Howell wins Arizona Ladies Championship

January 01, 2018, Chris Cronin, Donovan Livingston, Dick Stein, Robert Kelly  

The Arizona State Ladies Poker Championship title at Talking Stick Resort went to Regina Howell, who took home a nice trophy and $6,548 after beating nearly 100 players. The other top performers were Marilyn Christiano ($5,238), Carol Bellemare ($3,929), Keiko Yoshimine ($2,619) and Marnie Seidman ($2,095).

Salam Sarah captured the Nov. 4 Big Stack ($345 buy-in, 169 players) for $11,591. Luis Contreras was second ($8,974), followed by Thomas Haury ($6,107), Itay Katz ($3,864), Satish Andalam ($3,066), Dale Williams ($2,642), Maurice Gingras ($2,243), Carey Canella ($1,870), Sean Farida ($1,521) and Leonard Lwakbamba ($1,246).

Michelle Hayes and Randy Toogood chopped the top two spots of the Nov. 11 bounty event for $2,472 each. The $240 event featured $100 bounties and drew 265 players. Michael Moon, Darin Oreman, Gamaliel Abaqueta, David Brownworth, Micheal Berman and Debra Keller each took home $2,148.

The Scottsdale property’s 15th annual Thanksgiving charity event ($60) attracted 272 players to raise $6,800 for U.S. Food Bank Services. Eric Householder, Steven Howard, John Cramer, James Arrendondo, Jarret McMillan, James Buckner, Joel Goodell, Phillip Marcus, Bhasker Ravikanti, Steven Sckolnik, Clarence Chao, Murza Selmic Matthew Diethelm, Johnathan Knox, Eli Clark and Charles Russo chopped the top spot for $712 each.

The $160 End of the Month event (Nov. 25) had 422 players as Azim Mahboob, Jeffrey DeWitt, Richard Counce, Marc Rangel, Michelle Woodward and Sean Wright chopped for $5,045 each. Robert Greene, Floyd Roehrich Jr. and David Brownworth won $3K each for the final three spots.

Chi Tang took top honors at the Dec. 2 Big Stack for $11,591. The $345 event saw 169 players. Tang was followed by Kay Weintraub ($8,974), Tom Hanna ($6,107), Jeremy Brown ($3,864) and Raoul Encinas ($3,066).

TSR’s Arena Poker Room hosts its next Staycation weekend Jan. 12-14. Friday is a $200 event; Saturday and Sunday are $300 buy-ins with Sunday having $100 bounties. Players who register for all three days receive a free two-night stay Jan. 12-13, based on availability.

As for other promotions, Wacky Wednesdays continues twice a month, paying $250 for high hands in hold’em and $150 an hour for Omaha noon-midnight on select Wednesdays. The Big Game Blowout will be Feb. 4. This was a huge success last year so check with the poker room for details.

GILA RIVER VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: The promotions are flowing at the Laveen poker room. The Quads or Better promotion continues as players can win $50-$3K. Lose with the same colored pocket aces and win $100 along with a $50 splash for your table. Monday-Friday (3:30 a.m.-10 a.m.) pays $50 for high hands every half-hour along with $50 splashed at your table. Fridays (6-midnight) pay the top three hands $100 every half-hour. Alternating Fridays will have Poker Plinko. Check with the poker room for details.

Monday tournaments start at 7:30 p.m. and are eligible for TOC seats. Vee Quiva is adding $200 for every table. All live players with a minimum of 20 hours get a free entry. A $50 buy-in gets you 2K chips and a $10 dealer add-on gets you 5K more, with unlimited re-entries for the first hour. A $20 add-on at the break gets you 5K chips and early bird chips are available 5-6 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.

GILA RIVER WILD HORSE PASS: High Hand days will be Jan. 6 and 20.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: The Sunday tournaments will return after the football season.

CASINO DEL SOL: The $15K Guest Appreciation tournament is Jan. 4-6. Day 1A is Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.; Day 1B is Jan. 5 at noon. The event ends Jan. 6 at noon. Players qualify with 50 hours of live play or by finishing in the top 25 of any of the property’s four poker leagues.

Colorado

At the Golden Gates in Black Hawk, Colo., Denver’s Jason Beasley won the main event of the Mid-States Poker Tour. The $1,100 tourney drew 413 entries and earned the 38-year-old roofing salesman $88K.

