Ohio poker market brings excitement to players



As things begin to settle here in Ohio, the tournament action is beginning to develop, with the exception of the World Series of Poker Circuit being canceled at the Horseshoe in Cleveland. A spokeswoman from the Horseshoe Casino said it has opted out of the 2012-13 schedule. This decision was based on space issues at the Horseshoe.

On the other hand, Hollywood Casino Columbus is looking forward to a Hollywood Poker Open event in May that will feature multiple events over 10 days and many opportunities to qualify for the $500K guarantee at M Resort in Las Vegas. Dates are pending Ohio Casino Control Commission approval.

• Hollywood Toledo was the first casino in Ohio to put up a comprehensive schedule of daily tournaments. Manager Peter Lau has a wide variety of options for players, including a monthly $300 event that features a first prize of $10K-plus every month. But Lau has taken variety to a new level: bounties, pineapple, extreme turbos, Omaha and everything in between.

• Buckeye Charity Poker in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, features nightly tournaments at 7, ranging from a $10 rebuy to $100 bounty events. It also features a weekly six-max event that has daily qualifiers to a Saturday winner-take-all final table. Buckeye, like Hollywood, is a fun place to play. It’s a PokerPro-certified room and if you haven’t played on digital tables, you will be hooked. The pace of the game, instant tournament updates and online-like features make it a great experience.

• Horseshoe Cleveland offers two weekly noon tournaments (NLHE and PLO) plus an end of month (last Sunday) $500 event. November featured 90 players but still generated a $10K-plus first prize.
• Hollywood Columbus is planning to start tournaments this quarter and is expanding the poker room to accommodate demand a few months after opening. Manager Matt Dodd is an experienced leader and brings much innovation to the property.

TIDBITS: Hollywood Columbus features the best game action in the state in part because of structures and the ability to buy to the biggest stack at the table and in part to the huge population surrounding the casino. My favorite is the $5-$25 game that runs a couple of times a week.

• Horseshoe Cleveland and manager Jeremy Smith have parted ways. Chris Loscalso, who opened Harrah’s Philadelphia’s poker room (then called Harrah’s Chester), is providing transitional leadership in the poker room as they search for a new manager.

• Lou White, co-founder of PokerTek, was on ESPNCleveland.com’s Division of Poker radio show this month and talked about the future of electronic gaming and Buckeye Charity Poker. You can hear that interview by going to ESPNCleveland.com/poker.

— 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.

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