Posts Tagged ‘the-lodge’

Lodge Poker Revival Begins Today

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 9:50 am

Meet Sharron, the new tourney director at The Lodge.

There are lots of amateur poker leagues out there, and with all due respect, we don’t pay as much attention to them as we used to unless there’s allegations of grift and/or a plot to kill the guy running it with snakes. However, the Lodge Amateur Poker League has always been near and dear to Pokerati’s heart.

Back in the early boom days, All In magazine called it “The best amateur tournament in America!” Ahh, we were having some good after-church strip-club times every Sunday, with more and more players getting better each week … in pursuit of not just gift certificates and lap-dance coupons, but also, and believe it or not more important than seeing boobs for most, a seat in a $1,500 WSOP event (travel expenses included, of course).

But like so much in poker, after Dan left it eventually lost its way. The tournament carried on, but allegations of chip dumping and cheating (yes, in an amateur tourney) made it lose its luster. Then came the Texas sin tax that made this “free” tournament a $0+5 NLH — with that whole $5 going to the State — and field sizes continued to dwindle.

Courts have since ruled that tax unconstitutional, so the game is free again … and now the Lodge — named Best Strip Club in America at the 2008 Exotic Dancer Awards in Las Vegas, btw — has renewed its commitment to making its weekly amateur poker tournament not just the best in Texas, but tops anywhere. The new TD cracking the poker whip: Sharron Nix.



Lodge Amateur Poker Still Kickin’

by , Jul 27, 2009 | 1:24 pm

(L to R) Veteran Lodge amateurs John Manby, Aaron Autry, and Fubu … still tearing it up on not-so-faded felts harkening back to the old-old days of

As those of you following @Pokerati on twitter are well-aware, I ended up at my old stomping grounds at The Lodge last night, totally not realizing that, being a Sunday night, there was an amateur poker tourney going on.

Not only did I get a reminder of why it’s good to be the Phil Hellmuth, or at least the Former Jeffrey Pollack of Dallas Amateur Sunday Strip-Club Poker … they snuck me into the tourney somewhere around level 5, and even gave me a nicer chair … but I had a really good time en route to making the final table and quickly giving my chips away once the Tuaca shots started flowing.

Anyhow, that is all … the tournament we started back in, um, yikes, 2003 is still going strong, drawing five tables of action weekly. They’ve changed the prize structure and point system … the tables are a bit beat up … you can’t smoke at’em any more … and we won’t even talk about the way my attempt to steal the blinds from two absent seats was handled … but many familiar faces (and breasts, hi Lindsey!) … and plenty of absolutely terrible play. 🙂

I think by making the final table (8th place – top 3 won Lodge gift certificates) I qualified for some special mini-semi-finals six weeks from now. Perhaps I’ll have to return?

Click below for an impressive (?) list of known poker pros, authors, and celebrities who at one time or another played on these (same) tables:

(Oh, also, congratulations to Liz the longtime Lodge poker waitress and LAP player Michael Tiegs, who will be getting married this week in Las Vegas!)


Celebrity Follow: Lou Diamond Phillips

by , Jul 12, 2009 | 10:25 am

Lou Diamond Phillips is the lone (non-poker) celebrity remaining in the main event, with a respectable 607,000 chips. (Avg. is 481k.) I’ve played with him once before … and it was a memorably odd night of poker, to say the least.

The recap of that eve has been lost in the old-old Pokerati archives, but I was able to dig up some pics from that eve:

(L to R) Lou D Phillips, Clonie, and The Big Randy in an intense hand of 50-cent-dollar no-limit hold’em at The Lodge.

LDP (as we called him before he became @LouDPhillips) was in town for the Deep Ellum Film Festival, so Robert Wilonsky invited him to a $.50/$1 Batface game at The Lodge. Clonie Gowen and Rick Fuller were there, as was David Williams I believe. Lou was actually running over the table … building his stack to about $700, which was very threatening in that game. Then Jerome Bettis showed up (out of nowhere and uninvited, btw) … The Bus was apparently at The Lodge on unrelated lap-lovin’ business, and couldn’t help but pull away when he heard there was a poker game going on in the champagne room.

Ahh, remember the good-ole-days of 2005, when poker was on its exponentially fast pop-cultural rise, and nights like these happened all the time?

But then things got kinda strange as Lou began playing shirtless and was flexing whenever he pushed all-in …

Bizarre, I know … but hey, it’s a small poker world.

