Stones hosts $250K Classic Sept. 29-Oct. 8 in NorCal

September 01, 2017, Garrett Roth, Kittie Aleman, Rob Solomon, Jay Zeman, Philip Chow  

Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights, Calif., will host its $250K Fall Classic series Sept. 29-Oct. 8. It will have six events with the first five being one-day tournaments. The series kicks off with two $120 events Sept. 29, a morning no-limit hold’em tourney and a $5K guarantee Omaha/8 event in the evening.

The third tourney is Sept. 30 and will be an amplifier event where the buy-in and starting stack will escalate depending on what time a player enters the tournament. For example, if a player buys in from 10-10:30 a.m., it will cost $120 and they’ll receive 10K chips. But they buy in from 1:40-2:20, their buy-in will be $550 and they’ll receive 60K chips with other price levels in between. There will be unlimited re-entries for the first eight levels of this event.
The fourth tourney is Oct. 1 and is a $300 bounty with $100 for every knockout. Next, there will be a $200 six-max event Oct. 2.

The $450 main event runs Oct. 5-8 with a $150K guarantee. Finally, this series will have special guest commentators, including David Tuchman, Justin Hammer, Jonathan Little and Annette Obrestad. See the ads on Pages 17 and 19 of our September issue for more on this series and the $20K Limit Hold’em promotion.

THUNDER VALLEY CASINO RESORT: The Lincoln property hosts the World Series of Poker Circuit in its Up the Ante poker room Sept. 14-25. There will be 12 ring events, kicking off with a $250K guarantee $365 NLHE tourney that plays out over four days (Sept. 14-17). Some other highlighted tournaments are a $25K guarantee bounty with a $365 buy-in on Sept. 17 and a $50K guarantee with a $580 buy-in on Sept. 20. There are two mixed-game options during the series: $365 pot-limit Omaha on Sept. 18 and a $365 HORSE event Sept. 19.

The two biggest events will be the $1,675 main event with a $500K guarantee (Sept. 22-25) and a $2,200 high roller (Sept. 24-25). Thunder Valley will have satellites starting Sept. 11 and they will run throughout the series.

Southern California

Barry Seidman won the $250 San Diego Classic at Ocean’s 11 Casino, earning $38,873. He finished 70th in this event in April. The $150K guarantee was beat by nearly $100K.

Rounding out the top nine were Anders Wright ($26,687), Daniel Lujano ($26,546), Richard Vasse ($20,264), Shaun Davis ($11,470), Mike Piellucci ($8,830), Daniel Illingworth ($6,875), Scott Murrie ($5,415) and Jose Cisneros ($4,315).

HUSTLER CASINO: Chester Burnett took first in the $777,777 Feeling Lucky tournament. The event, which used the Quantum format, drew 2,296 Day 1 entries at $375 and 92 Day 2 entries at $2,900, which pushed the prize pool to $964,762, easily beating the guarantee. Burnett took home $160,697 for his win. He has a long list of tournament cashes and this win pushed his overall earnings to nearly $400K.

WSOP RECAP: The World Series saw great representation from California with 19,427 Golden State entries over the 70-plus events. Two Southern California players earned bracelets in the last few events.

Nipun Java captured his second bracelet in Event 71 ($1K online), good for $237K. In June, he won his first bracelet in the Tag Team event for $75,318. He has lifetime earnings of $1M-plus in WSOP events. After the WSOP, he flew to Florida and captured a major event at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. See the South Region roundup for more on this remarkable run.
Adrian Moreno of Corona earned his first bracelet and $528,316 in Event 74 ($1K Little One for One Drop). He cashed in two other events this summer, too (19th place, Event 60, $888 Crazy Eights, $26,070 and 23rd place, Event 47, $1500 NLHE, $37,831). Moreno has lifetime WSOP earnings of $618,735.

Jana De La Cerra took third in Event 70 ($10K women’s championship) for $57,930.

