World Series of Poker always has grabbed Chicago’s attention

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Summertime traditionally is a slow period for Chicagoland poker rooms, but ask any of its poker room managers and the response may be, “Everybody went to Las Vegas for the World Series.”
More players make the trip each year to play in the various WSOP events.The only player with a Chicago connection to win the main event was Greg Raymer.After graduating, Raymer landed his first job in Chicago.

The first player from the Chicago area to make a WSOP final table was “Chicago” Sam Petrillo in 1979, finishing sixth in the 54-player tournament. In 1981, Petrillo was the first Chicago player to cash in a main event, making his second final table. Brent Carter from Oak Park finished third in the 1995 main event.

This year’s main event had 16 players cash from the Chicago area. Jordan Batt from Northbrook was the last Chicagoland player standing, finishing 29th.Nick Jivkov of Des Plaines was the only local to take home a bracelet, winning the $1,500 pot-limit hold’em event.

• Trade Winds Services will hold its third annual poker tournament and casino night at the Majestic Star on Sept. 22.

Last year, former Chicago Bulls player Cliff Levingston and ex-Bear James “Big Cat” Williams played in this event. More celebrities are expected this year as Windy City Poker Championship’s Jason Finn and Kirk Fallah will again emcee. Visit tradewindservices.org for more information.

WSOPC: The Horseshoe Hammond will host its World Series of Poker Circuit stop Oct. 11-22. Last year’s $350 opener set a circuit record with 3,001 players.

— “Chicago” Joe Giertuga is Ante Up’s Chicagoland Ambassador. Email him at chicago.joe@comcast.net. Jason Finn and Kirk Fallah contributed to this report.