Today is our last day in Turks and Caicos. It's been a great 2 weeks. We've spent awesome and extended time together as a family. And I've been able to recharge, blow off the stink and relax personally.
Most days we grilled out at the house for lunch. Today we decided to go out, and we hit our local lunch favorite, the Tiki Hut. The restaurant is an open-air dive in the Turtle Cove area of the island. Turtle Cove is home to several inns and restaurants (including Shark Bite and Baci, the local italian joint). It's also home to the Players Club, the only casino on the island.
Speaking of the casino, I played poker 3 times. Most of the games at the Players Club are electronic (video poker, slots, video black jack). The owner told me last night that they're adding live table games in the next month -- black jack and craps to start. Right now, there are 3 live-action poker tables (2 were going each night). I won a tournament the first night and ended up winning the other nights I was there.
Most of the players are local to the island -- a combination of restaurant owners (Smokey from Smokeys, being the king of the room), real estate developers, charter boat operaters and day workers. The community in the room is tight -- all the locals know everyone else and by the end of my third night there I knew many of the players as well. The residents were extremely nice and welcoming and were a ton of fun to play with.
The casino takes care of their patrons. They order food each night for players, drinks are free, dealers are friendly, they have full-time security and they have a van to take you home if you need a ride. If you play poker and are in Turks and Caicos, definitely hit the room.
The most interesting person I met was the owner, Rhynie Campbell. Rhynie is a big teddy bear (I got 2 hugs from him after winning 2 monster pots). But he's an aggressive, smart and knowledgeable player. He plays professionally part-time. I sat next to him all night. He was nice enough to donate his last $700 to me when he went all in with a pair of 4s and I caught a queen to pair my A-Q. His luck wasn't running last night. But he's a winning player for sure.
Rhynie just cut a 5-year deal to host the World Poker Tour in Turks and Caicos (his casino is too small so they've taken over Club Med for a week in September). I don't know the details of the deal. But it's a great one for the casino and the island of Turks and Caicos. Most New Yorkers haven't heard of the island, even though it's a 2.5 hour direct flight from JFK. So the event, when aired, should put the island and the casino on the map. Rhynie also cut a management deal for the casino with a top management company. So I expect the already great poker room to get better.
Here is a video I took from the Hut. I've enjoyed posting the videos and know that we'll look back fondly in the years to come on these posts. See you in NYC.