Oklahoma Is More than OK

Biggest Event of the Year in North-North Texas

by , Aug 12, 2008 | 8:40 am

Paul in Dallas sends along some info about the upcoming River Touranment in Winstar, Oklahoma. (OK, technically it’s Thackerville, but Winstar is what puts this border town on the map, so …)

As for the River tourney, I’ve been up several times during the months of “qualifying,” and it has been fairly impressive. More impressive is the price you can get for your seats, nearly full price. I won a single table satellite and was able to sell the chip on Craig’s List for $1900 (buyin is $2100). The rake they’ve been able to steal on many satellites has been most impressive- they have been running big tournaments each month ($400+40) for seats, which isn’t too obscene at 10%, but they have been been running $55 single table sat’s to those tournaments, 10 to a table, with winner taking a seat ($440 value) and the house keeping the other $110. And yet people keep playing them.

Not sure if you’ve been kept abreast of the Winstar goings-on, but they did start serving liquor during the summer, and it has changed weekend play considerably. Many tables running 24 hours from Thursday to Monday morning each week. Squishy soft.

Wow. Damn. I did not know. Go WinStar! Should be interesting to see how this $3 million tourney plays out. Would expect to see a virtual who’s who of Texas poker contending.

(Last year, you may recall, this event was called the Red River Roundup and had a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, in which Vikram Vijay of Oklahoma defeated TJ Cloutier heads-up, making it seem a little bit like an old-fashioned version of the WSOP main event for both of them.)


15 Comments to “Oklahoma Is More than OK ”


  1. Mulry
    says:

    I was up there two weekends ago and didn’t see any booze, but some beer. (3.2 beer!) Unfortunately, drink service is still woefully slow, as they don’t have nearly enough staff serving drinks.

    We went up on the first Friday this month and the room was unbelievably packed. Every table (save 2) were in use either for cash games or River qualifiers. When we got there at 6:00 the waitlist for the 1-2 NL game was more than 60-deep and it ended up closer to 120 deep at its peak. Even the 4/8 limit game had more than 40 people on the list with 6 4/8 games running.

    But there’s not enough demand for legalized poker rooms in Texas. No, certainly not. No.


  2. DanM
    says:

    Certainly not if the Oklahoma Indians have anything to say about it!


  3. Grunkzzz
    says:

    uhm those 55$ satellites (and the 110$ ones) are 9 handed…

    9X55 = 55$ Profit… except they gave second there money back… The casino made exactly 0$ on the satellites…

    The structure of these tournaments suck. (not the satellites which were normal for 10 handed tournaments in crappy structure).
    30 minute levels.
    25/50
    50/100
    75/150
    100/200

    all fine and good then it gets crazy
    300/600 25 ante
    400/800 50 ante
    500/1000 75 ante
    800/1600 100 ante

    1000/2000 200
    3000/6000 300
    4000/8000 400
    etc etc


  4. Grunkzzz
    says:

    Oh and the have beer and liqueur now


  5. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    Paul’s facts are all fucked up. Not only are all of the Single-Table Satellites juice-free as Grunkzzz pointed out, but there is OVERLAY in the Mega’s. Yes, the buy-in is $400+$40 with a max of 400 players (so max juice for the house of $16k), but Winstar added $20k cash to the prize pool for each Mega, paid to the nine players that make the final table. First place in any Mega paid a seat plus $5,000 cash! Strictly within the context of the tournaments, Winstar has lost money in the months leading up to “The River”. As much as I detest Winstar, I have to salute their efforts to build a top-notch event for this area.

    Of course, the obvious benefit for the casino is that the cash games have been PACKED. It’s not unusualy for them to have 35+ cash games going when the weekends roll around.

    Here’s a bit of trivia for someone to research…Outside of the WSOP, what are the biggest fields in history for a tournament with a buyin of $2k or more? If they sell this thing out at 1,500 runners, I’ll bet it will be one of the biggest ever outside the WSOP.


  6. David
    says:

    As of today they have less than 300 seats ..with all the Single-Table Satellites going on 24 hours a day and seats given out in the daily tournaments I’m sure they will sell out….that’s not even taken on count the Direct buy-ins which you can do over the phone with your Credit card….

    The Mega events where almost all sold out and the extra 20k in the pot plus the $2100 seat for the top 20% runners where good events….I was lucky to make one TV final table with 5TH place finish..


  7. DanM
    says:

    ***Outside of the WSOP, what are the biggest fields in history for a tournament with a buyin of $2k or more? If they sell this thing out at 1,500 runners, I’ll bet it will be one of the biggest ever outside the WSOP.***

    What an interesting trivia question. I bet KevMath and BJ aren’t up to the challenge.


  8. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    Tunica and Foxwoods have gotten fields of 1300-1400+ for prelim events, but those have all been in the $300-$500 buyin range.


  9. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    While the Pokerati Staff are hard at work researching, find out what was the biggest poker tournament ever held in a goddamn vinyl casino too. I’ll bet this one takes the cake.


  10. DanM
    says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking about Tunica. I remember a 1,500+ field being a big deal there in 2005, or maybe it was ’04 … but that was a $500 event.

    Really, you’ve gotten me thinking I should head to Oklahoma next week.


  11. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    I was there – it was 2005. 1,449 entries (cardplayer.com) in the $500+? event. Fire Marshall showed up and threatened to shut it all down. No one could go up the escalator at the Gold Strike until someone came down.

    Even better yet, the next day there were 1,117 entries (cardplayer.com) in the $500+? LIMIT Holdem event, won by Dallas’ own Campbell Davis, a dealer at the Legion, I believe.

    Come on down, big-time Dan. Texas poker is still worth-while.


  12. DanM
    says:

    I would tend to agree, except last year an Oklahoman won. How did that happen? I mean I know it was a two-outer on the river … but still.

    BTW, I was there in Tunica ’05, too. It was the biggest event I had ever played in at the time — both in terms of buy-in and field size. I finished a not-so-admirable 1,200th-ish.

    Weren’t those big Tunica fields the ones where Merkow made a name for himself?


  13. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    Well, to quote T.J., “that long-haired motherfucker (referring to the dealer) cost me $100 grand”. Said long-hair has since cut (and donated) his hair and has a new lovely girlfriend, so I think equilibrium has been established.


  14. ItsOverJonny
    says:

    Merkow did not emerge until later in 2005 when he won the WSOPC Tunica in August 2005 (the inaugural year for the WSOPC) for $560k and then took down two bracelets in January of 2006 at both the WSOPC and WPO.


  15. DanM
    says:

    Hey, I think some of us might know that dealer!

    Waldo