Tepen wins $14K at Harrah’s in K.C.

June 20, 2016, Robert Kelly, Chris Cronin, Mary Bradley, Dick Stein  

RunGoodGear pro Ryan Tepen took down the recent RunGoodGear.com $340 main event at Harrah’s North Kansas City (Mo.), by beating 175 opponents for $14,254.

Tepen defeated Ronald Covert, who finished second for $8,812. The event had a $25K guarantee but more than doubled that with a $52,800 prize pool.

Kansas

KANSAS STAR CASINO: The eight-table poker room, which reduced from 13 tables and relocated across the casino, is in many ways physically improved.

While no player wants to see a room shrink, poker room manager Meredith Denoncourt said 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.
The room is partially enclosed like the old location but has less smoke from surrounding areas.

The tables don’t fill the space, enabling room for expansion even if for short-term needs like the upcoming $200-plus Firecracker tournament on July 4. Call the poker room for more tournament details.

Arizona

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: Several months of World Series of Poker satellites recently concluded, culminating with a one-winner, $10K main-event seat at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Benjamin Tang outlasted 78 players to garner the prize plus $500 for expenses.

TALKING STICK RESORT: The Arizona State Championships will be Aug. 12-16 in the Arena Poker Room. The buy-in is $1100 and players will start with 16K chips. There’s an optional bonus for $30 that will take your starting stack to 26K chips. Players can purchase their entry at the poker room cashier or the box office by calling (480) 850-7734.

Satellites for $140 will be July 3, 10, 17 and 24, as well as Aug. 7, 10, and 11 at 11:15 a.m., and Aug. 8 and 9 at 7:15 p.m. One paid entry will be awarded for every 10 players. Single-entry ($130) and double-entry ($240) shootouts began June 1 and will run until the start of the tournament whenever 10 players sign up.

HON-DAH RESORT: Whether you’re a local or traveling to Arizona on your summer vacation, check out the new poker room and blackjack tables. The Pinetop property is running the Float Your Boat promotion throughout June and July. Players earn cash for full houses or better.

CASINO DEL SOL RESORT: The Tucson poker room is gearing up for its WPT DeepStacks event. There will be a few warm-up tournaments leading up to the main event Sept. 23-25. This event has a $1,100 buy-in and $150K guarantee. There’s also a minimum $40K bad-beat jackpot running all summer.

New Mexico

Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Santa Fe is crazy with special events in July, starting with the Independence Day $30 tourney with unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour and a $25 add-on.

July 16 is the $10K guarantee deepstack for $225. It’s limited to 60 paid entrants and special resort room rates are available, so be sure to sign up early, as the past four $10K deepstacks sold out quickly.

July 23rd is the always fun Radio Station Bounty tournament, with bounties on DJs and possibly five other players. The Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is July 30 for $150.

Players grab bonus chips for live play before the start of weekly tournaments, including Sunday ($30, (unlimited $20 rebuys first hour, $25 add-on); Monday ($30 with one rebuy); Tuesday ($40 with one rebuy); Wednesday ($50 with one rebuy); Thursday (Omaha/8, $30, unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour, $25 add-on) and Friday and Saturday ($75).
Special live games in July include $20-$40 limit on Wednesday mornings, $1-$2 PLO half-and-half Wednesday afternoons, Thursdays $4-$8 Omaha, Fridays $1-$2 PLO/8 and $3-$6 Omaha on Saturday afternoons.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: The four-month Road to the Main Event completed in May with 158 players over two sessions. Buy-in was $300 for a $47,400 prize pool as 16 places were paid as first place took home $15K.

If you get this issue in time, you might be able to enter the Test Your Might tournament on June 19. Look for results in a future issue and be sure to watch for the much-anticipated HORSE tournament coming to the Inn soon.

NORTHERN EDGE NAVAJO CASINO: The Fruitland poker room offers daily tournaments and cash games all week. Most popular with regulars are the $35 Tuesday night and $25 Friday tournaments.

Keep in mind the bad-beat jackpot and Aces Cracked opportunities, as well as Same Color Aces during live action. This room is open every day except Monday and Thursday.

ISLETA RESORT AND CASINO: Stay cool during hot days and nights in the Albuquerque poker room with tournaments of Crazy Pineapple, Tag Team, Speed Hold’em, Omaha and satellites of many levels. Players have opportunities to win jackets, T-shirts, hats and ear buds. Call the poker room for details.

SANDIA CASINO AND RESORT: The king-sizedAlbuquerque poker room has $50 tournaments on Sundays at noon and $45 tourneys Sunday evenings.

Each Monday night is a $55 tournament, $75 bounty tournaments on Tuesday and Thursday nights and Wacky Wednesday $55 events. This room also offers Ladies Night, stud and River Down tournaments. Call for details.

