic with lots of activities outside the casino: sightseeing, shopping, hiking, biking, sporting events and cultural opportunities.
My next tournament was Pot Limit Omaha. To me, it is the most challenging of the poker games because of the betting structure. The maximum one can bet is the total of what’s in the pot. I finished in the lower middle of the pack, but it was fun to participate in a game that I don’t often play. I grabbed a quick bite at Cafe Fresco (don’t miss their gelato) and called it a night.
My final game was No Limit Hold ’Em. There was an interesting mix of players including about 10 percent women. It’s lots of fun observing the various styles of play and noting the skill levels of those around the table. I busted out mid-range of those entered but, once again, it was a terrific experience.
At the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, www.atlantiscasino.com, I discovered two seriously good food items: the Oyster Bar’s Mazatlan cocktail in the Sky Terrace and social hour at Napa Bistro (Wagyu sliders and a beer for $12!). Atlantis’ Paradise Club offers many guest perks. If you go, reserve a room that allows you access to the Concierge Level; continental breakfast and snacks, food and drinks throughout the day. Another nice touch — there is a free airport shuttle.
Reno was the 11th of 16 “mid-major poker market” destinations of the WPT DeepStacks’ Season 2 Series. Logon to www.wptdeepstacks.com for information and its calendar. Note: Ocean’s Eleven Casino in San Diego/Oceanside will be home to the next tournament October 17–26.
For extensive information about Reno and a tutorial on how to play Omaha, go to the iTunes store and download the app, Travel Reno.
Safe travels, don’t draw to an inside straight and enjoy the journey…