Staycation Classic is catching buzz at Talking Stick

December 28, 2015, Chris Cronin, Mary Bradley, Robert Kelly, Dick Stein  

The Staycation Weekend Classic single-table shootouts run whenever there are 10 or more players signed up in the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort.

One-winner shootouts cost $100 and two-winner shootouts are $180. On Jan. 17 at 11:15 a.m. the poker room hosts a $110 Staycation satellite for one Staycation Weekend Classic package (one entry to each of the three tournaments) will be awarded for every 10 entries.

The Staycation Weekend Classic runs Jan. 29-31. Buy-ins for each day are $200 (Friday), $300 (Saturday) and $300 (Sunday). Players registering for all three days will receive a free deluxe room Jan. 29-30.

• The fifth annual $400 Winter Classic is Feb. 20-22 at 11:15 a.m. each day. There will be a $110 satellite Feb. 14 at 11:15 a.m. as one WPC seat will be awarded for every five entries.

• The 13th annual Thanksgiving charity tournament drew 386 players (50 more than last year) to the Arena Poker Room and raised $9,650, which was donated to the United Food Bank. Ronald Warnicke, Perry Pronia, Travis Alexander and Alejandra Villa chopped the event for $1,802 as 40 players cashed.

FORT MCDOWELL CASINO: The poker room has a $300 Aces Cracked promotion, high-hand wheel spins and tournaments every day at noon and 7 p.m. with an extra tournament on Saturdays at 4.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: If you’d like to get a jump on the World Series of Poker, every Wednesday night there are single-table tournaments for $1,500 WSOP seats. The buy-in is $220 with first receiving a $1,500 entry, second gets $300 and third earns $200. Ak-Chin also has $10K WSOP seat SNGs on Saturdays 5-9 p.m. Call for details.

VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: If you lose with pocket aces in hold’em or with a flopped set of aces in Omaha, you can spin the wheel to win as much as $300. VQ also offers sports splash pots and a full slate of tournaments each week.

WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: There are sports splash pots nearly every day. Players also can win $100 Monday-Friday getting their pocket aces beat in hold’em or 6-4 cracked in Omaha games. While playing, guests enjoy half-price on all menu items. At press time, the Super Bad Beat Jackpot was more than $125K.

Texas

Things are looking good for an early 2016 reopening of two abandoned Texas casinos: Speaking Rock near El Paso (the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo) and that of the Alabama-Coushattas in East Texas. Both tribes have continued their push to reopen since they were ordered to shut down by a federal court in 2001.
Tribal officials in Texas believe they have the legal footing they need under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and will be re-opening casinos and creating jobs early this year.

KICKAPOO LUCKY EAGLE CASINO: The poker room’s Super Tuesday tournament has $500 added and a $25. The Thursday Throwdown sports a $45 buy-in and $5 one-time optional dealer appreciation, but the event is limited to the first 50 players. Players can enjoy massages for $1 per minute.

New Mexico

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: The $230 Pass-Punt-Kick tournament at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino and Resort starts at noon on Jan. 24 at Ruidoso Convention Center, where a 65-inch TV will be awarded. The tournament is set up to have 100 players plus alternates. You’ll get 10K chips, but there’s an optional $10 dealer bonus for an extra 5K chips.

• The biweekly multilevel tournaments where players can buy in at three different levels will be Jan. 3, Jan.17 and Jan. 31.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT AND CASINO: The $10K guarantee on Nov. 14 was quite a success, drawing 76 entries for a $15,200 prize pool, so another one is planned for March 12. Call for details.

There will be a $30 New Year’s Day tournament with unlimited first-hour $20 rebuys and one $25 add-on at the end of that hour.

And finally, the Last Saturday of the Month Deepstack will be Jan. 30 ($150). Players can earn 1K bonus chips for two hours of live play before the start of tournaments.

Kansas-Oklahoma

HARD ROCK TULSA: The Hard Rock Open saw strong turnouts for several events, including 939 for Event 2 ($150, $100K guarantee); 106 for Event 7 ($130 seniors); and 263 for the $675 main event, which went to Tulsa’s Marlon Gabriel ($42,123). Justin Gardenhire won two events, the six-game mix and pot-limit Omaha with rebuys.

RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: The daily tournament schedule offers buy-ins from $20 (rebuy) to $70 (bounty) events. Single-table bad-beat jackpots can be hit during tournaments with jacks-full beaten with payouts as much as $1,500. Tuesday night’s tournament is a hold’em-Omaha mix. The bad-beat jackpot climbed past $102K at press time. The room is running a variety of promotions, including Red Aces Cracked, high hand and hours played qualification into a $15K free roll.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: In December, the poker room was moved and reduced from 13 to eight tables. The game of choice continues to be $1-$3 NLHE with $1-$2-$5 PLO-PLO/8 running from time to time.

FIRST COUNCIL CASINO: The property opened a four-table poker room in mid November. The casino last housed a poker room in 2011. Owned by the Otoe Tribe, it’s the sister casino to Paradise Casino in Red Rock, Okla. Paradise has two tables in its table-games area. Posted rake is 10 percent to $5 with $4 promotional drop taken for hold’em games only.

BOOT HILL CASINO: The property has closed its five-table Steve Walker Memorial Poker Room, but moved poker tables into the table-games area on the floor.

PRAIRIE BAND CASINO: Offering a five-table enclosed room, players enjoy NLHE as well as $5-$10 hold’em-Omaha/8. Tournaments are Sundays and Thursdays.

GRAND CASINO: Daily tournaments run with $30-$50 buy-ins with the exception of Sundays ($115). All tournaments are re-entry for the first hour.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: At press time only a handful of results from the Reindeer Games series had been reported. Chuck Chadwick of Fayetteville, Ark., beat nearly 120 players in Event 1 ($125, $10K guarantee) to pocket $3,126 and the title.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: At Ameristar, the bad-beat jackpot was $150K-plus at press time, with both resets at nearly that amount as well. Four hours of play earns you a discounted room rate in the high-rise hotel. If you haven’t stayed there, you are missing out on a Vegas-like experience, including a buffet, spa and roof top pool with an open-air hot tub. ... Golden Gates Casino hosts the Heartland Poker Tour on Feb. 12-21. This is a popular series that attracts many players from outside the Colorado area. ... The Reserve CasinoHotel has a new table-games manager, Matt Andrighetti, who recently relocated from Cripple Creek.

CRIPPLE CREEK: At the Wildwood Casino poker room the Friday, Saturday and Sunday deepstack tournaments continue to draw players. The robust prize pool is pumped by players eagerly re-entering as many times as they want to through the first break. Please note that Sunday’s tournament start time has changed to 2 p.m. ... After the successful Ante Up Poker League ended in December, theMidnight Rose poker room has a cash tournament league running Jan.1 through March 25, consisting of weekly $80 and monthly $160tournaments. The top-four point-earners will divide the prize pool, estimated to be about $5K. The early bird special that refunds $10 out of a $100 buy-in for being in the first game spread is popular and getting a game started early every morning. The Four Flushes promotion runs every day except Saturday. ... We have it on good authority the Colorado State Poker Championship will return in April.

Meet Tom Schneider

Tom Schneider has many poker achievements to his credit, including four World Series of Poker bracelets, 10 WSOP final tables, two World Poker Tour final tables, $2.4 million in career tournament winnings and, of course, he was named the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year.

Excluding the WSOP, how often throughout the year do you play cash games or tournaments? The WSOP and the Arizona State Poker Championship are pretty much the only poker tournaments I play now.Tournaments are tough on the bankroll and even tougher on the ego if I’m running bad. However, there’s nothing like the WSOP to get my competitive juices flowing.

What would you change for the ASPC event? I spoke to Tom Young, the director of poker operations at Talking Stick Resort, about having two different starting times each day so that more people get a chance to play and more people can rebuy. I believe this would increase the prize pool substantially, reduce the number of alternates and keep them from having to add a fourth starting day because of the high demand.

Where is your all-time favorite place to play and why? There’s no place like home, no, not my house, but Talking Stick Resort. I’ve been playing there for such a long time and it’s nice to see friendly faces when I walk in. The dealers are amazing, the food is good, the room has 50 tables and the floor people accommodate most everything the players want to do. There are many other great poker rooms across the country and I have had the pleasure to play in many of them. — Chris Cronin