Carodenuto wins again in Minnesota

May 24, 2016, John Somsky, Joe Giertuga, Ken Warren, Chad Holloway, Anthony Furnier  

Carl Carodenuto of Orono, Minn., won the Mid-States Poker Tour stop at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park in April, repeating the outcome of the MSPT stop at Canterbury in December.

He took home $90,805 of the $363,200 prize pool after outlasting the rest of the 376 entries in the field. Carodenuto started the final table with the lead, having about 1.2 million of the 7.4 million chips in play. The lead changed hands early on until Carodenuto busted Justin Thurlow in seventh place, leaving Carodenuto with almost 2.6 million in chips and a lead he never relinquished.

Carodenuto had amassed 6.2 million chips by the time he reached heads-up play against Gennady Shimelfarb, needing just 30 minutes to capture the title. Carodenuto is on a roll, having tripled his Hendon Mob career earnings with his MSPT titles.

RUNNING ACES: April marked the return of the Spring Poker Classic. Duane Nelson of Minneapolis earned his largest career cash of $17,430 after winning the main event. The $500 buy-in attracted 121 players and created a $52,816 prize pool.

In other noteworthy events, Todd Melander earned $3,779 for winning the $200 six-max event. Also, Saad “Fabio” Ghanem won $4,349 and the title in the $300 black-chip bounty event, plus several bounties.

Chicagoland

MAJESTIC STAR: With warm weather arriving, the seniors monthly $4K guarantee fell short in attendance, adding value with just 27 entries. Tom Harbrecht won $2K after a heads-up fight with David Schultz. The Merrillville native was runner-up in an HPT bounty event in 2015.Chicagoland’s best tournament 70-plus player, Pete Falco, finished fourth.

The hold’em bad-beat jackpot at press time was $52K-plus, Omaha was $13K, stud $11K and the tournament BBJ was $28K. There’s a $330 quarterly tournament June 19 at 10 a.m.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: The Mega Bad Beat Jackpot is Chicagoland’s largest at $576K (quad eights) at press time. The Mini Bad Beat Jackpot was at $9K.

BELTERRA: The bad-beat jackpot, which has a qualifier of aces full of 10s beaten by quads, was $21K. June starts a new high-hand promotion four times a day.

HORSESHOE SOUTHERN INDIANA: The NLHE bad-beat jackpot was $52K (quad 10s) and limit hold’em was $25K (quad sixes).

WINDY CITY POKER CHAMPIONSHIP: James Battaglia won the spring league points championship.

ROCKFORD CHARITABLE GAMES: A $6-$12 Omaha/8 game runs every Monday at 2:30 p.m. Pot-limit Omaha runs every Thursday at 5 p.m.For more information and locations, call Omaha Ken at 847-293-7941 or text the word Omaha to 88202.

Western Pennsylvania/Ohio

RIVERS CASINO: The poker room wrapped up its Spring Pittsburgh Open in April. The series awarded more than $650K in prize money, culminating with Poker Night in America filming the final table of the $1,100 main event, which drew 270 players. John Kulp beat a tough field to take first place and $68K.

HOLLYWOOD PROPERTIES: The bad-beat jackpot (quad eights) for the Ohio rooms was at $255K at press time.

HORSESHOE CINCINNATI: Saturdays are a big deal when it comes to tournaments here. The first Saturday of the month is a $50K guarantee with a $400 buy-in at 12:15 p.m. Players get 12K chips and 40-minute levels. The third Saturday is a $25K guarantee turbo deepstack with a $300 buy-in at 12:15 p.m. You start with 16K chips and have 15-minute levels.

The last Saturday is a $5K freeroll at 12:15 for the top 36 turbo-points winners, who will get 8K chips and 15-minute levels.

The World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at the Horseshoe in Council Bluffs wrapped up 12 days of events on April 11. Maurice Hawkins won $113,152 in this prestigious event followed by runner-up Minh Phan, who took home $69,962. Hawkins would go on to win the WSOPC main at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina in the same month, making history.

A total of 321 players entered the main event, including big names Rex Clinkscales, Alex Masek, Ari Engel, former November Niner Dennis Phillips, three-time Council Bluffs Main Event Winner Blair Hinkle, and many others all showed up to take their shot at winning the coveted title.

Notables cashing in this event included Joshua Turner (sixth, $21,489), Ryan Tepen (11th, $8,460), David Cossio (16th, $5,797), Neil Scott (19th, $4,902), Ray Henson (20th, $4,902), Ting Ho (21st, $4,902), and Allen Kessler (33rd, $2,875).

Also notable was the $365 re-entry tournament with 743 entries. Duane Gerleman took the top prize of $44,577.

Iowa

RIVERSIDE CASINO: Daniel Anderson won $13,018 on April 24 at the ninth annual Riverside Poker Challenge, topping the 136-player field.

GRAND FALLS CASINO: The Larchwood property hosts the Summer Poker Challenge June 4-5 with two interesting events. The first tournament is $200 with triple stacks. Players will have a stack and two add-ons that can be brought into the game at any time during the first three levels.

There surely will be some unique strategies during this game. The next day there is a two-person team tournament with $200 team buy-in. The players will alternate playing the same stack every 20 minutes.

DIAMOND JO CASINO: The Worth poker room has a bad-beat jackpot was quickly approaching $200K at press time.

PRAIRIE MEADOWS CASINO: In Altoona, the final WSOP main-event satellite is June 12. Buy-in is just $200 and first place receives a $10K seat and $2K for expenses.

Wisconsin

POTAWATOMI HOTEL & CASINO: In celebration of the property’s 25th anniversary, the poker room held a $10K freeroll to qualified players. In addition, the casino paid a $25 bounty for all players, meaning an additional $3,475 was up for grabs.

Among those to cash in the event were Qui Tran (first, $2,500), Peng Moua (second, $1,650), Craig Anderson (third, $1,110), Jose Perez (fourth, $895), James Christensen (11th, $240), and Brad Van Bellinger (18th, $150).

HO-CHUNK GAMING WISCONSIN DELLS: In mid April, Cheyenne Gunn topped a field of 138 entrants to win the PPC Ho-Chunk Spring Open Main Event for $11,934, plus a $5K PPC Aruba World Championship package. Jordan Moan finished as runner-up for $6,601 and a $4,200 PPC Aruba package.

Meet Richard Serrano

Richard Serrano is a floor supervisor at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in downtown Milwaukee. He’s been with the property for 10 years, starting as a dealer shortly after the room opened. His wife, Brandi, also works at Potawatomi as a table-games supervisor and they live in Racine with their two children.

How did you get your start in the poker world? I got my start at the President Casino in St. Louis in 2004 in their poker room. I’ve been playing poker since I’ve been 18. I’ve always had a love of the game and its competitive nature, as well as the occasional win.

What’s your favorite part about working in the poker industry? It’s a fun job where you get to meet a lot of people. I love the game so much; I want to be around it as much as possible.

What’s your most memorable experience working in the poker industry? Dealing the final tables of the three Mid-States Poker Tour events here at Potawatomi have served as a real highlight. — Chad Holloway