Hollywood Poker Open does well in Ohio

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The Hollywood Casino in Columbus hosted another wonderful tournament series, the Hollywood Poker Open, on the heels of a successful tournament series at the Horseshoe in Cincinnati. New poker room manager John Constantino and outgoing manager Matt Dodd put on a great event that featured 16 events over nine days, not counting satellites.

Event 1 ($450 no-limit hold’em) boasting 331 entrants for a $128,428 prize pool as Columbus native Satish Reddy earned the trophy and $30,818. The $1,800 main event had 126 entrants and a prize pool of $205,254. HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker hosted the event and saw some familiar faces on the regional scene cash, including John Michalak, Trevor Renner and the events winner Joseph Couden of Blacklick, Ohio. He earned entry into the HPO national championship and $60,827.

WHAT’S HAPPENING? As one would expect, poker rooms are seeing the effect of the sun on daily game play. It should come as no surprise that nice weather draws people outdoors and mid-week action slows a bit, while weekends see more touristy crowds in casinos that have proximity to sports arenas, concert venues or tourist activities. Expect cash games and daily tournaments to be down during the summer.

GOING TO VEGAS? Many of our region’s grinding pros are going to take their shot at a big score in Vegas, so here are what some seasoned veterans to the WSOP and tournament circuit suggest.

Gavin Smith, WPT Player of the Year and WSOP bracelet-winner: “Don’t get caught up in the excitement and hugeness of the event. Poker is still just poker and we all put our pants on the same way.”

Moneymaker, main-event champion: “If you are taking a shot and playing one or two tournaments, get in early and watch play in other similar events so that you can have an idea how people are playing and you will be somewhat familiar with surroundings at the Rio. Get your body on the local time and get plenty of sleep and eat right. Take your time at the table and get comfortable. We all get the same number of cards.”

— Dan Harkenrider hosts the Division of Poker and Chris Moneymaker radio shows. Email him at anteupdan@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DivisionofPoker.