Thursday October 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm
SCOOP

Colorado is one of the most popular tourist destination in the western United States. The Rocky Mountains attract visitors from all over the world, whether its hiking and rafting in the summers, or skiing and snowboarding in the winter. With the legalization of marijuana, the Rocky Mountain high has a whole new meaning. The cannabis industry in Colorado is booming, which is why Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in America. If you didn't know, an old mining town in Black Hawk, Colorado has become a hub of poker in the Rockies. If you desire cash games or tournaments, the Ameristar and Golden Gates in Black Hawk has your fix. Black Hawk is less than an hour drive from Denver, nestled in a canyon with a postcard-like scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

CO travel

Colorado! Skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, marijuana, live music, and poker. If you like any of those things, then Denver, Colorado should be your next travel destination. The mountains are a short drive away from Denver, which makes the city a perfect hub for your next holiday. And whether you're getting your legal cannabis fix, or busy exploring the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, it's comforting to know that there's a 24-hour poker game within reach in Black Hawk.

Black Hawk, located 45 minutes west of Denver in Clear Creek Canyon, is a couple miles from Central City. The defunct mining town was found in 1859 during the gold rush in the Rocky Mountains. The mining industry severely declined during the 20th Century and Black Hawk was transforming into a veritable ghost town. In the early 1990s, the state of Colorado legalized gambling. Black Hawk was one of the old mining towns that got targeted for privatization and became a perfect location for casinos and hotels.

The narrow geography of Clear Creek Canyon forced several tiny casinos to snuggled together with majestic mountain scenery surrounding the town on all side. The casinos have an old-timey wild west atmosphere. Heck, on the outskirts you can even go panning for gold! Several small casinos are located on the main drag in Black Hawk. The Ameristar is the exception to the small/quaint vibe. If anything, Ameristar is the closest you'd get to a proper full-blown Vegas casino environment. It sort of reminds me if a Vegas casino attempted a rustic Colorado wilderness theme with stone and wood everywhere.

If you are going to visit Denver and want to play poker, then you set aside a day/evening to visit Black Hawk, Colorado. Simply put, if you're looking for tournament action then Golden Gates Casino is for you. And if you're a cash game specialist, then head over to Ameristar Casino.

I've played at both casinos, and each poker room has friendly and experienced dealers and staff. The only catch is the $100-max bet rule. If you're a low-stakes player, then that really isn't much of an issue. If you're looking for high-stakes action, then Black Hawk might not be ideal. Unfortunately, it's the only game in that part of the mountains, so your options are limited.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a half-baked trip report for my On the Road with Dr. Pauly column for Bluff Magazine. That article was titled Black Hawk, Colorado: Pot, Chowder, Poker and Asshats.

420 AND DRINKS

Co Flag bud

The best part about Black Hawk are the free beverages. You can find various stations in every casino offering soft drinks, tea, and coffee.

Colorado is a 420-friendly state. You can purchase cannabis and products at legal dispensaries. You cannot smoke marijuana in your hotel rooms or inside the casino. Smoking in public is also frowned upon. However, if you are slick you can figure out a way to maintain a buzz. Edibles and vape pens are highly popular, but it's not uncommon to catch a whiff of dank nugs.

DISCLAIMER: Be careful of edibles! Cannabis-infused edibles might taste delicious, but if you do not pay close attention to the dosage, then you could possibly be in for a very long head trip!

GETTING THERE: DENVER TO BLACK HAWK

A shuttle bus that departs from Denver and other front range locations, but you really should rent a car and drive up. It's a lovely view and you can do some sightseeing while you're up there.

If you take the shuttle, it cost $23 but you also get $20 in free casino play. So it's essentially $3. For more info on the shuttle, click here.

Please take caution of the weather and seasons. Always check local weather before you drive up to the mountains, especially in the winter.

And if you're on a 420 holiday and intend to consume copious amounts of cannabis, find a designated driver when heading up into the mountains. The roads are dangerous for sober visitors, let alone those completely lit on Death Star OG Kush.

AMERISTAR

Ameristar CO

AMERISTAR

111 Richman St., Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (720) 946-4108

  • Tables: 22
  • Games: NL, LHE
  • Limits: $30-60 LHE, $1-2 NL, $2-5 NL
  • Max Bet: $100
  • Tournaments: None

The best cash games in Black Hawk are located at Ameristar. Sure, it's filled with mostly locals, but there's a steady flow of not-so good poker enthusiasts donk off a buy-in or two to make the trip worthwhile. The $1-2 NL and $2-5 NL tables have a nice mix of juicy action players and nitty locals. Colorado has had an influx of oil and cannabis money over the last few years, so there's a lot more disposable income floating around than ever before.

$30-$60 LHE is sort of a joke because of the $100 cap rule. But there's plenty of locals who play in that game. Be careful though!

During peak hours the poker room will be busy. They offer you pagers or text you directly when your seat comes available.

Ameristar has a hotel, but rooms are limited during peak hours. Sometimes they can accommodate you in a sister property, but make sure you check in advance if you want to book a room.

