Locals thrive at WSOPC at Harrah’s Tunica

February 24, 2014, Jennifer Gay  

I had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Northern Mississippi at the Harrah’s Tunica World Series of Poker Circuit. The closing of Gold Strike’s poker room (Jan. 14) seems to have had no adverse effect on action in Tunica. If anything, poker is more consolidated and thriving. Though I do miss the Strike, several of the staff and dealers have found positions at Harrah’s.

Almost every live table was full by mid afternoon and manager Steve Reed worked tirelessly to make sure visitors were treated to the same level of hospitality the Tunica regulars have come to expect.

Results are below, where you’ll see plenty of familiar faces. Congrats to Mitch Franks of Tupelo, Miss., for winning Event 1. He really doesn’t play that many tournaments, but when he does, he’s a force. Of his 12 cashes, a third are victories.

Congrats also to the two locals who went heads-up for the big opening weekend re-entry tournament. Robert Richard of Memphis, who won the title for almost $75K, eliminated Stuart Breakstone of Collierville, Tenn., in second place ($45K).

The main event was a medley of players from all over the area. Familiar faces and newcomers alike cashed, a good sign poker is still growing in the Mid South. Texas native Jonathan Gaviao took home the championship and $181K.

While we all wait to thaw out, I look forward to seeing you at the Beau Rivage on March 27 for the Spring Break Classic. In the meantime, stay warm and good luck.

— Email Jennifer at jennifergay80@hotmail.com.

WSOPC, Harrah’s, Tunica, Miss., Jan. 23-Feb. 3

Event 1 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 384 • Pool: $115,200
Mitchell Franks, $25,341
Event 2 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 560 • Pool: $168K
Nicholas Burris, $35,290
Event 3 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 1,448 • Pool: $434,400
Robert Richardson, $74,932
Event 4 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 347 • Pool: $104,100
Robert Hankins, $23,941
Event 5 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 348 • Pool: $104,400
Justin Brown, $24,012
Event 6 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 318 • Pool: $95,400
Oran Haynes, $22,416
Event 7 • $365 6-Max
Entries: 314 • Pool: $94,200
Joe Hebda, $23,550
Event 8 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 274 • Pool: $137K
Daniel Rivera, $32,878
Event 9 • $365 PLO
Entries: 148 • Pool: $44,400
Paul Goldberg, $12,434
$1,675 Main Event
Entries: 577 • Pool: $865,500
Jon Gaviao, $181,757
Event 11 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 199 • Pool: $59,700
Andrew Rothfolk, $15,520
Event 12 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 159 • Pool: $47,700
Thuy Djedjos, $12,877