How to Negotiate the Best Poker Chop

After hours of grinding through a 230 person tournament, you find yourself at the final table with a huge stack. Only five other players remain. One of the middle stacks says “anybody want to chop?” What do you do? Do you flatly refuse (and risk looking like a jerk)? Say “sure” and let the pot be evenly divided despite your 2 to 1 chip advantage on the second stack and two other players sucking oxygen? Or do you find a better way? How do you negotiate the best poker chop?

I recently found myself in exactly this enviable position at the Playground Poker Club outside of Montreal. The experience led Paul and me into our four thousandth discussion about chopping poker tournaments. While there’s no single right answer, we have some rules of thumb for negotiating the best poker chop in various situations.

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Best Poker Apps

5 Best Poker Apps for Recreational Players

Although we’re both likely past the midpoint of our lives, Paul and I both are dependent on our smartphones. I wish I could resist checking email (and the news) better than I do. But I love the knowledge that my smartphone brings to my fingertips. I have apps for the weather, apps for checking on my bank account, games, and, of course, poker apps. There are a lot of good poker apps out there, but a few are particularly helpful for players like us. We often travel to play poker, and are always looking for information about the best cardrooms, tools to help us track our game, and tools to help us play better. We have found the following apps to be the 5 best poker apps for recreational players.

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The Playground Poker Club is a great cardroom outside of Montreal

Playground Poker Club Room Review

The Playground Poker Club outside of Montreal is one of our favorite card rooms. We first visited three years ago after seeing a major televised tournament held there and expected grand things. While our initial approach to the card room elicited a ‘”this can’t be right” reaction, upon entry all was revealed. We returned last month (December 2019) and were excited to see further evolution. The Playground Poker Club is truly an elite North American venue for poker.

Playground Poker Club Setting 

The Playground Poker Club is located in Kahnawake, Quebec. It is about a twenty minute drive from Montreal. However, the drive can vary substantially – dependant more on construction status than the amount of traffic. Returning to Montreal around midnight after one tournament took well over an hour, with bridge repairs narrowing many stretches to one lane. As we discussed in our travel post about Montreal, road conditions are a fearsome obstacle to contend with.  If you’re staying in downtown Montreal, this is one of the Playground’s biggest drawbacks. Taking a bus or a short car ride to the Casino de Montreal becomes an attractive alternative in the winter when the weather is bad or you’re not feeling adventurous.

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Poker Pilgrims 8 Most Popular Posts of 2019

As we approach the holidays, we look back at our second full year of sharing our experiences with poker, travel and life in general. We are very excited to have introduced our poker cash table counts this year. A lot of work goes into tracking tables, but we are committed to continue this work and to eventually cover most of the poker rooms in the country, region by region. We also added eleven room reviews this year and updated three reviews (Greyhound Casino at Seabrook Park, Mohegan Sun, and Foxwoods) for rooms that had significant renovations.

Meanwhile, our travels brought us to Miami, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and, of course, Las Vegas. We threw down over cruising, sugar detoxes, and tag team poker tournaments. At year’s end, we are both energized by our 2019 adventures and excited to see what 2020 will bring. But without further ado, here are our 8 most popular posts of 2019.

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play poker in New England

The New England Poker Revolution

Massachusetts first legalized casinos all the way back in 2011. Poker in New England started to feel the effects of the new law in May 2018 with the opening of the MGM Springfield. However, it was the opening of Encore Boston Harbor this summer that really revolutionized New England poker. Encore took the New England poker cash scene by storm over the summer, and is now impacting New England tournament numbers as well. Speculation has run rampant over the past few years about how the new Massachusetts sites would impact existing poker rooms in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Some expected a poker room apocalypse. Others believed the impact would be minimal, as few players would hassle with Boston traffic or make the long haul to Springfield. As interested parties, we thought we would review recent changes in the New England poker scene.

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