Toledo’s Hollywood Challenge runs Aug. 23

August 01, 2018, Brian Bly, Ken Warren, John Somsky, Joe Giertuga, Chad Holloway  

The Hollywood Poker Challenge runs Aug. 23-Sept. 3 at Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio.

The $1K main event has a $150K guarantee. Three Day 1s run Aug. 31-Sept. 2 and $150 satellites will be available. Other events include a $350 tourney with a $75K guarantee ($90 satellites), Omaha/8, HORSE, PLO and seniors. Full details are available on the Bravo Poker app.

JACK CASINO CINCINNATI: The Jack Poker Classic runs Aug. 16-26 and boasts more than $1M in guarantees. The $1,100 main event sports a $500K guarantee, as Day 1 flights are Aug. 24-25 and the tournament ends Aug. 26. There also will be a $350 kickoff ($250K guarantee) Aug. 16-19. Satellites will be available in the days leading up to these events. Other tourneys include a turbo, black-chip bounty, Omaha/8, seniors and a $200 Win the Button to wrap up the series.

RIVERS CASINO: The Pittsburgh poker room recently implemented a big-blind-ante structure. Also, it will hosting a WPT DeepStacks series in October.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO COLUMBUS: The Columbus Summer Classic runs Aug. 7-19 and features 15 events. The $550 main event has a $200K guarantee. There’s a $350 event with a $125K guarantee, too. Satellites will be available for both. The undercard will include the standard assortment (bounty, Omaha/8, seniors) and a big-blind-ante tournament. For more information, check out the room’s website or Facebook page.

Iowa

HORSESHOE COUNCIL BLUFFS: On the southwest side, the annual Horseshoe Poker Classic runs Aug. 17-26. There are many events ranging from $50-$350. There are rebuys, seniors, satellites and fat-stack events as well as great cash games at Iowa’s largest poker room.

GRAND FALLS CASINO: On the northwest side at in Larchwood, the Mid-States Poker Tour stops by with a $150K guarantee main event Aug. 24-26. There will be $250 satellites and $65 super-satellites running during the run-up to this event as well as great cash-game action. If you’re in the Sioux Falls area, this is the place to be.

DIAMOND JO CASINO: In Worth, the bad-beat jackpot surpassed $200K at press time.

PRAIRIE MEADOWS: The poker room in the Iowa capital saw its bad-beat jackpot reach $175K at press time.

Wisconsin

BY THE NUMBERS: While all 50 states were represented in the WSOP main event, of the 7,874 players, 36 hailed from Wisconsin, which put it 30th on the list of states.

BRACELET-WINNER: Originally from Beaver Dam, pro Eric Baldwin captured his second bracelet when he topped 1,330 runners in the Event 37 ($1,500 NLHE) for $319,580. Baldwin dedicated the win to his late father, a well-known personality on the Wisconsin poker scene. “He kept coming out and trying to catch me when I would make a final table,” Baldwin said as he fought back tears. “And I could never win one, including a grueling second place. In a lot of ways, this one is for him.”

PLAYER NEWS: Elm Grove’s Joe Kuether finished runner-up to Justin Brach in a $1,100 Wynn Summer Classic tournament in Las Vegas for $59,440.

Minnesota

Tyler Caspers of Echo, Minn. took home $21,511 after winning the Easy Money tournament at Running Aces Casino in Columbus, Minn.

This is Caspers’ second-largest cash after his third-place finish in April 2014 at MSPT Running Aces. Caspers entered the final table as chipleader with 898K chips, almost three times the shortest stack. The final table lasted three-plus hours, with heads-up play of less than 20 minutes. The $350 tournament drew 264 entrants and generated a $76,824 prize pool.

CANTERBURY PARK: Adam Laskey of Fargo, N.D., won the Cheap & Deep tournament in Shakopee. Laskey earned $21,138, bringing his career Hendon Mob earnings to almost $200K. He started Day 2 with 210K chips, the eighth-largest stack among the 84 players returning. In contrast, the second-place finisher, Jared Quast, started the day with the sixth-smallest stack of 41K chips. The $275 tournament offered five Day 1 flights, attracting 489 entrants for a $107,580 prize pool.

Chicagoland

WSOP: Glenview’s Scott Bohlman won his first bracelet in the Mixed Big Bet event for $122K. He then was runner-up in the $10K stud/8 championship, adding $225K to his bankroll.

Chicago native Steven Albini won his first bracelet in the $1,500 stud event for $105K. The music-industry veteran was heads-up with six-time bracelet-winner, Jeff Lisandro.

Jessica Dawley, originally from Palmyra, Ind., won the $1K women’s championship for $130K. She is a war-zone veteran and was an intelligence agent in the Air Force.

AMERISTAR EAST CHICAGO: The Heartland Poker Tour returns Aug. 23-Sept. 3. The $350 Monster Stack opener has three Day 1s, with a $200K guarantee. The May event had almost 1,100 entries.

The $200 seven-game-mix is Aug. 26. A new $500 heads-up, 64-player-max event is Aug. 29 at noon. The main event starts Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.

HORSESHOE HAMMOND: Aug. 8 marks the 10th anniversary of the re-opening of the poker room. After spending $500M on a new casino, the 34-table room became the Midwest’s busiest.

The Hammond boat, then the Empress, opened a 10-table room in November 1998 but closed in April 2000 to make way for slots.

Michigan

FIREKEEPERS CASINO: The Michigan State Poker Championship returns Oct. 11-14 as part of the Mid-State Poker Tour. The last series, which wrapped in May at the Battle Creek property, set the state record for attendance, 1,287 players.

Meet Max Havlish

Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis, Max Havlish is a licensed realtor and a part-time home agent for Medtronic. He grew up in a family of bowlers and gamblers and started watching his dad playing cards in the backroom after bowling late nights. He has career Hendon Mob earnings of $250K-plus, with his biggest win being a Meskwaki Casino event in 2017.

What do you like most about poker? The companionship. I’ve met a lot of good friends who all pursue the same goals as me and everyone in the community is so supportive, especially the Minnesota community. I love the adrenaline of being deep in a prestigious tournament and the release of serotonin after outwitting or bluffing opponents in specific spots where their range is so crystal clear. I love it all; even the bad beats because, while in the moment they are awful, they give the chance of redemption and the awesomeness of overcoming defeat.

Do you prefer to play online or live? I love the pace of online and the value of playing online. I love the interactions of playing live and the reads and focus it takes to play live as well. Overall, I would go with live as I feel I am more of an experienced live player than an online player.

What skill do you think gives you the biggest edge at the poker table? My intuition. It’s constantly being developed by what I experience at the poker table and has thousands upon thousands of hours of previous experience. … the ability to find spots at the right time, patience and the ability to breakdown hands and ranges based on actions.
— John Somsky