So many poker events at Talking Stick in Arizona

June 29, 2017, Chris Cronin, Donovan Livingston, Robert Kelly, Dick Stein  

Talking Stick Resort has hosted a bunch of events and the results are here. A recent Big Stack event saw an 11-way chop as Yang Liu, Tieu Le, Jeffrey Puskar, Anthony Moffs, Arash Houshmand-Parsi, Jeffrey DeWitt, Philip Seplow, Kevin Pruett, Matthew Diethelm, Allen Hersh and Edward Brogdon each received $5,214.

Also, a bounty tournament saw the final 17 players (Edward Clark, Miles Bassik, Sean Farida, Phillip Marcus, Matthew Homolka, Jonathan Roeder, Allan Smith, Michael Gambony, Daniel Hartzog, Edward Brogdon, John Kilbourn, Alfredo Kniazzeh III, Richard White, Vincent Smith, Steven Jones, Brandon Conrad and Jarret McMillaneach) take home $1,414 each.

The May 20 $500 Big Stack had 183 players and the top five each cashed for $9,266. This included Anthony Moffs, Angela Conwell, Loc Truong, Shane Giese and Gregory Porter. Patrick Colceri, Jeanette Mendez, Craig Gacom and David Drew each got $4,749 for Places 6-9 and Shawn Luttrell rounded out the final table and scored $1,944. The $160 End of the Month tourney had 506 runners and Michelle Heede captured the title and $4,500.

Here’s what is coming up: The point challenge Summer Divisional Championship will be July 23 at 11:15 a.m. Players must have two final tables in qualifying tournaments between March 26-July 15.

The guaranteed prize pool is $40K. Also, Arizona State Poker Championship seats go on sale July 1 with $140 satellites also scheduled July 2, 9, 16 and 30.

HON-DAH RESORT CASINO: The fantastic Poker for Paws tournament was May 20, raising money, food and necessities for the Humane Society of the White Mountains. The $7,470 prize pool went to the top-three spots: Chuck Bingham (first, $2,240), Son Nguyen (second, $1,870) and Dale Packard (third, $1,495). Hon-Dah’s staff thanked all 44 participants for their participation and donations.

The Float Your Boat promotion runs all month. Earn cash for full houses and a final drawing for all shark-card winners during Shark Week can win $1K each.

VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: Summer satellites run Fridays and Saturdays until Sept. 22. These events will have a $50 buy-in for 4K chips. A $10 dealer-appreciation add-on is good for 3K more chips.

For every $285 collected, one player will gain entry into the End of Summer $20K guaranteed tournament Sept. 23.
There also will be a Fantastic Fridays high-hand promotion July 7 and 28 as two $100 high hands will be paid every half-hour from noon to midnight.

WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: The Super Bonus high-hand promotion runs July 1, 2 and 22. Please check with the poker room for details.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: Brian Perzinski recently won the $10K World Series of Poker Main Event seat. After two preliminary rounds, he bested the final 40 players to earn $500 and the seat.


GOLDEN GATES: The Spring Colorado Poker Championship in Black Hawk, Colo., concluded at the end of May and the $1,100 main event drew 241 entries.

Richard Mijares won the title for $40,684.Andrew Peragallo was second ($31K), John Graham took third ($30K), Edward Konarske was fourth ($29K), Ryan Van Sanford was fifth ($12,857) and Brad Gordon was sixth ($10,520).

The $2,500 High Roller had35 players as Griffin Malatino took first ($24,275), David Olson was second ($21,807), Greg Geller earned third ($20,163) and Danny Gonzalestook fourth ($16,005).

In other Black Hawk news, the descending bad beat continues to be a hot promotion at Ameristar.

Requirements go down once a day and the pool includes the total drop for each day. The average winning hand has been aces full of fours beaten for around $150K, which is split between the winner, loser and table.

This promotion is 24-7. High Hands are awarded $200 per hour 24-7. Reduced room rates for four hours’ play are $99Sunday-Thursday and $179 Friday and Saturday.

RESERVE CASINO: The poker room closed.

