Bad beat hits at Wild Horse Pass

January 25, 2016, Chris Cronin, Mary Bradley, Robert Kelly, Dick Stein  

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Arizona paid out a $125K Super Bad Beat Jackpot on Dec. 8 when Rafael Ramirez lost with quads to a queen-high straight flush. Ramirez received $62,500 and the player that beat him received $31,250. The other seven at the table each took home $4,464.

Wild Horse Pass has added Aces Cracked 24-7 except during sports games in which it offers splash pots and Tuesday and Wednesday daytime tournaments.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: The Super Sunday Bash is Feb. 7 and the poker room opens at 7 a.m. It will have $100 splash pots for every touchdown or safety and $50 for field goals on all live tables. High-hand splashes are before and after the game plus halftime splashes. Players also can win $2K on quarterly scores on the Big Squares board.

HON-DAH: The property’s newest Tournament of Champions winner is Ramon Najera.

TALKING STICK RESORT: The Arena Poker Room had a record 593 entries in the Christmas Toy Tournament on Dec. 19.
It featured a $12,500 prize pool and an opportunity for players to give to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Toy Drive. Players donated an unwrapped toy valued at a minimum of $10.

“We are thrilled that a record number of people brought toys to donate during this year’s tournament,” director of poker Tom Young said. “It was a great sight to see all of the gifts under the tree. We know they helped make this holiday a joyful one for many children.”

This was the 13th year for the toy drive.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: At Ameristar Black Hawk, the quads bad-beat jackpot was at $252K at press time. A week after this one hits, the new qualification will start at aces full of kings and reduce to aces full of queens and so on every week until hit. The high-hand promotion is no longer offered. Andy Ormsby, formerly of Cripple Creek, has joined the Ameristar team. … The Golden Gates Poker Parlor first hosted the Heartland Poker Tour in October 2007. The twice-yearly offering has seen participation grow steadily and is running again Feb. 12-21. … The Lodge Casino has a full array of promotions. Tournaments are Friday and Saturday. Bad beats hit regularly with the last one paying $5K. High-hand bonuses continue at $100 per hour and a Monte Carlo board provides another way for players to participate. Call for details.

CRIPPLE CREEK: The Ante UpPoker Cruise league ended in December at the Midnight Rose poker room and the two winners of cruise packages were Thomas Bailey and Robert “Cowboy Bob” Moore, both pictured at right. Bailey earned his cruise out of Los Angeles by winning the league while Moore logged the most live-game hours. Bailey was not on the board early but broke through late with a strong finish and will take his father with him. They work together in the construction marketplace in Colorado Springs.
Moore will be traveling with Diana Kettle, a hold’em player who loves Omaha. The weekend $45 tournaments, which uniquely featured a tournament bad beat, will continue but at $40 without the jackpot. Accumulated monies will be put into the prize pools of those tournaments at a rate of about $1K per event until depleted. Also, theColorado State Poker Championship returns in April. … Wildwood Casino’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday deepstacks, though hampered a bit by the snow, still are a popular draw. The endless soup and chili pots are trademarks of this venue. Don’t forget the room is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

New Mexico

BUFFALO THUNDER: There are quite a few special events running at Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino this month. On Feb. 7 is a $30 event with unlimited $20 rebuys in the first hour and one $25 add-on at the end of the first hour. Tickets are earned every hour on Super Bowl Sunday for drawings ($50, $100, $150) at the end of every quarter.
On Feb. 20 is a bounty event with Erica Viking and the Hoff from 102.5-FM. Buy-in is $102 with $102 bounties on the DJs and four other players.

Weekly tournaments include Sunday ($30), Monday ($30, one rebuy), Tuesday ($40, one rebuy), Wednesday ($50, one rebuy), Thursday (Omaha/8, $30, unlimited rebuys for first hour and one $25 add-on), Friday and Saturday ($75) and the Last Saturday of the Month deepstack (Feb. 27, $150). Players are encouraged to earn 1K bonus chips for two hours of live play before the start of each tournament.

Special weekly cash games this month include $20-$40 limit Wednesday mornings, $1-$2 PLO half-and-half Wednesday afternoons, $4-$8 Omaha on Thursday afternoons, $1-$2 PLO/8 Friday afternoons and $3-$6 Omaha on Saturdays.

Other promotions include the first seven players seated by 10 a.m. receive an extra $25 for a $50 buy-in and the first seven players on Thursday and Sunday to play Omaha by 3 p.m. receive $20 for a $100 buy-in. Finally, there’s the Easy Aces Mini Bad Beat Jackpot and quads-or-better high hands and Sunday-Thursday late-night high hands can win $225.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS CASINO AND RESORT: Poker Squares are back. Also, the One-Twenty tournaments continue with first-hour rebuys on Fridays and a free Losers Lounge tourney on Saturday mornings for non-winning players the previous night. There’s the Multilevel Hold’em event with $750 added on Feb. 7 and Feb. 21. The $75 event is Feb. 14 and the exciting Race to the Main Event $330 tournament is Feb. 27-28.

