Summer poker sizzles in the Southwest

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You might have heard retired Grand Junction, Colo., performer Roger Martin was the winner of the May 27 Heartland Poker Tour at Albuquerque’s Route 66 Casino. After13 grueling hours of final-table play, Martin’s ace-queen caught two queens on the board, netting him more than $39K and the title, as well as lifetime respect and bragging rights.

VEE QUIVA CASINO: The new casino, along with a 16-table poker room, is scheduled to open July 2.

DESERT DIAMOND CASINO: Here are some of the festivities planned for the Tucson poker room:
• Cup of Coffee tournaments every Monday and Thursday morning at 9:30, and every Monday and Wednesday evening at 7.
• Poker Greenbacks promotion every Tuesday and Thursday starting mid July. Be sure to contact the poker room for details.

TALKING STICK RESORT: There’s a ton of fun and competition for Southwest players in the Arena poker room in July. Here’s a schedule, and all events begin at 11:15 a.m.:
• July 6: The Big Stack event costs $330 for 10K chips. You’ll get 3K more for the $15 add-on.
• July 13: The Super Bounty Big Stack is $225 for 8,500 chips ($10 add-on gets you another 2,500).
• July 14: The ladies tournament ($75) has 3,500 chips and the $5 add-on gets you 500 more.
• July 20: An Omaha/8 event ($150) gets players 3,500 chips ($10 add-on earns 2,500 more).
• July 27: The End of the Month Tournament ($150) has 3,500 chips with a $10 add-on for 2,500 more. Also, a $5 Keno ticket equals another 1K chips.
• July 28: The famous Jack and Jill event ($65) starts with 2,500 chips ($10 add-on is worth 1,500 chips).
The poker room has begun single-table satellites its ninth annual Arizona State Poker Championship, which will be Aug. 9-13. Each SNG is 10-handed and costs $120 (one winner) or $230 (two seats). These qualifiers will run until 6 a.m. on Aug. 11.

BUFFALO THUNDER: Tournament play here will include:
• Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., $40 buy-in, one rebuy.
• Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m., $75 and no rebuys.
• The Omaha/8 event is July 14 at 2 p.m., where $100 is added per table. The entry fee is $100, with one re-entry, 5,000 chips and 20-minute levels.
• On July 27 (1 p.m.) is the Last Saturday of the Month deepstack ($150), which has 15K chips and 20-minute blinds.
Players can earn 1K bonus chips for two hours of cash play before these tournaments.

Though most the squares of your poker calendar should be filled out for July, I hope you left just a few open for the regular tourneys, SNGs and live play in the 15 or so other great cardrooms throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

— Mary Bradley is Ante Up’s Southwest Ambassador. You can email her at anteupmary@gmail.com.