Three SoCal players placed in the top 10 in Event 72 ($10K stud championship). Amir Mirrasouli was fourth for $73,810. John Monnette added to his impressive resumé with his 64th WSOP cash and took fifth. His $53,621 prize brought total WSOP winnings to $2,329,989. Monnette cashed in 14 events this summer and earned his third bracelet in Event 22 ($10K no-limit deuce-to-seven lowball draw).

Bryce Yockey also had a nice run, too. His sixth-place finish in Event 72 gave him six cashes this series for 31 cashes total. He earned $40,066, which gives him $1,629,877 in WSOP earnings. Yockey won his first bracelet in Event 51 ($10K pot-limit Omaha/8).

PALA CASINO SPA & RESORT: Chipleader Jake Amaya of La Habra, Calif., won $3,502 and the championship of the Pala River Card tournament on Aug. 6, when the final four players agreed to a chop. There were 125 players in the field for an $18,250 prize pool. Amaya was followed by Matt Goddard of Carlsbad ($2,540), Gary Karner of Laguna Woods ($2,530), Patrick Mitchell of Carlsbad ($2,190), Dana Katzenmeir of Rancho Santa Fe ($1,229), Anthony Ditomaso of El Cajon ($1,018), Thomas Czyszczon of San Diego ($890), Russell Davies of San Diego ($720), Eugene Zou of Fallbrook ($635) and Richard Lanes of El Cajon ($509).

PECHANGA RESORT AND CASINO: The Temecula poker room is now sharing space with a new off-track betting area. It seats 65 and had 22 large TVs.

Reno

The Silver Legacy poker room is flourishing after celebrating its grand opening in July.

Games are being played until around 2:30 a.m. on a regular basis.The Vegas-style atmosphere in the room creates a lot of attention from passers-by.The turnout of regulars and tourists has been impressive, as the location of the room seems perfect as it stands between Circus Circus and the Eldorado.

The sportsbook, restaurants and restrooms are just steps from this spacious room. The room is lively with high ceilings, 12 flatscreen TVs, three custom chandeliers, and a concessions bar that serves drinks, snacks and sandwiches throughout the day. Private tournaments are available for business, golf groups, birthday parties and more. In addition, the poker room is available on the Bravo Poker Live app, which allows players to view cash-game lists and tournament schedules.

As for promotions, Monday Madness gives away $100 an hour. This promo features two $50 hot-seat drawings per hour (7-11 p.m.). The winner must be present and playing in a live game to claim prize money.

The new $3-$6 limit promotion features two $20 hot-seat drawings per hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

PEPPERMILL CASINO: Enjoy the graveyard high-hand promotion from 2 to 10 a.m. daily. The payout is $100-$350 depending on the progression and requires a $20 pot qualifier.

HARVEYS LAKE TAHOE: The schedule for the World Series of Poker Circuit will be announced soon, but the dates are
Oct. 26-Nov. 6. Stay tuned for details. Cash games have new promotions: Receive $100 for making quad nines or better, $300 for straight flushes and $500 for royals.

GRAND SIERRA: Players earn $2 per hour in comps for live play. The room also provides a free buffet at 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

Pacific Northwest

TAYLOR-BRADY STAYS HOT: We reported in August that Esther Taylor-Brady of Portland, as of press time, had made three final tables at the World Series. Well, she wasn’t done there. She took third in Event 67 ($25K pot-limit Omaha/8 High Roller) for a remarkable $544K.In addition to her four final tables, Taylor-Brady had four other WSOP cashes to nearly double her lifetime total tournament winnings to $1.5M.

WILDHORSE RESORT AND CASINO: The Pendleton, Ore., property completed its Summer Round-Up on July 23.Winners included Angel Iniquez from Richland, Wash., (Event 1, $5K), Daniel Johnson from Meridian, Idaho, (Event 2, $7K), Dick Turner from Ellensburg, Wash., (Event 3, $11K), Michael Young from Pendleton (Event 4, $3K), Kim Wood from Salem, Ore., (Event 5, $19K) and Gunnar Gunderson from Walla Walla, Wash., (Event 6, $2K).

