Big-payout San Diego poker tournaments are back.
A $200,000 guaranteed prize pool is the main-event payout when Sycuan Casino Resort host the Mid-States Poker Tour starting April 29.
It’s the first time an MSPT tour event has been played in California. The “MSPT Showdown Series” includes 11 separate trophy events.
“We’re excited to partner with MSPT and we’re optimistic about the turnout,” says Douglas Vogelei, senior vice president casino operations for Sycuan. “We think there’s a pent-up demand for poker.”
The series kicks off with a $360-buy-in tournament offering a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. This event includes three days of starting flights (April 29, 30 and May 1). Top finishers from those days will square off for the top money on May 2.
The $200,000 main event—with a $1,100 buy-in—is set up in a similar fashion. The starting flights are May 6-8 and the final table will take place on May 9.
One-day trophy events include: a $200-buy-in Ladies Event (May 2) backed by Poker League of Nations; a $360-buy-in Seniors (50+) tournament (May 3), and a $250-buy-in Tag Team Championship (May 4), for teams of two players.
MSPT at Sycuan Casino
All the MSPT trophy events at Sycuan will be played at the Heritage Event Center. All players must be 21+ and masks will be required. Tables will be seated eight-handed and plexi-shields will separate players.
There will be 30 tables in play inside the events center ballroom during series events.
In February, Sycuan qualified for the “Sharecare health security verification with Forbes Travel Guide.” The verification covers more than 360 standards across health and hygiene protocols, cleaning products and procedures, ventilation, physical distancing, guest experience, and health safety communication.
In 2019, Sycuan completed a $226-million expansion that includes a 12-story hotel with 300 rooms. Players can book a stay during the tournament series and get a 20-percent discount.
Reserve a room before April 19 and expect a $59-midweek and $79-weekend rate.
San Diego Poker Tournaments
COVID curtailed poker play in card rooms and casinos around the country. In California and in San Diego County, public card rooms were regulated by state protocols.
As state regulations changed throughout quarantine, card rooms were allowed to open outdoor venues on their property. Two San Diego County card rooms did that—Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside and Seven Mile Casino in Chula Vista.
By law, Indian casinos are not within the statewide jurisdiction of the Governor of California. Two San Diego tribal casinos—Sycuan and Jamul Casino have been operating their poker rooms for cash games through the latter parts of 2020.
Smaller stakes San Diego poker tournaments have been few and limited. It’s expected that Jamul Casino will announce a high-stakes poker tournament series in June. J&J