Theriac wins Magnolia State Fall Poker Classic

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The Magnolia State Fall Classic, which Ante Up sponsored, kicked off at the Horseshoe Tunica on Nov. 15, featuring a series of affordable buy-in deepstack events. Though this tournament was created for players who might be looking for an alternative to the larger, more expensive circuit events, in its third year the Magnolia drew crowds of casual players and pros alike.

No one was entirely sure what to expect in terms of turnout with it being just a few days before Thanksgiving and amidst a sudden rainy cold spell.What they got was seven days of fantastic action, large fields, abundant prize pools and the southern hospitality everyone has come to expect from the Shoe.

The Southern hospitality ran rampant through the playing fields.At the final table of one of the 7 p.m. events, Lowell Hottman of Lawrence, Kan., agreed to an even chop despite his significant chip lead, saying, “We’ve all had such a good time playing together, why not?”

Local pros Bob Talbot, Kenny “Bad Hat” Piel and Mike “White Tiger” Woods all returned from their run at the IP in Biloxi just a few short weeks ago in time to compete against one another in the seniors event. Ultimately, Piel took it down to win $5,771.

With structures and staffing orchestrated by Horseshoe tournament director Dale Carden and poker room manager Lisa Crompton the tournament series ran seamlessly.The main event, featuring a $500 buy-in, included a bracelet for the champion and a seat in this month’s Harrah’s Tunica WSOPC event.

Local favorites Stephen Garrett, Phyllis Milam and Tony Underhill were among the main event’s 113 entrants, but after 14 hours only two remained: Ryan Potter of Memphis and Al Theriac of Shreveport, La., who went heads-up for the jewelry, the $19K first-place prize and the main event seat. After about an hour Potter’s pocket eights ran into the pocket jacks and bigger stack of Theriac, sending Potter to the rail with a $13K paycheck.Theriac was elated.

“I’ve been playing poker probably four years,” Theriac said, “but mostly just in little tournaments.I was just glad to do this for the old folks.I’ll be 72 (this month).”

What about retirement? “I’ll retire when Doyle Brunson retires, which means never,”said Theriac, who said this was the biggest cash of his career. “I gave the money I won to my wife, Delores. She was very happy.She was there, standing behind me at the final table.”
“He’s an awesome player,” Potter said of Theriac.“Very hard to figure out.”

At the beginning of the heads-up battle, talk of a chop circulated through the rail birds. Theriac would have none of that.

“They call me Al ‘No Chop’ Theriac. I’ve made a lot of enemies that way, but I don’t chop.”
As for the bracelet he won?He wears it to his local game at the Horseshoe in Bossier City, La. “It hasn’t scared anybody yet,” he said. “Everyone here is so proud of me.It really feels good.”

WSOPC TUNICA: The Mississippi tournament circuit continues this month as the World Series of Poker circuit stops at Harrah’s in Tunica. Supervisor Steve Batewell said the main poker room has expanded to about 30 tables to accommodate the live action driven by the Jan. 27-Feb. 15 series.

“We’re going to use the main event center as our event room, which holds 60 tables,” Batewell said. “If we need it, there are 10 tables for overflow in the old Diamond Lounge. It’s always extravagant, and though we always have a fantastic tournament, we expect this one to be the biggest we’ve ever had.”

Each day will be a two-day noon event, plus events at 2 and 4 p.m. The three-day main event, which now costs $1,600 instead of $5K, begins Feb. 13 at noon.

“We’re very excited about this tournament,” Batewell said. Poker pro Paul Wasicka won the main event there last year.

— Jennifer Gay is a poker journalist, poker room supervisor and poker player local to the Mid-South region.Her column will focus on the Mississippi-area poker scene. She can be contacted at facebook.com/aceofjewels.

