Bucci leads Southern Arizona WSOP performers

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There wasn’t any hardware involved, but still plenty of cash came back to Southern Arizona in the pockets of locals who fared well at the World Series of Poker.

Twelve players with ties to Southern Arizona combined to cash 14 times during the 65-tournament series in Las Vegas, hauling in $180,196. That’s nearly double the $96,191 collected by locals in 2013.

The top performer was James Bucci of Parker, who finished third in the $1,500 Omaha/8 tournament to earn $109,678. In that same event, Tucson’s Raena Janes finished 31st for $7,146. It was Janes’ second WSOP cash, while it was Bucci’s his first time cashing in a bracelet event.

Bucci was one of eight locals scoring their first WSOP cash.

The only Southern Arizona-connected player with multiple cashes was arguably the area’s best player of the past two decades. Sean Getzwiller, who lives in California, cashed three times in no-limit hold’em events for $15,672. Getzwiller has 22 WSOP cashes, including a bracelet in a $1K NLHE event in 2011.

Locals also were part of the massive payout structures for the summer’s two largest tournaments, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and the $1,500 Monster Stack. Each event included two Southern Arizona players cashing, with Linda Lyons of Sahuarita faring the best (225th) in the Monster Stack to earn $7,429.

Despite all of the success for Southern Arizona, one tourney that locals were shut out of was the main event. Only one player made it past Day 2, but failed to get close to making the money.

CASINO DEL SOL: Tucson’s Casino del Sol has put together a special late-summer tournament that could be worth as much as $7,500 to one participant.

The Summer Sizzle tournament is scheduled for Aug. 21-24, featuring three opening-day flights and a reduced “loyal guest” buy-in for players who log 20 or more hours of live play through Aug. 20. The tourney costs $200 to enter, but those who have the qualified hours can enter for $50.

Players will get a starting stack of 5,000, but can pay $20 before the tourney for another 5,000. Also, during the first four levels of play, a $20 add-on is available for 5,000 chips.

The tournament features 20-minute levels throughout, with each opening flight expected to play 12 levels before breaking for the final day. Each flight (Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 22 or 23 at 11 a.m.) is limited to 70 entrants.

Casino del Sol is guaranteeing a $20K prize pool, with at least $7,500 going to first place. It will pay the top 20 spots, with a min-cash earning at least $340. If the prize pool exceeds $20K, any extra funds will be added to the payouts awarded to the final table.

— Email Brian at anteupsouthernaz@gmail.com.