WSOPC Baltimore goes to Cordell

June 01, 2017, Michael Young, Jo Kim, Dave Lukow  

Mike Cordell won the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore for $148,171. Popular pro Alex Queen finished second ($91,562).

The $1,675 tourney drew 449 entrants for a $673,500 prize pool.
Cordell started the final day with more than half of the chips in play and on the final hand, his K-J turned the nut straight against Queen’s pocket aces, to win his third circuit ring and a seat into August’s Global Casino Championship in Cherokee, N.C.

DOVER DOWNS HOTEL AND CASINO: Three tournaments with combined guarantees of $37K, including one worth $25K, highlight the June 23-25 Getaway Weekend. Here’s the schedule: June 23, 11:15 a.m., $10K guarantee, $115 buy-in, 25-minute blinds, 30K chips; June 24, 11:15 a.m., $25K guarantee, $200, 30-minute blinds, 30K chips; June 25, 11:15 a.m., $2K guarantee, $35, 30K chips.

MARYLAND LIVE: The World Poker Tour DeepStacks visited in April and the $1,500 main event had 338 entrants for nearly a $440K prize pool.

Jose Montes registered at the last minute on Day 1B and managed to grab the crown, good for $95,032, major WPTDS Player of the Year points and a $3K package toward the WPTDS Championship at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in December.

Montes took over the lead in shorthanded play with his kings vs. ace-king confrontation with Karim Bevans, making for the largest pot of the tournament. Montes made quick work of Nicholas Verderamo in heads-up play to claim the victory.

In other news, pending approval, the poker room is set to offer weekly $20K freerolls for eligible participants. Call the poker room for details.

Atlantic City/Philadelphia

BORGATA: The Spring Poker Open wrapped in early May with the $2,700 championship and its $1M guarantee. The event tallied 670 entries to reach $1.675M. It took four long days for the final table, but it only took five hours for Sam Taylor to claim the trophy and the $390,103.

The final table featured top pros, including 2015 WSOP champion Joe McKeehen, BPO champion Kane Kalas and John Racener.

Taylor took home his biggest win, pushing past $1.1M for his career.
“It was a really great experience overall,” Taylor said. “The support from the rail was awesome with all my friends from home coming out, it being on the East Coast.”

With last year’s BPO main winner, Chris Leong, at the rail, the two pros discussed hands and strategy throughout the final table. Taylor said he’ll play a full schedule at the WSOP and then will be taking a vacation.

HARRAH’S PHILADELPHIA: The poker room’s fourth Diamond Delight event easily surpassed its $100K guarantee by getting 1,931 players to plunk down $130 for a $187K prize pool.

The tournament had 16 Day 1 flights with the top 10 percent advancing. Six players chopped for $14,980 each. Jonathon Gonzalez took home the first-place prize of a WSOP main-event seat, and Joseph Melloni was second, upgrading his rewards status to diamond.

“I enjoyed the Diamond Delight as the structure allows for somewhat deepstack play,” Melloni said. “The multiple Day 1s provide a solid prize pool.”

SUGARHOUSE CASINO: Joe “Worm” Palma has been named a poker room ambassador along with Team Pro Matt Glantz. Palma will promote the room through social media, including nightly cash games, particularly PLO, and upcoming tournaments.

“We are thrilled to have Joe on board with our team,” poker room manager Vicki Sims said. “As an established professional in the area and someone who travels to play across the country, Joe is a perfect representative to help the SugarHouse brand grow.”

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Palma said. “We are talking about designing and running a tournament series in the fall. Stay tuned for new events. Should be great.”

SugarHouse made many changes to the room recently with additional state-of-the-art TVs and popular promotions.

MOHEGAN SUN POCONO: The World Tavern Poker Open runs June 4-7 at the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., property. For more information, go to worldtavernpoker.info.

New York

TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO: Richard Block won the recent $250 Spring Fling Main Event for $13K, beating nearly 400 players, who generated an $81K prize pool.

From Alden, N.Y., Block has cashed twice in Verona this year.
The second-place finisher, Jon Walker, earned $11K, while William Bramer pocketed $10,126 for third. Ryan Koster was fourth ($9K) and Thomas Matacale finished fifth ($4,012). The main event ran April 21-23.

In other news, Brian Ballentine of Liverpool, N.Y., won the $570 March Mania Main Event for $24K. With 299 entries, the prize pool was $149,500.

Brian Vollick took home $14,500 for finishing second, while Russell Campanella (third) got $14,080.

Canadian Peter Beshay (fourth) and Leonid Kaplin (fifth) earned $11K apiece.

Scott Dennis of Oneida, N.Y., outlasted 520 players to win Event 1 ($250) of March Mania for $20K. Nicholas Forgione (second) and Michael Burke (third) both took home $12,612. Robert Burgstahler was fourth ($12,611) and Michael Varre was fifth ($5,306). The prize pool was $109,410.

SENECA NIAGARA: Guy Klass and Peter Beshay chopped the Western New York Poker Challenge’s main event for $47,016. The prize pool for the $1K event was $235,681 with 267 entries.

Anne Jones (third) earned $26,161, while Michael Malm banked $19,326 for fourth. Mark Bowersock got $14,377 for fifth.

Connecticut

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO: Daniel Chalifour of Swanzey, N.H., won the $1,650 main event of the MegaStack Challenge on May 14 for $61K. There were 169 players in the field for a $245,895 prize pool at the Mashantucket property.

Stephen Song of Greenwich, Conn., was second ($41,556) followed by Ernie Hou of Fall River, Mass., ($30,541).

Meet Mikey Ta

Parx shift manager Mikey Ta recently won two of the four tournaments in the Philadelphia Poker Classic at SugarHouse Casino so we thought we should chat with him.

Tell us about your relationship to poker. I’ve been on Parx staff for six years and a player for 10.Within the past two years, I’ve been trying to play as many tournaments as I can, while cash games I play maybe once a month. I don’t have enough time to take off of work to play multiple tournaments. Since working the Big Stax Series, I’ve learned a lot about that lifestyle and how hard it is on them.

What’s it like working for Parx? I only play tourneys around the area, but my main relationship to poker is working at Parx. I got hired as just a chiprunner then moved to dual-rate/chiprunner/dealer in six months. After about a year, I got promoted to supervisor/dealer and this past January I became a full-time floor. I love working here and would never give it up to be a full-time poker player. — Jo Kim