As we cross into December it feels like we have fully entered the holiday season - the season of appreciation. This past weekend, Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, Alberta hosted their Ho Ho Hold’em tournament to show their gratitude to the Calgary poker community.
With the goal of creating a player-oriented event, the tournament was structured to give the attendees lots of play for an inexpensive buy-in of $110. Day 1 began with 12 hours of three-hour levels before bagging up for Day 2, which started with 30 minute levels. Throughout the day the casino also had give-aways which saw players unwrapping presents at the table.
The buy-in structure was also designed to accommodate a wide range of players. A maximum of five rebuys were permitted and they could be taken at any time including the first level of Day 2. Players wishing to spend just $110 could get their 8,000 chips and play all day with the slow format, and those wanting to spend more could buy in for more chips up front or add on to their stacks later.
76 players attended and eight places were paid. The total prize pool reached $25,290 and David Labchuk took the top prize of $8,220.
Poker Room Manager, Robert Bowers, explained that the event is designed to bring in their regular players for a fun, long-format event at a good price, with the added value of some give-aways from the casino, to say thank you for another year of loyalty. He recognizes that players want slow structures and deep stacks so they can get a lot of play for their buy-in, and Ho Ho Hold’em delivers exactly that.
Bowers believes Calgary has a very solid group of regular tournament players which he has seen improve especially in the last three to five years. Tournaments like this one help to foster that rich poker community and build a pool of strong players. Bowers has no doubt that the players in Calgary are as talented and capable as those in Canada’s other major cities, and the city is due for a major, North American recognized event. He is currently unable to provide any specific details, but there are talks to bring something on that level to the rich, young, prairie city.