SANTA ANA STAR: Director of table games Pam Kern said poker is alive and well on the floor of the Albuquerque casino every day with plenty of cash games, hold’em and Omaha.

Oklahoma

Choctaw Resort Casino in Durant, Okla., will see the World Poker Tour return as part of the casino’s Festival of Poker series and features a $3,500 main event with a $3 million guarantee. The Festival runs July 14-Aug. 2 with the WPT event July 29-Aug. 2. The main event will have two starting days.

Players who qualify more than once for Day 2 will begin with their largest stack and all other stacks will be forfeited. Use WPT16 for hotel reservations. Rooms are $119-$159 depending on tower and day of the week. Inn/Lodge rooms are $99-$129. See the ad on Page 19 for more details.

HARD ROCK CASINO TULSA: The RunGoodGear.com series returned to its hometown casino and saw Jeri Sieber and RunGoodGear pro Justin Gardenhire chop the cash and a $10K World Series of Poker Main Event seat. They played it out for the trophy and Sieber quickly took that down for the win in the series’ $675 main event. A $2-$5 regular at Norman’s Riverwind Casino, she collected $44,458 with Gardenhire earning $40K. Other series winners were Terry “Papa” Karn and Daniel Lowery. Michael Long and Daniel Martin chopped the other event.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The Four States Poker Championships is the signature event for the Quapaw, Okla., property, and it recently concluded with Christian Nicodemi, David Caron, Kurt Haiss, Clarence Prevost and James Darnaby for winning events. Darnaby won the $340 main event in a seven-way chop.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The Cherokee Poker Classic wrapped up May 23 by crowning Terry Pressley of Huntsville, Ark., main-event champion. He collected $10,583 for his win. Other winners include Ricky Gebhart, Gunnar Broberg, Andy Chen, Ty Bottoroff, Thomas Crick, Ivan Williams, and Michael Carroll.

Colorado

Current state charitable gaming laws allow bingo and raffles, but it’s unlawful to solicit funds to participate in charity poker tournaments. But there’s a proposed Initiative No. 90 for which petitions are being circulated. If you would like more information about this issue and how you can help, please contact Robin Jones at 719-290-5880 or at robin@pokerforcolorado.org.

FREEROLL: The El Paso County Fair hold’em event is July 18 and first place pays $200. Call Christine Burns at 719-520-6996.

BLACK HAWK: The Golden Gates Tournament Central main event drew 271 players at $1,100 each. Matt Livingstonwon the title in a chop with Jake Nguyen as each took home $49,164.

The $100K Guarantee Kickoff fielded 464 players at $360 each and first went to Mace Reed ($27,235) with Jason Beasley getting second ($22,275). The always popular employee tournament was chopped five ways for $800 each, including Troy Pabst, Dave White and Seth Smith and Jess Kaufman. … The primary bad beat (quads) at Amerister was at $176K at press time.

CRIPPLE CREEK: Midnight Rose’s $100 Meganormous Stack gives players 40K chips Fridays at 4 p.m. Late entry and re-entry is allowed until the second break. High hands run every third full weekend and awards $100-$1K depending of the date and time. … At Wildwood, high hands are: Wednesdays $150 noon-1 p.m., $100 1-2 p.m.; Thursday $50 and Fridays and Saturdays $50 first hour.

Meet Rex Clinkscales

You may not recognize him by name, but if you follow the tournament circuit you’re sure to know the name Rex Clinkscales. He started traveling the World Series of Poker Circuit in 2011. Since then, he has almost 100 cashes and $850K-plus in winnings. Originally from Texas, he splits his home these days between Las Vegas and Orange County. He and girlfriend Kristin Ting (also a fine tournament grinder) have been together for nearly four years. “My relationship with Ting is amazing,” he said. “We’re very attuned with each other, discuss everything and she’s my best friend. I am very lucky to spend my life with her.”

Out of all the places you’ve played, which are your favorite and why? Definitely the Borgata in Atlantic City. It’s an all-around great place to play poker and I’ve had some recent success there. I shipped the bounty event followed by a 29th in the WPT main event. I also love playing at the Golden Gates in Black Hawk, Colo. It’s very scenic and I enjoy spending my off days hiking and being in the great outdoors. I’ve had some fortune there as well. I won the Colorado State Championship in 2014 and finished second in the HPT there last year.

What is your all-time favorite win and why? The most special win for me was the WSOPC main event in Philadelphia. I had numerous close calls on the circuit, but I hadn’t made it over the hump and won a ring until that event. It was special for me to be able to share that experience with Ting, who was on my rail the entire day, which included a six-hour heads-up battle.

What goals have you set? I’m coming off my best year ever and I plan to push myself even harder. I definitely want to pass the $1 million mark in career earnings and breakout onto the major poker scene. — Chris Cronin