LITTLE CREEK CASINO RESORT: The South Sound Fall Poker Championship runs Sept. 4-11 with seven tournaments and a total of $10K added to the prize pools. The series features a seniors event and a Survivor event.Buy-ins range from $50 for the opening super-satellite to $340 for the main event Sept. 10.

CHINOOK WINDS CASINO: Twice a year, the Lincoln, Ore., casino closes its seven-table poker room and fills a meeting room next door with 20-plus tables. This time it’s for the Fall Coast Classic, which runs Sept. 16-24.Starting with a $340 six-max event that sports a $75K guarantee, the tourney has two Day 1s (Sept. 16-17).

There will be single-day events during the week, including a $150 tourney, $130 seniors, $160 Omaha/8, $110 bounty, $160 pot-limit Big O/8, $180 NLHE and an $80 add-on event (each with guarantees) and culminating in a two-day $575 main event with a $150K guarantee Sept. 23-24.

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO: If you missed the ad in Ante Up’s August issue, here is a reminder: The $55K-added Summer Poker Classic runs Sept. 13-17.Event 1 will be a $250 shootout with $4K added and Event 2 is a $200 Omaha/8 tourney.
The remaining events are NLHE: Event 3, $200, $4K added; Event 4, $300, $5K added; Event 5, $500, $10K added and Event 6, $750, $20K added.The remaining $14K in added money will be distributed to the top four players in overall tournament performance.

Las Vegas

ARIA: The poker room is hosting a series of high rollers called the Poker Masters series Sept. 13-20. The player with the most total earnings over the five events will be crowned Poker Masters champion.Two-day, $50K events run four consecutive days beginning Sept. 13.On Sept. 18, a $100K, three-day event finishes things.The $50K events allow a single re-entry and there’s no re-entry for the $100K event.

BINION’S: The poker room has revised its tournament schedule. The Saturday tournament at 1 p.m. now has a $175 buy-in and graduated levels. The first eight levels are 30 minutes, the next six are 40 minutes and the levels increase to 60 minutes beginning at Level 15.Players start with a 20K stack and the tournament offers a $10K guarantee.

On the last Saturday of each month, that tournament is replaced by the new “Saturday Special,” a $240 event that has a $15K guarantee and starts players with 25K chips.It has the same graduated levels as the regular Saturday tournament.
New on Sunday is a $150 tournament at 1 p.m.Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels. The guarantee is $5K.

Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. and daily at 6 p.m. is a $125 event with a 20K starting stack and 20-minute levels.

HARRAH’S: The mid-Strip room is offering five tournaments a day at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 7 and 10.The buy-in is $65 for 5K chips, with an optional $5 add-on for 2,500 more. There’s a $500 guarantee. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 a $100 bounty tournament is offered instead. The bounty is $25, the starting stack is 10K and the $5 add-on gets 5K more chips.The guarantee is $1K.

Promotions for the room include high hands of $50 for quads, $100 for a straight flush and $300 for a royal. High hands hit during tournament play qualify for the bonus. There are biweekly freerolls for 20 hours of live play.There is a weekly freeroll for the top nine players with most hours of live play between 6 a.m. and noon.

RIO: Tournaments are offered six times a day, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4, 7, 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.Monday through Thursday, all tournaments are $65, with 20-minute levels, a 5K starting stack. There’s a $5 add-on for another 5K chips.The guarantee is $500.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bounty tournaments are offered instead. The $75 buy-in runs at 1 p.m., 7 p.m., and 1 a.m, and features $10 bounties and a $500 guarantee.The $100 buy-in is offered at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., with
$25 bounties and a $1K guarantee. All bounty tournaments feature 20-minute levels and have the $5 add-on for $5K chips.

Promotions include a micro-bad-beat jackpot. The worst losing hand to qualify is quads with a pocket pair. The losing hand gets $500, the winning hand gets $100 and the rest of the players at the table get $25. High hands pay $50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $400 for royals.