GOLDEN GATES CASINO

GG CO BH

GOLDEN GATES CASINO

261 Main St, Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (303) 582-2906

  • Tables: 17
  • Games: NL
  • Limits: $1-2 NL, $2-5 NL
  • Max Bet: $100
  • Tournaments: Three daily (10am, Noon, 7pm). Buy-ins starting at $40

Golden Gates Casino and Poker Parlour is really the only spot in town to play tournaments. Golden Gates is the home of the Colorado Poker Championship. They have series running every other month it seems. Visit their website for specifics, such as the Heartland Poker Tour.

The elevator from the parking garage opens up in the poker room! Super cool, especially for lazy poker players. The Golden Gates has a woodsy theme. There's a small cafe adjacent to the poker room, and like all casinos in Black Hawk, soft drinks are free and self-serve.

Golden Gates spread cash games, but the locals are there for the tournaments. Golden Gates typically runs three daily tournaments starting as low as $40. The 10AM is popular among the retired folks and it has an affordable $40 buy-in. The 7pm tournament is $60 on the weekdays and $140 on the weekends. There's a noon tournament that has various buy-ins ranging from $80 to $300 depending on the day of the week. The Saturday nooner is $300 and it's juicy!

Golden Gates offers an hourly high hand jackpot.

Golden Gates does not have its own hotel, however, they do offer comped rooms at a sister property. Lodging is limited in Black Hawk, so check in advance.

Golden Gates is 24 hours on the weekend, but they close from 4am to 5am on the weekdays.

Latest news
Thursday January 18, 2018 at 4:55 pm
LIVE
$1 million bad beat jackpot largest in U.S. history

Quad Queens vs. quad treys for $1 million. The largest bad beat jackpot in American casino history occurred Tuesday night at the Motor City Casino in Detroit, Michigan. The loser of the hand with quad treys and winner of the bad beat took home over $427K. The player with quad Queens earned nearly $213K. With only six playing at the time, the other four earned the table share worth nearly $107K each!

Wednesday January 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm
LIVE
Three Platinum Passes to PSPC up for grabs at the PokerStars London Festival

The PokerStars London Festival set a £500K Guarantee for the Main Event in their upcoming series, which starts next week on January 22 and runs thru January 28. Three Platinum Passes to the 2019 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) will be awarded in London. The winners of the Main Event, London Cup, and High Roller will also walk away with a Platinum Pass prize package valued at $30K USD. In addition, PokerStars added four new dates to PokerStars Live events including the MEGASTACK London, MEGASTACK Sanremo, Manilla MEGASTACK, and the APPT Korea.

Sunday January 14, 2018 at 8:21 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: Adrian Mateos final table chip leader; Watch live

Spanish pro Adrian Mateos and recent addition to Team Winamax started Day 5 of the PCA Main Event as the short stack with 16 players remaining. Mateos conjured up his short-stack-ninja skills and managed to advance to the unofficial final table. Late on Day 5, Mateos snagged the chip lead and he heads into the final table with the big stack. Also, still alive... Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan, Maria Lampropulos, Koray Aldemir, Daniel Coupal, and Christian Rudolph. Who is going to ship $1 million in the Bahamas?

Saturday January 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: David Peters leads final 16

The PCA Main Event started with 582 entrants and after four days of action, they played down to the final 16 players. The Sweet 16! American pro David Peters leads the remaining field with a stack worth 3.1M. On Day 5, they will play down to an official final table. Can Peters stay on course en route to a million dollar payday? Maria Lampropulos bagged up the second-biggest stack with 2.3M. Also still left in the hunt... Adrian Mateos, Shawn Buchanan, and Koray Aldemir.

Friday January 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: David Peters leads Main Event with 43 remaining

Sun. Sand. Cash. The poker action continued at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. Only 43 players remain in the hunt for the 2018 PCA title and $1 million in cash. Karl Stark and David Peters both have big stacks in excess of 1.1M. Liv Boeree, Adrian Mateos, Jack Sinclair, Shawn Buchanan, and author Maria Konnikova are among those still alive. Meanwhile, Jason Koon binked the single-day $25K High Roller for a $420K score.

Thursday January 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: Watch Day 3 of the Main Event with 101 players remaining

Day 2 of the 2018 PCA Main Event in the Bahamas ended with 101 players (out of 582). Those 101 are still in the hunt for the PCA title and $1 million in cash. Only the top 87 places paid out this year. The money bubble will burst early on Day 3. Oleg Titov from Russia bagged up nearly 500K in chips. Several notables still alive including former champ Harrison Gimbel and author Maria Konnikova.

Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm
Telex
Jason Mercier parts ways with PokerStars

American pro Jason Mercier will no longer be a sponsored pro for PokerStars. After 8.5 years as a Team Pro, Mercier decided to not renew his contract, which expired at the end of 2017. Mercier is a new father and he made the tough decision to stop traveling internationally to play tournaments, while focusing on his family instead. For more details, read Mercier's farewell post on PokerStars Blog. In addition to Vanessa Selbst's venture into hedge funds, Mercier is the second high-profile American pro who did not renew their sponsorships with PokerStars in 2018.

