By Scotty Clark
With this being the first Ante Up article dedicated to the Missouri poker scene, what better way to kick it off than to look at what happened during the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Harrah’s St. Louis in April? The WSOPC had a successful St. Louis debut in 2010 so increased numbers across the board were no surprise this year. Poker room manager Denise Taykowski, along with WSOPC tournament director Jimmy Sommerfeld, ran a first-rate experience.
RING EVENT, PLAYERS, WINNER, HOMETOWN, WINNINGS
1. $345 NLHE, 843, Mark Pearse, Taylorville, IL, $47,096
2. $345 NLHE, 709, Dan Sztenderowicz, Philly, $41,589
3. $345 O/8, 181, Kurt Jewell, Frankfort, KY, $13,206
4. $345 H.O.R.S.E., 138, Ben Logan, Bristol, RI, $10,755
5. $345 NLHE, 393, Hugh Drummond, Vancouver, $21,436
6. $555 6-max, 205, Huyzer Nguyen, Norman, OK, $25,241
7. $555 NLHE, 276, Keith Woernle, Montgomery, AL, $31,477
8. $345 NLHE, 574, Rob Ellerman, Grain Valley, MO, $34,772
9. $345 NLHE, 253, La Sengphet, Carrollton, TX, $17,855
10. $1,600 M.E., 449, Kyle Cartwright, Bartlett, TN, $142,290
The first ring event broke last year’s record of 675 players to become the largest tournament in Missouri history. Highlights included Kurt Jewell, the 2011 Hammond (Ind.) WSOPC main event champion and Huyzer Nguyen, the Choctaw WSOPC main event champ, each winning their second WSOPC rings this season. La Sengphet also won her second WSOPC ring in the last event in St. Louis.
Despite the showings by Jewell, Nguyen and Sengphet, one player stood above the rest. Kyle Cartwright, 23, captured the main event and $142,290. This comes on the heels of his two WSOPC rings he won in Tunica, Miss., giving him three rings won in a 75-day span.
ST. LOUIS PRIMER: The St. Louis metropolitan area has four cardrooms and six casinos. In 2010, the region was the sixth largest gaming market in the nation, according to American Gaming Association. There are cardrooms at Ameristar in St. Charles, Harrah’s in Maryland Heights, Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis and River City Casino in South County on the River Des Peres.
— Scotty Clark is Ante Up’s Missouri Ambassador. You can follow him at ScottyClarkPoker.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.