Inthavong wins WinStar River Poker Series, $473K

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Tournament action in Oklahoma continues to be heavy. Main events for WinStar World Casino’s River Series, Cherokee Casino’s Blast to the Past Series at West Siloam Springs, Hard Rock Casino’s Poker Showdown and the Mid-States Poker Tour at Downstream Casino were among those crowning champions since our last issue.

Kaophone Inthavong defeated Benjamin Kantor to win the River Series’ $2,500 main event for $473,900 in Thackerville. Kantor earned $286,418 for his runner-up finish in a tourney that had 1,108 entries. In other big news from the series, the $5K “No Juice” drew 54 entries and WinStar ambassador Maria Ho captured the event and $101K.

• Todd Kerr overcame 375 players and beat Ken Pastewka in a short heads-up battle to win the MSPT’s $400 main event. He earned $37,050. Pastewka won $20,357 as runner-up.

• Duy Nguyen took down the Blast to the Past Series’ $330 main event. A repeat winner, he overcame 112 entries to earn $10,500. Nguyen also won the main event in 2010. Phonesanong Omo was second ($6,300).

• Mark Newport and Eric Mihalka chopped the Hard Rock Poker Showdown’s $1,090 main event for $6K each.

• Choctaw Casino in Durant will complete its $1M guarantee Fall Classic on Oct. 7. Results and a tournament recap will appear our next issue.

Next up for the region is the Heartland Poker Tour at Indigo Sky Casino. Scheduled to run Oct. 10-21, the main event features a $1,650 buy-in.

UPDATES: Some interesting news in the area involves game developments at two Kansas casinos and the return of poker at one Oklahoma venue and possibly another.

• Poker has returned to Paradise … Casino that is. Not offered for more than four years, poker has returned in the form of a nine-handed table in its table-games pit. A second table is expected to be added within a month ($1-2 NLHE is offered now) with SNGs being considered for that table. Paradise once offered a six-table poker room.

• First Council Casino is considering a return to the poker market. By late fall, the decision will be made to create a three-table poker room. First Council once had an enclosed poker room with nine tables. It closed in May 2012 because of Kansas Star Casino opening its poker room.

• Speaking of Kansas Star Casino, it has started offering $3-$6 limit hold’em and has found a substantial amount of support for a cash game not commonly found in many casinos, $2-$5 PLO/8.

• Boot Hill Casino offers $2-$5 PLO. It and Kansas Star share enough of a player pool that demand has sparked at Boot Hill. Also, Boot Hill’s bad-beat jackpot was closing in on $200K at press time with a quads-beaten qualifier.

— Email Robert Kelly at anteuprob@gmail.com.