Join poker snowbirds in the warm Southwest



Southwestern states enjoy the company of many snowbirds who escape more frozen climates to vacation where they can warm their bones and play great poker.

Featured here are just a few of the poker rooms with exciting January schedules, beautiful surroundings and southwestern hospitality that, come spring, snowbirds find difficulty leaving.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: The Ruidoso, N.M., poker room presents its $230 Pass-Punt-Kick Tournament on Jan. 19. It also is giving away a 50-inch TV and other prizes for the AFC and NFC championships. Also, high-hand jackpots return Jan. 1 (win up to $500 per royal flush) and double any jackpot when the 2S is on the board.

ROUTE 66 CASINO HOTEL: The Albuquerque poker room has added a $45 Thursday night tournament into which $300 will be splashed. There’s also a fun, new Saturday afternoon Mystery Bounty tournament, paying one $25 bounty on every five players who enter.
Each player will have a $5 bounty on them, but those players with mystery $25 bounties will not know who they are until they’re eliminated. Also, there are plans for a $1K-added tournament in January, with a buy-in around $115, but the date hadn’t been announced at press time so be sure to call the poker room.

KICKAPOO LUCKY EAGLE: The Eagle Pass, Texas, poker room hosts (on the first and third Sunday in January) $120 Showdown tournaments with a cap of 50 players. Planned for other Sundays of the month are $75 bounty events (also capped at 50 players). At registration, each player receives a $25 bounty chip.

Also, the Winter Classic will be Jan. 4. This $220 event has one optional add-on and the field is not capped.

BUFFALO THUNDER: This Santa Fe, N.M., room is one of the best places in the Southwest to play Omaha. It will host a $100 Omaha/8 tournament Jan. 12 and the room will add $100 per table. Also, don’t miss the Jan. 25 $150 deepstack event or the Sunday-Thursday late-night high hands (up to $225 nightly).

TALKING STICK RESORT: The Arena Poker Room in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the largest poker room in the state. It has an amazing array of tournaments and cash games, and the staff is especially proud of its room’s dining specials that keep happy players seated and sated around the clock.

— Mary Bradley is Ante Up’s Southwest Ambassador. You can email her at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine