Catching up with the Midwest out West



With so many recognizable names at the final tables, it was hard not to get excited during this year’s World Series of Poker. Yet more exciting is to see some of local players from the Midwest make it deep in several of the events, including one familiar face to Ante Up readers.

Thomas Chambers, an Indiana University graduate from Ft Wayne, Ind., finished fifth in Event 52, the $2,500 10-game mix, outlasting 416 players to win $43,099 after being eliminated by eventual winner, Vanessa Selbst.

Benjamin Grise, a Ball State grad from Muncie, Ind., took home nearly $49K after his straight-flush gutshot draw didn’t get there. He finished eighth out of 3,321 entrants in Event 54 ($1K no-limit hold’em).

It doesn’t look like there’s any stopping John Nelson of Curtice, Ohio. This 25-year-old Ohio University student was fifth in Event 43 ($1,500 NLHE), outlasting 2,765 players and taking home $151,338. Nelson was featured in Ante Up’s April edition after winning the Tri-State Poker Championship at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

HORSESHOE POKER CLASSIC: With nine events, more than 800 players and $212K in prize pools, this year’s Horseshoe Poker Classic at the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana proved there was plenty of tournament action for those who weren’t able to make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the WSOP.

The $750 main event, which attracted 92 players for a $65,800 prize pool, ended with a five-way chop, awarding $9,187 each to John Ford (Louisville), Scott Gullett (Prospect, Ky.), Frederick Liggin (Louisville), Joseph Mattingly (Springfield, Ky.) and Craig Spalding (Evansville, Ind.). The biggest win of the series went to Kevin Cook of Greenwood, Ind., who beat 210 entrants in the $200 kickoff event for more than $14K.

— R.C. Thorne is Ante Up’s Southern Indiana Ambassador. Email him at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine