Bucky's Northern Ariz. Hold'em Championship runs this month

March 31, 2018, Chris Cronin, Donovan Livingston, Janet Kenning, Robert Kelly  

The annual Northern Arizona Texas Hold’em Championship at Bucky’s Casino in Prescott, Ariz., is April 29.
Preliminary rounds are on each Sunday in April (1, 8, 15, 22) at 2 p.m. The $125 preliminary rounds will get you 10K chips.

An optional $20 dealer gratuity will get you another 2K chips and two hours of live play beforehand earns you another 3K. The top 10 from each round advance to the championship April 29.

WILD HORSE PASS: There are a couple of changes to the tournament lineup. Monday and Thursday at noon will be $2K guarantees for $40. Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. will be a $2,500 guarantee for $90. Wednesday at 7:30 and Sunday at 3:30 will be $50 events.

The Rolling Cash Fever promo will have drawings every hour and the Super Bonus High Hand will be April 28.
On April 8 at 11 a.m., there is a $10K guarantee women’s tournament. Call for details.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. an $80 buy-in and $10 dealer add-on gets you 10K chips to play for a seat to any $1K WSOP event in Las Vegas this summer and $200. Sundays at 5:30 p.m., $110 plus $10 gets you 10K chips to play for a $1,500 seat plus $250.

May 19 will host two $350 qualifiers (10 a.m., 3 p.m.) with the finale at 7:30. You’ll start with 15K chips and the winner receives a $10K entry to the WSOP main event plus $500.

TALKING STICK RESORT: April 1-July 22 is the qualifying period for the Summer Points Challenge at Talking Stick Resort. Players who make the final table at least twice during this time will qualify for a $40K tournament July 29. In addition, the top 15 in each division qualify for $40K in prize money. Meanwhile, the Winter Point Challenge tournament is April 8.

April 20-22 is the next Getaway Classic, with three tournaments. Players who purchase all three will qualify for a free two-night stay at the resort April 20-21, based on availability. A whopping $20K will be added to the April 20 tournament to celebrate the property’s 20th anniversary.

January’s End of the Month tourney saw a final-table chop, including a three-way deal between Steven Vigdor, James Arredondo and William Shearer for $4,500 apiece. February’s $345 Big Stack event went to Kim Rasmussen for $9,680, while Kenneth Peak, Dave Banerjee, Eric Kaneshiro and Bryan Gillies each took home $7,500.

The seventh annual $400 Winter Poker Classic had 469 players for a prize pool close to $190K. After a couple of chop deals at the final table, Michael Berman and Amir Doroudian split the title and each gained $26,310.

The February End of the Month champion was Le Tieu, who added $5,100 to his bankroll.

New Mexico

Every Friday at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, N.M., is the $120 tourney at 6 p.m., and every Sunday at 2 p.m. you can play an event for $75. Earn bonus chips when playing live before each tournament.
The $30K Texas Hold’em Tournament is April 28-29. See the ad in our latest edition for details or call the poker room.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: Look for a new weekly lineup starting at 6:30 p.m. Buy-ins are $30-$75. Sundays (5 p.m.) and Thursdays offer unlimited rebuys for the first hour. Note on Thursdays: They play Omaha/8. The ongoing $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament starts at 1. The 6:30 p.m. tournament is a great consolation if you missed out earlier. Play live before a tournament and you can earn 1K bonus tournament chips.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: You can play in three tournaments every day here and most times are for NLHE, but there’s a pineapple tournament Wednesdays, plus many tournaments include bounties. The Player of the Year promotion gives you points based on your tournament performance. If you can win or cash consistently, you’ll find yourself in the hunt for your share of $5K in cash and prizes, plus qualify for the year-end freeroll.

ISLETA CASINO RESORT: If you qualified for the Spring Poker Classic, the opening flights are April 6-7 with the final running on April 8.