What’s Your Poker Story?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 3:31 am

As you probably know, the PPA is collecting short videos at The purpose, as far as I can tell, is to put something together for the coming legislative push that (quickly) shows on-the-fence Congresspeople that poker players are a diverse group of citizens, who care about the game for more than degenerate reasons, and ultimately that the our bills tap into a motivate-able mass spread across a wide spectrum of the American populace. Here’s PPA Chairman Al D’Amato’s poker story:

LOL, you can see why the PPA needs your help. (No offense, retired Senator … just saying they probably need more than just you to convey their message.) All it takes is a minute or two in front of your computer cam and a few clicks. I tried to submit mine, but it apparently violated YouTube TOS. (Hey, I can’t help that I learned so much at The Lodge. So she was naked … it’s still a bad beat.) So in the meantime, as a placeholder for Dan’s poker story, I’ve submitted this:

For a bunch of really good ones (and some humorously not so good) check ’em out the poker stories here. On a serious side, OK, I’m making a little light, but these really are a good reminder of why the fate of a silly little computer game matters to so many.

Tao of Pokerati: All Up in the $40k

by , May 31, 2009 | 10:15 am

The money bubble bursts in the $40k NLH — Neil Chriss suffers — and Pauly, Benjo, and I are there to capture it live while talking about sheep hookers. By the time this event gets to the final table, it’s about whether Greg Raymer is old-school or new-school, and if I would ever spend my Sundays at a strip club. (A few hundred Lodge players, of course, know the answer to that.) Plus: how a four-figure strip-club bill in Week 1 turns into a five-figure blowout by Week 6, and who knows what kinda party’s in store when a Frenchman wins a bracelet.

Special appearances by Short-Stacked Shamus and a lovely French woman.

Tao of Pokerati at the 40th WSOP
Las Vegas, NV

Episode 11.7: Bubble Party

Episode 11.8: $40K Final Table Dance

Texas Opts against Raking Free Poker Games (at Strip Clubs)

by , Apr 2, 2009 | 2:52 pm

Lesson #1 in politics: It’s not about what makes sense or creating any legal consistency.

Proof: In Dallas, it’s legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, but illegal to ride a bicycle without one.

With that in mind, another law moved forward today that indirectly relates to poker … the Texas House approved a 10 percent tax on admission fees to strip clubs, replacing a $5-per-head “sin tax” that was previously in play. I know this law well … not only because it was a major deal at my old stomping grounds, The Lodge, but also because a good buddy of mine actually wrote it. And when he did, it was a sign to me of everything that is wrong with American politics …


Go Team Pokerati!

by , Jun 27, 2008 | 5:19 pm

Playing under our little satanic-spade banner … David Pflaster. Some of you may recall … he got his start playing at the Lodge and before you knew it was getting aces tattooed on his forearms, dealing in Dallas, and about a year ago moved to Las Vegas to make it as a low-stakes pro.

He actually seems to be doing it — says he’s just slightly better than breaking even in cash games while hitting some “big” scores in tourneys. More than $20k in the past few months in Caesar’s freerolls, another $10k win online … today he’s playing in the $2,000 NLH event … and with about half the field eliminated just before dinner break, he’s a pretty-big stack with about 18,000 chips (more than double the avg.). Seen here after just having taken out a player who moved all-in on his big blind in a hand where he woke up with pocket kings.

NOTE TO SELF: Satanic Spade … good name for a new death metal band!

UPDATE: According to Pflaster: “Dude, my Aces ran into Jacks.” His opponent was apparently a relative big-stack … so he’s now down to 3600, with blinds at 300/600 … and Pflaster in the big blind on the next hand after dinner break.

Yikes. But at the same time, on the previous break he and I talked about this exact situation, and how he’s learned his way out of it. We’ll see, no?

Go Dallas Poker!

by , May 12, 2008 | 4:06 pm

Former Lodge Amateur Poker player and Rounder Club honcho Terry Keratsopolous is at the final table at a WSOP-Circuit event in New Orleans. Haven’t found any semi-live coverage yet … but just an FYI for those of you who’d like someone to route root for.

UPDATE: It’s reportedly a $500+ event … First place is about $28k, 10th place about $2,800. They started the final table at about 4 pm eastern … and Terry was short-stacked, standing 8th in chips.


On-the-Fly Rule Change at WPT Championship
“Show One Show Both” Is Now “Show One, OK, Cool, Fair Enough”

by , Apr 22, 2008 | 2:40 pm

I loved being a tournament director — training dealers was particularly fun at the Lodge, and I can think of no truer example of getting to be a benevolent dictator. You have some basic big rules to follow, and then lots of little rules that you can interpret in any number of arguable ways … but the ultimate determination is left to a supreme court of one — and there are no appeals, unless, of course, you decide to change your mind.

