Edwards wins Arizona State Ladies title at Talking Stick

October 27, 2016, Chris Cronin, Mary Bradley, Robert Kelly, Dick Stein  

Talking Stick Resort attracted 191 entries compete in the 11th annual Arizona State Ladies Championship at the Arena Poker Room on Sept. 17-18.

Margery Edwards won the title, trophy and $11,990. The rest of the top-10 cashers were as follows: Maria Tibuni ($9,283), Terrice Jackson ($6,317), Lucille Hargett ($3,997), Linh Nguyen ($3,172), Ruth Hall ($2,733), Sandy O’Donnell ($2,321), Jeannie Johnson-Bourdes ($1,934), Kathy Chang ($1,573) and Nancy Hellner ($1,289).

Nov. 19 at 11:15 a.m. marks the 14th annual Thanksgiving charity event for the United Food Bank.A $60 buy-in will get you 3K chips and there is a $12,500 guarantee as 40 spots will be paid. Last year, 386 players participated and this year you can register at the poker cage starting Nov. 1.

Dec. 17 at 11:15 a.m. is the 14th annual Toy Drive tournament. Players need to bring one unwrapped toy with at least a $10 value and pay $35 for 3K chips. This tournament also has a $12,500 guarantee and will pay 40 spots. Last year, 593 players entered and this year can register at the poker cage starting Dec. 1.

HON-DAH CASINO RESORT: The poker room hosted two events recently, the Tournament of Bubble winners and the Tournament of Champions, and Sally Honeycutt won both. The Big Game Hunt promotion is back as players get paid for qualifying hands until Dec. 21. Try to become the Master Hunter by filling the most Big Game Poker Cards during the promotion. Call for details.

CASINO DEL SOL RESORT: The WPT DeepStacks series main event saw 286 players competing for the $274,420 prize pool. A five-way chop determined the winner as Jim Rankin earned the victory and $37,446.

He was followed by Balram Bhadari ($35,446), Sean Berrios ($31,196), Ajay Gnanasambanthan ($31,196), Chad Mizner ($31,196), Thomas Zanat ($12,156), Charles Weaver ($10,098), Luke Saltus ($8,095) and Juan Sosa ($6,064).

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN CASINO: Quad Floppers is still running, as is Morning High Hand with bonus and royal flush promotions in hold’em, and Steel Wheel bonus in Omaha. There’s also a full slate of weekly tourneys.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: Golden Gates Casino recently wrapped up another HPT series as young Houston pro Lance “Cord” Garcia captured themain-event bracelet and $164,988. After a good heads-up match, Drazen Ilich of Lincoln was second ($100,861). Gary Germann, a frequent HPT final-table finisher from Gillette, Wyo., was third ($66,858).

The Gates continues to offer high hand awards of $50 before noon and $100 in the afternoon with significantly higher awards on the weekends. The Ameristar bad beat is at $250K with two similar resets. The high hand promotion is winding down but some sure to pleaseadditions are in the works.

For the second time in Season 7, the Mid-States Poker Tour returns to Black Hawk on Nov. 3-13, this time at Golden Gates for a $360 buy-in, $100K guarantee regional and a $1,100 buy-in, $200K guarantee main event.

CRIPPLE CREEK: TheMidnight Rose’sFriday 4 p.m. and every other Sunday 2 p.m. deepstacks continue to draw big fields. Look for results from the Beat the Boss series in a future issue.

New Mexico

SANDIA RESORT CASINO: The $135 Turkey Texas Hold’em bounty tournament is Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. Registration begins Nov. 21 at 8 a.m. Bounties will be $50 and the casino is adding $900 to the prize pool. There will be one $500 mystery bounty, four $100 mystery bounties and first place will also win a 50-inch TV. Please see the ad on Page 17 for more details and other events.

The tournament schedule includes Sundays at noon ($50) and 5 p.m. ($45);Mondays at 7 p.m. ($55); Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 ($75 with $25 bounties).

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT AND CASINO: The $10K guarantee deepstack will be Nov. 12 with $225 buy-in.With advanced paid registration, the event is limited to 60 entrants, who are eligible for special room rates, but alternates and late entries may be allowed at management’s discretion.

On Nov. 19, it’s the $102 Coyote 102.5 event with $102 bounties on Erica Viking and the Hoff and four other players. The $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is Nov. 26.

Popular afternoon games include Wednesday $5-$5 PLO half-and-half, Thursday $4-$8 Omaha, Friday $5-$5 PLO/8 and Saturday $3-$6 Omaha. The room has NLHE or Omaha/8 tournaments every day in November.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS CASINO AND RESORT: The Poker Squares Cash Giveaway is back as players earn squares with four hours of live play or by having aces cracked during certain times. Every Thursday night, in three random drawings, a seat winner and a square winner are randomly selected and can win $1K. The One-Twenty rebuy tournaments continue on Fridays nights with a free Losers Lounge tourney Saturday mornings for non-winning players.

