Maryland Live poker room is doubling down

March 26, 2016, Jo Kim, Michael Young, Dave Lukow  

Starting this month at Maryland Live, most weekly tournament guarantees will double, meaning there will be more than $600K in guarantees per week. The poker room now offers points for playing. For every hour played, you will be awarded 100 points, which can be redeemed for food, promotions and slot play. A new promotion this month will be Rapid Fire High Hands and Lucky Seat drawings for cash games. Be sure to contact the room for details.

HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: The World Series of Poker Circuit runs until April 4. A total of 13 ring events were scheduled with the $1,675 main event beginning April 1 and sporting a $1.5 million guarantee.

VIRGINIA CHARITY TOURNAMENT: The 12th annual Spring Charity Tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society is planned for April 23 in Brambleton, Va., which has a $150 buy-in ($25 to charity) for 10K chips. Registration begins at 2 p.m. at Brambleton Corner Pool House and cards are in the air at 4 p.m.
For more information, go toevite.me/FSPbxmAcrS.

DOVER DOWNS HOTEL AND CASINO: The Crown Royal Poker Room in Dover, Del., hosts the Getaway Weekend, a series of events April 29-May 1. The opener on April 29 is a Black Chip Bounty, $225 buy-in event. First place has a $3K guarantee. April 30 is a $30K guarantee ($225), followed by a $5K guarantee ($75) on May 1.

There are many cash-game promotions this month. After 25 hours of play, you’ll receive $2 per hour of comp dollars. There will be other comp dollar promotions throughout the month, see poker room for details.

New York

TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: The third annual Syracuse Crunch Knockout tournament is April 7 as 10 players from the Crunch of the American Hockey League will play in the tourney at 7 p.m.

Anyone eliminating a member of the Crunch wins that player’s jersey and an autograph.

Among players scheduled to participate are Eric Neilson, Joey Mormina, Luke Witkowski, Jonathan Marchessault, Yanni Gourde, Tanner Richard, Carter Ashton, Dalton Smith, Cody Kunyk and Kevin Lynch. Buy-in is $125.

In other tournament news, the $50K guarantee Spring Fling Main Event runs April 15-17.
There will be $65 main-event qualifiers where one out of five players wins a $250 seat. The final two qualifiers will be April 1 and April 8 at 9 p.m.

SENECA NIAGARA FALLS: The Western New York Poker Challenge runs April 15-25, including the $1K main event that sports a $200K guarantee April 22-25. The main has two Day 1s (April 22-23) and returns for Day 2 April 24. Other events include a $50K guarantee opener on April 15-17 ($200) and a $300 PLO tourney with a $15K guarantee on April 21. Go to senecagames.com or call the poker room for the schedule.

Connecticut

MOHEGAN SUN: The $1,100 main event of Mohegan Sun’s Ante Up Poker Tour series in Uncasville, Conn., has a $125K guarantee and starts April 9, running two days. The series, which touts $400K in guarantees, runs April 2-10.

Featuring eight events, the AUPT stop opens with a $600 no-limit hold’em competition with am $80K guarantee and the series ends with a $300 NLHE event. For complete info, be go to anteupmagazine.com/mohegansun.

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO: After a chop, Richard Alarie captured the $1,650 main-event title of the February MegaStack Challenge and $72,826. Jason Eisele also earned $72,825 while third-place finisher James Campbell pocketed $36,177.

Playing out of Warwick, R.I., Alarie won for the second time on the live circuit and it was his 16th cash.
Eisele of Chevy Chase, Md., cashed for the 23rd time. He has more than $111K in winnings.

A Massachusetts resident, Campbell increased his lifetime take to $675,772. He has 60 cashes, seven coming at the World Series of Poker.

New Hampshire’s Kyle Kenney was fourth, walking away with $28,640 while Connecticut’s Jonathan Drane was fifth ($22,234).

Atlantic City/Philadelphia

BORGATA: With online poker regulated in New Jersey, sites always are looking for ways to lure players, especially frugal ones. BorgataPoker.com recently added many new guarantees with extremely affordable buy-ins. For $35 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m., there’s a deepstack event that guarantees $500. Every day at noon is a $35 deepstack with a $750 guarantee and Monday-Saturday at 5 p.m. is a $1K guarantee, again for $35.

But even if that is too rich for you, there’s a $10 daily re-entry event at 4 p.m. that touts a $500 guarantee. And finally, if you’re into micro limits, Monday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. is a $1 deepstack with re-entry and a $150 guarantee. Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. is a deepstack turbo re-entry event with another $150 guaranteed.

