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April 11, 2015

Poker Tournaments in Scottsdale

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Written by: Chris Wilcox
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no limit holdem tournament strategy

If you ever get to Scottsdale, AZ there is a particularly nice poker room right off the 101 freeway at Talking Stick Resort. The largest poker rooms in the state, and really one of the largest anywhere outside of Vegas, this is a very nice, well run room that has some excellent games going and some unusually good tournaments. If have played many time in this room over the years, everything from Omaha H/L to Limit holdem as well as tournaments and there is a lot going on all the time. You wouldn’t think that it would be possible to find very many potentially profitable poker tournaments in Scottsdale, but they actually do exist.

Most of the time it is hard to find No Limit Holdem poker tournaments outside of Las Vegas that are worth playing. The buy-ins are fairly low, the rake is too high and they don’t get enough players signed up for them to allow enough equity to bother playing in them. At Talking Stick there is a daily $125 buy-in NLH event that will usually bring 70-100 entries. There are also weekly tournaments on Saturdays in various formats, including the one I am playing today which is a $240 buy-in bounty tournament.

I love bounty tournaments because of the opportunity they afford you to supplement your tournament earnings and also because many players play different poker when there are bounties on the line. You will see many players calling a ‘all-in’ with very inferior hands simply to take a shot at winning a knockout chip, which in this case is worth $100, so you only need 3 knockouts and you have made your buy in back and shown a profit besides. A deep run in a tournament like this might find you with 10 or 12 knockouts by the time you reach the final table and this changes how you should look at the profitability of tournament like this immensely. Plus, if you can quickly identify other players at your table who are playing too loose, you can build a chip stack that might be a little tougher to build in a normal tournament format. Many novice players will get greedy and make mistakes when a bounty is on the line and thereby end up short stacked themselves, making it easier for you to collect their bounty chip!

This tournament usually brings at least 300 players and it is a deep starting stack with 11,500 in chips and $50/$100 Blinds, so it will be close to an all day event. In the next few days I will be replaying some of the hands I encounter today, so come back to see how thing went for me!

Jack Effel






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