ROUTE 66 CASINO HOTEL: Three tournaments run almost every day, but on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. is a pineapple tournament. Mondays feature $1-$3 and $2-$6 NLHE. The bad-beat jackpot is available for tournament play, too.

ISLETA CASINO: Players are rewarded with cash-added daily (except Tuesday) in NLHE and Omaha tournaments, as well as crazy pineapple and tag-team tourneys on Friday, with satellites and deepstacks on Saturday.

NORTHERN EDGE NAVAJO CASINO: The poker room closed.

Texas

KICKAPOO LUCKY EAGLE CASINO: The room awards $100 for every hour’s high hand. The 7 p.m. tournaments are on Tuesday ($35 with first-hour rebuys) and Thursday ($50). Lucky Bad Beat Jackpot wins are posted on the room’s Facebook page and requires aces full of kings or better beaten.

Oklahoma-Kansas-Missouri

Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., property is hosting Poker Night in America until Nov. 7. The marquee event is the $1,080 buy-in $1M guarantee starting Nov. 3 at noon. A variety of NLHE and PLO events are on the schedule as is a $350 Congress (a.k.a. Big O) event.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The WPT DeepStacks series runs until Nov. 7. The feature event is a $1,010 buy-in $200K guarantee main event. Other events include pot-limit Omaha, turbo, deepstacks “quickie” and six-max with buy-ins of $150-$340. See the event schedule on the WPT DeepStacks website for hotel discount information.

AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: The HPT runs Nov. 10-21. Use code HPTAKC for discounted hotel rates, $89 Sun.-Thurs., $169 Fri.-Sat. The room ran a $10K quarterly freeroll promo that ended Oct. 1.

Contact the poker room for info on the next quarterly event. The room’s bad beat was $180K-plus at press time.

Every day from 8 a.m., the first five players who have aces cracked win $100. The room is featuring different games throughout the week: $1-$2 is featured daily at 10 a.m.,
$3-$6 at 8 a.m., $5-$5 PLO late Monday afternoons, $5-$5 Monday evenings, $5-$10 Omaha/8 with a kill Friday evenings and $4-$8 Omaha/8 with a half-kill Saturday evenings.

HARD ROCK TULSA: September’s RunGoodGear.com series stopped by its hometown of Tulsa and saw Vonda Richardson earn a victory in the bounty tournament after a three-way chop with David “ODB” Baker and Cory Holden. Cary Marshall won the deepstack and Justin Gardinhire win PLO.Baker capped his series with a main-event win, chopping final-three money with Stephen Guy and John Reynolds for $29,134.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGoodGear.com series visited in September as Rob Palacios won $29,833 and the main-event title. Tim Sipe won the deepstack and Shane Raikes took the shootout. The PPC series completed its first stop here on Oct. 2 as Monty Schmidt and Jason Pfannenstiel chopped first place in the main for $15K each.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: Promotions include football splash pots on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. They pay $50 for field goals, $100 for TDs and $150 for safeties.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: Throughout October and November on Thursdays (6-10 p.m.), $100 splash pots will happen every 15 minutes at a random table.

The top 40 October-December point-earners in the room’s quarterly promotion will play Jan. 17 in its $10K freeroll. Players qualify by earning points for tournament tries and for their finish. Common cash games in the room are $1-$3 NLHE and $1-$2 PLO. The room’s bad-beat jackpot was $125K-plus at press time.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: The poker room is featuring eight-handed $10-$20 Big O with a kill beginning Thursdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m. Call-ins are accepted starting at noon.

Meet Jamal Sawaqdeh

A familiar face at the Golden Gates in Black Hawk, Colo., Jamal Sawaqdeh started playing poker in Jordan when he was 15.

The games then were draw and stud. After home games in the ’80s, he became a casino regular in the ’90s and that led to hold’em and Omaha. His online foray was on Party Poker, where mixed games became his specialty. Having lifetime tournament winnings of nearly $300K, his best finish was in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event where his 74th place was worth $77,200.

A salesman by trade, his skills in those areas enabled him to become the quintessential dealmaker in Colorado tournament poker. He hasn’t gotten married to a favorite hand yet, but is having affairs with some two-gap hands such as Q-9, J-8 and 10-7.

He lost his love and greatest poker fan when his wife died in a traffic accident, but he remains a proud father of three and a grandfather of four as evidenced by his frequent posts on Facebook. — Dick Stein