Winter Poker Classic in Arizona runs Feb. 12-14

January 31, 2018, Chris Cronin, Donovan Livingston, Janet Kenning, Robert Kelly  

Talking Stick Resort hosts its seventh annual Winter Poker Classic in the Arena Poker Room for $400 Feb. 12-14 at 11:15 a.m. each day. The buy-in gets you 15K chips. Also, Wacky Wednesdays will be Feb. 14 and 28.

Randall McCormick, Aaron Valencia and Ehud Giladi chopped the Dec. 9 bounty tourney, each pocketing $2,200. McCormick also got $3K for finishing in the top five of the Dec. 30 End of the Month event, which Andrew Longoria won for $3,200.

Donald Talkowski, Joseph Fox and William McAndrew also chopped for $3K. On Dec, 23, Jeremy Brown won the $160 tourney for $6,612, followed by Michael Gallegos ($4,302), Kyle Israel ($4,302), John Hindman ($2,204) and Frank Mattraw ($1,749).

HON-DAH CASINO RESORT: Leander Barton pictured, is the latest Tournament of Champions winner.

As far as promotions, this month the Have A Heart pro.motion pays you cash when you complete your heart card and you’ll be entered into cash drawings. See the ad on Page 16 for the details to this special.

WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: High hands continue, with dates being Feb. 3 and 17, beginning at 11 a.m. The Big Game Bonanza for the Super Bowl is Feb. 4. Check with the poker room for details.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: The schedule for satellites into the World Series of Poker is set. They run the third Monday of every month (Feb. 19, March 19 and April 16). These $70 events get you 10K chips. The winners receive a $350 entry into the May 19 WSOP $10K main-event satellite.

Wednesdays (7:30 p.m.) will be satellites to win $1K seats. These $90 events get you 10K chips. The winner receives a seat into any $1K WSOP event in Vegas, plus $200.

Sundays at 5:30, you can play for $1,500 seats. The $130 buy-in gets you 10K chips. The winner receives a seat into any $1,500 event at the WSOP, plus $250.

BUCKY’S CASINO: There are $50 NLHE tourneys Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6 and a $100 deepstack on Saturdays at noon. Play live and get bonus tourney chips. Full House Frenzy runs during the Super Bowl and there are bonuses for royals and straight flushes plus a bad-beat jackpot.

Kansas

BOOT HILL CASINO: Tucked into the table-games section, the four tables open for play 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday. This room is known for playing deep with its uncapped low stakes NLHE and pot-limit Omaha/8 games.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Qualification into the next $35K guarantee quarterly freeroll is running. The freeroll, featuring a $10K first-place prize, is April 14.

Players qualify through 150 hours of cash-game play or be.ing in the top 25 of the tournament leaderboard.

All qualifiers must have played a minimum of 15 hours of live play on bad-beat jackpot eligible tables. Several games are featured throughout the week, including $5-$5 PLO, $2-$5 NLHE, $4-$8 half-kill Omaha/8, $20-$40 limit, $25-$50 and $50-$100 mixed. Common games are $1-$3 NLHE and $3-$6 limit.

New Mexico

Mario Bloyen won the New Year’s Eve tournament at Sandia Casino Resort in Albuquerque for more than $4K.
Also, Jordan Guillen won $2,017 for the Hot Seat drawing.

Sundays host a $50 event at noon and a $45 tourney at 5. Monday brings the Sprint Tournament for $50 and on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can play a bounty tournament for $75. Don’t forget the $60 Wacky Wednesday series, where each week’s tournament may feature stud, Big O/8, ladies night, pineapple, HORSE or Omaha/8.

ISLETA CASINO RESORT: Players can qualify for the Isleta Spring Classic every Saturday through March 25. Then there are two tournaments to whittle down the field and a final tournament April 1 to determine the winner.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Play in three tournaments daily. Most times are for NLHE, but there is a pineapple tournament on Wednesdays, plus many tournaments include bounties.

And for 2018, the Player of the Year promotion continues. Win points all year based on your tournament performance to
qualify. The room gives away $5K-plus to the top qualifiers and hosts a tournament for the top 50 players.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: There’s a new weekly lineup with games every night at 6:30. Buy-ins range from $30 to $75. Sundays and Thursdays offer unlimited rebuys for the first hour.

Note on Thursdays: They play Omaha/8. The big monthly event is the $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament, which starts at 1 p.m.

Colorado

BLACK HAWK: Golden Gates recently hosted the $1,100 Colorado Poker Championship winter series main event, draw.

ing 307 entrants for a $297,790 prize pool. Matthew Grisham earned $68,493, followed by Ronnie Lamb ($44K), Kevin Palmer ($29K), Maxwell Young ($21K), Ben Keeline ($15K), Steven Cahill ($13K), Brian Leitch ($10K), David Newton ($9K) and Behrouz Keshtavar ($7K).

