Hollywood Columbus poker room is off to a great start

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The new Hollywood Casino poker room in Columbus, Ohio, opened fittingly on Columbus Day to massive crowds. The room opened at 11:30 a.m. and by 2:30 p.m. there were 30 tables running with 60 people on the waiting list. And the games spread were just as impressive, from $3-$6 limit hold’em to $5-$25 NLHE game with a $1K min buy-in and no max. There also was a $1-$2 pot-limit Omaha game and 20 $1-$2 NLHE games.

At 10 p.m., the Columbus room still had 30 games running and more than 50 players on the list. Matthew Dodd, a veteran manager who has a history of turning around struggling poker rooms, is more than pleased with the start his new room is having.

“A great Day 1 here in Columbus,” Dodd said. “We are extremely proud of our great team in the poker room and excited about the fantastic response from poker players to our opening.”

HORSESHOE CLEVELAND: The Horseshoe’s first tournament was on a Monday at noon with a $200 buy-in and netted 182 players. It has two tournaments a week, both at noon, one hold’em and one PLO. It also features an end-of-month event with a $500 buy-in. Jonathan Burris won the first $500 event (142 players) and pocketed $18,200, though there was a chop involved. There were no satellites to this event; poker room manager Jeremy Smith was just giving the players what they asked for (a $500 buy-in).

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: This poker room continues to chug along with cash-game and tournament action. Hollywood Casinos’ Hollywood Poker Open is sure to bring poker players plenty of action this coming year. Hollywood has a strong $1-$2 offering and on the weekends $2-$5 action.

CHARITY EVENT: Buckeye Charity Poker in Willoughby Hills just east of downtown Cleveland, has a new 17-table PokerTek room that opened in September with a huge selection of games and the widest tournament schedule in the region. A fan favorite is the 25-cent/50-cent PLO game that is a good training ground for bigger games.

The rake is right and the game plays big. The room features a unique game selection, such as a $10 rebuy during Monday night football and promotions every night. It’s a fun place to play for lower stakes.

— Dan Harkenrider is Ante Up’s Ohio Ambassador. He hosts the Division of Poker and Chris Moneymaker radio shows. Email him at anteupdan@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DivisionofPoker.