Senior poker event debuts at Talking Stick in Arizona

September 01, 2017, Chris Cronin, Donovan Livingston, Dick Stein, Robert Kelly  

Talking Stick Resort will host its first Senior Poker Tournament, $500 event that runs Sept. 16-18 in the Arena Poker Room in Scottsdale, Ariz. There is a $130 satellite on Sept. 3 at 11:15 a.m. and every five entries will results in one seat to the main event.

In other news, the property hosted a few tournaments this summer, including a July 8 bounty event that saw Steven Nichols, Michael Khoshaba, Thomas Ruwald, Jesus Ortega, Raghavendra Dronavalli, Robert Bohr, Michael Moon, Jason Borden and Bob Queen each receive $2,132 in a nine-way chop.

On July 15, Oleg Simanovsky ($3K) and Dennis Krahn ($2,800) chopped the $160 event, with the next 12 players each taking home $1,894. Those players were James Arredondo, Kenneth Wroblewski, Michael Waxman, Gary Rickman, William Conner, Anthony Bagneschi, Gary Kaiser, Vladimir Fomine, David Domanski, Brian Perzinski, Jason Kenney, Jonathan Zaun and Ahmad Sahak.

Richard Wible captured $7K at the $160 July 22 tourney. Mark Choe and Sambuddha Ghosh chopped second and third for $3,725 each. Roger Wilson, Antony Moffs, Brian Dupont, John Han and Raymond Mulligan each pocketed $2,015 for fourth-eighth.

The Arizona State Poker Championship was still running at press time, so look for results in the next issue.

WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: The poker room recently started a $70 bounty tournament on Fridays at noon and pays $25 bounties. It’s becoming quite popular. Football Splash Pots on selected NFL games are as follows: $50 for field goals, $100 for touchdowns and $200 for safeties. The number of live tables determines the number of splashed pots.

VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: The End of Summer Super Stack tournament is Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. This $285 tourney has a $20K guarantee and $50 satellites will be Fridays and Saturdays at 5 p.m. Single-table satellites will run whenever eight or more players register. Fantastic Fridays will run 2 p.m.-2 a.m. every Friday in September. The top two hands each half-hour will receive $100 (full house or better and must use at least one hole card). Progressive Quads or Better, Red or Black Aces Cracked, high hands, and Monday Madness promotions still are running and Football Splash Pots have started. Check with the poker room for details.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: At Golden Gates, Shane Faulkof Parker, Colo.,dominated the final table of the $1,100 Heartland Poker Tour Main Event, beating 600-plus entrants for $132K and the bracelet. David Charnick of Boulder parlayed a $260 qualifier into $82K for second. Michael Englert of Windsor, Colo., also via the qualifier, took third for $54K and fourth went to Rory Hayes of Cheyenne, Wyo., for $37K. Jason Tate of Lakewood, Colo., placed fifth ($27K), followed by Danny Gonzales of Denver ($21K), local pro Ian Schwartz ($18K), Tom Bouziden of Colorado Springs ($15K) and Baskaiyel Baker of Socorro, N.M., ($12K). … At Ameristar, the bad-beat strategy has shifted from small and frequent to huge. The qualification starts at quad eights with 60 percent of the drop going to a primary jackpot and 40 percent to a secondary pool. Each increase of $50K to the primary beat drops that qualification one notch. By way of example, at about $500K you would only need aces full of jacks beaten to trigger the award.

CRIPPLE CREEK: At Midnight Rose, the popular weekend tournaments have been changed to allow an earlier finish on Friday nights. The Flopzilla is Friday at 4 p.m. With 20-minute blinds throughout, $120 gets you 40K chips. Late and re-entry also are available. The Meganormous is on Sunday at 2 p.m. with escalating blinds. Here, $150 gets you 50K chips with late and re-entry available. If you’re around the whole weekend, the newly structured Fast and Furious Freeze Out Turbo on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. provides 30K chips for $65 with 12-minute blinds and no late or re-entry.

New Mexico

The Isleta Casino Resort poker room has seen a resurgence over the past year with much of the credit going to poker room manager Johnny Duong. He made some must-needed changes and the results were positive.

“The Isleta Poker Summer Classic was a great success,” he said. “We had a total of 104 entries ($250 buy-in, house added $3K to the prize pool). On behalf of our poker room staff and Isleta casino, we would like to thank all the players that participated in making it a great event. We will announce a Fall Classic Tournament soon.”
Congratulations to local favorite Cruz “Missile” Baca for taking first and $9K-plus.

Mondays offer a crazy pineapple event for $15 at2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 at7 p.m.for $25. And the Thursdays Beginners NLHE is $15 at7 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday you can play in added-money tournaments for $100 at 7 p.m.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The property has stayed consistent this summer in its schedule. Teaming with local radio stations, it has scheduled several “celebrity” bounty tournaments about once a month. The ongoing big monthly event includes the $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament, which starts at 1 p.m. If you find yourself sitting on the rail early, you can join the consolation tournament that starts at 6:30 p.m. For more details, check the Where to Play section of Ante Up.

