Luciano turns $240 into $254K in Indiana

April 25, 2016, Joe Giertuga, John Somsky, Ken Warren, Anthony Furnier, Chad Holloway  

William Luciano qualified for the Chicago Poker Classic from a $240 satellite at Horseshoe Hammond and turned that into $254K by outlasting 736 entries to win the main event.

“It’s sort of hard to believe that just happened,” Luciano said. “I just got a bigger bankroll for more events. I was inspired by Martin Jacobson in the main event a couple years ago where he sat back with a shorter stack and then ran it up for the win.”

The CPC typically draws many of the Midwest’s top players along with pros from all over the country. Notables that cashed were Matthew Shepsky, Zal Irani, Ralph Massey, Aaron Steury, MSPT champ Andrew Rubinberg and Shiva Dudani, who was runner-up in 2013.

Jeffrey Guss won the $360 opener for $103K, beating 2,160 players who generated a $643K prize pool. WPT Bellagio Cup III champ Kevin Saul cashed 65th.

BELTERRA CASINO: Sameer Al-Ddhani defeated a field of 383 entrants to win the HPT main event. The lab technician from Frankfort, Ky., started the final table with a huge lead and pocketed $83K for his first HPT cash. Notables in the main event were Craig Casino, Vanessa Rousso and Greg Raymer.

Chad Buehler won the $300 monster stack for $22K from 391 entries. Jerry Case won the $200 senior event ($6K) and John Evans won the $150 buy-in for $3,514.

MAJESTIC STAR: Moe Khan won the March Mayhem deepstack challenge main event for $7,666.

Minnesota

CANTERBURY PARK: Adam Dahlin of St. Paul took home $59,601 for winning the $1,650 buy-in main event at the Minnesota State Championship Series in early March.

This series also marks the return of Poker Night in America Tour, building on the success of the first stop in August. The tournament drew 153 entries over three Day 1s and generated a $224,910 prize pool.

Play was paused on Day 2 when five players remained so that the final table could be filmed for an upcoming television show called the Final Table and streamed on Twitch with a small delay. Final-table play started out fast and furious, taking only 19 hands to eliminate three of the five players.

That left Rajaee “Robbie” WazWaz with the lead against Dahlin as heads-up play began. After three-plus hours of heads-up play, Dahlin’s A-K help up against WazWaz’s K-Q. This victory marks Dahlin’s second biggest career cash and accounts for about 14 percent of his Hendon Mob earnings.

The $565 event also was filmed for TV and streamed on Twitch. Peixin Liu of Blaine, Minn., won $41K of the $176K prize pool after surviving a field of 363 entries. Liu beat Hank Mlekoday in another prolonged heads-up match. This is Liu’s third win for more than $40K in the past year. All commentary of both Twitch streams was handled by local players Tom Hammers and Judd Greenagel.

Michigan

FIREKEEPERS CASINO: The Battle Creek property hosts the Mid-States Poker Tour on May 12-15 with a $300K guarantee. Qualifiers ($65 or $260) have been running since March so be sure to try to win your main-event seat on the cheap, otherwise you can enter the main event for $1K. See the ad on Page 34.

Iowa

MESKWAKI CASINO: Keith Heine of from Hillsboro, Mo., found himself at the top of the heap and $100,981 richer as he took down the Mid-States Poker Tour event at Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa on March 20. Heine cut up the final three players quickly, eliminating Ryan Phan in second ($58,296), Jason Crews in third ($35,571) and T.J. Ryan in fourth (28,654). The event brought in 409 entries for a $409K prize pool, beating the $300K guarantee. The MSPT returns to Iowa in July, August, and November.

HORSESHOE COUNCIL BLUFFS: The RunGood Series is May 10-15 with several events. The main is $675 with three starting flights.

PRAIRIE MEADOWS: The Altoona property will run another World Series of Poker Main Event satellite May 22. This has a $200 buy-in and first place is guaranteed a $10K seat at the WSOP main event this summer and $2K for travel expenses.

DIAMOND JO CASINO: In Northwood, there’s a large bad-beat jackpot and it’s climbing. At press time, it was $178K.

RHYTHM CITY CASINO: The Davenport company moves onto land with a casino in June. There’s talk of a poker room. Stay tuned.

Wisconsin

HO-CHUNK GAMING WISCONSIN DELLS: March’s Knock Out Your Neighbor $350 tournament attracted 144 entries and offered up a $34,560 prize pool. The event ended in a four-way chop between Paul Rohloff, Charles Mengel, Ken Rosheisen and “Cowboy” Ben Smith. Local veterinarian Mike Cooper finished fifth.

HO-CHUNK GAMING NEKOOSA: In early March, 56 players entered the $350 Poker Polar Blast. With 16 rebuys and $500 added, the prize pool stood at $23,540. It ended in a seven-way chop, between Tim Insenberg, Tom Melin, Roger Niewiadomski, Leroy Hotchkiss, Wayde Hoesly and Ray Wesley, who was designated as champion.

Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia

HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: The Hollywood Poker Open regional runs April 28-May 8, highlighted by the $1,115 main event, which has two starting flights (May 6-7) at 11 a.m. The schedule for the Columbus series is on the facing page and there are plenty of $125 satellites to the main event, plus a couple of senior events, PLO and nightly hold’em events for $125.

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: The Great Lakes Open runs May 12-22, featuring a 20-flight format with two flights per day and a $200K guarantee. There will be 15 flights with an $80 buy-in and one optional $40 add-on. Also, 19 trips to Las Vegas will be given away during the open.

HORSESHOE CLEVELAND: The poker room will continue its popular Last Sunday Deepstack in May. The event starts at 12:15 p.m. and features a $500 buy-in, 15K chips, 30-minute levels and an optional $20 add-on for 10K chips.

HOLLYWOOD CHARLES TOWN: The HPO regional runs May 12-22 with 32 events, including the $1,115 main event May 20-22.

RIVERS POKER ROOM: The Pittsburgh Poker Open Spring Series, which was running at press time, began March 17 and had record-breaking events. Event 17 was a $230 deepstack multiflight event that drew a record 414 players over three days. Gerard Donahue outlasted everyone to take home more than $19K and the trophy. Look for the main-event results in our next issue.

Terry Ring: 1949-2016

Terry Ring, founder of One Hand at a Time and much feared player on the tournament circuit, died March 31, leaving a large hole in the poker world.

Ring of Durant, Iowa, enjoyed tremendous success on the Mid-States Poker Tour and Heartland Poker Tour circuits, as well as everywhere else he played. He started One Hand at a Time, where members could learn from his poker training videos. The videos proved so popular that fans were soon seen sporting Ring’s trademark One Hand at a Time sweatshirts in large numbers at tournaments.

Ring was found unconscious on his garage floor after suffering a stroke March 28 and rushed to the hospital, but suffered severe brain damage and died surrounded by family and friends on his 67th birthday.

“Ante Up’s hearts are breaking with the rest of the poker world,” said Scott Long, who publishes Ante Up with Christopher Cosenza. “Terry was a great poker player and a great businessman who donated dozens of One Hand at a Time memberships for Ante Up to use in contests and on our podcast, but more than that, he was just a great guy who loved poker. And because of him, so many more great people love poker even more than they did before they met him.”