Main Event • $550 NLHE
Entries: 113 • Prize Pool: $54,805
1. Al Theriac, Shreveport, LA, $19,183 2. Ryan Potter, Southaven, MS, $13,701 3. Rob Chaney, Crawfordsville, AR, $7,125
4. Ronald Brown, $4,384
5. Thang Dang, $3,562
6. Darrell Murray, $2,466
7. Ralph Reid, $1,918
8. Jay Friedman, $1,370
9. Richard McCrary, $1,096

MFC Nightly NLHE
Entries: 44 • Prize Pool: $5,335
1. Shane Barnard, Cordova, TN, $2,400 2. David Kirkscey, $1,334
3. John Sappenfield, $800
4. Chun Chen, $534
5. Samuel Barnhart, $267

BH/WT Cash Blast
Entries: 38
1. Stan Thorson, Cordova, TN, WSOPC seat

Seniors (40-plus) NLHE
Entries: 85 • Prize Pool: $16,490
1. Ken Piel, Robinsonville, MS, $5,771 2. Jeffery Poole, $4,123
3. Michael Scott, $2,144
4. Jackie Rutherford, $1,319
5. Jerry Hall, $1,072
6. Michael Uselton, $742
7. George Younger, $577
8. Bobby Byram, $412
9. Linda Kennedy, $330

MFC Nightly • $160 NLHE
Entries: 55 • Prize Pool: $6,669
1. Jessie Pyrdom, Memphis, $2,335 2. Wayne West, $1,667
3. Mark Thompson, $867
4. Scott Tilsen, $534
5. Bert Marcrum, $433
6. Ronnie Carroll, $300
7. Charlene Bias, $233
8. Jeffery Hearn, $167
9. Kenneth Snyder, $133

$340 NLHE
Entries: 73 • Prize Pool: $21,243
1. Frank Davis, Jacksonville, FL, $7,434
2. David Rylander, $5,311
3. James Lockmiller, $2,762
4. Mark Cooney, $1,699
5. Happy Nakonewh, $1,381
6. Richard Hash, $956
7. Stan Compton, $744
8. Dale Hinson, $531
9. Dina Rylander, $425

Ladies NLHE
Entries: 33 • Prize Pool: $4,001
1. Tammy Vuylsteke, Hanceville, AL, $1,801
2. Carolyn Starnes, $1,000
3. Darlene DeJesus, $600
4. Elizabeth Blevins, $400
5. Penny Helton, $200

MFC Nightly
Entries: 65 • Prize Pool: $7,881
1. Michael Pelt, Florence, AL, $2,757
2. Tony Higgins, $1,970
3. Jeffery Wilson, $1,025
4. Mason Favazza, $631
5. Hoyt Lance, $512
6. JW Smith, $355
7. Michael Hill, $276
8. Linda Kennedy, $197
9. Jerome Jones, $158

$230 NLHE
Entries: 91 • Prize Pool: $17,654
1. Garry Rouse, Gilmer, Texas, $6,179
2. Bradley Lee, $4,414
3. Jeffery Barber, $2,295
4. Stuart Breakstone, $1,412
5. John Barber, $1,148
6. William Underhill, $794
7. John Gilbert, $618
8. Robert Gregory, $441
9. Kenneth Sebren, $353

MFC Nightly • $150 NLHE
Entries: 39 • Prize Pool: $4,729
1. Kevin Linker, State University, AR, $1,467
2. Claude Garrison, $1,182
3. Kelvin Hall, $709
4. David Smith, $473
5. Robert Goodman, $236

$230 NLHE
Entries: 82 • Prize Pool: $15,908
1. Paul Singleton, Dickson, TN, $5,567
2. Linda Kennedy, $3,977
3. Luther Lewis, $2,068
4. Larry Williamson, $1,273
5. Calvin Kincade, $1,034
6. Stephen Vuylsteke, $716
7. William Underhill, $557
8. William Hinson, $398
9. Jon McKamie, $318

MFC Nightly NLHE
Entries: 54 • Prize Pool: $6,547
1. Pete Manzanares, Broken Arrow, OK, $2,290
2. Ken Williams, $1,637
3. James Spaulding, $851
4. Glen Sovich, $524
5. Cory Davis, $426
6. Emmitt Smith, $295
7. Jennifer Gay, $229
8. Richard Sanders, $164
9. Marvin Vining, $131

$230 NLHE
Entries: 74 • Prize Pool: $14,356
1. John Poole, Trinity, AL, $5,026
2. Shane Barnard, $3,589
3. Scott Cooper, $1,866
4. Jerry Hall, $1,148
5. Jermine Meekins, $933
6. Cody Olson, $646
7. David Mansfield, $502
8. Stewart Simpkins, $359
9. Bradley Lee, $287

MFC Nightly NLHE
Entries: 45 • Prize Pool: $5,456
1. Lowell Hottman, Topeka, KS, $2,455
2. Jeffery Thurn, $1,364
3. Sam Brackstone, $818
4. Jennifer Gay, $546
5. Charles Roberts, $273