Snookers charity poker room has doors closed



The largest charity poker room in the state, Snookers, closed Dec. 19 after having its charity poker license suspended for rules violations. The closing has been a big blow to the charities and the poker community, not to mention the staff that lost their jobs and ancillary businesses that depended on the establishment. Management has kept patrons updated on Facebook about meetings with the State Gaming Commission to try to bring an end to the suspension. At its height, Snookers easily would fill its daily tournaments with 300-400 players and run several cash games from open to close, often allowing six or seven charities a day to partake in the profits. Proprietor Don Wawrzyniak told the Oakland Press in 2011 the room had raised as much as $1.2 million for charities in 2010.

The other big story in Michigan poker was the bad-beat jackpot at Motor City Casino, which reached $368,059 before being hit. The jackpot was hit at a $1-$2 no-limit hold’em game after two players hit sets on the flop and the board ran out quads for both.

Brooke Ziomek, media relations coordinator for the casino, said, “At the time of the win, there were nine players at the table, all of whom were paid immediately.” She also said the record bad beat at Motor City, however, is $375K.

Because of the heavy traffic caused by the jackpot, with waiting lists surpassing 100 players at times, it was difficult to tell if the closing of Snookers had any effect on traffic at the busy casino poker room. One thing is for sure: Michigan poker might never be the same again.

— Frank Panama and Gambit Gras are Ante Up’s Michigan Ambassadors. They host the Michigan Poker Monster weekly podcast at You can email them at

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