Then I’ve got the place for you! I play in the best free poker league in the area – Hold’em Northwest. It’s a Texas Hold’em only league. Their website is pretty basic, but it’s because they put function before flash. Bad website, good league. The two main guys behind the league are awesome – Sam and Darby. They both have great stories and keep things fun.
Most free poker is NOT good for learning proper play. People don’t value their chip stack and play terrible Hold’em poker. You don’t get better in that environment. It’s why I don’t play free online poker.
Players come to this league to learn to play good poker, and there are more good players in this league than you can shake a stick at. Everyone is quick to give good advice, and Darby has a particularly good grasp on poker theory. The league also enforces every rule of a real poker games at a casino, so you learn quickly what is against the rules.
The league has more than one professional casino dealer, and they run a “school” every month or two for $10 that teaches how to be a proper dealer. The result is a league full of dedicated dealers, so rarely do you have to shuffle yourself. I am one myself, and love to be the dedicated dealer at the table. For some reason it’s fun for me.
There’s a game every night of the week happening somewhere around Portland or Hillsboro. If you get enough points from playing in the weekly games you might be able to nab a spot in one of their free tournaments, which have (small) cash prizes, a trophy, and bragging rights. They also run satellite tournaments to grab point-free spots by finishing high enough.
I’ll be playing most Sundays at The Grapevine, Mondays at Maguffy’s in Beaverton, and every once in a while at Shonna’s on Fridays. Trying to get enough points to get into the “Main Event” tournament later this month. I have no idea what the cash payouts will be, and I don’t care. I just know I wanna win! 🙂