Dover Downs awarding 10 Ante Up poker cruises

June 20, 2016, Michael Young, Dave Lukow, Jo Kim  

The Dover Downs Hotel & Casino poker room will be awarding 10 Ante Up Poker Cruise packages in July. First, there will be a tournament on July 3 with a $65 buy-in event at 11:15 a.m. at the casino in Dover, Del. Players start with 7,500 units with an optional $5 dealer add-on for 2,500 more. Levels are 20 minutes and registration is open through Level 7.

The last five players remaining will each win an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Nov. 14 sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, which will leave from Tampa, Fla., and make two port stops: Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman.

Then, for the same sailing, the casino hosts an Ante Up Set Sail Series featuring five freerolls beginning on July 10, with the winner of each getting an Ante Up Poker Cruise package.

Tournaments will be at 10:15 a.m. on July 10, 17, 31, Aug. 7 and 21. The tournaments are free and players get 3,000 units. Players can opt to do a $5 add-on before their first hand for 2,000 more and a $5 dealer gratuity for another 2,000.

In other Dover Downs news, another Getaway Weekend is on tap. Starting July 18 at 7:15 p.m., there’s a $30 satellite for the $30K guarantee tournament on July 23. One in 10 wins a seat into the $30K. There will be a series of events July 22-24, too. July 22 at 11:15 is a black-chip bounty tournament. First place is guaranteed to be at least $3K. The buy-in is $225. The starting stack is 20K with 25-minute blinds.

July 23 at 11:15 is the $30K guarantee for $225. The blinds are 30 minutes and you start with 30K chips (20K plus 10K for dealer add-on). To wrap up the weekend on July 24 at 11:15 is a $5K guarantee for $75. The blinds are 20 minutes and you start with 15K chips (10K plus 5K for dealer add-on).

There are many cash-game promotions in July, too, including 25-plus hours of play gets you $2 per hour in comps. See the poker room for details and more promotions.


HOME GAMES LEGAL: Legislation that makes hosting and playing in a poker home game legal became law after a signature from Gov. Larry Hogan. No lawmaker in the Maryland House or Senate voted against it, according to the bill’s legislative history.

Before this bill, Maryland residents could have gone to jail for a year and been hit with a $1K fine for playing in a home game no matter how small the stakes were and even if there were no rake or fees. The bill becomes effective on Oct. 1.

MARYLAND LIVE: The final 10 players chopped the prize pool of the inaugural Live Legends Celebrity Bounty event and then a cold hand was dealt to decide the trophy winner, who also would receive the $3,500 World Poker Tour main-event seat. That winner was Steven Nooralian. There were 212 players with 20 bounties in play. Also, Maryland Live hosts satellites all month for the upcoming WPT stop in August.

Atlantic City/Philadelphia

Trump’s Taj Mahal recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of its new poker room and 250 more slot machines.Since its closing in February 2015, many of Atlantic City’s poker patrons refused to believe the room was gone for good, anticipating a reopening, and their suspicions were confirmed in late May.

Taj’s newly refurbished poker room is off to a good start, featuring 50-inch high-definitions TVs for sports lovers.After Showboat and Caesars closed their poker rooms, Atlantic City’s poker action on the Boardwalk has been desolated with the exception of Bally’s Wild Wild West room and Tropicana.Taj’s reopening should bring higher hopes for Atlantic City’s revival in downtown revenues.

BORGATA: Brent Gist of Red Bank, N.J., won the $100K guarantee on May 14. The $400 buy-in event drew 306 entries for a $107K prize pool. Gist earned $28K as he defeated Ahmed Mohamed of Scotch Plains, N.J., for the title. Mohamed pocketed $15K for second.

PARX: Big Stax returned in May for its 16th series. Kevin Grabel made history with consecutive trophy wins in the Big Stax 300 and Big Stax 500.There were 1,548 players who entered the $330 event to inflate the prize pool to a $78,450 payout on top. With Grabel in contention, there was no chop at the final table.Mike Lavenburg and Grabel dominated the field as chipleaders and it was no surprise they lasted to play heads-up for the trophy. Lavenburg took home $49,633 for second, his biggest live cash.

Big Stax 500 gathered 1,184 entries and, in the course of three days, Grabel found himself at the final table again. Eight players agreed to a chop, with the top four taking home $43K each and the remaining banking $35K each.The trophy went to Grabel for historical purposes as he was the most dominant player at the final table.This marks Grabel’s tournament winnings to just more than $500K.

Jason Deutsch and Bobby Oboodi agreed to a chop in the Big Stax 1,100 main for $102,505 each. Oboodi, who was behind in chip count by a wide margin, was able to use his credentials as leverage for the chop.Deutsch was happy to claim the trophy as chipleader.

