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

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ESPN Timer vs. The Poker Genie
Poker Genie vs ESPN Timer

You might notice some similarities between The Poker Genie and The ESPN Texas Hold'em Tournament Director, both of which have been reviewed on this website. The units look almost identical and have many of the same features. Here is a brief comparison ...

Poker Genie features

  • The Poker Genie automatically moves to the next blinds level and restarts the timer. The ESPN Timer requires that you press a button at the end of each level to stop the beeping and again to restart the timer for the next level.
  • The Poker Genie beeper is louder than the beeper on the ESPN Timer.
  • The Poker Genie allows a maximum of 5 colors, the ESPN Timer allows a maximum of 4 colors.
  • The Poker Genie allows antes, the ESPN Timer does not.
  • The Poker Genie allows up to 30 customized blinds, the ESPN Timer does not allow any.
  • The Poker Genie power cord is 6 feet long, the ESPN Timer cord is 5 feet long.
  • The Poker Genie accounts for the total number of players in your tournament and will not suggest more chips than you own, the ESPN Timer does not account for more than 10 players in your game.
  • The Poker Genie tournament length estimator works much better than the ESPN Timer.
  • The Poker Genie has eyelets on the rear of the unit to assist with mounting on a wall.
  • The Poker Genie can accommodate different time-lengths of blinds levels, the ESPN timer uses the same time-length for every level.
  • The Poker Genie allows you to input breaks into your tournament (a blank blinds level of any duration), but the ESPN Timer cannot accommodate breaks.
  • The Poker Genie allows chip denominations in almost any amount (5�, $2,50, $5, $100), but the ESPN Timer limits chips to 5 units (your lowest value chip), 10 units, 25 units, and 100 units.

ESPN Timer features

  • The round (blinds level) is displayed on the ESPN Timer, but not on The Poker Genie.
  • There is an on/off button on the ESPN Timer, but not on The Poker Genie.

Same features on both

  • Both displays are the same size and have the same readability.
  • Both units feel the same and look the same. The construction is similar, with both being well made.
  • Both units have somewhat poor documentation.
  • Both units have somewhat poor instructions written on the back of the unit.
  • The difference in price between the two timers is 4�.


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