Colorado poker is remaining resilient

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Casinos that host poker know it’s often comprised of precarious ups and downs, and business is reflected by the constant ebb and flow of the game. The poker tide seems to be going out for one poker room in Colorado, as the Ute Mountain Casino, in Towaoc, Colo., closed its poker doors Feb. 28 for the indefinite future.

Yet, the poker scene maintains its balance, with the action throughout the rest of the state more innovative and healthier than ever. The Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colo., is integrating new promotions such as a high-hand jackpot and tournament shootouts (in addition to its bad-beat jackpot) in an effort to strengthen cash games.

“We value the facet of social interaction that table games such as poker provide,” Sky Ute table games manager David Oelschlaeger said. “It is a fundamental aspect that people seek when going to casinos for entertainment that cannot be rivaled with slots, or Internet-based gaming.”

Other poker events not only strengthen the game, but the community as well, such as the Tri Lakes Chamber Charity Poker Classic, which will be at the Sundance Mountain Lodge in Monument, Colo., on March 18. This is a free event, sponsored in part by On Tilt Radio, (ontiltradio.com), a web-based e-zine with poker broadcasts, podcasts and social networking. Proceeds from the event will support the Homeless Foundation of Colorado Springs. Please contact 719-481-3282 for more information.

The usual staples of Colorado poker continue to remain strong, with the Heartland Poker Tour returning to the Golden Gates Casino a Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colo., for the 16th time on Feb. 7-16. (Winners will be updated next issue.) HPT tournaments at the Golden Gates have only increased in popularity, attaining prize pools consistently eclipsing million-dollar levels over the past few seasons, signifying Black Hawk as Colorado’s premier poker constituent.

I’m excited to be the new Colorado Ambassador for Ante Up and will be on the lookout for exciting new events and concepts, including inventive tournament structures and payouts, strong live-game action, intriguing players and noteworthy events.

My goal is to update readers with tournament results and key places to visit and play in future articles, endorsing poker throughout Colorado for the foreseeable future.

— Email Hans at anteuphans@gmail.com.