Every so often writing assignments sync perfectly with personal interests.  So it was when I covered the World Poker Tour DeepStacks Tournament, hosted by the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada. There were 15 games scheduled over a 10 day period.  The majority were No Limit Hold ‘Em, with buy-ins ranging from $65 – $1,000.  Several were satellite events and there was also an Omaha High-Low and a Pot Limit Omaha tournament.

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After an efficient check-in, I signed up for the Atlantis’ Paradise Club and had a late lunch at Toucan Charlie’s award-winning buffet.

Early evening, I sat in on my first table, Omaha Hi-Lo.  It is my favorite game and the subject of my app tutorial.  It was a $5K guaranteed payout, allowing buy-in/registration through level six.  Although wounded early by a straight flush beating my full-house and my second nuts losing to the nuts in the same hand, I was happy to make the final table and finish in fifth place.

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After breakfast the following morning at the Purple Parrot, I was off to take photos for my new website, www.PokerResortsReno.com and the app, Travel Reno. The area is scenic with lots of activities outside the casino: sightseeing, shopping, hiking, biking, sporting events and cultural opportunities.  My next tournament was Pot Limit Omaha.  To me, it is the most challenging of the poker games because of the betting structure; the maximum one can bet is the total of what’s in the pot.  I finished in the lower middle of the pack, but it was fun to participate in a game that I don’t often play.  I grabbed a quick bite at Cafe Fresco (don’t miss their gelato) and called it a night.  My final game was No Limit Hold ‘Em.  There was an interesting mix of players including about 10% women.  It’s lots of fun observing the various styles of play and noting the skill levels of those around the table.  I busted out mid-range of those entered but, once again, it was a terrific experience.

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Information

At the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, www.atlantiscasino.com, I discovered two seriously good food items: the Oyster Bar’s Mazatlan cocktail in the Sky Terrace and social hour at Napa Bistro (Wagyu sliders and a beer for $12!).

Atlantis’ Paradise Club offers many guest perks.  If you go, reserve a room that allows you access to the Concierge Level; continental breakfast and snacks, food and drinks throughout the day. Another nice touch – there is a free airport shuttle.

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Reno was the 11th of 16 “mid-major poker market” destinations of the WPT DeepStacks’ Season 2 Series. Logon to www.wptdeepstacks.com for information and their calendar. Note: Ocean’s Eleven Casino in San Diego/Oceanside will be home to the next tournament October 17-26. For extensive information about Reno and a tutorial on how to play Omaha, go to the iTunes store and download the app, Travel Reno.

Thanks to various websites for information, photos, etc.

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