Hoffman wins MegaStack at Foxwoods in Connecticut

January 31, 2018, Dave Lukow, Jo Kim, Michael Young  

Another successful MegaStack Challenge is in the books at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., and this time it was Max Hoffman of Cambridge, Mass., who took top honors in $1,650 main event, collecting $63,555 for the victory. Steven Song of Greenwich, Conn., earned $41,310 as runner-up as there were 168 entries for a tournament that had a $250K guarantee. Ovi Mihu (fourth) took home
$20,532.

Mark Schumacher and Michael Dobbs earned $72,047 after a chop in Event 1, a $600 tourney. Schumacher of Hopkinton, Mass., earned the trophy and Dobbs, a New York resident, was second. Christopher Smith of Wallingford, Conn., was third ($37,223).

With a $500K guarantee, the competition drew 959 participants. The fourth-place finisher, Christopher Orme, received $25,884, while Anthony Dicomo (fifth) got $17,995.

Other event winners included Alfred Poon (Event 2, $300 Omaha/8), Jose Tronilo (Event 3, $250 Super Stack Turbo), Ted Driscoll (Event 4, $250 Super Stack Turbo), Jeff Yanchek (Event 5, $300 Big Stack), Cynthia Gast (Event 6, $300 Seniors), Soukha Kachittvong (Event 7, $400 NLHE), Stephan Siebold (Event 8, $500 Big Stack), Cheryl Sloane (Event 9, $230 Ladies Only), Justin Gamache (Event 11, $250 Super Stack Turbo) and Luis Vazquez (Event 12 $300 Big Stack).

The Foxwoods Poker Classic runs March 9-26.

MOHEGAN SUN: Vito Masi of Troy, N.Y., won the opener of the Fall Showdown in Uncasville, Conn. The $200 event drew 416 entries for a $69K prize pool, paying Masi $8,602.

Other winners in the series were Worcester, Mass., resident Sean Thomson, who captured the first $300 NLHE title for $4K, and Stephen Brunell of Stonebridge, Mass., who won the second $300 NLHE event in a chop for $2,800. He chopped with Tom Ratkovich and Sidney Farber.

TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO: Joseph Elhage got by Chris Damick to win the $570 main event of the Superstacks Hold’em Series in Verona, N.Y. The victory was worth $25,314.

Damick, along with Cyrus Sami (third), earned $15K. The prize pool for the NLHE tourney, which had 212 participants, was $106K. Syracuse resident Fady Khabbaz, who finished fourth, earned $14K.

RESORTS WORLD CATSKILLS: The casino-resort in Monticello, N.Y., will have a soft opening Feb. 8. The property, about 90 miles from Manhattan, is expected to have a poker room as part of its 150 live table games. The grand opening is set for May, but you can call 833-586-9358 for more information.

Mid-Atlantic

LIVE CASINO HOTEL: There are a lot of promotions this month, including Valentine’s Day Heart Flush and the February Grind. See the ad in our current issue for more on these and some fine high-hand promotions.

DOVER DOWNS HOTEL & CASINO: Presidents Day Weekend features $53K in guaranteed prizes for the poker room. Four NLHE tournaments, including one with a $30K guarantee, run Feb. 16-19. The schedule is as follows: Feb. 16, 11:15 a.m., $10K guarantee, $125 buy-in, 25-minute blinds; Feb. 17, 11:15 a.m., $30K guarantee, $225 buy-in, 30-minute blinds; Feb. 18, 11:15 a.m., $10K guarantee, $125 buy-in, 25-minute blinds; Feb. 19, 11:15 a.m., $3K guarantee, $45 buy-in, 20-minute blinds.

WORLD SERIES OF CHARITY POKER DC: The schedule includes: Feb. 3, Pre-Super Bowl Game at Arena Stage and Feb. 11, the main event, which is a deepstack tournament at Hill Country. For more info, visit, allinenterprises.org.

Atlantic City-Philadelphia

Atlantic City will be facing multiple new developments this year in hopes of reviving the city from its economic deficit. The Boardwalk will see major changes in preparation of two new casinos: the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort Casino, which should open this summer. The casinos are focusing on ways to bring business to the city by offering heightened entertainment attractions, a music memorabilia museum and sports gambling.

Though half of Atlantic City’s casinos have closed over the past decade, there still are six casinos operating in spite of more casinos rising in the surrounding regions.

The city is looking for ways to revive its economy by increasing property assets and management toward boosting the community.

The former Showboat Casino had a $220M transformation and became Stockton University and the demolition of the for.mer Trump Plaza most likely will be this year to revitalize the property at the center of the Boardwalk.

OCEAN RESORT CASINO: Revel, which opened in 2012 and had a poker room, went bankrupt after two years. The $2.4B property was picked up by Glenn Straub, a Florida businessman, for $82M in 2015 then recently sold for $200M to Bruce Deifik of Integrated Properties Inc., in 2017.

Deifik plans to establish a sportsbook facility, pending U.S. Supreme Court’s approval. Atlantic City is making a slow recovery through online gaming, which has been yielding gam.ing revenue growth over the years.

Boardwalk casinos stay hopeful with the outlook of new amenities and sports gambling in the near future. The Ocean Resort could employ 3,000 people.

HARD ROCK: New management of the casino once known as Trump Taj Mahal began after New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved gaming operations.

The property will get a $500M renovation, likely with a poker room, for its reopening as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Memorial Day Weekend. The project should generate 1,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

BORGATA: Fernando Lima of Severn, Md., and Suresh Suryawanshi of Charles Town. W.Va., chopped the $100K guarantee deep-stack on Dec. 30 for nearly $30K each.

The $400 event drew 436 players for a $152,600 prize pool. At press time, the Winter Open was running and wraps Feb. 2. HARRAH’S CASINO: The World Series of Poker Circuit returns March 8-19. In the meantime, the poker room hosts $65 events at 8:15 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays with $2,500 guarantees.

VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT: Recent passed legislation allows this Philadelphia-area property to add 250 slot machines and 15 poker tables. It also can apply for online gaming and sports-betting licenses as they become available.

The casino has a 40,000 square-foot gaming floor and two hotel towers. Stay tuned for updates.

Meet Karen Gimbrone

Karen Gimbrone, the poker manager at Seneca Gaming & Entertainment’s Salamanca
Poker Room, wanted to learn about poker. Her curiosity created a career.

How did you start working for Seneca Gaming? I started out as a dealer. I wasn’t looking for a job, but I kind of fell into it. Three years later, I sold my store and did poker on a full-time basis. This was going to be a social job. It turned into a career. And I love it.

What got you interested in poker? I started playing poker right before I started working here. I started watching poker on TV and wanted to learn about it. I love to play poker. I love
to watch poker.

Do you have any upcoming tournaments in Salamanca? Our biggest tournament is on the third Thursday of every month. It’s a $5K guarantee deepstack. The first Friday of the month, at 7 p.m., we have a tournament. On Saturdays and Sundays, we have a standard noon tournament. We also offer daily promotions such as high hands, splash pots and game starters. We have a bad beat jackpot, which is capped at $25K. — Dave Lukow