TGT Poker Room Review
In our previous trip to Tampa back in early 2020, we were not able to fit a TGT Poker room review into our busy poker schedule. That was something we wanted to correct when we spent a couple of weeks in Tampa this February. TGT poker is one of the longer-standing We found a Sunday afternoon tournament to our liking so we headed over.
Setting and Non-Poker Amenities
The TGT Poker Room is located on the north side of Tampa not far from the 275 expressway. This is a very busy industrial area of retail stores and fast food restaurants; definitely not one of the quaint sections of Tampa. As I discovered when I went out of the tournament early (bad beat story withheld to spare the reader), there also is a Planet Fitness less than a half mile away. Or, rather than waste time on a treadmill in a vain attempt to get in shape, you could just hop on a site like FanDuel to play roulette online or your favorite game to pass the time while waiting for your significant other. The complex is certainly comfortable and spacious enough to do so.
Of course the Tampa-St. Petersburg area has a ton of great recreational and dining options. The area also has some of the best beaches in the country in Clearwater and the Sarasota area (particularly Siesta Key). Among the metropolitan areas of Florida, Tampa-St. Pete is probably our favorite. We have detailed some of our favorite activities of the area previously.
Like the immediate area around it, the TGT Poker exterior is not much to look at and the interior is a bit dated as well. However, TGT has much to offer. In addition to poker, TGT offers simulcast off-track betting, and a small sports bar where you can grab a beer and some food. Although there were four tables of Florida’s ubiquitous “poker games” (games such as Ultimate Poker, Caribbean Stud, and the like), there are no slots or traditional table games on site. The poker games are in the same room as poker.
TGT Poker Room Comfort
The TGT Poker room holds 13 decently spaced tables. These are housed in a small, low-ceilinged room with a bit of an aged feel. TGT felt far different from some of the very modern rooms we visited during this Florida trip such as bestbet St. Augustine and One-Eyed Jacks. A few small TVs scattered in various parts of the room. The facility does not allow smoking, and air circulation is fine. However, with the low ceiling and dark decore, the room feels more hemmed in than many other poker rooms in Florida. There is fortunately good lighting overall, especially above the tables.
The tables themselves seem a bit old, but are branded, and the felts themselves are fairly new and in good shape. The rail is padded, but there are no auto-shufflers or USB ports. The chairs are very nice, as they are adjustable with wheels, and well-padded. The cards are branded and in good shape. The chips, however, look like they have been around for a long, long time. Some of them could use a decent cleaning as they tended to stick together the day we visited.
Play is 9-handed both in the tournament and on the cash tables.
Poker Room Staff
Our Florida streak of exceptional dealers continued at the TGT Poker room. The dealers were fast, accurate, knowledgeable, and friendly. They were able to balance a fun atmosphere with keeping the action moving along. The floors ran the tournament well. The waitstaff was attentive and circulated frequently enough in this small space.
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Players at the TGT Poker Room
The players at TGT on this Sunday afternoon were a fairly wide mix of ages, personalities, and playing styles. While some tables were fairly subdued, my table was entertained by a very talkative, loud, but friendly older gentleman. The playing style mix at TGT led to some wild play. Loose-aggressive players got in against rocks and pots built quickly. Overall, TGT provided a fun, loose atmosphere with decent play.
Cash Play Activity
Ar TGT, you will find two to three $1/$2 tables and one or more PLO tables on weeknights and weekends. However, there is seldom much in the way of $2/$5 games or much else. If you are interested in checking out cash play, you can find cash poker activity in the larger region on our Poker Room Cash Activity Map.
TGT poker room currently offers a few tournaments during the week with buy-ins ranging from between $25 and $100. There are also occasional monthly tournaments with a bit higher buy-ins. The tournament schedule and structures shifts a fair bit. The Sunday early afternoon tournament that we played seems to have crept up from a $140 entry for 30K starting stack to $160K with a 50K starting stack. We ended up with 95 entries in this tournament.
For such low buy-ins, the tournament structures at TGT are very good. Starting stacks are generally a pretty good size, and blind levels raise fairly slowly. The highlight of the week is the Friday night tournament for $80. This tournament offers has 20-minute blinds, a very gradual structure, and an add-on option for $40 that gives you 25K more chips. But the real attraction is the average of 147 entries per week. If you are interested in tournament poker play in mid-state Florida, be sure to check out our Poker Room Tournament Activity Map.
Overall Assessment of TGT Poker Room
While cash game activity is modest, the TGT Poker 13-table room offers excellent tournament structures at very reasonable buy-ins. The room itself is fairly basic and not the most elaborate environment. But the chairs are comfortable and the facility offers other areas to wander into when you are not playing. As with many other poker rooms we visited on our recent Florida trip, the dealers were excellent. While certainly not a destination poker room, TGT is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of good tournaments for lower costs than you may see elsewhere.
While cash game activity is modest, the TGT Poker room offers excellent tournament structures at very reasonable buy-ins. Its 13-table room is fairly basic, not the most pleasant environment, but the chairs were comfortable. Like many rooms we encountered in Florida on our trip, the dealers were excellent.