Choctaw starts new year with the WSOPC

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The third year for Choctaw Casino’s World Series of Poker Circuit stop kicks off Jan. 3, and if last year’s turnout is any indicator, this series will be wildly successful. Last year drew record numbers, and the main-event field included Todd Brunson, Layne Flack, Dennis Phillips, Scotty Nguyen, Tom McEvoy, Men Nguyen and Chad Brown. At the time, they accounted for 23 WSOP bracelets, 298 WSOP cashes, five circuit rings and almost $24 million career earnings.

Midweek events drew in the 400-player range last year, with one main-event satellite drawing a staggering 740 entrants. The $1,600 main event had 978 players for a prize pool of $1,422,990, second only to the 1,615-player field at Hammond, Ind., earlier in the season. Tournament play takes place in the casino’s Center Stage concert hall, which is comfortable, spacious and an excellent space for an event of this size. The casino offers special hotel rates at its luxurious resort starting at $59. Choctaw Casino is about an hour north of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. This year’s events run Jan. 3-21, including 12 ring events and a WSOP pendant up for grabs. The main event begins Jan. 19. For more info, check choctawcasinos.com. The 400-room hotel tower fills up quickly. If you wish to reserve your room at the special rate, call 888-652-4628, promo code WSOP13.

HARD ROCK OPEN: Congratulations to Robbie Hooper, who won the Hard Rock Open main event and $10,675. The 21-event series ran Nov. 23-Dec. 2 and the $550 main event drew 61 players for a $30,500 pool. The Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa recently moved its poker operations to a larger room. Another performance of note, Michael Varnell won three events, which is quite an accomplishment.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: Employees at the Kansas Star Casino worked diligently to move into their permanent home in the newly built casino property as the new facility opened Dec. 12. We’re anticipating some exciting things from the new poker room. Best of luck to manager Doug Mackay and his staff. The casino recently was acquired by Boyd Gaming, a company that’s showing some interesting signs of growth with quality casino properties across the country, including Nevada, California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey.

— Bonnie Demos is Ante Up’s Oklahoma-Kansas Ambassador. Email her at bdemos1@gmail.com.

Hard Rock Open, Nov. 23-Dec. 2

Event 1 • $235 NLHE
Entries: 77 • Pool: $15,400
John Reynolds, $5,082
Event 2 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 49 • Pool: $4,900
Darrell Evans, $1,960
Event 3 • $230 Bounty
Entries: 45 • Pool: $7,875
Jim Sybrant, $3,150
Event 4 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 57 • Pool: $5,700
Michael Williamson, $2,166
Event 5 • $230 Bounty
Entries: 62 • Pool: $10,850
Jason Benanzer, $3,796
Event 6 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 48 • Pool: $4,800
Frank Miller, $1,920
Event 7 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 37 • Pool: $1,850
Michael Varnell, $832
Event 8 • $130 Seniors
Entries: 73 • Pool: $7,300
Allen Barney, $2,409
Event 9 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 33 • Pool: $1,650
Michael Varnell, $742
Event 10 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 52 • Pool: $5,200
Cody Hughey, $1,976
Event 11 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 39 • Pool: $1,950
Michael Varnell, $877
Event 12 • $230 Ladies
Entries: 8 • Pool: $1,600
Andrea Redmon, $1,600
Event 13 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 56 • Pool: $5,600
Ashton Robinson, $2,128
Event 14 • $60 NLHE
Entries: 30 • Pool: $1,500
Zejadin Capri, $750
Event 15 • $230 PLO
Entries: 32 • Pool: $6,200
Michael Lech, $2,600
Event 16 • $130 J&J
Entries: 70 • Pool: $7K
Will Petrali, Deb Inman, $2,450
Event 17 • $340 NLHE
Entries: 460 • Pool: $138K
Nick Rosenberger, $27,876
Event 18 • $230 PLO
Entries: 7 • Pool: $1,400
Tom Coker, $1,400
Event 19 • $230 O/8
Entries: 41 • Pool: $8,200
David Corn, $3,280
$550 Main Event
Entries: 61 • Pool: $30,500
Robby Hooper, $10,675
Event 21 • $130 NLHE
Entries: 23 • Pool: $2,300
Billy Wallace, $1,150