Big victories at WSOPC in Indiana

October 27, 2016, Brian Bly, John Somsky, Joe Giertuga, Ken Warren, Chad Holloway  

Rob James won his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring after defeating 812 entries, winning $47K in the $365 buy-in Event 2 at Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana.

“This is unbelievable,” James said after his win. “This is only the second WSOP Circuit tournament I’ve ever entered. I’ve played some small tournaments here and there, but nothing like this.”
The 43-year-old neurosurgeon from Louisville is a regular in the high-stakes cash games at the Horseshoe.

Scott Fitzhugh, a part-time player from Cleveland, defeated a field of 161 entries to win the $365 opener for $13K.

Ohio players had a strong showing early on with Nam Lu winning $13K in the turbo event and Al Hencheck Jr. won Event 4 for $11K.Nate Bandy went back-to-back in Southern Indiana by winning the six-max for $14K and then defeated 415 entries to win the Monster Stack for $27K.
“I’m pretty amped up,” Bandy said. “This is so cool. As we got down to 18 (players), I started thinking, ‘Man, can I really do this? Back-to-back events?’ ”

HOLLYWOOD AURORA: Tom Krueger started packing his bags after winning the mega freeroll. The Naperville native won $12K and an Ante Up Poker Cruise. Krueger, a retired printing company owner, had a liver transplant in 1994. He’s a Hollywood poker room regular and has won several tournaments around town and in Tunica, with this mega freeroll being his biggest win. The prize pool was $50K, including 10 Ante Up cruise packages and had 103 eligible players.

MAJESTIC STAR: The $1,100 America’s Poker Tour main event has four flights starting Nov. 10. The televised final table is scheduled for Nov. 13.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: The Mega Bad Beat was at $655K (quad eights) at press time.

WINDY CITY POKER LEAGUE: James Battaglia won his second points championship and Kirk Fallah took down the championship.

Minnesota

RUNNING ACES: Jeremy Dresch of Fridley, Minn., won the Mid-States Poker Tour event in Columbus, Minn. Dresch earned his biggest career cash of $83,045, increasing his lifetime earnings to almost $660K. Dresch also became the eighth player to win two MSPT events, winning the first event of Season 1. This also marks Dresch’s eighth MSPT final table.

Dresch entered the final table as chipleader, though the lead would change hands several times before the night ended. Victor Peppe of Corcoran, Minn., held 3.9M chips to Dresch’s 2.8M as heads-up play began. The two tangled for more than 90 minutes before Dresch emerged sent Peppe home in second. The $49K would more than double Peppe’s next largest cash. The MSPT main event had a $1,100 buy-in and drew 344 entrants for a $332,180 prize pool.

CANTERBURY PARK: The Ultimate $100K ran as the prelude to the Fall Poker Classic in Shakopee, Minn. Matt Hamilton of Minneapolis earned his largest career cash when he took home $22,458 after taking the top spot. The tournament had a $175 buy-in and six Day 1s, which drew 764 entries for a $106,960 prize pool. Look for results from the FPC in a future issue.

Ohio/Western Pennsylvania

HOLLYWOOD CASINO COLUMBUS: The room has been doing some great promotions for cash games in recent months. A new “paid to play” promotion rewards cash-game players withbonuses ranging from $50-$500 for logging hours Thursday-Sunday. Aces Cracked runs Monday through Wednesday. Full details are listed on the room’s Facebook page.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO TOLEDO: High hands are paid every 30 minutes on Thursdays (4 p.m.-midnight), Fridays (4 p.m.-2 a.m.), Saturdays (noon-2:00 a.m.) and Sundays (noon-10 p.m.). Other cash-game promotions include Hollywood Awards, where players win by making any of the 29 qualifying hands, and a “3 for $30” promo where you play three consecutive hours between 3 a.m. and noon and receive $30 in chips added to your stack (qualify twice and receive $60).

RIVERS CASINO PITTSBURGH: Various high-hand promotions are Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and $100 splash pots on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And don’t forget the room’s Million Dollar Bad Beat, which 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. At press time, the bad-beat jackpot for hold’em was $145K.

MEADOWS CASINO: There are $200 high hands every half-hour on the third Saturday of the month. Another cash-game promotion pays a progressive jackpot for making a royal flush.

Iowa

HORSESHOE COUNCIL BLUFFS: The PPC visited the third week of September and Eric Rodawig claimed the main-event title and $19,999 on Sept. 24. The PPC also awarded four packages to Rodawig and the other final three players Scott Davis, David Caron and Shawn Hopper for the season finale in Aruba.

On Nov. 9-13, the iNinja Poker Tour returns with a $100K guarantee. There is a 35 percent discount on hotel rates with promo code ININJA.

RIVERSIDE CASINO: WPT DeepStacks stopped by during the opening days of October. Jeffrey Fielder ran off with the top prize of $32,473. On Nov. 27, Riverside hosts its popular Cold Turkey Showdown. Check with the poker room for more details.

MESKWAKI CASINO: The MSPT returns the first week of November with another $300K guarantee. The last visit saw the prize pool reach $500K in July and set a record for attendance.

BALLOONING BAD-BEAT JACKPOTS: Two bad-beat jackpots worth noting: Jumer’s Casino’s was at $182K-plus at press time while Diamond Jo continues to climb at $216K-plus.

Wisconsin

SCHMIDT WINS: In early October, Wisconsin’s Monte Schmidt topped a field of 233 entries to win the $370 PPC main event at Harrah’s North Kansas City after a three-way chop in which he was awarded the title, $10K and a $5K PPC Aruba package.

HO-CHUNK NEKOOSA: The sixthannual $330 Pulse Pounding tournament drew 46 players who also accounted for 10 re-entries to create a $17,300 prize pool and $3,870 going to Aspirus Doctor’s Clinic. Joe Miller and Roger Niewiadomski chopped for $4,700 apiece with Miller receiving the championship bracelet.

POTAWATOMI HOTEL AND CASINO: The penultimate stop on the MSPT Season 7 lands in Milwaukee on Nov. 12-20.

“Potawatomi is always one of the biggest events on the MSPT schedule and we can think of no better place for the second-to-last stop of Season 7,” MSPT president Bryan Mileski said.

The stop will host to a series of satellites culminating in a $1,100 buy-in, $200K guarantee main event Nov. 18-20. The main event will have two starting flights.

Meet Jill Wirtz

In 1993, after spending five years dealing poker in Vegas, Jill Wirtz moved back to Wisconsin and took a job dealing in the pits at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells. When the poker room opened in the mid 2000s, this grandmother to one granddaughter jumped at the opportunity.

How did you come to work in poker? After working in the cheese-packing industry for many years, I decided I needed a change. So I packed my bags and moved to Las Vegas, where I attended a dealing school.Across the street from the school was Sahara Hotel, where many great people taught me to deal poker.

What do you like most about working in poker? I love the game and have been playing poker with my family ever since I was 10.I work with great people at Ho-Chunk.I’m amazed at how the game has changed from my years in Vegas.

What’s your favorite memory thus far when it comes to your work and why? Learning different aspects of poker in over 20 years of dealing the game.There’s always a challenge to do better and work the larger tournaments where my co-workers work so well together. — Chad Holloway