Talking Stick gearing up for ASPC

July 03, 2018, Chris Cronin, Joey Ramirez, Janet Kenning, Robert Kelly  

The $345 Big Stack on May 5 at Talking Stick Resort’s Arena Poker Room had 195 entrants, generating a prize pool of $57,525 as Brett Shaffer took top honors for $7,053 in Scottsdale Ariz.

The rest of the final table finished like this: Vijay Thakur, $6,746; Ovidiu Groza, $5,178; Heng Hong $5,134; Nick Fountotos, $4,702; Michael Castas, $4,645; Luis Contreras, $4,426; John Deeb, $4,319; Anthony Onwuananibe, $4,307 and William King, $3,250.

The $240 bounty tourney on May 12 saw George Heide beat 235 players for $3,800 and a few $100 bounties. Chris Schinker, Caesar Lopez and Francis Kelly each took home $2,645 after chopping second-fourth while Rosemary Bangi, George Kelemen, Parker Brubaker, Michael Reagan, Jason Fisher and Ian Clark pocketed $1,263 each.

The May 19 $500 event drew 176 players. The last several players chopped but Maurice Sova captured the title and $9,613. Other top finishers included Daniel Burillo, $9,582; Scott Drill, $9,542, Mark Babekov, $9,437; Gary Andrews, $7,532; Juan Sosa $6,329; Dominic Debenedictis, $5,709, John Dibella, $2,805; Edward Coyne, $2,281 and Michael Kelleher, $1,870.

Jere DeWar won the women’s event May 20, netting her $1,570. Also, the $160 End of the Month tourney had an impressive 512 runners for a $61K-plus prize pool. After a couple of chops, Ian Fisher, Edward Plumb, Michael Greenleaf and Oleg Simanovsky earned $3,500 each.

TSR hosts numerous $140 satellites, starting this month, for the Arizona State Championship. They run July 1, 8, 15, 22 and Aug. 5, 8 and 9 at 11:15 a.m., as well as Aug. 6 and 7 at 7:15 p.m. Sales begin July 1 at the box office (480-850-7734) and at the poker cage. The championship will run Aug. 10-14. Also, the summer point challenge ends Aug. 21. All qualifying players will play on Aug. 29 at 11:15 a.m. for a $50 service fee and a $40K prize pool. 

GILA RIVER VEE QUIVA: Red or Black Aces Cracked is running around the clock.

GILA RIVER WILD HORSE PASS: The poker room has made some changes to its tournament schedule. Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. will be $35 events; Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. will be $90 events; a $125 bounty tournament runs Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 11 is a $50 bounty tourney. The Super Bonus Splash Pots will be July 14 and 21. There will be 10 splash pots for $50 every half-hour on July 21.

HON-DAH CASINO RESORT: Along with a full tournament schedule, the poker room offers $100 high hands in hold’em Friday and Saturday, Low Roller Tuesdays, Bonus High Hands Sunday-Thursday (4 p.m.-midnight) and Friday and Saturday $100 Aces Cracked (9-midnight) and $50 splash pots (8-midnight).

Kansas

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: July 14 will be the $35K freeroll for April-June qualifiers. First place is a $10K guarantee.

The tournament schedule has events listed for Mondays ($65), Tuesdays ($65), Thursdays ($65 morning, $85 evening bounty) and Sundays ($125) with a special $235 superstack the last Sunday of each month.
KANSAS STAR CASINO: The room’s bad-beat jackpot was near $100K at press time. The quarterly $10K freeroll for qualified players is July 7.

Thursdays in July feature high hands. Every 30 minutes, $200 will be given away 5-11 p.m.

New Mexico

A new poker room will open this month at Isleta Resort and Casino and will be marked with a grand opening. Guests will enjoy seven poker tables while being surrounded by eight 65-inch LED screens. The room features a player-friendly layout, with food and drink service available, as well as a snack bar next door.

“We are very excited to give poker players a new place to play their favorite games. Poker is a long-standing tradition for many of our guests and we recognize the importance of updating the poker room and getting the latest and greatest equipment in there for them to enjoy” Isleta CEO Harold Baugus said.

The Poker Classic will be July 27 at 6 p.m. and July 28 at 2. Both tournaments have a $150 buy-in and each player gets 20K chips. There will be $1,500 added for each tournament.

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: The $153 Anniversary tournament ran May 14 and had 144 entries. There was a six-way chop as Jeffery Bell, Brian Knapp, Raymond Lopez, William Ivay, Francisco Javier and Brendan Laounte each won $3,362. Louis Purrington was seventh ($949).

Sandia’s Sizzling Summer High Hand Bonus runs through Aug. 26. Call for details. Also, Aces Cracked runs until Sept. 2. Players earn varying points on their players cards depending on the time that their aces are cracked.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The $10K guarantee deepstack runs July 14 at 1 p.m. The $225 buy-in gets you 15K chips with 20-minute levels, which extend to 30 minutes when there are two tables left. Take advantage of the advanced paid registration since the event will be limited to 60 entries.

