WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., hosts one of the nation’s premier tournament series every year in mid August called the River. Quite a few big-name poker pros show up each year for what they believe is a very good value series. Because of the annual success of this series, WinStar has begun running at least three “Mini-River” series around holiday weekends. The latest was the Memorial Day series.
Event 1 kicked off May 17 and was a $500 deepstack affair. Out of 236 sitters (some call them runners, but why?) my buddy Patrick Wagner took it down to the tune of $26,444. He said, “The deck basically hit me in the face the entire tournament.” Now how nice would that be?
No. 2 was a $230 tilt with 182 entries that ended in a seven-way chop for $4,210 each after Lynn Samples went out in eighth place for $946 (more on her later). The choppers were Frank Berry, Thai Ton, Gary Baker, Lyndon Jones, Sean Flannelly, Mark Swafford and Karen Norman.
Event 3 ($120) was contested over three days and six flights with the finals played out on Day 4. With 639 players taking their shot, it all ended up with Jordan Smith winning, pocketing $10,294.
Next up was the $230 turbo with $100 bounties that 182 players entered. Just like in Event 2, it chopped seven ways for $2,045 each after, guess who, Samples exited eighth for $550. You think she was getting upset with all the chopping after she bows out of a final table? Those who chopped included Savanna Syvrud, “Easy Larry” Hirons, James Valenti, Scott Kelly, Harvey Barrington, Samuel Wilson and Steven Thornton.
Event 5 ($350 six-max) drew 137 players as William Burford bested the field for a nice even cash of $10K.
The $1K main event had two starting flights, and 265 entrants had to deal a player who had plenty of built-up frustration the past week after a couple of final-table chops. Well, they didn’t deal with her very well because, you guessed it, none other than Lynn Samples took the whole thing down for a nice cash of $57,480.
Congratulations to Lynn for hanging in there and making three final tables in six events.
— Email John at email@example.com.