Felix Street Pub draws a full house

Lifestyles

 Kings and queens. Moving into position and attacking while defending everything you have at the same time. Trapping your opponents into making a move that they can’t get out of.  It may sound like chess but to local poker players, the differences are negligible.

Texas Hold ‘em is known as the Cadillac of poker games and it has taken the nation by storm since 2001. Fueled by ESPN carrying the World Series of Poker and by a small time online amateur who won it all aptly named Chris Moneymaker, poker has been brought out of the seedy back alleys and into real legitimacy, garnering sports coverage from the major outlets. Because of the ease of access to the game, many local bars host poker nights as an added addition to their lineup.

he Felix Street Pub was the first downtown bar to host poker. After being approached by the Amateur Poker Association to be a satellite for their growing network, bar owner Jimmy Root decided to run his own tournaments.

“They wanted more money that what was really necessary to run this right,” said Root. “I saw the opportunity to do this so we improvised and ran our own system. As far as I know, they aren’t running anymore poker nights here and were going into our fourth year.”

Root did not have to look far to get some help to run his tournaments. He went to a few of his regulars that also worked for the local casino to help get things off of the ground. The Felix Street Pub now hosts their weekly tournaments every Wednesday at 9:30.

“I asked Kelly Embrey and John Baker to help run things recently,” said Root. “They have definitely helped run things smoothly and have got more people to come down here regularly.”
mbrey, who also regularly plays in cash games  and in tournaments, thoroughly enjoys what he does.

“I consider myself a student of the game,” said Embrey. “I play a lot of other games, including chess. To me there isn’t much difference. I have to work many different angles to make my game the best it can be.”

Hold ‘em is pretty easy to get started in. With the early poker explosion this past decade, a plethora of books from poker pros have flooded the market. The two most respected series, Harrington on Hold ‘em and Doyle Brunson’s Super System have served as the de facto standard that all other poker literature are compared to.

“I took a lot from Harrington,” said Embrey. “There is only so much you can pick up from a normal game on your own. Once you have taken the approach that some of these books lay out for you, you will quickly gain ground on people around you. There are the cards in front of you and then the person. Once you play the person and not the cards, you are on your way to winning pots.”

The Felix Street Pub has open tournaments every Wednesday starting at 9:30 with prizes ranging from a bar tab to chip sets for their session winners.

“This is a great alternative to what normal bars do,” said Root. “I’ll keep running this as long as my customers are having fun with it.”

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