SoCal Poker News: Pechanga, San Manuel, Barona

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More than 250 players in Pechanga’s poker room had a great start to the New Year, as Southern California’s first Mega Share Bad Beat Jackpot hit for $157,346 on New Year’s Day.

Irene Orona of Perris earned 30 percent of the jackpot ($47,322) when her six-high straight flush lost to the eight-high straight flush of Chinh Hoang of Placentia, who earned the pot and $31,469 (20 percent). Seven other players at the table got equal shares of $6,743 (30 percent) while the rest of the hold’em cash players in the room each took home $122.

The Pechanga Mega Share Bad Beat was reset to $51,596 after the big win.

RIVALRY CHARITY: San Manuel Casino will host its second annual Rivalry charity tournament supporting the (L.A.) Kings Care Foundation and Anaheim Ducks Foundation on March 1. Like last year, Kings and Ducks alumni will participate in the events, which will include a silent auction, featuring collectable namesake hockey memorabilia and an after-party in the Pines.

The tournament, with a buy-in of $35, will be played in the casino’s Yuhaviatam Room. All proceeds from the buy-in support the teams’ foundations. The tournament will feature 450 Ducks fans and 450 Kings fans playing against each other, team alumni, poker pros and celebrities. They’ll be playing for cash prizes of $10,000.

Kings alumni scheduled to attend include Marty McSorley, Glen Murray, Daryl Evans, Luc Robitaille, Bernie Nicholls, Ian Turnbull and Jim Fox. Ducks alumni are TBA.

“Coming off such a successful rivalry tournament last year, there was no question of hosting again. Fans helped to raise over $23,000, and we expect another night of great charitable giving with these two organizations,” said Steve Lengel, executive director of operations for San Manuel.

CRAZY IN BARONA: We hear a great $3-$6 Crazy Pineapple/8 game (with a kill) is dominating the poker room at Barona Casino. This juicy game, which is bad-beat jackpot eligible (it’s the Omaha jackpot), has been known to have a wait list so long it could take hours to get in, so get there early.

SOCAL ROAD TRIP: Be sure to turn to Pages 48-52 to read about our recent Ante Up Poker Road Trip to Southern California. We did our best to visit every room in SoCal and to chat with the managers and their staff members. We even had a chance to play in quite a few rooms, and what we found was a fantastic poker environment with dedicated staffs and players. It’s a great region for poker!

— Christopher Cosenza, chris@anteupmagazine.com