Frustrated Traveler

The Frustrated Traveler

My two favorite activities are traveling and playing poker. However, today I find myself unable to do (or even reliably plan for) either one. I feel fortunate that all of this craziness started pretty much the day that Paul and I were returning from our most recent poker trip to Tampa. I remember sitting in the Tampa airport on March 1st waiting for our flight when Paul turned to me and said “My mom says there are two cases in Tampa”. And that was the last time we have been farther than 30 minutes from our house. Our visit to Derby Lane the day before was the last time that either of us played live poker. Almost five months later it is pretty safe to say that I am an extremely frustrated traveler.

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One-Eyed Jacks Poker Room Review

The trip to One-Eyed Jacks poker room (housed in the Sarasota Kennel Club) took a bit of commitment on our Tampa trip. The room was about an hour outside the city, and like everything in Florida, getting there involved dodging aggressive drivers on the highway and impatiently sitting through traffic lights once off the highway. But that’s Florida. Nonetheless, the volume of cash games and diversity of tournaments intrigued us. So we took the second Saturday of our vacation to drive down to Sarasota for lunch, a beach view, and some poker.
NOTE: This visit to the One-Eyed Jacks poker room occurred at the end of February 2020. While now open again, the room has changed in the interim, for obvious reasons. Thus, your experience may vary.

Casino Setting 

One-Eyed Jacks is located about an hour south of Tampa, on the north side of Sarasota.  The room is right beside the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport.  It is accessible from major roads, but sits in a very congested area.

We drove down early from Tampa so we could check out the Sarasota beaches and grab a quick lunch. We ate lunch at The Dry Dock Grill in the Lido Beach area. The food was pretty good, and sitting outside on their patio was very pleasant. We walked along Lido Beach after lunch, which had some of the finest white sand we have ever seen.

If you visit Lido Beach, leave yourself plenty of time to get over to One-Eyed Jacks. Although only about 10 miles away, it took us over half an hour.  There was some construction that made parts challenging, but mostly, the Florida traffic and never ending traffic lights were our main nemeses once again.

Parking is free at One-Eyed Jacks. Read More

Legalize online poker

Legalize Online Poker: A Renewed Call to Action

Over its brief history as a nationwide activity, online poker fell into a legal grey zone. While arguably not strictly legal, for years federal and state regulators left this very visible industry alone. But on April 15, 2011, poker’s Black Friday, The U.S. Department of Justice provided clarity. On that day, the DOJ shut down the operations of all US poker sites. While online poker has resumed legal status for residents in a few states – Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware – online poker remains banned in most of the country. I believe that the current pandemic has brought clarity to this long neglected issue: it is time for the federal government to legalize online poker across the United States.

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Derby Lane Poker Room Review

The Derby Lane poker room is the primary St. Petersburg poker facility in the Tampa-St. Pete metro area.  Our final stop on our poker sojourn through West Florida, Derby Lane was a pleasant surprise. We had heard a couple of disparaging comments from a player at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Bay about Derby Lane. We, however, found Derby Lane much more appealing than the dingy, scary venue described to us. And it had nothing to do with the fact that I chopped the final 5 spots. Promise!
NOTE: This visit to the Debry Lane poker room occurred at the end of February 2020. While now open again, the room has changed in the interim, for obvious reasons. Thus, your experience may vary, as they say.

Casino Setting 

The Derby Lane poker room is located in St. Petersburg near Route 62 coming from Tampa Bay.  The surroundings are not the most scenic, but they are fairly convenient from both St. Petersburg and Tampa. According to advertisements, Derby Lane was established in 1925 and is the oldest dog racing track in the United States.

Parking is free at Derby Lane.

Derby Lane Poker Room

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Live Free and Play: Reopening Poker in New Hampshire

Recently New Hampshire joined Florida and Las Vegas in reopening their poker rooms. Our friend Robbie Strazynski at Cardplayer Lifestyle asked us to write a post about the status of poker in our neighboring state. We very happily took this as an excuse to visit all of our local New Hampshire rooms and gather information about their new rules, safety practices, and traffic flow. For the full article, head on over to Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker Blog and read about The Great Reopening: New Hampshire.Cardplayer Lifestyle