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Last week, I went to a special poker tournament series at the Peppermill in Reno. I'd never been to Reno before (that I remember, anyway - though it's possible I was there 10-15 years ago for a day), and certainly never been to the two casinos I visited: the Peppermill and the Atlantis Casino Resort.

The tournament series was special, which lured me there: it was "Crazy Gainey's Chop Pot Classic", where every tournament featured some sort of hi-lo element. There were HORSE tournaments, Omaha Hi-Lo tournaments, Crazy Pineapple Hi-Lo tournaments, etc. I love crazy unusual games, so I had to go. The buyins were small (ranging from $130 to $240), and the tournament fields were reasonably sized (40-100 players) and the levels were long (30-40 minutes). If I'd taken more time off work, I would have gone earlier and played even more of the tournaments; I missed the POSE tourney on Friday morning. (POSE is a mixed game of Crazy Pineapple, Omaha/8, Stud, and 8/b Stud).

I had a blast. I stayed at the Peppermill itself, in the remote "Montego Bay Wing" which isn't even connected to the rest of the hotel - you have to walk across the parking lot to get to the room. But the room was luxurious and had one of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever slept in. And this was the "bargain" hotel room, which was only $50 a night or so (the fancy "Tower" rooms were more like $100 a night)!

I entered three tournaments: a limit O8 tourney on Friday night (busted out early), a major PLO hi-lo tournament on Saturday morning (got close to the money, but busted out about 4 from the bubble), and a HORSE tournament on Saturday night (final tabled it, finishing eighth for $300 in this $130 entry-fee tournament). For final tabling a tournament, I got a Peppermill Poker hat. My trophy!

My reviews of the two casinos I visited in Reno will be up shortly; I was favorably impressed by both, though the Peppermill's "crazy twenty-somethings neon mirrors" vibe was a bit much for my taste.