Three poker tour stops in March made Reno hot spot

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Three large tours made March stops in our big little city and proved again Reno poker is a major poker competitor. 

The first series, the World Poker Challenge, kicked off at the Grand Sierra Resort on Feb. 28, offering 22 events across 11 days. Event 1, a $200 no-limit hold’em $50K guarantee, attracted 289 players. Micha Bell from Battle Ground, Wash., took home nearly $12K.
The $100K guarantee had a $300 buy-in to attract 406 runners. Hung Ngyuen from Sacramento won the title and $25K.

The $1K main event, which had a $200K guarantee, drew more than 200 players as John Deng of Davis, Calif., won first place and $49,385. Reno’s Taylor Ohl was second ($29K), followed by Martin Wong of Napa, Calif., ($25K), Jeff Tugwell of Redding, Calif., ($26K) and Michael Yoshihara of Reno for nearly $14K.

As things wound down at the GSR, Atlantis Casino kicked off its All-In Poker Series that had 26 events March 15-25. The $1,080 three-day main event had 190 players as locals John Miner (Carson City) and Jerry Morrell (Reno) quickly became chipleaders and it stayed that way, chopping first place for a little more than $45K each.

“The final table was like a blood bath,” Miner said. “At first, I was going to respond to their aggression, but decided to just sit back and let them go at it. It was a great tournament; it was competitive, but fun, too.”

“We were very pleased with the turnout of the All-In Poker Series, as we had our best turnout,” manager Daniel Chiu said. “I look forward to continuously growing our tournament series and ensuring our players have a great time at a great value.”

• The Peppermill hosted the third annual Nevada State Ladies Championship (March 15-17). The LIPS Tour’s $150 main event had 93 women and paid more than $13K with Lu Hoge of Sacramento taking the title, bracelet and $4,415. This was a great win for Lu as it was her first time playing in a major tournament.

— Leslie Pauls is an Ante Up Ambassador for Reno and a representative for Blue Shark Optics. Email her at anteupcali@gmail.com.