The JACK Cleveland Poker Room is housed in a moderate-sized casino sitting in the middle of the action in downtown Cleveland. Walking through the first two floors of the casino initially didn’t generate much enthusiasm for what we expected to find in the third-floor poker room. When we finally got there, however, we were pleasantly surprised.
Is poker easier to play than we think? At the highest levels of the game, the answer is certainly no. Professionals bet their ranges rather than their cards and calculate complex equations to determine whether their plays are justified. GTO strategy is definitely not easy to follow.
The rest of us, however, play a different game in card rooms across the country. Not that we are unskilled, or our opponents weak (at least not at the rooms we have played). Here, the game is based more on fundamental knowledge of solid play, basic math, and a level of experience and instinct that guides our decisions. However, there seem to be a lot of players, even experienced ones, who make fundamental mistakes both in their general approach to the game and in specific techniques.
As the national vaccination campaign starts to take hold, players’ dreams turn toward the future of poker. Heather and I emerged from a Walgreen’s two weeks ago, with band-aids on our upper arms and renewed hope. Maybe shortly we’d be able to see some of our poker compatriots again. One day soon, after a tournament at Filotimo Casino in Manchester, NH, we’ll be relaxing with South Side Tavern’s tasty appetizers and a couple of beers.
Like everything in this time, certainty is unattainable. How poker will ultimately weather the past year is anyone’s guess. After a year of following various news and social media outlets, keeping APT’s Open Poker Room data updated, and applying some logic, we have some predictions. Below are the things we see in our (admittedly cracked) crystal ball. When we brainstormed this article, we were going to predict that the World Series of Poker in 2021 would be live in Las Vegas, but be moved to the fall. That one has already come true, so you’ll just have to trust us that we saw it coming! Here are a few others:
Massachusetts offers a never-ending array of vacation settings, from the wooded beauty of the Berkshires to the beaches of Cape Cod, or the cultural and activity center of Boston. Boston’s North Shore is generally defined as the mainly coastal towns directly above Boston.
While there are many other interesting towns on Boston’s North Shore, we’ll focus on four towns that we toured on a recent weekend. For the traveling poker player, Boston’s North Shore can work as a base to play at the Brook Casino and Tavern in Seabrook NH and Chasers in Salem NH. If Encore Boston Harbor in Everett ever opens their poker room again (which is in doubt) that would be an option as well.
A Visit to Boston’s North Shore
Rockport is a small community (under 7,000 residents) that sits at the tip of Cape Ann. While small, Rockport fits a lot of retail, antique, art, and dining venues into their very quaint downtown area. As we were there offseason, many places were not open, but we still were able to find enough interesting shops to fill our morning. In terms of dining, good seafood options abound. The area around Rockport offers many walking and bike trail options. Overall, a nice relaxing area for a variety of activities.