Miner has major poker success in Reno/Tahoe area

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By covering the Reno/Tahoe poker action, I’ve discovered one name continues to pop up at every major event: John Miner. He always has had poker at his fingertips as a Carson City local, and started playing low-limit cash games about 10 years ago. He’s concentrated on playing tournament poker for the past four years, amounting an impressive career, including a victory at the All-In Poker Series at the Atlantis Casino for $45K. I asked Miner how he learned so quickly.

“By hard knocks, just playing the game,” he said.

He learned the hard way, playing $3-$6 limit, and eventually progressed into the no-limit games up to $10-$20. And he didn’t progress by reading books like so many other players do these days.

“I found books and videos useless in learning because every table and player is different, and if you go in with a set plan of rules, you’re most likely going to lose. You have to learn the people you’re playing, and I personally don’t think you can win by reading about ABC poker.”

Though Miner is focusing on tournament poker, he still plays cash games and feels the Peppermill is the best room that offers the levels he likes to play.

“The Peppermill offers a lot of different games, and they get to some pretty high levels,” he said. “I enjoy playing their $2-$3-$5 NLHE and the $5-$10 there.”

He knows Reno poker has fallen back a bit because of the opening of so many California cardrooms, and he believes the only way Reno will remain a strong competitor in the market is by bringing in more major events. The last World Series of Poker Circuit that came through the area offered him an opportunity to win his first ring, which he did when he won Event 1 at Harveys Lake Tahoe for $20K. He plans to attend the WSOP in Vegas this month, with hopes of playing the new millionaire-maker and the main event.

Miner sells action to his events, and anyone interested in a potential sponsorship for him may contact me at the below email address for details.

I noticed Miner wearing a Full Tilt hat, and asked him about his thoughts on the recent regulation of online poker in Nevada. He said he will stick to live play, as he’s never really been heavily active in online poker. So why the hat?

“I wear this hat mostly as a joke, to remind my friends of how much money they lost on there.”

Well played, John, well played.

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