During the week on Mondays and Wednesdays, the Spin and Win promotion can pay $100. As for Isleta’s weekly schedule, Mondays offer crazy pineapple ($15, at 2 and 7 p.m.); each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 ($25, 7 p.m.); Friday and Saturday have added-money tournaments ($100, 7 p.m.), and if you’re new to the game, Thursday features a beginner’s tournament ($15, 7 p.m.). You can earn 2K bonus chips by playing two hours of live play.

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: Play 50 hours and earn $50, plus $5 for every additional five hours played. The room also offers double high-hand points, starting at quad jacks. Earn bonus player points for live play after tournaments.
As for weekly tournaments, Sunday’s $50 event is at noon followed by a $45 tourney at 5. Monday is the Sprint Tournament for $50. At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can play a bounty event for $75 and the $60 Wacky Wednesdays series features a different format each week, including stud, Big O/8, ladies night, pineapple, HORSE, Omaha/8 and others.

Colorado

Realtor Mike Englert, of Windsor, Colo., took home $200,762 for winning the February Heartland Poker Tour’s main event at Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colo. The main event drew 607 players for a prize pool of $892,290.

“The staff and everyone does a great job running it,” Englert said.

He has made the final table twice and this time he went heads-up against veteran HPT finalist Matt Bond in a lengthy struggle until Bond’s pocket eights lost to Englert’s queens. Bond took home $124K, followed by John Beauprez, who went home third ($81K) when his K-9 pocket 10s. Denver chiropractor Steve Klaus played a $380 qualifier to gain entry into the main event and finished fourth ($56K).

Will Berry of Norman, Okla., took fifth ($41K), falling just short of boosting his career earnings to the $1M mark. Nick Pupillo was sixth ($31K); Michael Hinde of nearby Monument went out seventh ($26K); Chris Denz, who also calls Colorado home, finished eighth ($22K) and Jacob Phillips from Missouri was ninth ($17K).

Worth noting, Joshua Colee won the $40K kickoff event for $40,458. The tournament set a state record with 912 entries.

Next up at Golden Gates is the Mid-States Poker Tour (April 5-15) with a $1,100 main event. Many satellites are available and there’s a $300 seniors event April 9.

AMERISTAR BLACK HAWK: The spacious 22-table poker room will soon offer mini-bad-beat and high-hand jackpots. At press time, the bad beat was $419,180 (quad sixes). Also, get a special poker rate at the hotel for four hours of play in one day.

CRIPPLE CREEK: From April 15-20, the Midnight Rose poker room hosts the Colorado State Poker Championship, including a $510 main event for $510 and a variety of interesting events with affordable $100-$125 buy-ins. A women’s tournament is April 21 and seniors play April 25. Four hours of live action earns you a free room Monday-Thursday.

Oklahoma-Kansas-Missouri

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: On April 14, this 12-table room hosts the quarterly $35K freeroll with $10K guaranteed for first place. Qualification for the next quarter starts April 1.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: The room has expanded to 10 tables. Also, April 7 is the quarterly $10K freeroll as 40 players are eligible to play through the accumulation of tournament points. Qualification for the next quarter begins April 1.

CHOCTAW CASINO: The Durant, Okla., property hosts a 62-event series April 5-23 in its 26-table room. Four events typically run each day, including mega-satellites into the $1K main, which has a $1M guarantee.

Two events, the $100K and $200K guarantees, are multi-cash events. Players are able to play more than one flight, forfeit their smallest stack for cash, then take their larger stack to the next round. The series is filled with a wide variety of NLHE events, plus badugi, HORSE, congress, deuce-to-seven triple-draw, and pot-limit Omaha. Discounted rooms can be had using the code SPRING18. Rates begin at $79.