In other CPC events, Aaron Frei overcame nearly 600 entrants to win the kickoff tourney ($42,064). Second went to Nader Wahden ($26K), followed by Jay Daignault ($17K), Aaron Williams ($12K), Jordan Turoff ($9K) and Adrian Sanchez-Vasquez ($7K). Jessica Loyd won the women’s event for $3,110. The high roller had 39 entrants for a $91,650 prize pool.

Nicholas Pupilto took first for $36,650, second was Connie Bruce ($27K) and Theodore Skinner was third ($18K). The Heartland Poker Tour returns Feb. 7-19. • At Ameristar, the descending bad-beat jackpot (quad sixes) reached $350K at press time.

• The Isle of Capri offers a future free hotel room for six hours of live play (not active on day of play).

CRIPPLE CREEK: Promotions abound at the Midnight Rose as poker room manager Jeff Peck continues to offer popular week.end deepstacks. The Flopzilla starts early on Fridays at 4 p.m., and $120 gets you 40K chips.
Saturdays bring the Fast & Furious Freezeout where $65 pro.vides 30K chips with no re-entry. The bad-beat runoff will start Feb. 10. Call for details.

Oklahoma

The annual Reindeer Games series at Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs in Oklahoma ran Dec. 8-17. Ricky Sherrill defeated a field of 146 to take down the $350 main event for $12K. Gerrit Koch and Jose Nunez won $125 single-shot events; Jose Baires won the $75 event; Jay Maybry and Zachary Reinbold won $135 events.

Feb. 4 will be Super Sunday Splash Pots. Hold’em games will be splashed with $200 for touchdowns, $100 for field goals and $300 for safeties. The number of tables splashed will be deter.mined by the number of cash games running.

HARD ROCK CASINO: A busy immediate future awaits players. The Tulsa-based RunGood Poker Series kicks off its spring tour with a series that runs Feb. 6-11. The WSOPC also returns March 16-26. The first appearance of the tour last year, accord.ing to poker room manager Byron Long, drew more entries than all but three other circuit stops. This upcoming main event will feature a $1M guarantee. During the series, a shuttle will run to nearby hotels as the Hard Rock’s hotel sells out quickly. Three new hotel properties are being built in the immediate area.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The RunGood Poker Series returned Dec. 12-17. Michael Beatty dominated the final table, leading nearly from start to finish, to overcome a field of 293 entries to capture the $560 main event for $31,695. Beatty also chopped the series deepstack with Julie Cornelius, Li Wu and Andre Allen. Other winners were Cheng Zheng, Travis Walden and Isaac Hiteshew. The RunGood Poker Series returns April 10-15.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: On Thursdays (5-midnight), any full house triggers a $100 splash pot for the next hand. The room’s bad-beat jackpot was at nearly $137K at press time.

AMERISTAR CASINO: The 13-table room is offering a new tournament promotion. The top five in tournament leaderboard points for the month will earn a free entry into the last Saturday of the month $160 special.

Tuesday mornings will spread $4-$8 HO. This game complements well the $3-$6 limit and $4-$8 half-kill/$5-$10 kill Omaha/8 games that are featured throughout the week. The room’s weekly tournament schedule consists of Monday Survi.vor, Wednesday and Sunday bounty, Tuesday turbo and noon tournaments on Fridays and Saturdays.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: The Indigo Sky Poker League Champion.ship is Feb. 7 for $50. The room is closed Mondays. Thursday $50 events have a $500 guarantee with a 10-entry minimum.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: This 13-table enclosed room has a $10K quarterly freeroll, but you need to qualify. Call for details. The bad-beat jackpot was $124K-plus at press time. A royal-flush promotion continues and amounts range from $1,100 to nearly $2,500. The RunGood Series returns May 1-5.

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: The area’s largest room is expected to offer a Presidents Day River Series (Feb. 15-19). All events al.low re-entry. The 2017 series featured a $600 main event with 40-minute levels.

Meet Budgie

If you’ve ever played poker at Isleta Casino, then there’s a good chance you’ve played with the man they call
Budgie. He’s a legend in the game and in New Mexico.

“It is a game that should be played with common sense,” he said just before taking his favorite seat
at the table. “A lot of people have got a lot of money, but they don’t last long.”

The Texas native’s nickname came at an early age from his mother. Budgie said he’s played poker around the country, a love of which began as a child while watching his father play. “My father was a very good poker player and I’d go down and watch him play.” From that point, Budgie was hooked. He served in the army for 19 years and he said that’s where he really learned the game, “sometimes the hard way.” But over the years, poker has been good to him.

“I think I’m ahead of the game. I don’t like to lose,” he said. Budgie will turn 88 in May, and though players have
changed, he asserts he’s doing well. He said he’s raised his children off of his winnings.

So, what’s next for him? How about getting married? He married the love of his life in September. You could say
she’s his Queen of Hearts and he aims to be King of the Tables. — Donovan Livingston