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
Saturday November 11, 2017 at 2:26 am
Breaking News
HOT !
WSOP Europe: Marti Roca De Torres from Spain wins Main Event for €1.1M score

We had early fireworks at the final table of the WSOP Europe Main Event during a double elimination that knocked out two of the favorites: Maria Ho and Niall Farrell. Ho busted in sixth place and 25K High Roller champ Farrell was knocked out in fifth place during a three-way hand against Marti Roca De Torres' pocket Aces. The finale came down to a heads-up battle between Italy and Spain. After a grueling match, Spain prevailed when Marti Roca De Torres defeated Gianluca Speranza heads-up for the victory. Marti Roca De Torres shipped €1.1 million for first place, plus the coveted Main Event bracelet. Italy's Speranza earned a runner-up prize worth €689,246.

Thursday November 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm
Breaking News
LIVE
WSOP Europe: Maria Ho lead final table; Niall Farrell still alive

And then there were six! The 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event is down to its final table of six players. After five days of action, American Maria Ho leads the final table with 7.8M, followed by Spain's Marti Roca De Torres' 7.2M. €25K High Roller champ Niall Farrell is still alive, along with Gianluca Speranza, Mathijs Jonkers, and Robert Bickley. First place pays out €1.1M. Who's gonna ship the Main Event?

Thursday November 9, 2017 at 5:11 am
Breaking News
LIVE
WSOP Europe: Maria Ho leads Main Event with 12 to go

Who is going to win €1.1 million and the bracelet? The field has been narrowed down to the final dozen players still alive at the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. American pro Maria Ho ended Day 4 with the big stack worth 3.8M. Scottish pro Niall Farrell, fresh off his €25K High Roller victory, is right behind Ho with 3.5M. 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event Champion Kevin MacPhee is one of the short stacks, but he's still alive and attempting to win back-to-back WSOPE Main Event titles. Among those still alive... Jack Salter, Marti Roca De Torres, Robert Bickley, Stepan Osinovski, Luis Rodriguez, Andrei Boghean, Mathijs Jonkers, Gianluca Speranza, and Marc MacDonnell.

Wednesday November 8, 2017 at 12:15 am
Breaking News
LIVE
WSOP Europe: Robert Bickley chip leader with 46 remaining in Main Event

The 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event is down to 46 players. The event began with 529 runners and only the top 80 places paid out. The money bubble burst in the middle of Day 3. Robert Bickley is the chipleader with 1.4M and Jack Stalter is right behind. Also still alive... Kristen Bicknell, Kevin MacPhee, Maria Ho, Rainer Kempe, Vlad Darie, Mike Leah, Anthony Zinno, David Peters, and Evgeny Kafelnikov. First place pays out over €1.1M.

Monday November 6, 2017 at 6:23 am
Breaking News
HOT !
WSOP Europe: Dominik Nitsche wins €111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller for €3.4M score

Ship it to Dominik Nitsche! The German pro earned his fourth bracelet for winning WSOP Europe Event #10 €111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Nitsche faded a field of 132 entries to win a first-place payday worth €3,487,463. He defeated fellow German Andreas Eiler heads-up for the win. The One Drop charity raised approximately €978K for clean drinking water.

Sunday November 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm
Telex
WSOP Europe: Watch live stream High Roller for One Drop

Only 10 players are still alive at the King's Casino in RozVegas for Event #10 €111,111 High Roller for One Drop. German pro Christoph Vogelsang is the chip leader going into the final day of action. First place pays out €3,487,463. Also still left in the hunt... Thomas Muehloecker, Steffen Sontheimer, Ahadpur Khangah, Mikita Badziakouski, Charlie Carrel, Kenny Hallaert, Dominik Nitsche, Andreas Eiler, and Martin Kabrhel. Watch a live stream of the final day of action and eventually the final table by clicking here.

Sunday November 5, 2017 at 12:23 am
Breaking News
HOT !
WSOP Europe: Albert Hoekendijk wins Event #8 €1,111 Little One for One Drop

Going into Saturday's action, only three more bracelets were up for grabs at the WSOP Europe. And Albert Hoekendijk secured one of them and became the fifth player in Dutch history to win a bracelet. Albert Hoekendijk took down Event #8 €1,111 Little One for One Drop for a score worth €170,764. The One Drop Charity earned €43,400 for this special event.