Mike Monetti of Littleton, Colo., was second ($54K), followed by Jon Wurden of Fisher, Minn., ($40K), Gerald Cunniff of St. Paul, Minn., ($29K), Cooper Wanty of Ann Arbor, Mich., ($22K), Terry Wheeler of Denver ($17K), Will Mietz of Black Hawk ($13K), Bruce Russell of Loveland, Colo. ($10K), Nils Bardsley of Denver ($8K) and Andrew Geffen of Westminster, Colo., ($6K).

The series $360 event saw a whopping 848 players attend. The top 10 were Gerald Morrell of Reno ($34K), Jacob Schroeder of Aurora, Colo., ($26K), Mitchell Lekarczyk of Denver ($24K), Eric Maier of Littleton ($21K), Mike Colecchia of Aurora ($20K), Ryan Dodson of Centennial, Colo., ($20K), Jamal Sawaqdeh of Aurora ($8K), William Black of Cheyenne, Wy. ($6K), Ralph Kingan of Wright, Wy., ($5K) and Sung Bae of Aurora ($4K). 

• Ameristar’s huge bad beat first hit for $700K-plus, then quickly hit again for $480K. The amount was $260K at press time with a qualifier of quad eights.

CRIPPLE CREEK: At the Midnight Rose, the bad-beat runoff of four $22K parts continues once a month. Call for details.
Don’t miss every other Saturdays’ Fast & Furious Freezeout. This 2 p.m. $65 turbo features 12-minute blinds and 30K chips.

New Mexico

The Isleta Fall Poker Classic at Isleta Resort and Casino in New Mexico ran two days and saw Joe Rivera, Hass Aslami, John Chase, Augustine Armijo, Benji Benavidez, Landree Wauford, Starr Valdez, Gerald Medina, Jennifer Armijo and Paul Chenoweth chop the prize pool.

Mondays feature a crazy pineapple tourney for $15 at 2 and 7 p.m. Each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 at 7 p.m. for $25. Thursday Beginners NLHE is $15 at 7 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday, play in added-money tournaments for $100 at 7 p.m. each day. Every Thursday, the room gives away $50 in hourly hot-seat drawings 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: The Route continues its weekly offerings: Play in three tournaments every day. Most times are for NLHE, but there is a pineapple tournament on Wednesday, plus many tournaments include bounties.

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: The Big Dog series starts registration Feb. 6 at 8 a.m. This event will sell out, so plan ahead. Buy-in is $235 with a $10 add-on for 3K bonus chips. The poker room is adding $900 to the prize pool.

Regular weekly tournaments feature Sunday’s $50 NLHE at noon and a $45 NLHE event at 5 p.m. Monday brings the Sprint Tournament for $50. At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, can play a bounty tournament for $75. Don’t forget the $60 Wacky Wednesdays series, featuring games such as stud, River Down, Big O/8, Ladies Night, pineapple, HORSE or Omaha/8. 

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: Each Friday is a $120 event at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. is a $75 tourney. Earn bonus chips when playing live-action poker before each tournament. 

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: There’s a new tourney lineup with events every night at 6:30. Buy-ins are $30-$75. Sundays and Thursdays offer unlimited rebuys for the first hour. Note on Thursdays: The game is Omaha/8. The $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament starts at 1 p.m. The 6:30 event later that evening is a great consolation if you missed out earlier and because of the large numbers there are plenty of cash games in hold’em and Omaha.

Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri

HARD ROCK CASINO: Daniel “Wretchy” Martin captured the RunGood Poker Series Main Event for $37,238 as the series ended Nov. 19. Billy Reid (bounty), John Heckencamp Jr. (deepstack) and Lauren Bunch (pot-limit Omaha with rebuys) won the preliminary events. The Jack-n-Jill tournament resulted in a four-way chop. To conclude reporting of results of October’s Oklahoma Championship of Poker, Eric Bunch won the main event for $44,544. Other event winners were Tyler Young, Ruth Hall, Miles Taylor, Vernell Hoskins, Steven Laxton, J.D. and Debi Ontiveros, Bryan Unkenholz, Dylan Lew, Alan Demeter and Nikhel Bihl.

