Ameristar East Chicago reopens its poker room

September 11, 2014, Joe Giertuga  

Ameristar East Chicago reopened its poker room on July 24 and Jeremy Smith, who has been involved with every northwest Indiana poker room opening, again managed a smooth, problem-free opening, with an experienced staff.

After opening, Smith was back on the road as the Heartland Poker Tour’s tournament director.

Ameristar’s poker room became Chicagoland’s first poker room to introduce the Mississippi straddle.

“I have always supported having locally the same uniform rules as Las Vegas poker rooms,” Smith said of the straddle. Player reaction to the 12-table room was positive with player-friendly features such as USB-charging ports at the poker tables being the most popular. Weekly tournaments start this month, too.

The first Saturday after the opening was Ameristar’s Player Appreciation Day as Ante Up Ambassador Dan Harkenrider interviewed some of Chicagoland’s top players, Brandon Shack-Harris, Craig Casino and Bob Chow, for the Division of Poker Radio Show.

MAJESTIC STAR: Brian Zimcosky topped nearly 230 players to win the Mid-States Poker Tour title for $62K.
Zimcosky, who also made the final table at the MSPT’s inaugural event here, played poker professionally for five years before becoming an options trader. He describes himself as the “best amateur at the table,” and was a dominant force as Chow and fellow pro Mike Mustafa also made the final table.

Amateur Paul Fisher, who has played with the country’s top players on a nationally televised events, also made the final table and was runner-up to Faraz Jaka at a Windy City Poker Championship event in 2011.
Majestic Star hosts its Autumn Breeze deepstack series Sept. 17-21. The opener is a $120 bounty event at 7 p.m. and the $330 main event will be Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. For more information, call the poker room at 219-977-7444.

NICE SHOWING: Brandon Shack-Harris’ incredible run at this year’s World Series of Poker, winning the $1K PLO event along with two runner-up finishes, has drawn a lot of attention in Chicagoland. He leads the WSOP Player of the Year standings and the Horseshoe honored him by having his picture join the Horseshoe Chicago Poker Legends wall on July 30.

HORSESHOE: Art Harb came out on top of 480-plus entries to win the Horseshoe’s $250K guarantee. Harb, a sergeant with Chicago police, started the final day sixth in chips and won $57K from the $282K prize pool.

“Aaron Massey is the one who taught me how to play poker correctly. The best investment I ever made,” he said.

— Email “Chicago” Joe at chicago.joe@comcast.net.