Boggs and Battaglia take WSOPC mains in Indiana

November 30, 2017, Joe Giertuga, John Somsky, Ken Warren, Brian Bly, Chad Holloway, Josh Jetton  

Justin Boggs won the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Horseshoe Southern Indiana for almost $140K. It was the self-proclaimed recreational player’s first ring, though the health-and-fitness teacher from Ohio admitted he once entertained the idea of being a poker pro.

“First of all, the final table was just crazy,” Boggs said of the skill level among the nine finalists. “It makes me definitely feel more con dent about my game.” He faced Scott Montgomery, who made a WSOP main-event nal table in 2008, two- time ring-winner Chris Carey and Wendy Freedman, whose runner-up finish was the best for a woman in a main event here.

HORSESHOE HAMMOND: Blake Battaglia captured his first WSOPC ring in a big way by winning the main event at his home casino, receiving $332K. The pro from Chicago outlasted 1,247 entries, creating a prize pool just
short of $1.9M.

The victory is a tremendous boost to 31-year-old Battaglia’s career. The father of three formerly worked as an electrician, but recently transitioned to playing poker for a living.

“It hasn’t hit me yet. It’s unreal,” Battaglia said after his momentous score.

Jonathan Tamayo outlasted 2,349 entries to win the $365 NLHE opener for $101K-plus. The 31-year-old Texan owns three WSOPC rings. Tamayo’s road to victory was a long and grueling one. He broke through Flight C with a solid stack, then had a day off before entering, what would be, an extensive Day 2. The final table took five-plus hours to complete. “I just process everything and then time flies. I see the clock, but I don’t feel the time. I’ve done it too long,” said Tamayo, whose lifetime earnings are almost $1.5M.

Will Berry and his group of poker-playing friends have a “The key is that you have to want to win.” Berry accomplished his goal by taking down the high roller for $280K.

“I enjoyed this high roller a lot,” he said. “I think the structure was great. I actually think this was more enjoyable than the main. Not just because I won, but the people were pretty friendly throughout. It’s just a looser atmosphere.”
The 25-year-old pro from Oklahoma has established himself as a force on the circuit. He won his first WSOPC ring in March at the Hard Rock Tulsa’s main event.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: The Mega Bad Beat Jackpot was hit Oct. 15 for $378K. Combine that with the $780K paid in May and it marks the first time an Illinois casino has paid $1M with bad beats in a year.


HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: The Ohio Championship runs until Dec. 10, including the $250K guarantee main event, which has two starting flights (Dec. 8-9) and costs $550. Call 614-308.3333 for details.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO TOLEDO: The $6-$12 fixed-limit OE game is still going strong. This variation features Omaha and Omaha/8, alternating between the games round-by-round. The blinds are $4-$6 and every time a player scoops a pot of $60 or more, a kill goes into effect, increasing the stakes to $10-$20 for the next hand. Comps are $2 per hour. This featured game runs Mondays at 4 p.m., and Thursdays at 5.

In addition, the room is offering $500 high hands every 30 minutes on Dec. 1 (6 p.m.-midnight), Dec. 23 (3-midnight) and Dec. 31 (11 a.m.-7 p.m.).

JACK CASINO CLEVELAND: The $100K Pigskin & Poker promotion runs through Dec. 31. Cash-game and tournament players will earn drawing tickets by making big hands (aces full or better) from noon until midnight. Each Sunday during the promotion, one ticket will be drawn every hour from noon until 8 p.m., with each winner receiving $500. On the final Sunday (New Year’s Eve), prizes will range from $500 to $10K.


The FireKeepers Casino poker room set a record for the largest tournament field in Michigan history while hosting the Mid-States Poker Tour (Oct. 7-15). A player pool of 1,067 played to create a prize pool of $ Chris Meyers of Buffalo took the title and $191,196. On the final hand, Meyers flopped middle pair with 7-5 offsuit on a Q-5-2 flop. After two checks, the turn brought a seven, improving Meyers to two-pair. Millard Hale of Kalamazoo had flopped top pair. They got it all-in and Meyers won the title.

