Gold Strike Winter Classic runs Dec. 14-22

November 20, 2012, Chris  

Winter is nearly here, which means the Gold Strike Winter Poker Classic is coming back to Tunica on Dec. 14-22. I always thought this tournament was an excellent chance for everyone to take a break between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to hit the felt a bit, perhaps win some holiday spending money or just relax with friends. This year’s lineup is better than ever.

The main event features a budget-friendly $800 buy-in. Nightly no-limit hold’em tournaments (7 p.m.) are a bargain at $100. Every day at 5 you can test your skill in an $80 main-event super satellite ($40 rebuys) with at least one seat guaranteed. These are all fairly standard points for this event, and more than enough incentive to come out to play. It’s some of the unusual additions to the tournament schedule that have me looking forward to December.

Event 2 (Dec. 15, 4 p.m.) is a six-max bounty tournament with a $400 buy-in. I love six-handed events anyway, but the bounty aspect is going to add a challenging twist to this one. Event 8 on the next Monday features a 4 p.m., $120 Winner Take All tournament. Chopping has become nearly standard, so I can’t wait to see the payout on a low-buy-in tournament where one person will take the whole thing. Of course, the main event is sure to draw an impressive crowd with a buy-in less than $1K.

As always, tournament director Eric Comer and poker room manager Karen Kaegin put on a great event. They’ve negotiated some excellent hotel rates of $39 during the week and $69 on the weekends. Call the poker room for more details. On my last visit there, I took a break from the $4-$8 Omaha game to visit Chicago Steakhouse and can officially declare it the best-kept secret in Tunica. I don’t think you’ll find a better steak in North Mississippi.

Gold Strike isn’t the only place upping the ante during the colder season. Jim “Cappy” Fleming, longtime regular Tunica player and friend, was kind enough to track me down in the aforementioned O/8 game and share the details of an upcoming promotion at Horseshoe Tunica. The weekend of Dec. 5-9 will be the inaugural “Chop Pot Weekend” tournament, which caters to chop-pot games. At 11 a.m. on Dec. 5, there’s a $130 O/8 tournament followed by a 4 p.m. $160 mixed stud/8-O/8. The 7 p.m. tournament is a “Blinds Only” NLHE $60 event.

Dec. 6 offers a 10:30 a.m. $100 O/8 SNG plus split-pot cash games with $50-$100 high-hand bonus happy hours all day. The 7 p.m. $60 NLHE tournament will finish the day. Friday starts with an 11 a.m. O/8 $130 tournament with $100 rebuys. A 6 p.m. NLHE tournament with a $100 buy-in and $50 rebuys is also on the schedule.

Dec. 9 kicks off with an 11 a.m. $130 O/8 event, followed by a3 p.m. $160 NLHE tournament featuring a $12,000 guaranteed prize pool.

Sunday begins with the “Chop Pot Weekend Championship,” a $210 main-event H.O.R.S.E. tournament. The winners of the $12,000 guarantee and the H.O.R.S.E. event will be awarded a seat into the Harrah’s Tunica WSOPC Omaha/8 event (a $245 value).

Special tournament hotel rates of $30 weeknights and $60 weekends are available. Call the poker room for more information.

With all of these poker events coming up in December, you simply must make plans to be in Tunica. I’ll be there playing the Horseshoe event and dealing the Winter Classic at Gold Strike. I’m looking forward to seeing you and happy holidays.

— Jennifer Gay is Ante Up’s Mississippi Ambassador. She can be contacted at facebook.com/aceofjewels or at jennifergay80@hotmail.com.