Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dania's $25 Multi-Table Poker Tournaments

A couple recent entries by David Anesta and Nick Sortal in the Sun Sentinel's gambling blog (link) got me interested in Dania's $25 multitable tournaments, so I decided to check it out last Saturday.

This would be my first ever live tournament, and I had never been to Dania's poker room before; so I was a bit nervous and had no idea what I would face in terms of atmosphere and competition as I arrived and headed up the escalator to the card room. Hopefully I wouldn't get knocked out too quickly after having made the drive up from North Miami.

The first thing that struck me was what a great looking room they've put together. The area, which has about 30 tables with a liquor bar and a snack bar, has decor that is warm and attractive without being too extravagant.

They have everything well-organized for the even too. You just walk up to a sign-up table, pay your fee, and receive a slip of paper indicating your table and position. When everyone gets seated you receive 4000 tournament chips plus a bounty chip You also have the option to buy 500 additional chips for $5, which goes to the dealers' tips.

And then the action begins...

The game is very friendly with people of varying levels of skill, and all ages. I wasn't the only tournament newbie, and the other players and the dealers are tolerant of novice questions and mistakes.

On this Saturday afternoon, there were about 60 entrants and it wasn't long before some big hands went up against each other. Players were eliminated at a steady clip right from the start (this is a $5 bounty tournament, so when a player knocks another out, he or she receives the loser's bounty chip, which is good for $5).

I played pretty tightly through the first hour, caught some breaks, and managed to accumulate a decent stack of about 9000 chips by the time they called a 15 minute break at the two hour mark. Following the break, there were 18 players left seated at two tables. The blinds and antes were growing and eating into everyone's stack, so the excitement built as one dramatic all-in raise followed another.

At this point I was choking, as I laid down two good hands (pocket 8s and AQ suited) to pre-flop raises. With a dwindling stack, I knew I had to shove my chips in soon and had blown two opportunities to double up. When the blinds came back around I was sweating it out with only 5000 chips. There were 15 players left and the final 10 would make the final table. I looked at Ace-Jack in the big blind, and called all-in to the loose-raising small blind. He turned up A9, so I had him dominated, but a 9 on the flop spelled the end of my first tournament.

I was mildly disappointed with the finish, but had a good time with the other players for almost 3 hours and gained some tournament experience. Not bad for $30!

I'll definitely be back to many more of these tournies. Besides a comfortable poker room, Dania has a top-notch staff. Everyone is friendly and approachable, from the floor manager and dealers, to the wait staff and snack bar servers.

If you're thinking about going, here are the $25 tournament details:

  • What? $25 Multi-Table No-Limit Texas Hold'Em Tournament
  • Where? Dania Jai-Alai
  • When? Sat @ 1:30PM, Fri @ 3PM, Mon & Wed @ 6:30PM
  • Cost? $25 plus $5 optional add-on for 500 chips (add-on funds go to dealer tips)
  • Rake? Entry includes $5 house fee and $3 to Bad Beat Jackpot fund.
  • Jackpot Eligibility? Players are eligible for the Bad Beat Jackpot but not for the $100 high-hand awards.
  • Tournament structure? 4000 starting chips, 20 minute blinds.

1 comment:

Julie Hall said...

would you please add a link to my new florida poker blog to yours?