Winter Classic runs Feb. 11-13 at Talking Stick

January 30, 2017, Chris Cronin, Dick Stein, Robert Kelly, Donovan Livingston  

The sixth annual Winter Classic returns Feb. 11-13, to the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., with two Day 1s. Surviving players will return to finish Feb. 13.The buy-in is $400 and last year saw 366 players vie for a $125K prize pool. Ask about satellites.

Also, the poker room hosted a charity event Nov. 19 as 317 players entered to raise $7,925 for U.S. Food Bank Services.In December, 440 players donated toys for the annual Toy Drive.

Mad Money Monday has moved to Wacky Wild Wednesday:$250 to the high hand every 15 minutes from noon-midnight.Dates are Feb. 8, Feb. 22, March 8 and March 22.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN RESORT: The property will host its NFL Super Sunday Celebration on Feb. 5, opening at 7 a.m. High Hand Bash Splash runs before the game as qualifying hands are all quads and straight flushes.The table that hits the qualifying hand receives a $25 splash pot.After the game, any qualifying hand not hit is worth $50 and the hands that were hit before the game are worth $25.

Anyone who plays cash games for two hours before 3 p.m. will receive a square for the Big Board.Any squares not covered will be filled in with $25 and $50 splash pots as $25 will be paid for the player with the correct scores at the end of first, second and third quarters multiplied by their hours played.At the end of the game, the prize money is multiplied by three.The room also pays the reverse score at the end of the game for half the amount.During the game, $100 will be splashed on each table after a touchdown or safety and $50 per table for a field goal. At halftime, live-game players receives a raffle ticket and there will be random drawings for cash and splash pots.

GILA RIVER WILD HORSE PASS: The poker room has 25 tables with USB charging ports and player-tracking on the Bravo system. Players earn $1 per hour for live games and tournaments. There are early morning high hands, Rolling Cash Fever drawings every two hours and 6-4 Cracked in Omaha along with Aces Cracked in hold’em around the clock.

GILA RIVER VEE QUIVA: There are 14 tables here and guests earn $1 per hour while playing tournaments or live games. The Play Poker room offers Red & Black Aces Cracked, NBA and NCAA basketball Splash Pots, a morning high-hand promotion and payouts for quads or better.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: At Golden Gates, the 17th Colorado Poker Championships saw some attendance woes because of inclement, but no events were canceled. Here are results: Surya Ramjaltwon the Kick Start tournament for $21,970; James Morrison took down the Employee Event ($5,650); Crestino Cisneros won Omaha/8 ($1,810); Devon Hodgen shipped the six-max ($9,120). Schuyler Thornton earned $55,409 for capturing the $1,100 main event. Steve Harvey earned the most points (260), followed by Shane Sloan (258) and Justin Enger (240). Poker room managerNathan “Cage” Yanchunis said, “The high-hand promotions have been very successful.” Awards range from $100 on weekdays to $500 and $600 on the weekends. The next Heartland Poker Tour starts Feb. 9. … Ameristar poker room manager Andy Ormsby said: “We’ve had huge success with theDescending Progressive Bad Beat. It’s all everyone has been talking about. The DPBB starts at $25K and grows daily as the qualifier drops daily Monday through Friday. It’s the first time in Ameristar history we went full spread to 22 tables on weekdays. The last DPBB got to kings full of queens beaten for about $100K.”

CRIPPLE CREEK: Midnight Rose’s New Year’s Day tournament had a $2,017 guarantee and the field was capped at 45 players with 50 alternates for the five tables. Promotion-wise, the Faces Cracked pot-sized bonus has been retired. It sounded good, but was difficult to explain and administer. Replacing it, theFour Flush Award has been reinstated. Poker room manager Jeff Peck said theColorado State Poker Championships series returns in April. Check the website soon for scheduling.

Oklahoma-Kansas-Missouri

The Tulsa-based RunGoodGear.com Poker Series has announced its spring stops. The regional tour’s Spring Brawl will have a stop at Harrah’s North Kansas City.

But it kicks off at Tulsa’s Hard Rock Casino on Feb. 7-12. The feature event is the $675 buy-in, $100K guarantee main event.

There will be three 10-seat guarantees offered to gain entry into the multiday event. Other events include Jack and Jill, pot-limit Omaha rebuy, a $10K guarantee shootout and the traditional RunGoodGear Pro knockout. Book $89 rooms using code RunGoodPokerFeb2017.

The World Series of Poker Circuit returns to the Hard Rock on March 16-27.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The casino’s Reindeer Games Series ended Dec. 11 as Arkansas’ Ricky Gebhart won the $350 main event, defeating nearly 180 players for $11,943. Another Arkansas player, Matt Ellis, won two $135 events (bounty and rebuy) to collect $4,100-plus. Siloam Springs’ Neng Lor won the $20K guarantee for $4,757. Next up is the Ozarks Poker Championships on Feb. 17-26. Guarantees total $77,500.

