Autumn poker in beautiful bounty-full New Mexico

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This month, I want to spotlight two exciting New Mexico cardrooms that got game!

Ten minutes north of Santa Fe, the sprawling Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino anticipates a grand opening for its poker room on Oct. 1. A soft opening took place on Sept. 21, offering a progressive bad-beat jackpot and a $5K freeroll for 50 hours of live play between Sept. 21 and Oct. 26.

Nightly tournaments begin at 6:30 Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Splash pots will be lively on Sunday and Monday during pro football games. Aces Cracked kicks off Monday through Thursday at specified times.

At Sandia Resort and Casino’s poker room in northern Albuquerque, Thursday night Headhunter Bounty 2012 series kicks off at7 p.m. and includes 10 $60 buy-in events. During each event, the house adds $100 more than the previous event, as much as $1K.

Allowing no more than 100 entries and 15 alternates, each tournament includes 3K in tournament chips, 20-minute rounds and $5 bounties on each player. Winner of each event receives the prize payout and a freeroll into the Thanksgiving Night, Too Much Turkey Bounty Tournament. 

Winners from the previous 10 events will be entered into this $100 buy-in event, with a maximum 150 seats (no alternates), 30-minute rounds, 5K in tournament chips, $25 bounty for each freeroll player and $5 bounty for everyone else. And players won’t miss any Thanksgiving NFL or local football play, with NFL Sunday Ticket and 12 flatscreens surrounding the room.

— Mary Bradley is Ante Up’s New Mexico Ambassador. Email her at anteupmary@gmail.com.