Barnard wins Midwest Poker Classic in Minnesota

September 29, 2016, John Somsky, Joe Giertuga, Brian Bly, Ken Warren, Chad Holloway  

Joseph Barnard of St. Paul, Minn., won the Midwest Poker Classic Main Event at Running Aces Casino and Racetrack, taking home $33,241. The $1,100 event drew 98 entrants and generated a $97,060 prize pool at the Columbus property. Barnard also won the $300 bounty event earlier in the series for $3,473. The series had 21 events.

Lucas Mernin of Robinsdale, Minn., earned $12,200 for winning the $350 CheapStack event. Joel Doering won the $150 Double Stack for $2,506. Men were encouraged to enter the $150 Ladies Edge event and Ramadhan Jabbar took the top spot for $1,500 and Jay Phillips was the last woman standing, taking second for $900. Alexander Smith won the $120 PLO event for $1,300 and Rawson Peters finished first in the $200 six-max event for $4,149.

CANTERBURY PARK: Vladyslav Tkachuk of Anoka, Minn., took home $36,127 after winning the recent iNinja Poker Tour event. The $260 tourney attracted 891 entries, which built a $186K prize pool. The iNinja events seem to be consistently drawing large crowds and garnering player loyalty.

Also, don’t forget the Fall Classic runs until Oct. 16; call the poker room for details.

GRAND CASINO MILLE LACS: Kraig Komrosky of Moorhead, Minn., won the Mid-States Poker Tour regional for $31,747. Komrosky had finished 11th in the same MSPT event in January. This $350 tournament had 458 entrants for a $132K prize pool.

Iowa

The Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs hosted the RunGood Poker Series during the third week of August. Michael Sortino won the $1,100 main event for $40,320. The final table included pro Brandon Fish and “Farmer” Phil Mader, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. There was a great turnout at the Horseshoe, resulting in a $144K prize pool. The RunGood Series also included a six-max $190 event, which ended in a four-way chop between Jesse McVicker, Paticia Bott, Tim Sciscoe and Henry Gingerich for $3,201 each.

The Horseshoe will hold a special Columbus Day $150 Fat Stack tournament Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.

MESKWAKI CASINO: The Mid-States Poker Tour returns at the end of October and the first week of November with a $300K guarantee main event.

PRAIRIE MEADOWS: The $200 deepstack event will be Oct. 23 and is limited to the first 121 entrants. Also, the bad-beat jackpot fell on Aug. 5 for $137,196.

DIAMOND JO: The Worth property’s bad-beat jackpot was around $211K at press time.

Chicagoland

AMERISTAR EAST CHICAGO: The Heartland Poker Tour Main Event final table ended up being one of the toughest in Chicagoland history with former world champ Greg Raymer and WPT Bellagio Cup winner Kevin Saul headlining a list of pros who collectively had 460 cashes.

It ended with Nick Davidson, a dentist from Troy, Mich., walking away with the title and $166K after defeating Saul heads-up.

“I’m just in awe right now, I can’t believe it,” Davidson said after outlasting more than 500 entries.
Lavonne Schaafsma, a psychologist from Grand Rapids, Mich., is only the second woman to finish in the top three of a Chicagoland HPT main event.

The $300 buy-in Monster Stack was again the largest in HPT history with 1,322 entries, creating a record prize pool of $337K. Brian Kelley from Bloomington, Ill., brought home $54K for being the last player standing.
Michael Esquivel won the $200 six-max for $8K. Brad Sailor, who has the most cashes at the East Chicago Casino, won the PLO event for $6K. Steven Inman won the $200 seniors tournament for $11K and John Vanderah won the $150 event ($5K).

Curtis Mayfield III won the final HPT event for $4,565. HPT returns to Ameristar on Jan. 12-23.

BELTERRA: The HPT will be in town Nov. 25-Dec. 5 as the main event will be $1,100.

HORSESHOE HAMMOND: Ronald Devito won the Summer Series Main Event for $53K and a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event seat. Devito’s last major win was in 2013 at the HPT deepstack at Majestic Star.

MAJESTIC STAR: America’s Poker Tour will be Nov. 3-13.

TROPICANA: Earl Porter, who started playing poker with his grandmother at the age of 10, outlasted a MSPT-record 340 entries, winning the Indiana State Poker Championship for $82K. The 49-year-old automobile worker faced a tough final table that included last year’s main-event winner Michael O’Neill and January’s MSPT Evansville winner Adam Thomas.

Ohio/Western Pennsylvania

HOLLYWOOD CASINO TOLEDO: The room pays high hands every 30 minutes on Thursdays (4 p.m.-midnight), Fridays (4 p.m.-2 a.m.), Saturdays (noon-2 a.m.) and Sundays (noon-10 p.m.). The minimum qualifying hand is aces full of deuces and both hole cards must play. Other cash-game promotions include Hollywood Awards, where players win by making any of the 29 qualifying hands, and “3 for $30” where if you play three consecutive hours between 3 a.m. and noon you’ll receive $30 in chips added to your stack (qualify twice and receive $60).

RIVERS CASINO PITTSBURGH: Various high-hand promotions run Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and “Hot Seats” on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All throughout 2016, the room offers a “Million Dollar Bad Beat” that requires a hold’em player holding 10-9 suited to flop the low end of a straight flush, losing to a player who holds A-K suited for a royal. The bad-beat jackpot was $82K at press time.

THE MEADOWS CASINO: There are $200 high hands every half-hour on the second and third Saturday of the month.

Wisconsin

In mid-August at the World Series of Poker Circuit at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, Brett Reichard of Janesville, Wis., topped a field of nearly 270 entries to win Event 9 ($580 NLHE) for $32,956 and his first gold ring. His son, poker pro Josh Reichard, finished third in the Monster Stack event the day before ($19,957).

HO-CHUNK GAMING WISCONSIN DELLS: The property is getting a new poker room as part of a renovation.

HO-CHUNK GAMING NEKOOSA: The sixth annual Pulse Pounding Poker Tournament took place Sept. 24-25. The $330 buy-in tournament featured a guaranteed first-place prize of $5K and will be recapped in a future issue.

Michigan

FIREKEEPERS CASINO: The $300K guarantee Michigan State Poker Championship, in conjunction with the Mid-States Poker Tour, returns to Battle Creek on Oct. 13-16. The $1,100 main event’s flights will be Oct. 13 (1A, 4 p.m.), Oct. 14 (1B, noon) and Oct. 15 (1C, noon). Day 2 will be Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m. There will be $60 super satellites at noon on Oct. 10-12. There also will be $250 qualifiers leading up to the main event. See the ad on this page for more details.

Meet Robert Sweeney

As a floor supervisor, Robert Sweeney, a married man and father of three daughters, has worked in Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for five years in Milwaukee. Before that, he went to school for two years studying police science.

How did you come to work in poker? In playing poker at Potawatomi, I came to know some of the dealers. They knew my interest in the game and told me about going to poker school to get certified. I became certified in Sacramento, Calif., and stayed there for two years to deal. When I found out Potawatomi had a position open, I came back to Wisconsin and became a floor supervisor.

What do you like most about working in poker? I just love the game of poker and providing great service to our guests.

What’s your favorite memory thus far when it comes to your work and why? Because of my love for the game, my favorite memory is the day I was hired here. It isn’t easy to get a job in the poker room. I feel very thankful. — Chad Holloway