Ace Casino Airport – The Choice for Calgarians and Travelers Alike

Ace Casino Airport offers great casino choices for north Calgary and is an ideal spot for travelers lying over in Calgary.

If you’re looking for poker in the north end of Calgary, it’s hard to go wrong with Ace Casino Airport. With 12 tables, the Ace Casino Poker Room has cash games running 24/7 and is one of the premier spots in Calgary for tournament poker.

In addition to being north Calgary’s home for poker, it is located less than 2km from the Calgary International Airport with ample hotel options in the same complex, making Ace an excellent destination for poker players traveling through Calgary with some time to kill. Once players get their bags and clear customs, the proximity means they can be at a poker table with chips in front of them in mere moments almost any time of day.

With cash games running 24/7, it is the go-to spot for residents of the city’s north end. Still, Ace Casino Poker is about more than just the cash games with a robust tournament schedule that includes a daily Rise & Grind game as well as regular evening tournaments every week.

The Grande Poker Series

While Ace Casino Poker has tournament action throughout the year with tournaments on the schedule every day of the week, a few times every year, they pull out all the stops for a big poker series. The Grande Poker Series runs three times a year at Ace with a good selection of games at multiple price points.

The latest version of the series, which is ongoing right now, includes a Seniors event, a couple of PKO games, including a PLO PKO and a PLO8 game, in addition to no limit hold’em. All three series each year follow a similar structure though events do vary from series to series.

The current series runs from March 6 through March 17, with two more festivals planned for 2024. The summer series is set to run from Aug 21 – Sep 1 this year, while 2024 concludes with the final Grande of the year starting on Dec 5 and running for 12 days of the tournament.

Ace Casino Airport

The Ace Casino Poker room is a cozy room with 12 tables, all with auto-shufflers. With its own entrance off the parking lot, the poker room is easily accessible without going through the casino portion, but it is also located within easy access to all the other gaming opportunities.

In the case of big events, the facility also has an overflow area in the Social room to allow for extra players and games as required. Cash poker tables are open pretty much 24/7, with action available nearly all the time.

Ace also has one of the most robust tournament schedules in the city, with MTT poker available every day of the week. Every day of the week features at least two tournament offerings, with the 10 am Rise & Grind game every day, as well as an evening game with varying formats throughout the week. Among the options tournament players have is the only regular PLO8 MTT in the city on Wednesdays as well as regular PLO games on Mondays.

Food Options at Ace

The poker room is also just steps away from one of the main places for food at Ace, with a quick-service cafeteria-style restaurant called The Buffet that lets players break from the tables for some nourishment without straying too far from their stacks. There are a few other food options at the casino, such as the Ace Sports Bar with sit-down table service, and of course, table service is provided for players at the poker tables who don’t want to miss a hand.

While the food is plentiful at Ace, it is a hidden gem for qualify and price as well. With a varied menu, hungry players are sure to find something they like and it will almost certainly be at a price they like as well, as Ace has one of the best food value options for eating out in the city.

Where to Stay Near Ace

While Ace Casino Airport doesn’t have an attached hotel, it doesn’t really need one. It is located in the same complex as several hotels, including Hotel Clique as well as Westin and Hyatt properties. The casino and poker room are just a quick walk across the parking lot from any of the three hotels in the same complex, with the poker room entrance less than 200 meters away from the front exit of Hotel Clique.

Hotel Clique is likely the most convenient option for poker players, but the chic hotel is a nice option for any travelers through Calgary looking for airport accommodations. The standard rooms feature LED mood lighting in all rooms with a layout that is a bit different from the average hotel room.

Additionally, the hotel offers themed suites with a few unique offerings. Among the choices is the Cornerpocket Suite dedicated to relaxation and fun that includes 700 sq ft of living space with a pool table in the room to pass the time.

Among the other amenities the Clique offers is a rooftop hot tub area with two separate tubs to relax after a day at the tables or a long flight, while the Tonic Kitchen and Bar provides food and drink service in the hotel lobby from 6 am through late night. While the food options at Ace are plentiful, having the variety of Tonic in the lobby is a nice change of pace. A full-cooked breakfast is included in many room packages with several options, including a traditional bacon and eggs offering, French toast, maple oatmeal, and the unique Primavera Frittata.

Clique regularly offers deals related to the Grande Poker Series dates and has several “Stay & Play” packages available at all times that offer Play vouchers at Ace.

A Grande Trip

Coming out for a Grande series is a bit of a treat for me. As a busy reporter on the local poker scene, I am usually behind a keyboard instead of a chip stack for big poker series in Alberta, but the three Grande Poker Series at Ace offer me the chance to sit at the table with chips in front of me for a change.

While it’s a bit of a trip from my home three hours east of Calgary, Ace Poker provides a welcoming atmosphere, and Hotel Clique offers all the comforts of home with live poker just steps away.

I played three events over the two days I was at the festival, with two regular MTTs and a satellite rounding out the trio. While I didn’t manage to cash in any of the events I played this time around, it was still a great player experience.

Poker Room Manager Don Tinordi makes sure the tournaments are smoothly run, bringing in talent from all over the city, including veteran local tournament director Karen Tysdal, to ensure the smooth flow. Both Tinordi and Tysdal have been a huge part of the growth of Alberta poker over the last decade, and Tinordi is looking to “change the poker landscape” with Ace.

As a great example of the smooth flow of play, I played my very first live progressive knockout game (PKO) during this series. A live PKO requires an extra level of effort and efficiency from staff, with bounty stacks needing to be updated physically and moved as players change seats and table breaks.

The Ace staff handled the tournament professionally with minimal problems and almost no delay related to the logistics of bounty calculations. While I busted out on the bubble of the final two tables, it was a very well-run game that was a pleasure to play regardless of my lack of cashing. Admittedly. I did pocket $350 in bounties to ease the bustout pain a bit.

Whether you are a local Calgarian, traveling from elsewhere in Alberta, traveling through Calgary International Airport with a layover, or looking to plan a vacation to the current Canadian poker hotspot, Ace Casino Airport is a great option. The friendly and efficient staff make it a great place to play, while the food ranks as among the best-value options for good food in the city. And with Hotel Clique just steps away from the poker room, travelers to Calgary can enjoy a chic, comfortable, and convenient place to stay right next door.

Next time you are looking to play poker in Calgary, Ace Casino is the place to look at. Just moments away from the airport, it may be the perfect choice for both local players and poker travelers.

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