Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tournament director moves to Tunica area

I was playing at Harrah's Friday night tournament about a month ago. The lady above was sitting to my left (I was in the 9 seat, she was in 10). I don't usually talk much at the table, but with her it was different. She was so out-going, so sociable. Her name was Cheri Dokken.

Eventually I found out that she had directed poker tournaments for 17 years at the Los Angeles Commerce Casino. She stated it was the world's largest poker room. I always assumed Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut was the largest, so that remark surprised me. I asked her how may tables they (Commerce) had. The answer was shocking: 160 ! It must be amazing to walk into a poker room that large.

Dokken has retired and moved to the Jackson TN area (80 miles east of Memphis) where she and her husband bought a horse farm. They love riding, she said, and retirement seems to be agreeing with her.

Around the poker room at Tunica Harrah's Casino, there are photos of poker legends. There's Doyle Brunson, Chris Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke, Jerry Yang and others.

"I know all these players," she said, and it didn't sound like she was boasting.

I couldn't resist: "Is Jerry Yang really as nice as he seems?" I asked. The answer was what I expected -- yes he was a sincere, genuine, kind person.

Today I went to Card Player magazine's web site and saw they had a story about Dokken (where I got the image above). You can read all about her if you click here.


  1. So who has the tougher job - a tournament director at a poker tournament where there is huge amounts of real money at stake, or the bridge tournament director where we are all playing for master points?

  2. The Commerce is actually comprised of 3 big rooms, a low stakes room, high stakes room and tournament/satellite room upstairs. There's also a sports bar, and other table games. its all attached to a Crowne Plaza Hotel. Definitely worth checking out if you ever had the urge to take a trip to Cali. Lots of fishees.

  3. Thanks, $mokee, for your addendum.