The 93.3 KKOB-FM Bounty Tournament with Kiki Garcia will be July 21 at 7 p.m. The $93 buy-in gets you 75K chips and players will have the opportunity to earn $93 worth of bounties by knocking out Garcia and others.
The $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament is July 28 at 1. Players get 15K chips with 20-minute levels and can earn 1K bonus chips for playing live game before any tournament.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Daily $28 tournaments with a $5 add-on run at noon, 3 and 7. The events on Monday, Wednesday and Friday pay bounties. There’s also a tournament bad-beat jackpot for all events.

The player-of-the-year promotion focuses on performance in tourneys throughout the year at Route 66. The room dedicates about $5K to the top qualifiers and hosts a freeroll for the top 50. Don’t forget about Aces Cracked, which pays $50 for same-color pocket aces losing and $25 for mixed aces.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: The Colorado Poker Championship Main Event at Golden Gates went to Stephen Shumaker, winning $69K. Nils Bardsley was second ($43K), followed by Robert Cummings ($29K), Mark Rosenburg ($23K) and Ryan Van Sanford ($15K).

Jason Vanstrom of Colorado Springs took first at the Colorado Poker High Roller Championship. Vanstrom won $33K for a $2.5K buy in. Christopher Barrett was second ($32,800) and took overall points for the complete CPC event.  Jim Casement took third ($18K) and Teresa Lovatowon was fourth ($9.4K).  

Golden Gates hosts the Heartland Poker Tour on July 11 with the $1,100 main event starting July 18, the first of four Day 1s.

At Ameristar, the descending bad-beat jackpot (quad sevens) was $112K at press time. The room recently added high hands and mini-bad-beat jackpots, so call for details. Four hours of play in one day qualifies you for a poker rate at the hotel.

CRIPPLE CREEK: Midnight Rose offers silver high hands on Mondays and Tuesdays, where you can win an ounce of silver. But don’t miss the deepstack tournaments Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Flopzilla gives you 40K chips for $120 on Fridays at 4 p.m. Enter the Fast & Furious Freezeout on Saturdays for $65 and get 30K chips. Play the Meganormous on alternate Sundays, where a 50K starting stack is yours for $120. Play four hours of live action and earn a free room Monday-Thursday.

Oklahoma-Kansas

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGood Poker Series’ $560 main event drew 423 entries and resulted in Seth Evans and Charles Aron striking a deal that awarded Evans the win, the trophy and $35K. Aron received $40,284 for second. Evans had finished second in the main event at Hard Rock Casino in February. David Mohan took down the $180 deepstack for $13,079.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The Mega Bad Beat (quads) was $285K-plus at press time. Sundays host a new $60 turbo, added to the schedule thanks to player requests. An unlimited re-entry tournament, a one-time $10 add-on also is offered.

HARD ROCK CASINO: The WSOPC returns March 14-25.

AMERISTAR CASINO: The HPT runs July 19-30. Players can book a room using the code AKCHPT online or at 816-414-7000 to lock up $99 room rates Sunday-Thursday and $159 Friday and Saturday. The bad-beat jackpot was $101K-plus at press time.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: The Senior Poker Tour hits Aug. 9-12 with the Sooner State Senior Championship. There will be eight no-limit events: $55 mega-satellites will qualify the top 10 percent into the two-flight, two-day, $350 main event. Non-satellite events are $130 and will include $50-$50 bounty, juniors vs. seniors, and a standard NLHE kickoff tourney.

The room’s $30K monthly freeroll for qualifying players is July 14, followed by the July 21 $4K freeroll for players in the top 40 in tournament points.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The Cherokee Poker Classic ran April 27-May 6. Winners included Shane Bowling, $180 deepstack, and Douglas Merrie, $135 rebuy. A chop in the $75 deepstack saw Andy Chen and Anthony Howell share the win.

RIVERWIND CASINO: The 17-table room has $50 high hands on Mondays, $2-$5 splash Tuesdays, $50 hot seat Wednesdays and $2-$5 hot seat Thursdays. Typical events include $40 rebuys Wednesday-Sunday and there’s a $115 deepstack on Sundays.

GRAND CASINO: Planning on staying here and playing? Be sure to ask about poker-player rates. This upstairs, enclosed poker room has great tableside food service and a drink station just outside its side entrance that also offers soft-serve ice cream.

CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: The WPT returns July 19-Aug. 7. The series features a $3,700 televised main event Aug. 3-7. A whopping 81 events stuff the schedule. In other news, the WSOPC stops here Oct. 31-Nov. 12 and Jan. 2-14.

Meet David Auspitz

David Auspitz travels the country as a dealer, but we had a chance to catch up with him.

How often do you travel to deal the World Series circuit? About a couple times a year. There are a few of us from the area who travel together when we can all make it work with our schedules. 

What are the pros and cons of working away from home? The pros are that I get to get away for a little while and check out what different cities are all about. And when we deal the circuit, we usually get the chance to work as much as we want. Sometimes, though, certain areas don’t have much to offer or there isn’t a lot to do without a car. I also have to leave my dog back home, which is never fun. 

Tell us about your most recent job on the road. Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina was an interesting experience since it was my first time there. The casino itself was beautiful and all of the patrons were as nice as could be. I’ve never heard please and thank you so much when dealing. It was great. 

How long have you been dealing? Do you also play poker? I’ve been dealing for 3.5 years and been playing for about 15 years. Being a dealer has really improved my game. — Jo Kim