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: This 46-table room’s daily tournament schedule offers mid-week $65 events. Weekend tournaments, including two bounty, run $120-$230. Cash games include $1-$2, $1-$3 and $10-$20 NLHE, $4-$8 limit, $1-$2 PLO and PLO/8 and $2-$5 PLO. Aces Cracked runs Tuesdays and Thursdays (11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 8-midnight).

CHOCTAW CASINO: This 30-table room in Durant, Okla., is running numerous bad-beat, mini-bad-beat, “Close one” bad-beat, early-bird-tournament-free-chi ps, high-hand and splash-pot promotions. The Jan. 11-23 WSOPC results will be reported in the next issue.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: This 12-table room continues to offer a monthly freeroll for players who qualify through a tournament leaderboard or 50 hours of live play.

The room also offers hourly high hands and a bad-beat promotion. On several days of the week, there’s a featured game, including $5-$5 PLO, $3-$6 and $20-$40 limit, $4-$8 Omaha/8, $25-$50 limit mixed and $2-$5 NLHE.

RIVERWIND CASINO: A sister casino to WinStar World, this 17-table room is open 9 a.m.-3:30 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Players will find limit, NLHE and PLO commonly spread. Tournaments run Wednesday-Sunday with $30-$100 buy-ins. Splash pot, hot-seat drawings and other promotions are popular.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The 14-table room runs single-table tourneys and has a weekly tournament schedule with
$45-$120 buy-ins. Games include crazy pineapple and a variety of NLHE such as bounty, seniors and deepstack. The room also offers monthly freerolls to qualifying players.

GRAND CASINO: The room offers a variety of tournaments with $25-$100 buy-ins. Games include bounty, rebuy and superstack. On specific days of the week, players can expect to find Aces Cracked and high-hand promotions. Bad-beat jackpots are in hold’em and Omaha.

AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: A 13-table room, Ameristar offers featured games several days a week. Games included are $3-$6 limit, $5-$5 PLO, $5-$10 Omaha/8 and $4-$8 HO. Daily, the first five players who get Aces Cracked win $100. The progressive bad-beat jackpot was $185K-plus at press time.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: Adam Martinez is the new poker room manager at this 13-table room. A $10K quarterly freeroll has qualifying until March 3. Call for details. Daily games are $1-$2 and $2-$5 NLHE, $4-$8 limit with a half-kill, $1-$2 PLO and $10-$20 mixed games. The weekly tournament schedule has $30-$80 buy-ins. A $250 bounty event runs the last Saturday of each month. The bad-beat jackpot was $130K-plus at press time.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: Known in the area for its crazy-pineapple tournaments, the eight-table room’s schedule also includes PLO and NLHE with $30-$50 buy-ins. The room is closed Mondays.

BOOT HILL CASINO: Players will find four 10-handed tables in the pit. PLO/8 and NLHE are popular and have a reputation for playing big as buy-ins often are uncapped. Tables open at 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

New Mexico

SANDIA CASINO RESORT: There are regular weekly tournaments, with Sunday hosting a $50 event at noon and a $45 event at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can play a bounty tournament for $75. The popular $235 Big Dogs event is Feb. 18. Registration begins Feb. 6 with the house adding $900 to the prize pool.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Play in three tournaments every day. Most times are for NLHE, but there’s a pineapple event each Wednesday, plus many tournaments include bounties.

Join the Player of the Year promotion to earn big bucks for finishing in the top five for the year. For a complete listing, visit the casino’s website or read our Where to Play section in our magazine.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The $150 last Saturday of the Month tournament starts at 1 p.m. The 6:30 tournament later that evening is a great consolation if you missed out earlier and because of the large numbers there’s plenty of cash games in hold’em and Omaha.

In February, play in the special Big Game Day on Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. For $30, you can jump in, with unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour and then a $25 add-on at the end of the rebuy period. Start with3,500 chips with 15-minute levels.

SANTA ANA CASINO: Every day at noon you can find a solid $2-$6 limit game in the table games area. Limit hold’em may be a lost art these days, but there’s still plenty of money to win if you can make the adjustments.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: Big-money tournaments run every quarter. Experience some of the best live action hold’em in the state and each Friday is a $120 tourney at 6 p.m. Every Sunday at 2 p.m. is a $75 event.

NOTE: Donovan Livingston is Ante Up’s New Mexico Ambassador, replacing Mary Bradley, who served as our ambassador for many years. Email him with news at AnteUpNM@gmail.com.

Meet Kevin Anderson

Say hello to the Red Panda. At the Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, Colo., whereKevin Anderson works, there are four Kevins, so nicknames are essential. He was aptly named for his red hair. He worked at the Isle as a dealer and prop before joining the Ameristar poker team as a dealer and now manager. Anderson conducts dealer auditions, performs reviews and scheduling.

He was involved in the rewrite of Colorado Gaming Commission Rule 10, which addresses handling mistakes on the flop (such as a four-card flop) for hold’em and Three Card Poker.Anderson said he’s a poker player who enjoys live and tournaments with a favorite hand of pocket aces.

He recently won the employee tournament, knocking out his boss, Andy Ormsby. nHe has two brothers and two cats and spends his free time watching the NFL. — Dick Stein