With the new year comes exciting changes for the Lumière Place poker room: a new manager, new tournament structures and a national tournament series.
Anthony Chester, with experience from the Venetian and Delaware Park, has been named manager. While reviewing the day-to-day operations, he has implemented the deepstack-type tournaments he helped create at the Venetian.
“The tournament schedule is going to follow my true deepstack background,” Chester said. “We are going to give a better blind structure and a little bit more chips. The three-hour tournament we run will turn into a five-hour tournament.”
Daily 7 p.m. tournaments have been added to a schedule that includes a daily noon event. A weekly pot-limit Omaha tournament has been added.
The 100th event of the Heartland Poker Tour has been announced for March 2-11 and will be hosted by both St. Louis Pinnacle Entertainment properties: Lumière Place and River City. Qualifiers will be at Lumière Place. More qualifiers and the main schedule of events will be at River City. Judy’s Velvet Lounge at River City will be converted to a dedicated tournament room and maintained as a non-smoking area. The TV final table will use the main stage and provide spectator seating and video monitors throughout the area. Shuttle service will be offered between the locations and Lumière offers several hotel options.
Chester was seen as a critical piece to make this HPT venture work.
“(Pinnacle) has said they want to make the Lumière and River City the main stops for poker in St. Louis,” he said. “They really want to focus and they are enthused about the game of poker and want to make it a prominent aspect of why people come.”
Gateway Poker Classic: Harrah’s St. Louis hosted its inaugural Gateway Poker Classic from Dec. 1-11. The series had 30 events with most days hosting three tournaments. This series featured events with a number of interesting variations, including a Jack-N-Jill event (63 teams entered) four different Omaha disciplines, H.O.R.S.E., six-max, seniors and ladies.
The series drew more than 2,700 players for a combined prize pool of nearly $575K.
As for the $1,100 two-day main event, which attracted 118 players for a $114,460 prize pool, Tom Cronin of St. Peters, Mo., proved unbeatable, capturing $34,340 for first place. The event is expected to return this year.
— Don Matusofsky is Ante Up’s Missouri Ambassador. You can email him at email@example.com.
Gateway Poker Classic
Entries: 118 • Prize Pool: $114,460
1. Tom Cronin, St. Peters, MO, $34,340
2. Mark Koeln, St. Louis, $21,223
3. Andy Campbell, Naperville, IL, $15,111
4. Daniel Lowery, Charleston, AR, $10,977
5. William Difani, M’land Hts., MO, $8,131
6. Donald Baumer, Troy, IL, $6,138
7. Ricky Sumner, Union, MO, $4,721
8. Travis Barks, Hillsboro, MO, $3,698
9. Greg Phillips, St. Charles, MO, $2,948