When Doug Polk, Andrew Neeme, and Brad Owen took over the Lodge Poker Club in Houston, Texas, the plan was always to grow their poker client base. They can’t have imagined that it would happen quite so quickly as the latest Texas-based innovation in poker saw records broken for The Lone Star State.

Making the Meet Up Happen

Hosting a ‘Meet Up’ poker game hasn’t just come along, and in fact both Neeme and Owen have made a habit of meeting new players and growing their IRL (in real life) audience by attending them on a regular basis, at least before the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in early 2020.

After part-purchasing The Lodge Poker Club, Messrs Owen, Neeme, and of course Doug Polk, whose YouTube and general poker fame are a huge draw for thousands of poker fans and players alike, all set up The Monster Meet Up Game.

Inviting players new and regular to ‘The Lodge’, the trio saw a massive 34 cash game tables running on the evening, with that number being the biggest in Texan poker history. With a lively and enjoyable atmosphere throughout the evening, the team was all in play and players traveled from near and far to get a glimpse of their heroes and then join the queue to play with them at the felt.

Polk’s Passion Adds So Much to the Mix

It’s hard not to be bowled over by the passion with which Doug Polk has started this project, and it’s one of two launches he’s celebrated a part in this month. Polk’s wife Kaitlin launched a self-tanner that it packed with natural products rather than chemicals.

The aforementioned product, already a hit with Amanda Negreanu according to Kid Poker himself, saw Polk, Neeme and Owen gather for a heavily-photoshopped snap (below) by poker photographer Hayley Hochstetler, who herself is nominated for Global Poker Award this year.

Polk Neeme Owen
Doug Polk, Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen all pose for a photo by award-nominated photographer Hayley Hochstetler at The Lodge Poker Room.

Doug Polk’s ability to pivot in the poker space is legendary, with the multiple WSOP bracelet winner’s popular YouTube videos, investigations into Mike Postle, and many other moments of content creation solidifying his place as a legend in the industry long before The Lodge became a thing. Polk’s part-purchase of the poker club is a great thing for poker fans, not least because it keeps him as part of the circus when it had looked for some time that Bitcoin might steal him away permanently.

What’s Next for The Lodge Poker Club?

There are more plans afoot for live games at The Lodge, of course, but above all, expect the trio to push the streamed games to the poker-loving public over the next few months. While there is likely to be a drop-off in attendance during the two months that the World Series of Poker tent pitches up at Bally’s and Paris in Las Vegas, that seems sure to be a temporary quiet period if the Lodge even has one.

Early footfall at the poker venue suggests that The Lodge is here to stay, with Polk, Neeme, and Owen sure to bring in the crowds. Poker is huge in Texas and it’s not just the name of ‘Hold’em’ that carries around the world. Doyle Brunson, T.J. Cloutier, Ben Tollerene, and Upeshka De Silva are all from The Lone Star State.

The Lodge Poker Club is up and running, but how big can it grow and where will it develop? As a streamed live cash game location or otherwise, under the stewardship of three of poker’s biggest names, it will be one of poker’s most interesting venues to follow in the months and years to come.

Lodge Poker Club Schedule
The Lodge Poker Club will welcome players to streamed games this week.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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