Bellagio tourney director Jack McLelland introduced a little democracy to the WPT today — responding to some complaints on Daniel Negreanu’s blog* — by putting his show-one-show-both rule to a vote among the remaining players, who overwhelmingly supported this seemingly sensible mid-tourney change. The short-stack lobby, however, was unsuccessful in persuading the Bellagio’s Dear Tourney Leader to lower the blinds.

From the WPT Live Updates:

Rule Change!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 12:15 PM PDT

Before the start of play, Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland stood up on the stage next to the featured table to make an announcement.

McClelland talked about Negreanu’s blog, stating that Negreanu’s complaints about the show one card, show both rule may be valid, and that he would like to put it to a vote.

So he asked the room if they would be opposed to a rule change. The response was overwhelming to say the least. Nearly every person in the room voted to change the rule.

McClelland responded with, “In the words of Steve Lipscomb, “Ahh…. F#%K it,”” and just like that the rule was changed.

Players are still not allowed to flash a card in the middle of the hand, however. The rule only allows you to flash a card after the hand is over.

After McClelland gave himself a 20-minute penalty [for language], he did warn the players that he has been training the dealers for three years to turn both cards over, and that they should be patient with them as they learn the new rule all over again.

*NOTE: Still looking for a direct link to the post McClelland was referring to. If anyone has it, please pass along. Thanks.

Comfort Food

by , Feb 23, 2008 | 12:00 pm


North Texas fireworks kingpin Ran Nelson brought his tight-aggressive Dallas game recently to the Mandalay Bay.

Though I haven’t been writing much about anything it, I have been hitting the tables here in Vegas. Have sampled a handful of rooms and action … spreading the lore of the Hammer and the Sang all along the way, of course, as I seek to replace the competitive camaraderie of the Batface home game perhaps with something akin to Jackie’s back in the (Dallas underground hey)day.

That came easier than usual this week, when TBR-bro-in-law Patrick came to town. He was staying at the Luxor, so we met up at Cathouse for a drink. (Cathouse is basically like the Lodge without the nipples, and Celeb-chef Kerry Simon in place of Jose Luis.) A couple Lagavulins later, we walked over to Mandalay Bay, where we took two seats together at a $2/$4 no-limit table. This was bigger stakes than either of us had been playing, but hey, we were feelin’ half-drinky good, and it seemed a better option than waiting, as the room was totally full and festive on a Thursday night. A familiar face was seated with us – Ran Nelson, a very good Dallas player whom I hadn’t seen since the days of Jackie’s – what a delight. He had a new cardmarker, a square block of acrylic with his little Stuey guy inside of it, surrounded by chips from the various important poker rooms to Ran, including WinStar in Oklahoma and the old Sixth Street in Dallas.

I was playing great – more-than-doubled up in about an hour by trapping a well-stacked opponent in classic Dan-style … but then was back to square 1 a few hands later when I got unlucky on the turn … and back to square 0 when I don’t remember what I did but I am pretty sure it was stupid, starting with playing the likes of [cards]qs 4s[/cards].

Mandalay Bay
$2/$4 NLH
Buy-in: $300
Cash out: $0
Food: starved
Drinks: $28
Net: -$328


Road Gambles

by , Dec 28, 2007 | 7:57 pm


Pokerati limo driver Bob Haney, headed to Vegas where he will join nearly a dozen other Rounder Club expats in pursuit of a better poker life.

STATE HWY 287 (Somewhere in the Texas Panhandle)–Call it a whim if you will, but Pokerati has decided to relocate … to Las Vegas. And we’re en route right now. Like literally — as I type we’re slowing down for the junction with Farm Road 2530 as we head in to Childress. As far as I know, there’s no law against blogging while driving, right?

OK, that’s kinda a joke … we’re not stupid, and Pokerati likes to roll in style, which is why we have a chauffeur handling some of the commute. Meet Bob (pictured). Bob was one of the first Lodge Amateur Poker players … who would go on to win the LAP Player of the Year, earning him a seat in last year’s WSOP Seniors event. He woulda cashed, too, had he not gotten it all-in pre-flop with AA against 55 … only to see a flop of 10-5-5. Ah, yes, the 21+ hour drive from Dallas to Las Vegas will clearly be much more enjoyable as we get to trade bad-beat stories all along the way!