SANDIA CASINO AND RESORT: New manager Clarence Hilton has his players bubbling over with enthusiasm with some special events this month. There’s a $55 Ladies Night tourney Feb. 3, and a $55 pineapple event Feb. 17. Ask about the Omaha event.

Big bounty tournaments run throughout the month with increasing buy-ins and bounties: $125 with $50 bounties Feb. 13, $175 with $75 bounties on Feb. 20 and $225 with $100 bounties on Feb. 27.

Promotions include first big hand of the day bonuses. The first royal earns $150, the first straight flush $75, the first Omaha royal $150 and first Omaha straight flush $75. Because this is a Leap Year, all bonuses double on Feb. 29. Plus, Happy Hour (Monday-Thursday, 4-7 p.m.) brings three-times points to all players in the poker room.

ISLETA CASINO: David Lloyd has been named interim manager of the poker room. New promotions are shaking up the room: Hot Seat Drawings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and Player Rewards, which features $100 drawings 2-11 p.m. on Thursdays. There are new $25 tournaments on Fridays and Saturdays at noon (no longer at 2 p.m.) and 7 p.m. tournaments range from $30-$240. Call for more details.

Oklahoma-Kansas

HARD ROCK CASINO TULSA: Play 300 hours of cash games through Feb. 29 and earn $1K toward tournament buy-ins. Play more than 40 hours monthly to qualify for a $15K freeroll. Players can turn hours into apparel.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: Daily tournaments offer buy-ins from $20 (rebuy) to $70 (bounty). Single-table bad-beat jackpots (jacks full) can be hit during tournaments with payouts reaching $1,500. Tuesday night’s tournament is a hold’em-Omaha mix.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: In December, the poker room moved and was reduced from 13 to eight tables. The game of choice continues to be $1-$3 NLHE with $1-$2-$5 PLO-PLO/8 running occasionally. Manager Meredith Denoncourt led New Year’s Day and weekend tournament promotions that saw a large turnout. A new promotion for playing 10 hours earns you a Kansas Star stadium blanket.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Until April 30, players can qualify for the Hollywood Poker Open satellite. The field is capped at 110 players, including 20 with the most hours played each month. The top-five players each month on the tournament leaderboard also qualify provided they have a minimum of five live hours. Also, 10 players qualify as wildcards through drawings, which take place during cash games May 13-14.

CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: Running in early February is a Poker Night in America cash-game promotion. Playing 20 hours of at least $2-$5 will earn entry to the Feb. 6 drawing for a $10K seat into the game. Play 20 hours of $1-$2 or $1-$3 will earn entry into the same drawing on Feb. 13.

AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: A Player Appreciation freeroll will be April 2 at noon. Qualification closes March 28. The prize pool is $15K with $5K for first. Ameristar is awarding 100 seats: the top 25 tournament players, top 25 limit players, top 25 no-limit players and 25 wildcard spots to be drawn an hour before the tournament starts (players can earn two entries per day).

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: Through March, 50 players can qualify into a $10K freeroll March 26 (25 from cash games, 25 from tournaments). Also, the bad-beat jackpot was more than $140K at press time. The room offers several events throughout the week and new this year is a $120 Saturday Super Stack with 20-minute levels with re-entries through the first break.

GRAND CASINO: Daily tournaments are $30-$50 with the exception of Sundays, which typically costs $115. All are NLHE with one regular PLO event. All tournaments are re-entry for the first hour. The room offers a variety of promotions that include Aces Cracked, double points earned and more.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: The bad-beat jackpot was $102K-plus at press time. The room is running a variety of promotions, including Red Aces Cracked, high hand and hours-played qualification into a $15K free roll.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The casino wrapped up a short tournament series that’s part of a quarterly series. The Winter Deepstack Series ran Jan. 21-24 and offered four events with $125 buy-ins. Look for the next short series to run in April.

Meet Bryan Campanello

Bryan Campanello holds a World Series of Poker bracelet and three World Series of Poker Circuit rings and is a RunGoodGear.com team professional. He has nearly $775K in career tournament earnings, including his most recent cash, 17th place for $2,250 in the Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event in Tulsa.

What’s new with you? I’ve cut back on traveling so much and just playing at the Hard Rock Tulsa and other places around the region. I moved to Tulsa in August.

What encouraged you to move? I’d been traveling to Tulsa to play and I have friends in the area so it made sense to move.

How enjoyable is it to live in Tulsa? I enjoy the city, great environment with a wonderful casino in the Hard Rock, where we just got done hosting a tournament series. There was lots of action at any stakes and a great room. — Robert Kelly