I live in McKinney, a fast growing city in North Central Texas, 30 miles north of Dallas. It’s almost equidistant to the two closest casinos in Southern Oklahoma, Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant and WinStar World Casino in Thackerville.
I was the Oklahoma reporter-writer for Southwest Poker News the past two years. I want to thank Ante Up for this opportunity to write for this magazine every month as “the voice of my poker community,” which I certainly intend to become.
At press time, the World Series of Poker Circuit was in full swing at Choctaw. This is the second largest circuit stop in terms of number of players and second only to the stop in Hammond, Ind., near Chicago.
Sean Stevens from Las Vegas won the first no-limit hold’em ring out of 533 entrants for a nice cash of $34,380. Event 2 was a pot-limit Omaha contest and out of 254 players, Christopher Benoy of Arlington, Texas, won a ring and $18,667.
Now here is where it starts to get big: Event 3 was a $365 buy-in with four starting flights, and there was a whopping 2,857 entries. We’ll have all the results of this WSOPC stop next issue.
WINSTAR: The Mini River Series runs Feb. 4-17, including a $1K main event. See the ad on Page 11 for the schedule.
RING RETURNED: Now for a feel good story involving the traveling poker dealer network that deals the WSOPC and many other events all over the country.
I have come to know many of these dealers and the floor staff over the past four years and count many as my friends. I’m always impressed by their professionalism, pride in their work and their friendly customer-service can-do attitude.
Ross Bybee, a local well-known Texas pro all of the dealers know and like, has a great dealer-network story. At the Hammond WSOPC stop in October 2013, he took over a hotel room from some dealers that had to leave early.
Evidently there were some extra room keys floating around and one night he went back to his room to find someone had taken some of his things, including the WSOPC ring he won at Choctaw.
He put out a call on Facebook requesting help from the dealer network in getting his ring back, no questions asked. The comments on FB were supportive of Ross; the dealers were upset and took it as a black mark on their reputation.
To make a long story short, Ross got his ring back at Choctaw just after this event started, completely restoring the faith in this fine group of people. The traveling dealer network rocks!
— Email John D. Short at email@example.com.