Anyhow, Bob is headed to Vegas, he says, “to pursue my new love, which is cards.” And apparently he gives me some sort of credit blame for his addiction playing poker cupid. So after recently getting fired from his job as a security guard under legally nefarious circumstances (two-time whistleblower vs. an allegedly embezzly boss), he said “fuggit!” and decided to hitch a ride with Pokerati to the Nevada desert, where he plans to go to dealer school and start a new chapter in his life.

Hmm, sounds good to us.

The Sang Responsible for Absolute Destruction of the Poker Universe?

by , Oct 25, 2007 | 8:18 pm

This post is not for 99.997 percent of the readers out there.

But for the guys in the Batface home game … they might find it hardly surprising to know that on Sept. 12 — or right around that day — “sangy farha” started playing (for play money) on Full Tilt. That was the same day of the tournament on Absolute Poker that has since thrown the online poker world into a tizzy. The hand being played that sparked it all: Yep, you guessed it … 9-2 offsuit, aka The Sang, which we all know is kinda like the hammer, only a little bit more powerful.

Because of his connection to the scandal, Drinky Sang may or may not be making future appearances on Beyond the Table as our strategy and psychology correspondent. Click below to listen to Sang’s screen test, recorded on a drive home from The Lodge in a pouring rainstorm.


You’ll hear him talk a little final table strategy, discount his monster play-money bankroll online, threaten to kill people, lose his online chat priveliges, question the presence of Tom Schneider’s genitalia, threaten to kill the guys at Ante Up, and fall in love with a wet puppy.

So be sure to tune in to current and future episodes.

Sunday Tourney Sunday

by , Aug 19, 2007 | 2:50 pm

As action gets underway today at the Arizona State Poker Championship, the Arizona Posse’s last man standing is Jesse McGinty. So wow, he’s like good or something. With 20 players left, they’re well into the money, and the Chinese/Irish/Italian master has 490k in chips … average stack is 225k. Pat Poels will be doing commentary for a local TV station not on the internet. I know a lot of you readers don’t really care about these guys yet, but really, they are nice dudes, smart and funny, tough like Rumble Fish. And they actually win a lot, so c’mon, get on the bandwagon now! (Or at least once McGinty makes it to the final table.)

By the way, Lisa in Scottsdale sends along a picture of one of the buttons from this event, with its familiar looking crest:


Meanwhile, in Dallas amateur action, Sang will be competing today in the quarterly Lodge Tournament of Champions in pursuit of a $1,500 WSOP seat rebate on his stripper tab/pole taxes.

Backing into the (Oklahoma) Money

by , Aug 17, 2007 | 2:38 pm

chuckp.jpgThe former Rev. Good Chuck in Fort Worth wants to play in the $1,000 Red River Roundup main event, being put on by the mighty-noble-legendary Winstar tribe of Thackerville, OK. We all know he’s a pretty good player in few-hundred dollar tournaments, so he’s looking to try his hand at something a little bigger.

But he also wants to do it with a little backing love. He has a potential investor, and he’s trying to figure out the best, most sensible deal for both parties. His initial thought is to allow the backer 30 percent for $500, or 50 percent for $800. As you know, we learned a lot about backing deals during the WSOP, specifically that the “you buy me in and get your money back + 50 percent” isn’t necessarily the standard. So anyone got any thoughts on this?


Amateur Qualifies for Main Event
Earthshaking News in Online, Live Poker Worlds!

by , Jun 25, 2007 | 9:16 am

OK, so maybe he isn’t the first amateur online qualifier, nor will he be the last … But he is the first Rounder Clubber to make accomplish such a feat, and that’s pretty cool. So big congrats to Chris Como, the most accomplished Lodge Amateur Poker graduate and Rounder Club alum. He invested $24+2 in a 336-player event on Full Tilt, where the top 25 qualified for a $200 event … where the top 9 out of 552 won a $12,000 main-event package.

(Sorry Como, can’t Google- hide your name any more … When you register for the WSOP, that becomes a matter of semi-public record.)

UPDATE: Numbers corrected above. Interestingly enough, the first tourney was the last super-satellite into the last WSOP-qualifying satellite on Full Tilt. Como played both events back-to-back, from about 6 pm to 1:30 am.

So out of however many hundreds of pros and thousands of amateurs in the main event, he is now someone whose progress Pokerati will be following — and we couldn’t be happier. Go Como! Make the final table and maybe we can get you a jersey.

In addition to him, below are other the players we care about might possibly be watching in a couple weeks: