poker gifts

5 Great Gifts For Your Favorite Poker Player 2021

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It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about buying gifts for those near and dear to you. Given how the last year has gone, you know your poker playing friends and family are desperate for a little poker love.

You know who they are. She’s your sister who takes every vacation in Las Vegas and got vaccinated this year just to play the WSOP. Or maybe he’s your dad who is up late playing on PokerStars every night. Now you’ve got to wrap your mind around finding them a gift. Poker Pilgrims would like to help you out with suggestions for great poker gifts for the player in your life. In these tough times, don’t they deserve a little something special to help them get back into the swing of the game?

Great Poker Gifts

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WSOP Logistics

A Quick Guide to WSOP Logistics

The World Series of Poker has returned!  For many years, the WSOP has taken place at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, which is off-Strip in Las Vegas. If you are staying on the Vegas Strip, this can be more of a challenge than you might imagine. There are a number of issues and WSOP logistics to grapple with in order to maximize your play and your stay. Finding meals between (and during) poker tournaments, traveling from your hotel to the Rio and back, and managing the hordes of players at the World Series of Poker all present challenges.

This year will be our third time attending the WSOP, and we believe that any hassle is worth it to participate in the poker world’s biggest party. The WSOP is great fun. However, you need to know how to navigate a number of WSOP logistics before you go that will help enhance.

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Enjoy the WSOP

5 Ways to Enjoy the WSOP in 2021 Without Spending $10,000

Paul and I are heading to Las Vegas in October for the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP). No, we are not laying down $10,000 and playing in the Main Event. While that is a bucket list item for us, we imagine fulfilling that dream many years down the road. Instead, we are lucky enough to be heading to Vegas for the entire month of October to live and work in the shadow of the WSOP.

We have attended the WSOP in the past in our role as ambassadors for Advanced Poker Training, the poker training site for which we also blog. However, we have never been able to spend more than a week in Las Vegas at a time. This month, due to our flexible work situation and the recent departure of our youngest children to college, we are able to spend an entire glorious month in Las Vegas. Do to the aforementioned college tuitions, we are not looking to play tournaments with high buy-ins (although we may sneak in a Seniors, or Ladies Tournament for the first time). We have always found numerous lower-stake options during the WSOP for our poker pleasure, and look forward to partaking in as much poker as we (and our bankroll) can stand.

Low Stakes Tournament Options During the WSOP

There are plenty of options to play well-structured low stakes tournaments during the WSOP. For the purposes of this article, we define low stakes as anything at or below $200. If you are looking for such a game, here are your top five options:

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Best Tournaments in New England

The Best Tournaments in New England Right Now

As we recently covered, a good poker tournament is hard to find right now. And New England is no exception. The two Massachusetts casinos (Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield) have made clear that they are in no rush to return to poker play. The single Rhode Island Casino (Twin River) keeps promising the return of poker, but it has yet to happen. Finally, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have happily opened their poker rooms, but have been slow to bring tournaments back (see note on this later). All of the above leaves New Hampshire as the only game in town for those seeking New England tournament poker action.

Fortunately, there are three tournaments now running in New Hampshire that we really love. In fact, we feel quite comfortable saying that these are the three best tournaments in New England at the moment.

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Playground Poker Tournaments Room

Where Have All the Poker Tournaments Gone?

The sun is shining, birds are singing in the trees, and the world is opening back up again. Casino after casino has reopened, and many states have expanded to nine or ten-handed poker. Finally, after a long, hard wait, we get back our beloved poker tournaments. Or do we?

We live in New England, which we once named one of the five best places in the country to live if you love poker. In February 2020 there were no fewer than seven poker rooms hosting large tournaments (which I define as regularly having over 50 entrants) in New England. Today there is one (Filotimo Casino in Manchester, New Hampshire, if you are interested). All but one of those businesses are still open. Two, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, continue to thrive as casinos, but have dropped poker “indefinitely”. The other four are seating as many cash tables as space will allow, but have decided not to resume tournaments “at this time”.

Recently I reached out to other players to see whether this is a local phenomenon (time to move?) or whether tournaments have been back-burnered elsewhere in the country as well. Reports indicate that this is, in fact, a widespread concern. Players reported a dearth of tournaments in places as varied as Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Seattle, Detroit, and even LA. However, there are some areas where tournament poker still thrives. Florida, Texas, Maryland, and of course Vegas all have plenty of tournaments on offer.

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