It’s been almost three years since I last wrote one Hold’em with Holloway “Strategy” article, but I’m back thanks to a recent poker game I played on the high seas that I had to write about.
Back in October I had the opportunity to go on a cruise on the Virgin Travel Ship Scarlet Lady, which departs from Miami and sails through the Caribbean. As if a leisurely cruise wasn’t reason enough, I really wanted to stop by WPT at seathe first permanent poker room on the high seas, which happens to be sponsored by reputable companies World Poker Tour (WPT).
WPT Voyage vs. WPT at Sea – What is the difference? Here you will find everything you need to know
The room features eight poker tables and is staffed by an experienced team of industry professionals and dealers. There are daily tournaments as well as cash games and other special events.
One of my favorite things to do in the room is interacting with new players, welcoming them into the room, explaining what’s going on and even offering free training. As a result, there were a large number of players on the cruise I went on who had never played poker before.
With decades of experience and a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet on my wrist, you’d think I’d outrun my opponents. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. In fact, I was constantly frustrated, mostly because I was conflicted. Let me explain why.
In one hand at a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em table, several players limped, so I did the same by holding the button 8th♣7♦. The flop fell 7♠4♥7♥ to give me trip sevens and the promotion was checked for me. I bet $5 and only the player in the cutoff, who was a new, inexperienced player, made the call to see this 10♥ turn.
He led for $5 and I decided to just call. I figured there was a good chance he called my flop bet with a flush draw, and if so, the turn card gave him the chance. However, my concerns about douching were alleviated when that 4♣ I paired the board on the river to improve to a full house, sevens full of fours.
My opponent bet $10 and I wanted to make some money. If he had a flush, I didn’t think he would fold, so I raised to $50. He just called and I submitted my hand. Much to my surprise, he rolled over 10♦7♣ for a larger full house, sevens full of tens.
There were only three hands that could beat me and this was one of them (the other two were either pocket fours or tens). I was a little shocked as I thought I had a winning hand for sure. So why did I have conflict? Well, it hurt not to win the hand, but I guess I was also lucky that my inexperienced opponent didn’t raise me again as I would definitely have lost more.
You can never tell what an inexperienced player will do. So if you can’t beat him, sometimes you just have to be glad you didn’t lose more! The hand above was just one of many similar ones that had me literally shaking my head. I just couldn’t beat the cash game on board.
Luckily for me, while I lost money playing for cash – about $600, by my count – I was lucky enough to win even more in onboard tournaments. The first night I did a heads-up chop at the $60 Nightly for a few hundred bucks, and then the last night I won the $125 Bounty tournament, which only had nine players in but was winner-takes-all went (apart from that). the bounties). Thanks to a series of bounties, I was able to win this for almost $1,000, so all in all it was a lucrative trip.
I will definitely be taking another Virgin Voyages cruise and fully intend to return to the WPT at the Sea Poker Room. I just need to come up with a better game plan to deal with these cash game players!
Check out the WPT at Sea Poker Room review here on PokerNews!
What is WPT at Sea?
Not to be confused with WPT Voyage, WPT at sea is a real poker room on the ship Scarlet Lady (and soon on other Virgin Voyages). As you read this, this poker room is currently operating on the high seas.
“After experiencing the magic of cruise poker with Virgin Voyages last season, we wanted to immediately establish a permanent presence,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Scarlet Lady provides the perfect residence for WPT at Sea, which will bring the WPT poker experience to the high seas.”
The room facilities eight custom-made poker tables staffed with professional traders. The following applies to cash games: The rake is a reasonable 10% up to $10, which is much lower than other cruises. For tournaments, buy-ins for a typical sailing sport range from $80 to $320.
Recently WPT at Sea hosted one $240 buy-in for the Main Eventwhich awards a WPT prize package to a future sailor.
The room is aimed at players of all experience levels, from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals. For the former, the staff provides beginner training on every trip, and dealers also offer their services if 1:1 instruction is desired.
WPT at Sea goes where the ship goes, meaning those who play poker can also experience new and exciting destinations. The room is closed when the ship is docked, giving sailors an incentive to get off the ship and check things out. But don’t worry, once everyone is back on board, it won’t be long before the cards are back in the air.
Here are some other things you should know about WPT at Sea:
- The WPT at Sea poker room does not accept cash. Sailors conduct all transactions via their wearable devices (all sailors wear a wristband that allows them to be scanned at various locations on the ship), so buy-ins can easily be charged to your account. Tournament winnings will also be credited to the account (you can cash out either at the casino cage or at the end of the cruise).
- Private games and meetings are permitted at WPT at Sea.
- Next door there is a casino area with a wide selection of slot machines, roulette, craps, blackjack and other table games.
- The WPT at Sea poker room has windows so you can enjoy a view of the sea outside.
- The poker room has its own bathrooms.
- Not only is there a bar in the casino directly in front of the poker room, but beverage services also ensure quick service for sailors playing poker.
- WPT at Sea offers up to 25% off depending on the cruise and free drinks worth up to $600. Be sure to inform yourself when booking.
- WPT at Sea is very active on Instagram You can follow by clicking here.
WPT at Sea is accepting reservations through the end of 2024. To find out more or book your cruise,Visit wptatsea.com.
Editor-in-Chief USA, co-host of the PokerNews Podcast and 2013 WSOP bracelet winner.