Lance Garcia was visiting his girlfriend when he heard about the Horseshoe’s monthly $500 tournament. The 23-year-old poker pro, who has one World Series of Poker Circuit ring, topped a record 416 entries. This was the first time two Day 1s were used resulting in a Midwest record $187K prize pool. Garcia took $39K back to Houston after a heads-up battle with former motorcycle racer, Marshall Skloss.
Horseshoe’s WSOPC is October 17-28 with promotions starting Sept. 1.
CHANGES COMING: Two popular poker rooms just outside the Chicago area are Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City and Par-A-Dice in East Peoria. Both Boyd Gaming-owned casinos have recently made some changes.
Blue Chip’s eight-table room spreads $1-$3 no-limit hold’em every day and usually gets a $2-$5 game going on Fridays. The room started running a $150 tournament on the third Monday of the month. Cash-game and tournament players can earn points toward the Dec. 15 $20K freeroll.
Par-A-Dice’s five-table room spreads $1-$2 daily with $2-$5 games running on Wednesdays and Fridays, and a $1-$3 game recently started on Tuesdays. The bad beat has been popular with the players, hitting twice since starting in February.
HOLLYWOOD: Pending approval, Hollywood Casino in Aurora is planning to run a weekly $120 Sunday tournament starting Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. Also the Hollywood Aurora Fall Classic is in the works for Dec. 1, cash and tournament players can win seats, more details to come next issue.
LOCAL FLAVOR: Darryl Ronconi of Naperville finished 54th at this year’s WSOP main event, winning $151K. He also was runner-up in the 2011 WSOP $5K NLHE-Triple Chance, and has a pair of WSOPC runner-up finishes.
— Email “Chicago” Joe Giertuga at email@example.com.