Torres turns around his fortunes at Horseshoe Hammond

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Jose Torres was in the right place at the right time. The Horseshoe Hammond wrapped up its Summer Series with a $1,500 main event on Aug. 27. The 260 players and $364,000 prize pool made it the largest non-tour/circuit event in the Chicago area, giving Torres a historic victory and $83,720 payday. Torres said he has been relying on his poker skills since the real estate industry took a dive, winning his main-event seat in a $1-$2 game at the Horseshoe.

Many of Chicagoland’s top players showed up, including third-place finisher Elvin Simpson, Aaron Massey, Joel Casper, Kevin Saul, Tom Koral and Kenny Nguyen.

The Horseshoe staff is anticipating another record turnout for its World Series of Poker Circuit this month, especially for the $350 no-limit hold’em opener. It has a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool with a split Day 1. Thursday (Oct. 13) at noon will be Day 1A, and players will be allowed to re-enter 1B on Friday. With the new format this tournament could exceed a record 2,000 entrees.

The four-day $1,600 main event starts Oct. 21 at noon; this event also features a split Day 1 with a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool.It’s poised to be another record-breaker over last year’s 872 players.

For the budget-minded player the $200 stimulus tournament will be noon on Oct. 19. Other interesting events include pot-limit Omaha (Oct. 16, 5 p.m., $350 with $100 rebuys); Omaha/8 (Oct. 20, noon, $350); six-max (Oct. 18, noon, $560) and H.O.R.S.E. (Oct. 18, 5 p.m., $350). For the complete WSOPC schedule at Horseshoe Hammond visit wsop.com.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: Since opening its poker room, Harrah’s Joliet keeps coming up with great promotions. Its latest WSOP qualifier tournaments will send five players to the WSOP main event and 105 players to various WSOPC locations to play in the corresponding main events. Players can win a seat to the WSOPC main event at the Horseshoe Hammond.Monday through Friday sit-n-go qualifiers run 9 a.m. till midnight. Players can choose from a $45 SNG (one player advances to the Saturday mega satellite) or a $75 SNG (two players advance).

• The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation will hold its seventh annual casino night Oct. 22 at the Chicago Cultural Center. This charity event will feature a hold’em tournament for the grand prize. The Rolfe Foundation plays a critical role helping fund research for pancreatic cancer, raising more than $4 million this year.For more information rolfefoundation.org or call 312-726-7766.

— “Chicago” Joe Gieturga is the Ante Up Ambassador for the Chicagoland area. You can email him at chicago.joe@comcast.net.