Looking ahead, the World Series of Poker Circuit returns March 16-26. The first appearance of the tour last year, according to poker room manager Byron Long, drew more entries than all but three other WSOPC stops. The main event will feature a $1M guarantee. During the series, a shuttle will run to nearby hotels as the Hard Rock’s hotel sells out quickly. Three new hotel properties are being built in the immediate area.

CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: Daniel Lowery overcame more than 900 entries to win the $1,675 WSOPC main event. In earning his sixth ring, Lowery won $258,784. Other ring winners were Steven Williams (Monster Stack); Trung Pham ($500K guarantee); Joshua Turner (NLHE); Robert Cote (Big O); Marshall White (NLHE); Michel Dumas (NLHE); John Richards, (NLHE); Brett Murray (six-max); Jeffrey Trudeau (NLHE); Maxx Coleman (PLO) and Virgil McVicar ($100K guarantee).

The WSOPC returns Jan. 3-15 and kicks off with a $365 buy-in, $300K guarantee and ends with a $250 seniors event.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The RunGood Poker Series, which ran Dec. 12-17, hadn’t concluded at press time. Look for results in a future issue. The poker room continues to offer a $5K freeroll ($1,500 for first) with a 40-hour cash-game play qualifier. There’s also a Pigskin Payout promo during some NFL games.

AMERISTAR CASINO: The 13-table room continues to offer several long-running promotions, including $100 busted bullets for the first five players, $100 high hands Monday-Thursday and a unique progressive bad-beat jackpot promotion. Some games are featured on specific days, including $4-$8 HO, $4-$8 and $5-$10 half- and full-kill Omaha/8. Call for a schedule. Comps are $1 an hour and $15 food vouchers can be earned with four hours of live play.

GRAND CASINO: This 13-table enclosed poker room on the casino’s second floor continues to offer bad-beat jackpots for hold’em and Omaha, high hands, royal flushes and Aces and Kings Cracked promotions. Comps are $1 per hour
(100 points) and there are double-point-rated-play hours Mondays and Tuesdays. Poker player hotel rates are available ($59 weekdays, $79 weekends).

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The annual Reindeer Games series ran Dec. 8-17 and results will be in a future issue.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: The poker room, closed Mondays, offers a diverse tourney schedule. Buy-ins are usually $50 or less. Games included are crazy pineapple, seniors, freezeout and mystery bounty. Thursday tournaments have a $500 guarantee with a 10-entry minimum.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: This eight-table room is having a $350 New Year’s Day tournament. It offers a $15K guarantee and will have 20-minute levels. Registration opened Dec. 1. The room’s tournament structures have a good reputation relative to the levels and players will start with 10K chips.

Jan. 13 is the quarterly $10K freeroll. The top 40 tournament qualifiers will compete. The room’s bad-beat jackpot was $122K-plus at press time.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: The $35K guarantee quarterly freeroll, featuring a $10K first-place prize, is Jan. 13. Players qualified through 150 hours of cash-game play or by being in the top 25 of the tournament leaderboard. All qualifiers must have played a minimum of 15 hours of live play on bad-beat jackpot eligible tables. Several games are featured throughout the week including $5-$5 PLO, $2-$5 NLHE, $4-$8 half-kill Omaha/8, $20-$40 limit, $25-$50 and $50-$100 mixed.

Meet Cannon Conolty

Known as Jr., Cannon Conolty was given that nickname by his poker friends out of Colorado Springs.

Cannon is a relatively newcomer to Southern Colorado from Florida. He played online poker since he was 12. He and his father, Kevin, are almost inseparable on the poker scene and Cannon has joined Kevin as a licensed real estate agent to help in the brisk Colorado Springs market.

His biggest poker accomplishment was a first-place chop of a recent Heartland Poker Tour kickoff event worth $27K in Black Hawk. His goal is to build his bankroll and become a pro. Sound familiar? His favorite hand is 10-9 suited. Why?

“Because it’s super-connected and has always done well for me postflop,” he said. “Every time I see it, I’m in there.”

Besides with his father and his sister, he spends a lot of time with his dog, a Maltese named Annabelle, and can be found daily at the gym pumpin’ iron. — Dick Stein