Michigan locals ran deep in this one as Hale took second, Altaf Motiwala (Kalamazoo) was third, Jerry Delisle (Hazel Park) grabbed fourth, Jake Reeser (Davison) was fifth, Djon Palushaj (Oakland) took seventh, James Miller (West Olive) took eighth, Santa Zawaideh (Birmingham) was ninth and Spencer Wright (Jeddo) finished 10th.

The MSPT returns here in May.

MOTOR CITY: The bad-beat jackpot (quads) was $935K at press time.


CANTERBURY PARK: Dennis Stevermer of St. Paul, Minn., took down the top prize of $85,477 at the Fall Classic Main Event.

Stevermer tangled with a stacked final table as notables included Todd Melander, Saad Ghanem, Max Havlish, MSPT champ Paul Cross, and Minnesota Poker Hall of Famer Tony Hartmann.

This was Stevermer’s second largest career cash, behind $243K for a fifth-place finish in this year’s WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event. It brings his career earnings to $637,487.

The $1,100 main event generated a prize pool of $363,753 and attracted 375 entries, which was a tad less than last year’s 389.

Adam Dahlin of St. Paul won the $2,500 high-roller event, taking home $43,857 after beating 52 of Minnesota’s
toughest competitors. Dedric Henderson of Minneapolis cashed in four events for $42,448 total. And Josh Damm of Forest City, Minn., cashed in five events, more than any player. The series included 30-plus events, resulting in a combined 5,736 entries and $1.4M in prize pools.

RUNNING ACES CASINO: Alex Moua of Lake Elmo, Minn., took home $24,623 after outlasting 676 entrants in the Hallow Scream tournament.

Moua got the most of an eight-way partial chop and got another $6K and the trophy when he was the last player standing. The $280 event featured six Day 1 flights. If players made it to Day 2 from multiple flights, their smallest stacks were bought for $1,200 each.


RIVERSIDE CASINO AND RESORT: Joe Villhauer won the WPT DeepStacks $1,100 main event for $29,875 and a $3K WPTD championship package at Thunder Valley Casino in California. Villhauer is an Iowa City native but has retired to Tennessee. He was one of the top stacks going into Day 2 and had the lead when final-table play began. Andrew Leopard was runner-up after losing a 5-to1 advantage when heads-up play began. His bite of the prize pool was $20,921. Scotter Clark was third ($13,453).

PRAIRIE MEADOWS CASINO: The Altoona poker room will host a $200 deepstack Dec. 17. Also, keep an eye on the bad-beat jackpot. It has exceeded $107K.

DIAMOND JO CASINO: The bad-beat jackpot was $150K at press time.

HORSESHOE COUNCIL BLUFFS: The Horseshoe Holiday Poker Classic runs between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Check with the poker room for more details.


REICHARD GETS NO. 8: In early October, Janesville’s Josh Reichard topped a field of 292 players to win the World Series of Poker Circuit’s $365 Monster Stack at Horseshoe Southern and his eighth gold ring. The win tied him for rings with the likes of Ari Engel, Robert Hankins and Chris Reslock. Two others have nine rings, while Florida’s Maurice Hawkins is the all-time leader with 10.

FPC WINNERS: At the beginning of October, Wausau’s Paokee “PKX” Xiong topped a field of 249 entries to win the Canter.bury Park Fall Classic’s Event 2 ($180 NLHE) for $9,321. Also, Oshkosh’s Anthony De Jesus topped a field of 72 to win the $340 HORSE title for $6,221. Waukesha’s Lisa Seamans came out on top of an 84-entry field to win the $125 women’s event for $2,285.

Meet Richard Breitenbach

Richard Breitenbach, 31, grew up in Horicon, Wis., and moved to the Wisconsin Dells area when he was 16. In his free time, Breitenbach, who has two brothers, enjoys playing baseball, pool, poker and doing anything on the water. How did you come to work in poker? I played softball with one of the poker supervisors and was always asking him about it. As soon as there was a class available, I jumped on the opportunity.

What do you like most about working in poker? The people. I’ve met so many great people working in the poker room, both players and employees.

What’s your favorite memory when it comes to your work and why? I have so many great memories in the poker room, but I would say my favorite would be seeing all the players’ faces light up with joy when I dealt them the bad-beat jackpot. — Chad Holloway