Ante Up Poker Cruises leave from L.A. in March

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Ante Up hosts many poker cruises per year. We turn shipboard conference rooms into poker rooms for a week, host tournaments and cash games, and offer poker training. In the past, all of our cruises embarked from East Coast ports. But this spring, Ante Up is hosting its first West Coast cruise out of the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The cruise will depart on March 30 with stops in Cabo San Lucas (April 1), Mazatlan (April 2), Puerto Vallarta (April 3) and returns to Los Angeles on April 6. You can get information on this or any other Ante Up cruise at anteupcruises.com.

Buying your cruise package is, of course, one way to get passage, but if you live in Southern California there may be another way. If you are a member of Rounders Poker Club, or know a member, you may be able to win your way aboard. Rounders is a semi-private poker club with roughly 1,300 members. If you know a member, ask them for a referral to gain membership. If you don’t know someone, you can go to meetup.com and search for “Rounders” and send a request to join.

With tournaments running nearly any night of the week, and buy-ins typically ranging from $25 to $60, it should be no problem to find a game that suits your bankroll. Some games are free, where points or prizes are awarded for placing. Location also shouldn’t be an issue. Tournaments are hosted all over Los Angeles, Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley, so whether you live in Thousand Oaks, Sylmar, Redondo Beach or anywhere in between, you can find a game near you.

The club will hold a six-game series with $50 entry and $20 add-ons specifically for those interested in winning cruise packages. Based on your performance in these events, you can win entry into the final January tournament, which is a freeroll. If you finish first or second in any of the previous events, you’re awarded bonus starting chips. Half of the prize pool in each tournament will be awarded to the top finishers of each event while the other half is put into the “cruise fund.” At the freeroll, at least two cruise packages will be awarded, more if the cruise fund is sufficient to pay more.

BIG POKER OKTOBER: Wrapping up mid October was the annual Big Poker Oktober series at the Bicycle Casino. The culmination of the 32-event series was the $200K guarantee, $550 buy-in main event. As seems to be the norm with guarantees in Los Angeles, this one was just a number, too. The final prize pool of close to $460K blew it away. The main event ended in a three-way deal with James C. Anderson, Jay Vaswani and Daniel Illingworth each pocketing at least $50K.

Also on course with what seems to be a recent pattern developing is two more women won events during the series. Geeta Radia got her name at the top of the finishers list in Event 4. Also scoring one for the women, Katherine Wier was at the top in Event 21, a no-limit hold’em bounty tourney.

Next up in Los Angeles is Larry Flynt’s Holiday Poker Classic. It began Nov. 24 and runs through the finals of the $500 main event ending Dec. 29.

— Email Dave Palm at LA.AnteUp@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @AnteUpLosAngele.