The micro tournaments pay the top five, with first place taking 40 percent of the prize pool.

In tournament news at the poker room, Paul Lambrakis of Brooklyn bested nearly 860 players to win the $250K Almighty Stack Main Event, which earned him $76,469. The prize pool was $342,800 for the $450 buy-in event that ran Feb. 13-16.

Joseph Migliore of Millbrook, N.Y., was second ($44,550), followed by Joshua Steele of Maryland ($27,266), Sandeep Patel of Parsippany, N.J. ($22,425) and Anna Antimony of Ft. Lee, N.J. ($18,288).

GOLDEN NUGGET: The 10-table poker room offers a generous rake-back program, starting at $40 for 40-49 hours played in a month, increasing steadily until $300 for 200-plus hours. Players can redeem their hours on the second Monday through Friday of the next month. There’s also a $10K guarantee event on the last Saturday of the month for $175 at 12:15 p.m. There’s a option $5 dealer add-on.

HARRAH’S ATLANTIC CITY: Don’t forget the highest hand of the hour pays $350 and there’s a $2,500 guarantee event every Sunday and Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. for just $65. The poker room is on the first level and players are encouraged to call the Poker Hotline at 609-441-5741 for more info.

TROPICANA ATLANTIC CITY: The poker club offers two tournaments a day (11:15 a.m., 7:15 p.m.) and each cost $50 for 20K chips with unlimited re-entries allowed until registration closes.

PARX CASINO: The $500K High Hand Giveaway runs through April 30. On Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, the highest hand every 30 minutes wins $500. Tuesdays and Thursdays from
11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Sundays from 4-midnight the highest hand every half-hour wins $250.

Also, on April 18, five randomly selected $500 winners will be picked at noon, 6 p.m. and midnight. And finally, each high-hand winner will be entered into six exclusive monthly drawings for a chance to win cash prizes up to $20K. Drawings will be April 4 and April 11 at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. There also will be drawings on May 9 and May 16 at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

HARRAH’S PHILADELPHIA: The 28-table HP Poker Room increases its hourly comp rate based on limits played. The room pays $1 per hour for $2-$6 limit hold’em and $1-$2 NLHE, $1.50 for $1-$3 NLHE, $2 for $2-$5 and $3 for $5-$10 NLHE.

SUGARHOUSE CASINO: The Poker Night Classic series runs until April 11, including the $1,100 main event, which begins April 8 and has two Day 1s. Numerous $125 super satellites will run leading up to the main, each guaranteeing five seats. Go to sugarhousecasino.com for the full schedule.

In other tourney news, Kevin Grabel of Southampton, Pa., won the recent $100K Winter Poker Showdown, pocketing $40,786. The event drew a property-record 725 entrants for a $175,813 prize pool.

The bad-beat jackpot hit on Feb. 3 for $178K when seven-high straight flush beat a five-high straight flush. But don’t worry, the jackpot was back to nearly $150K at press time. The qualifier is quad sixes.

Meet Jamie Kerstetter

What’s your typical day like at work? I play a late online schedule when the best New Jersey tournaments run, starting with the Party Poker $10K guarantee at 7 p.m. I play the nightly schedule until I bust my last tourney and then four-table some small cash games until I’m tired. Occasionally, I will stream my session on Twitch.

Though you’ve been playing professionally for years, would you say you’re still learning as the game evolves? I’m definitely still learning and I’m nowhere near where I want to be in the game. I sometimes look at hand histories from just a couple of months ago and find several things I’d do differently today. I think it’s important to never get complacent in this game or everyone will pass you by. My friends are my best resource and we work on leak-busting for each other. I also find it helpful to watch videos … to get a feel for how very high level pros approach the game.

How often do you travel for poker and what’s your opinion on the game on the East Coast in comparison to other regions of the country? I try not to travel too much for poker because travel expenses can really eat up whatever my return on investment is in a tourney series. I think there’s plenty to play on the East Coast with Borgata, Maryland Live and some WSOPC events.That said, there are some great events that I’d like to hit up this year like Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, WSOP in Las Vegas and all the soft RunGoodGearSeries stops that I can get to. I think the East Coast and West Coast are comparable to each other in skill, with the middle of the country being softer. That’s just in general, though. There are some high-level players everywhere, but it seems like the Midwest has a more recreational feel with people enjoying the social aspects of the game instead of focusing on grinding an hourly. — Jo Kim