CRIPPLE CREEK: At MidnightRose, all standard promotions are in play this summer: mini bad beat (aces full of 10s), monthly Ultimate High Hand hourly awards, Four Flushes (Sunday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.) and Throwback Thursdays. The $5-$10 stud/8 game has been well-attended.

Also, on Thursday nights at 6, competefor the 10-ounce Silver Eagles for high hands. Deepstack tournaments are every Friday at 4 p.m. and every Sunday at 2 p.m.Earn a free room with four hours’ playMonday-Thursdayand a reduced rate on weekends.There’s a refund for bus money from Colorado Springs or Pueblo at $5 per hour played.


KANSAS STAR CASINO: The eight-table room, which regularly spreads $1-$3 NLHE and $1-$2 PLO-PLO/8, offers 50 cents an hour in comps and the tables are 10-handed. The room’s next freeroll for qualifiers is July 8. The next quarterly qualification period begins July 1. Call the room for details.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: On a recent Saturday night, about half of the 13, 10-handed tables were running, all spreading $1-$2 NLHE.

The only completely enclosed room in the Kansas City area, the quiet riffling of chips easily dominates the air.
The room offers a small cooler and a table stocked with half sandwiches, candy bars, yogurt, chips and other snacks at $1-$3 a pop. It offers 75 cents an hour in comps. An ongoing high-hand promotion awards money for straight and royal flushes. July 17 will be the last $320 World Series of Poker qualifier. It starts at 10 am.

CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: The WSOPC will be here twice during the 2017-18 schedule: Nov. 2-13 and Jan. 4-15. But more immediately, the poker room hosts the World Poker Tour’s 38-event Festival of Poker series July 20-Aug. 8. The series kicks off with the $350 Monster Stack with a $1M guarantee. With buy-ins from $125 to $560, the Festival is not just offering NLHE. Congress, PLO and Omaha/8 make appearances, too. Other featured events are a $125 buy-in $200K guarantee and the $3,700 televised main event. Call 1-888-652-4628 and use code WPT17 to lock in $99 room rates.

HARD ROCK TULSA: The WSOPC returns here March 15-26. It recently hosted the Route 66 Open but wasn’t over at press time, so results will be available next issue.

COMANCHE RED RIVER CASINO: The poker room spreads $1-$2 NLHE with the occasional $1-$3 on its three 10-handed tables. A $1-$1 NLHE beginner game is offered, too. Sundays offer a $50 tournament. As for promotions, $50 and $100 splash pots are offered on different dates and times. Calendars showing current promotions events are available.

COMANCHE NATION CASINO: NLHE and PLO spread regularly on these four nine-handed tables with the occasional $1-$1 NLHE beginners game. Bad-beat promotions are offered for both games and $50 splash pots happen on different dates and times.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The room’s tournament schedule runs Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays.
Several are added-money events including 50-plus seniors, knockout and crazy pineapple.

Sign up for tournaments 30 minutes in advance to gain extra chips. July 1 is a $10K freeroll for June qualifiers (40 hours of monthly play qualifies players for the monthly freerolls).

Not too far off is the return of the WPT DeepStacks series Sept. 15-26. It features primarily NLHE events with a PLO and satellites into the $1,100 main event with a $200K guarantee.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: This eight-table room is open every day except Mondays. This room’s tournament schedule is arguably the most creative and interesting in the area.

Off-track horse betting is available in the room, too. Tournaments with $20-$80 buy-ins are regularly offered, including seniors, crazy pineapple, deuces wild, Omaha and progressive mystery bounty.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The Cherokee Poker Classic ran May 12-21. Event winners were Ricky Gebhart ($20K guarantee, $4,800), Jaime Rollins ($1K added, $2,715) and Cody Cunningham ($50K guarantee, $11,943).

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Players who put in enough hours during the May 1-June 30 Paid to Play promotion can collect their payouts July 8. This also is the date for qualifiers to compete in a $25K freeroll. First place pays $7K with 18 places being paid. This freeroll supersedes the new double green chip ($50) bounty tournament that is scheduled to run every Saturday.


