According to a report published by online statistics and studies portal Statista, the global online gambling market is already worth $51.96 billion. This amount is set to grow to $59.79 billion by 2020, with much of the revenue coming from popular online casino games such as blackjack, roulette and, of course, poker. There’s no denying it: that is certainly an impressive amount and yet the success of games such as online poker doesn’t mean that people aren’t supporting real-world, physical games as well.
In fact, it seems that wholesome, traditional poker tournament meetups are continuing to remain popular all around the world. Here, we’ll be focusing on just how popular they are in Toronto and how you can get involved.
1. What Are Poker Tournament Meetups & Where Are They In Toronto?
Long before the creation of the internet and smartphone apps, poker was played at home and in clubs where fans came together to have a good time. For many, this remains the preferred way to play poker as it allows competitive, passionate poker players to come together face to face and play their favourite game. These are called poker tournaments meetups and still place all around the world at popular poker clubs, casinos and even in regular event halls.
Poker tournament meetups are extremely popular throughout Canada including in Toronto, with numerous events occurring every weekend as well as occasional meetups during the week. In fact, according to Meetup, there are events already booked for every Friday up until May 2019 at various Toronto-based poker rooms as of writing this piece. Events include NLH Tournaments, York Region Poker League (YRPL) Events and Orangeville Poker Tour (OPT) dates, all of which are already attracting a lot of eager poker players.
The most popular venue for Toronto poker fans appears to be The Poker Place in Scarborough, a private membership club that hosts satellites to major No Limit Hold’em Poker games including the WPT, WSOP, Fallsview Classic and more. Established in late 2013, The Poker Palace encourages players to come and hone their skill, regardless of what level they’re at, by joining tournaments with daily prize pools ranging from $50 to $550. Of course, Scarborough’s Toronto Aces Poker Club also host a number of events for locals looking for different poker game varieties other than Texas Hold’em.
Another destination for poker players is Deli House Catering in Newmarket, which began as a humble sandwich deli back in 1993. Over the years and as business boomed, the company decided to go into catering, even building an events hall to cater to their client’s needs. It is in the Deli House Catering Banquet Hall that many poker tournament meetups take place and you can almost guarantee that the food at each of these events is top notch.
2. What To Keep In Mind When Signing Up & Attending a Poker Tournament Meetup
Every one of these venues does require you to RSVP before attending a poker tournament meetup, so we recommend you do a little research and ensure you’ve booked your place before turning up on the day. This can be done through sites like Meetup, or you can contact the venue specifically to get all the information you need and ensure that you will be sat at one of the tables when the times comes.
That is where things will truly get interesting after all. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, poker tournaments are arguably the best way to really get into the game without being too risky. If you fail early on then it isn’t a big deal as plenty of others will do the same; however, if you get lucky you could go home with plenty of cash. Really, that’s the aim: to stay calm and survive long enough to win.
To do this you’ll first want to make sure you have chips, as if they disappear from the table so do you. Always keep an accurate count of how many chips you have in your possession and ensure your stack can keep up with the blinds as they increase. If you play your cards right, you never know, you could end up being the chip leader at your poker tournament. Just ensure you avoid unnecessary risks, keep your expectations low and always keep an eye on how your opponents are playing. Do this consistently and with patience and you’re sure to have a great time as well as a better chance of winning.
3. Why You Should Train Online For Poker Tournament Meetups
As you may have guessed, attending a poker tournament meetup can be quite an ordeal, especially if it’s your first time. This why we recommend that before you attend your poker tournament meetup, you may want to practise online.
Here, you’ll be able to get your feet wet, hone your skills and learn entirely new techniques from the comfort of your own home. This is the biggest difference between face-to-face poker tournament meetups and online poker: the latter doesn’t require you to leave your house or physically meet your opponents. You can sit in your pyjamas, playing anonymously with other players who can’t judge your skill level or intimidate you. Instead, you can simply play with no attachments and practise until you feel you’re ready to enter the poker meetup arena.
If you’re worried about going straight from playing anonymously online to being surrounded by dozens of other players, a good stepping stone may be trying live poker. This includes a live video stream of a professional croupier and often also allows you to chat with fellow opponents. Live poker is great for social players who want a real-world casino experience and can help you learn how to vibe off of other people if you’ve only ever played regular online games.
Now that you have everything you need to know about attending poker tournament meetups in Toronto, we’re sure you’ll have no trouble getting involved. Of course, if you’re already a member of the community than we’d love you hear from you and all about your experiences on the Toronto poker scene in the comments below.