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A (Not So) Quick Word on Colorado

I cannot freakin' wait until the end of the work day and my sojourn to Colorado tomorrow for an antisemetic wedding. On Wednesday night, after waking up early and traveling across this fine country by aeroplane, wifey Kim will be joining her friends for a bachelorette party and I will be joining wifey Kim's friend's fiance for some poker in Black Hawk, Colorado.

A while ago, when I first found out I was heading to CO, CO-native PokerPeaker gave me the lowdown on the local scene.

For those who don't travel a lot, poker is legal in a shitload of places where you wouldn't expect it. Colorado was one of those places for me. Thankfully, one of the fringe benefits of having this poker blog is meeting people from all over the country and world who share a similar interest. Peaker is one such person.

Peaker gave me one major warning. Don't expect much for the cash games. Colorado apparently has a law limiting the Indian casinos to $5 max bets. The result is that the highest limit game at an Colorado casino is 5/5 Limit, whether it be LHE or LO8, which apparently is fairly regularly spread (likely, an unintended side effect of the bet limits). There is no NL spread anywhere.

To most people, this is a serious Lemon; NLHE is the game we all know and love. For me, it merely means an adjustment. I play poker, plain and simple, and the rules are merely guiding principles in how I play, not if I play. My plan is to play 5/5, predominantly, mostly LO8, if possible, and use one of two strategies. I will either play the role of the nut peddler, waiting until I have strong hands and always enter the pot raising OR I will play many hands to a limp and see how hands develop. They are two opposite strategies, but ironically, they are the two optimal strategies in No Fold'em games.

Nut peddling is pretty straight forward. If everyone is playing to the river, hands can get expensive, so limiting the hands I play will limit the variance. Since players are going to the river no matter what, I don't need to build a loose image and will hopefully be paid off when my strong starting hands hit.

Conversely, by limping a lot, I will be playing a high variance style that is designed to extract money from thin edges and superior post-flop play. In other words, if I can see a lot of cheap flops and extract a lot of chips when I hit (folding when I don't), I can still beat the No Fold'em players. The key to this strategy is suffering through the many limp misses and check-raising or doing other things to get extra bets into the pot when I am ahead.

The smart money is to nut peddle, but for my action-loving self, I will probably choose to play lots of hands, particularly in O8, where I can still make a profit winning half the pot, provided there are at least 3 people reaching showdown.

Of course, there is a loophole to the ole CO laws. Tournaments seem to shirk the usual laws in a lot of states. The result is nightly tournaments with buy-ins from $40 to 70 during the week in the location where I will be playing, Black Hawk, CO. I don't much know one casino from the next, but I expect to hit up a poker tournament Wednesday night at 7pm, most likely at the Gilpin Poker Room (Warning: Do Not check thier tourney schedule online. It's a PDF file that froze my browser thrice!). The other possibility is Central Station Casino's 7pm $60 buy-in.

If anyone is from the CO area and could offer some advice about those casinos, please do! I'm wondering if one place gets more players, or is nicer, or has a better structure. You can leave a comment or email me at HighOnPokr (no E) at Yahoo. If anyone happens to be in the area and is interested in watching me win a tournament against a bunch of CO hippies, please feel free to join. It may be a bit odd telling my compadre that I am meeting up with a stranger from the Intertubes, but he's a poker nut, too, and more importantly, I don't really care what anyone thinks.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 4:26 PM,


At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Champ aka Purerprophet said...

I live in Golden, CO. and play up at Black Hawk all the time.

These Casinos aren't on Indian reservations, they are "revived" mining towns that are State Regulated.

Max Bet of $5 applied to all Table Games, not just Poker. And they only offer Slots, BJ,3-card Poker variants, Poker, and Video Games. (nothing like a $5 min/max Black Jack game to drive you nuts!)

Best tournament: Gilpin, you get the most starting chips and best structure. By hour three, it's a complete pushfest.

Best Cash Game:
Golden Gates Casino and The Lodge (with their insanely high badbeat jackpot, attracting players that actually think donking equals a better chance at the jackpot)

There are actually better games at some of the clubs in Denver than up the hill.

And finally, replace Hippies, with Asian's and Old People and that better describes the clintele.


At 1:02 PM, Blogger pokerpeaker said...

I disagree that the Golden Gates is the best. I do think the Lodge is great although Ameristar is probably the nicest and also has an insane bad beat jackpot and also seems to draw a big crowd. I'd go with the Lodge or Ameristar for cash games. And I've never seen 08 spread there though it's possible. You'll also likely be playing 2/5, not 5/5, although 5/5 is available, but you won't see as many donkeys, which might be a good thing.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

antisemetic wedding!

I'm sitting here laughing at that line...too funny.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Pipedream said...

The Gilpin definitely has the better structure and more people. The Station tourney is usually 3-4 tables and complete with old timers and very easy to beat.

If you want a lot of action, Golden Gates and Lodge 5/5 games are great. I quit playing at the lodge though when some Asian regulars ran a whip saw on me and management did nothing when I complained about collusion, a common thing at the Lodge.

Lately Ameristar as been my place for a good 2/5 game but I know you're interested in the 5/5 O8 which is rarely played there. For that the Golden Gates would be my overall choice for the Cash Games you're looking for.

Agree with Champ that there are some great clubs around town that offer great NL games.

I'll be up there most of the day Friday if you're still in town.

Good luck, enjoy the trip as much as you can!


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