CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Balmoral Park Takes Charity Route to Bring in Live Poker

9 September 2009

State-regulated casino gaming at Illinois race tracks in the form of racino legislation appears a long shot at the present time, but that didn't stop officials with Balmoral Park Race Track in Crete, Illinois from finding a way around it.

The track had a live poker room open the weekend of Aug. 1 - 2 with affordable tournaments and cash games as part of its two-day Chicago Southland Festival of Racing.

It may be all for charity benefiting the South Suburban Humane Society, but it is poker nonetheless and the live action will be as close to casino-style shuffling and dealing as it gets.

It all came about as a result of a chance meeting between Rob Hefner of Balmoral's marketing department and executives with Chicago Charitable Games, a company which puts together and runs charity casino nights for organizations in the Chicago-land area.

"I was approached by Chicago Charitable Games representatives at a golf outing," Hefner said. "We talked the idea around a little bit then ran it past the state, which granted us a license to hold eight charitable poker events per year."

Charity poker tournaments are conducted in the region on a regular basis and have a big following of regulars who enjoy playing poker games which have affordable buy-ins yet gives them the opportunity to win cash and prizes in a competitive setting.

The room was set up in a private area on the mezzanine level of the track and was open both Saturday and Sunday from Noon until 10:00 p.m. Thirty tables, each with 10 seats, were available.

The minimum age to participate in charity poker tournaments in Illinois is 18.

The dealers included volunteers from the South Suburban Humane Society who were specially trained by Chicago Charitable Games to run the tables in a professional manner.

It was actually the second time this summer that Balmoral has given the concept a try. A smaller scale one-day charity event was held there on June 20.

"We just wanted to do a test run with it," Hefner explained. "About 300 people came out for it, even though there was a competing charity event held elsewhere the same day.

"This time there were no competing events run by Chicago Charitable Games, so we were expecting in the area of 600 to 700 players."

The main event was the WSOP Mega Deepstack Tournament. It required a $200.00 buy-in, but the top award was a $12,000 prize package for the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.

Each day's action began at Noon with a $20.00 Early Bird Tournament. Also, both Saturday and Sunday there were single table tournaments for $25.00 and $50.00 buy-ins.

In addition to Texas Hold'em, there was Seven Card Stud and Omaha 8's or Better cash games.

Late night tournaments were held at 6:00 p.m. both days, including a $100.00 buy-in on Saturday and a $60.00 buy-in on Sunday.

More information on Balmoral Park's charity poker schedule can be found at www.chicagocharitablegames.com.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp