With an estimated 10,000 unique players, Hollywood Casino Columbus poker room manager Matt Dodd and his staff have plenty of work to do. The Columbus market is dominated by $1-$2 action with a couple of $2-$5 games daily and many more on weekends. However, the big news in the room is the $5-$25 hold’em game that runs about once a week. This is an action game to be sure, one that has featured some $20K-plus pots and is a very live game. PLO is starting to catch on, not like Cleveland, but is building with $1-$2 action during the week and a $2-$5 game on most weekends with multiple $1-$2 games. Expect tournaments to begin in January and the Hollywood Poker Open in May 2013.
The Columbus casino has an interesting buy-in policy: Players may buy in up to the biggest stack at the table. Dodd was frank in his thoughts on this policy: “As a player, I did not like or understand the capped buy-in game policy. Hollywood has given me the opportunity to give everyone the opportunity to play right in any game and choose how they play that game.”
Toledo Hollywood Casino: Peter Lau and his staff have the widest offering of tournaments of any room in Ohio. With the exception of Saturdays, it holds a tournament every day. The stakes are mainly $50 in daily tournaments and most cash-game action is $1-$2 NLHE.
CLEVELAND HORSESHOE CASINO: Jeremy Smith and the Horseshoe keep rolling along, despite its March WSOPC stop being postponed until the fall (more on that in our next issue). The room offers Ohio’s widest selection of active games. There always are multiple $2-$5 NLHE games going, a $5-$10 NLHE and, of course, $1-$2 PLO, $2-$5 PLO and a quickly developing Omaha/8 game. I’ve noticed recently more limit action at all levels. The room is 15-17 tables deep daily and 30 on weekends. The action varies tremendously table to table, and the staff is quite accommodating on the issue of table changes, so it’s not that hard to find the game you want even when the room is jumping.
There’s been talk of a big game on a semi-regular basis ($50-$100 NLHE with a $5K minimum buy-in).
CLEVELAND BUCKEYE CHARITY: This is the nation’s first PokerPro Certified room. It offers nightly tournaments, averaging 30-50 players. Events are player-friendly ($10 rebuy, $750 guarantee) and there’s even a $100 bounty tournament. A room favorite is the new six-handed Buckeye Shootout, where six sit-n-go tournaments of $36 per player are played down to a weekend final table winner-take-all for $1K.
The cash games are a wide mix. Being a charity room, it offers No Risk No Limit, a 10-cent/25-cent micro-stakes game for beginners and for beginning PLO players a 25-cent/50-cent game runs nearly every day (plus, all of the tradition buy-ins.) The room also offers heads-up, six-max and private tables for home games and leagues.
There’s free food every day (pizza, subs and specials) and $1 domestic beer during happy hour with $2 beer most of the time.
— Dan Harkenrider is Ante Up’s Ohio Ambassador. He hosts the Division of Poker and Chris Moneymaker radio shows. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DivisionofPoker.