Foxwoods Summer Kickoff runs June 1-14

May 25, 2015, Dave Lukow, Jo Kim, Michael Young  

On the heels of the World Series of Poker Circuit visit (May 13-24), the Foxwoods Casino poker room in Connecticut will host a new series dubbed the $425 Guaranteed Foxwoods Summer Kickoff, which runs June 1-14.

You can find all of the details in the ad on the facing page, but some of the highlights include a pair of World Series of Poker Main Event qualifiers that each guarantee five seats (June 7 and 14, 2 p.m.). The buy-in is $1,200 and one in 12 will win a seat. There also will be three $75K guarantees, bounty events, a freezeout and much more.

Atlantic City

BORGATA: Hard work pays off for those who want it most. Meet Asher Conniff. No one can argue Conniff spent every waking moment grinding relentlessly since he was dealt his first hand in 2006. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Conniff made the decision to move to Brigantine, N.J., near Atlantic City soon after online gaming was regulated.

“Since I moved to Brigantine, I’ve seen more hands in a year than I ever had before, and frankly also more hands than anyone else I was playing with, between playing and studying,” he said. “This all helped immensely to be able to navigate these fields to victories.”

Conniff’s epic turn of events began recently, however, when he won his second Borgata trophy by dominating the Borgata Poker Open’s most popular Event 1, scooping $203,231. It was the biggest win of his live tournament career.

Days later, Conniff misclicked into an online satellite, winning a seat into the WPT World Championship for $15K. After canceling his family trip to Europe, Conniff entered the tournament with his suitcase still packed. Conniff began dominating one of the WPT’s toughest fields as chipleader early in the tournament. “In the weirdest of coincidences, my online name of borgatapoker.com is indeed ‘misclick.’ Funny how things turn out,” he said.

Six players returned on Day 5 for the final table, including Tony Dunst, Carlos Mortensen and Ray Qartomy, with Conniff second in chips. Knocking out three players, Conniff built his stack into an 8-to-1 lead over Alexander Lakhov in heads-up play. In a matter of a few hands, Conniff was crowned the champion, taking home $973,683.
Taking down the two most sought-after events in a series, Conniff made history.

“While a ton of things have influenced me in the games,” he said, “I really think the taping of Poker Night in America did wonders for me, as far as my comfort in front of cameras, with RFID cards, and everything that comes with publicized final tables.” The event will be televised and is available on the WPT website.

Delaware

DOVER DOWNS: The Masters of Poker series wrapped up May 3. All events were well-attended by many players. Celebrity players included Tom McEvoy, T.J. Cloutier, Lon McEachern and Kenna James. The main event was the $50K seniors tournament May 2-3, won by James for a little more than $16K.

The Masters of Poker team was impressed with the Crown Royal Poker Room and Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
“There is a very positive atmosphere here.” McEvoy said. “This includes the staff and the players. I hope that the Masters of Poker returns later this year.”

James echoed McEvoy’s sentiments: “The casino is very welcoming to the players. The players at Dover are tough. I’ve played with players all over the country and I would put Dover players on par with players anywhere.”
Dover Downs has more events this month. On June 5, there will be a $15K guarantee ($165); June 6 is a $30K guarantee ($225) and the weekend wraps with a $5K guarantee ($50) on June 7.

Philadelphia

SUGARHOUSE: The SugarHouse Casino poker room hosted its first Poker Night in America on April 24-26.

The $25-$50 no-limit hold’em cash game’s roster consisted of high-profile players, featuring Phil Hellmuth.

Others included the top three winners of SugarHouse’s first tournament event, the $100K guarantee showdown, as well as Ante Up Ambassador Chad Holloway and Philadelphia’s “Cheese-steak Kings,” the owners of Pat’s, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s. Pat’s owner, Frank Oliveiri, was crowned the Cheesesteak King as the last man standing of the three.

SugarHouse’s Showdown drew 711 entrants, beating the guarantee. The final four players, all from Philadelphia, were Adam Williams, Brian Dougherty, Moe Farah and Adam Miller. They chopped $77K and played it out for the trophy and an extra $12K. In the end, Williams was the last man standing after knocking out Dougherty, winning nearly $30K altogether.

“I’m proud of the way I played,” Williams said. “I especially got more aggressive when we got down to four-handed, which helped me get lead heads-up.” Williams, who works as a lawyer, will continue to try to hit local tournaments near Philadelphia.

Maryland

HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: Chris Csik, 27, earned the biggest score of his career by winning the $1,675 WSOPC Main Event, topping a field of 670 players for $206,020. He beat Fasial Sidiqui in a heads-up match that lasted 97 hands.

“It’s really just surreal,” Csik said after his win. “I couldn’t even tell you right now. It’s hard to understand the gravity of the situation. Obviously it’s a lot of money and I work hard for a score like this and it feels really cool to get it.”

In other news, the Charm City $500K wrapped up in early April with 2,963 players. Kardan Chatmon of Upper Marlboro, Md., won the event for $100K. While the event drew many participants, the guarantee missed by nearly $50K.

In promotions, there will be Hot Seats during Orioles home games. When Baltimore scores, one player will be selected to receive $50-$500, depending on the runs scored. If the Orioles homer, one player will be selected to receive $100-$1K, depending on the number of RBIs.

And finally, World Series of Poker Main Event packages will be the prize for the $1,100 June 14 tournament. Each Tuesday through June 9 there will be $125 Step 1 tournaments to win a seat into the satellite.

New York

TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: Some of you may receive this issue in time to participate in the East Coast Poker Championships, including the $100K guarantee main event ($550), which runs through May 24. If you miss this, don’t despair, the Summer Classic runs June 23-28.

Meet Gwen Bray
Gwen Bray of Felton, Del., is a long-time player at the Crown Royal Poker Room at Dover Downs Hotel and About 23 years ago her spouse was hosting a poker game at their home and she had to learn to play poker in about an hour to play in the game. She really enjoyed playing and hasn’t stopped.

What other poker rooms do you play? Maryland Live, Delaware Park and various rooms around Atlantic City.

Why do you continue to play at Dover Downs? Dover Downs is closest to my house. I have a lot of friends and know a lot of the players, so I’m comfortable playing here. But above all, the hospitality of Dover Downs is the best around. The dealers and the floor staff always treat me great and that makes it a really nice place to play.

What is the biggest tournament win you have had? I chopped the recent $25K guarantee here at Dover Downs. — Michael Young