Saturday November 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm
Telex
WSOP Europe: Watch final table live stream for Event #8 €1,111 Little One for One Drop

The final table is underway at the King's Casino in RozVegas for Event #8 €1,111 Little One for One Drop. Currently, five players still left in the hunt for the WSOPE bracelet and first-place prize worth €170,764. With five to go, Thomas Hofmann and Abdelhakim Zoufri are battling for the chip lead. Also still alive... Johannes Toebbe, Albert Hoekendijk, and Oleh Haisiuk. Click here to watch the final table live stream for the Little One for One Drop.

Friday November 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm
HOT !
WSOP Europe: Niall Farrell wins €25K High Roller and Matous Skorepa binks The COLOSSUS

Two more bracelet winners were crowned at the King's Casino in Rozvadov. The 2017 WSOP Europe 25K High Roller featured the usual high-balling crowd. Scotland's Niall Farrell defeated Benjamin Pollack heads-up for the High Roller bracelet and €745,287 in cash. After several near misses, Farrell finally shipped a bracelet after being a bridesmaid twice in Vegas. Farrell is now a member of the Triple Crown club. Meanwhile, Matous Skorepa from the Czech Republic outlasted a field of 4,115 runners to win Event #5 €550 NL The COLOSSUS. Skorepa earned a first-place payday worth €270K.

Friday November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Telex
WSOP Europe: Watch live stream of €111,111 One Drop High Roller

The One Drop is off and running at the King's Casino in Rozvadov. You can sweat the Day 1 feature table right now for Event #10 €111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Gus Hansen is the chip leader at the feature table, that also includes Manig Loeser and tennis legend Boris Becker. Click here to watch.

Thursday November 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm
Telex
WSOP Europe: Watch €25K High Roller live stream

The WSOP Europe High Roller is down to its final table. Ben Pollack is the chip leader with nine to go in Event #9 €25,000 NL High Roller. First place pays out €745,287. Also still alive... Antoine Saout, Sylvian Loosli, Andrew Leathem, Niall Farrell, Ole Schemion, Claas Segebrecht. Ryan Reiss, and Stefan Schillhabel. Watch the final table stream here.

Thursday November 2, 2017 at 4:01 pm
Telex
WSOP Europe: Watch final table stream of THE COLOSSUS

THE COLOSSUS is down to its final table. WSOP Europe Event #5 THE CLOSSUS €550 NL has a €2,000,000 guarantee and €270,015 set aside for first place. Nine players are remaining. Jonathan Khalifa and Matous Skorepa are the big stacks with 8.5M each. Also still left in the hunt for a bracelet... Florian Fuchs, Roman Motovsky, Ivaylo Sivinov, Makarios Avramidis, Pascal Pflock, Gaetan Cauchy, and Nebojsa Ankucic. Watch the final table stream here.

Tuesday October 31, 2017 at 3:22 am
Breaking News
HOT !
WSOP Europe: Lukas Zaskodny wins Event #6 €2,200 PLO; Chainsaw Kessler runner up

The action continued at the King's Casino in Rozvadov for the WSOP Europe. Another PLO bracelet was up for grabs and one journeyman American pro was trying to break through for the first time. German soccer pro Sergej Barbarez final tabled Event #6 €2,200 PLO, but his run ended in fifth place. Allen 'Chainsaw' Kessler got heads-up for the bracelet against Lukas Zaskodny. However, it wasn't Kessler's day and he'll have to wait another tournament to win his first bracelet. The Czech Republic's Zaskodny picked off Chainsaw heads up to win the bracelet and €93,677.

Monday October 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm
Telex
Breaking News: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signs gaming bill into law

It's official! Online poker will be coming to Pennsylvania after Gov. Tom Wolf signed HB 271 into law on Monday morning. HB 271 expanded Pennsylvania's gambling laws to help fund the $32 billion state budget. The new gaming bill permits online poker and daily fantasy sports. Pennsylvania is now the fourth state with legal poker in the United States.

Saturday October 28, 2017 at 11:27 pm
Breaking News
LIVE
WSOP Europe: France's Theodore McQuilkin wins Event #4 €1,650 NL 6-Handed

Ship it to France. The fourth bracelet at the WSOP Europe was on the line during a rambunctious Saturday night in Rozvadov. WSOP Europe Event #4 €1,650 NL 6-Handed attracted 240 players and Theodore McQuilkin, an amateur from Paris, France, was the last player standing. McQuilkin won €88,043, plus the coveted bracelet. McQuilkin defeated local player Jan Bednar heads-up for the win. Jesus Ferguson cashed in 26th place, which helped him maintain his lead in the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race.

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Wednesday November 22, 2017 at 8:04 pm
$125 added
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Wednesday November 29, 2017 at 8:04 pm
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Wednesday December 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm
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Wednesday December 13, 2017 at 8:04 pm
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Wednesday December 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm
$125 added