The Chicago Poker Classic, one of the largest non-branded tournament series in the United States, had a bit of a downturn this year as the opener was off from 2013’s record-shattering 5,165 entries. And despite decreasing the main event buy-in to $1,500 and setting a record with 745 entries, it fell short of the$1 million guarantee.
Ed Ochana, a 39-year-old pro from Elgin, won the main event for $217K and a $10K World Series of Poker Main Event seat. Ochana is one of Chicagoland’s most successful players, five months earlier winning the HPT at Majestic Star. He also has a WSOPC ring and finished third in the 2012 CPC’s main. Notable main-event cashes: Zal Irani (15th), Matt Kirby (21st), Ravi Raghavan (36th), Frank Rusnak (37th), Mike Mustafa (49th), Dave Backstrom (52nd) and Greg Raymer (57th).
Richard Bia, a $1-$2 PLO grinder, finished second for $135K. He won his seat in a $500 satellite.
Irani, a former financial planner, also won the deepstack turbo for $14K and a WSOP seat. He won the WSOPC main at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana in October.
AMERISTAR EAST CHICAGO: The property is getting ready to reopen its poker room, though no date had been announced by press time. Cash games are planned when the HPT arrives Aug. 7-17.
MAJESTIC STAR: Mid-States Poker Tour visits on July 26-Aug. 3 with a $200K main-event guarantee. MSPT will be return in 2015: May 2-10 and July 25-Aug. 2.
TROPICANA EVANSVILLE: This room will host its first MSPT event Aug. 16-24, with a $100K guarantee for the main.
WCPC: The Windy City Poker Championship televised event was a great success for Shady Oaks Camp over Memorial Day weekend. The championship featured a variety of tournaments, including a freeroll with $1K in added tournament seats and a jam-packed deepstack event with $6K in cash and prizes awarded to the final 10 players. The Sunday event featured three televised elements, including a $1K qualifier, a $3K SNG and a $2-$5-$10 cash game.
The $1K TV table qualifier advanced ABC 7’s Ron Magers and Gary Carr to the second televised event, where they competed against pro, celebrity, and amateur players, including Faraz Jaka, Mohsin Charania, Richard Roeper, 2010 WCPC champ Michael Sabbia and amateur qualifiers Kevin Boskey, Kevin Boyd and Paul Fisher.
Jaka took home the first-place prize valued at $15,500. Boyd earned second ($8,400). The first televised cash game in Chicago featured charity event qualifiers and 2007 WSOP champ Jerry Yang, who was one of the big winners.
The events, which benefited Shady Oaks Camp in Homer Glen, will be broadcast in July and August on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The next WCPC event is planned for December. Email kirk@windycitypokerchampionshi p.com for more details.
— Email “Chicago” Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.