Ft. McDowell to host November charity events

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By Christopher Cosenza

Whenever a poker room makes a difference it’s always worth noting. Twice this month Ft. McDowell Casino will host charity poker tournaments, one benefitting children and the other helping soldiers fighting overseas.

The fourth annual Fields for Kids event will have flights and feature a $150 buy-in Nov. 4 (4 and 7 p.m.) and Nov. 5 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) with the finals Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. with proceeds going to the Arizona Baseball Charities. There will be $75 rebuys and a $75 add-on.

Scheduled to attend this event, as of press time, are poker pros Kenna James, Layne Flack, Chad Brown and Kevin O’Donnell, plus Baseball Hall of Fame players Gaylord Perry and Fergie Jenkins.
Also, this month is the Packages from Home event. Call for more details on both events.

HODGE WINS LADIES STATE TITLE: It was Sept. 10 when Leah Hodge learned she was the victim of downsizing at her company. It’s hard to imagine anyone concentrating on poker with that hanging over their heads.

“On my way home, I decided to stop by Casino Arizona to blow off a little steam and make some cash at the tables,” Hodge said. “While I was waiting for a table to open up, I noticed a waiting list for a ($32.50) shootout for the ladies state tournament, where first place wins a seat to the tournament. When we had 10 interested in playing, we sat down. That’s when I discovered the tournament had actually started that day. Some of the ladies at my table had been knocked out that morning and were trying to win a seat back into the tournament.”

Hodge won the $225 seat to the sixth annual Arizona Ladies State Championship at Talking Stick, and instead of selling the seat she parlayed that small investment into a state title and $12,729.

“I debated between making some cash at a live table or risking $32.50 on a satellite seat. I thought, ‘Why not?’ and went for it. I placed in the top 20 of Sunday’s field of players, then won it all on Monday.”

The prize pool was $56,205 and the field had numerous pros, including Kristy Gazes.

“It’s a great story,” Casino Arizona director of poker Kent Odekirk said.

• Talking Stick has two events of note this month, the $330 Big Stack on Nov. 5 and a $65 Jack and Jill couples tournament on Nov. 6, featuring a $5K guaranteed prize pool. The Big Stack event begins at 10 a.m. while the couples tournament will start at 9 a.m. Signups for both events begin at noon the Monday before.

6th Arizona Ladies State Championship
At Talking Stick

1. Leah Hodge, $12,729
2. Bonnie Jaeger, $7,447
3. Andi Jaeger, $6,182
4. Linda Raffino, $5,002
5. Kelly Minkin, $3,906
6. Jill Fabian, $3,035
7. Olivia Smith, $2,389
8. Barbara Holland, $1,827
9. Angel Singer, $1,349
10. Marcela Hinojos, $984
11. Barbara Siefer, $725
12. Vanessa Sciarra, $725
13. Yvonne Young, $725
14. Brenda Tamillo, $725
15. Vicki Oxman, $725
16. Tammie Sumners, $590
17. Sombat Miller, $590
18. Nichole Fan, $590
19. Donna Delahanty, $590
20. Marie Ule, $590
21. Barb Rugolo, $506
22. Deborah Caples, $506
23. Linda Raffino, $506
24. Michele Reece, $506
25. N/A, $506
26. Kat Gatelis, $450
27. Marry Hallquist, $450
28. Raena Janes, $450
29. Mary Gruzinski, $450
30. Michelle Gibson, $450