Thunder Valley Sweet 16 poker series continues fine tradition



Up the Ante poker room at Thunder Valley in Lincoln, Calif., has become a prime destination for any poker player looking to play in large tournaments or high-stakes cash games while relishing in the amenities of a luxurious resort and casino.

I enjoyed the pristine rooms and played some events at Thunder Valley during its Sweet 16 tournament series, which ran March 28-April 15. The buy-ins were $100-$1,100 with most having large guaranteed prize pools and deep structures. The series also had a variety of events that appealed to every type of player, including six-max, ante only, H.O.R.S.E. and Omaha/8.

Poker director Ben Erwin and his extraordinary staff created the series last year and this year was even more successful. The large turnouts for each event can be accredited to the hard work of the experienced staff that listens to their players and do everything to make their guests’ time more enjoyable.

While playing in a few of these events, I heard nothing but positive feedback on the series and the resort. The players truly enjoy themselves in the lavish, professionally run room with flatscreen TVs in every corner. It’s apparent Erwin and the Thunder Valley crew know exactly what it takes to bring players in and show them how a poker room should be run.

My time at Thunder Valley was nothing short of remarkable. From the poker room to the hotel, I couldn’t have asked for a more courteous and welcoming staff. It’s exciting to see the direction that Erwin and his staff are taking to make their poker room not only the best in the state, but in the country.

Congratulations to the winners (all from California) and be sure to check out next month’s NorCal column for a complete recap of Thunder Valley’s series and its $200K guarantee Sweet 16 Main Event, which ended after press time.

— Email Garrett Roth at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine