Bohn and Meehan enter Minnesota HOF

December 28, 2015, John Somsky, Anthony Furnier, Ken Warren, Joe Giertuga, Chad Holloway  

Blake Bohn and “Minneapolis” Jim Meehan are the newest members of the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame.
Bohn, a Mid-States Poker Tournament pro from Savage, Minn., has had success as a cash-game player since the 1990s.

He first made a splash on the tournament scene in 2005 when he cashed in two events at Canterbury Park’s Fall Poker Classic, just missing the $1K main event’s final table.His accomplishments include winning the Chicago Poker Classic and the Ante Up Poker Tour Main Event at Running Aces in Columbus, Minn., both in 2013 when he amassed more than $800K. In the past three years, Bohn has had six cashes of more than $200K, bringing his total tournament earnings to more than $2.3 million.

“Since 2010, Blake’s name has been commonplace in the Minnesota poker scene. There is no denying the poker skill he has and his results prove it,” Running Aces shift manager Tristan Wilberg said.

Meehan has been playing poker since the 1960s.He went to law school in St. Paul, and worked for 20 years as a lawyer before going into semi-retirement as a pro poker player.After much success as a local and regional rounder, he hit the tournament scene in the early 1990s, scoring big in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, including a second-place finish in a 1997 WSOP $3K hold’em event for $115,800.

RUNNING ACES: Leo Fussy of St. Cloud, Minn., won the Big Turkey tournament Nov. 18-22. Fussy earned $26,397 after tangling for more than an hour heads-up with William Criego of Prior Lake, Minn. This was Fussy’s largest career cash and seventh tournament win, according to the Hendon Mob. The $500 Big Turkey event drew 216 entrants and generated a $94,284 prize pool. Running Aces also debuted its RFID table and streamed the final table on twitch.tv.

The broadcast went well, though there were a few glitches where some hands didn’t have all of the hole cards shown. Hopefully, this will be the first of many such broadcasts.

Running Aces also held its $5K-added Black Friday freeroll on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The 365 players bought enough $10 add-ons for an extra 5K chips to bring the prize pool to $17,615. The tournament ended with a 19-way chop for $818 each. You don’t see that in Minnesota often.

Iowa

RIVERSIDE CASINO AND RESORT: The popular Cold Turkey Poker Showdown ran over Thanksgiving weekend as Terry Bender won the main event, a $375 tourney that drew 102 players. Bender earned $10,099. Event 2, a $250 bounty tournament, had 91 entries and went to Jason Bender, Terry’s brother.

Jason won $5,188. Elmer Beckler captured Event 3, a $125 spread-limit Omaha/8 tournament, earning $2,552. Ante Up Iowa Ambassador Ken Warren finished fourth ($567). One other very noteworthy item for Riverside is the bad-beat jackpot, which was around $165K at press time.

ISLE CASINO IN BETTENDORF: The casino is moving onto dry land with a larger building in the spring. The target is an April-May opening and the scuttlebutt is to expect an expanded poker room.

JUMER’S CASINO: The poker room in Quad Cities has an attractive $100 event every Sunday at 1 p.m.

GRAND FALLS CASINO: If you’re on the other side of the state, check out this poker room near Sioux Falls, S.D. It has a fine $100 event every Sunday at 1 p.m.

Ohio

HOLLYWOOD CASINO: Elliott Schecter is the new poker room manager at Hollywood Casino in Toledo. He has been in the gaming industry for more than 22 years, all of which has been spent in table games and poker. Schecter began his career on the Discovery Cruise Line, a ship based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Before coming to Hollywood Casino Toledo, he worked at the Snoqualmie Casino in Washington. Schecter brings to the casino a wealth of experience in the planning and coordination of televised tournaments. In addition, Schecter writes the semi-regular Call the Floor column for Ante Up and the Ante Up PokerCast.

“Hollywood Casino Toledo looks forward to Elliott brining renewed excitement to our poker room, VP of operations Jeff Goodman said. “Elliott’s knowledge and experience in poker and the gaming industry is sure to be an asset to our players and poker room staff. We plan on having the poker room focus more on the local community and the region. With that in mind, we intend to run new and different promotions and events in the poker room that specifically cater to our local players.”

HORSESHOE CASINO CLEVELAND: The poker room is bringing back its popular $1K Harley-Davidson Rock and Roll City Championship. It will include three added $1K seats for the top-three players of each of its $140 tournaments every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in January. The championship features a $300K guarantee and will have the dates for the events finalized soon.

HORSESHOE CASINO CINCINNATI: The First Saturday $50K event, which has a $400 buy-in, has been experiencing great success. The 12:15 p.m. tourney has 40-minute levels and deep starting stacks. Call the poker room for more details.

Western Pennsylvania

RIVERS CASINO: The Fall Pittsburgh Poker Open, which ran in November, was the biggest tournament series here. A host of pros were on hand for the events, including the filming of Poker Night in America’s $25-$50 cash game held over three days. The series highlights included records of more than 3,100 entries and more than $600K in prize pools.

Justin Daley fought through a tough main-event field to take home $71K-plus and the Player of the Series trophy. He’s has been a main-event regular at the Rivers, making the final table in three of the four $1K events.

Chicagoland

HOLLYWOOD LAWRENCEBURG: Josh Lowing of Pensacola, Fla., won the Hollywood Poker Open Main Event in Lawrenceburg, Ind., earning $34K after outlasting 229 entries and a heads-up match with Jared Palmer, who won a World Series of Poker Circuit ring a month earlier.The $1,115 buy-in Season 4 opener had a prize pool of $229K.

Also, Scott Schwalich came out on top of 455 entries to win the $300 deepstack for $27K. The Miumisburg, Ohio, native has $760K in career earnings and finished seventh at the HPO in 2013 at the M Resort in Las Vegas.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: The mega bad-beat jackpot, which has quad eights as a qualifier, was more than $500K at press time.

MAJESTIC STAR: After a slow start, the monthly $125 seniors tournament had 60 entries in November. Gene Yukon won $2,268 with a prize pool of $6K. The next one is Jan. 31.

HORSESHOE SOUTHERN INDIANA: The bad-beat jackpot at press time in no-limit hold’em was $194K (quad eights), limit was $266K (quad fours) and the Tuesday-Thursday tourney bad beat was $14K (quad deuces).

WINDY CITY POKER CHAMPIONSHIP: David Wexler won the league championship tournament in Frankfort, Ill. Since the league formed in February 2013, Wexler has emerged as a top player, winning four league and two championship tournaments. Steve Reilly-Finch won the fall points championship. The spring league starts Jan. 9.

For more info, email kirk@windycitypokerchampionshi p.com.

Wisconsin

HO-CHUNK GAMING WISCONSIN DELLS: In late November, John “JohnnyGstaks” Hayes top a field of 379 entrants to win $98,907 and the MSPT title. Hayes became just the sixth player to win multiple MSPT main events.

The MSPT returns to the property Feb. 13-21 for the Wisconsin State Poker Championship.

STATE NEWS: Lottery director Mike Edmonds has stepped down after more than a dozen years on the job.

KUETHER WINS: On Nov. 22, Joe Kuether of Elm Grove, Wis., topped a field of 102 players in the World Series of Poker Circuit Planet Hollywood High Roller event in Las Vegas to win $93,559. Kuether, who is the state’s all-time money leader, has $4,927,347 in lifetime earnings.

POTAWATOMI HOTEL & CASINO: From Jan. 14-17, the property will host an MSPT regional, which features a $350 main event with a $50K guarantee.

Michigan

SOARING EAGLE CASINO AND RESORT: Craig Casino has seen plenty of success with Heartland Poker Tour since he won his first title more than four years ago. But it took a while to notch that second title, which he did in November, defeating a star-studded final table to earn $153,323 at the Mt. Pleasant property.

“I love the HPT. It’s my home game,” said the man who has become known as Mr. HPT. “I’m feeling very fortunate and it’s great to have the second win.”

Meet Craig Casino

After five years of watching the Heartland Poker Tour, Craig Casino, 56, decided to play poker. Six years later, he has assembled an amazing record that includes the nickname, Mr. HPT. He leads the HPT in money won, final tables and cashes. In 2013, he won the largest tournament held outside Las Vegas, defeating 5,165 entries at the Chicago Poker Classic. Away from the table he’s a certified arborist and he’s been married for more than 40 years.

You learned poker by reading books and watching videos, what was the most helpful? I feel anything you can do to improve your poker skills are important. Videos help you learn to read players and the importance of positional play. Poker books help you to understand all the different styles of play. The trick is to figure out which style of play would benefit you the most against your perception of the people you’re playing.

What tips can you give tournament players? Several pros don’t like to get to the table until the blind levels elevate a bit. I’m usually one of the first players at the table because that’s when I get my earliest reads on opponents. … If they know how to handle themselves and are obviously experienced, I play differently against them than I would a less experienced player who I will attempt to bully early in an attempt to chip up. — Joe Giertuga