HARD ROCK TULSA: Byron Abernathy captured the RunGood Poker Series’ main event for $32,099. Other winners in the February series include father and daughter combo Ed Smith and Mary Cornelius, after a four-way deal, claiming the Jack and Jill event for $822; John Heckencamp taking down the PLO event for $12,705, and RunGood pro Justin Gardenhire winning the RG Pro Bounty event for $5,089.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The RunGood Poker Series returns April 10-15. Past events here sold out the resort fast but if you can get a room use code RUNPK to save 40 percent. The series begins with its $135 RG Pro Bounty tournament. Other events are a $200 deepstack, $100 PLO with $25 rebuys, $200 RG $25 bounty and the $560 two-day main event, which has a $50K guarantee and $135 satellites beforehand.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: This 13-table enclosed room hosts a $300 qualifier April 21 at 10 a.m. for a seat into the $10K WSOP main event in Las Vegas this summer. Players may buy in a week in advance with their Total Rewards card. Entries and re-entries are available through the end of the fourth 30-minute level. It’s a 130-player-max event. The winner also is rewarded with $1K if there are more than 45 entries.

AMERISTAR CASINO: This 13-table enclosed room pays hands starting at jacks full beaten. Busted bullets continues to be offered as the first five players busted with pocket aces yields $100. Players also earn $1-an-hour comps and a $15 food voucher for four hours of live play. Tuesday mornings continue to feature the newest featured game spread, $4-$8 HO. This game complements well the $3-$6 limit hold’em and $4-$8 half-kill and $5-$10 full-kill Omaha/8 games.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: This eight-table room hosted the annual Ozark Poker Championships (Feb. 15-26) as Ronnie Wheat overcame a field of 224 players in the $185 main event for $7,292. Other winners include Jamie Rawlings, Dennis Long and David Ramsey.

A promotion running through May 31 is called Paid to Play. Clock two hours of play, Sunday through Thursday, between
8 a.m. and noon and players receive $25.

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: The Presidents Day River Poker Series ran Feb. 15-19. The feature event was the $550 main and Neema Hessami overcame a field of 528 entries to take it down, earning $46,236. Other winners were Jeffrey Sowell, Corey Smith, Dune Tran, Brian Hansen and Samuel Driver.

The $340 survivor saw 29 players earn $1,500. In other news, the property moved its 55-table poker room to the New York Gaming Plaza.

COMANCHE NATION: The new four-table, enclosed poker room opened Feb. 1. Through April 21, a paid-to-play promotion gives out $1K every hour in a drawing, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. to midnight. Entries are earned by showing a straight or better in hold’em and a full house or better in Omaha games. The room also runs a tournament bad-beat promotion.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: This eight-table room updated its hours of business. It is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 4-2 a.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday noon to 4 a.m. and Sunday noon to 2 a.m. It remains closed Mondays.

RIVERWIND CASINO: Promotions are $50 high hands on Mondays, $2-$5 splash pot Tuesdays, $50 hot seats on Wednesdays and $2-5 hot seats on Thursdays. Typical tournaments include $40 rebuys Wednesday-Sunday. $115 deepstacks run Sundays.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: A $20K monthly freeroll is April 14 for the top 40 players with the most hours played.

Meet Bill Martin

Bill Martin has spent the past 22 years dealing poker at at Hon-Dah Casino Resort in the White Mountains of Arizona. He started as a part-time dealer.

“There were several nights in the early years that I came to deal at the casino after working all day and left the casino in the morning just in time to go back to work. I really love dealing poker.”

He has been married for 40 years and has two sons. When he’s not working or spending time with the family, he enjoys all of the things mountain life offers: golfing, fishing and playing poker.

“Hon-Dah poker room is a great place to play poker with friendly, great players. If you’ve played here more than once or twice everyone will be calling you by your first name. Of course, the summer months are the busy season at Hon-Dah, but weather is always amazing in different ways. It’s a great place to get away from the city and just relax.”

Martin’s biggest thrill happened in 2004 when he took a vacation for a month and traveled to Tunica, Miss., to deal the World Poker Open.
“Dealing to the pros and meeting some amazing players was a tremendous experience.”

He’s looking forward to retirement within the next 10 years and when that happens, Hon-Dah won’t lose an employee, it’ll gain another friendly player. — Chris Cronin