Happy Poker Partnership

4 Steps to a Happy Poker Partnership

Paul and I both love poker. We feel very lucky to be with someone who not only shares our values and goals, but also our love of poker. Poker rooms are replete with men calling their wives saying they are “at the mall” and others sheepishly reporting that they promised to be home several hours ago, while clearly having no intention of leaving any time soon. Even among couples who both play poker, one is often clearly miserable, while the other can’t get enough. Paul and I came into this relationship both loving poker. There were definitely some bumps in the road early on reconciling our love for the game with our love for each other. However, over the years, Paul and I have found that there are four steps to a happy poker partnership.

1) Do You Both Want to Play Poker?

In order to create a happy poker partnership, first ensure that both you and your significant other truly want to play poker. If one of you is jonesing for the felt every Saturday while the other would rather be tending the garden, and you both separately pursue those passions, that’s one thing.  If the gardener, however, is playing poker just to get time with his partner, that’s a relationship headed for trouble. No one should ever play poker just because their partner is a fan. That’s an expensive, and ultimately, self-defeating proposition.

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Single Day in Toronto - Casa Loma

A Single Day in Toronto

Spending a single day in a major city is the speed dating of travel. What can you report other than the city is “kind of attractive, and seems to have a decent personality”? However, after our day in Toronto, we had a love at first sight reaction. All four of our children liked it as well, with one of them coming away so enamored it instantly became her favorite city.

If you only have a single day in Toronto, here’s a quick game plan. If you have a more civil multi-day visit, these guidelines can give you a start as well. We visited Toronto in the middle of a week in Niagara falls with the kids (ages 12-20). For the poker players, Niagara has casino options on the American side, the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, and Canadian side, Casino Niagara. But take a break from the tables for a day and head up to Toronto for some culture, food, and fun. It’s a mere two hour drive up the road, and definitely worth a day visit.

The Toronto Metro System

Like everything in Toronto, the subway system is very clean, modern and convenient. The entire metro system is called the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and includes bus and streetcars along with the subway.  If in Toronto for a frantic day, grab a day pass, and, if you are traveling as a family, you can get group weekend day discounts.  Basically, park your car near your first landmark, and leave it for the day. In my visit to Chicago, I discovered SpotHero which allows you to reserve a parking garage spot ahead of time, usually at discount prices. Toronto offers a SpotHero subsidiary, Parking Panda.  We’d give that a shot. Or park at a TTC lot in the outskirts for $7 per day.

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Play Poker at the WSOP

Throwdown Thursday: Tag Team Poker Trouble

This summer, Paul and I are going to be in Las Vegas to do some work for Advanced Poker Training at the same time that the WSOP tag team event is running. For $1,000, teams of 2 to 4 players can enter this event and each participant can play as much or as little as they like. I think that the tag team poker event would be a great way for us to enter a WSOP bracelet event. Last summer when we were in Vegas we played a couple of Daily Deepstack events, but the bracelet event buy-ins (mostly over $1,000 per person) are generally a bit too rich for our blood. Instead, we played a few of the wealth of other tournaments across the city that piggyback on the WSOP’s popularity.

I think the thrill of working together to play a WSOP bracelet event would be incredible. Paul doesn’t quite see it that way, and has taken to referring to the tag team poker event as “The Divorcemaker.”

Paul: You can’t even stand being at the same table as me when we play as individuals! Watching me play 4-7 suited hands causes you involuntary neck spasms. And apparently brings on some sort of Sudden Onset Tourette’s Syndrome.

Heather: I certainly don’t plan to watch you play. That’s for sure. I figure you can play the early hands where a wider range is appropriate and I can take over when the real poker starts.

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Daniel Negreanu Masterclass Review

Daniel Negreanu MasterClass Review

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. However, our review is our accurate opinion. We wouldn’t recommend something that we didn’t love. We promise! For more information, see our Disclosure page.

Last month, we signed up for a year of MasterClass primarily to take the Daniel Negreanu MasterClass on poker. We admit it, we’re Negreanu fans. We enjoy his game and he has built a real cult of personality around him. Also, while he has taken some controversial stances over time, his tournament track record speaks for itself. We even enjoyed watching him vlog his disastrous 2018 WSOP results last summer. There is a certain amount of schadenfreude in watching someone that successful tank day after day. So when MasterClass started advertising a series of poker lessons from the man himself, we thought this would be an excellent addition to our poker education as we prepare for our poker pilgrimage.

In case you are not familiar with MasterClass, it’s a new collection of online classes taught by experts in a variety of fields. In addition to the Daniel Negreanu MasterClass on poker, you can choose from such other luminaries as Carlos Santana on the Art and Soul of Playing Guitar, Annie Leibovitz on Photography, Spike Lee on Filmmaking, and Alice Waters on the Art of Home Cooking. Masterclass includes a combination of video content, printable lesson summaries, and an online

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Mohegan Sun Poker Room

5 Best Poker Rooms in New England

The New England poker rooms are our home turf. We’ve played at all of the major ones (10 tables or more), and several small rooms as well. Our go-to rooms have changed over the years, depending on budget, whether we were into cash or tournaments at the time, and staffing. Our very first go-to room, Rockingham, near Salem New Hampshire, no longer exists.

Nationally, the New England poker room scene has a lower profile than Florida, California, or Las Vegas. However, with 13 rooms less than a 2 hour drive from Boston, this region offers one of the most vibrant and diverse poker environments in the country. In southern New Hampshire alone there are seven decent to very good poker rooms within a 20 mile radius. With the Encore slated to open in Boston later this year, the  poker climate is only going to get richer in New England.

We have developed an approach to evaluating rooms, and written reviews of most of the New England poker rooms.  With dozens, if not hundreds, of New England poker room visits under our belts in the past few years, the time has come to name our favorites. We present them in no particular order, as some are favored over others for very different reasons.

The Poker Room at Hampton Falls

Why Top 5 in New England Poker Rooms?: The number of weekly tournaments, some with very good structures (see below). In fact, the best low-cost tournament structures in New England can be found not at Foxwoods or Mohegan sun, but right here in Hampton Falls. Hampton Falls has two levels, so the bigger tournaments have their own space downstairs apart from the cash and table games. The room is wood paneled, bright and airy and offers a nice atmosphere for tournament players. Finally, the floor managers at Hampton Falls are fabulous. We have not seen more professional, knowledgeable floors outside of a major casino.

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