For more information, including the schedule of events, visit anteupmagazine.com/downstream
While the world has gone goo-goo over no-limit hold’em, some poker managers still believe the true test of a poker player’s ability comes from mastering several games. Dale Hunter, poker manager of Downstream Casino Resort, is one of them.
“We have so many different events that we wanted to find the most-rounded person in poker,” Hunter said. “I know a lot of people play Texas Hold’em, but we want to find out who can play Omaha, stud and razz and anything and everything and see who is the best poker player.”
If you think that’s you, you’ll want to play in the Four States Poker Championship (May 17-26), an Ante Up Poker Tour event at the 5-year-old casino resort that literally straddles the border of four states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.
“We started this event four years ago,” Hunter said. “We were trying to bust out and make sure that poker was big in this area, so we started with a little five-day event, and it’s now grown into a 10 days of fun and excitement.”
The full list of non-no-limit-hold’em games on the schedule includes pot-limit Omaha with rebuys, razz, raise-or-fold limit hold’em, H.O.R.S.E., 2-7 limit deuce-to-seven triple draw, stud, half NLHE-half PLO and limit Omaha/8. NLHE isn’t ignored, though. Besides the $1,000 main event, seven no-limit events are on the schedule, but even with those, Hunter likes to tinker.
“I play Texas Hold’em, but I need variety,” he said. “I need something different than the standard nine- or 10-player tables.”
The no-limit variations on the schedule include an ante-only event, a six-handed event and a Bonnie & Clyde couples event.
“Bonnie and Clyde always seems to be a popular one for us,” Hunter said. “It gives the gentleman an opportunity to bring their wives out and show them what they do and share in the excitement.”
Every event on the schedule qualifies for Ante Up Player of the Year points, but as with all Ante Up Poker Tour events, the highlight is the $1K main event, the winner of which earns a personalized Ante Up tour champion jacket and will be featured on the cover of the July issue of Ante Up.
“In the past, we haven’t had the $1,000 event. But once we announced it, a lot more people became interested,” Hunter said. “When we tell people that they are going to be on the cover of the magazine for Ante Up, a lot of people are excited about that. They want the recognition. The money is great, but 15 minutes of fame is even better.”
Players who don’t have a $1K bankroll will have five chances to satellite into the main event for just $120 during the series. And after players bust, Downstream’s 14-table poker room will be busy, likely with some of the games featured in the series breaking out.
“Our bread-and-butter is $1-$2 no-limit. On the weekends, we’ll get eight to 10 tables of $1-$2,” Hunter said. “We also spread $3-$6 limit, $2-$5 no-limit and on Fridays, get a $2-$5 hold’em/Omaha game.
“On Tuesdays, we have a $5-$10 no-limit game,” Hunter said. “We may have one of the biggest $5-$10 games around. It gets pretty big. There are gamblers on the table. They’re not afraid of putting their money in.”
Four States Poker Championship players will enjoy room rates of $99 Sunday-Thursday and $109 Friday-Saturday for one of the resort’s 374 luxury rooms spread among two towers. Downstream also features indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a golf club for relaxing when not at the tables. Six dining options, from casual to elegant, are available as well.
“If I’m looking to take a girl out and show her a good time, I’m taking her to Red Oak, which is our steakhouse,” Hunter said. “I’ve eaten several places from Kansas City to Dallas, and I haven’t found a place that I like better than Red Oak. The atmosphere is great. Soft, quiet and they pride themselves on their steaks.
“It’s a beautiful property, and we’re always looking to grow and give back to the players what they want,” Hunter said.