Bike’s Mega Millions proves a smash hit

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There aren’t many opportunities in the small mid-entry tournaments where first place is nearly a thousand times your entry fee. But the Bicycle Casino had just that in its recent Winnin’ o’ the Green tournament series. Its signature event was a $1 million guarantee in April called Mega Millions, which sported a $150 buy-in with an optional $100 add-on.

There were 22 starting flights averaging 290 entrants (6,369 total) and the rebuy rate was 82 percent. What do these numbers mean? The guarantee was surpassed during Flight 19 and the total prize pool was $1,279,357. The final table guaranteed $10,000 to ninth place and first place was an enormous $223,000.

Final-table play was fairly routine until it got to be four-handed. At that point, a deal was proposed, but the players rejected it, and play continued.

When the fourth player was eliminated, the final three agreed to a deal, giving $165,782 for the chipleader, $139,475 for second, $130,000 for third. The remaining $48K was left to play for, and that went to Kevin McGinnis, who received the largest piece of the chop and held form to become champion, pocketing $213,782.

Next up in the Los Angeles basin is the California State Poker Championship at Commerce Casino. Besides being known for having Ben Affleck as its champ in 2004, this is another great series for the “everyman” poker player. The first event, on May 2, is a $225 no-limit re-entry tournament with three starting days, a $400K guarantee and $100K minimum to first place.

There are 18 events with buy-ins ranging from $120 to $2,080 for the championship. In addition to standard no-limit, this series includes Omaha/8, bounty no-limit, H.O.R.S.E., and an Omaha/8-stud/8 combo. There also will be rebuy events for NLHE, pot-limit Omaha and PLO/8.

— Dave Palm is Ante Up’s Los Angeles Ambassador. You can email him at LA.AnteUp@gmail.com.