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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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The Poker Ace Timer Review

Poker AceThe Poker Ace PTD (Portable Tournament Director) is a small poker timer that is somewhat similar to The Poker Genie, except much smaller and more portable. The unit is operated by two AA batteries and measures 3.5 inches wide, 2.5 inches tall, and 1.25 inches deep (90mm x 66mm x 30mm). It is solid enough to stand upright on its own meaning that you can place it right on your poker table or on a shelf near your table.

There is an 11 page instruction manual but the unit is fairly easy to use and after reading the instruction manual once, there was no need to refer to it again.


There are 8 preprogrammed blinds schedules and 2 customizable schedules. There are two 1000-chip buyin blinds schedules, two 5000-chip schedules, a 10,000-chip schedule, a 200-chip schedule, a 1000-chip (no rebuys or addons) schedule, and a 1000-chip heads-up schedule. Sample blinds schedules are shown on this page of the Poker Ace website.

There are two customizable blinds schedules that can be saved for later use even when the unit is powered off. You can alter any of the preprogrammed blinds schedules and save them as one of the two customizable schedules.

Poker AceEach blinds schedule accommodates up to 29 blinds levels and may include an ante. Rebuys, addons, and breaks can be programmed into any blinds schedule. Blinds levels may be a maximum of 99 minutes in length, with one minute increments. Each level must be the same length of time. Small blinds, big blinds, and antes may be incremented by 1 from 1 to 100, by 5 from 100 to 500, by 25 from 500 to 10,000, and by 1,000 from 10,000 to 500,000.

When entering information, you can browse to any of the previous screens and change the information without losing any of the previously entered information.

Players & Prize Pool

When the timer first starts up, you will be asked how many players there are in your game and the value of the buyin, rebuy, and addon. The buyin, rebuys, and addons can be entered by 1 from 1 to 20, by 5 from 20 to 100, by 100 from 100 to 1,000, and then by 1,000 from 1,000 to 10,000 (maximum). The prize pool payouts are calculated based on a percentage of the total buyins, rebuys, and addons. Up to 10 places may be paid out. The total number of players that may be entered is in the hundreds (I stopped testing after 500 players).

After entering all of your player and blinds information, the Poker Ace will provide you with an estimated length of time to complete your poker tournament. You can view the prize pool and payouts at any time by pressing one button. The prize pool payout information is a nice touch, and you don't have to use it if you do not want to.

The Display Screen

The LCD display screen is easy to read, even from a distance. The numbers are � inch in height and 1.75 inches in width. The lettering is black and is displayed on a light-grey background. The background (backlight) can be turned off to help conserve battery power, but this makes it much more difficult to view the lettering. You can adjust the backlight and the brightness and contrast of the lettering.

The main screen displays the level, the time remaining in the current level, the blinds, the value of the next blinds level, and the time remaining for any rebuys or addons. I could easily view the screen from about 15-20 feet away.

Using the Poker Ace PTD

During play, you can reset the Poker Ace to the next, or previous, blinds level. There is a Pause button on the top of the unit, very similar to the snooze button on many alarm clocks. The unit automatically advances to the next blinds level so there is no need to touch the unit, or use the pause button, unless you really need to pause the timer.

The timer beeps once for each of the final 10 seconds of each blinds level. The timer then automatically restarts the next blinds level. The timer is not very loud so you will have to keep it close to your players and your poker table.

Power Supply

Poker Ace The Poker Ace runs on 2 AA batteries that are not included with the unit. According to the Poker Ace - the batteries will last over 24 hours. There is a battery meter that is displayed on the screen while the Poker Ace is in use and the unit will automatically shut off the backlight display when the batteries are running low.


The price of the Poker Ace PTD is $69. Units purchased directly from the Poker Ace website may be returned for a full (no questions asked) refund within 14 days of purchase.

Final Thoughts

I really like the Poker Ace and find it to be a smaller but portable version of The Poker Genie. It is much smaller than The Poker Genie and runs on battery power rather than electrical power. This means that it is easier to place the Poker Ace wherever you desire, rather than being limited to an area close to an electrical power outlet. It is much easier to transport and carry the Poker Ace, and it might even fit into your poker chip case.

The unit is much smaller than The Genie and the display cannot be read from as great a distance as The Genie, but it is very readable from anywhere in the same room. You will probably want to place the Poker Ace on top of your poker table, or on a table or shelf nearby.

The Poker Ace does an excellent job of helping to organize your poker tournaments. It can be started with the press of a few buttons and will accommodate your own customized blinds schedules. It is small and portable but packs a big punch! April 2007

Visit The Poker Ace PTD website
Poker Ace

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