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: Regular weekly tournaments include Sunday’s $50 event at noon and a $45 offering at 5 p.m. On Mondays, you can participate in the Sprint Tournament for $50. Or at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, play a bounty tournament for $75.

If you’re looking for something a bit more fun, there’s the $60 Wacky Wednesdays series, where each week’s tournament features game such as stud, River Down, Big O/8, Ladies Night, pineapple, HORSE, or Omaha/8. Check the website or Ante Up’s Where to Play section for more info.

With its premium location, just north of Albuquerque and less than an hour from Santa Fe, Sandia can provide a lot of action.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: Experience some of the best live-action hold’em in the state. Each Friday is $120 tourney at 6 p.m. and every Sunday a t2 p.m.you can play for $75. Earn bonus chips when playing cash games before each tournament. See the website or the Where to Play section in Ante Up for more details.

SANTA ANA CASINO: Every day at noon you can find a solid $2-$6 limit game in the table-games area. There’s talk of some expansion here and with this location formerly being a premiere poker destination, it would be great to see some progress.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Consistency is key here, as the weekly tournament schedule remains the same for most of the year. Most days it’s NLHE, with the occasional pineapple tournament on Wednesdays. In addition, you can join the Player of the Year promotion to earn big bucks for finishing in the top five for the year. Call the poker room for details.

Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri

Jay Lee captured the World Poker Tour’s Festival of Poker Main Event at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., earning $593K on Aug. 8. James Hutton was runner-up in the $3,700 tourney, good for $366,895, and Joshua Kay was third ($270,801). The tourney, as part of the 38-event series, drew 924 entries for a $3.1M prize pool.

Cecil Briceno topped a field of 455 entries to win the opening $350 event, collecting $27,305. Herman Reynolds outlasted a field of 500 to win the $560 seniors event, earning $18,188. The $1M guarantee $350 monster stack drew 3,943 entries as Aaron Fletcher came out on top, winning $177,471.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The WPT DeepStacks runs Sept. 15-25; call 918-919-6000 and use code WPTDS17 to get a 40 percent room discount.On the schedule are several no-limit hold’em events and one pot-limit Omaha tourney. Several satellites into the $1,100 main event, which has a $200K guarantee, will run.

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: Running through Sept. 11 is the River Series. The $2,500 main event with a $2M guarantee is the featured event. Daily tournaments are suspended till Sept. 15.

AMERISTAR CASINO KANSAS CITY: The Heartland Poker Tour makes a stop Oct. 5-16. At press time, the event schedule was not available but hotel information was. Call 816-414-7000 with code HPTAKC to get $90 room rates Sunday-Thursday and $159 Friday and Saturday. The main event will be $1,650.

HARD ROCK TULSA: Sept. 28-Oct. 8 is the Oklahoma State Championship of Poker. It opens with a $100 event that has a $3K guarantee, followed by a two-day, four-flight, $235 Kickoff Classic with a $100K guarantee. Most events in the series sport $85-$100 buy-ins, but there’s a $70 event, a couple of $235 buy-ins and the two-day, $1,100 main event with a $150K guarantee.

Other events on the schedule include seniors, Jack and Jill, bounty and six-max events. The lone non-NLHE event is a $100 PLO. Hotel rooms cost $89 using code OKPOKER2017.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: The quarterly $10K Tournament of Champions is Oct. 14 for the top 40 qualifying players. From July through September, players earn points in tournaments.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: Daily Quad tournament players have the chance to win a progressive jackpot. Amounts are awarded for quad aces through quad 10s. The $25 tournaments have $5 (1K chips) and $10 (2K chips) rebuys through the first break if your stack is less than 3K. The $5 optional dealer-appreciation add-on yields 2K more.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Qualification into the quarterly $35K freeroll ends Sept. 30 with $10K for first.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: Sept. 9 is the $15K freeroll for players who logged 40 hours of live play in August. Featured games are $1-$2 PLO Monday evenings, $1-$3 NLHE Thursday evenings, and eight-max $10-$20 Big O with a kill Tuesday and Thursday early evenings and Saturday afternoons.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: Sept. 23 is the $10K freeroll for those who have qualified through Sept. 19. The top 25 cash players and top 25 tournament players qualify. Should a player make both lists the field size reduces.

PRAIRIE BAND CASINO: The poker room closed.

Meet Ryan Hughes

Playing poker in Arizona for nearly two decades, Ryan Hughes is a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet-winner. He had one of his best runs this past summer, too. Hughes had 16 cashes for $244,088, which brought his lifetime tournament winnings $2M-plus, and is second in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

What sets you apart from other tournament players? I believe my greatest skill set for tournaments is being able to eliminate any mistakes that I make. I play more hands than most of the other good players so being able to do that while not making any major mistakes is a recipe to accumulate a lot of chips. Hand-reading ability is also extremely important. Being able to narrow your opponent’s range really makes planning out your strategy for that hand and future hands a lot easier. Finally, I have a lot of heart. If you’re at my table, you better be prepared to go to battle against me. I’ll be ready, and I love being in the trenches.

Parting words? Only time will tell on bracelet No. 3. I consider myself the favorite to win pretty much every single tourney I play, so the odds are in my favor. — Chris Cronin