EL PASO: The sixth annual El Paso County Fair hold’em tourney is a $500 freeroll July 17 at the El Paso County Fairgrounds. Registration, limited to the first 70 players, begins at 5:30 p.m. and the tournament is 6:30. First place pays $300. For more info, call 719-520-6996.

New Mexico

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: The poker room hosts qualifying every week this month for its $100K tournament, which will be Aug. 5-6. There will be satellites for the event, too, running Aug. 3-4.

The Test Your Might Poker Tournament was ending at press time so look for results in a future issue to see who won the guaranteed $20K first-prize payout.

In the meantime, experience some of the best live-action hold’em in the state. Each Friday is a $120 event at 6 p.m. and every Sunday at 2 can play a $75 tournament. Earn bonus chips by playing cash games before each tournament.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The poker room in Santa Fe hosts a $10K guarantee on July 15 at 1 p.m.
The $225 buy-in gets you 15K chips, two $10 food vouchers and you’ll be eligible for special room rates on July 14-15. Call the poker room for details and advance credit-card registration at 505-819-2243.

It’s hosting ongoing big monthly events, too, with the $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament starting at 1 p.m. If you find yourself sitting on the rail early, you can join the consolation tournament that starts at 6:30 p.m.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Consistency is key here, as the weekly tournament schedule remains the same for most of the year. Most days, it’s NLHE, with the occasional pineapple tournament on Wednesdays. In addition, you can join thePlayer of the Year promotion where you can earn big bucks for finishing in the top five for the year. For a complete listing visit the website or our Where to Play section in this magazine.

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: Widely regarded as New Mexico’s best poker room, Sandia has the most action, the biggest games and the most jackpot payouts. Join in regular weekly tournaments, with Sunday hosting a $50 buy-in at noon and a $45 buy-in at 5 p.m. On Mondays,you can participate in the Sprint Tournament for $50. Or at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, you can play a bounty tournament for $75.

If you’re looking for something a bit more fun, there’s the $60 Wacky Wednesdays series, where each week’s tournament features, among others, stud, Big O/8, Ladies Night, pineapple, HORSE or Omaha/8.

SANTA ANA CASINO: Every day at noon,you can find a solid $2-$6 limit game in the table-games area. Some big things are on the horizon for Santa Ana, so stay tuned.

ISLETA CASINO RESORT: Is it 3:30 a.m. and you’re desperate for some poker action? Fear not, Isleta is the only poker room that’s open 24 hours. In addition to all the live-action poker, there’s a wide range of tournaments to fit every budget and every skill level. Mondays you can play crazy pineapple for only $15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 at 7 p.m. for $25. And new is the Thursdays Beginners NLHE, again only $15 at 7 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday, you can play in added-money tournaments for $100 at 7 p.m. each day. For the complete lineup download the event calendar at the Isleta website.

Meet Meredith Denoncourt

From late February 2012’s opening night of the five-table poker room at the Kansas Star Casino’s temporary facility, Meredith Denoncourt has been a fixture. Starting as a floor manager, a couple of years later she was promoted, a move that was popular among regulars, to poker room manager of the then-13-table permanent room.

You’ve been here since Day 1. What do you like the most about what you do? The people. I enjoy the atmosphere. It’s a male-dominated environment and I enjoy being one of the few women in that environment. I’ve made a lot of friends.

Have there been benefits to the room moving across the casino in late 2015 and reducing to eight tables? The move closer to a table-games area near the casino exit of the facility’s event center has brought more walk-by traffic and attracted new players. I’ve frequently heard people say they didn’t know there was a poker room. The room is partially enclosed like the old location but has less smoke from surrounding areas.

You’ve been having some playing success as well. I have. I recently cashed in series event and a Poker Night in America event at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla.

Looking ahead, what do you hope to accomplish? I definitely want to play more tournaments in the area. I would also like to add another table to the poker room. There is plenty of space to add one. At some point, I would like to host a touring series stop. We have on-site hotel facilities and the casino is in a good location just a few minutes south of Wichita. — Robert Kelly