Johnson, Coventry win Horseshoe main event titles

December 04, 2014, Joe Giertuga  

Gregory Johnson won Horseshoe Southern Indiana’s largest World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event in history. A Columbus, Ind., pediatric dentist, Johnson won $124K in the Midwest’s longest running WSOPC, earning the 63-year-old father of seven his first WSOPC cash.

Finishing sixth, Charles “Woody” Moore, who was seen leaving with the latest edition of Ante Up, earned Casino Championship honors with three cashes, including two final tables and a ring. Moore is the only person to qualify for the WSOP national championship all four years.

Bob Chow picked up another ring by winning Event 8. Chow, the 2011 WSOPC Hammond main-event winner, had last year’s main-event winner, Zal Irani at his final table. Winning $14K, Chow has 11 career WSOPC cashes.

Rob Coventry, a 31-year-old options trader from Cary, Ill., won Hammond’s WSOPC main event for $313K. For the amateur who had no sleep, faced pros Yiet Vo, who was runner-up, and Steve Billirakis, who won Hammond’s inaugural WSOPC main event in 2008.

After a three-handed marathon, Coventry expressed admiration for his opponents. He plans on using the winnings for his 2-month-old son’s college fund.

Robert Hankins won the WSOPC re-entry opener ($92K). This is the Nashville pro’s third ring, topping 1,959 entries. He won his other rings in Tunica.

Las Vegas pro Ari Engel won the HORSE event for $17K and his seventh ring.

“It definitely doesn’t get old,” Engel said. “It’s nice to get a win. It’s been a little bit of time. I spend a lot of time grinding and you only very occasionally actually get a win. I’m trying to savor the moment.”

Ron Slucker outlasted two-time ring-winner Chris Karambinis in a five-hour heads-up battle, winning $37K in the six-max event. Karambinis won the Chicago Poker Classic opener this year.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Slucker said. “You go in there with 292 people and just hope you can be
one of the last men standing.”

With increased competition in the Midwest, this year’s WSOPC and Chicago Poker Classic at the Horseshoe Hammond experienced declines in attendance. This year’s CPC opener had 2,073 fewer players than last year’s 5,165 entries. The WSOPC opener was down 437 and this year’s WSOPC main event entries were the worst for a $1,675 event.

AMERISTAR EAST: Popular manager Jeremy Smith is running Ameristar East Chicago’s poker room.
“We’re currently in the planning stage with many new daily promotions that will be starting Dec. 16,” he said. “The new promotions are going to be awesome.”

The poker room has $18K in weekly tournament guarantees. The $5K Saturday freeroll is always a big success as $25K was given away in November.

Every Sunday, $1-$1 no-limit hold’em games start at noon and players entering before 2 p.m. will receive a free buffet after one hour of play.

ANTE UP CHICAGO CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP: Please see Page 42 of our December issue for a preview to this $1,100 charity tournament that runs Jan. 31 at Tinley Park and benefits Shady Oaks Camp.

— Email “Chicago” Joe at chicago.joe@comcast.net.