CAESARS PALACE: The new schedule offers four tournaments daily. The 10 a.m and 6 p.m. tournaments have $125 buy-ins, a 12K stack and a $2K guarantee.The buy-in at 2 and 9 p.m. is $150 for a 15K stack and a $3K guarantee. All tournaments feature 20-minute levels.

PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The Grand Finale of the Goliath series saw Mihai Manole of London earn $210K for his victory. Bulgaria’s Yaron Malki received $130K for second and New Zealand’s Sam Ruha pocketed $95K for third.The $1,650 event had 684 players and prize pool of $1M-plus.

The regular tournament schedule features a special Sunday tournament at 10 a.m. It has a $130 buy-in for a 10K stack, with a $5 add-on for 5K more. The levels are 20 minutes. The guarantee is $7,500 and first place is guaranteed to be at least $2K. The top 15 spots will be in the money. Players can earn a free entry into this tournament by logging 20 hours of live play the week before.

Five $80 tournaments run daily, at 10 a.m. (except Sunday), 1 p.m., 4, 7 and 10. Players start with 12K chips and play 20-minute levels. The guarantee is $1,500.

Promos include high hands, $50 for quads, $100 for straight flushes and $500 for royals. Any table where quads or a straight flush is hit gets a $25 splash pot. Every player at the table when a royal is hit gets $25. Three hours of live play between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. earn players a $20 food voucher or a free buffet.

VENETIAN: The top prize in the $5K Deep Stack main event went to Spain’s Javier Gomez, resulting in a $561K payday after a three-way chop. Paul Hoefer of Germany took home $393K for second and Sweden’s Martin Jacobson, 2014 WSOP champ, received $398K for third. With 688 entrants, the prize pool was $3M-plus, easily topping the $1M guarantee.

BELLAGIO: Patrick Leonard of the United Kingdom took home $475K for winning this year’s Bellagio Cup in July. When play was four-handed, Leonard, Jonathan Karamalikis, Adrian Attenborough and Stefan Schillhabel made a deal and then played for the title. As a result, Karamalikis received $523K, though he was runner-up.Attenborough earned $361K and Schillhabel claimed $299K.The $10,400 event attracted 271 entrants, creating a prize pool of $2.6M.

WYNN: Yazdi Ardavan won the championship event at the Wynn Classic in July, earning $237K. Mohammadi Homan took second for $212K and Scott Hall received $201K for third. The $1,600 event drew 2K-plus entrants, resulting in a prize pool of nearly $3M , smashing the $1M guarantee.

— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.

RIP Gene Trimble

Well-respected gaming industry veteran Gene Trimble died July 12 in Las Vegas. He had a long, eventful career in gaming and poker. He was poker room manager for the Palms Casino Resort from its 2001 opening until early 2006, playing a vital role in Celebrity Poker Showdown being filmed there.

He continued to run the Palms’ casino chip design and release program and poker tournament events part-time until retirement in 2012.

Trimble started as a poker dealer at the Holiday Center Strip in 1980 and was poker manager at the Four Queens (1981-96), creating its Four Queens Poker Classic, the second-largest tournament in the world after the WSOP.Other jobs he held along the way include positions at Fiesta (Rancho) Hotel Casino and 600 days at sea running poker cruises for Classic Poker Cruises.

A prolific collector of casino chips and tokens, he joined the Casino Chips and Gaming Tokens Collectors Club and was enshrined in its hall of fame. He also wrote many articles on chip- and poker-related matters for Gaming Times, Club, Poker Digest and Blackjack Confidential. With Mark Lighterman, Trimble published a book on the H.C. Edwards records regarding that company’s manufacturing of chips for illegal games for nearly four decades starting in the 1940s.
He always was willing to talk about the business and mentored so many poker room managers.

Trimble leaves behind an impressive body of work and will be missed by the industry. — Elliott Schecter