Monday January 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm
Breaking News
LIVE
2018 PCA: Ivan Luca and Daniel Negreanu lead Super High Roller final table

And then there were seven! The 2018 PCA Super High Roller had a $100K price tag and a total prize pool worth $4.7M. Only seven players are remaining at the final table. Ivan Luca from Argentina is the big stack with Justin Bonomo and Daniel Negreanu right behind in third overall. Also still alive: Bryn Kenney, Ike Haxton, Cary Katz, and Sam Greenwood. Lots of familiar faces, eh? First place pays out $1,492,340 and the runner up banks at least $1M.

Saturday January 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm
LIVE
The 2018 PCA Returns

Welcome back the PCA! The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) returns to its old glory after one awkward year with that odd name change to PokerStars Championship Bahamas. See ya, PCB! And welcome back PCA! The PCA has become one of the most recognizable brands in poker and the 2018 PCA will be the biggest series ever assembled with 31 events including a 100K Super High Roller. Platinum Packages to the 2019 Players Championship are also up for grabs.

Saturday January 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm
FUN
Online Poker: 20 Years Later

January 1, 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of online poker when Planet Poker became the first virtual card room to host real money games. Planet Poker took their first steps into online poker approximately nine months before Rounders appeared in movie theaters. Talk about a blast from the past. Planet Poker is making me a feeling a little nostalgic for online poker via dial-up modems!

Wednesday January 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm
SCOOP
Vanessa Selbst retiring from professional poker

Another American pro is hanging it up in 2018. On New Year's Eve, Vanessa Selbst posted on Facebook her intentions to step away from the game on a professional level. Selbst took the poker world by storm when she was still a student at Yale law school. The 33-year old Selbst amassed $11.8 million in tournament winnings and won three WSOP bracelets. After 12 years in poker, Selbst will shift her focus to the financial world as a strategic analyst at a hedge fund.

Thursday December 28, 2017 at 12:05 am
FUN
Aaron Sorkin makes high-stakes directorial debut in Molly's Game

Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which is the story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), the media-dubbed "poker princess" and poker host who ran high-stakes poker games in Hollywood and NYC. In real life, celebs like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leo DiCaprio were regulars in games that Molly ran in Los Angeles. Idris Elba played Bloom's lawyer tasked with keeping her out of prison. The buzz in the Hollywood press is that Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are contenders for this upcoming Oscars race.

Monday December 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm
FUN
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidaze!

From all of us at Club Poker, here's to a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy belated Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa. We hope you have a fantastic end to 2017. Best wishes to a healthy and flop-heavy 2018. And to our 420-friendly readers... blaze on and happy holidaze!

Monday December 25, 2017 at 3:20 pm
PokerStars Winter Series begins on Christmas

The Winter Series will run on PokerStars starting December 25 and running through January 7, 2018. The Winter Series offers four buy-in levels to fit everyone's bankroll needs with Micro levels up to $5.50 and High up to $5,200. There will be plenty of Hold'em, PLO, Turbos, Prog-KOs, and Zooms. Plus, much much more. Four Platinum Passes to the $25K PSPC will be awarded during the Winter Series, so here's your first online chance to win one! Also, PokerStars is hosting a year-end New Year's Eve Magic Freeroll, which starts on the morning of December 31st.

Thursday December 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm
PSPC: How to win the first 19 Platinum Passes

PokerStars announced two paths how you can win one of the first 19 Platinum Passes to the inaugural $25K buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) at the 2019 PCA in the Bahamas. Platinum Passes are valued at $30K. Players have 4 chances to win one online during the upcoming PokerStars Winter Series Main Event, which kicks off on Christmas. Players hunting for a free seat to the PSPC will also have a shot to win a Platinum Pass by playing in live events in Macau, Brazil, London, Ulster, Italy, and at the 2018 PCA.

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Telex
Fedor Holz invests in eSports team

Will Fedor Holz conquer eSports next? The German wunderkind banked $26.7 million in tournament earnings in a small window of time (including over $16M in one year). Holz recently stepped away from full-time grinding to pursue other business ventures, but even playing part-time, Holz won over $6M in events this year. Word is out on the street that Holz invested an undisclosed amount into an eSports company that is the parent company of Team Envy and the Dallas Fuel. For more details, read the ESPN UK article.

Sunday December 17, 2017 at 11:30 pm
HOT !
PokerStars Championship Prague: France's Kalidou Sow leads Main Event final table

The PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event final table is down to six players at the Casino Atrium Prague at the Hilton. Kalidou Sow from France is the chip leader heading into the final day, but American Jason Wheeler is right behind him. Michal Mrakes, Gabriele Lepore, Colin Robinson, Harry Lodge rounded out the final table. First place pays out €775,000. Who will win the last major tournament in 2017? Final table resumes Monday afternoon.

Free tournaments and added prizes

The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
To qualify for free, register on our poker partners websites:

Tournaments Club Poker
No Online poker tournament is currently planned.