Truth be told, playing poker has never been one of my passions. But watching people play poker, that’s a whole different story… Betting has rarely held my sway for me, as I’ve always been a pretty frugal fraülein (with the occasional foray into playing the slots). But I’ve forever appreciated the skill, luck, audacity—whatever you want to call it—of people who love to bet and have the braggadocio to do it. And that’s why I love watching people play poker. Coincidentally, there’s a perfect poker-watching place right down the road from me in Rancho Mirage at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.
Before or after a visit to its beautiful spa, or a lunch or dinner date with friends, I often wander into the casino to catch some of the action. Of course there is plenty to play here, what with all the usual suspects from the ubiquitous slots to blackjack, roulette, Texas hold ‘em, pai gow, mini-baccarat, and of course, poker.
Beside the usual fun of poker playing at Agua Caliente, the casino recently joined the Heartland Poker Tour. Played a couple of times a year, the next 10-day tournament will take place starting on February 27 with the crowning of the new HPT champion at a nationally televised Final Table on March 10. Substantial prizes will be given away, with the past two winners walking away with $165K and $180K, respectively!
Agua Caliente is the perfect place for gamers, whether local or visiting. The beautiful four-diamond property boasts 340 rooms—many with the most spectacular high-rise views of the San Jacinto Mountains—as well as a perfect pool setting and one of my favorite spas in the Palm Springs Valley. There are also all kinds of great eateries (including The Steakhouse and one of the best buffets this side of Vegas), fun nightlife, and, of course, the legendary performances at the 2000+ seat The Show. So whether it’s sunbathing or cocktails, music or fine dining, it’s no gamble that you’ll have a good time at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. www.hptpoker.com www.hotwatercasino.com