“Jason is definitely a good solid player and anything can happen heads-up, as we all know,” Oboodi said. “With that said, I’m content with the even chop as the smaller stack.”

SANDS BETHLEHEM: The 30-table poker room has a host of promotions and tournaments. If you are reading this in time, be sure to hit the room on June 25 for its 11 a.m. DeepStack. Buy-in is $325 for 25K chips. And be sure to call the poker room to ask about the 10 seats that are being given away from 8:30-10:45 a.m. There’s also a $300 high-hand promotion every hour from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on June 30.

SUGARHOUSE CASINO: With Ante Up’s early deadline this issue, you may still have time to enter the SugarRUSH Challenge, which has a $100K guarantee and runs June 22-26. Day 1 flights, which are at noon and 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, cost $250. Day 2 starts at noon on June 26 and costs $1,100 for a 100K stack. As for promotions, on June 29 from 1-7 p.m., the poker room is awarding $150 high hands every 30 minutes.


The Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., hosts the Summer Showdown on July 27-31 with $235K in prize pool guarantees. The $1,100 main event has a $100K guarantee and is July 30 at 11 a.m. The opener is a $600 event on July 27 that has a $50K guarantee. See the ad on the Page 7 for the series schedule, including satellites.

If daily tourneys are your thing, every Wednesday at 7 p.m., there’s a $120 tournament that sports a $10K guarantee.
There’s also a women’s tournament on the third Friday of every month at 7 p.m. It costs $75 and gets you 8K chips and 20-minute blinds.

The 42-table poker room allows Momentum Dollars to be used toward tournament buy-ins. Two Momentum Dollars equal $1 toward a tournament buy-in. For more information on this promotion, call the poker room.

FOXWOODS: The $1,100 championship of the Foxwoods Summer Kickoff begins July 2 in Mashantucket, Conn. Featuring a guaranteed prize pool of $200K, the three-day tournament includes re-entries.

Event 10 of Summer Kickoff, a $300 big stack, is July 3, while Event 11, also a $300 big stack, runs July 4. Both competitions have guaranteed prize pools of $25K and allow re-entries.

New York

SENECA NIAGARA CASINO & HOTEL: The Niagara Falls property hosts the Summer Slam from July 21-31. Featuring 10 events, the series includes a $600 main event, which starts July 29 and sports a $100K guarantee.

FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT: In other Niagara-area news, the WPT will stop at the Canadian property Feb. 17-24 for the Fallsview Poker Classic. The buy-in for the championship event, which starts Feb. 22, is $5K Canadian.

David Ormsby outdueled Robert Forbes to win the main event last February, earning $383K. Forbes, who had a comfortable lead heading to the final table, earned $268K and Derek Verrian finished third ($172K).

TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO: Steven Benson outlasted 430 entrants to win the $250 main event of Spring Fling and $10,527. The event ended in a chop, with Benson earning the title.

Manoi Saysamone, Branko Hrgar, Joe Appler and Rich Shaw each earned $10,526 for second through fifth, respectively.
The prize pool for the main, which ran April 15-17, was $90,510.

Jon Shah pocketed $4,920 for his first-place finish in Spring Fling’s $330 black-chip bounty. There were 75 entrants in the tournament, bringing the prize pool to $15K.

From Rochester, Shah has seven cashes, including a pair at the World Series of Poker. He has made $122,914 playing live.

Brittiny Razzano was second ($2,835) followed by Gary Talerico ($2,085). It was the first cash for Razzano, a resident of Albany.

Meet Will O’Connor

Briefly describe your role in the poker community. I’d like to think I wear a lot of different hats. I provide tournament-reporting services for the majority of properties on the East Coast and then do freelance work throughout the poker industry in terms of blogging and reporting. I recently joined on with the Poker Night in America team to start doing commentary on live-stream broadcasts, which has been a really exciting addition to my workload.

How do you see yourself developing in the poker community from here on? I’ve been really blessed over the last year to make some really amazing connections throughout the poker world. The majority of my work takes place on the East Coast and the recent move to commentary has been a lot of fun from both a personal and professional standpoint. I think the style I utilize has been well-received and the next development is just expanding to other series and properties across the country.

Would you say you’ve also become a poker player from blogging and studying others’ games? Will we be seeing more of you on the felt by any chance? That’s a loaded question because, yes, I think I’ve become a much better poker player through just being around the game for the better part of the last two years. Even though I’ve probably learned a lot, I don’t really have much interest in playing more. When I’m not working, I enjoy doing a lot of other things outside poker and I really prefer the sidelines compared to the felt.

— Jo Kim